Ask the Readers: Do You Use an Online Bank?

By Ashley Jacobs on 30 September 2014 88 comments

We have more banking options today than ever before. If you don't like traditional banks, you can opt for a credit union. While most banks give allow you to manage your money online, many people are attracted by the rates and convenience of purely online banks, like Ally and Everbank.

Do you use an online bank? What were your reasons for choosing an online bank — or for using a bank (or credit union) with physical locations? Are you happy with your bank?

Tell us whether you use an online bank and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

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Guest's picture
Mary Happymommy

We use an out of state credit union with online banking. We never visit a physical branch office because we can do everything online or at the credit union network ATMs.

Guest's picture

I use Ally and love it. I got fed up with bank fees and have no need for a brick-and-mortar bank.

Guest's picture
Dillon

I don't currently use an online bank, but was looking into it the other day. I was actually looking at a Money Market account with Ally. It would get .85%, but would also come with a debit card allowing 6 withdraws per month for somewhat easier access than most online banks.

Guest's picture

I use a local credit union with brick and mortar buildings, but rarely visit the bank, as I use the online features and now my Android phone has an app, even for deposits!
I love the convenience of it all!
Kelly K

Donna Freedman's picture

At the time I signed up with ING Direct (now Capital One 360) the interest rate was relatively high -- much higher than what I was getting in a brick-and-mortar bank. Over time the rate dropped but it's still higher than an ordinary bank, so a bunch of my money is still there.
I continue to have a local credit union but I like having the money in an online bank as well.

Guest's picture
Betty

I do online banking, but don't use an online bank. I like having my little local bank to go to.

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Nicole

I started using USAA when I graduated from college because it was easier to manage my payments for student loans in MA once I moved to CA.

I'm glad I did - I don't have any fees, my savings account yield is fairly high, and I get reimbursed for up to $15 of ATM fees per month,

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Jason

Yep use multiple online banks for higher rates. They refund ATM fees too so no need to worry about getting cash.

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Blake Jones

I use Capital One 360 (been a member since 2004 when it was ING Direct), and I LOVE the online format. It's super easy to transfer money between my online and credit union checking accounts when I need it, and it's a great "remote" savings account. I house my vacation and house-buying funds in Capital One 360.

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majlufkin

I did, until Cap One bought it out. But there are no brick and mortar Cap One banks in my area, so all my banking is online still.

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Abigail

I *love* our online bank. It's Capital One 360, which used to be ING Direct. I haven't noticed any real changes in service since the buyout, though.

The big thing for me is the ability to have unlimited subaccounts. I'm kind of addicted to them because they help us keep up with multiple goals. So we have a vacation fund, a car fund (came in very handy when we were in an accident on Labor Day), a new washer/dryer fund, a fund for an HVAC unit we need to buy for the guest house, etc.

This way, I can put a set amount in each month and we can work toward various goals at the same time. And the money is still there if we need it for a large unexpected expense.

Plus, you get a little more interest at online banks, I find.

Guest's picture
J. Pario

We use a brick and mortar bank for most things and then a credit union for our "forget it is there except when we add to it" savings.

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Nicole

Yes I use online banking from our local credit union.

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Gina

I don't use an online bank. Physical banks have been around longer and I trust them more.

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Susan D.

I've been using online banking for at least ten years, probably longer. I still use the accounts I set up with ING Direct on Capital One 360. It's very easy to use and makes it more convenient to save.

I also have savings at Sallie Mae and Ally. Out of sight, out of mind!

Guest's picture
Amber T.

Right now, we are only using our local credit union. We have had savings accounts with an online bank (ING) but decided to close them when it was bought out.

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Sheila Vives

I don't use one online currently but have been shopping around. It seems like the online banks offer many more advantages these days and that brick and mortar banks have raised their fees, and have less varied offerings than before. I am looking for what works the best for my lifestyle.

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Elena

I don't use an online bank, but I do online banking with Chase

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Lynda

Absolutely we use an online bank! It's actually an out of state credit union that I joined 15 years ago. I like this credit union so much that I didn't want to change when I moved. Finding a fee free ATM is sometimes a problem, but other than that I don't see any reason to go anywhere else.

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Kymi A.

I opened at a brick & mortar bank in my state, I was looking into online banking I see the interest rate is higher, but I also wanted something that was full service where I could go in and talk to someone if I choose, plus have online and app access to my money. Still thinking about changing I'm currently ok but would love to do better with my banking.

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Johnny L

I've used Discover Bank for years and really enjoyed it. I get a much higher rate on my savings than I could with a brick and mortar bank and it's pretty easy to move money in and out of the account. It'd still be nice if rates were higher but I suppose that's the economy right now.

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Liisa

No online bank, although I do use the online services my bank has for bill pay, transfers, etc. Don't like my bank at all but it is the only smaller bank in town that has two free checking accounts for our business. The saved money is worth the hassles, which mostly occurred in the first few months of our service.

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Katie W

I use CapitalOne360 (Formerly INGDirect) for my savings account because I can get a better savings rate. I like it and have not had any issues at all. It does take a little longer to transfer from savings to my checking account, but this hasn't been a problem for me.

Guest's picture
Tina in NJ

We do not use an online bank. We can check our accounts electronically, but we want that piece of paper (statement) each month. It makes the money more "real" and less distant. I'm in my mid 50s and the hard sell the banks give you seems to benefit them rather than me.

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Ernest S.

I use an online bank as my primary account, but I also have a traditional bank for local cash transactions and services.

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Larry W

I have accounts with both Ally and Capital One 360. I use these accounts to get a better rate on a small part of my emergency fund and for item specific savings. I still maintain an account at the local CU.

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MELISSA HANSSON

Nope, my physical bank is working out fine for me.

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Selene Montgomery

We use Wells Fargo Bank. We are full-time RVers,and wanted to have a bank with physical locations for services such an free notarization. We are very happy with our choice.

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Catseye

No, I don't bank online currently, but I know I will sooner or later.

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Dee Dee

We use a local bank for most banking but have savings online.

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Emily

Is an online bank different from online banking? I would never use a bank that was only online. Sounds sketchy.

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Guest

We do not use an online bank.

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Sherie V.

I have an online account with Capitol One 360. The interest rate is better than I can get with my accounts at my credit unions.

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Scott

I use both. I have my checking account and business account at a local bank (but do most of my banking online anyway). And I have my savings through Capital One online banking. I went with local for the checking accounts because it's easier to walk in and talk with someone (plus I have had my account there for nearly 20 years). I went with online for savings because I get a higher interest rate.

Guest's picture
Happy Love

Yes. An online bank is where you get the best interest rates for savings.

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Kristal

I use Chase for my "standard" accounts and Ally for my online savings. Since there's no account minimums,I can setup multiple accounts to track various savings needs (ie car insurance, vacation, emergency funds) it really has helped me see where and more importantly what I have available to ensure I'm on track with my savings goals.

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Kristi

I use a local bank and like it. I like being able to go into the branch.

Guest's picture

I have been using online banking since 2 years back and I have not step into a physical bank since! yahooo!

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Guest

I mainly access both of my bank accounts online. One is at Ally (online only) the other is through USAA which has a physical location, but it in San Antonio (3 states away). I love the convenience and ease of use. Both also have really great customer service. Online banks have far surpassed traditional banks for me (especially Bank of America....Just saying.)

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Ronda

I use all three options - a physical bank,an online bank, and a credit union.

The physical bank I use for my checking/everyday spending.

The Credit Union account was actually set up for me when I was younger by my parents to save money for college. So I never got rid of my account and use it only for emergency savings plus set up accounts for my children like my parents did for me.

And last my online banking just started this year when I decided to do the 52 week money challenge where you put a certain amount in each week to a savings account. Online banking was suggested to me and I went with it for 2 reasons, 1 - I earn interest on my savings account, and 2 - it is harder to pull money out of it for everyday spending making it easier for me to save and not be tempted to pull my money out for unnecessary things.

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lostAnnfound

The majority of our accounts are at our local credit union, but I do have a savings account with Capital One 360 (set up years ago when it was ING) for vacation funds and property taxes. I like that the money is taken directly from my CU checking account and deposited to each sub-account as directed and that although I have access to my money, it takes two days for a transfer to occur, so it isn't "easy" to get at it.

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Guest

Not currently, but I'm considering making the switch to make it easier. And some have better savings accounts

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Suz_Glo

I have used an online bank in order to take advantage of the superior interest rates on savings accounts. I closed the account, however, when I discovered it took at least 5 days for my money to be electronically transferred to my local bank. That is unacceptable -- there is no reason for the money to be in limbo (earning no interest!) for 5 days.

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Amber

We have had online savings for 6 years. We recently switched our checking to online and we love it! It's so easy to deposit checks, get cash, and move our money to our savings

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Holly S

We have used Capital One 360 since the time it was ING but it's primarily for our savings accounts. I still prefer my standard bank for everyday use. The rates we were getting for our savings account and have really dropped in the last couple years though at Capital One but keeping our savings a little farther away still works best for us.

Guest's picture
Melissa K.

I've used Smarty Pig. I just added a new goal. I've used it to pay for vacations, and big purchases (like a TV, etc.). Using an online bank is easy. It puts my mind at ease. No hustling to do deposits. They just take the money when you tell them to.

Guest's picture
Christie

Yes, we use an online bank. It is for our emergency and long-term savings fund! Right now, our funds are growing and we have a good chunk in our emergency fund. The rest is our savings for future vacations as a family! Next stop: London/Paris/Disneyland Paris!! :D 3 years of saving has finally paid off.

Guest's picture
cherie

I *love* my online bank - I went there after having trouble at bank of ny, then chase too, just fees and annoyance and lines. USAA is my bank of choice, customer service is utterly outstanding. For years.

My one issue is what to do with cash deposits - or if I need to draw larger amounts of cash [bigger than my atm allows LOL] - so I have more recently opened a fee free checking and savings account at the local, well-staffed credit union, which was not around when I first switched - however I'm happy using both for what they do best.

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LD

I use an online bank because I don't need the quickest access to it, in addition to the slightly higher interest rates and ability to create subaccounts easily.

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Joe

I began using USAA for all of my banking needs, as soon as they opened up membership to all veterans. I've never been so happy with a bank. Auto loan and credit card rates cannot be touched. They are also usually on the bleeding edge of tech. I've been depositing my checks for years using my phone/scanner, before other banks started. As for cash; they reimburse up to $15/month for ATM charges. For cash deposits, just walk in to any AMSCOT, get a free money order (hint..Amscot's MOs are MICR encoded, so they works with phone scanners), scan it on the app and your money is immediately available.

Guest's picture
mpgoldstein

I use an online bank because I get excellent customer service and have more options than a traditional bank. It used to be difficult when places did not want to take out of state checks, but debit cards make that issue a thing of the past. Make sure that you get free online bill paying with it and some sort of access to ATMs (mine has so many free per month and reimburses up to a cap, which I never hit).

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Guest

Yes...Ally Bank

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Karen L. @love2lovemykids

I do use an online bank. I have found better interest rates and so far I haven't had any negative issues.

Guest's picture
Anabella

I just recently opened an online bank account for my emergency fund - love that it's getting a great interest rate (0.95%!) and not easily accessible. I still have an account at a local credit union for its reasonable loan rates.

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D D

I love using an online bank. Very convenient and higher interest rates. I also have a brick & mortar bank that also has a lot of convenient online features.

Guest's picture
Monique

I do use an online bank, Capital One 360. I found it convenient and easy to use, since I can use all kinds of ATMs without a fee. And around the time I signed up, big banks were going crazy raising their fees just to have a checking account. Now I have no hassle and no fees.

Guest's picture
Diane

Yes~ I use CapitalOne360 (formerly ING) online. I like it because it pays better interest on savings, and I have it connected to an investment account ~Sharebuilder. This makes it easy to quickly transfer funds to invest. I do also have a local checking account, which I use for everyday transactions, mainly because it's convenient and I've had the same account for 30+ years.

Guest's picture
Laura J

I use a credit union. Their physical location is not by me and that is the so very hard part!!! For that reason, I do most of my banking online. I love the Billpay! I do not like that I get charged when I pull cash from an ATM...and have to drive to the bank to deposit a check. But..overall, I love the personalized service they give!

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Louly K.

I use a physical bank because I have been going there since I was 12 years old. They give me excellent service because I have a longstanding relationship to them and to me that is priceless.

Guest's picture

I have my savings account with an online bank because they offer a much higher interest rate than my regular bank. My checking account, pension savings and all that however remain with my brick and mortar bank for now as their fees are very low and I get a nice discount due to using many of their services. For 3 euros a month I don't really want to go through the headache that is moving everything. Besides, I've been able to rely on their free financial advice, they called me recently to help me move part of my money into another account I didn't know I qualified for.

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gary

I use online banking to avoid fees associated with brick and mortar banking. I also use interest checking, so instead of paying fees, I get paid.

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Susan P.

I use a bank that has a physical location but use the website for most of my banking stuff. I've recently started using the mobile app as well, including depositing checks via my phone.

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Mary W

I have used online banks for years. I have accounts with 2 virtual banks. It is easier than ever to do everything on line now! No more waiting in lines at the bank!

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Linda

Nope, never used an online bank.

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Bethany M

We have some CDs with an online bank.

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Guest

I don't use an online bank right now, but I am considering joining one in the near future!

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Susan Smith

I do online banking, but don't use an online bank. I like having my local bank to go to.

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an gooch

I use an online bank for my money market because they had the cheapest rates. I have a physical bank for the checking and savings because I like dealing with a "person".

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Lisa Yarnell

I started with ING (now Capital One 360) about 10 years ago and never looked back. I have had no need to even set foot in a bank.

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DebD

I use my local credit union but do all my banking online. In fact, a few months ago I visited the bank with one of my sons (who was setting up accounts and such), and the older lady there said to me, "Well, if you bank here, I don't recognize your face." And all I could think was why would I use my time to come in here when I can so conveniently do pretty much everything I need to online (at any hour of the day or night) and with your mobile app? Love. It.

Guest's picture
Guest

I've never used an online bank, but I understand some of them are quite good, and offer benefits not available through traditional brick-and-mortar banks.

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Dee

I use my credit union online - checking, savings and loans.

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Sylvia Barrett

I still use a local bank but I have been thinking of adding an online bank because their money market rates are better than what I am currently getting. I enjoyed reading all the comments.

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Liz

Yes I do!

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Matt

I use capital one 360 and it's great.

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Rebecca B. A. R.

No, although I've thought about using one for savings.

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Caroline

I use emigrantdirect and so easy to use.

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Brandon

I use Ally Bank because of the interest rate. It's about 79 times higher than my normal bank! I use them for my emergency fund which is perfect because I can only make a couple withdrawals per month (which I don't plan on doing anyway).

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Carmen

We use a local credit union - I've been a member since I was 5 years old. They have online banking options that meet our needs.

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Alissa A

I use a bank with a physical location and have a savings account with an online bank. I like having a bank close, but am willing to have one account "afar."

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SerenityNow

I do most of my banking at a traditional bank, but I also bank online with Capital One 360 (formerly ING). I like being able to do some of my banking at a physical location, but the interest rate for my online savings account is quite a bit higher, so I usually save up for specific goals (i.e. vacation) in my online account. I usually tend to touch that account a lot less, whereas I tend to use the debit card linked to my traditional bank pretty often for purchases here and there.

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Amanda Sakovitz

Yes I do use an online bank

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Mike Tang

I use Bank of America. I am still BofA because it was the first bank that I've used, and I've never had a bad experience with it. There are plenty of ATM's all around, and they have many partnering banks abroad. Telephone and online chat support have been greatly beneficial. I've been with them for 20 years, and they have never done anything to want to give my business away elsewhere.

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Arlene Seagraves

I use ING/Capital One 360 and am very pleased with it. I opened it mainly to have an "out of sight, out of mind" account for my savings that has an automatic deposit from my payroll. This has allowed me to build savings faster then if I made the transaction myself every payday...and you know how that would probably go! :)

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Tabathia B

I prefer a physical bank so that I can walk in when I have a problem or need forms and use my local secu

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Thomas Murphy

I do use an online bank.

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Lynda

yes i use an online bank

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Jeremy

I do. .95% interest!