The 8 Best Digital Banks — And How To Pick The Best One For Your Needs
A person’s bank is central to their personal finances, and yet so many people are dissatisfied with their bank for various reasons whether it is a barrage of fees, a lack of customer service, or a lack of features.
A new wave of digital banks are completely changing the landscape though, many offering bank accounts that come with zero fees, and plenty of helpful features including automated savings features and even investing accounts.
As annoying as it is to switch banks, it can be a really smart financial decision to switch to one that serves your needs.
The 8 Best Digital Banks:
Award-Winning Mobile Banking App and Debit Card With No Fees
- Chime is an award-winning mobile banking app and debit card with no fees
- No overdraft fees. No minimum balance requirements. No monthly service fees. No foreign transaction fees. No transfer fees
- Over 32,000 fee-free ATMs and 30,000 cash-back locations
- Grow your savings without thinking using Chimes automatic saving feature
High Interest Savings Account With A Low Minimum Deposit
- Earn up to 0.75% APY with a savings plan that fits your lifestyle
- Low minimum deposit of only $100
- No opening, monthly servicing, online transfer or incoming wire fees
- Earn the highest interact rate with either a $100 Monthly deposit or $25k average monthly balance
- FDIC insured
A Digital Bank With All The Perks Plus High APY
- No minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee
- Use ATMs completely for free that are a part of the SUM network, and Radius won’t charge you a fee for using ATMs outside of the network.
- Monthly refunds of fees made by non-network ATMs.
- If your balance hits $2,500 a 1% annual percentage yleld kicks in — almost unheard of for a checking account
- $100 deposit to open an account
- Savings account has a high APY of 1.50% for balances of $2,500 or more
- Deposit cash through the NYCE network of ATMs.
This Is Your One-Stop Shop For Investing, Loans, And Banking
- A cash management account where you can do your banking, get loans, and even invest all in one place
- Cash back on purchases from a huge number of brands
- A cash bonus when you set up direct deposit
- ATM fees are reimbursed at 55,000 plus locations worldwide
- $0 in account fees
Earn Cash Back With Every Swipe Of Your Debit Card
- No overdraft, maintenance, minimum balance, or foreign transaction fees
- Earn an APY of 0.50% on your account balance
- 1.5% or 1% unlimited cash back with their Visa debit card on purchase transactions run as credit
- 2.3 million fee-free ATMs
- Reimbursements for any out of network ATM fees up to $43 (the number of reimbursements depends on membership level)
- Access to your paycheck up to two days early with direct deposit4
- Their Visa debit card is Apple Pay and Google Pay compatible
Bank, Invest, And Save All From One App
- Invest, bank, and save all from one app
- Doesn’t cost anything to set up account and no minimum balance requirements
- No monthly or annual fees to maintain account
- Comes with a Visa debit card that earns Stock-Back® rewards (earn stocks and ETFs on purchases)
- When investing, choose from 100’s of stocks and invest with as little as $5
- Unlimited $0 commission trades and no account minimum for investing
- A robust offering of educational resources
A Robust Cash Account That Also Puts Your Money To Work For You
- Earn 0.35% APY on all of your cash
- Get up to $1 million FDIC insurance through partner banks
- No account fees ever and unlimited free transfers
- Get paid up to 2 days early when you direct deposit your paycheck
- Get cash from 19,000 free ATMs with your debit card
- Invest within minutes when you transfer to a Wealthfront Investment Account
- All the checking features you need through our partnership with Green Dot Bank, member FDIC
Pay $0 In Banking Fees And Turn Every Transaction Into Positive Action For The Planet
- Aspiration doesn’t charge any fees — you pay what you think is fair, even if that’s $0
- Access to more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs
- Earn up to 20 times more in interest with a Save account
- Earn up to 10% cash back on shopping done at socially conscious retailers with the Aspiration debit card
- Change from purchases rounded to the nearest dollar will go towards planting a climate change-fighting tree
- Buy gas with the Aspiration debit card and the company will automatically work to offset the carbon dioxide from every gallon
Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Signing Up For A Bank
1. How Much Money Do You Want To Deposit Initially?
Some banks have deposit minimums. Others don’t. Some banks give preferential treatment to those making bigger deposits — a great thing to know in advance if you do plan on making a bigger deposit. This is one of the most important things to know in advance before signing up for a digital bank.
2. Are You Going To Be Setting Up A Direct Deposit?
Some banks give preferential treatment to those who set up a direct deposit, so this is an important question to ask yourself as you search for the best digital bank for you. Some digital banks even make your direct deposits available to you early, which is a nice perk.
3. Will You Be Earning Interest?
Traditional banks rarely pay any interest, even on savings accounts. Many of the digital banks are a lot more friendly, paying interest on savings accounts and even checking accounts (which is almost completely unheard of). Why not take advantage of earning interest on your money if you like the rest of the perks a bank comes with?
4. Are There Fees That You Might Pay?
Fees are a huge pitfall of banking. Definitely go in with eyes wide open as to what fees you might end up paying. Luckily, digital banks come with a huge advantage in this area and often don’t have fees.
5. Where Are The ATMs?
Digital banks tend to partner with ATM networks. You definitely want to go in with an awareness of what ATMs you are able to use and if there are fees.
6. Does It Also Come With A Savings Account?
If you are interested in saving money — as you should be — see if the bank account comes with a companion saving account and if the account has features that help users save.
A Few More Financial Decisions You Could Be Making Better
Make Sure To Use A Budgeting App
As a companion to a bank account, it’s really important to also have apps that help you budget. Here are a few of our recommendations:
Charlie A Budget App Specifically For Those In Debt
- Budgeting to pay down debt? Charlie is designed specifically for that purpose
- Keeps an eye on your spending to make sure you avoid fees and that you always get the best prices for the services you use
- Helps you save automatically — the user chooses various rules for the app to follow to do this — and turns saving onto autopilot so you don’t think about it
- Allows you to easily play with how much money you throw at debt to show you how much you would save over time
- Small monthly subscription fee, and users can cancel at any time
- Rated 4.8 on Trustpilot — users love this app
A Financial Assistant Designed To Put You Back In Control Of Your Money
- See how you’re spending your money at a glance
- Find and cancel old or unwanted subscriptions with the click of a button
- Track your spending with month-to-month reports and gain insights into changes in your spending over time
- Organize recurring transactions into categories and set budget limits for each to help curb your spending
- Identify bills that you may be overpaying for and find simple ways to reduce bills
- The average Truebill user saves $512/year
A Personalized Spending Plan And A Complete Snapshot Of Your Money Life
- Based on your income and bills Simplifi creates a personalized spending plan
- Get an instant snapshot of your money life — banking, credit cards, loans, investments — in one place
- Monitor spending and create watchlists by category, payee or tags to stay on track
- Find and track recurring bills and subscriptions (and cancel what you don’t want)
- Offers helpful insights of small changes to help you reach your financial goals
- Allows you to set up savings goals for every milestone you are trying to reach
- Named the best budgeting app & tool by The New York Times’ Wirecutter
- A 30 day free trial means you get to test it out before committing
Then You Want To Make Sure To Invest
Once you have the right bank account, and are on a budget, you want to be investing so you are actually growing your wealth. Here’s our favorite app to get started:
Start Investing With As Little As $1
- Invest with as little as $1 in fractional shares
- 5,000 stocks to choose from
- Unlimited commission-free trades in stocks, funds and options
- Ability to buy and sell cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin commission-free
- Trade in real-time
- Earn 0.30% APY on uninvested cash
Make Sure To Take Care Of Your Family With Life Insurance
Another piece in your financial life to make sure to take care of life insurance. Here is a favorite option:
Life Insurance From $100,000 To $8 Million
- Term life insurance with 10-, 15-, 20-, 25- and 30-year terms
- Coverage amounts from $100,000 to $8 million
- Coverage calculator than can be used to figure out how much coverage you need
- 5-minute application process and instant approval decisions
- Real-time underwriting
- No commissioned agents or upselling
- Price lock guarantee ensures premiums don’t change as you age or in the event of illness
- Flexible policies you can adjust over time as your financial situation changes
- Cancel anytime without penalty
- 30-day money-back guarantee
What About Your Bills! Are You Overpaying For Anything?
One of the biggest monthly bills most people have is their car insurance. Here’s how to make sure you aren’t overpaying for it:
You’re Wasting $825 A Year And You Don’t Have To Be
- Within minutes get a handful of cheaper options to switch
- Gabi will also instantly tell you if you currently have the cheapest policy possible.
- It’s that easy to save up to $825 a year on car insurance using Gabi!
- It’s recommended that you switch car insurance once every year