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4 Digital Banks That Treat You and Your Money Well

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

4 Digital Banks That Treat You and Your Money Well

If you are still banking with a physical bank, it may be time to go digital instead. Digital banks offer several benefits and features that physical banks can’t, or don’t, offer due to the cost of operating a physical location. Because online banks don’t have these overhead costs, they can offer more benefits to help customers save money on fees, and earn more money via interest too.

There are several online banks from which financially savvy customers can choose from these days. If you are looking to go digital with your banking, here are a few good options to consider.

Ally Bank

Interest Checking Account
Ally is a digital bank with a full range of services, including online savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, IRAs, checking accounts, credit cards, and more. It has also been named the “Best Online Bank” 5 years in a row from 2011 to 2015 by Money Magazine.

Ally has become a popular place for people to store their savings in an online savings account due to the great interest rates on savings accounts and money market accounts. These accounts offer daily compounded interest, FDIC insurance deposits, and no monthly maintenance fees.

Checking accounts with Ally Bank allow customers to earn interest on their money, which is something that is not as common with physical banks.

Customers of Ally Bank also enjoy the ability to use any of the 43,000+ Allpoint ATMs in the U.S. for free. Plus, Ally Bank reimburses up to $10 per statement cycle for fees incurred at other ATMS. It also offers exceptional customer service with 24/7 live customer care.

Charles Schwab

High Yield Investor Checking Account
Charles Schwab is another bank that started offering more digital products for its customers, including checking and savings, lending, and investing.

The High Yield Investor Checking account is a popular choice for many customers as Schwab offers this account with no ATM fees worldwide and unlimited ATM reimbursement for fees incurred each billing cycle. It also offers no account minimums or monthly services fees, and easy banking 24/7 with Schwab Mobile. The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account is linked to your existing Schwab One brokerage account so you can manage both accounts with one login.

The interest rate on the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account is 0.15% APY no matter your balance, but you do have to open a Schwab One brokerage account in order to use a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking account. There are no fees or minimum balance for the Schwab One brokerage account, and you can transfer funds between the two accounts for free.

Schwab also offers a High Yield Investor Savings account with no minimum balance or monthly service charge. The interest rate is 0.35% APY on all balances. It also qualifies for the unlimited ATM fee rebates.

USAA

USAA members USAA offers checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and many different loan products for cars, homes, and more.

USAA offers free checking with a minimum opening balance of $25. After you open a free checking account, there is no minimum balance, no monthly service fee, overdraft protection, fee bill pay, and free ATMs nationwide. USAA reimburses up to $15 in ATM fees per month.

Like most digital banks, USAA offers interest on its checking accounts, although it is lower than many competitors at only 0.01% APY. Its savings accounts offer rates of 0.05% APY to 0.15% APY depending on the balance of your account.

There is a catch: you need military affiliation to be able to open an account. This can include a connection through a family member, such as a parent or spouse.

Capital One 360

360 Checking Capital One 360 offers “no fees, no kidding” checking and savings accounts with no fees and no minimums. While it doesn’t offer ATM fee reimbursement, Capital One does offer a unique feature compared to many other digital banks: the ability to deposit cash into your checking or savings account with select Capital One ATMs in a 360 Café or Capital One Bank location.

The interest rates on a 360 Checking account range from 0.20% APY to 1.00% APY, depending on your balance.

  • $0 – $49,999.99: 0.20% APY
  • $50,000 – $99,999.99: 0.75% APY
  • $100,000 or more: 1.00% APY

The interest rate on a 360 Savings account is 1.00% APY.

If you’re a Capital One credit card customer, you can also conveniently access both your credit card information and Capital One 360 banking information with a single sign-on.

Another unique feature of Capital One 360 is the ability to create multiple savings account with any nickname you choose. You can also use their “My Saving Goals” section to make automatic savings deposits and set goals for your various savings accounts.

Which Digital Bank Is Right for You?

As digital banks become more popular, it can be difficult to determine which one might be the best fit for you. Of course, it depends on several factors, such as the features and services you most value, how you plan to use your account, and more. No matter which digital bank you choose, the important thing is that you are making the right decision for you and your money.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Kayla Sloan
Kayla Sloan |

Kayla Sloan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Kayla here

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Eliminating Fees, Reviews

FamZoo Review: a Virtual Family Bank to Teach Kids About Money

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

FamZoo Review

When it comes to banking, most kids learn the hard way just how expensive their mistakes can be — with every sting of an overdraft fee or bounced check. Parents who would rather teach their kids how to manage their money without the risk of fees might consider FamZoo, a virtual family banking program. For a modest subscription fee, FamZoo provides the tools parents need to teach their kids about money management and banking.

Is FamZoo worth the cost?

In this review we cover:

  • What is FamZoo?
  • FamZoo Fees
  • FamZoo Benefits
  • Who Should Consider FamZoo?
  • FamZoo Drawbacks

What is FamZoo?

FamZoo is a “Virtual Family Bank” that allows parents to teach their kids about banking

FamZoo

without requiring kids to pay fees (as a parent, you will pay a monthly subscription fee).

FamZoo has two versions. The first version is a virtual IOU account that formalizes and tracks money flowing between parents and kids, but is not a bank at all. The second version gives prepaid debit cards to parents and kids that can be used anywhere that debit cards are accepted (including ATMs). Both versions cost the same amount for parents.

In addition to basic banking, FamZoo offers family oriented features. For example, family member can request reimbursements from other family members, and parents can offer loans to their kids and teach them to pay back loans in installments. With parent approval, money moves between family accounts instantaneously. FamZoo allows parents to fund allowances, and it helps kids divide their money between saving, spending, loan repayment and giving. As a parent, you can set a parent paid interest rate to encourage savings.

If you opt for prepaid debit cards, the cards will not allow your kids to overdraft, and parents and kids have access to a website to check balances, to review transaction history and more. Kids can also withdraw money fee free from in network ATMs.

FamZoo Fees

Subscription fee: Parents pay $5.99 per month (or $60 for 2 years with pre-payment) for up to four prepaid debit cards including a parent loading card. If you want more than four cards (for example to separate giving, saving and spending accounts, or if you have more kids), you pay a one-time $2 fee per card. If you lose a card, you can receive a replacement card for free.

Aside from the monthly subscription fee and the one-time extra card fee, FamZoo does not assess any fees, even if you manage to overdraft (which is possible if your transaction “settles” for an amount greater than was initially assessed).

Load fees: Depending on which financial products you use, as a parent, you may pay a fee to load your card. If you have access to Wells Fargo Sure Pay, Dwolla or PayPal, you can transfer money to your FamZoo account for free, or you can fund the account for free via direct deposit from your paycheck. Other loading options cost between $.95 and $7.00 per transaction. The institution where you initiate the transaction charges these fees, but FamZoo doesn’t add any extra fees.

ATM fees: FamZoo is part of the MoneyPass ATM network and withdraw cash at no fee. However, FamZoo warns that the other institutions usually charge a fee for out-of-network ATM use, and these fees aren’t reimbursed.

FamZoo Benefits

Parents have control: FamZoo is a stripped down bank that gives parents banking control, but it also has a few mainstream financial benefits. For example, MasterCard Zero Liability Protection backs FamZoo cards which means that they have fraud protection. Like other debit cards, they offer transparency, the ability to freeze an account if the card is lost or stolen, and the ability to track spending. And, each account has its own routing and account number so kids can get their paychecks deposited like it’s a regular bank account.

Helps teach saving and budgeting: The primary benefit of FamZoo is the way helps parents raise financially savvy kids. The software allows you to teach your kids to track expenses, set budgets, and split money into various accounts (a modern version of the envelope system). As a parent, you can add complexity (adding interest, loans, etc.) as your kids mature.

FamZoo Drawbacks

False sense of real-world banking fees: FamZoo puts guardrails in place, so kids don’t get hurt when they fail to manage their money well (they can empty out their bank account, but they won’t pay overdraft charges and they cannot go into debt except to their parents), but parents who use the software also need to teach their kids about banking fees outside of FamZoo. This will be especially important as teens set up their first checking accounts.

Who should use FamZoo?

FamZoo suits parents with kids who don’t yet have jobs or their own bank accounts who want to teach their kids financial principles. FamZoo makes teaching basic finances easy, and if your kids make mistakes, they don’t have to pay outsized fees.

Parents of early elementary through early high school will appreciate the valuable teaching opportunities that FamZoo provides, and parents with older teens and college students can advantage of transferring money with ease.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Hannah Rounds
Hannah Rounds |

Hannah Rounds is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Hannah here

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Up To $350: Chase Checking And Saving Bonus Offer Reviewed

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Chase Checking And Saving Bonus Offer Reviewed

Updated August 30, 2017

Changing bank accounts can be painful, but lucrative. Chase understands that some people will only go through the hassle of changing banks if they are paid to do it. To encourage people to switch, Chase has introduced a bonus offer that will pay customers up to $350.

In the rest of this post, we will explain the details:

  • Get up to $350 when you open a Chase Total Checking® account* with Direct Deposit and open a Chase SavingsSM account*, deposit $10,000 or more in new money and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days
  • Get a $200 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account* and set up direct deposit
  • Get a $150 bonus when you open a Chase SavingsSM account*, deposit a total of $10,000 or more in new money within 10 days, and maintain a $10,000 balance for 90 days
  • Access 16,000 Chase ATMs and 5,100 branches
  • Chase QuickDepositSM lets you deposit checks almost anytime, anywhere with the ease of taking a picture. Just point, snap, and deposit.

The checking account does have a monthly service fee of $12. However, that fee is waived if you have direct deposits totaling $500 or more made to the account. If your direct deposit is less than $500, there are two other ways to avoid the fee. You can either keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or more in your checking account or keep an average daily balance of $5,000 or more in any combination of qualifying and linked Chase deposit or investment accounts. You should speak to a branch employee to understand in more detail.

The savings account has a $5 monthly fee. That monthly fee can be waived with one of the following during a monthly statement period:

  • $300 or more minimum daily balance
  • OR, at least one repeating automatic transfer of $25 or more from your personal Chase checking account (available only through Chase Online Banking)
  • OR, account owner is younger than 18
  • OR, when linked to a Chase Premier Plus CheckingSM, Chase Premier Platinum CheckingSM or Chase Private Client CheckingSMaccount

How To Get The Bonus

You will need to visit a Chase branch in order to open the account. Here is how the process works.

  1. Visit the Chase website and sign up to receive your bonus offer coupon by email. You will be asked for your email address, and a coupon will be sent to you.
  2. When you receive the coupon, print it out and take the coupon to your local branch.
  3. Sit down with a banker and open the account. You will need at least $25 to open the checking account.
  4. Make sure you set up the direct deposit with your employer. After you open the account, you will have your routing number and account number that can be used. And don’t forget to deposit $10,000 (or more) within 10 business days of account opening to be eligible for the savings account bonus.

Is Chase Right For Me?

Chase is one of the largest banks in the country. The bank has been investing aggressively in its mobile app, and was recently named the Best Mobile Banking App for Large Banks by MagnifyMoney. But Chase is not right for everyone. Here are the pros and cons.

Pros

  • There are over 16,000 Chase ATMs and 5,100 branches. When Chase enters a region, it tries to be everywhere. In places like New York and Florida, it is very easy to find either a branch or an ATM, to avoid fees.
  • Chase’s mobile banking app has the highest level of user satisfaction among big banks.
  • It is easy to avoid a monthly account service fee, with a low direct deposit requirement of $500 per month.
  • Chase also offers some of the best credit cards in the market, like Chase Slate®* and Chase Freedom®*. You might find combining your accounts into one place to be convenient.
  • Chase has developed a wide range of alerts to keep you in control and manage the risk of fraud. You can receive customized text messages, email messages or even push messages to your iPhone whenever there is activity on your account.

Cons

  • The savings account only pays 0.01% interest. It can be a convenient place to keep money, but interest rates at internet-only banks are much higher. You can find the best online savings accounts, which are paying more than 1.00% APY, here.
  • The checking account can be expensive if you do not live or work near a Chase branch. Although you might be reading about this deal online, it does not make sense if you do not live near a branch. Chase will charge you $2.50 for any withdrawal from a non-Chase ATM in the US, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The fee for international withdrawals is $5. If you do a lot of international travel, you might want to consider a bank (like Charles Schwab) that waives and reimburses all ATM fees.
  • If you do not link your savings account or credit card for overdraft protection, it can get expensive quickly. You would be charged $34 per incident, up to three times per day. This is an easy charge to avoid if you link your savings account or credit card.

The Final Verdict

If you live and work near Chase branches, it can be a good choice for your everyday banking needs. Changing accounts can be painful, but that is why Chase is offering up to $350 for the trouble. It will take you less than an hour to get the accounts open and give it a try.

Other Key Terms

  • Chase Savings APY: 0.01% effective as of 8/30/17. Interest rates are variable and subject to change
  • Minimum Balance to Open: $25 Chase Total Checking®, $25 for Chase SavingsSM
  • Monthly Service Fee: $12 for Chase Total Checking® and $5 for Chase SavingsSM
  • NSF Fee: $34
  • ATM Surcharge: $2.50 (in US), $5 (outside US)

*The information related to the Chase Slate® and the Chase Freedom® has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Nick Clements
Nick Clements |

Nick Clements is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Nick at [email protected]