Simple Bank Review: It’s All About the App at This Online Bank

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If you’re thinking about opening a checking account with Simple bank, there’s one thing you need to know: Simple isn’t its own bank. When you open a bank account with the company, your money is held by partner banks that are FDIC-insured.

So why should you choose Simple if it deposits your cash elsewhere? Because Simple provides other useful features, including integrated money management and unparalleled help in moving you closer to your financial goals.

To find out more about the perks this online bank has to offer, check out this detailed Simple bank review.

Simple bank review

Simple has the singular goal of perfecting personal spending accounts. The bank’s personal spending account is its only product. Simple doesn’t offer savings accounts, investment accounts, or credit cards.

Simple’s big selling point is its comprehensive array of money-management tools. These make it easy to track spending and savings goals. The Simple app also allows you to keep an eye on your accounts while you’re on the go.

Compared to similar apps, such as Mint, the bank takes a more proactive approach to your finances. For example, Mint collects and organizes your account information so you can track your money. Simple, on the other hand, allows you to set goals. It then automatically moves your money into special subaccounts to help you meet those goals.

While many users might appreciate the bank’s automation and its comprehensive mobile app, you won’t get a traditional banking experience. Simple doesn’t have local bank branches, for instance.

Unfortunately, the lack of in-person branches makes depositing cash with Simple online bank a hassle. To deposit cash, you have three options:

  • Mail in a money order.
  • Deposit a money order using the mobile app.
  • Deposit the cash into a different bank account and then transfer the money to Simple.

You also can’t write checks directly from your Simple account, though it does offer fee-free online bill pay.

There are some other downsides to this online bank, including a low interest rate on checking account balances.

Open a Simple account

Simple bank products

Simple’s only product is a basic checking account, though your funds will be held by The Bancorp Bank or BBVA Compass.

With a checking account, you’ll receive:

  • A Simple Visa, which serves as both your debit card and ATM card
  • Access to Simple’s mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Access to Simple’s online banking features

You can also open a Simple Shared account with your partner. The Shared account is separate from your individual accounts. It has its own account number and debit card.

Simple bank online platform

Simple’s mobile and online platforms are a big selling point. The company offers unique features, including:

  • Safe-to-Spend: This tool makes it easy to see how much money you have available. When you log in, Safe-to-Spend shows your available balance minus upcoming bills and any money set aside for your financial goals. With Safe-to-Spend, you’ll know at a glance how much spare cash you have.
  • Goals: Within the Simple app, you can set goals for expenses. Using those goals, Simple creates subaccounts to set aside your money. You can even set a goal to save a certain amount of money by a designated date. Simple will calculate how much you need to save each day to reach your goal. It will then automatically move that money for you.
  • Trackable spending: The app monitors your spending and categorizes expenses for you. You can also add photos, notes, and hashtags to purchases. Simple will then aggregate your data into charts and graphs, detailing your earnings, total spending, and spending in different categories. With these visuals, you can get a clear picture of exactly where your money is going.
  • Simple Instant: Simple users can send money instantly to one another. You only need to add your friend or family member’s Simple account to your Instant contacts.
simple online bank review

Image credit: Simple

Simple also offers other common features, including online bill pay, mobile check deposit, direct deposit, and the ability to export transaction data.

Two-factor authentication and fingerprint unlock for iPhone and Android also provide added security. You’re also protected by Visa’s zero-liability policy in case of unauthorized charges to your debit card.

Start your Simple application

Simple bank interest rates and fees

Simple promises it’ll never charge you a fee. This means:

  • No minimum balance fee
  • No overdraft fees (Simple declines transactions if you don’t have enough money in the bank.)
  • No monthly account maintenance fees
  • No incoming or outgoing ACH bank transfer fees
  • No account closing fee
  • No debit card replacement fees
  • No ATM fees. Simple users can use Allpoint ATMs at no cost. If you use other ATMs, Simple will not charge a fee, but the ATM operator might. You can use Simple’s ATM finder tool to locate one of 40,000 Allpoint ATMs throughout the U.S.

Unfortunately, interest rates are low on Simple checking accounts. The interest rate as of March 2018 is 0.01%. That’s well below Ally’s 0.10% rate on accounts under $15,000 and its 0.60% rate for accounts with a $15,000 or higher minimum daily balance.

Simple also doesn’t offer rewards or points for spending with your Visa card. And if you’re traveling internationally and use your card, Visa may charge a service fee of 1% of the transaction value.

Simple bank eligibility requirements

To open an account with Simple bank, you must be at least 18, live in the United States, and be a U.S. citizen. You can fill out an application online and open your account within minutes. You’ll need to provide basic information about yourself, including your name, contact information, occupation, and Social Security number.

You can fund your Simple account by transferring money from another bank, sending a check via mail, or depositing a check via Simple’s mobile app. You can also set up direct deposit for your Simple bank account.

Apply for a Simple account here

Simple bank customer service

Simple bank has a C rating with the Better Business Bureau, but reviews are decidedly mixed.

In May 2017, one reviewer had nothing but positive things to say: “I love this bank! They process all deposits and payments in a timely manner. They are always quick to respond to any concerns I’ve had.”

However, other reviewers had complaints about the customer service, the difficulty in accessing their funds, and a litany of other issues. “Simple has made my life anything but simple,” wrote one customer in June 2017. “They are professionals at losing checks, taking over 30 days to deposit a check that has been mailed in, [and] failing to communicate to you about said checks.”

You can reach Simple via phone at 888-248-0632 or online on Facebook and Twitter.

Using this Simple online bank review, you can decide whether the bank is the right choice for your finances.

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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 and will make a positive impact in your life. 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 understand what you are buying, and consult 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. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.