Top 5 Online Banks on MyBankTracker: Winter 2014

This article originally appeared on MyBankTracker.com.

As MyBankTracker has grown over the past few years, our focus on banking has never wavered, as we have tracked 6,927 FDIC insured banks and compiled useful information for consumers to make smart banking decisions. We currently have just over 8,600 bank reviews from real bank customers for the purposes of building banking transparency.

Our criteria for picking the top rated online banks are based around report card ranking comprised of bank health, fees, technology, rates, location and mobile access. According to MyBankTracker’s reviewers, the top banks are: Ally Bank, Charles Schwab, USAA Bank, Capital One 360, and Bank of Internet.

*In determining which banks topped the list, we chose banks that each had at least 20 reviews.

 

1. Ally Bank 

ally-bank-logoAlly Bank ranked three out of five stars by reviewers, with a total of 417 reviews, an “A” grade, and an overall rating score of 83%.

Without branches, Ally is able to offer free ATM use on any machine by reimbursing customers for surcharges, and offers high yields and 24/7 customer service for checking and savings. Ally interest checking comes with no maintenance fee with higher than average interest rates — accruing 0.4% on up to $15,000 and 0.75% above that. Ally Online Savings is also free, and offers a competitive interest rate on all balances, coming in at a flat 0.84%.

2. Charles Schwab 

charles schwab logo

Charles Schwab Bank has been rated by our reviewers as three out of five stars with a total of 48 reviews, an “A” grade, and an overall rating score of 81%.

Besides checking and savings accounts, Charles Schwab offers a multitude of services, including help in saving for retirement, ways to invest, and trading tools. Consumers can stay connected by being able to talk with specialists, going online with mobile apps, and heading to workshops, such as free retirement workshops. Schwab’s High Yield Investor Savings comes with no account minimums, no monthly service fees, unlimited free rebates from any ATM worldwide, the ability to deposit checks from anywhere (Schwab Mobile Deposit) with an interest rate of 0.12%. The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account gives customers 0.10% variable interest on any balance, and offers free bill pay, free standard checks, a Visa Platinum debit card, and a linked Schwab One brokerage account without fees or minimums.

 3. Bank of Internet

bank of internet logo

Bank of Internet has been rated three out of five stars with a total of 24 reviews, an “A” grade, and an overall rating score of 77%.

Bank of Internet is an online, branchless bank which offers high-interest checking, savings, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts. There are no overdraft fees and consumers receive things like ATM fee reimbursement, free online banking, free bill pay, mobile deposit and more. Bank of Internet’s homepage advertises rewards checking with the potential to earn up to 1.25% APY, 6 times the national average, as well as low interest rate mortgages.

 4. USAA Bank

usaa bank logo

USAA Bank has been rated three out of five stars by 220 reviewers, a “B” grade, and an overall rating score of 65%.

Established in 1983, USAA Federal Savings Bank provides a full range of financial products and services to the military community globally. USAA offers military members and their families investment products, checking and savings products, credit cards, and life insurance. Like the other banks on our list, USAA has free ATMs nationwide, and offers mobile and technological ways of accessing and managing your money, bills, spending, and budgeting. The bank advertises interest rates that are twice the U.S. average, but this does not compare to Bank of Internet’s APY of 6 times the average. Rates on USAA savings vary from 0.10% to 0.20%. USAA checking comes with an APY of 0.01%.

5. Capital One Bank

capital_one_bank_logo

Capital One Bank has been ranked two out five stars on average by 67 reviewers, but earns a “B” grade.

Capital One has some competitive features, such as no fees for opening an account and no monthly maintenance fees. They also have a savings APY of 0.85% for a minimum deposit of $100 and an APY of 0.90% for a minimum deposit of $25,000. Additionally, the bank offers many cards designed for business owners with varying features, APRs, and rewards.

 

As seen in our list of the top online banks, banking has become more competitive, with online banks now offering more lucrative features for consumers than traditional banks such as high-interest and free ATM use. The future of banking, we predict, will move even further in that direction, with banks continuing to move to the online sector and consumers growing disenchanted with the traditional approach to banking.

 

What We’re Reading: Mobile Bankers, Millennials, Cyber-Attack Trends

Below are interesting stories the Banking.com staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom.

  • Mobile Banking Increases the Need for Mobile Bankers

American Banker

Ask a thousand bank managers what makes their bank a better choice than the competition, and about nine hundred and fifty will tell you “our people.” I won’t argue that. In an increasingly commoditized industry, our people can be one of the few true differentiators left. But the model that has them forever sitting in buildings that fewer and fewer people utilize makes less strategic sense each year. The term “universal banker” has become pretty ubiquitous. Universal bankers (usually) can handle anything from assisting with a teller transaction, to opening an account, to performing varying levels of financial needs analysis.

Read more

  • Banking Cyber-Attack Trends to Watch

Bank Info Security

The key for banking institutions in 2014 will be to focus on detecting and mitigating multiple risks across multiple channels. “We will see more blended attacks that combine DDoS with some form of attempted data compromise,” says Doug Johnson, vice president and senior adviser of risk management policy for the American Bankers Association.

Read more 

  • Three Ways Millennial Business Owners Differ from Your Traditional Business Customers

Barlow Research

Barlow Research recently hosted a Webcast panel-discussion on the millennial generation entitled “Banking the New Face of Business: Millennials, Boomers and Dynamos.” Our panel included three very knowledgeable panelists: Himmat Randhawa from Digital Insight, and John Yarley and Alfred Chin from Visa. Through the course of the panel discussion on millennials, we learned three important things about this generation. 1. Instant Gratification Is Expected. Himmat Randhawa from Digital Insight believes that a challenge that financial institutions have with understanding the millennial generation has to do with their usage of technology and their channel preferences. “The vast majority of millennials are tech-savvy and think about the online channel as their primary channel with very little interaction with the offline channels. Millennials want anytime, anywhere access to information and don’t have an expectation to do that in-person.”

Read more

  • Top Reasons Card Data Breaches are Here to Stay

Credit Union Times

By far, the main reason thieves have begun to steal card data from U.S. firms, some experts say, is because they can. “The U.S. payments industry has become the one household in the neighborhood that has not upgraded its security system while everyone else has,” explained Karisse Hendrick, program manager in payments and fraud for the Merchant Risk Council, an international trade group that is organized to help firms fight card fraud. “When you are perceived to have security that is the easiest to beat, she added, thieves will try to beat your security.”

Read more 

  • Ally Bank launches app for Windows Phone 8

Finextra

Ally Bank, the direct banking subsidiary of Ally Financial Inc., has expanded availability of its popular Ally Mobile Banking app to include a version designed exclusively for Windows Phone 8 users, enabling even more customers to access and manage their money “on the go” using the Bank’s award-winning app.

Read more