Data breeches are seemingly affecting everyone these days – or at least my husband and I feel that way. My debit card got ensnared with last year’s Target breech and his got caught up with the recent Home Depot issue. Our bank ended up cancelling our cards (with little notice), which was a big problem last year when we didn’t have a credit card!
If that wasn’t bad enough, we just got a letter in the mail stating that, since we haven’t used our online bill pay feature in the last 4 months, our bill pay account was being suspended. But we just signed up for the feature a few weeks ago!
Our bank’s customer service drove us on a search to find a better back. After researching we came up with 3 reasons to use an online only bank.
Your Money Goes With You
My husband and I got married during my last semester of college. When I got my first job, we had to move to another state, so we closed our bank accounts and opened a new account with my employer’s credit union. After all, they had some great rates and offered free checks. Then we moved two years later, for my new job, so we had to find another bank. Again, we opted for my employer’s credit union. Guess what? We moved again, but this time there was no employer credit union to tempt us. Instead, we went with a local bank – the one whose service has been less than stellar.
We wanted to put our money in a national bank so that we never had to move our money around again. Closing and opening accounts is a pain, and it’s an unnecessary one. By going with an online-only bank, we never have to worry about whether there is a branch in our area or not. The bank is always around and is always serving us.
Better Interest Rates
One of the best reasons to go with an online-only bank is the interest rates. You will get a far better deal on your checking and savings interest rates by putting your money in an online-only bank, versus a traditional financial institution. Yes, you read that correctly – you can earn interest on your checking account.
Wonder how the online bank manages the great rates? They don’t have to pay all the overhead expenses of a traditional institution.
One of my biggest concerns about going with an online bank was ATM fees. We don’t withdraw money from ATMs frequently, but we do it a few times a month. Additionally, my husband travels frequently for work, so there’s always a chance that he’ll need to grab some cash in a strange corner of the world. The best online banks take care of this – either by refunding ATM fees you pay or by offering a large network of fee-less ATMs that you can choose from.
We are also going with an online bank that offers free checks (we use a few a month), compounds interest daily, and doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee – things we couldn’t find with the “national” brick-and-mortar banks in our area.