An online bank that offers competitive yields on savings and checking accounts and no monthly fees. While it does sound too good to be true, you got to check this FNBO Direct review out because that’s exactly what this online banking platform has to give.
Online banking is not new. In fact, it has been there for years. However, back in then, only a few consumers are into it mostly for safety and security reasons.
A lot of adult consumers are used to the traditional way of banking, they thought digital banking is not going to work just the same. Millennials, though, think differently. They liked the fact that online banking or digital banking allows them to manage their account and make transactions anytime, anywhere.
But things have definitely changed since then especially when the pandemic hit the country and the world in general.
According to a report by Forbes Advisor, 2020 delivered unexpected changes and challenges for the banking industry particularly digital banking. A lot of Americans were forced to become part of the whole digital banking ecosystem.
Last year, consumers of all ages hopped on board. Everyone’s suddenly into mobile banking. While it was good for the digital banking industry, it also brought challenges and changes. Needless to say, it brought competition to a higher level.
With lots of people getting into digital banking, banks had to step up and make sure they get as many customers as they can.
All digital banks aim to provide consumers a more convenient alternative to traditional banking. While they look like they’re all the same, the truth is, they’re not. In fact, every single digital banking platform is different, which makes it even more challenging for consumers to choose the best one.
Among the many digital banking options out there is FNBO Direct. It’s a mobile bank that offers two important things that consumers usually look for in an online banking institution — no fees and high-interest savings and checking accounts.
Sounds very promising? Well, that’s what we’re here for.
In the next few sections of this FNBO Direct review, we are going to look into each and every important aspect of this bank. We hope to provide you all the important information you need to know to see if this is indeed the best option out there.
In particular, we are going to give answers to the following most commonly asked questions about the FNBO Direct:
- What is FNBO Direct?
- Who is FNBO Direct best for?
- What are the products offered by FNBO Direct?
- How to bank with FNBO Direct?
- Is FNBO Direct safe?
- What to like about FNBO Direct?
- What not to like about FNBO Direct?
WHAT IS FNBO DIRECT?
When looking for a mobile banking platform or even a traditional bank, it is very important to look at the history of the financial institution. This will help you see how credible, reliable, trustworthy, and stable the bank is.
With that said, here’s what you need to know about FNBO Direct —
FNBO Direct was launched in 2007 and is based in Omaha, Nebraska. It is an online-only bank that boasts no fee, very competitive rates on both savings and checking accounts, as well as an easy application process.
FNBO Direct is a division of First National Bank of Omaha, which has been in the banking industry for over 160 years now, and has an existing $23 billion in assets,
Unlike its mother company, FNBO Direct is not a full-service bank. It focuses mainly on deposit accounts, as well as credit cards, and student loan refinancing.
Since FNBO Direct is an online-only bank, it does not come with physical branch locations.
FBNO Direct is FDIC-insured, which means all accounts are protected for up to $250,000 in deposits (per depositor) in case of a bank failure.
If you want to know more about FNBO Direct and how it’s coping with competition, check this review by BankTruth:
WHO IS FNBO DIRECT BEST FOR?
Before we move on to the more technical stuff, let’s talk about who FNBO Direct suits best.
Generally speaking, FNBO Direct is ideal for consumers who want easy access to their bank accounts and does not mind not having a physical branch.
Also, these online-only banks should appeal the most to those who want to enjoy high-yield deposit accounts, at the same time enjoy a fee-free feature.
Furthermore, it is great for those who want to open a checking or savings account with no minimum balance requirement.
So, if you fall in any or all of these, then, continue on with our FNBO Direct, because you’ll surely benefit from it a lot.
WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY FNBO DIRECT?
At this point of our FNBO Direct review, we are going to talk about the products that the online-only bank offers.
For most people, what a bank offers is also an important (if not the most important) factor to consider.
FNBO Direct offers the following products and services:
- Savings Account
- Checking Account
- 529 College Savings
- Credit Cards
The bank also offers Student Loan Refinancing, but, for this review, we are going to focus only on the above-mentioned products.
First among its list of product offerings is the FNBO Online Savings account. This account lets you earn a 0.40% annual percentage yield (as of March 2021). More so, this does not have monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements.
As compared to the current national rate, the FNBO savings account’s rate is definitely higher. But, compared to the best interest-earning savings accounts out there, it’s slightly lower.
Please note that interest is compounded and credited on a monthly basis.
To open an online savings account, customers only need at least $1. With that super minimal requirement, it’s ideal for anyone especially for those who cannot afford a higher minimum opening deposit requirement.
Anyway, once you have your account opened, you can easily access it online, mobile, or any digital platforms.
Apart from no monthly fees, the FNBO online savings account does not have standard transfer fees as well. However, next-day transfers are charged $10. Also, the bank charges a $5 fee for check issuance. Transfers, as well as withdrawals, are limited to six per month only.
With your savings account, you can enroll multiple deposit accounts as external accounts so you can transfer money to and from. Please note that you must be the sole owner of any linked account for it to be eligible. Unfortunately, you are the only person who can deposit your own funds to your savings account and no one else.
FNBO Direct Online checking account is also high-interest paying. In fact, as of March 2021, the APY is 0.25%, which is above the national average.
Contrary to other online checking accounts, FNBO Direct only requires a minimum of $0.01 to earn the APY.
Similar to its savings account, the minimum opening deposit required is only $1. Also, this does not charge monthly service fees.
Please note that in the first 30 days after opening your FNBO online checking account, only the first $5,525 of deposits will be available on the second business day after the said deposit. If you have anything more than that, they’re going to be available on the ninth business day after the deposit.
Although some online checking accounts pay more, what makes FNBO Direct Online Checking account stand out is the fact that offers low to no fees at all, and of course, a decent, competitive APY.
Apart from that, the checking account also features a Visa debit card, online banking platform, online pay bill, as well as account alerts to ensure you know what’s going on in your account in real-time, free debit card fraud monitoring, free income wires, and free stop payments.
Although the online checking account does not allow writing checks, it does let customers do online bill payments. It is important to take note, however, that you can only schedule one payment per merchant per day, and ensure that bills must be between $5 and $10,000.
All checking account holders have access to over 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs on the Allpoint network. Needless to say, FNBO Direct does not charge anything for using another bank’s ATM nationally or internationally. However, other bank and ATM operators might.
529 College Savings
This product is for parents who want to invest in their child’s higher education. FNBO Direct offers a Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust (NEST) 529 College Savings Plan, which allows you to start the account without a minimum dollar contribution.
The 529 Plan is considered as an investment, thus, it is not insured by the FDIC. It is also not guaranteed by the bank or the government, and there may be a chance that it may lose value.
However, if you do not mind such risks, this definitely is a good investment to consider.
Some of the key features of this college savings plan include:
- Access to tax-advantaged investing
- No account opening fee
- No annual Fees
- Flexible investment option
- Option to automatically contribute from employer
- Ability to service the account at any bank affiliated with the First National Bank
FNBO Direct only offers one credit card option. It is a rewards card that does not charge annual fees.
The FNBO credit card allows users to earn 2 points per $1 on qualifying purchases for the first 12 billing cycles. Also, another 1 point per dollar on qualifying purchases after that.
The credit card, by the way, is named ExtraEarnings Visa Credit Card.
HOW TO BANK WITH FNBO DIRECT?
Now that you already know what the products of FNBO Direct are, this time around, we are going to talk about how to actually bank with them.
First of all, before you can actually bank with them you have to open an account. Fortunately, since FNBO Direct is an online-only bank, it ensures a seamless bank account application process that takes only a few minutes to finish.
To open an FNBO Direct account, all you have to do is visit their website. Since it’s all online, you can definitely do it anytime and anywhere.
Just like most banks, you will be asked to provide personal information such as your name, address, mobile number, as well as your Social Security number when opening an account. You may also be asked to present a valid government-issued identification like a passport or driver’s license to help verify your identity.
Meanwhile, if you are already a First National Bank of Omaha customer, all you need to do is log in to your existing account to enjoy a faster account application process.
Deposits and Withdrawals
For the FNBO Savings account, as mentioned earlier, you have to link an account to be able to transfer money to and from.
Meanwhile, checking accounts comes with a Visa debit card that allows you to withdraw money from more than 55,000 Allpoint network ATMs.
FNBO Direct does not charge monthly fees at all for both checking and savings accounts, which definitely is great news.
However, the bank charges for certain activities like:
- $33 fee per overdraft
- $10 fee for next-day transfers
- $5 fee for check issuance
All account holders must take note that the bank has a few withdrawals and deposit limits.
First, you are not allowed to transfer or withdraw more than $100,000 from your account in just one transaction or within one business day.
Second, please note that your monthly withdrawal or transfer limit is capped at $500,000 only.
Third, account holders are not allowed to deposit or transfer over $250,000 into their FNBO Direct account in one single transaction or on a single business day.
Lastly, the maximum balance that the bank allows you’re to hold between accounts is $1 million only.
Similar to most banks, FNBO Direct has industry-standard customer service options like 24/7 phone customer support, as well as a mobile app.
IS FNBO DIRECT SAFE?
The safety and security of your account are FNBO Direct’s top concerns. Thus, the online bank made sure to follow industry-standard safety and security measures to ensure that all depositors’ personal data and account information are safe from fraud and identity theft threats.
Also, FNBO Direct is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which means all depositors may receive up to $250,000 per depositor, per account type, in case of a bank failure.
WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT FNBO DIRECT?
This FNBO Direct review will not be complete without a summary of the highs and lows of this online-only banking service provider.
For this particular section, we are going to share with you some of the things to like about FNBO Direct, and this includes the following:
- Competitive Rates for Checking and Savings Accounts – Of all the things we like, this stands out the most. We like the fact that FNBO Direct offers high-yield savings as well as checking accounts. Particularly on the latter, as you know, it is very rare to find a high-yield checking account, and to have one is really a plus point.
- No Monthly Fees – Another thing to like about FNBO Direct is that it does not charge monthly fees, which means customers get to save a few bucks instead of paying it off to the bank.
- Access to over 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs – Who does not like free stuff, right? The fact that FNBO Direct provides customers access to over 55,000 Allpoint network ATMs free of charge is a big factor to consider. Needless to say, the bank does not charge out-of-network fees, although the ATM provider or the other bank may charge you instead.
- Very Low Minimum Opening Deposit Requirement – To be honest, it’s very rare to find a bank that requires as low as $1 only to be able to open an account. Good thing, FNBO Direct requires exactly that. With as low as $1, you get to open your very own online savings or checking account.
- Online Accessibility – FNBO Direct is an online-only bank, which means customers do not have access to a physical branch. However, FNBO Direct offers an easy-to-use mobile app and website where customers can manage their accounts anytime and anywhere they want.
- FDIC-Insured – FNBO Direct is FDIC-insured, which means in case of a bank failure, account holders may receive up to $250,000 insurance per depositor, per account type.
WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT FNBO DIRECT?
To complete our FNBO Direct review, in this section, we are going to share with you as well the things to not like about this online-only bank.
Some of the downsides of FNBO Direct include:
- No Physical Branch Location – As mentioned, FNBO Direct is an online-only bank, which means customers do not have access to any physical branch location. So, unless you’re okay to manage your account entirely online, then you may have to look for another bank to cater to your needs.
- Limited Deposit Account Options – Unlike other online-only banks, FNBO Direct only offers checking and savings accounts. It does not offer certificates of deposit as well as money market accounts.
- No Check – Another downside of FNBO Direct is that it does not offer check access. So, if you want to have access to checks, this may not be the right bank for you.
- High Overdraft Fee – Unfortunately, FNBO Direct charges $33 for an overdraft fee, which is high as compared to other banks of the same type.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON FNBO DIRECT REVIEW
FNBO Direct is an online-only bank that offers high-yield savings and checking accounts with no monthly fees.
Do you think FNBO Direct is suited to what you are looking for?