5 Best Online Banks You Should Check Out Today

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

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As banks and credit unions introduce new technology to help you manage your money, fewer people are interested in walking into a branch. In fact, nearly 70 percent of millennials use mobile banking, according to a study by the Federal Reserve.

Compared to traditional banks, the best online banks usually offer better annual percentage yields (APYs) or interest rates on account balances as well as lower fees. If you’re looking for the best online bank account for you, consider our top five favorites.

Ally Bank

Ally Bank makes the list of best online banks because of its low fees, high APYs, and available customer service.

Interest: Ally’s savings account has a flat 1.05% APY for all balances.

However, the amount you earn on your checking account balance depends on how much you have deposited. Balances of up to $14,999.99 will get a 0.10% APY, and balances of $15,000 or more will get a 0.60% APY.

Fees: Ally Bank’s checking and savings accounts are largely fee-free.

You won’t pay a monthly fee or fees on Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers to other banks. Ally also doesn’t charge for standard check orders or cashier’s checks.

Ally will even reimburse you up to $10 a month for ATM fees from ATMs outside the Allpoint network.

If you opt for Ally’s overdraft transfer service, which pulls money from a savings account if you overdraw, there’s no overdraft fee. Otherwise, you’ll pay $25 per overdrawn transaction, with a maximum of one fee per day.

Transfers: If you’re not sure you want to give up your traditional bank entirely, Ally allows you to make ACH transfers to and from other banks for free. ACH transfers typically take three business days, but some are eligible for a one-day transfer.

Although you won’t pay a fee for incoming wire transfers, it will cost you $20 to send a domestic wire transfer (international wire transfers aren’t available).

Deposits: You can deposit checks via Ally’s mobile app only. The bank doesn’t allow cash deposits, but you can set up direct deposit for your paychecks.

Customer service: Ally’s customer service team is available 24/7, and you can even speak with a representative via live chat.

Multiple savings accounts: If you’d like to have a separate savings account for each of your money goals, Ally allows you to create as many as you want.

Aspiration Summit

The Aspiration Summit checking account has some perks that are hard to beat, making it one of the best online banking options out there.

Interest: What makes the Aspiration Summit checking account stand out is its APY, which is high for this type of account. You’ll earn a 0.25% APY on balances up to $2,499.99 and a 1.00% APY on balances of $2,500 or more.

Fees: For basic usage, you’ll likely avoid fees altogether. Aspiration charges no monthly fee, and the bank will reimburse you for any ATM fees you incur. That means you can use any ATM worldwide fee-free.

Aspiration does charge fees for other services, though. For example, wire transfers, money orders, and overdrafts over $5 all incur fees. You also will be charged a $5 daily overdraft fee for every day your account is overdrawn.

There is, however, a five-day grace period, which means you have five days to get your account in the positive again before the daily overdraft fee starts.

Make sure to review Aspiration’s fee schedule before applying for a checking account.

Transfers: Aspiration allows you to do ACH transfers, which usually clear within two business days.

Deposits: You can deposit cash or checks to your Summit account at specific ATMs in the NYCE ATM network. You also can deposit checks via Aspiration’s mobile app and set up direct deposit.

Customer service: If you have general questions, you can peruse Aspiration’s support page to find answers. If you’re still stuck, you can reach the customer service team via live chat, email, or phone or by submitting a request.

Bank5 Connect

If you’re looking to keep your checking and savings accounts with one bank, Bank5 Connect may be your best online banking option.

Interest: Bank5 Connect offers high interest rates on its checking and savings accounts. You’ll get a 0.76% APY with the checking account and a 0.90% APY with the savings account.

The minimum balance of $100 per account isn’t hard to meet, either.

Fees: For basic services, you don’t need to worry about fees. Bank5 Connect doesn’t charge a monthly fee or fees for cashier’s checks, incoming wire transfers, or overdraft transfers from savings. Also, its $15 overdraft fee is well below the average of $30.

Transfers: Bank5 Connect allows you to transfer money to and from other banks via ACH transfers. Transfers typically take three business days.

Deposits: To add money to your Bank5 Connect account, you can deposit checks via your mobile app, send checks to deposit via snail mail, or use direct deposit.

Customer service: If you need help with your account or have a general question, you can reach Bank5 Connect by phone or live chat or by submitting a request via a contact form.

Capital One 360

Formerly ING Direct, Capital One 360 offers an impressive array of features, easily making it one of the best online banks.

Interest: This is one area where Capital One 360 lags behind some of the others. Unless you deposit a boatload of money, you won’t get much from the checking account.

  • 0.20% APY on balances up to $49,999.99
  • 0.75% APY on balances from $50,000 to $99,999.99
  • 0.90% APY on balances of $100,000 or more

The bank’s savings account APY is more impressive at 0.75%, and there is no minimum balance required.

Fees: Like most of the other best online banks, Capital One 360 doesn’t charge fees for most everyday uses. There’s no monthly fee or ATM fee for withdrawals from ATMs in the Allpoint network.

You will, however, pay a whopping $20 for a cashier’s check and $5 for checks after your first order, among other fees.

Transfers: Capital One 360 allows you to transfer to and from other banks for free. Transfers usually take two business days. The bank doesn’t charge a fee for incoming wire transfers, but outgoing domestic wire transfers cost $30. You can’t send international wire transfers.

Deposits: Capital One offers more options for deposits than any other online bank listed here. Of course, you can deposit checks via your mobile app. Plus, if you live near a Capital One 360 Cafe or bank branch, you can deposit checks or cash via a teller. You also can set up direct deposit.

Customer service: Capital One 360 offers support by phone and through live chat.

Multiple accounts: Like Ally Bank, Capital One 360 believes in using multiple savings accounts to work toward different savings goals. You can have up to 25 savings, money market, and business savings accounts with the bank at a time. You also can have up to three checking accounts.

Referral program: If you like what you see, Capital One 360 rewards you for sharing it with your friends. You’ll earn $20 per referral when someone opens a checking or savings account as a new customer. You can receive up to $1,000 total.

Overdraft protection: If you want to avoid getting charged a fee every time you overdraw your account, you can opt for an overdraft line of credit. That way, you’ll be charged interest on the overdrawn amount until you bring the balance above zero again.

In most cases, you’re paying pennies. And if you replenish your account the day it’s overdrawn, you won’t pay any interest at all.

If you don’t want this option, you can have Capital One 360 automatically transfer money from a savings account to cover an overdraft.

Discover

Discover offers great products across the board, so it’s no wonder it offers some of the best online bank accounts.

Interest: Discover’s savings account offers a 1.10% APY, with no minimum balance required. Discover’s checking account doesn’t offer any interest earnings, but it does offer rewards. More on that below.

Fees: There is no monthly fee for the checking account. The bank also has more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs in its network. You won’t pay anything for standard check orders, either.

Discover’s overdraft fee is $30, but the bank limits the fee to once per day.

Transfers: You can move money to and from your Discover account via ACH transfers. Transfers usually take four business days.

You can receive incoming wire transfers to your Discover account for free, but there’s a $30 fee for outgoing wire transfers.

Deposits: You can deposit checks into your checking or savings account via the Discover mobile app. You also can add money to your account via direct deposit.

Customer service: Discover is well-known for its outstanding customer service. For example, J.D. Power has ranked the bank highest in customer satisfaction with credit card companies three years in a row. You can reach Discover by phone or live chat or through a secure message.

Rewards: Checking account rewards are hard to find, but Discover is impressive in this regard. You’ll earn 10 cents for every qualifying transaction you make – up to 100 transactions per month. Eligible transactions include debit card purchases, online bill pay, and cleared checks.

If you max out the rewards cap every month, you can earn $120 a year in rewards.

Which of the best online banks should you choose?

The best online bank account for you will depend on a few things.

For starters, ask yourself what you plan to do with the account. For example, if you travel a lot, the fact that Aspiration Summit offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements is appealing.

Next, consider how much money you plan to keep in the account. If it’s not much, the APY may not matter as much as other features. If you plan to use one of these online banks for your main checking and savings accounts, though, you may want to go with one that offers higher checking and savings APYs.

Compare each of these accounts with other checking and savings accounts to make sure you’re getting the best features for your needs. Getting the right one the first time can save you time and money later.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 8 lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.

Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.20% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.99% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.89% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of December 13, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.

Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.

The information provided on this page is updated as of 12/13/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at hello@earnest.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.

© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.


2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 3.46% APR (with AutoPay) to 7.61% APR (without AutoPay). Variable rates currently from 2.31% APR (with AutoPay) to 7.61% (without AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.31% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.31% plus 0.75% margin minus 0.25% for AutoPay. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your credit history and the term of the loan and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

3 Important Disclosures for Figure.

Figure Disclosures

Figure’s Student Refinance Loan is a private loan. If you refinance federal loans, you forfeit certain flexible repayment options associated with those loans. If you expect to incur financial hardship that would impact your ability to repay, you should consider federal consolidation alternatives.


4 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

College Ave Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

1College Ave Refi Education loans are not currently available to residents of Maine.

2All rates shown include autopay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

3$5,000 is the minimum requirement to refinance. The maximum loan amount is $300,000 for those with medical, dental, pharmacy or veterinary doctorate degrees, and $150,000 for all other undergraduate or graduate degrees.

4This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a refi borrower with a Full Principal & Interest Repayment and a 10-year repayment term, has a $40,000 loan and a 5.5% Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $434.11 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $52,092.61. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

Information advertised valid as of 1/1/2020. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.


5 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Mortgage lending is not offered in Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (“APR”)
This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

FEE INFORMATION

There are no origination fees or prepayment penalties associated with the loan. Lender may assess a late fee if any part of a payment is not received within 15 days of the payment due date. Any late fee assessed shall not exceed 5% of the late payment or $28, whichever is less. A borrower may be charged $20 for any payment (including a check or an electronic payment) that is returned unpaid due to non-sufficient funds (NSF) or a closed account.

LOAN AMOUNT

For bachelor’s degrees and higher, up to 100% of outstanding private and federal student loans (minimum $5,000) are eligible for refinancing. If you are refinancing greater than $300,000 in student loan debt, Lender may refinance the loans into 2 or more new loans.
For eligible Associates degrees in the healthcare field (see Eligibility & Eligible Loans section below), Lender will refinance up to $50,000 in loans for non-ParentPlus refinance loans. Note, parents who are refinancing loans taken out on behalf of a child who has obtained an associates degrees in an eligible healthcare field are not subject to the $50,000 loan maximum, refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for more information about refinancing ParentPlus loans.

ELIGIBILITY & ELIGIBLE LOANS

Borrower, and Co-signer if applicable, must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident with a valid I-551 card (which must show a minimum of 10 years between “Resident Since” date and “Card Expires” date or has no expiration date); state that they are of at least borrowing age in the state of residence at the time of application; and meet Lender underwriting criteria (including, for example, employment, debt-to-income, disposable income, and credit history requirements).

Graduates may refinance any unsubsidized or subsidized Federal or private student loan that was used exclusively for qualified higher education expenses (as defined in 26 USC Section 221) at an accredited U.S. undergraduate or graduate school. Any federal loans refinanced with Lender are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment.

All loans must be in grace or repayment status and cannot be in default. Borrower must have graduated or be enrolled in good standing in the final term preceding graduation from an accredited Title IV U.S. school and must be employed, or have an eligible offer of employment. Parents looking to refinance loans taken out on behalf of a child should refer to https://www.laurelroad.com/refinance-student-loans/refinance-parent-plus-loans/ for applicable terms and conditions.

For Associates Degrees: Only associates degrees earned in one of the following are eligible for refinancing: Cardiovascular Technologist (CVT); Dental Hygiene; Diagnostic Medical Sonography; EMT/Paramedics; Nuclear Technician; Nursing; Occupational Therapy Assistant; Pharmacy Technician; Physical Therapy Assistant; Radiation Therapy; Radiologic/MRI Technologist; Respiratory Therapy; or Surgical Technologist. To refinance an Associates degree, a borrower must also either be currently enrolled and in the final term of an associate degree program at a Title IV eligible school with an offer of employment in the same field in which they will receive an eligible associate degree OR have graduated from a school that is Title IV eligible with an eligible associate and have been employed, for a minimum of 12 months, in the same field of study of the associate degree earned.

INTEREST RATES

The interest rate you are offered will depend on your credit profile, income, and total debt payments as well as your choice of fixed or variable and choice of term. For applicants who are currently medical or dental residents, your rate offer may also vary depending on whether you have secured employment for after residency.

DISBURSEMENT OPTIONS

The repayment of any refinanced student loan will commence (1) immediately after disbursement by us, or (2) after any grace or in-school deferment period, existing prior to refinancing and/or consolidation with us, has expired.

POSTPONING OR REDUCING PAYMENTS

After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship.

We may agree under certain circumstances to allow a borrower to make $100/month payments for a period of time immediately after loan disbursement if the borrower is employed full-time as an intern, resident, or similar postgraduate trainee at the time of loan disbursement. These payments may not be enough to cover all of the interest that accrues on the loan. Unpaid accrued interest will be added to your loan and monthly payments of principal and interest will begin when the post-graduate training program ends.

We may agree under certain circumstances to allow postponement (deferral) of monthly payments of principal and interest for a period of time immediately following loan disbursement (not to exceed 6 months after the borrower’s graduation with an eligible degree), if the borrower is an eligible student in the borrower’s final term at the time of loan disbursement or graduated less than 6 months before loan disbursement, and has accepted an offer of (or has already begun) full-time employment.

If Lender agrees (in its sole discretion) to postpone or reduce any monthly payment(s) for a period of time, interest on the loan will continue to accrue for each day principal is owed. Although the borrower might not be required to make payments during such a period, the borrower may continue to make payments during such a period. Making payments, or paying some of the interest, will reduce the total amount that will be required to be paid over the life of the loan. Interest not paid during any period when Lender has agreed to postpone or reduce any monthly payment will be added to the principal balance through capitalization (compounding) at the end of such a period, one month before the borrower is required to resume making regular monthly payments.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of November 8, 2019 and is subject to change.


6 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.

Splash Financial Disclosures

Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers.


7 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 1.76% effective November 10, 2019.


8 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it  endorse,  any educational institution.

Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of  5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.

As of 12/019/2019 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.90% to 8.59% Variable APR with AutoPay and 3.49% to 7.75% Fixed APR with AutoPay.

1.99% – 6.89%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

2.31% – 7.36%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

2.06% – 6.81%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Figure

2.62% – 6.12%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit College Ave

1.99% – 6.65%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

1.99% – 7.06%6Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

1.85% – 6.13%7Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

1.90% – 8.59%8Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Lendkey

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

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