Best Online Banks of 2024

BANKING - BANK REVIEWS
Choosing the right bank for you can be challenging, but we’re here to narrow down your list.
Updated April 11, 2024
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The best online banks offer a range of services and great customer service to make your banking experience fast and convenient. And online banking is easy since you can transfer funds between accounts electronically.

Which online banks are the best for you? Here are our recommendations, along with the fees you might be subject to and the extra features that make each bank stand out.

Best online banks with checking accounts

Best savings-only online banks

In this article

Best online banks with checking accounts

Bank Best for Checking APY Fees ATM network
SoFi High APYs 0.50% (as of Jan. 30, 2024) with direct deposit1

1.20% (as of Dec. 12, 2023) without direct deposit

None No ATM fees at 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs
Axos No fees Up to 3.30% None Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
Charles Schwab Investors 0.45% (as of May 23, 2023) None Unlimited ATM fee rebates
Ally Overdraft protection 0.25% (as of Sep. 18, 2023) None No fees at 43,000+ Allpoint ATMs
American Express Rewards 1.00% (as of May 9, 2023) None No fees at 37,000 MoneyPass ATMs
Quontic Crypto users Up to 1.10% (as of Mar. 27, 2024) No fees, $100 minimum to open account No fees at AllPoint Network ATMs, MoneyPass Network ATMs, SUM program ATMs, or Citibank ATMs
Capital One Mobile banking 0.10% (as of Jan. 10, 2024) None No fees at MoneyPass and Allpoint ATMs
Discover High savings APY None None No fees at 60,000 ATMs
CIT Frequent ATM users 0.10% (as of Sep. 18, 2023) for balances under $25,000

0.25% (as of Sep. 18, 2023) for accounts with a balance of $25,000 or more
None, a minimum of $100 is required to open an account No ATM fees + $30 per month in reimbursements
Varo Cash back None None No fees at Allpoint ATMs

1. Best for high APYs: SoFi

Pros
  • High APY
  • No account fees
  • Get paid up to two days early
Cons
  • Must get both a savings and a checking account2

Who it’s best for: Those interested in maximizing interest and a SoFi membership.

SoFi offers many financial products, including personal and student loans and banking options. Its checking account provides a number of features designed to make banking easier and more efficient. For starters, it offers one of the most impressive checking APYs on our list: 0.50% (as of Jan. 30, 2024) with direct deposit. That’s just for the checking account.

The savings account SoFi offers is even more impressive, at 4.60% with direct deposit. SoFi’s checking account also comes with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.

One of the more unique features offered by SoFi is the local rewards program through your debit card. You can earn up to 15% cash back at local businesses when you pay with your SoFi card. SoFi accounts have FDIC deposit insurance.3

Visit SoFi.

SoFi Checking & Savings - Earn Up to $300 When You Set Up Direct Deposit

Earn 4.60% APY2 and collect up to a $300 cash bonus with direct deposit or $5,000 or more in qualifying deposits.1 FDIC Insured.

Open Account

2. Best for no fees: Axos

Pros
  • No fees
  • Unlimited ATM reimbursement
  • Early direct deposit
Cons
  • Not the highest APY
  • Cash back only available on one type of checking account

Who it’s best for: Those who want to avoid fees on banking products and either earn interest or earn cash back on their checking account.

Axos's checking accounts come with a variety of features that make them a unique and desirable option. Axos Bank offers no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements, making it an accessible and affordable choice for anyone looking to open a checking account.

With three different checking account options, there’s an account for most types of users. The Essential Checking account is a simple account with no fees and the ability to get early deposits, but it does not earn interest.

The Rewards Checking is meant more for high-balance accounts, as it offers up to 3.30%. Finally, the Cashback Checking account offers up to 1.00% cash back on your debit card purchases. Member FDIC.

Visit Axos

Earn Up to 3.30% APY

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3. Best for investors: Charles Schwab

Pros
  • Unlimited ATM reimbursements
  • No fees
  • No account minimum
Cons
  • Low APY

Who it’s best for: Current or potential Charles Schwab investors.

For Charles Schwab investing customers, the Investor Checking account is a straightforward account offering no monthly service fees or minimums. Schwab also offers unlimited rebates on ATM transactions all around the world, not just in the U.S.

You can transfer money between the checking account and your investing account, which could simplify your financial life if you already invest with Charles Schwab (or are planning to).

While the interest rate offered on the account isn’t the highest (0.45% (as of May 23, 2023)), it’s still better than many checking accounts you can get through credit unions or local banks. Member FDIC.

Visit Charles Schwab

Or read our full Charles Schwab review

4. Best for overdraft protection: Ally

Pros
  • Overdraft protection up to $250
  • Get paid early
  • Automatically save with round ups
Cons
  • No cash deposits

Who it’s best for: People who may occasionally overdraft.

The minute you hit the front page of Ally’s site, you’ll see the feature the company is most proud of — overdraft protection. Ally offers CoverDraft, which provides overdraft protection of up to $250.

If you get direct deposit through your Ally bank account, known as a Spending Account, you’ll also have access to your paycheck up to two days early. Finally, Ally provides an automatic savings option through round ups. When you have both a Spending and Savings account through Ally, you can sign up for round ups, and each one of your eligible debit card purchases is rounded up, the rounded-up money moved to your savings account once you accrue at least $5. Member FDIC.

Visit Ally

5. Best for rewards: American Express

Pros
  • Earn Membership Rewards on debit card purchases
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum opening deposit requirements
Cons
  • Only Amex cardholders can apply to open an American Express Rewards Checking account

Who it’s best for: Current Amex cardholders who want to earn more Membership Rewards points.

Amex cardholders can find a lot of value in the American Express Rewards Checking. The account comes with the usual no fees or monthly minimums but also offers Membership Rewards whenever you use your debit card. You can use these points at qualifying airlines and hotels, redeem them for gift cards, pay for purchases with them, and more. You also earn a 1.00% (as of May 9, 2023).

The Amex mobile app comes with the ability to find fee-free ATMs, deposit checks, and access live support 24/7. Just know that only American Express cardholders with a consumer card can apply for this checking account. Member FDIC.

Visit American Express

5. (Tie) Best for crypto users: Quontic

Pros
  • Up to 1.10% (as of Mar. 27, 2024)
  • Pay Ring feature
  • Bitcoin rewards checking account
Cons
  • Opening deposit required ($100 for High Interest Checking; $500 for Bitcoin Rewards Checking)

Quontic has two checking account options for two entirely different groups of people. One account is the High Interest Checking, which offers up to 1.10% (as of Mar. 27, 2024).

The other account is the Bitcoin Rewards Checking. This account offers 1.50% bitcoin on all eligible debit card purchases. The bitcoin account requires a $500 initial deposit, while the High Interest account requires just $100.

Another entirely unique feature of Quontic is the Quontic Pay Ring. It’s essentially a debit card in ring form. You can use it to make contactless payments at retailers that offer it. And don’t worry, the ring is completely secure, just like a regular debit card would be. Member FDIC.

Visit Quontic Bank

Move your money to this little-known (but highly powerful) account ASAP

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7. Best for mobile banking: Capital One

Pros
  • No monthly fees
  • Easy-to-use mobile app
  • No minimum opening deposit required
Cons
  • Very low APY

Who it’s best for: People who like mobile banking and are current Capital One credit card holders.

Capital One is a personal favorite, as I’ve used both the checking and savings accounts for years. The checking account is truly fee-free, and applying for an account takes just minutes.

Where Capital One really shines, though, is in its mobile app. You can use it to seamlessly manage your checking, savings, and credit cards all in one place. You can even check your credit score through CreditWise.

While Capital One’s checking APY isn’t anything to brag about at just 0.10% (as of Jan. 10, 2024), the Performance Savings account is another story. It offers 4.35% (as of Mar. 4, 2024) on all balances.

Capital One also has physical branches in seven states. Member FDIC.

Visit Capital One

8. Best for high savings APY: Discover® Bank

Pros
  • High APY on savings
  • No fees
  • No minimum deposit required
  • 1% cash back with debit card purchases
Cons
  • Limits on the number of withdrawals each month

Discover has recently relaunched the Discover® Cashback Checking account, which offers 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. It also offers early direct deposit and has no fees. 

Discover has also long offered a savings account with absolutely no fees. That includes no fees for overdrawing your account multiple times, getting a bank check, or having insufficient funds. The Discover® Online Savings Account also has a competitive APY at 4.30% (as of Mar. 12, 2024). Member FDIC.

Visit Discover

Or read our full Discover review. 

9. Best for frequent ATM users: CIT Bank

Pros
  • $30/month for ATM fee reimbursement
  • Unlimited withdrawals
  • No fees
Cons
  • Large minimum balance requirement to reach highest APY

Who it’s best for: People who need regular access to cash.

CIT Bank charges no fees for in-network ATMs and you’ll get $30 each month in ATM reimbursement for ATMs outside of your network. CIT’s eChecking also comes with a few other worthwhile features, including no fees, unlimited withdrawals, and easy money transfers through Zelle, Bill Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay.

You will have to deposit at least $100 to open your account, but other than that, opening an account is a breeze. Plus, the easy-to-use mobile app allows you to easily deposit checks or reach the 24/7 customer service line. Member FDIC.

Visit CIT Bank

10. Best for cash back: Varo

Pros
  • Cash deposit at 90,000+ retail stores
  • No fees
  • 5.00% (as of Mar. 19, 2024) APY on its savings account with direct deposit
Cons
  • No out-of-network ATM fee reimbursement

Varo offers a bank account with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. It also comes with the option to earn cashback rewards on your debit card purchases. You can earn up to 6% cash back when you spend at retailers like Levi’s, Panera Bread, Shake Shack, and more. You can also earn cash back if you decide to get a Varo Believe secured credit card.

Varo takes the no fees concept a step further, offering no foreign transaction fees on top of no transfer fees and no ATM fees at over 55,000 ATMs. Plus, Varo solves the cash deposit problem that most online-only checking accounts face. You can deposit cash at 90,000+ retail locations by using Green Dot Reload. Member FDIC.

Visit Varo

Or read our full Varo review

Join The Bank with 0 Monthly Fees

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Best savings-only online banks

Bank Best for Savings APY
Synchrony Bank High APY 4.75% (as of Oct. 3, 2023)
Marcus by Goldman Sachs Unlimited withdrawals 4.40% (as of Oct. 3, 2023)

1. Best for a high APY: Synchrony

Pros
  • High APY
  • No minimum deposit requirement
  • No monthly fees
Cons
  • $25 fee for sending wire transfers
  • ATM withdrawal limits

Who it’s best for: Someone who wants to earn a high APY.

Synchrony’s high yield savings account comes with a 4.75% (as of Oct. 3, 2023), no minimum requirement to open your account, and no monthly fees. You can use the savings calculator Synchrony offers to get a sense of how much you can earn on your balance.

In addition to a basic online savings account, Synchrony Bank also offers a money market account with an APY of 2.25% (as of Sep. 12, 2023). Or, for those looking for a more long-term savings solution, Synchrony has certificates of deposit (CDs) with various terms and APYs ranging from 2.25%-5.50% (as of Oct. 26, 2023). Member FDIC.

Visit Synchrony

Or read our full Synchrony review

2. Best for unlimited withdrawals: Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Pros
  • High APY
  • No fees
Cons
  • Account may be closed if $0 balance for 60 days

Who it’s best for: Someone who might need regular access to their savings account.

Another account with no minimum deposit requirements and no monthly fees, Marcus’ savings account also offers a high APY at 4.40% (as of Oct. 3, 2023). Marcus also offers a more unique feature: unlimited withdrawals. That’s hard to find with savings accounts, most of which allow you to make up to six transactions each month. Marcus also has competitive CD rates. Member FDIC.

Visit Marcus

Online banking pros and cons

Pros
  • Easy to access funds and manage accounts
  • Faster bill payments and transfers
  • Improved security via two-factor authentication and encryption technology
  • Few fees
  • High APYs on your account balances
Cons
  • Less emphasis on in-person customer service
  • Potential data breach risks
  • Potentially high fees for certain banking activities
  • Difficulty making cash deposits

Online banking makes it incredibly easy for customers to access their deposit accounts and manage their accounts. With online banking, customers can quickly pay their bills, make transfers, and use other banking services without ever having to leave their homes. And you can find free checking accounts. 

Additionally, many banks offer account holders few fees and a high annual percentage yield (APY) on their customer’s account balances. The higher interest rates and lower fees come from not having to maintain brick-and-mortar bank locations. 

However, online banking, just like most forms of banking, isn’t without its issues. Customers may miss the convenience of in-person customer service that traditional banking offers. As a result, customers may have difficulty finding help when they need it. Many online banks, though, offer 24/7 customer support via mobile apps.

Some downsides to an online-only bank include potentially high fees for certain banking activities and difficulties with making cash deposits.

Featured High Yield Savings Accounts

Customers Bank - 5.16% APY4

High-yield savings account. $1 minimum deposit. FDIC insured.

Open Account
SoFi Checking & Savings - Earn Up to $300 When You Set Up Direct Deposit

Earn 4.60% APY2 and collect up to a $300 cash bonus with direct deposit or $5,000 or more in qualifying deposits.1 FDIC Insured.

Open Account
Barclays Online Savings - 4.35% APY + $200 Bonus (Terms Apply)

High-yield savings account. No minimum balance. Now through 5/3/2024 get a $200 Bonus after depositing $25,000.5 FDIC insured.

Open Account


How to choose the best online bank account

Choosing the best checking account or the best savings account might not seem like a big deal, but it can save you from the headache that comes from slow banking. When trying to decide where to open a new account, consider the following:

  • Fees: Look carefully at the fees charged by an online bank. Investigate the overdraft fees, account maintenance fees, and ATM fees, as these fees can add up quickly. Also, check for any other fees charged by the bank, such as foreign transaction fees and fees for accessing money from external accounts.
  • Minimums to open and maintain an account: Be sure to check the minimum amount needed to open an account, as well as the minimum amount needed to maintain it. You should investigate whether there are penalties for falling below the minimum.
  • Types of products: Online banks offer a variety of account types and products, so research the accounts offered by each bank you are considering. Gauge whether the various accounts meet your needs and savings goals. For example, some checking accounts focus more on rewards, while others focus on low fees.
  • Interest rates: Compare the interest rates offered by different online banks. The higher the interest rate, the more money you’ll earn on your savings. Banks are constantly competing with each other, so there’s no need for consumers to settle for no interest.
  • ATM Access: Make sure the bank has enough ATM access in your area to meet your needs. Additionally, check to see if your preferred accounts offer ATM rebates.
  • Mobile check deposits: If you’re frequently paid by check, you’ll need an account that allows mobile check deposits.

Our methodology

In determining our ranking of the best online banks, we looked at popular financial institutions and ranked them according to a series of weighted factors that we consider critical to the consumer. We did not evaluate all companies in the category.

FinanceBuzz ranking criteria include:

  • Minimum to open an account: Companies were scored higher for having lower or no minimums to open an account.
  • Minimum balance requirement: Companies were scored higher for low or no minimum balance requirements.
  • Fees: Companies were scored higher if they didn’t have any overdraft or insufficient-funds (NSF) fees.
  • APY offered on checking and/or savings accounts: Companies were scored higher for offering a higher APY.
  • Number of fee-free ATMs: Companies were scored higher for having larger fee-free ATM networks or offering reimbursement for ATM fees.
  • Types of bank accounts offered: Companies were scored higher for offering more bank account options.
  • Customer service options: Companies were scored higher for offering customers more ways to contact them.

FAQs

Which online bank is the easiest to open?

Most online banks are easy to open. With all of the options on our list, it typically takes just a few minutes of entering personal details like your name, address, and Social Security number to open an account.

What is the safest online bank?

Any bank worth using will explain its security features and tell you if they’re FDIC insured. Most online banks that discuss security protocols should be relatively safe to use. Before settling on a bank, make sure to read customer reviews to get a sense of any issues they’ve had with the bank.

Are online banks FDIC insured?

Yes, most online banks will be FDIC insured. Most banks insure your money up to the maximum of $250,000.

Bank of America Advantage Banking

$200 bonus offer. Click 'Open Account' for more details. Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.

Open Account

Bottom line

The online banking industry has come a long way in providing customers with safety, convenience, and competitive rates. Whether you’re seeking a complete personal finance hub or a reliable checking account, selecting an online bank can help you achieve your financial goals as long as you don’t mind not having a physical location to visit (in most cases).

With so many options available, it can be difficult to decide on the best bank to meet your needs. To narrow down your search, consider which factors are most important to you, such as fees, interest rates, and customer service.

Customers Bank High Yield Savings Account Benefits

  • Incredible 5.16% APY4 to boost your savings
  • Interest is compounded daily and posted to your account monthly
  • Enjoy 24/7 online access to your account and funds
  • FDIC insured, no fees, $1 minimum deposit

Author Details

Christopher Murray Christopher Murray is a seasoned personal finance writer with a passion for empowering individuals to achieve financial independence while embracing sustainable practices. Over the last few years, he has focused on various facets of personal finance—specifically saving, budgeting, investing (with an emphasis on alternative investments), credit building, and sustainability.

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