Have you noticed how fees are turning up on pretty much everything in life? If you make a purchase or use a service, read the fine print and you're sure to find an unsuspected fee.
Take airlines, for example. Some are now charging fees not only for checked luggage but also for carry on bags. You might even have to pay extra to get that window or aisle seat you're looking for.
Then check out your cable or satellite bill. You're not just paying for the package that you've selected...no. You're also being charged for things like whole-home DVR service, each receiver in your home, broadcast fee, and more. No wonder millions of people are choosing to cut the cord.
Even banks are charging fees on things you wouldn't expect these days. Some charge you a fee if you don't meet a minimum balance requirement. There are also monthly or annual maintenance fees, ATM usage fees, paper statement fees, and on and on and on.
That's why it's a good idea to check out some non-traditional banks if you're looking to save money. Did you know there are online banks that offer lower fees and higher interest rates? It's true. Keep reading and I'll tell you about 10 of the best online banking options.
Why online banks can offer better deals
Think about all the overhead costs that come with a traditional bank. They have to pay for the building to operate from, tellers and employees at each branch, etc.
Online banks don't have to pay for all those costs. That's how they can offer better deals on fees and interest rates. Customers reap the rewards of no overhead costs when companies pass those savings along.
Here are 10 of the best online banks:
Ally is an online bank that passes the savings of less overhead onto its customers. You get the benefit of rates that are consistently competitive, so you're able to make savings work harder for you.
Right now if you bank with Ally, you will earn 1.60 percent annual percentage yield (APY) in your online savings account. It even offers interest on checking accounts. You will get 0.10 percent APY for checking accounts with a balance under $15,000 and 0.60 percent APY for checking accounts with a $15,000 minimum daily balance.
Here are some more features you get with an Ally checking account:
- No monthly maintenance fees
- 24/7 live customer care - speak with a real person
- Use any Allpoint® ATM in the U.S. for free, plus Ally will reimburse up to $10 per statement cycle for fees charged at other ATMs nationwide
- Deposit checks remotely with Ally eCheck Deposit
- EMV chip technology
Your deposits with Ally are insured by the FDIC up to the maximum allowed by law. Also, your information is protected with 2-step authentication.
Note: All of the online banks discussed in this article are insured by the FDIC. So don't worry, your money is as secure as if it were in a traditional bank.
With an Aspiration Summit checking account, you can earn up to 1.00 APY. There are no monthly service fees, no minimum monthly balance requirement, and no minimum monthly deposit requirement.
You can earn 0.25 percent APY on balances up to $2,499.99. Balances of $2,500 or more can earn 1.00 percent APY. There are also no ATM fees. You can use any ATM in the country.
BankPurely offers good interest rates on both saving and checking accounts.
SavingPurely: This saving account is currently offering 1.30 percent APY with zero monthly fees and maintenance charges. There is also no minimum balance requirement and comes with a complimentary ATM card and surcharge-free use of more than 55,000 ATMs worldwide.
CheckingPurely: This checking account is currently offering 0.75 percent APY with no monthly fees or maintenance charges. There is no minimum balance required and it comes with a complimentary MasterCard iGOdebitcard and surcharge-free use of more than 55,000 ATMs worldwide.
Bank of Internet USA
Bank of Internet USA offers several no fee checking accounts. Many of which you also earn interest on your balance. Here's an overview of a couple popular choices:
Rewards checking: Is designed for heavy debit card users who fund their account by direct deposit. You can earn up to 1.25 percent APY and there are no monthly maintenance or service fees and no minimum monthly account balance requirements. You also receive unlimited reimbursement of any and all domestic ATM fees.
CashBack checking: Earn cash back every time you use your Bank of Internet USA Visa debit card. With CashBack checking, you'll earn up to 1.00 percent cash back on your signature-based transactions, plus you'll enjoy easy online access to your checking account while paying no annual fees or monthly maintenance fees. It also comes with unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements, free online bill pay, mobile deposit and more.
Essential checking: This in non-interest bearing but ideal for those who want a fee free account with no minimums or requirements. It comes with a suite of free online banking tools that include online bill pay, mobile banking apps, mobile deposit, and MyDeposit remote deposit capture.
Barclays online banking offers impressive rates on savings accounts and CDs.
Online savings: The current APY for Barclays' savings accounts is 1.65 percent. There is no minimum balance to open an account and no monthly maintenance fees. You have secure, 24/7 online access to your funds and can easily make online transfers to and from other banks.
Online CDs: A 60-month CD with Barclays online has an APY of 2.80 percent. There is no minimum balance requirement and no hidden fees. The 12-month CD APY is 2.20 percent, which is very competitive.
Now don't let the name scare you away. Redneck Bank tries making the banking experience fun for its clients with witty jokes throughout its site. Even if that's not your thing, it does offer some pretty great rates on checking accounts that you might not want to pass up.
You can earn up to 2.25 percent APY when you have up to $10,000 in your Redneck Rewards checking, or checkin' account as it's referred to on the site. Amounts over $10,000 will earn 0.50 percent APY. If requirements are not met you'll earn 0.25 percent APY.
There's no minimum balance required, and it includes a Redneck Bank VISA debit card for secure purchases and ATMs worldwide.
Dollar Savings Direct
Dollar Savings Direct is a division of Emigrant Bank and offers a high interest savings account. The APY is currently 1.80 percent.
There are no hidden costs, fees or service charges. When you open an account, Dollar Savings Direct automatically links up with your designated checking account, allowing you the flexibility to make deposits or withdraw funds by transferring money online.
SalemFivedirect offers competitive rates on both savings and checking accounts.
eOne savings: With this savings account you can earn 1.85 percent APY on daily balances up to $1,000,000 with no commitment and can be opened in minutes with just a $100 deposit. There is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fees.
eOne checking: You can earn 0.25 percent APY with this checking account on daily balances up to $1,000,000. It has no monthly fee, free ATM usage with up to $15 per statement cycle reimbursement of fees charged by other banks. There's no minimum balance and you also get cash back on all your non pin-based purchases with your debit card.
Northpointe Credit Union
Credit unions all across the country offer very competitive rates. Northpoint Credit Union based in Michigan is no exception. The good news is you don't have to live in Michigan to open an account. You can open an account online and take advantage of its high-interest bearing savings account.
Ultimate savings: The Ultimate savings account pays one of the highest savings account rates in the U.S. Its current APY is 2.05 percent and there is no minimum required to open an account.
Discover online banking
Discover online banking's slogan is, "Everything you want from a bank, without ever setting foot in one." Which makes sense because it offers cash back checking, online savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, and IRA CDs.
Cash back checking: You can earn up to 1 percent cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month. There are no monthly fees or monthly balance requirements and over 60,000 no-fee ATMs across the U.S. It also comes with no-fee online bill pay, no-fee check reorder, and many other features you might want to check out.
Online savings account: The current APY on this savings account is 1.60 percent. There is no minimum opening deposit requirement, no monthly balance requirements and no monthly fees.
Wanna save even more money? Here are 7 travel hacks only the pros know to save time and money
Smart travelers know the importance of saving both money and time. You can pull together a fabulous weekend getaway or the vacation of a lifetime and keep it all within a reasonable budget if you know where and how to shop. Sometimes you need to look outside the travel box and explore beyond hotels or hit the pavement and enjoy a low-cost walking tour.