Skip to content

Best Online Banks

Ally, Schwab, Bask, and other banks provide excellent, inexpensive services

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Online banks are financial institutions that provide banking services without maintaining physical branches. Because online banks don’t have to pay for brick-and-mortar locations, they often pass on their savings to customers in the form of higher interest rates and low (or no) fees. 

The best online banks offer a range of checking and savings accounts, loans, and other financial products with customer-friendly terms and user-friendly technology. If you’re comfortable managing your accounts on desktop or mobile, an online bank could be a good fit for your banking needs. 

Best Online Banks of 2023

Looking to open a new account of a specific type? See the best online checking accounts or the best savings account interest rates for more targeted options.

Best for All-Around Features : Ally Bank

Ally Bank

 Ally Bank

  • Products: Checking, Savings, CD, MMA
  • Max. APY: 4.85% (CD)
  • ATM Network: Allpoint
Pros & Cons
  • No monthly maintenance fees

  • Reimbursement of up to $10 per month for out-of-network ATMs

  • Banking, lending, and investing products 

  • Some other banks offer better rates 

  • No cash deposits

Why We Chose It

Ally Bank tops our list of the best online banks thanks to its range of banking products and customer-friendly terms. Its checking and savings accounts come with higher-than-average APYs and don’t charge monthly maintenance fees. They also don’t require a minimum balance. 

While you can’t directly deposit physical cash into an Ally bank account, you can withdraw it fee-free from one of the more than 43,000 ATMs in the Allpoint network. If you use an out-of-network ATM, Ally will reimburse your ATM fees for up to $10 per month. 

Along with checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, and money market accounts, Ally Bank also offers a range of investing and lending products, including IRAs, mortgages, car loans, and personal loans. 

The bank also has a user-friendly mobile app, making it one of the best online banks for mobile check deposits. Plus, it offers helpful savings tools and 24/7 customer service. 

Best for Travelers : Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab

 Charles Schwab

  • Products: Checking, Savings, CD, MMA 
  • Max. APY: 4.96% (CD)
  • ATM Network: Unlimited ATM fee rebates 
Pros & Cons
  • No monthly maintenance fees 

  • No foreign transaction fees 

  • Unlimited ATM fee rebates worldwide 

  • No minimum balance for checking and savings accounts

  • Low APY on savings account 

  • No direct trading of cryptocurrency

Why We Chose It

Charles Schwab accounts don’t come with minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees. This bank could be a good fit for world travelers, as it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and offers unlimited rebates for ATM fees worldwide. 

However, the APY on its savings accounts doesn’t match up to the 3% or higher APY you can find at some other online banks. Charles Schwab doesn’t currently offer direct trading of specific cryptocurrencies, so it’s not a good fit if you’re looking for that level of trading, but it does offer a variety of mutual funds

Note that opening a checking or savings account with Charles Schwab involves opening a brokerage account at the same time. 

Best for High-Yield Savings : Bask Bank

Bask Bank logo

Bask Bank

  • Products: Savings, CD 
  • Max. APY: 4.75% (Savings)
  • ATM Network: None 
Pros & Cons
  • High APY on savings account 

  • Option to earn American Airlines miles 

  • CDs from 6 to 24 months 

  • No checking accounts 

  • No ATMs, ATM cards, or debit cards 

  • CDs require $1,000 deposit within 10 days to remain open 

Why We Chose It

Backed by Texas Capital Bank, Bask Bank is an online-only bank that offers high-yield savings accounts, mileage savings accounts, and CDs with terms of 6 to 24 months. Bask Bank is one of the best online banks for savings, since it offers one of the highest rates on the market for its interest savings account. 

If you’re a frequent flyer, you might consider its mileage savings account, which earns two American Airlines AAdvantage miles for every $1 saved per year. CDs with competitive rates are also on offer, with terms ranging from 6 to 24 months.  

Bask Bank doesn’t offer checking accounts or debit cards, so you won’t have access to your savings account through an ATM. To take out your cash, you’ll need to transfer the funds to another account with a different financial institution. 

Bask Bank doesn’t charge account or transfer fees, but you’ll have to double-check whether your other bank charges a fee if you conduct a transfer. New and established customers can make up to six transfers per month. 

Best for Checking and Savings : SoFi

SoFi Logo
  • Products: Checking, Savings 
  • Max. APY: 4.00% (Savings)
  • ATM Network: Allpoint
Pros & Cons
  • Good APY for a checking account

  • No account fees or service charges

  • Option to deposit cash through Green Dot 

  • No minimum balance requirements

  • No CDs or money market accounts

  • APY is lower without direct deposit

Why We Chose It

SoFi is an online bank that offers checking and savings accounts, as well as a range of loans, investment services, and insurance products. You can score an APY of up to 4.00% on a SoFi savings account and 1.20% on checking if you set up direct deposit. If you don’t set up direct deposit, your APY will be just 1.20% on both account types. 

SoFi doesn’t have minimum balance requirements, nor does it charge account fees or service charges. If you want to deposit cash, you have the option to do so through a retail location that offers Green Dot services.

Along with signing in to your account on desktop, you can use SoFi’s mobile app to pay bills, find ATMs, make mobile deposits, and transfer money. Keep in mind, however, that SoFi doesn’t currently offer certificates of deposit or money market accounts.

Best for Domestic ATM Access : Axos

Axos Bank

Axos Bank

  • Products: Checking, Savings, CD, MMA
  • Max. APY: 3.30% (Checking)
  • ATM Network: Allpoint
Pros & Cons
  • Unlimited reimbursement of domestic ATM fees

  • High checking account APY

  • No minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees 

  • Checking, savings, CD, and money market accounts available 

  • Minimum deposit required to open checking and savings accounts 

  • Low CD rates

Why We Chose It

Axos Bank is the best bank for domestic ATM access as you can take out your money fee-free from more than 91,000 ATMs nationwide. Plus, the bank offers unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements if you take out cash from an out-of-network ATM, so you’re covered no matter what you do. 

This online bank offers a variety of checking accounts, including accounts designed for teenagers and people 55 years and older. Depending on your account, you may need to maintain a certain balance, set up direct deposit, or sign up for other banking services to get the maximum APY. 

You’ll need to deposit at least $50 to open a rewards checking account and at least $250 to open a high-yield savings account. You may want to look elsewhere for a CD account or money market account, though, since Axos offers relatively low APYs.

Best for Cash-Back Checking : Discover

The Discover logo.
  • Products: Checking, Savings, CD, MMA
  • Max. APY: 4.75% (CD)
  • ATM Networks: Allpoint, MoneyPass 
Pros & Cons
  • Cash back on debit card purchases 

  • More than 415,000 ATMs (60,000+ are surcharge-free)

  • No monthly maintenance fees

  • No minimum deposits to open checking or savings account 

  • Checking account doesn’t earn interest 

  • No reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees 

Why We Chose It

Discover stands out for its lack of fees and its cash-back debit card, which earns 1% back on up to $3,000 in purchases per month. While the balance in your checking account won’t earn interest, your cash-back rewards could make up for it. 

You don’t have to worry about monthly or insufficient funds fees on checking or savings accounts, nor do these accounts require a minimum opening deposit. Discover doesn’t reimburse you for out-of-network ATM fees, but you do have access to more than 415,000 ATMs, including over 60,000 ATMs in the Allpoint and MoneyPass networks. 

You can manage your accounts online or with Discover’s mobile app. Discover’s customer service team is available 24/7 by phone. 

Best for Bitcoin Rewards : Quontic

Quontic Bank

Quontic Bank

  • Products: Checking, Savings, CD, MMA
  • Max. APY: 4.75% (CD)
  • ATM Network: Allpoint, MoneyPass, SUM, eligible Citibank
Pros & Cons
  • Various checking accounts that earn interest, cash back, or Bitcoin

  • No monthly service, overdraft, or non-sufficient funds fees

  • Access to 90,000+ fee-free ATMs

  • No reimbursement for ATM fees 

  • Customer service not available 24/7 

Why We Chose It

Quontic offers a range of banking products, from checking to savings to CDs to money market accounts. Its high-interest checking account earns up to 1.1% APY, while its cash-back account earns 1% back on all eligible debit card purchases. 

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts might also appreciate Quontic’s Bitcoin Rewards Checking account, which earns 1.50% back in Bitcoin on eligible debit card purchases. This Bitcoin account is available in every state but Hawaii and North Carolina. 

Quontic doesn’t charge overdraft fees, monthly service fees, or incoming domestic wire transfer fees, but requires a minimum opening deposit of $100 or $500, depending on the account type. You can contact Quontic’s customer service team via email or over the phone, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET.

Final Verdict

There are a variety of online banks offering interest-bearing checking accounts, high-yield savings accounts, and low account fees. Ally Bank is one of the best online banks due to its wide range of features and customer benefits, making it worth checking out for anyone interested in opening a new account. 

Charles Schwab is a good option for world travelers, thanks to its unlimited fee reimbursements at ATMs worldwide. Axos offers unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursement, and Quontic, relatively uniquely, offers a Bitcoin-earning checking account. 

By reviewing rates, fees, and other features, you can determine the best online bank for your financial needs. See more of the best overall banks here, and take a look at the best banking apps to go along with them.

Compare the Best Online Banks

Bank   Products  Max. APY  ATM Network(s)
Ally Bank
Best for All-Around Features
Checking, Savings, CDs, MMA 4.85% (CD) Allpoint
Charles Schwab
Best for Travelers 
Checking, Savings, CDs, MMA  4.96% (CD)  Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide 
Bask Bank
Best for High-Yield Savings 
Savings, CDs  4.75% (Savings)  None 
Best for Checking and Savings 
Checking, Savings  4.00% (Savings)  Allpoint 
Best for Domestic ATM Access 
Checking, Savings, CDs, MMA  3.30% (Checking)  Allpoint 
Best for Cash-Back Checking 
Checking, Savings, CDs, MMA  4.75% (CD)  Allpoint, MoneyPass 
Best for Bitcoin Rewards 
Checking, Savings, CDs, MMA  4.75% (CD)  Allpoint, MoneyPass, SUM, eligible Citibank 

Guide to Choosing the Best Online Bank

How Does Online Banking Work?

Online banking works similarly to traditional banking, except you complete all your transactions by ATM, online, mobile app, and, if available, over the phone. Many online banks offer a wide range of products, including checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, and money market accounts. Plus, they often have higher APYs and lower fees than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. 

You can perform most or all of the same banking services online, like paying bills, transferring funds, and depositing checks. Depending on the bank, you may or may not have the ability to deposit physical cash into your account. 

If your bank has a checking account, you’ll typically receive a typical debit card that you can use at one of the bank’s in-network ATMs for free, or with an out-of-network ATM for a fee. Popular ATM networks include Allpoint and MoneyPass, both of which have tens of thousands of ATMs across the country. 

Some banks will also reimburse you for fees at out-of-network ATMs. If you need assistance, online banks typically offer customer service by phone, email, web page contact form, or web chat.  

How to Compare Online Banks

It’s useful to shop around and compare your options before making a selection. Here are the most important features to consider when choosing the best online bank: 

  • Banking products and services: Some banks offer checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, and money market accounts, while others have more limited offerings. 
  • Annual percentage yield (APY): Opting for a checking or savings account that earns interest is a no-brainer. Look for an account with a high APY.
  • Account minimums: Find out if the bank requires a minimum deposit to open an account or a monthly minimum balance. 
  • Fees: Look for any fees associated with the accounts, such as monthly fees, insufficient funds fees, overdraft fees, or wire transfer fees.
  • Mobile app: Mobile banking may be an important feature for you, so you can easily deposit checks and manage your accounts on the go. 
  • Customer service: Review your customer service options to make sure assistance is accessible if and when you need it.
  • ATM network and fee reimbursement: If you often take out cash, make sure the online bank has a robust ATM network or reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees. 
  • FDIC insurance: Check to make sure your online bank is FDIC-insured, which provides protection for up to $250,000 per depositor. 

How to Open an Online Bank Account

You can open an online bank account pretty quickly on the bank’s website or mobile app. Get started by selecting the account you want to open and filling out the corresponding application. 

The bank may require verifying documents, such as proof of address and your ID. You’ll also need to provide other personal details, like your email and phone number. Once the bank approves your application, you can start using your account. 

Some banks require a minimum deposit. Since depositing physical cash isn’t always an option, you may need to deposit a check or transfer the amount from another bank account.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is an Online Bank?

    An online bank is a bank that offers online banking services, rather than in-person banking at a brick-and-mortar location. Many online banks offer a wide range of products and services, from checking accounts to money market accounts, and let you manage your money online or via mobile app. Although online banks don’t have in-person support, many offer customer service over the phone, email, or web chat. 

  • Are Online Banks Better Than Brick-and-Mortar Banks?

    Online banks often provide better rates and lower fees than brick-and-mortar banks. Plus, they often have user-friendly websites and mobile apps that make it easy to manage your bank accounts online or on your phone. However, online banks don’t have physical locations, which may be a drawback if you want the option of banking in person. 

  • Are Online Banks FDIC-Insured?

    Reputable online banks are FDIC-insured for up to $250,000 per depositor for each account ownership category.

  • How Do You Deposit Cash in an Online Bank?

    You may or may not have the option to deposit physical cash in an online bank. Some online banks, like SoFi, let you deposit cash at retail locations through a third-party service like Green Dot. Green Dot lets you deposit cash or load it onto your Green Dot card at participating retail locations. 

    If you’re not able to deposit physical cash, you’ll have to transfer the money electronically from one account to another.


The Balance is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews. To rate online banks, we collected hundreds of data points for nearly 20 accounts, including account types, APYs, fees, minimum deposits, and ATM networks, to ensure that our reviews help users make informed decisions about their banking needs.

businesswoman using smartphone for mobile online banking

d3sign / Getty Images

Article Sources
  1. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. "Deposit Insurance." 

Related Articles