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Axos Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Oct. 1, 2018
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, CDs, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
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We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity. Some of the products we feature are from our partners. Here’s how we make money.

Axos Bank
NerdWallet’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

Where Axos Bank shines:

  • No monthly fees for checking or savings
  • Domestic ATM fee reimbursements
  • Excellent checking rates and rewards

Where Axos Bank falls short:

  • No branches
  • CD rates mostly average for an online bank

Where Axos Bank shines:

  • No monthly fees for checking or savings
  • Domestic ATM fee reimbursements
  • Excellent checking rates and rewards

Where Axos Bank falls short:

  • No branches
  • CD rates mostly average for an online bank

Where Axos Bank shines:

  • No monthly fees for checking or savings
  • Domestic ATM fee reimbursements
  • Excellent checking rates and rewards

Where Axos Bank falls short:

  • No branches
  • CD rates mostly average for an online bank

 

The bottom line

Axos Bank™

at Axos Bank™,

Member, FDIC

Axos Bank, formerly called Bank of Internet USA, is an online bank that does away with many fees and has the rare offering of rewards checking. The bank has some limits in customer support channels, but if that’s not a concern for you, consider giving Axos Bank a closer look.

Best if: You’re looking for checking accounts with rewards and ATM fee reimbursements.


Read on for more details about Axos Bank’s checking and savings accounts, CDs, bank experience and overdraft fees.

Checking account: 4.5 / 5.0


 
Upsides:

  • No monthly balance requirements or fees. You don’t have to worry about your balance with Axos’ Rewards Checking, and like the bank’s other checking accounts, there are no monthly fees.
  • Few to no domestic ATM costs: Axos Bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees in the U.S. Plus, three of the bank’s five checking accounts reimburse all fees charged by domestic ATM operators. The three accounts are Rewards, CashBack and Essential Checking.
  • Rewards, if you put in some effort: Several checking accounts give interest or earn cash back, but they’re not automatically given:
    • Rewards Checking earns an annual percentage yield of up to 1.25%, but to get this rate, you need to receive $1,000 or more in monthly direct deposits and make 15 debit card transactions a month.
    • CashBack Checking gives you 1% cash back on debit card transactions that require your signature, if you keep at least $1,500 as the average daily balance. If your account falls below that, you earn 0.50% cash back instead.

Downside:

  • Occasional fees: Although you can avoid most fees, getting a replacement debit card costs $10 (or $50 if you need rush delivery) and foreign transactions cost 2% of the purchase or ATM withdrawal amount.

» Interested in other good checking options? Read NerdWallet’s best online checking accounts

Savings account: 5.0 / 5.0


 
Upside:

  • No maintenance fees: The High Yield Savings account charges no monthly fees and doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement. It also has a healthy interest rate of 1.30%.

» For more great APYs, here are our picks for online banks

Certificates of deposit: 3.5 / 5.0


 
Upside:

  • Variety: You can open CDs with terms from three months to five years. The longer the term, the higher the rate.

Downsides:

  • For an online bank, these rates are pretty average: The five-year CD has an APY of 2.25%, the two-year CD pays 1.20% APY and the three-year CD pays 1.30% APY. All far exceed the national average rates, but you can find better CD yields for those terms at other online banks.
  • $1,000 minimum opening deposit: Although this is in line with national banks, many online banks have lower minimums. Barclays, for example, doesn’t require a minimum balance to open a CD.

» To compare CDs, check out the strongest CD rates this month

Bank experience: 3.5 / 5.0


 
Upsides:

  • 24/7 customer service: Axos Bank has a customer support team at headquarters available by phone on weekdays only, as well as a third-party call center to provide around-the-clock phone support.
  • Other support channels: The bank has live chat support on its site.

Downsides:

  • No branches: Unless you’re in San Diego and can visit the bank’s headquarters, you’ll have to handle your banking online or over the phone.
  • Fees for depositing cash: Axos Bank uses a third-party service, Reload @ the Register, which lets customers add cash to their accounts at retailers such as 7-Eleven and CVS Pharmacy. It costs up to $4.95 per deposit.

Overdraft fees: 3.0 / 5.0


 
Upsides:

  • No overdraft fees for three accounts: The Essential and Rewards checking accounts don’t charge overdraft or nonsufficient funds fees. Transactions are simply declined unless you enroll in one of the bank’s overdraft programs.
  • Free overdraft protection: You can set up free automatic transfers from a savings account to your checking, which would only occur if your balance goes negative.
  • Overdraft line of credit offered: This overdraft program lets you borrow money when you overdraw.

Downside:

  • $25 nonsufficient funds fee for two accounts: If you overdraw with the CashBack or Golden checking account, you’ll be charged $25, with a limit of three charges per day.

Great online bank option

Axos Bank™

at Axos Bank™,

Member, FDIC

Axos Bank’s checking accounts are among the best because of their strong rates and lack of monthly fees. The rates on savings are strong but are outdone by some other online banks. Still, all the accounts can serve you well if you want them under the same virtual roof.

The credit unions that most resemble this online bank are Alliant (see our review) and Connexus (see our review), which both offer excellent checking accounts. For an overdraft policy that’s even better than that of Axos Bank, check out Capital One 360 (details in our CapOne review).

Tony Armstrong is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: tony@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @tonystrongarm. NerdWallet writer Spencer Tierney contributed to this report.

 


Ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, customer experience and overdraft fees.

Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.