Of course, banking with an online-only institution has drawbacks, too. Most of these banks allow you to deposit cash into your account using an in-network ATM, but that can be a hassle. You may also be required to wait several days for your deposits to clear.
You also may not have access to the full suite of checking services offered by banks with branch locations. For example, not all online banks offer inexpensive money orders, cashier’s checks, the ability to exchange currency or even traditional paper checks. If these are important to you, be sure to check out a bank’s offerings before you set up a new primary checking account.
Checking with an online-only institution may also limit your ability to establish a bank that offers every banking product. For example, you might want to have checking accounts, loans and investments all at the same bank. A few internet banks offer the full range of financial products, but many do not (including a few of the top-yielding checking accounts mentioned in this guide).
Some people may be worried about the security of banking with an online-only institution. In general, online checking accounts are as safe as traditional checking accounts. All the accounts recommended in this guide are, as we noted at the outset, FDIC- or NCUA-insured. This means you will not lose your deposits and the interest you earn (up to $250,000) if the bank or credit union fails. However, as with a traditional checking account, you may be on the hook for covering some losses if someone steals money from your account. The amount you’re expected to cover depends on when you report the theft.
|Before charges are made
|Up to two business days after you learn about theft
|Between two and 60 business days after you learn about the loss of theft
|More than 60 calendar days after your banking statement that includes loss
||All the money taken from
The CFPB offers guidelines for enhancing your security when using mobile banking. Some often overlooked guidelines include always using a bank’s mobile app, and never store banking passwords in your phone. If you notice fraudulent activity, report it to your bank right away. Following these guidelines will help you have a much safer online banking experience.