Which Financial Institutions are Best for Online Banking?

Estimated read time: 4 minutes

Between working your 8-5, dropping off and picking up your kids from daycare, and trying to get a couple good hours of sleep each night, you have a busy life, so you need to make things as easy as possible. With mobile banking you can keep a pulse on your finances and complete tasks like depositing checks with a few taps on your phone instead of adding another pit stop during your day.

When it comes to online banking, some institutions do it a lot better than others. If you're looking to do more of your banking remotely, here are some of the best options out there.

Best big banks

If you want to keep your main accounts that you use on a regular basis with one of the big banks, the next two should rank high on your list. If you need a bank that has abundant physical locations, they both have branch locations available nationwide.

Capital One

Users rate Capital One's checking and savings accounts very highly overall, so it's a great place to keep your money. J.D. Power has even rewarded their mobile app as the "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Amount Mobile Banking Apps".

The mobile banking app compliments their financial services with an easy to use and handy functionality. You will get all the expected capabilities such as the mobile check deposit and ATM/branch locators. It's also nice to help keep everything in one place if you already have a Capital One credit card.

On top of that, there's an extra security feature with the Touch ID or SureSwipe to keep your account safe if you happen to lose your phone. In addition, you can also make payments on your home and auto loans if they are through Capital One. The version for iPhones will also let you check your credit through the app.

Chase

The mobile app through Chase will give you access to all the essential features like bill pay, ATM/Branch locator, and check deposit. If you have multiple digital wallets like Chase Pay, Samsung Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay, you can manage them all in one place. Through Zelle or Chase QuickPay, you can send and receive money to anyone.

The reviews for Chase's mobile app are high for both the iPhone iOS and Android platforms.

Best Online Banks

So, a physical branch location is not on your list of must-haves for banking? If you want to work with an online bank, having robust features and capabilities on their mobile app is going to be at the top. Here are two that really hit the mark on that:

Discover

While you have seen the commercials everywhere, Discover has one physical branch total. They're known for being the first to offer the ability to freeze and unfreeze your account if you lose your Discover debit or credit card.

A unique feature of the app is their Discover Deals, which offers a marketplace with certain deals within the app. If you have a credit card through Discover you can also redeem them through the app.

Another great feature: you can check your credit score on the go and notify Discover that you are out traveling so you don't have any interruptions with using your card. The highly rated app will of course give you access to the basics of check deposit and bill pay. One thing to keep in mind with Discover is that you do have to have another type of account with them in order to open a checking.

Charles Schwab

It's likely you have heard Schwab's name when it comes to brokerage services. They also offer bank services that are especially great for international travelers. One such feature is their unlimited ATM reimbursements internationally.

Another big plus is if you invest with them you can monitor both accounts through the same app. The app also has the capability to add and manage accounts outside of Schwab.

Chime

As a mobile-only bank, Chime keeps their user experience on their app as friendly as possible. Both their iOS and Android app platforms garner great reviews.

You can manage your account effortlessly with the balance updates feature and real-time spending alerts. There's also a way to have your transactions rounded up and get that roundup money transferred over to your savings account.

Fees are also minimal with a Chime account. There are no foreign transaction or overdraft fees. The trade-off for that is your money will not be earning much interest.

Simple

Even though Simple only offers a checking account at this time, there's plenty of love about it. There are absolutely no fees, which isn't exactly a common perk in banking.

The app can also help you set savings goals and keep track of it for you. The feature is called the Safe-to-Spend, and it will let you know how much money you have left over after bills are paid and any scheduled transactions are taken into account.

Best Credit Union

Credit Unions don't always have the most up-to-date technology, which means their mobile apps tend to leave a lot to be desired, however, There are always exceptions to the rules.

Alliant Credit Union

You're going to get all the standard features in a banking app with Alliant. Whether it's bill payments, ATM locator, balances information, or transaction history, these are all available at your fingertips. Since they are a credit union, you also have the advantage of earning a solid interest rate with your accounts there.

Alliant goes above its weight class with tools for mobile deposit and money management. You have a daily limit of $50,000 for check deposits which is a very high. There's also charts and graphs in the money management tool to help users get a view of their spending and budget categories.

What works best for you

At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself what you really need to be able to get out of your banking app. Different banks will have different capabilities since some are more focused on technology than others. Consider what's important to you, whether that's having access to all your accounts in one place or security features to make you feel safe. There's an app out there that checks all your boxes.

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