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Bank of Internet Reviews: Checking, CDs Rates, Money Market, and Savings Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Note: Bank of Internet has rebranded to become Axos Bank.

San Diego, Calif.-based Bank of Internet USA is a newer bank, having started up in the year 2000 while many traditional banks have been around for decades. It was also one of the first banks to exclusively operate online. Even though it’s a new kid on the block, it’s still a solid performer, and has received an “A” health rating from DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree company, which indicates it’s a solid choice for consumers looking for a new bank account.

U.S. citizens and resident aliens 18 years or older are welcome to apply for an account with Bank of Internet. To apply online, you’ll need at least three pieces of information: a social security number, a U.S. driver’s license or state ID, and a physical mailing address (P.O. boxes aren’t allowed), along with other basic information about yourself like your name and phone number.

In this review we’ll cover Bank of Internet’s checking, CD, money market, savings, and IRA accounts. We’ll discuss the interest rates, fees, and rules that come along with each account so you can decide whether Bank of Internet will be the best bank for you.

Bank of Internet CD rates

While Bank of Internet’s CDs are pretty standard, they do offer a unique feature: interest is paid out every year for CD terms over one year in length.

Term

APY

3 months

0.55%

6 months

0.75%

12 months

1.00%

24 months

1.20%

36 months

1.30%

48 months

1.40%

60 months

2.25%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For the 3-month CD, you’ll pay 1.5 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 6-month CD, you’ll pay 3 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 12-month CD, you’ll pay 6 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 24-month CD, you’ll pay 12 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 36-month CD, you’ll pay 18 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 48-month and 60-month CD, you’ll pay 24 months’ worth of interest.

Bank of Internet offers a pretty standard CD with this account. You can choose from a range of terms, and you must bring a moderately-sized deposit to the table to open an account. You’ll also face a penalty for withdrawing your cash early, and if you do withdraw money, Bank of Internet will first remove it from the interest you’ve earned. Since the APY you’ll earn is calculated based on the assumption that you leave the interest in the account to earn even more interest, withdrawing any money early can reduce the actual APY you get.

One important heads-up: if you choose a CD term longer than a year, you’ll receive a payout of the interest you’ve earned from the prior year, rather than having it sit in your CD account until maturity. Additionally, the CD will auto-renew to another CD of the same term length when it matures. You’ll still have a 10-day grace period to withdraw the money or make any changes to the CD, however.

 

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How Bank of Internet’s CD rates compare

When it comes to CD rates, Bank of Internet is a bit like Goldilocks. It doesn’t offer the best CD rates out there, but it also don’t offer the worst. In addition, its minimum deposit size to open a CD is relatively standard among banks, however it will be a bit cost-prohibitive to many people, especially those just starting out their savings.

One option to get around this is to find another bank with a lower minimum deposit size for CDs, or to simply open a savings account until you have enough cash saved up to open a higher-interest-earning CD.

Bank of Internet checking account options

Rewards Checking

This fee-free account offers a great opportunity to earn high interest rates on your checking account money.

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

Up to 1.25%

$0

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Unlimited ATM fee refunds for any domestic ATMs
  • Overdraft fees: Free, if you link a savings or money market account to cover any overdrafts.

If you’re looking for a high-interest-earning checking account, this is a great one to consider. You can earn three different tiers of interest rates, depending on how you use the account. To earn the base rate of 0.4166% APY, you’ll need to receive at least $1,000 worth of monthly direct deposits into this account. To earn an additional 0.4166% APY, you’ll need to also make at least 10 purchases of at least $3 per month with your Bank of Internet Visa® debit card. Finally, if you also make another five purchases (for a total of 15) of at least $3 per month, in addition to the direct deposit requirements, you can earn yet another 0.4166% APY — totalling a whopping 1.25% APY.

This account also comes with a cashback rewards program. To enroll, you’ll need to log in to your account and navigate to the Purchase Rewards section, where you can see what cashback offers are available at local and online stores. You’ll need to manually activate the offers in order for it to work; otherwise, you won’t earn anything. If you do earn any cash back, it’ll be deposited into your account at the end of the next month.

 

Platinum Checking

The only string attached with the Platinum Checking account is that you need a high balance to earn any interest.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.71%

$5,000+

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $8 per month from domestic ATM surcharge fees
  • Overdraft fees: $0

If you tend to keep a large balance in your checking account and don’t use it a whole lot, this could be a good rewards checking account to consider. You won’t earn anything on the first $4,999 in the account, but once you hit the $5,000 mark, you’ll earn a decent interest rate for a checking account, and with no strings attached like with Bank of Internet’s Rewards Checking account.

There aren’t any fees for using any domestic ATMs; however, you still might owe ATM surcharge fees from the ATM’s owner. Bank of Internet will reimburse you up to $8 for these surcharge fees, but unlike the Rewards Checking account, it’s not an unlimited amount — so this account may be better for folks who don’t use ATMs frequently either.

The Platinum Checking account also comes with the same cashback rewards program as the Rewards Checking account. Simply log into your online account, select which offers you’re interested in, and shop at that store. Your cash rewards will be deposited into your bank account at the end of the next month.

 

CashBack Checking

You can earn up to 1.00% cash back when you use your Bank of Internet USA debit card to make purchases with this account.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Unlimited ATM fee refunds for any domestic ATMs.
  • Overdraft fees: $25

Bank of Internet’s CashBack Checking account may be an option to consider if earning cash back if more your style. You’ll earn 1.00% cash back on any signature-based purchases made with your Bank of Internet USA debit card if you keep an average daily balance of $1,500 in your account. (A “signature-based purchase” is one where you don’t use the PIN pad.) If you have less than the $1,500 average daily balance in your account, you’ll still earn cash back, but at a slightly lower rate (0.50%).

You can earn up to $2,000 in cash back per month. Also, heads-up: this cash back is counted as income, so you’ll owe taxes on this money when you file your taxes at the end of the year (the bank will send you a 1099-MISC form to record on your taxes).

In addition to this cashback program, you’re also eligible for the regular cashback rewards program offered with the other checking accounts. All you have to do is log in to your online account, select which offers you’re interested in purchasing, make the purchase, and earn a set amount of cash back on top of what you’re already earning. The money from this cashback program and your normal daily spending will be deposited into your checking account.

 

Essential Checking

Bank of Internet’s Essential Checking account doesn’t earn any interest or come with any inherent rewards, but it won’t cost you anything either.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Unlimited ATM fee refunds for any domestic ATMs.
  • Overdraft fees: $0

This fee-free account also does not offer any interest, nor does it come with its own cashback rewards program like the CashBack Checking account.

However, this account is still eligible for Bank of Internet’s own cashback rewards program. To earn cashback rewards with this program, you need to log into your account online and select the cashback offers that you’re interested in. Then, simply use your Bank of Internet USA Visa® Debit Card to make a purchase with these merchants, and your cash rewards will be deposited into your bank account in the next month.

 

Golden Checking

The Golden Checking account allows you to earn a small amount of interest and free checks if you’re 55 or older.

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

0.20%

$0

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $8 per month from domestic ATM surcharge fees.
  • Overdraft fees: $0

If you’re over age 55, you’re eligible to open Bank of Internet’s Golden Checking account. It offers a few extra perks on top of its regular accounts — you’ll earn a small amount of interest on any money you keep in the account (with no stipulations for minimum balances or transactions), and you’ll get a free box of checks as often as every six months.

In addition, you’re eligible for Bank of Internet’s cashback program. If you log into your online account, you’ll be able to select from certain retailers offering cashback rewards. Simply activate these rewards, spend money with your Bank of Internet USA Visa® Debit Card at these retailers, and the money you earn will be deposited back into your account the following month.

 

First Checking

This checking account is a great option to wean your teen into managing their own money.

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

0.25%

$0

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $12 per month from domestic ATM surcharge fees.
  • Overdraft fees: $0

Bank of Internet’s First Checking account is designed to be exactly that… your teen’s first checking account. It’s jointly owned by you and your teen (ages 13 to 17, or 18 in Alabama), so you also have complete control over the account, including being able to deposit an allowance into the account and monitor spending.

There are also a few other nice safeguards that come with the account. In order to prevent totally reckless spending, your teen is limited to withdrawing just $100 cash per day, or making just $500 in point-of-sale transactions. Even though it’s a checking account, this account doesn’t allow any check-writing capabilities, though it does come with a Visa® debit card. Finally, your teen won’t be allowed to make certain purchases or use their card at certain kinds of establishments, like bars, liquor stores, or casinos.

 

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How Bank of Internet’s checking accounts compare

We really like all of Bank of Internet’s checking accounts because they each come with low fees — or even no fees. You can use any domestic ATM you want without paying any Bank of Internet fees, and each of its checking accounts even offers at least some, if not an unlimited amount, of ATM surcharge fee reimbursements. This makes these accounts great for people who use ATMs frequently.

In addition, many of its accounts offers great interest rates. Some of these accounts — like the Rewards Checking account — are even currently rated as some of our best online checking accounts.

Bank of Internet’s Money Market account

You can write checks from this money market account, but you won’t earn as much interest as with a regular Bank of Internet Smart Savings account.

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

1.05%

$0

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $25

Bank of Internet’s Money Market account earns slightly less than its regular Smart Savings account, but in return, you get the option to write checks from this account. You can also pay your bills online for free with this account.

But, just like other money market or savings accounts, you’re limited to making just six transactions per month from this account, per Federal Regulation D. If you go over that number, you’ll pay a $10 excessive transaction fee per each new transaction.

Heads-up: if you also have a checking account and have opted into overdraft protection with this account, any overdraft transfers made on your behalf will also count against the six transaction limit. Finally, any checks you write will be counted against the six-transaction limit in the month that they’re posted to your account, not in the month that you write them.

 

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How Bank of Internet’s Money Market account compares

Unfortunately, Bank of Internet’s Money Market account offers a lackluster interest rate, especially compared to the best money market account rates out there — but we do like that it has no monthly account maintenance fee and no minimum balance requirement. This will make the account accessible to anyone, but if a high interest rate is what you’re after, you can still find higher-yielding accounts with no fees from other banks and credit unions.

Bank of Internet’s Savings account

This account offers a fairly high interest rate, but remember to request an ATM card if you plan on making ATM withdrawals from this account.

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

1.30%

$0

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $25

The Smart Savings account from Bank of Internet is a pretty standard savings account. Like all savings and money market accounts, you can only make up to six transactions per month from this account as per Federal Regulation D. If you exceed that amount, you’ll pay a $10 excessive transaction charge.

One thing to note with this account is that you’ll need to request a free ATM card with this account if you plan on making ATM withdrawals from it — it doesn’t come with one automatically. It’s not a big deal, but just something to be aware of if you ever plan on making an ATM withdrawal from your savings account.

 

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How Bank of Internet’s savings account compares

Bank of Internet does offers a higher rate than most banks, but still, it’s not the top contender out there. For that, you’ll need to instead turn to our recent rankings of the best online savings accounts.

Its terms, however, are quite fair. There are very few fees that come with this account, and if most people use it as intended, it’s possible that they never will pay any fees for having a savings account with Bank of Internet. In addition, there is no minimum balance, so it’s easy to get your savings started with this bank.

Bank of Internet’s IRA accounts

IRA CD rates

These CDs earn a much lower rate than Bank of Internet’s normal CDs, but in return you do get the tax benefits of an IRA account.

Term

APY

12 months

0.60%

18 months

0.70%

36 months

0.75%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For the 12-month and 18-month CD, you’ll pay six months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 36-month CD, you’ll pay 18 months’ worth of interest.

Although Bank of Internet’s IRA CDs offer a paltry rate compared to its regular CDs, you do still get the tax benefits from opening these accounts within an IRA. Specifically, you can open a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA through these CDs.

This CD comes with a $1,000 minimum deposit, which may be a hard pill to swallow for savers just starting out on their retirement savings journey. There are other signs this account is geared towards older savers, too: if you need to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA, you can do so from these CDs without paying an early withdrawal penalty — this is a nice feature.

When your IRA CD matures, it’ll automatically roll over into another IRA CD of the same terms, but with the new interest rate of the day. You’ll still have a 10-day grace period to make any changes to the CD without paying any early withdrawal penalties.

There are a few fees to be aware of with this account: If you close the account and/or transfer your money out, you’ll face a $35 fee. If you’d like an annual paper statement, that’ll also set you back $10.

 

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How Bank of Internet’s IRA CD rates compare

We’ll be honest — Bank of Internet doesn’t offer very high interest rates on its IRA CDs. It may be convenient for you to open an IRA CD here if you already have an account, but if earning the best returns on your money is your primary concern, you will be better off choosing one of these IRA CDs with much higher rates.

IRA Savings account

You can earn a low rate on your retirement savings but have more flexibility for moving your retirement cash around with this IRA Savings account.

APY

Balance Requirement

0.15%

$250 - $1,000

0.70%

Over $1,000

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • Overdraft fees: $25

If you think you might want to move your retirement savings to a new institution before your CD term is up and you don’t want to pay early withdrawal fees, then you may want to consider an IRA savings account. You can get started with your retirement savings with as little as $250 with this account, making it much more accessible to those just getting started. You can also choose from a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA.

You won’t get an ATM card with this account (if you’re saving for retirement, you probably don’t need one anyway). If you decide to roll over or close your IRA, you’ll face a $35 IRA transfer fee or a $35 IRA closing fee as well. Finally, you’ll pay a $10 fee if you’d like an annual paper statement from your account.

 

Overall review of Bank of Internet’s products

Bank of Internet is a bit hit-or miss. They have many different types of checking accounts, and most of them offer fantastic rates and perks, such as a cashback rewards program. Additionally, these accounts don’t come with any maintenance fees. However, the interest rates offered on its money market, savings, and CD products aren’t really that great, especially compared with its competitors.

It may be worth keeping a checking account with Bank of Internet if you’re looking for a low-fee, high-earning account. But at the same time, it’s also possible to find great rates on the whole package — checking and savings accounts — at other banks as well.

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.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

Simple Bank Review — a Simple Way to Budget

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1964
Total Assets$90.1B

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Like most things in the world of “adulting,” managing your finances isn’t always as simple as it should be. This is where online bank Simple stepped in seven years ago, providing customers with a mobile bank account rolled into a budgeting app.

Acquired by Spanish bank BBVA in 2014, Simple was founded in Portland, Ore. in 2009 and launched commercial operations three years later. The money in a Simple account is held by BBVA Compass, the American subsidiary of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., and FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Though Simple offers only one type of bank account — consumer checking — it promises a simple way to save and budget while offering features found at bigger banks, such as photo check deposit, plus additional features, including Goals, Expenses, and Safe-to-Spend(R). In an effort to attract new banking customers, Simple is offering a 2.02% APY return on balances of $2,000 or greater in a Protected Goals Account. Otherwise, the APY is the normal 0.01%.

We’ll review Simple’s bank account, its pros and cons and what else you need to know to determine if it’s a good fit for you.

Simple’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

2.02%

Checking

Simple Checking Account + Protected Goals Account*

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What is Simple?

The Simple bank account is a checking account that incorporates budgeting tools into a consumer’s everyday banking.

Simple banking is provided through both desktop and mobile applications, although you will need to download the app to deposit checks using a photo. The free mobile app is available for Android and iOS-powered devices. You can complete all other necessary banking tasks on both platforms.

The Simple account

Minimum deposit amount to open

$0

Annual percentage yield

0.01% ($0 - $2,000)
2.02% ($2,000+)

Overdraft fee

$0

Monthly service fee

$0

ACH transfer fee

$0

ATM fee

$0

Out of network ATM fee

$0

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Simple Visa debit
Simple customers are issued a Simple Visa debit card for daily purchases and to use at more than 40,000 ATMs in the Allpoint network. In-network ATMs won’t charge you a fee, and are easily found using the ATM finder both online and in the app. Simple doesn’t charge you a fee for using an out-of-network ATM, but you may be charged by other banks and ATM owners.

Simple bank review
Simple

Safe-to-spend
Simple’s Safe-to-Spend(R) feature helps you resist the temptation to spend every dollar in your bank account when those funds should be reserved for more important and urgent things. The budgeting algorithm sets aside funds for spending categories in your budget and your savings goals. The app subtracts the amount of money you’ve set aside from your total account balance so you can easily see how much money you have left to spend — your safe-to-spend number.

Goals
The Simple bank account makes it easy to set aside money for long- and short-term goals. The feature also serves as a digital envelope budgeting system for your monthly budgeting needs.

A warning to chronic overspenders: Although the amount set aside for goals is subtracted from your total balance so you know what’s safe to spend, the goal money is kept in the same account as the rest of your funds, so you can spend the money if you really need to. We will address how to use goals to save and budget in the following section.

Simple bank review
Simple

Analytics
Simple provides spending reports to give you more insight on how you’re spending your money. You can use the graphs and breakdowns Simple creates to analyze trends in your spending. With that information, you can evaluate whether or not your budget is meeting your needs or if you need to make adjustments in your spending habits. You can also add hashtags, notes and images to each transaction.
You will need to go online to view reports as the feature isn’t yet available in the Simple app.

Protected Goals
You can set up separate savings goals and an emergency fund within the Protected Goals account. Unlike the money for your short-term goals, money in the “protected” account is separate from your main Simple bank account. If you need to use your money, you can make unlimited transfers from a Protected Goals account to your regular Simple checking account. That means there’s no need to worry about hitting the six withdrawals per month limit most other savings accounts have under Regulation D, and the common fees associated with making excessive withdrawals.

If you are looking for a high-yield account, the Simple bank account may be the one for you. Right now, you can earn up to 2.02% APY if you maintain a balance of $2,000 or more in the entire Protected Goals Account. If you choose to set up an Emergency Fund or Savings Goal under the Protected Goals Account and the amount combined is $2,000 or more, you’ll still qualify for the 2.02% APY. If you don’t, a Protected Goals account with Simple earns 0.01% APY, which is lower than the national average yield on checking accounts. So if you’re looking to earn a return on your savings and can’t make maintain a balance of $2,000 or more, you may want to look elsewhere.

Although they may lack the bells and whistles Simple incorporates, there are many alternative high-yield checking accounts that earn a much higher yield on your money with no minimum deposit. You can also compare rates and terms on the best savings options currently available here that also have higher rates than this account.

Simple Shared
Simple offers joint accounts it calls Simple Shared accounts. The Simple Shared account is a separate Simple bank account that you co-own with someone else. The joint Simple Shared account allows pairs to plan budgets and complete savings goals together. Couples can even save for an emergency under the Shared account. Emergency Funds are now available for Simple Shared accounts.

Both co-owners of a Simple Shared account must have individual Simple accounts, too, and they have to keep the individual accounts open in order to have a shared account. Your individual accounts stay private.

Simple Instant
Simple Instant is a peer-to-peer payments system exclusive to Simple users. It’s the quickest way to send money to other Simple account holders instantly, for free. After you add the Simple user to your Instant contacts, you can send money to them using an email address or phone number.

Simple bank accounts work with most third-party p2p payment services like Venmo and Square Cash, too, so you can still send money to your friends who don’t use Simple, although you may be required to pay for instant transfers.

Where Simple falls short

A 1% fee for foreign transactions
Simple doesn’t charge you any fees for making foreign transactions, but Visa does. Each time you swipe your Simple card overseas, you may be required to pay a 1% International Service Assessment fee to Visa. That fee may not be a deal breaker for some frequent travelers, but it’s a bummer to pay any more than you have to, ever.

Additionally. there is a $1,000 daily spending limit for international transactions, but you can have that temporarily raised to $6,000 if you let Simple know you’ll be traveling.

No checkbooks
Simple users are not issued checkbooks to write paper checks. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to send a personal check or pay a bill, you can use Simple’s free bill pay service to have Simple send a check on your behalf. The bill pay feature is found online and in the app. You may also request a treasurer’s check — similar to a cashier’s check — from Simple.

Simple mobile app

When you don’t know exactly how much you have to spend on the things you want but don’t need, you’re either constantly running out of time, money or both. When you’re running around living your life most of the time, keeping track of your money can become a chore.

The Simple mobile app incorporates features that help you keep track of how much money you have left to work with for the month while on the go. You can even get instant push notifications that will send you spending updates in real-time.

Features that stand out

The goals feature is what sets the Simple app and account apart from other mobile-first fintech startups and online banks, which we will get into in detail below.

Using Goals to save money
When you create a goal in Simple — after naming it and adding an optional memo — you’ll set the amount and date by which you would like to complete it. You can fund the goal in two ways: (1) set aside money right away, or (2) elect to save over time.

When you save over time, an algorithm will calculate how much money to move over incrementally from your safe-to-spend amount to the savings goal so it’s fully funded by your preset completion date. You can move money each day, or set a custom funding schedule so the app only moves money on predetermined days.

Using Expenses to budget
You can use the Simple Expenses feature to mimic old-fashioned envelope budgeting. Envelope budgeting is a method in which you set aside cash in physical envelopes for each budgeting category. You set aside what you think you’d need to cover categories like gas, groceries or shopping for a period and if you run out of money for that category, you stop buying in that area. Simple offers a digital version.

You would create an expense and name them for each spending category in your budget for the month and determine how much to set aside for purchases made from that category. Here’s an example budget from Simple:

Simple bank review
Simple

Ideally, you would fund the expense immediately and not over time. That’s what Simple really focuses on doing. It’s a “set it and forget it” mentality. This feature runs off of “Funding Schedules”. So, once you create an expense through this feature, Simple will recreate the expense for you so that it’s paid off again the next month. You can set this up by creating an Expense and choosing the category you want the Expense to automatically come out of. You only need to set this up once. After you’ve set up all of your expenses, the funds will be automatically debited from the appropriate Expense each month.

What if I overspend?
As mentioned earlier, you can intentionally or accidentally spend money set aside for your goals if you go over your safe-to-spend amount. Of course, dipping into your goal money may cut into your progress. If you fall behind on saving or need to edit a goal, you can always edit the target date and/or amount, or delete the goal. On the flip side, if you complete a goal and want to save more money, you can choose to automatically save more over time.

Other features that deserve an honorable mention:

  • You can deposit checks — This is the only feature exclusive to the app and may be in found in the “Move Money” tab. Simple recommends submitting the deposit before 5 p.m. EST, as it allows the bank to process the deposit on the same day. However, if you submit the deposit after 5 p.m. EST, the deposit won’t be processed until the next business day. Keep in mind that “processing” is not the same as “funding”. For example, if you make a Photo Check Deposit before 5 p.m. EST on a Monday, the deposit will be processed the same day, but won’t be posted to your account until Tuesday at 3 a.m. EST. If you make the deposit after 5 p.m. EST on a Monday, the funds won’t post to your account until Wednesday at 3 a.m. EST.

The limit on how much money you can deposit using a photo check will depend on factors such as how long you’ve been with Simple and the number of checks you’ve recently deposited, so it varies by individual user. You can find out your current check limit under “Deposit a Check.” If the check is too large, you can deposit it by mail.

  • You can block and unblock your debit card — Blocking your card is useful if you lose your card or think it’s been stolen. Go to your profile and select “Your Simple Cards” then block the Simple Visa card. If you see any unauthorized transactions made on your account, you may be covered by Visa’s Zero Liability policy if you report it in time.

How to open a Simple Bank account

Opening a Simple bank account is a quick and easy process (see how I didn’t use the word “simple” there? I saved you from a very punny sentence). Signing up takes all of about five minutes. Simple requires applicants to be U.S. citizens and 18 years or older with a Social Security number.

The company also recommends you have access to a device that can run its mobile app. The device will need to be running on either Apple iOS 10.0 or higher or Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher.

You can open an account online or on the Simple mobile app. The application requires you to create a username and password for your Simple bank account, and indicate how you plan to use the account. Then, it asks for personally identifying information like your name and Social Security number.

Simple bank review
Simple

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Who could benefit from the Simple bank account?

The Simple bank account would be most beneficial to individuals and household budgeteers who want to be able to manage their budgeting and bank account in one place, in real time.

Most household money managers are well aware how much their bills will come up to each month and what their short- and long-term monetary goals are. However, it’s naturally difficult to keep the numbers you’re juggling on the top of your head when you are busy and often on the go. Other budgeting apps may keep you organized, but you have to make an effort to keep them on track with your actual spending.

Simple makes keeping up with bills and savings goals effortless.

Simple’s safe-to-spend feature allows even the busiest among us to easily keep track of how much money you actually have available to spend freely. You can use Simple from virtually anywhere, desktop or on your phone, so there are no excuses. Just checking your bank account balance and seeing the difference between the total balance and your safe-to-spend will remind you of your budget and savings goals.

With Simple, you can create and automatically contribute to an emergency fund account, one separate from your other financial goals, so that it actually gets done this time around. The amount you want to save in your Emergency Fund is based on how much money you want to save in a certain period of time. Based on those two things, Simple will put together a daily contribution amount.

Simple’s Goals system can help you stay organized, compartmentalize your budget and keep your financial priorities straight. If you don’t immediately fund a goal, the app has your back. It calculates and makes small transfers to get you closer to your goal for you.

Alternatives

Simple is one of many fintech companies that have recently released a mobile-first or mobile-only banking option. Next, we take a look at how Simple compares with its peers: the Aspiration Summit account, Chime, Beam and Finn by Chase. Rates are as of  the date of publication.

Simple vs. Aspiration Summit account
 SimpleAspiration Summit

Overdraft fee

$0

$25

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

2.00% APY

APY on Savings

n/a

n/a

The Aspiration Summit account is the mobile-only banking option for those trying to be a bit more socially conscious. Aspiration’s standout feature is its Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM), which measures your social impact based on where you spend your money.

You get a personal AIM score, calculated based on the businesses you choose to support, which also each get an AIM score. For businesses, the AIM score is split in two: a “people score” based on factors like employee pay and access to health care, and a “planet score” based on things like the company’s greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to knowing how the money you spend affects the world around you, you can feel confident knowing Aspiration donates $0.10 of every dollar it makes to financially-focused charities.

Like the Simple bank account, the Aspiration Summit account is a checking account. While the Simple bank account earns up to 2.02% APY, the Aspiration Summit account earns a slightly lower 2.00% APY on all balances. But, Aspiration doesn’t give you the opportunity to open a separate account to set aside savings like Simple does. Aspiration also doesn’t provide any budgeting and goal-setting features on its account, while Simple does. Aspiration requires a $10 minimum deposit to open an account, but no minimum balance to maintain the account.

Aspiration charges is a $25 overdraft fee and a $5 daily fee for each day your balance remains negative. Meanwhile, Simple charges no fees but won’t allow a transaction if it will overdraft your Simple bank account. Like Simple, Aspiration doesn’t charge its users a fee to access ATMs anywhere in the world but goes a step further by fully reimbursing you (on the 10th of each month) if you’re charged a fee by an out-of-network ATM. If you’re traveling overseas, you’ll be charged a fee equal to 1.1% of the transaction using the Aspiration Mastercard debit card.

Simple vs. Chime Bank
 SimpleChime Bank

Overdraft fee

$0

$0

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

n/a

APY on Savings

n/a

0.01% APY

Chims is a fee-free, mobile-first banking option that features automated savings, but doesn’t come with the analytics and goal-setting features that Simple has.

With Chime, you can automatically save 10% of each paycheck in a savings account and, if you’re enrolled in direct deposit, you can get access to your paycheck up to two days earlier than the money would become available with most other standard checking accounts. Once enrolled in Chime’s automatic savings program, Chime will automatically round up each purchase made with your Chime Visa Debit Card to the nearest dollar and save the difference in your savings account.

If you ever need to split a bill, Chime does the math for you and lets you send a text to a friend with a link to pay you back using Venmo, or Chime’s in-app peer to peer payments feature (Pay Friends) if the friend is a Chime Member. Money sent between two Chime members is received instantly. Simple doesn’t do the math for you, but you can send money instantly to other Simple users using its built-in p2p system, Simple Instant.

Chime offers both a checking account and a designated savings account, unlike Simple, which offers a checking account and the option to save emergency funds in a “protected goals” account.

If your savings are in a Chime savings account, you won’t be granted more than a 0.01% yield on your funds. On the other hand, if you place your savings in Simple’s Protected Goals Account, you earn up to 2.02% APY on balances of $2,000 or more. Neither Chime nor Simple charge overdraft fees. While Simple doesn’t charge you for using out-of-network ATMs, Chime charges $2.50. You can find more than 38,000 in-network ATMs using the ATM map in the Chime app.

Simple vs. Beam
 SimpleBeam

Overdraft fee

$0

n/a

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

n/a

APY on Savings

n/a

2.00% APY; up to 4.00% APY

Beam is a fee-free, mobile-only high-interest deposit account. You can earn a much higher yield on your savings than you would with Simple. Beam accounts promise a minimum 2.00% APY compared with Simple’s 0.01% APY. Beam also gives its customers the opportunity to claim rewards that can earn them up to 4.00% APY on their funds daily. Beam calls its rewards “billies” and they can be earned by engaging with the app and doing things like referring a friend to Beam. The “billies” are awarded daily between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time. Neither service requires a minimum balance to earn interest on funds.

Beam doesn’t issue users a debit card or give users ATM access like Simple does. Beam is intended for use alongside a primary checking account as a supplementary bank account, while Simple is intended to be used as a primary checking account. If you want to use your money in a Beam account, you must first transfer it out to a primary checking account, which can take up to two days. Beam also doesn’t have any special saving or budgeting features and doesn’t show you spending analytics like Simple does.

As of this writing, Beam is not yet available for widespread use, but Simple is. Beam is still in a “private beta” stage, so it can only accommodate a limited number of customers. If you want to use Beam, you’ll have to sign up on the waiting list, which currently has more than 126,000 names.

Simple vs. Finn by Chase
 SimpleFinn by Chase

Overdraft fee

$0

$0

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

n/a

APY on Savings

n/a

0.01% APY; up to 0.04% APY

Finn by Chase is a free mobile-first banking option from Chase Bank. Finn by Chase offers checking and savings accounts, and you are required to have both types. For comparison, Simple only offers a checking account. Simple and Finn by Chase users earn the same 0.01% APY on balances below $10,000. For balances that are $10,000-$25,000, Finn users earn 3%, then 0.04% APY on higher amounts. Simple doesn’t offer increased interest on larger balances. Finn does not offer joint accounts, but Simple does.

Both banks issue users Visa debit cards for daily purchases and to use at the ATM. Finn charges $2.50 if you use an out-of-network ATM, while Simple doesn’t charge a fee at all. Finn says its users have access to more than 29,000 in-network ATMs while Simple advertises more than 38,000 in-network ATMs.

The banks both show users’ spending analytics and offer automatic saving features but differ in how their features work.

Finn lets users rate each transaction as a “want” or “need” and how it makes the user feel. Users can choose happy, sad or indifferent faces. Finn also provides users analytics via charts and graphs that summarize their spending habits.

Finally, Simple lets you send money instantly to other users using Simple Instant, but Finn by Chase lets you send money to anyone in the Zelle network, even if they are with a different bank, instantly for free. Both services let users send money with third-party platforms like Venmo, Google Wallet and PayPal.

The bottom line

The Simple bank account is a solid one-stop shop for hassle-free banking and budgeting. Simple, the company, doesn’t charge any fees, but BBVA Compass may charge fees. Make sure you to read the Simple Deposit Account Agreement. Fortunately, it won’t cost you to use their budgeting and analytics system if budgeting and saving is what you’re really after. Additionally, the 2.02% APY on balances of $2,000 or more is a huge perk if you can meet and maintain that balance requirement.

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.

Brittney Laryea
Brittney Laryea |

Brittney Laryea is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brittney at [email protected]

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Earning Interest, Reviews

Discover Bank CD Rates Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Discover Bank
Most people know Discover as a credit card company, but it also operates an online bank and offers some of the best rates and terms on checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

Savings account bonus offer: Earn up to $200 on your first Discover savings account

As a bank, Discover offers some of the best products on the market. Currently, they’re offering a major deal on their online savings account, which currently earns 2.10% APY. If you apply for their savings account for the very first time by 06/03/19 and deposit a balance of at least $15,000 by 06/17/19, you can earn a $150 bonus. If you deposit a balance of at least $25,000 by the same date, you can earn a $200 bonus. Applying for the account is easy as you don’t need to go to a branch. The bonus will be credited to your account by 07/01/19. You can apply online or over the phone. Just be sure to enter or mention the promo code MM519 when you apply.

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If you’re looking for CDs in particular, Discover is currently considered to have some of the best CDs due to their customer service and digital tools.

Discover Bank CD rates

CD term

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3 months

0.35%

6 months

0.65%

9 months

0.70%

12 months

2.65%

18 months

2.65%

24 months

2.70%

30 months

2.70%

3 years

2.75%

4 years

2.80%

5 years

3.00%

7 years

3.05%

10 years

3.10%

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How do Discover Bank CD rates compare?

While Discover Bank CD rates aren’t always the highest available, they are consistently among the top offers across all terms. However, you may be able to find a similar or even better rate with a CD that has a lower minimum deposit than Discover’s $2,500 requirement. Currently, several nationwide banks offered a 12-month CD at a rate higher than Discover’s 12-month CD APY, while requiring a lower minimum deposit. For example, at the same time the above rates were available at Discover, there were 12-month CDs with rates as high as 2.70% APY with a lower minimum balance amount to earn the APY.

It’s always great to go for the highest interest rates possible, but keep your CD investing strategy in mind. If you’re investing in CDs using the ladder strategy, it might be easier to keep everything in one bank since you’ll be switching in and out of CDs frequently.

Discover also stands out from its competition in the CD space with its mobile app and 24/7 U.S.-based customer service. If you value such features, keep those particulars in mind when weighing Discover CD rates against others’.

What you need to know about Discover Bank’s CDs

Discover Bank is very transparent in terms of fine print. It’s not difficult to understand what’ll happen with your money after you invest it. We’ll cover the basics here about what you need to know to invest in Discover Bank’s CDs.

How to open a CD

It’s very simple to open up a CD with Discover Bank. Go to their CD webpage and click on the orange “Open an Account” button near the top right of the page. You can then choose which accounts you’d like to open. Select “CD,” choose a CD term and enter how much you’d like to deposit.

You’ll then need to complete the application by providing your name, address, date of birth, phone number, Social Security number, employment status and possibly even your driver’s license. Once your application is complete and accepted, you’ll need to fund the account.

How to fund the CD

You’ll need to fund it within 45 days of submitting your application, which you can do in one of three ways:

  • Transfer funds from another bank account over the phone. (You can only do this when you first fund your account.)
  • Transfer funds from another bank via online transfer.
  • Write a check to yourself and send it to the following address:Discover Bank
    P.O. Box 30417
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

The minimum deposit amount for each of Discover Bank’s CDs is $2,500. Once you open a CD, you can’t deposit more money later, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have all the cash you want to invest before you open the account.

Withdrawing funds from the CD

When you want to withdraw money from your CD, the biggest thing to consider is whether that CD has matured yet, or finished its term.

If your CD has not matured, you’ve got options: You can take the interest out penalty-free at any time, or you can withdraw the principal (or the money you deposited) at any time as long as you pay an early-withdrawal penalty. This penalty varies depending on the original term of your CD:

  • less than one year: three months’ worth of simple interest
  • one year to less than four years: six months’ worth of simple interest
  • four years: nine months’ worth of simple interest
  • five years to less than seven years: 18 months’ worth of simple interest
  • seven years or longer: 24 months’ worth of simple interest

If your CD has finished its term, you can withdraw your money penalty-free, allow the CD to renew or roll it into a CD of a different term length. (More on that in a bit).

Earning interest on a Discover CD

Your CD will start earning interest on the same business day that you fund the account. The interest will be added to your account once each month, however.

When it comes to what to do with your interest, you have two options: The default option is to allow it to compound within the CD (meaning you’ll earn interest on that interest), or you can have it automatically deposited each month into another Discover bank account.

What happens once the CD matures?

You’ll get a heads-up notice about a month before your CD matures so you can decide what to do with the money. You have two main options: Either reinvest it into another CD (of the same term length or a different term length), or withdraw the money from the CD and put it into another account (such as a checking or savings account, or perhaps a CD at a different institution).

If you don’t let Discover know what you want to do with the maturing CD, the CD will automatically renew into another one of the same term length. You have a nine-day grace period after your CD automatically rolls over to make any changes or withdrawals penalty-free.

The bottom line

As far as big-name banks go, Discover offers great CD products. Wells Fargo, for example, only offers interest rates as high as 1.55% APY on a $5,000 deposit for a 58-month CD. Chase Bank offers even lower maximum rates — an abysmal 1.05% APY, and only if you can commit a minimum of $100,000 for 10 years.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep your finances in one place, Discover also has great credit cards, as well as competitive online savings and checking accounts. No matter how long you’re considering putting money in a CD, Discover is worth a look. Even if it doesn’t have the best available rate, it’s usually within several basis points of the top offerings and well above the average APY.

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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.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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