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Top 10 Best Online Checking Accounts of 2015

Top 10 Best Online Checking Accounts of 2015

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In this article, you will find ten of the best online checking accounts that are available to consumers right now. To make the process fair, the accounts are mixed somewhat in terms of ideal user and use medium. For example, there are some accounts for people that want mobile-only account, some for young people, some for older people, professional people and investors.

Best Checking Account Features to Look For

Before figuring out which online checking account to choose, what is it that actually makes an online checking account any good? Here are the factors that we considered when building our top ten list.

How easy is it to physically deposit paper/coin money?

An online account is great because it is convenient, but having an online account means that depositing money and checks is not as simple as it may be with a bank or a financial company that has stores around the country. A good financial company will offer a convenient solution to this issue.

How easy it is to deposit checks?

It is actually easier to deposit a check into an online account than it is to deposit money. The banks listed on this article each have their own easy and convenient solution to the check-deposit problem.

What are their maintenance fees and opening fees like?

Most of the accounts on the list below do not have service or maintenance fees on them. Financial services that charge you fees, especially heavy fees, in order to run, manage and maintain your account are often very suspect. It is okay if an account comes with numerous perks that cost the financial institution money, but a basic account shouldn’t cost a financial company a lot of money unless the company itself is in financial trouble.

How difficult is their online GUI?

As many novice and intermediate technology users will attest, there are times when the graphical user interface (GUI), which is the software, display and tools used to interact with technology and other software, make using the technology impossible. The accounts listed on this article all have reasonably easy-to-use and intuitive GUIs.

The Best Online Checking Accounts (of 2015)

Here’s our detailed picks for what we consider as the best online checking account for 2015,

1 MyCBB

You can start with a “MyCBB Free Checking Account,” or try their intermediate account called the “Personal Money Market.” You may also try their “Personal 12 Month CD” with a higher rate over a set period of time.

Their MyCBB has an APY rate of 0.79%, which is a fair amount. They ask for a minimum opening deposit of $100, which is an opening deposit and not a fee. You get a free debit card and initial check order. They have a variable interest rate, they have a Bill Pay system you can use free, and you get free online statements.

They also have a range of online tools you can use, as well as tools you can use on your mobile device. Plus, you gain access to over 24,000 ATMs nationwide.

  • Use ATMs without paying fees
  • Earns high interest
  • No monthly or yearly fees
  • You do not have to pay fees for overdrafts

Why We Recommend It:

They are offering a free, interest-paying checking account that has zero account fees, plus you are able to access it through their state-of-the-art online and mobile banking platform. Though such an account is fairly standard in places such as the UK, Switzerland, Germany and Japan, it is comparatively uncommon in the US. It was designed by MyCBB to meet the changing consumer demand in the US.

The account was built to be an online account with the notion that if they put as much online as possible, then they can keep their fees down. As a result, they have created an almost fee-free account, which is why they rank so highly on our list. Even the interest rate they offer is rather attractive, and part of the reason for that is because they have kept their overheads low through conducting most of their business online.

How To Open

It is easier to apply online via their website. You will need a lot of information and it may take you a while, though you can speed up your application if you have an ATM/Debit card and with MyCBB, a loan account, or a deposit account (excluding CD accounts), and you can have the website fill out most of your application automatically.

2 USAA Federal Savings Bank

With USAA, you get a free checking account that you can operate online, which means no waiting in lines and no driving around town. You are able to manage your money easily, and they have over 60,000 free preferred ATM machines, and if you use another bank’s ATM, then you will have your charges refunded up to $15 at a time.

You can make a deposit by taking a picture of your check with their free app, or you can deposit your checks at selected UPS Store® and via their deposit-taking ATMs, where you may manage your checks or cash. They also allow for free online bill payments and free transfers. They also have free person-to-person payments and free budgeting tools you can use.

  • Some out of network ATM fees waived
  • Some overdraft fees refunded
  • No monthly service fees
  • Bank anywhere with free mobile apps

Why We Recommend USAA

They have moved a lot of their service onto a permanent online footing, which is rather good. It is a rather attractive package because you can apply for loans, mortgages, and a whole host of other financial services and products, and you can do it all through your online bank account. The only downside is that the account is for US military veterans, active personnel and their families.

It is true that you will not have to set foot in a bank again, but if you do not live near a deposit ATM or a UPS Store, then you are going to have a hard time depositing your money. There are no monthly service or maintenance fees, and there are banking options that military personnel can set up for their children, such as online accounts with spending limits and limited online access.

How To Open a USAA Account

To open an account you must be in the military and must be a US citizen. Also, if you wish to use their USAA Web BillPay system, you will also need to enter an address in the US. The account creation process is mostly done online, but it takes a while for verification because they have to check that you and/or your family members are in the military.

3 Capital One 360

You can bank without having to pay maintenance or service fees, you can bank online, send money to other accounts, pay bills, and deposit checks using just your phone. You will not have to pay overdraft fees, and you gain access to their 38,000 fee-free Allpoint® ATMAutomatic Teller Machines. You can use their CheckMateSM system to cash your checks on your home computer or your mobile device.

Capital One’s services and securities are not FDIC insured, they are not bank guaranteed; they may lose value and are not insured by any Federal Government Agency. These may seem like bad things, but it actually makes them more careful with their money and with your money, and so far, they have not needed a bailout of any kind. Can the banks and financial institutions in your area boast a similar claim?

  • No monthly or yearly fees
  • Use ATMs without paying fees
  • Mobile app available
  • No foreign transaction fee

Why We Recommend Capital 360

The capital one 360 checking account is world-class and even rivals a few of the accounts you may find in the UK or Switzerland. There are only two reasons why it has not be rated higher in this article, and the first is that the two accounts listed above have a better online reputation (i.e. are more highly rated). The second reason is because their APY rate is a only 0.20% on balances up to $50,000, and even after then it only turns to 0.75% APY.

The company is also well known for taking on people that have poorer credit rating, which may sound like a risky move, but they only allow limited lending facilities, which is why the company is doing so well and hasn’t needed bailouts.

Why We Recommend Capital 360

You cannot visit one of their stores because they do not have any, but you can call them and they will send out all the information you need to start your account. Or, you can join online and fill out their forms, after which they will check your credentials and call you if they have any further questions. It takes a few days to start an account, but it is worth the wait.

4 Simple

The principle behind Simple, (managed by The Bancorp Bank) is that all of your banking services should be online and should be available via your mobile phone or mobile device. They are a company that is actually owned/managed by a bank. They are trying to compete with online banks by going “all in,” to coin the poker phrase.

Bancorp bank are smart enough to know that if they make their consumer services suddenly become online-only, that it will alienate a lot of their core consumers. So, they use Simple to serve the market segment that wants online and mobile service. As a result, they have put a lot of effort and resources into making a purely 100% online service.

  • No monthly or yearly fees
  • Mobile app available
  • Free bill pay
  • 55,000 fee-free ATMs
  • Automatic budgeting and saving
  • Photo check deposits

Why We Recommend a Simple Account

With one Simple account, you can run most of your home finances with little fuss and trouble. You can see updates to your \account within a few minutes, which means you can see what equate to virtual receipts occur right after your purchases. With Safe-to-Spend, you are able to judge what you can spend today without it hurting you tomorrow, you can start transfers, and schedule transitions.

They help you balance your budget and transfer money for free. They have a customer service department that is staffed with real people, and you can block your card from your mobile device or your desktop, without having to phone the company. Your funds are FDIC insured to at least $250,000 through Simple’s partner bank, The Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC.

How To Open a Simple Account

In a rather odd move, they ask that you subscribe to their email newsletter, at which point they send you the instructions you need to sign up online. It is a risky move on the part of Simple, especially if consumers are looking ways to sign up and cannot find a link that lets them.

5 Bank of Internet USA

With this account, you can use any ATM in the country and they will reimburse your free. They have a cash-back purchase rewards system that you can sign up for without having to pay fees, and they have a Bill Pay system that allows you to pay bills with your online account. The initial deposit is only $100, which goes into your account and is not removed as a fee.

The account doesn’t charge opening fees or maintenance fees. You do not have to maintain a monthly balance and you there are no non-sufficient funds fees or overdraft fees. Their online GUI is acceptable, but not intuitive, so you will have to learn how to use it. Their rates for other financial services are rather good, and they have a lot of attractive products that you can tie in with your online checking account.

  • No monthly or yearly fees
  • Earn interest on your money
  • Use ATMs without paying fees

Why We Recommend the Bank of Internet USA

The fact that they do not have overdraft fees and do not have non-sufficient funds fees is enough to gain them entry on this list, and it certainly beats what banks in Europe and Asia have to offer in terms of fees, so why is Bank of Internet USA only number five on the list? Their financial services are good with attractive rates, which are why the account is not lower on the list, but why isn’t it higher?

The reason is that their customer support, customer services and technical support are absolutely terrible. The staff are poorly trained, feckless, and outright liars. They will tell you anything to get you off the phone, they will not follow through on promised actions, and many have unintelligible accents. If you like being left on hold only to be disconnected after a few words, then this is the bank for you. Plus, they can take as long as two weeks to answer emails, and usually they have more questions than they do answers.

How to Open a Bank of Internet USA

The only possible way is to go online to their website and sign up on there. You can also sign up for their newsletter and apply through that via your email system. You can call up and register, but unless you like repeating the letters in your name several times and being cut off half way through, then you are better off opening an account online.

6 BankMobile

With this bank account, you may join and run your free checking account on your mobile device. You can use it on an iOS or Android system, and even though it has a great Smartphone app, the tablet version is far superior and gives you a genuine feel of control. If you have a driver’s license, then signing up for your account can take as little as five minutes.

The service is aimed at younger people, but it is a shame that the marketing people do not know much about younger people. For example, they have very inappropriate Twitter screenshots on the pages they are supposed to be selling banking services on. They also have hash tag comments and things of that nature. You can control your online checking account completely via your mobile device without ever having to call them up or visit.

  • Use ATMs without paying fees
  • You do not have to pay fees for overdrafts
  • 55,000 fee-free ATMs

Why We Recommend an Bank of Internet USA Account

The way they have tried to market to younger people is an outright misfire and assumes that all young people are addicted to social media and feel it should be a part of their banking system (which is obviously not true). Secondly, they should have paid as much attention to online desktop banking as they did to mobile banking.

Their accounts are attractive because you get a branch-less banking system, no fees for overdrafts, maintenance or opening, and a free financial advisor. They have over 55,000 fee-free ATMs that they are directly associated with, but they are also part of a larger free network of over 400,000 fee-free ATMs. The programmers for the mobile GUI have done a very good job, and you do feel as if you have complete control over your account.

How To Open a Bank of Internet USA Account

Download their app from the Google Play store or Apple iTunes store, or go to their website and sign up that way. There is really no point in trying to do it manually or over a phone line because to use your account you need the mobile app and a device that is able to run it.

7 Ally Bank

Ally Bank is an online entity that doesn’t have physical bank locations, which means they are able to keep their overheads down and therefore are able to offer more attractive rates, fees and financial products. There are no hidden fees, no minimum balance is required, and there are no maintenance fees. You can make deposits at selected locations and use their Ally eCheck deposit system to deposit your checks. You can transfer money with their PopMoney system, and you can use their Allpoint ATMs in the U.S. without paying fees. You can pay bills and set up recurring payments, your account can be managed and used on a mobile device, and you can access you account at any time.

  • All out of network ATM fees waived
  • Account pays some interest

Why We Recommend Ally Bank

They have won the “Best Online Bank” 4 Years in a Row with MONEY® magazine 2011-2014. They have 24/7 live customer care, and there are over 43,000+ Allpoint ATMs you can use in the U.S. without paying fees. You are paid interest on your money, and they will reimburse your ATM fees with other companies up to $10 per statement cycle.

It all seems perfect, so why is it number seven on the list? The reason is because the financial services attached to the account are pretty poor. For example, if you get a loan for a car, you are probably not going to see that money for around a month. Plus, there are clauses that say they are allowed to take insurance claims, even if the money is owed to the customer and not the bank/credit company. It is not a great bank for people that have good credit ratings because it is built for people with bad credit ratings (ergo the longer-than-average waiting times for money).

How To Open an Ally Bank Account

The only way to sign up is to go online and follow the instructions on their website. The bank is an online-only bank, so you will have to sign up online.

8 Moven

With Moven you get access to over 42,000 ATM machines that are fee free, and you can use your phone and/or their website to find the nearest ATM to you, which is a service other banks should offer. You may make purchases with your account and see notifications as to when the money has either been taken out of your account, or when it has been earmarked by the bank for removal from your account.

There are no card fees and no monthly fees for you to pay, and they have an app and card combo, which means you may use and manage your account both in the real world and on the Internet. They have a Tap-To-Pay function so that you may pay with MasterCard and PayPass. You can unite your accounts, pay your friends and your money is insured up to $250,000.

Main Features:

  • No monthly or yearly fees
  • Use ATMs without paying fees
  • Mobile app available

 

Why We Recommend Moven

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the Moven online checking account, their apps are good, their services are fair, and their security is pretty tight. If you us the account, you may feel it is somewhat lacking in features and products. The idea is that you can mix and integrate other products with your checking account, but on its own, it feels a little lacking. It is a good starter account for people that are mobile-centric and/or younger people that have not had their own checking account before.

How To Open a Moven Account

Their service is mostly for people with mobile phones, but you can use their desktop website to have them email you a download link. Otherwise, you can go to the Google or Apple app stores and download their official app through which you may sign up for their accounts.

9 American Express Bluebird

The Bluebird account is a free online checking account that has no monthly fees, no overdraft fees and no minimum balance. You can use direct deposit services, you can use mobile and online bill pay services, and they have a mobile check deposit service. You will not have to undergo credit reviews and have your account taken off you, there are membership benefits, and their customer support is rather good.

Main Features

  • No foreign exchange fees
  • No Card replacement fees
  • No Bill Pay fees
  • No overdraft fees
  • No inactivity fees

One of the great things about this account is that you can add money to it in almost any Wal-Mart in the country, and you can transfer money from your online accounts and savings accounts. Paying bills is very easy and very quick, and you can set up repeating bill payments. If you are using MoneyPass ATMs there is a $0 American Express fee and a $0 ATM network surcharge. If you are using a non-MoneyPass ATM it will cost $2.50 and whatever their ATM network surcharge is.

You can set daily spending limits and you ca set up email alerts that tell you things such as when you have overdrawn and such. You can also turn ATM access on and off in-case one of your friends or kids has got your card.

+ No monthly or yearly fees

+ Mobile app available

+ Membership Benefits

+ No Credit Reviews

 

Why We Recommend the American Express Blue Bird

Why is this fantastic checking account so far down the list? It is because of the name American Express and the negative reputation that name still carries. The fees for using ATMs that are non-MoneyPass is also a little high. Otherwise, the account is a very good one, it is ideal for professionals, private citizens, and families, and it can be fully integrated with their other online and financial services.

How To Open the Bluebird Account

One of the easiest ways is to call their number and have their staff walk you through the process because they are fairly quick and efficient. You can find a walk-in location via their Store Locator buttons on their website and you can sign up that way, or you can register on their website and open an account that way.

10 Schwab Bank

With the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account® you do not have to pay any ATM fees worldwide, there are no service fees on your account, and they are no fees to start your account so long as you enter a large enough deposit. You can keep your account at zero if you wish, as there are no account minimums after the initial deposit.

You get a small and modest 0.06% APY variable interest rate on whatever balance you have, you can pay bills via their desktop website and via Schwab Mobile, and you may apply for Schwab Mobile Deposit™ so that you may deposit checks from anywhere. You also get FDIC insurance up to $250,003, and you gain access to a linked Schwab One® brokerage account.

  • No monthly or yearly fees
  • Earn interest on your money
  • Use ATMs without paying fees

Why We Recommend Schwab Bank

The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account® is at the bottom of the list because it is a good checking account, and it beats the knickers off a lot of online checking accounts, but it has the least amount of appeal out of all that exist on this list. It has very few features and perks when compared with the other accounts on this list, and then there is the question of where “High Yield” comes into it?

The account is called a High Yield account, not because it offers a good APY rate, and not because it offers a lot of money-making/money-management features. It is because it is linked with their Schwab One® brokerage account, and that is where they want you to make your money. They care more about the brokerage account and treat the checking account a little like an afterthought. Nevertheless, it is still a good online checking account.

How To Open a Schwab Bank Account

Go online and open an account via their website. It will take a while because they have to mail you the forms to sign, but you can have the account active within two weeks.

The Final Word

Need a Bank Account but have ChexSystems problems or Bad Credit?


Try opening a BBVA Compass Free Checking Account! BBVA is one of the more forgiving banks and may give you a full-fledged REGULAR bank account when you apply online...even with bad banking and credit history.

And if you don't qualify for the regular BBVA checking account for some reason, you'll then be given the option of opening the special BBVA Compass Easy Checking Account, an account designed specifically for those with banking problems.

...learn more about BBVA Second Chance Banking here


All ten online checking accounts stand head and shoulders above the competition, but all is not equal within the list. Some of the accounts are better for mobile users, some for older users, some for younger users, and some for investors. All have their perks and features in the same way that all have their flaws and problems. Each account should be considered if you are looking to open an online checking account.

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. ‘

He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could.

And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created echeck.org to help others do likewise!

2 Comments

  1. b

    ally bank now uses chex systems

    Reply
  2. nanne

    Capital One, Ally, Schwab use chexsytems. here is the great information for those who are looking for checking account while on chexsystems. Wellsfargo and US bank are best options to get an account while on chexsystems. bank of america and chase use EWS. Every credit union uses chexsystems and a soft pull on credit. never go near them while on chexsystems. you can get suntrust and santander accounts if you clear your dues reported to chexsystems. If wellsfargo, US bank or 53rd charged off you for overdrafts (not suspected fraud). you can get an account with them after 2 years. If PNC or chase charged you off never loom at them they won’t allow you. with Bank of america need to wait for 7 years. Citi bank will offer checking account if you clear your dues on chexsystems

    Reply

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