BEST OF

10 Best Online Banks of 2024

NerdWallet's picks include banks, nonbank financial institutions and one credit union with strong overall ratings and mobile features.

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Written by Chanelle Bessette
Lead Writer
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Edited by Sara Clarke
Assistant Assigning Editor
Fact Checked

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Online banks and banking service providers offer desktop and mobile banking services without physical branches. Because online institutions don’t have to pay for the cost of maintaining branches, they're often able to pass the savings on to their customers in the form of higher interest rates. Online banks require customers to be comfortable with technology, but they also tend to provide robust customer service options to help users resolve any issues.

NerdWallet’s picks include online banks, nonbank financial institutions and credit unions. Some of these financial institutions are not chartered banks, as noted in their descriptions.

Why trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to make sure our coverage is fair and accurate, so you can choose the financial accounts that work best for you. Learn more about our criteria for evaluating banks and credit unions.

Online banks and banking service providers offer desktop and mobile banking services without physical branches. Because online institutions don’t have to pay for the cost of maintaining branches, they're often able to pass the savings on to their customers in the form of higher interest rates. Online banks require customers to be comfortable with technology, but they also tend to provide robust customer service options to help users resolve any issues.

NerdWallet’s picks include online banks, nonbank financial institutions and credit unions. Some of these financial institutions are not chartered banks, as noted in their descriptions.

Why trust NerdWallet: Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines to make sure our coverage is fair and accurate, so you can choose the financial accounts that work best for you. Learn more about our criteria for evaluating banks and credit unions.

🤓Nerdy Tip

If your federally insured bank fails, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insurance keeps your money safe up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution and per ownership category.

Best Online Banks

Our pick for

Online banks with checking and savings accounts

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Alliant Credit Union

Why We Like It

Alliant offers a 3.10% APY on its The Ultimate Opportunity Savings account, much higher than the average 0.36% APY offered on savings accounts at traditional banks. Alliant also offers a High-Rate Checking account with a 0.25% APY, and share certificates (the credit union equivalent of certificates of deposit) with above-average rates.

If you don’t qualify for Alliant membership based on Alliant’s general requirements, you can do so by becoming an Alliant Credit Union Foundation advocate; Alliant will pay the $5 membership fee on your behalf.

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Varo Bank

Why We Like It

Varo offers checking and savings accounts, but it doesn’t offer certificates of deposit. Its savings account comes with a baseline 3.00% APY, but that rate becomes 5.00% for the first $5,000 if customers meet some monthly requirements: Receive $1,000 or more in direct deposits and maintain a positive checking and savings balance at the end of the month. Meeting the requirements in the current month qualifies customers to earn the higher interest rate the following month.

There are limits and fees for cash deposits, and the only way a Varo customer can deposit cash is by going to a third-party retailer that participates in the Green Dot network, such as 7-Eleven, CVS or Walgreens.

To withdraw cash, customers can use an ATM in the Allpoint network for free; use of non-Allpoint ATMs carries a $3.50 fee from Varo in addition to any fees that the ATM owner may charge.

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Discover® Bank

Why We Like It

The Discover® Online Savings Account earns a 4.25% APY, and rates for its certificates of deposit are competitive.

The Discover® Cashback Debit account lets customers earn 1% cash back per month on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases (see Discover's website for details).

Discover® Bank also offers more than 60,000 fee-free ATMs and doesn't charge monthly fees on its savings account. Plus, while the largest U.S. banks charge an average overdraft fee of $35, Discover doesn't charge an overdraft fee. Discover’s mobile banking apps also earn high ratings from customers.

NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
SoFi Bank, N.A.

Why We Like It

SoFi Checking and Savings offers a combination of checking and savings features under one umbrella account. Customers receive 0.50% APY — which is variable and subject to change — on the checking balance.

In addition, customers who set up direct deposit or who deposit at least $5,000 every 30 days into their account earn 4.60% APY on the savings portion of their account. Without direct deposit, that goes down to 1.20% APY.

Customers also have access to the more than 55,000 ATMs in the Allpoint network. There is a foreign exchange fee of 0.2% charged by Mastercard that is not waived.

For customers with multiple savings goals, there's an option to break down savings into subaccounts called Vaults. SoFi offers an automatic savings program called Roundups, which allows customers to round up their debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and save the difference into a savings Vault.

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Capital One

Why We Like It

Capital One offers a strong 4.25% APY on its savings account and high rates on its certificates of deposit, along with 0.10% APY on all checking balances. All accounts are free, and customers have access to more than 70,000 free ATMs nationwide. Capital One’s mobile app also has high ratings for both Apple and Android.

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
EverBank

Why We Like It

EverBank (formerly TIAA Bank) offers checking, savings and certificates of deposit as well as investment accounts. Its checking account offers a 0.40% APY, its savings account has a 5.05% APY and its CD rates are competitive. EverBank’s requires you to open a CD with at least $1,000, which is somewhat high.

EverBank also offers a strong ATM reimbursement program. For customers who hold a minimum monthly balance of $5,000 in their checking account, EverBank will give unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. For customers who keep a balance under $5,000, EverBank will reimburse up to $15 in ATM fees per month.

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
TAB Bank

Why We Like It

TAB Bank’s High Yield Savings account has an interest rate of 5.27% APY with no minimum opening deposit or monthly fee. TAB Bank offers an excellent rewards checking account with a good APY and cashback perks. The bank also has strong rates on its CDs with a minimum opening deposit of $1,000.

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Upgrade

Why We Like It

Upgrade customers earn a high interest rate of 5.21% APY on their free Premier Savings account with balances of $1,000 or more. Upgrade’s free Rewards Checking Plus account has a cash back program for customers with active accounts who make direct deposits of at least $1,000 a month. Customers can earn up to 2% cash back for debit purchases on everyday expenses like convenience stores, drug stores, utilities, restaurants, gas stations and monthly subscriptions, and they can earn up to 1% cash back on other purchases. Upgrade’s mobile app is highly rated in both the Apple and Android app stores.

Our pick for

Online banks with savings accounts only

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
Goldman Sachs Bank USA

Why We Like It

Marcus by Goldman Sachs has strong rates for savings and certificates of deposit. Marcus doesn’t yet offer a checking account, however, and there’s no ATM network for depositing or withdrawing cash; money can be moved in and out via direct deposit or transfer with another institution.

Marcus' same-day transfer limit is high, at up to $1 million. Marcus’ mobile app is highly rated in both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play store, though there is no mobile check deposit.

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
UFB Direct

Why We Like It

UFB Direct’s savings account has a stellar 5.25% APY on all balances with no monthly fees. Customers can reach phone support 24/7, and can log into their accounts to chat with bankers on weekdays. The bank’s mobile app is highly rated in both the Apple and Android app stores. UFB Direct’s banking products and services are offered through Axos Bank.

What is an online bank?

An online bank is a financial institution that operates without any physical branches. Such banks typically have strong mobile apps and customer service options, as well as higher interest rates than traditional brick-and-mortar banks.

How do I deposit and withdraw money with my online bank account?

It varies. If the bank is part of an ATM network, you can likely use an ATM to either deposit or withdraw cash; some online banks allow only online transfers in and out of the account. Online banks also usually allow mobile check deposits, direct deposit from employers and online transfers to and from external bank accounts.

How do I open a bank account online?

Both traditional and online banks typically allow people to apply for accounts online these days. It can take just a few minutes and typically involves creating a username and password and entering some personal information. See NerdWallet’s guide to how to open an account online.

Are online banks safe?

Online banks are typically safe. Most banks use data encryption, and some allow customers to opt in to two-factor authentication when logging in to their accounts. Customers should also take care to practice good security hygiene when it comes to banking online.

Are online banks FDIC insured?

Banks are FDIC insured — meaning if the bank goes out of business, then your money is federally protected, usually up to $250,000. But some online financial institutions (also called neobanks) that offer online accounts are not banks. In those cases, the financial institution typically partners with a bank behind the scenes to provide FDIC insurance to customers. But note that for neobanks, FDIC insurance kicks in if the partner bank fails, not if the neobank fails.

Last updated on May 10, 2024

Methodology

We took a close look at over 90 financial institutions and financial service providers, including the largest U.S. banks based on assets, internet search traffic and other factors; the nation’s largest credit unions, based on assets and membership; and other notable and/or emerging players in the industry. We rated them on criteria including annual percentage yields, minimum balances, fees, digital experience and more.

Financial institutions and providers surveyed are: Affirm, All America Bank, Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, Amalgamated Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Andrews Federal Credit Union, Associated Bank, Axos Bank, Bank of America, Bank5 Connect, Bank7, Barclays, Bask Bank, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, BMO, BMO Alto, Boeing Employees Credit Union, Bread Savings, BrioDirect, Capital One, Carver Federal Savings Bank, Charles Schwab Bank, Chase, Chime, CIBC U.S., CIT Bank, Citibank, Citizens, Citizens Bank, City First Bank, Climate First Bank, Commerce Bank, Community First Credit Union of Florida, ConnectOne Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Current, Delta Community Credit Union, Discover Bank, E*TRADE, EverBank (formerly TIAA Bank), Fifth Third Bank, First Foundation, First National Bank, First Tech Federal Credit Union, Flagstar Bank, FNBO Direct, Global Credit Union, GO2bank, Golden 1 Credit Union, Greenwood, Hope Credit Union, Huntington Bank, Industrial Bank, Ivy Bank, KeyBank, Lake Michigan Credit Union, LendingClub Bank, Liberty Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC, One, OneUnited Bank, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC, Popular Direct, Quontic Bank, Regions Bank, Revolut, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Securityplus Federal Credit Union, Self-Help Credit Union, Service Credit Union, SoFi, State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina, Suncoast Credit Union, Synchrony Bank, TAB Bank, TD Bank, Truist Bank, U.S. Bank, UFB Direct, Upgrade, USAA Bank, Varo, Vio Bank, Wells Fargo and Zynlo Bank.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Best Online Banks of 2024

  • Alliant Credit Union: Best for Online banks with checking and savings accounts
  • Varo Bank: Best for Online banks with checking and savings accounts
  • Discover® Bank: Best for Online banks with checking and savings accounts
  • SoFi Bank, N.A.: Best for Online banks with checking and savings accounts
  • Goldman Sachs Bank USA: Best for Online banks with savings accounts only
  • Capital One: Best for Online banks with checking and savings accounts
  • UFB Direct: Best for Online banks with savings accounts only
  • EverBank: Best for Online banks with checking and savings accounts
  • TAB Bank: Best for Online banks with checking and savings accounts
  • Upgrade: Best for Online banks with checking and savings accounts