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First National Bank of America Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

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.

First National Bank of America’s checking account options

Personal Checking

A basic checking account that doesn’t earn you any interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Unfortunately, there’s not much that stands out about the Personal Checking account. You get free online and mobile banking, an ATM or debit card and unlimited check-writing capabilities. If you’re looking for a no-frills checking account, it could be a good choice to cover your basic needs.

To waive the monthly maintenance fee, you’ll need to maintain at least a $350 average daily balance or a $100 minimum daily balance.

How to get First National Bank of America’s Personal Checking account

You’ll need to visit a branch to open an account. You’ll be asked to provide the bank with your address, Social Security number and state-issued ID. You can call customer service at 800-968-3626 to find out more.

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Simple Checking

You’ll need a higher minimum balance than the Personal Checking account to waive the monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

There isn’t much of a difference between the Personal Checking and Simple Checking accounts, except that you can earn a little bit of interest with this one.

The monthly maintenance fee is slightly higher at $6, but you can get that waived if you maintain a $500 minimum daily balance or a $750 average daily balance each month.

Like with the Personal Checking account, you get free online and mobile banking and an ATM or debit card. Keep in mind that the rate for the Simple Checking account isn’t advertised on the bank’s website, so it’s best to call to find out the current one.

How to get First National Bank of America’s Simple Checking account

To open a Simple Checking account, visit a branch. The bank could require information such as your address and Social Security number. You can call customer service at 800-968-3626 for more details.

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How First National Bank of America’s checking accounts compare

Many of First Bank of America’s competitors offer no monthly fees and ATM refunds. Plus, First National Bank of America doesn’t advertise its Simple Checking account APY for you to compare it to our list of the best checking accounts.

You’re probably better off looking elsewhere.

First National Bank of America’s savings account option

Statement Savings

We’re not impressed with the APY, but you do get ATM access.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25% $200
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $200
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $2 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

With the only savings account offered at First Bank of America, you get ATM access, but the APY rate is still pretty low.

Account holders do get online and mobile banking access, as well as itemized monthly statements. You’re allowed up to six certain withdrawals a month because of the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D, and you’ll need to pay a $5 excess transaction fee each time you go over.

To waive the monthly maintenance fee, you’ll have to maintain an average balance of $199.

How to get First National Bank of America’s Statement Savings account

Visit a branch to open a Statement Savings account. Customer service may ask you for personal information such as your address and state-issued ID. To find out more, call customer service at 800-968-3626.

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How First National Bank of America’s savings account compares

It’s great that First National Bank of America doesn’t charge you any ATM fees, but its APY is less than impressive. Other institutions offer higher rates than what First National Bank of America offers, alongside no monthly maintenance fees — some of them even provide ATM access. You could be better off going with one of the competitors found on our list of the best online savings accounts.

First National Bank of America’s CD rates

Certificate of Deposit

These rates aren’t half-bad.
TermAPY
1 to 5 months1.40%
6 to 11 months1.80%
12 to 23 months2.10%
24 to 35 months2.15%
36 to 47 months2.20%
48 to 59 months2.25%
60 months2.30%
84 months2.40%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on the term:
    • Less than 12 months: 90 days’ interest
    • 12 to 23 months: 180 days’ interest
    • 24 to 47 months: 360 days’ interest
    • 48 to 84 months: 540 days’ interest

These CDs offer a guaranteed rate of return — assuming you leave all funds in the account until maturity — so it’s best for those who want to ensure a steady return on their investment. It appears as though First National Bank of America is trying to be more competitive, as this is one of the few deposit accounts you can open online.

Any interest you earn is compounded and credited quarterly to your account. When your account matures, you have a 10-day grace period in which you can make changes such as an additional deposit or withdrawal, as well as renew for another term. Otherwise, the CD will automatically be renewed.

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Flex CD

It’s a lower rate than the fixed-rate CD, but you may be able to get a rate increase.
TermAPY
3 years2.15%
4 years2.20%
5 years2.25%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on the term:
    • 3 years: 360 days’ interest
    • 4 or 5 years: 540 days’ interest

The Flex CD offers you the opportunity to increase your rate once during your CD term. If you see that the rate for your current term has increased, you can request a rate increase for the remainder of your CD. Like with the fixed-rate CD, interest is compounded and credited to your account quarterly.

Upon maturity, your CD will be renewed automatically unless you make changes — such as additional deposits and withdrawals or renewing for another term — during the 10-day grace period.

How to get First National Bank of America’s CDs

To open either type of CD, go to First National Bank of America’s website and fill out an online form. You’ll need to agree to the online disclosures and pick the CD term you want. You can then complete the rest of the application by entering your personal details such as your name, employment information and Social Security number before funding the account.

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How First National Bank of America’s CD rates compare

We’re fairly impressed with the rates we’re seeing, as some of them are pretty much equal to online competitors. Other places have lower opening minimum deposit requirements, but not by much.

Considering you can open an account online — much like the banks on our list of the best CD rates — these CDs are worth a look.

First National Bank of America’s money market account option

HomeTowne Money Market Checking

It’s a pretty unique product in that it’s a savings account that acts like a checking account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.65%Less than $1,000
0.75%$1,000
0.95%$20,000
1.10%$100,000
1.35%$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Although this is a money market account, it operates like a regular checking account in that you get ATM and check-writing capabilities, plus you can get unlimited transactions. That means you’re not limited to six withdrawals a month like with other savings accounts, and you’re not subject to a excess transaction fee. You also get a free ATM or debit card, bill pay and online banking.

First National Bank of America also guarantees that it’ll have the best money market rate in the area. If you can find a better money market rate from a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-insured bank in East Lansing, Grand Rapids or Traverse City, Mich., the bank will beat or match it. But promo rates that are offered for less than six months or rates that require loan or additional deposit requirements are excluded.

You’ll be able to waive the monthly maintenance fee if you maintain a $1,000 minimum daily balance.

How to get First National Bank of America’s HomeTowne Money Market Checking account

To open the HomeTowne Money Market Checking account, you’ll need to head to a branch. You may be asked to provide your Social Security number and state-issued ID. If you choose, call customer service at 800-968-3626 to find out more.

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How First National Bank of America’s money market account compares

It’s pretty neat that this money market account gives you unlimited withdrawals, ATM access and check-writing capabilities, but the rates aren’t stellar.

Although the highest tier does offer a fairly competitive rate, it requires a much higher minimum deposit amount compared to the ones on our list of the best money market rates. If you don’t have that much cash lying around, you may be better off looking elsewhere.

First National Bank of America’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

IRA CD

These rates are on par with what’s currently being offered by competitors.
TermAPY
12 to 23 months2.10%
24 to 35 months2.15%
36 to 47 months2.20%
48 to 59 months2.25%
60 months3.35%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $,1000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on the term:
    • Less than 12 months: 90 days’ interest
    • 12 to 23 months: 180 days’ interest
    • 24 to 47 months: 360 days’ interest
    • 48 to 72 months: 540 days’ interest

The IRA CDs are a fixed-rate account that could be best for those who are interested in a more conservative investment vehicle. Interest is compounded and credited quarterly, but the APY assumes you’ll keep all funds earned in the account until it matures. When it does, your account will automatically be renewed unless you make changes within the 10-day grace period. This can include making additional deposits or a withdrawal, as well as renewing for another term.

How to get First National Bank of America’s IRA CDs

You need to open an IRA CD account in person. It’s a good idea to call customer service at 800-968-3626 to confirm, but you’ll most likely need to bring your Social Security card and state-issued ID.

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How First National Bank of America’s IRA CD rates compare

We’re happy to say that these are on par with some of the best offerings on our list of the best IRA CD rates. Unfortunately, it won’t be as convenient to open an account if you don’t live near one of its branches, so an online option may be a better choice for you.

Overall review of First National Bank of America’s banking products

Most of the rates that First National Bank of America offers are quite low compared to other online banks and credit unions. But where the bank shines is its CD and IRA CD accounts. They offer pretty competitive rates and have a wide range of terms from which to choose.

For now, you can only open the CD account online, so you may have no choice but to go elsewhere if you’re not close to one of the bank’s branches.

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Reviews

Simple Bank Review — a Simple Way to Budget

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.

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

1.75% ($0.01-$9,999.99)


1.75% ($10,000+)

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 1.75% APY on balances of $10,000 or more in the entire Protected Goals Account. If your balance is less than $10,000, you’ll still earn an outstanding APY of 1.75%. If you choose to set up an Emergency Fund or Savings Goal under the Protected Goals Account, the combined amount will earn up to 1.75% APY.

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.

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 now order checkbooks Simple used to not offer checkbooks to customers, which we saw as a downfall. Fortunately, Simple now offers a book of 25 paper checks for $5. Before, if you needed or wanted to pay a bill via a personal check, you would have to do so through the bill pay feature. Simple would send the check on your behalf. Now, you’re able to order a checkbook online and write the checks yourself. The company says that once you order your checkbook, your order should arrive in five to seven business days.
  • 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

1.75% APY ($0 - $9999.99)

1.00% 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 1.75% APY, the Aspiration Summit account earns a slightly lower 1.00% 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

1.75% APY ($0-$9999.99)

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% yield on your funds. On the other hand, if you place your savings in Simple’s Protected Goals Account, you earn up to 1.75% APY on balances of $0.01 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

1.75% APY ($0-$9999.99)

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 with Simple than you would with Beam. Beam accounts promise a minimum 2.00% APY compared with Simple’s 1.75% APY. However, Beam 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

1.75% APY ($0-$9999.99)

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. Finn by Chase users earn 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 1.75% APY on balances up to $9999.99 is a huge perk as you don’t have to maintain a balance requirement to earn the high APY.

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.

Advertiser Disclosure

Auto Loan, Reviews

The Best Auto Loans: 2020 New & Used Car Loan Rates

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.

Just because cars are getting more expensive, it doesn’t mean your car loan has to break the bank. Car debt and car payments have been hitting new highs recently, so it’s more important than ever that you do your research for the best rate. To that end, we researched the best auto loans of 2020, whether you’re purchasing or refinancing, or if you’re a credit union loyalist or an online-only type of shopper.

Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.49% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.98.

Overview of the best auto loans in 2020

Company

APR Range

Term

Amounts

Best for Comparison Shopping

No. 1

LendingTree

As low as 3.99%

24 - 84

$5,000 - $300,000

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

Best Purchase

Top Credit

LightStream

3.49% - 10.84%*

24 - 84*

$5,000 - $100,000

APPLY NOW Secured

on Lightstream’s secure website

Fair Credit

Capital One

As low as 3.39%

36 - 84

$4,000 Minimum

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Best Credit Union

No. 1

Penfed

2.49% - 17.99%

36 -84

$500 - $100,000

No. 2

Navy Federal CU

As low as 2.49%

12 - 96

$250 Minimum, No Maximum

Best Online-Only Lender

No. 1

Carvana Auto Loan

NA

12 - 72

Any vehicle on website

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

How we picked the best auto loan rates

Using information from LendingTree, we compiled auto loan data over a six-month period across 31 auto lenders. We analyzed new and used auto lending, as well as refinance loans, selecting lenders from among those that consumers chose most often and offered the lowest average APRs.

Start with LendingTree

LendingTree
APR

As low as
3.99%

Terms

24 To 84

months

Fees

Varies

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

Advertiser Disclosure

LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that they allow you to compare multiple, auto loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online. LendingTree is not a lender, but their service connects you with up to five offers from auto loan lenders based on your creditworthiness.


Advertised rate is for new and used auto loans for 36 month term.

With LendingTree, you can fill out one short online form, and there are dozens of lenders ready to compete for your business. Upon completing the form, you can see real interest rates and approval information instantly. Some auto lenders will do a hard pull on your credit and this is common with auto lending. It’s important to remember, multiple hard pulls will only count as one pull, so the best strategy is to have all your hard pulls done at one time.

Best purchase for top credit: LightStream

LightStream
APR

3.49%
To
10.84%

Terms

24 To 84

months

Fees

No Origination Fee

APPLY NOW Secured

on Lightstream’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

*Your APR may differ based on loan purpose, amount, term, and your credit profile. Rate is quoted with AutoPay discount, which is only available when you select AutoPay prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay may be higher. Subject to credit approval. Conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 3.49% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $292.98.

LightStream is the online-only division of SunTrust Bank, which recently merged with BB&T. It offers auto loans for people with good to great credit (660-plus). It even has a Rate Beat Program in which LightStream will offer a rate 0.10 percentage points lower than the rate offered by a competing lender.

Its lowest rates assume you will enroll in AutoPay, which automatically deducts your monthly payment from your bank account or charges it to your credit card. Enrolling in AutoPay means a 0.50% APR discount; if you do not enroll in AutoPay when you accept the loan offer, your APR will increase by 0.50%.

Best purchase for fair credit: Capital One

Capital One
APR

3.39%
To
11.25%

Terms

36 To 84

months

Fees

No Origination Fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Capital One is one of the largest banks in the U.S., and offers rates competitive with other large lenders. It has several hundred branch locations and works with more than 12,000 dealerships. It also offers pre-qualification with the Capital One Auto Navigator, which can help you to find a car and get approved for a car loan before going to a dealer.

However, it may offer a relatively low maximum amount you could borrow, up to $40,000 in the past ( spokesperson recently declined to provide a maximum). Other lenders offer up to $100,000 auto loans.

Best credit union auto loan: PenFed Credit Union

PenFed Credit Union
APR

3.99%
To
17.99%

Terms

49 To 60

months

Fees

No Origination Fee

PenFed Credit Union can offer its membership some of the lowest rates available on new and used auto financing and refinancing. Qualified borrowers may be able to finance up to 110% of the vehicle’s value.

However, because PenFed is a credit union, you must be a member before accepting a loan. But wile the credit union has historical ties to the U.S. military, the only requirement to become a member is to have a valid Social Security number or a Tax Identification Number (TIN).

Runner-up for best credit union auto loan: Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union
APR

2.49%
To
17.99%

Terms

12 To 96

months

Fees

No Origination Fee

Navy Federal Credit Union also has some of the lowest auto loan rates available. Its prices for auto loan add-ons, such as GAP insurance, are also very low. However, you will have to have ties to the U.S. military to join Navy Federal.

Best online-only lender: Carvana

Carvana
APR

3.00%
To
6.00%

Terms

12 To 72

months

Fees

No Origination Fee

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Carvana may be enticing for people who want to do the entire car-buying process online. It offers used cars as well as financing for those cars, but only those cars — you could not finance a car you bought from another seller with Carvana.

The average APR in the six-month period we examined was nearly 12%, higher than the average 9.6% for used vehicles, but Carvana financing may be a possibility for those with fair credit. Its auto loan calculator lists “below average” credit scores of 588, but it doesn’t have a credit score option lower than that.

Understanding the auto loan process

Most people apply for an auto loan through a dealership after they’ve picked out a vehicle, but there’s a smarter way to go. Dealers tend to make more money setting up auto loans than selling cars. Here are some tips to help you keep your money in your account by obtaining your own auto loan.

Tips when shopping for a car loan

Know what you can afford. You’re going to pay more for a car than what’s on the car’s price sticker. Government taxes, dealership fees and auto insurance can have a sizable impact on what you pay. MagnifyMoney suggests following a 50/30/20 rule when setting your budget.

Don’t let the dealer be the middleman. Dealers often raise customer auto loan APRs for their own profit. One of the best things to do is to apply to a few lenders directly, without the dealership being in the middle, so you know what APR you deserve.

Apply to a few lenders. It does not hurt your credit to apply to several auto lenders any more than it does to apply to one, as long as you do all applications within a 14-day window. You are not obligated to accept any of the loan offers you get and most are good for at least 30 days.

Consider a cosigner. If your credit score or income is low, a cosigner could make a big difference on your being approved for an auto loan and in getting a good auto loan offer.

Get a preapproval. This way, if you know you qualify for a 4% APR auto loan, you’re not likely to accept a dealership offer of a 7% APR auto loan. And if you have a preapproved auto loan when you walk into the dealership, you could even ask the dealer to beat the rate you got.

Finalize the loan offer. Once you choose a car, contact the lender with the car’s information to finalize the loan offer. And if it suits you, follow the lender’s directions regarding how to sign off on the loan.

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.