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FNBO Direct Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Nov. 26, 2018
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions, CDs, Checking Accounts, Savings Accounts
FNBO Direct Review: Checking, Savings and CDs
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.
4.0 NerdWallet rating

Where FNBO Direct shines:

  • No monthly fees.
  • Large free ATM network.
  • Free checking that earns interest.
  • Good savings account rates.

Where FNBO Direct falls short:

  • Low CD rates.
  • No branches.

Where FNBO Direct shines:

  • No monthly fees.
  • Large free ATM network.
  • Free checking that earns interest.
  • Good savings account rates.

Where FNBO Direct falls short:

  • Low CD rates.
  • No branches.

Where FNBO Direct shines:

  • No monthly fees.
  • Large free ATM network.
  • Free checking that earns interest.
  • Good savings account rates.

Where FNBO Direct falls short:

  • Low CD rates.
  • No branches.

 

The bottom line

FNBO Direct

at FNBO Direct,

Member, FDIC

FNBO Direct is an online bank with stellar checking and savings accounts. Its CDs, on the other hand, do not give much of a return.

Best if: You’re looking for checking and savings accounts that earn interest and have low minimum fees.


Read on for details on FNBO Direct’s checking, savings, CDs and more.

Checking: 4.5/5.0

FNBO Direct has an online checking account that earns 0.65% APY.

More upsides:

No monthly service fees: You don’t need to keep a minimum balance to avoid a service charge or earn money. The first cent you deposit earns interest.

Thousands of ATMs: You’ll have access to over 55,000 fee-free ATMs in the Allpoint network.

The downside:

No branches: FNBO Direct is a division of brick-and-mortar First National Bank of Omaha, Nebraska, but FNBO Direct is online only.

Savings: 5.0/5.0

FNBO Direct’s savings account, with its 2.25% APY, is a good place to park your money.

More upsides:

No monthly service fees. Combine no service charges with an attractive interest rate, and it can be easy for you to grow your money over time.

Savings calculators. These online tools can help you estimate the future value of your savings accounts and meet your goals.

If high rates are a priority, compare FNBO to other financial institutions by checking out NerdWallet’s best savings accounts.

Certificates of deposit: 1.5/5.0

Unlike its savings accounts, FNBO Direct CDs leave something to be desired.

The upside:

Deposit requirement: FNBO requires $500 to open a CD, which is on the low end for many banks and credit unions.

The downside: 

Low interest rates: A CD with a one-year term earns just 0.31% APY. To earn 1.15% APY, you’ll need to keep your money in a CD with a five-year term. Many basic savings accounts — including FNBO Direct’s own savings account — have rates that are far better and won’t tie up your money for months or years.

To shop for CDs with top rates, see NerdWallet’s picks for best CDs this month.

Overdraft fees: 2.5/5.0

FNBO Direct’s overdraft fee is $33 per transaction, close to the amount many large banks and credit unions charge.

The upside:

Fee forgiveness: The bank offers overdraft fee forgiveness once a year.

The downsides:

Fees can be charged up to four times a day. That means if you have four transactions that cause overdrafts, you could be charged $132 each day your account is in the red.

No overdraft line of credit or transfer option. You will need to watch your balance carefully if you open an FNBO Direct checking account, because there is no backup account from which to automatically transfer money.

Bank experience: 3.5/5.0

The upside:

A live person, 24/7: You can reach a customer service representative by phone at any time. You can also access your account from FNBO Direct mobile apps.

The downside:

Mixed ratings for apps: The mobile apps get so-so ratings in the app stores, averaging around three stars out of five. A main complaint is the inability to make external money transfers on the app.

To learn more about FNBO Direct’s brick-and-mortar division, read our review of First National Bank of Omaha.

FNBO Direct

at FNBO Direct,

Member, FDIC

» Ready to earn competitive returns on checking and savings? If you’re looking for a good yield on a basic checking and savings account and you don’t plan to shop for a CD, FNBO Direct is worth considering. It has the lower fees and higher yields that you might expect from an online bank.

More on mobile banks and free accounts


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, bank 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.

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