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Investment Apps and Websites

Your Comprehensive Guide In Managing Family Finances

Managing family finances has all sorts of challenges — from budgeting to savings goals, loans, debt management, and more. However, with the right knowledge, you will surely get through it.

Guide in Managing Family Finances

According to a consumer survey conducted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, it was found that 59% of the 300 adult respondents (aged 35 to 65 years old) do not track their spending, while two out of five never had a budget.

Meanwhile, in a Gallup poll, it was found that only 32% of Americans maintain a household budget.

Furthermore, the same poll revealed that only 30% of Americans prepare a long-term financial plan outlining their savings and investment goals in detail, while the 2020 ‘Financial Planning’ Survey Data Released by First National Bank of Omaha reported that 49% of Americans expect to live paycheck to paycheck in 2020.

In another study by FINRA Investor Education Foundation entitled, “The 2018 National Financial Capability Study,” it was found that over 53% of American adults feel anxious thinking about their financial situation. Forty-four percent even find it stressful discussing their finances.

The above-mentioned surveys and studies are just some of the many that are available out there.

Unfortunately, all of these show how badly Americans (particularly adults) are when it comes to their personal finances, which, in effect also affects how they handle their family finances.

However, this does not mean American people cannot change when it comes to how they handle their money – be it their personal, business, or the family’s money.

We believe that while change does not happen overnight, it will, eventually, for as long as there is a will.

Also, apart from that, proper knowledge, understanding, and guidance by experts are also essential to there can be a shift in how the American people handle their money.

With that said, in the next few sections, we are going to share with you some of the most important information you need to know when it comes to handling family finances.

From personal finance management to savings goals, loans, debt management, etc. – we got you covered.

In particular, we are going to tackle the following:

  • About Banking
  • Mobile Banking
  • Online Trading
  • Life Insurance
  • Investment Platforms
  • Loans
  • Credit Monitoring
  • Online Fund Transfer
  • Personal Finance Management Tools

ABOUT BANKING

Generally, banking refers to the act of accepting as well as safeguarding money owned by individuals, group of people, or entities, and then lending it out to make a profit or to cover operating expenses.

Banking also refers to the industry that handles cash, credit, as well as other financial transactions.

Banks refers to the physical structure that provides a safe place to store both cash and credit.

Banks offer a number of products and services, which include savings accounts, checking accounts, and certificates of deposit. Some banks also offer loan products and services.

In the U.S. economy, banking plays a very important role. In fact, it is one of the key drivers that keep the economy going.

When it comes to handling your personal finances or family finances for that matter, it is important to know and understand what banking is all about, the available products and services offered, how banking actually works, and how it will help you in your financial journey.

Banking is basic yet the most essential aspect of your financial journey. Needless to say, it is the most convenient and most accessible way to keep your money.

To help you understand better what banking is all about, and it is important in your overall financial journey, here are some references that you may check out:

MOBILE BANKING

Investopedia defines mobile banking as “the act of making financial transactions on a mobile device (cell phone, tablet, etc.)”.

Banking has never been so easy, simple, convenient, and accessible with the rise of the mobile banking industry.

In today’s digital age, it is not surprising that more and more banks (both old and new) are offering online services. After all, the number of people using online or mobile banking is impressively increasing over time.

With mobile banking, you can deposit a check, pay for merchandise, as well as transfer funds to a family member or a friend anytime and anywhere for as long as there is a secure internet connection.

Indeed, mobile banking has changed the way banking works.

If you want to know more about what mobile banking is all about, check out the blog posts below:

Mobile Banks for Personal Use

There are a lot of mobile banks out there, and choosing one can get a little challenging especially if you are new to mobile banking.

To help you choose the one that fits your needs and preferences, you may check out these mobile bank reviews:

Mobile Banks for Students

Meanwhile, if you are a student who wants to start early when it comes to financial management, or you are a parent who wishes to teach your kid about financial management through banking, here are some blog references for you:

Mobile Banks for Businesses

Mobile banks are not only available for personal use. In fact, even businesses can take advantage of what mobile banks have to offer.

There are a few mobile banks for businesses out there, and NorthOne is one of them. Know more about this mobile bank and what it offers in the blog below:

ONLINE TRADING

NerdWallet defines trading as the act of buying and selling stocks regularly in an attempt to time the market.

Furthermore, the website explains that the goal of traders is to “capitalize on short-term market events to sell stocks for a profit, or buy stocks at a low. Some stock traders are day traders, which means they buy and sell several times throughout the day“.

Meanwhile, online trading refers to trading stocks using an online platform. Online trading has become increasingly popular among traders because it’s timely, convenient, and easy.

There are a lot of online trading platforms out there, and one of them is eToro. Know more about what this online trading platform has to offer in the blog post below:

LIFE INSURANCE

According to Forbes Advisor, life insurance refers to “a contract between you and an insurance company. Essentially, in exchange for your premium payments, the insurance company will pay a lump sum known as a death benefit to your beneficiaries after your death.”

Generally speaking, life insurance is essential especially if you have dependents (which normally refers to your spouse and child/children). It helps protect your dependents and allows you to leave them a non-taxable amount at the time of your death. Apart from that, life insurance can also be used to cover existing mortgages as well as personal loans.

There are a lot of life insurance companies out there to choose from. These days, life insurance companies can also be easily found online.

Over time, insurance companies have adapted to the changes brought by technology and the internet. So, yeah, if you are looking for life insurance company options, we recommend you check these blog posts below:

INVESTMENT PLATFORMS

Investing is an essential way to help keep your family finances on a positive note.

An investment platform refers to an online service that allows consumers to buy, sell, as well as hold funds.

Most investment platforms are on a non-advised basis, which allows you, the consumer to do everything on your own. However, there are also those that are on an advised basis wherein the consumer has the option to use a financial adviser who will invest on his or her behalf.

Online investment platforms have become very popular among consumers over recent years as it can be a tax-efficient way to hold investments.

With its gaining popularity comes a lot of choices. Yes, there are many online investment platforms out there for you to choose from.

To help you choose the right online investment platform, and to know more about investing, check these reviews and references:

LOANS

Investopedia refers to the term loan as “a type of credit vehicle in which a sum of money is lent to another party in exchange for future repayment of the value or principal amount”.

If you want to have a better understanding of what a loan is all about, we recommend you check these references:

There are different types of loan out there, but some of the most commonly offered by banks and lending companies are:

  • Auto Loan – Also known as a car loan, this allows you to acquire a vehicle. Normally, car loans or auto loans are collateral loans, which means the vehicle automatically serves as collateral in case the borrower fails to pay off the loan.
  • Business Loan – This type of loan is specifically intended for business purposes. You can use it to open a new business or for expansion of an existing one.
  • Home Loan/Mortgage – This allows the borrower to purchase his or her dream home. Home loans usually consist of an adjustable or fixed interest rate and payment terms.
  • Payday Loan – This refers to a short-term loan that can help cover your immediate need for cash. This usually comes with a higher interest rate.
  • Personal Loan – This is the most common type of loan out there. A personal loan can be used for almost any type of purchase — especially big ones. It usually comes with a lower interest rate as compared to credit cards.
  • Students Loan – This type of loan is specifically designed to help students pay for their education as well as other school fees and charges. It can also be used to pay for books and school supplies.

Know more about these types of loan in the blog posts below:

Personal Loan

Auto Loan

Business Loan

Home Loan/Mortgage

Student Loan

Payday Loan

Other Types of Loan

Apart from the above-mentioned loan types, there are less commonly known types of loans, which include:

Dental Loan

Emergency Loan

Point of Sale Financing

Tax Refund Advance Loan

Boat Financing

Loan Marketplaces

Loan marketplaces are online sites or platforms where you can easily find a lender for your loan needs.

While there are a lot of them out there, here are some of them:

CREDIT MONITORING

In this day and age, there are a lot of products and services that will help keep you on track of your family finances – one of them is credit monitoring.

According to an article published by CNBC, credit monitoring basically refers to what the name suggests — it monitors your credit.

These services help track your credit history as shown on your credit report and send alerts via email, SMS, or phone call in case changes transpire. This helps hinder potential fraud, should there be any.

Furthermore, the article says, “credit monitoring services provide an automated and faster way to track changes to your comprehensive credit file”.

There are a lot of credit monitoring services out there, and each of them has its respective list of activities. However, some of the common activities among them are as follows:

  • New accounts opened under your name
  • Hard inquiries on your credit report
  • Balances and payments
  • Name changes and/or new address
  • Public records like bankruptcies
  • Personal information like your social security number, email address, and password

While credit monitoring services are helpful in spotting potential signs of fraud, please note that it is not as comprehensive and does not provide a holistic approach to prevent identity theft or unauthorized transactions.

As earlier mentioned, there are a lot of existing credit monitoring tools out there, which include Credit Sesame and Credit Karma. Know more about these services in these blogs below:

ONLINE FUND TRANSFER

As obvious as it is, online fund transfer refers to the act of transferring funds through an online platform. Normally, freelance workers or work from home workers use online fund transfer platforms to receive payments from their clients.

However, over time, these platforms have also been used to transfer money within families – especially those who are far from one another.

While there are many available options out there, TransferWise and Xoom are some of the most popularly used online fund transfer platforms these days. Know more about them in the following reviews:

PERSONAL FINANCE MANAGEMENT

Personal finance management tools refer to a platform or software that helps individuals or families in handling their money.

A personal finance management tool is very helpful especially in handling family finances. This helps ensure that all funds are directed to where they should be.

There are a lot of personal finance management platforms out there, and to be honest, it’s just about choosing the one that suits your and your family’s needs.

To know more about what’s out there, check the blog posts below:

FINAL THOUGHTS ON FAMILY FINANCES

Handling family finances may be quite a challenge back in the days, but in this era, it is made easier. Thanks to technological advancements, today, there are various tools and platforms (mostly available online) that can help you in managing your personal, business, and most of all, your family’s money.

Are you now excited to manage your and your family’s money?

As mentioned, keep in mind that with existing finance tools and platforms, handling your family finances should be a breeze.

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Investment Apps and Websites

GoHenry Review: The Key To Teach Your Young Kids On Financial Literacy

If you are looking out for an online app and debit card that is ideal for your kids, then you got to check this GoHenry review.

GoHenry Review: The Key To Teach Your Young Kids On Financial Literacy

According to the Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services Global Financial Literacy Survey, which is the world’s largest and most comprehensive global measurement of financial literacy, 33 percent of adults from all over the world are financially literate.

In the United States alone, 57 percent of adults are financially literate.

Meanwhile, according to the  OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test of financial literacy, which was conducted back in 2015, from the 15 countries that took part in the said test, only around one in every four students are financially literate.

Furthermore, an article published by CNBC says that based on studies, 22 percent of students in the United States do not meet the basic standards for financial proficiency.

If you come to think about it, for a society to be financially literate, we have to start with the young ones, right?

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With exactly this in mind, more and more mobile budgeting apps for children are coming to life. These mobile budgeting apps aim not only to move towards a cashless society but also to teach children how to manage their finances.

In the same article by CNBC, it says that teens with bank accounts score higher than their contemporaries who do not have one. More so, those with a bank account are also more likely to earn from a part-time job and talks to their parents about finances on a regular basis.

Do you see the difference between financially proficient kids from those who are not?

It greatly shows that teaching our children early about managing finances will greatly affect – in a good way – how they spend and save.

While teaching our kids to be financially literate may sound a little challenging, the good thing is – today, thanks to technology and the internet, parents can depend on mobile budgeting apps and banks that provide services specifically for young people.

As mentioned, there are a lot of institutions providing such services, and one of them is GoHenry.

Unlike any other mobile banking and digital apps available out there, GoHenry is unique in its own way — particularly with the fact that it was created by parents who wanted to teach their children about handling their money to avoid debts.

If you are interested to know more about GoHenry and what it offers, then this one’s for you.

In this GoHenry review, we are going to specifically tackle the following:

  • What is GoHenry?
  • How does GoHenry work?
  • What features does GoHenry have?
  • Who can use the GoHenry app?
  • Are there fees involved with GoHenry?
  • What are the benefits of using GoHenry?
  • What are the downsides of using GoHenry?
  • Is GoHenry safe?

WHAT IS GOHENRY?

GoHenry, which was launched in 2012, is an online application and a debit card that was specifically designed to help kids aged six to 18 years old manage their allowance through instinctive budgeting and responsible spending.

This United Kingdom-based company offers one-of-a-kind parental controls, which allows moms and dads to monitor debit card transactions individually for each of their kids.

Although it originally came from the United Kingdom, GoHenry is already currently available in the United States as well.

By the way, one interesting fact about GoHenry is that, as we have mentioned earlier, the app was actually launched by a group of parents who aimed to teach their children to be financially literate.

Furthermore, it is nice to know that GoHenry does not charge an overdraft fee, which means there is no risk that your little one will rack up debts and charges.

With a very promising service, it is not surprising at all that as of this writing, GoHenry has already over 500,000 members from across the United Kingdom and the United States.

If you want to know more about GoHenry, here’s an informative video by Eann. You should check this out:

HOW DOES GOHENRY WORK?

Now that you have learned a brief history of the app, and what GoHenry is all about, this time, we are going to talk about how it actually works.

Similar to any other mobile budgeting apps and mobile banks, setting up a GoHenry account is made simple and easy.

You start off by downloading the smartphone app. If you want to, the app has a demo account that you can use to see how everything works before you actually sign up.

To proceed with the account setup, you will be asked to provide basic personal details like your name, email address, as well as your mobile number. You will also be asked to create a unique password to keep your account secured.

Once done with the initial steps, you will then have to add and confirm your child’s details. The cards will then be ordered and should arrive within five to seven days.

GoHenry actually has two versions — it’s up to you if you are going to download the parent version or the child’s version.

For you to have a better understanding of the difference between the two mobile app versions, here’s a quick rundown of its features:

Parents Version

The GoHenry parents’ version allows parents to:

  • Manage up to 4 children’s accounts
  • Make one-off payments
  • Set up regular payments
  • Invite relatives or other family members to contribute
  • Control where the cards can be used (such as in-store, online, as well as cash machines)
  • Set spending limits
  • Set tasks for the kids
  • Block and unblock cards
  • Receive instant spending notifications

It is also important to note that the parents’ version home screen allows moms and dads to see the balance of their own account so they can easily top up or transfer money to your children’s account.

Furthermore, you are also able to see how much your kids have spent, saved, as well as the amount that is currently available for spending.

Apart from setting a limit, blocking and unblocking, the cards section also allows parents to retrieve pin number as well as order custom debit card for your kid.

The GoHenry app also allows parents to edit their kids’ weekly allowance if there’s a need to.

Children Version

The GoHenry children version allows the kids to:

  • Budget based on their weekly allowance
  • Earn money by completing tasks
  • Save into specific savings goals
  • Ask family and relatives to contribute
  • Spend within the set limits
  • Get instant notifications about the reason behind declined transactions

On the GoHenry app’s children version, your kids will get to see their spending limit, the money they’ve already spend, as well as the money saved on the home tab.

Furthermore, the home screen allows shows how much allowance is due, when it is expected to be credited to the account, as well the number of tasks remaining.

On one hand, the card tab shows the spending transactions, the pin number, as well as the limit set on the card.

On the other hand, the earning tab allows your kids to see the tasks available. The completed ones are highlighted, to differentiate them from those that are yet to be completed.

Meanwhile, the saving tab allows you to set new goals and see the current progress on existing goals.

WHAT FEATURES DOES GOHENRY HAVE?

In this section of our GoHenry review, we are going to tackle the features that GoHenry offers.

By signing up with GoHenry, you will automatically get access to the following:

  • Parental Account
  • Children Account
  • GoHenry Prepaid Visa Card

Parental Account

This account allows parents to top up their children’s accounts as well as adjust parental controls. The parent account is fully accessible through the GoHenry mobile app.

The parental account comes full of chances to support learning about money, as well as to reinforce parenting.                     

As mentioned earlier, parental accounts allow parents to do the following:

  • Manage up to 4 children’s accounts
  • Make one-off payments
  • Set up regular payments
  • Invite relatives or other family members to contribute
  • Control where the cards can be used (such as in-store, online, as well as cash machines)
  • Set spending limits
  • Set tasks for the kids
  • Block and unblock cards
  • Receive instant spending notifications

Children Account

With this account, children are able to do the following:

  • Budget based on their weekly allowance
  • Earn money by completing tasks
  • Save into specific savings goals
  • Ask family and relatives to contribute
  • Spend within the set limits
  • Get instant notifications about the reason behind declined transactions

GoHenry Prepaid Visa Card

The GoHenry Prepaid Visa Card works just like any other regular debit card. It can be used online, in-store, as well as at cashpoints (if allowed). Although the card comes for free, you can customize it for only $4.99.

It is important to note though that while there is no limit to the number of children that are subscribed to the GoHenry service, each child will incur the same subscription cost. The GoHenry subscription costs $3.99 per month.

WHO CAN USE THE GOHENRY APP?

Now that you already know what GoHenry is all about and what it has to offer, this time we’ll talk about who is eligible for a GoHenry account.

As of this writing, GoHenry account and services are only available in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

While some people thought there is a big difference between the two versions, there’s actually not that much except for the currency used.

Regardless if you are using a GoHenry US or UK version, you will get the same type or level of functionality.

Now, given the fact that the app is only available in these two locations, it means that if you are outside the UK or the US, you cannot use GoHenry.

Also, it is very important to note that the system was specifically designed to cater to children aged six to 18. So, if your kids are older than 18, then, GoHenry is not the perfect tool for you.

Another thing, GoHenry is only helpful if you have kids. It doesn’t make sense if you do not have one.

ARE THERE FEES INVOLVED WITH GOHENRY?

One thing we particularly notice (and we like as well) about GoHenry is their transparency when it comes to fees involved.

All fees and charges are provided upfront, which means you are not blindsided. You know from the start how much this and that costs.

Now, while signing up with GoHenry is free of charge, and that there is no limit as to how many children you want to enroll, it is very important to note that there is a monthly fee of $3.99 per child account, and this comes without exemptions.

Furthermore, as we have said earlier, the GoHenry prepaid card is free, but if you wish to customize it, it comes with a price. Customized prepaid cards cost $4.99 each. The same amount goes for the replacement of lost, stolen, or damaged cards.

Meanwhile, balance inquiry using the GoHenry app is free, as well as reloading of a debit card, customer service, and inactivity (after 12 months with no activity on the account).

Unlike other mobile banks or apps of similar use or level, GoHenry charges $1.50 for ATM withdrawals — both for in and out of network withdrawals. It is important to note that some ATM owners or ATM networks may charge an additional fee.

Furthermore, international ATM withdrawals are charged $1.50. Take note that you may also be charged a fee by the ATM operator regardless if you completed a transaction or not.

As mentioned earlier, GoHenry neither charges an overdraft fee nor offer a credit feature.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING GOHENRY?

Similar to any other online money portals out there, GoHenry has its share of pros and cons.

We found some really interesting benefits, and this includes:

  • Full Parental Control – Unlike other similar online apps, GoHenry provides parents will full control of the account (as stated earlier).
  • Multiple Child Accounts – GoHenry does not limit as to how many children you want to sign up for. However, this means the same subscription cost for each account.
  • Free Trial – GoHenry provides a one-month free trial, which means you can cancel your subscription anytime you feel it’s not the app for you and your children.
  • Family and Relatives Contribution – The mobile budgeting app allows not only parents but also other family members and relatives to contribute to the child’s allowance if they want to.
  • Real-Time Notifications – GoHenry provides real-time alerts for both spendings and failed transactions.
  • Reasonable Subscription Fee – GoHenry charges $3.99 per month as a subscription fee, which when compared to other similar apps out there, it’s pretty much reasonable.
  • Incentives – The app can be used to give incentives to your kids to make them earn money. Parents can add new chores, and decide how much they will pay for their kids for doing the tasks. This is on top of their weekly allowance. Doing so teaches them the value of hard-earned money.
  • Encourages Savings and Financial Goals – Using Gohenry encourages your children to save and to set financial goals at such an early age. A valuable lesson that is very helpful, really, especially when they become an adult.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF USING GOHENRY?

As we have said in the last section, while there are benefits of using GoHenry, there are also a few downsides.

Some of the things we do not like about GoHenry are as follows:

  • No Interest – Unfortunately, GoHenry does not pay an interest, which means whatever amount you put into your child’s account, that remains as is.
  • Cannot Load Cash – Another thing we do not particularly like about GoHenry is that it does not offer a cash loading option. It limits the ability of parents to load money into their kids’ accounts.
  • Oversees Charges Apply – As per GoHenry, a $1.50 international withdrawal fee is charged if you withdraw money from your GoHenry card abroad.
  • Only One Parent Can Control The Account – For some, it may not be an issue, but for other parents, it might be. Unfortunately, GoHenry only allows one parent to have control over the account.
  • Monthly Subscription Fee Per Child – If you have two or more children, paying off $3.99 per child a month for the subscription fee can be quite expensive. It would be nice if GoHenry offers a family plan instead of a per child fee.

IS GOHENRY SAFE?

One of the common concerns of consumers when it comes to mobile banking or a mobile budgeting app is the safety and security of both personal information as well as the money itself.

In GoHenry’s case, we got to say that your account is safe and secure. The institution made sure that all safety and security measures are in place to ensure their customers’ trust and confidence.

To make sure that your account is well taken care of, GoHenry uses the following:

  • State of the art chip security
  • PIN-protected transactions
  • 256-bit encryption like the banks use

Furthermore, GoHenry makes sure there is no risk of overspending, and in case your card is lost, you can easily block it so no one gets to use it.

Also, all GoHenry accounts are FDIC-insured of up to $250,000.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON GOHENRY REVIEW

So, if you were to ask us, is GoHenry worth the time and money, what would our answer be?

We got to say that it actually depends. If you are a parent who is looking into modernizing your approach to giving your kid’s allowance, then we have to say, GoHenry is a tried and tested method, and that it’s a good option.

Needless to say, it is a reputable company with lots of investors, which means it’s not dropping off anytime soon.

Are you having some uneasy thoughts yet or you are convinced that this is the right tool for you?

We hope that through this GoHenry review you are able to gauge if this one’s indeed the right tool that will help teach your kids how to handle their money well.

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Investment Apps and Websites

Simple Review: What Makes It The Right Mobile Bank For You

If you are looking for an online banking service provider with competitive rates plus other amazing features, then, this Simple review is right for you.

Simple Review: What Makes It The Right Mobile Bank For You

In a report entitled, “The Mobile Banking and Payment Revolution” by Sunil Gupta, he said that:

Mobile technology is revolutionizing the global banking and payment industry. It offers new opportunities for banks to provide added convenience to their existing customers in developed countries, and reach a large population of unbanked customers in emerging markets.”

Furthermore, the same report, says that “Mobile penetration is 105% in the U.S. and France and it is even higher in the U.K. and Germany at 130%.

However, the said report was published around 2012-2013, so imagine how the numbers have grown by now.

In the United States, in particular, based on data published by Statista, in a 2018 survey, it was found that the usage of mobile banking in the country vary depending on demographic groups.

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Among Millennials, 69.3% of them are using or have used mobile banking. Meanwhile, only 24% of Baby Boomers have used or are using it.

Regardless of the difference in number, though, one thing’s evident – Americans these days are using mobile or online banking, and it is projected to increase even more in the years to come.

Without a doubt, technology and the internet have changed the way banking is done. But, it’s all for the better, if we may say.

Moving on, thanks to the continued innovation in the banking industry, over the years, more and more mobile banking entities are coming up, which gives consumers more options to choose from.

Among these options is Simple Bank.

As stated earlier, in this Simple review, we are going to provide you essential information on why Simple Bank may just be the right mobile banking for you.

In particular, we are going to tackle the following:

  • What is Simple Bank?
  • What does Simple Bank offer?
  • How to open an account with Simple Bank?
  • What are the benefits of using Simple Bank?
  • What are the downsides of using Simple Bank?
  • Is it safe to do banking with Simple Bank?

WHAT IS SIMPLE BANK?

First of all, let’s get to know more about Simple Bank.

As a consumer, it is our obligation to check the history of the bank to see if it is legit or if it is credible. After all, we are going to put our money into their care, right?

Based in Portland, Oregon, Simple Bank was launched in the market in 2009 as a way for consumers to have the option to escape from the usual frustrations they get from dealing with traditional banks.

Simple Bank is an entirely online mobile banking service provider that provides competitive rates, focuses on budgeting and payments, as well gives users the best mobile banking experience possible.

Simple’s founders, since its inception, have always envisioned to create a mobile banking platform that is less expensive and provides a frustration-free banking experience.

To ensure the bank stays true to its vision, Simple Bank uses BBVA USA for its banking services and FDIC insurance.

Meanwhile, if you want to know more about Simple Bank, and also get a glimpse of the bank’s mobile app, we recommend you check out this very informative video by Resolute Capital – Finance Videos:

WHAT DOES SIMPLE BANK OFFER?

In this section of our Simple Bank review, we are going to talk about the different products and services the bank offers.

This will give you an overview of what to expect from the bank. At the same time, help you gauge if Simple Bank is indeed the right bank for you.

So, Simple Bank offers two major products:

  • Checking Account, and
  • Certificate of Deposit.

Now, let’s take a look at each of these products —

Checking Account

Technically speaking, Simple Bank has three different checking accounts – Online Checking (Simple Account), High-Yield Checking (Protected Goals Account), and Shared Checking (Simple Shared Account).

However, for Protected Goals Account, in particular, it requires the customer to have a Simple Account first so he or she can open one.

Now, let’s take a look at each of these product offerings so we get to understand each better —

Online Checking (Simple Account)

As mentioned, Simple Account is Simple Bank’s primary account. Living up to its name, this account type comes with a simple fee structure.

The checking account, at least, as of this writing, does earn 0.01% APY. Contrary to other online banking services providers, the bank’s Simple Account does not have monthly fees, as well as minimum balance requirements.

Furthermore, the Simple Account also includes the following features:

  • No overdraft fees
  • No out-of-network ATM fees from Simple’s end
  • Check writing (The bank charges $5 for a book for checks.)
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Fee-free transactions in 40,000 ATMs through the Allpoint network
  • 1% international transaction charge when you use your debit card outside of the United States

Apart from these amazing features, Simple Bank’s Simple Account also comes with various built-in tools to help consumers manage their finances effectively. These tools include:

Automated Savings. This feature allows customers to set up their financial goals. By turning on round-up riles, every purchase made is rounded up to the dollar. The moment that changes reach $5, the money is automatically transferred to a Protected Goals account.

Budgeting Tools. What we like about Simple Account’s budgeting tools is that it gives consumers access to expense tracking, as well as budgeting within their checking account. This type of feature is particularly helpful among moms and other individuals who are responsible for budgeting finances. By the way, not many online banks provide such kind of tool.

Safe to Spend. This feature is a more advanced version of “available balance”. The Safe to Spend tool is very useful for things like savings goals, and future bills as this allow you to see how much you can actually afford to spend.

High-Yield Checking (Protected Goals Account)

Simple Bank’s high-yield checking account, which they call as Protected Goals Account actually works more like a savings account.

The only difference is that it requires you to open a Simple Account first before you can open one.

Protected Goals Account also offers impressive features, but the best of all is that it pays up to 1.20% APY on all balance tiers.

Furthermore, what’s nice about the Protected Goals Account is that customers are given the prerogative to set up savings goals using the account, and then, enable automated savings to help build up the goal balance faster.

Similar to the Simple Account, Protected Goals does not charge monthly fees, as well as require a minimum deposit amount.

The only downside of this type of account is that it does not come with an ATM card or checkbook. The account is meant entirely for savings.

The Protected Goals Account is ideal for those who want to build up savings for a specific cause like a travel fund, emergency fund, home renovation fund, etc.

Shared Checking (Simple Shared Account).

Another checking account that Simple Bank offers is the Shared Checking or what they call as Simple Shared Account.

This type of account is ideal for individuals (like husbands and wives, partners, friends, siblings, etc.) who want to share a bank account or pool funds together to achieve a common goal.

However, to be able to avail of this account option, both individuals need to open first a Simple account, respectively. The Simple account will then be used to fund the Shared Checking account.

The Simple Shared Account earns an interest that mirrors that from individual accounts.

Similarly, there is also what they call Shared Protected Goals to account where you can earn a 1.20% APY.

Certificate of Deposit

Another product offered by Simple Bank is the Certificate of Deposit.

Contrary to other mobile or online banks, Simple Bank offers a CD with only one term option only, which is 12 months.

Unlike its checking account options, Simple’s certificate of deposit requires a minimum opening deposit of $250. Also, the CDs come with a fixed interest rate of 1.00% APY, which compared to other traditional banks is definitely higher. However, it is much less contrary to other popular online banks.

What makes Simple Bank’s CD attractive to customers, though, is the fact that this one’s a no-penalty certificate of deposit. This means that customers get the benefits of a locked-in savings rate, as well as the ability to withdraw all their funds without any penalty whenever they want for as long as it has been seven days since opening.

Other Products

Apart from the checking account options, plus certificate of deposit, Simple Bank also offers personal loans, which is for another Simple review (a Simple personal loan review, perhaps?).

HOW TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH SIMPLE BANK?

Now that you already know a little history of Simple Bank plus the products that the mobile bank offers to the market, in this section of our Simple review, we are going to share with you how to actually open a Simple Bank account.

Compared to most neobanks and challenger banks out there, opening an account with Simple Bank does not require you to download an app. You can process your application instead of on its website.

As part of the entire account application process, you will be asked to fill in some basic personal information. Once done, you will then be asked to verify your identity.

Simple Bank does state, however, that once your Simple bank account is already up and running, you must download their app to get more out of the services that the bank provides.

Since Simple Bank has eliminated all fees from the financial services that they offer, this only means that customers can avail of their services for free, which definitely is something rare among mobile is banking service providers out there.

By the way, apart from its website, interested individuals may also open an account by calling 888-248-0632.

Similar to the process on its website, those who opt to open an account through phone calls will also be asked to provide personal information to push through with setting up the bank account.

Requirements to Open an Account

In relation to the process of opening a Simple Bank account, please note the following important requirements:

  • The account holder must be a citizen of the United States.
  • The account holder has to be 18 years old and above.
  • The account holder must hold a valid U.S. taxpayer identification number.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING SIMPLE BANK?

All banks, traditional or mobile do have their respective pros and cons, which is not surprising at all because there is no such thing as a perfect bank.

In this section, we are going to talk about the benefits of using Simple Bank.

In particular, we commend Simple Bank for providing the following features:

  • No Monthly Fees. One of the core principles of Simple Bank is not having hidden fees, which in their perspective is best done by not charging any fees at all.  Thus, by using Simple Bank, you do not have to worry about monthly maintenance fees, ATM fees, or other common fees charged by banks.
  • No Minimum Balance Requirements. Whether it be a checking account or a certificate of deposit, Simple Bank does not have a minimum balance requirement.
  • Competitive APY on Protected Goals Account. Simple Bank offers competitive interest rates among its Protected Goals account (whether it be for individuals or shared).
  • No Overdraft Fees. As mentioned earlier, Simple Bank does not have hidden charges. In fact, they do not charge common bank charges at all — which includes overdraft fees.
  • 40,000+ fee-free ATM network. With Simple Bank, you can use your debit card in over 40,000 ATM network for free.
  • Built-in Budgeting Tools. Not all mobile banks offer this kind of tool, which makes Simple Bank standout also from other mobile banking service providers. Simple Bank’s budgeting tools are especially helpful for people who need help when it comes to handling finances.
  • Quick and Easy Online Sign-up Process. Similar to most online banks out there, Simple Bank does offer a quick and easy online sign-up process through its website.
  • Slick and User-Friendly Web and App Interface. The bank lives up to its name that is why even though its platforms, the bank ensures you go through a simple, easy to navigate web and app interface.

WHAT ARE THE DOWNSIDES OF USING SIMPLE BANK?

As we have said earlier, no bank is perfect, and the same goes for Simple Bank.

Now that we’ve already shared some of the best features of Simple Bank, this time, we’ll share with you some of the downsides we found out about using Simple Bank.

Our list includes the following:

  • Average CD rates. Simple Bank’s certificate of deposit earns 1.00% APY only, which is very decent compared to that of traditional banks. Although, as mentioned, it is kind of lower as with other well-known online banks.
  • No Savings Account. Although Simple Bank’s Protected Goals Account functions similarly to that of a savings account, it still does not count as one because first and foremost, you have to open a Simple checking account to be able to open one. So, yeah, technically, Simple Bank does not have a concrete savings account option.
  • No Cash Deposits. Unfortunately, customers do not have an option to do cash deposits with Simple. The only available options to fund your account is through direct deposits, electronic transfers, mobile deposits, or by sending a check via mail.
  • No Online Bills Payment. Contrary to other mobile banks out there, Simple Bank does not have an online bill payment option. Although customers can opt to set up bill pay through vendor options, they do not have one that is direct to the Simple online account.
  • One CD Term Only. Unlike other mobile banks, Simple Bank only offers one-term on its certificate of deposit, which means you have no other options. Unless you are looking for a 12-month CD term only, then Simple Bank’s CD may work for you.

IS IT SAFE TO DO BANKING WITH SIMPLE BANK?

One of the most important questions among customers of online banks is if the bank is safe and secured, which is totally understandable because, at the end of the day, you are entrusting them your hard-earned money.

Anyway, with Simple Bank, you are assured that they are legit and credible.

All funds deposited in Simple Bank account are FDIC-insured through Simple’s partner bank, BBVA USA (FDIC# 19048).

FDIC insurance means the federal government protects your money up to $250,000 per depositor, for each account ownership category should the bank fails in the future.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON SIMPLE REVIEW

Overall, with all that’s been said, we’ve come to the conclusion that Simple Bank is particularly ideal for those who are looking for (more than just what we’ve initially mentioned) any of the following:

  • A payment account that works both with a debit card and checks
  • An account that does not charge you fees
  • A clear view of their monthly expenses through the bank’s budgeting tools
  • An account that will help you reach your financial goals
  • Competitive interest earnings particularly on long-term savings
  • Zero-sum budgeting that is integrated into their bank accounts
  • Mobile alerts every time an amount of money is withdrawn from the account

To end, we hope that through this Simple review, we are able to provide you with the right information to help you get into a decision on whether this mobile bank is the one you are looking for.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

BrioDirect Review: What Every Potential Client Must Know

One of the best ways to know more about how BrioDirect works, as well as the products and services it offers, is through a BrioDirect review — just like this one.

BrioDirect review what you should know

Through reviews, a potential customer like you will have an idea about the bank, and also, this will help you gauge whether or not BrioDirect is best for you.

Online banking is becoming the new norm. Well, it’s not surprising at all given the fact that it’s so convenient and easy to do.

In the United States alone, there are an estimated 76.9 million Americans (30.3% of the US population) who says that they are either planning or they already have opened a digital or online-only bank. The data was based on Finder’s Neobank Adoption survey.

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Furthermore, in the same survey, Finder found that there are roughly 27% of millennials and 30% of Gen X who said that they have had an account with an online-only bank. Meanwhile, .8% of baby boomers said they had an account at one of these banks, while another 4.4% of boomers said they are planning to open one.

You see, these numbers tell so much as to how the banking industry is becoming – especially with the advent of technology and the internet. Needless to say, with all that’s happening in the world right now, digital banking or online banking will definitely become a hit.

There are already a number of online-only banks today. In fact, even big banks have already established either their own online banking system, or they’ve opened up an entirely new online-only bank, which is the case of Sterling National Bank.

Sterling National Bank launched BrioDirect, its online banking division.

So, having said that, if you are looking for an online-only bank that will help you save and let you earn a good amount of interest, this in-depth BrioDirect review can definitely help you decide if it’s the right fit.

To help you gauge if it’s fit for your banking needs and preferences, we are going to tackle some of the most important information that every potential client must know. This includes the following:

  • What is BrioDirect?
  • What are the pros and cons of BrioDirect?
  • Who is BrioDirect best for?
  • What does BrioDirect offer?
  • What are BrioDirect fees and charges?
  • How to bank with BrioDirect
  • How is BrioDirect’s customer service?

Before we move on to our BrioDirect review, here’s an informative video by Wander Wealthy by Tess Wicks on how to choose the best high-yield savings account:

WHAT IS BRIODIRECT?

First and foremost, as a potential client or customer, it is important to make time to get to know the financial institution that you are looking at.

Know more about the background of the bank, in this case, of BrioDirect so you get to judge the bank’s credibility, and also on how strong its foundation is. After all, you’re going to entrust to them your hard-earned money, right?

So, before we get into a more detailed BrioDirect review, here are a few vital information that we thought you must know about BrioDirect:

First, as mentioned earlier, BrioDirect is Sterling National Bank’s online banking division.

Second, BrioDirect is an FDIC-insured bank that offers high-rate certificates of deposit, and high-yield savings accounts, which is essential in growing your money.

Third, BrioDirect High-Yield Savings account is known for its strong interest rate, and also for not charging any monthly fees.

Fourth, BrioDirect CDs are also notable for providing very attractive interest rates for short maturity terms of either 9 months or 12 months.

Lastly, all BrioDirect accounts are manageable online or through Sterling National Bank mobile banking apps, which are available for both iOS and Android users.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF BRIODIRECT?

There are so many digital banks out there to choose from. That is why it is important to really do your research and weigh your options.

Apart from knowing the bank’s background, it is also important to look at the pros and cons of the financial institution. This is one of the best ways for you to be able to gauge whether it’s a fit or not according to your banking needs and preferences.

For BrioDirect, here are some of the things that we like and we do not like:

PROS

  • Very Competitive Savings Rate – This is actually the key feature that makes BrioDirect’s high-yield savings account stand out from any average savings account.
  • No Monthly Fee – BrioDirect does not charge any monthly fee or maintenance fee, which also makes it attractive to potential clients.
  • Low Opening Deposit – You can open a BrioDirect’s high-yield savings account for only $25.
  • All Deposits are FDIC-insured – Unlike other online-only banks, the BrioDirect savings account is FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
  • Mobile and Online Banking Features – BrioDirect makes managing your money simple and easy with features available in their mobile and online banking platforms.
  • Account Security – Security is a top priority of BrioDirect. Thus, the bank use technology as well as follows protocols to help ensure a secured online account opening, as well as online and mobile banking experience.
  • Financially Strong and Stable – Sterling National Bank, the bank behind BrioDirect is a strong financial institution. Founded in 1888, the bank currently has over $30 billion in assets and is rated as one of “America’s 100 Best Banks” by Forbes. That said, this translates to being a BrioDirect account holder, you are assured of the bank’s strength and stability.

CONS

  • Limited CD Options – Unfortunately, BrioDirect offers CDs with terms up to 12 months only.
  • No ATM access – Unlike other online-only banks, BrioDirect does not provide ATM access to your money.

WHO IS BRIODIRECT BEST FOR?

From what it offers, we thought BrioDirect is ideal for people who are looking for a safe and secure place to keep their money, at the same time, earn a good amount of interest.

Apart from that, BrioDirect may also appeal to those who:

  • Have at least $25 (the minimum required) to be able to open a BrioDirect Savings Account, or those who have at least $500 to open a Certificate of Deposit
  • Does want to save from paying monthly maintenance fees
  • Do not need ATM access to their money
  • Are interested in building a CD ladder

Do you see yourself in any of these, if your answer is yes, then, let’s proceed to the next?

WHAT DOES BRIODIRECT OFFER?

Just like any other online banks out there, BrioDirect also offers online deposit accounts, as well as basic customer service options, which include:

Accounts

  • Savings Accounts
  • Certificates of Deposit

Services

  • Mobile and online banking
  • Customer service

Now, let’s take a look at BrioDirect’s accounts closely. Here are a few important information about these accounts:

BrioDirect High Yield Savings Accounts

As we have mentioned earlier, BrioDirect’s High Yield Savings Account is an FDIC-insured online savings account, which is something we expected given the fact that it is owned by a well-known bank. More so, it is also known for paying highly competitive rates, which makes it ideal for savers who want to earn more from their savings.

Moreover, here are some of the benefits of getting a BrioDirect High Yield Savings Account:

  • Earn a highly competitive annual percentage yield. As of May 2020, it is at 1.40%. This is applicable to all balances with a $25 minimum.
  • No monthly maintenance charges
  • Low minimum deposit required to open an account — it’s at $25
  • Manage your savings account whenever you want, and wherever you are through BrioDirect’s mobile and online banking

If you take a look at it, BrioDirect’s savings account is actually quite similar to other high-yield savings accounts from other online banks out there. Just the same, it offers a very generous annual percentage yield, and also, it does not require any monthly maintenance payments.

Opening a BrioDirect account online is very easy and simple. In fact, it will only take a few minutes of your time to complete the whole process of opening an account.

Once you have successfully opened an account, you can link immediately link it to a checking or savings account at another bank to easily transfer money here and there. Although, make sure to keep in mind that for savings accounts, the Federal Reserve regulations only allow up to six “convenient” transfers or withdrawals in a month.

Unfortunately, it’s not all good with BrioDirect Savings Account. It’s not perfect — just like most online-only banking. It does have its share of downsides as well.

One of them is that it does not come with an ATM or debit card access, which means, depositing and withdrawing money can be quite a challenge.

Another thing is that BrioDirect limits its savers from transferring money in and out of their accounts. They can only do it through ACH transactions, mailing a check, as well as through wire transfer.

In addition, there is a possibility that BrioDirect may charge you a pair of fees for using their savings account. The fees include $10 for every transaction beyond the six-transaction limit, and $35 each time you overdraft your account or don’t have sufficient funds to complete a transaction.

To avoid such fees, and wasting money from paying these fees, make sure to always check your account and ensure that you are always on track.

BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Accounts

Another notable product that BrioDirect is known for is its BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Account. BrioDirect CDs have terms that range from 30 days up to 12 months.

Some of the key highlights of BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Accounts include:

  • Requires a $500 minimum balance to open an account
  • Allows you to open multiple CDs to create a ladder

With BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Accounts, how much APY you earn depends on how long you keep your money in the bank. The shorter period stays, the lesser the rates would be. The longer it stays, the higher the APY will be.

To be honest, what we like about the BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Account is that the minimum deposit requirement is not as steep as compared to what required by other online banks out there.

For savers who want to take full advantage of all the rates that BrioDirect has to offer, we highly encourage you to set up a CD ladder. You can create a CD ladder by purchasing multiple CDs with different terms and rates. What happens is, when one of the CDs mature, you can cash it out, and then collect the interest, and roll it into another CD. It’s basically like a money wheel — you just continue doing a process to earn money through your accounts.

As a BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Account holder though, make sure to keep in mind that the bank may close your account if you withdraw all your money from your CD or have a balance below $500 for more than 20 days.

So, again, make sure to always keep yourself on track of your account to ensure you have enough funds, and that you are not breaking any rule. This way, you get to have easy banking experience. Needless to say, you get to take full advantage of what the account has to offer.

When opening a CD account, make sure that you will not need or spend that money up until it’s due. Just like any other CD accounts out there, BrioDirect will charge you an early withdrawal penalty should you take your money out of a CD before the end term.

WHAT ARE BRIODIRECT FEES AND CHARGES?

As mentioned, one of the key highlights of BrioDirect — both for their savings and CD accounts is that they do not charge any fees.

To be specific, BrioDirect does not charge anything for the following:

  • Monthly Maintenance
  • Monthly Inactivity
  • Non-Sufficient Fund (Overdraft)
  • Stop Payment item
  • Return Deposit
  • Domestic Wire Transfer (Outbound)
  • Domestic Wire Transfer (Inbound)
  • Non-Bank ATM

So, if you want to save money from paying such fees, BrioDirect may just be the best option for you.

Meanwhile, particularly for those opening a CD account, in case you decide to withdraw your CD ahead of its maturity date or before the end of the term, BrioDirect will charge you an early withdrawal penalty.

For your reference, here’s how much you will be charged for:

TERM PENALTY
Terms of 30 days or less The penalty will be 30 days interest, whether or not earned
Terms of 12 months or less The penalty will be 90 days interest, whether or not earned
Terms of 18 months or more but less than 60 months The penalty will be 9 months interest, whether or not earned
Terms of 60 months or more The penalty will be 12 months interest, whether or not earned

Apart from the afore-mentioned, BrioDirect does not charge for any other fees.

HOW TO BANK WITH BRIODIRECT?

Since BrioDirect is an online-only bank, this automatically means you can only open an account through their online platforms.

Opening an account with BrioDirect is made easy and simple. In fact, it only takes a few minutes of your time!

Just make sure to keep the following handy as you create your account:

  • Driver’s License
  • U.S. Passport or State I.D.
  • Social Security number
  • Contact Information

Of course, just like in any other bank, BrioDirect will also ask your personal details.

Meanwhile, to set up your initial deposit, all you need to do is to link your checking or savings account with another financial institution or bank to your BrioDirect online high-yield savings or CD account, and then transfer funds from your offline account to your new online account.

You may also consider sending a check or wire funds into your account if you think these are better options.

HOW IS BRIODIRECT’S CUSTOMER SERVICE?

BrioDirect lets you manage your savings account and/or your CD accounts either online or through their reliable mobile banking.

However, if you opt to speak to a client service representative, all you need to do is call their toll free hotline 877-369-BRIO from 8 in the morning until 8 in the evening (Eastern Time), Mondays through Fridays. On Saturdays, they are available to take your calls from 8:30 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon (Eastern Time).

FINAL THOUGHTS ON BRIODIRECT REVIEW

As we have said, there are so many digital banks or online-only banks out there. Too many that choosing one can get a little overwhelming. However, reviews like this one are very much helpful to ensure you get to fully understand and learn what to expect about the bank you are eyeing for.

For this BrioDirect review, in particular, we have shared with you the key information that every potential client must know. Thus, hopefully, this helps you decide on whether or not BrioDirect is fit based on what your banking needs are.

To sum up, what we like about BrioDirect is the fact that it offers really competitive rates. We also like the fact that it is owned by a strong and stable bank, which is Sterling National Bank, and that it is FDIC-insured. This is like a security blanket for any bank client, right? Knowing that whatever happens, your money is secured.

To be honest, although we shared a few downsides, apart from those, we really have no major issues with BioDirect.

So, have you decided to go for BioDirect yet?

Just remember all the information in this BioDirect review, and your good. After all, we basically just shared with you the essentials to guide you through as you make a decision.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

11 Best Online Savings Accounts In 2020

When it comes to choosing among the best online savings accounts, you go to look into not just the credibility of the company, but more importantly, it has to be meet your personal needs and preferences as a user or customer. There are so many choices to choose from, thus, it is important to really make a wise decision.

Best Online Savings Accounts list

There are plenty of online savings accounts out there, and since they’re many some people find it challenging to choose the best among them all.

While you can base the “best” based on certain criteria like high-yield rates, customer service, security, etc., at the end of the day, like what we mentioned earlier, your decision has to also be based on your needs and preferences. Also, your financial goals.

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Now, apart from those we mentioned, there’s one important question that you also need to answer. Why are you choosing online savings accounts instead of traditional savings accounts?

Some of you will say because of convenience, while others will base it on high-yield that some online banks offer. You see, we all have different answers to this question. But if you come to think about it, your answer to these questions will greatly affect your choices.

Don’t worry though because today we are going to share with you some of the best online savings accounts. Since they are all part of “the best” club, this means, all of these online banks offer you the best deals and services. It’s probably safe to say that you will never go wrong choosing any of the online banks on our list.

But before that, here’s a very interesting fact about how widely used mobile banking is in the country.

Did you know that according to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, they found that 51% percent of U.S. adults, or 61% of internet users, bank online? Furthermore, 32% of U.S. adults, or 35% of cell phone owners, a bank using their mobile phones.

You see, these numbers only show how electronic or digital banking has changed the way people do banking. Thus, it is not surprising why you, yes, you, are looking for the best online savings account out there.

Before we move on to our list of best online savings accounts, you may want to check below video first by Graham Stephan:

With that, let’s start with our list of best online savings accounts to date.

MARCUS BY GOLDMAN SACHS

Marcus is an online bank that offers excellent savings account products. The company, which is owned by the well-known investment firm, Goldman Sachs, has built its reputation for offering a very competitive APY (around 1.70%).

Apart from that, Marcus has also gained popularity because of providing a platform that is easy to use. Also, it created a very simple process when it comes to transferring money to accounts from other banks.

Marcus’s savings account option requires no minimum deposit to be able to open an account. Apart from savings accounts, the bank also has other products for consumers to take advantage of. One example is the company’s personal loan options, which you can use from debt consolidation to home improvement.

HIGHS:

  • Has high-interest rate
  • Savings account comes with easy-to-meet requirements
  • Take advantage of other benefits you get from a typical online bank
  • Your account is accessible anytime, anywhere
  • Does not charge fees for any transactions made
  • A contact center is open seven days a week

LOWS:

  • No ATM access
  • No checking account option, which limits your liquidity options
  • No branches available, which means face-to-face transactions is not possible
  • No mobile application yet

ALLY BANK

Based in Sandy, Utah, Ally Bank, which was established back in 2004, is another very popular name in online/mobile banking. Ally Bank, which was formerly known as GMAC Bank, exceeded 1 million customer accounts in the year 2012. As of today, Ally Bank boasts having 1.5 million customers.

Ally Bank is a well-trusted online company. Apart from the fact that it offers a high-interest rate at 1.50% annual percentage yield (APY), the bank also does not require a minimum balance to gain APY. Furthermore, it offers a free checking account and does have excellent customer service support.

HIGHS:

  • High-interest rate
  • Deposit checks remotely through Ally eCheck Deposit
  • Now monthly maintenance fees for Online Savings Accounts
  • Provides 24/7 live customer care
  • Free checking account, which makes your money more liquid

LOWS:

  • No ATM or debit card access (unless you open another account)
  • Cash deposits are not feasible
  • Allows up to $50,000 deposit per day only or up to $250,000 every 30 calendar days via eCheck Deposit

CAPITAL ONE

Capital One Financial Corporation or more popularly known as Capital One is an American bank holding company. It specialized in credit cards, banking, auto loans, as well as savings accounts. Capital One, which is based in McLean, Virginia, is ranked as the 11th largest bank in the United States based on its assets.

As mentioned, the company provides a variety of products. Apart from credit cards, Capital One also provides a range of lending as well as banking products. In 2019, Capital One’s 360 Performance Savings account debuted. This has eventually become one of the most popular products of the company.

In addition to the company’s list of products, they also offer certificates of deposit, a savings IRA as well as a checking account.

HIGHS:

  • High-interest rate at 1.50% APY
  • 360 Performance Savings account requires no minimum balance to open an account
  • 360 Performance Savings account does not charge monthly fees
  • No maintaining minimum balance required
  • All balances earn the same APY

LOWS:

  • There are some online banks that offer higher yield on savings accounts

VIO BANK

Vio Bank is an online-only financial institution that serves savers from all over the country.

Established back in 2018, Vio Bank has been tagged as the national online division of MidFirst Bank. MidFirst Bank, which was established in 1911, is an FDIC-insured bank since 1934.

Vio Bank offers both a High Yield Online Savings account and Certificates of Deposit. Vio Bank earned popularity for having one of the top yields online savings accounts out there.

HIGHS:

  • Vio Bank’s High Yield Online Savings account offers one of the top yields in the industry (1.75% APY)
  • All balances receive the same APY
  • Low minimum requirement of $100 to open the account
  • Vio Bank’s High Yield Online Savings account does not have a monthly fee
  • Does not charge for incoming domestic or international wire transfers
  • No fees charged for the outgoing or incoming external transfers

LOWS:

  • Domestic wire transfer is charged at $30
  • No ATM access
  • Charges  $5 dormant account fee per month if you go 12 months without initiating a transaction
  • Requires initiating a transaction at least once during the preceding 12-month period to avoid having a dormant account

HSBC DIRECT

HSBC Direct Savings is an online-only savings account offered by the popular international bank, HSBC. The rates and terms it offers make it one of the best online savings accounts out there.

As you know, HSBC is a really popular bank not just in the United States but all over the world. No wonder as it serves 38 million customers worldwide.

Meanwhile, the HSBC Direct Savings account is offered through HSBC Bank, USA, N.A. This savings account is available online across all 48 states.

HIGHS:

  • HSBC Direct Savings account has a competitive APY at 1.70%
  • Requires at least $1 minimum balance only for APY
  • Requires $1 at account opening
  • APY is currently available on all balance tiers
  • No monthly maintenance fee charges
  • You can make a deposit or withdrawal at one of the HSBC retail locations in the country

LOWS:

  • No ATM access
  • Charges $25 if you close your HSBC Direct Savings account within 180 days
  • Money deposited in your HSBC Direct Savings account has to be new money from outside HSBC

CIT BANK

CIT Bank, N.A. is the banking subsidiary of financial services company CIT Group. The bank, which is headquartered in Pasadena, California is consists of an online bank, as well as its OneWest Bank division, a Southern California branch bank that is located in 60 different sites.

By the way, CIT Bank, N.A. is a subsidiary of CIT Group Inc., which is a financial holding company that was founded in 1908.

HIGHS:

  • Offers competitive yields on its accounts (1.70% APY to be exact)
  • Provides a couple of options for savers

LOWS:

  • Requires at least $100 to open a Savings Builder
  • Requires you to keep making at least $100 in monthly deposits to be able to earn a competitive APY
  • To earn the top APY, you may also opt to maintain a $25,000 balance
  • You will earn much lower variable rate if your balance goes below $25,000 or if you are unable to make monthly deposits of at least $100
  • Actual APY will vary depending on the day of the month that you open your account

WEBBANK

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, WebBank is an FDIC-insured and state-chartered bank. The bank was organized under the laws of the State of Utah in the year 1997. At the same time, WebBank operates under federal banking law.

WebBank offers a wide range of products. They do have savings accounts and time deposits, as well as financing solutions intended for businesses and consumers through the company’s Strategic Partnerships.

HIGHS:

  • High APY at 1.66%
  • Requires at least $0.01 minimum balance for APY, but balances are required to stay above $1,000
  • Does not charge fees like monthly fees and maintenance fees
  • Do have one of the highest APYs available in the industry
  • WebBank savings account interest is paid on the last business day of the month

LOWS:

  • Outgoing wire transfer is charged at $25
  • Should your savings account falls below $1,000, the account will be closed; money will be returned depending on the WebBank Terms and Conditions for your account
  • No ATM card available
  • No mobile application
  • Does not allow you to deposit a check into any of its accounts
  • Deposits can only be made through ACH or wire transfer
  • Withdrawal from your WebBank account is not possible

AMERICAN EXPRESS NATIONAL BANK

We all know American Express, it’s one of the most popular and well-trusted banks in the country particularly known for its credit cards. However, the company also offers a competitive savings account called American Express Personal Savings.

How the American Express National Bank operates is pretty simple. Just like other online savings accounts, American Express National Bank does not offer to check account option, which means you should not use the American Express Personal Savings for any regular transactions outside a recurring withdrawal or deposit.

American Express’s savings account does not charge fees. Also, it allows you to link your external bank account.

By the way, apart from the savings account, the company also offers a wide range of certificates of deposit.

HIGHS:

  • High APY at 1.60%
  • Requires a minimum balance of $1 to earn APY
  • Does not charge any monthly fees
  • Does not require a minimum balance
  • Allows you to link current outside bank accounts

LOWS:

  • Does not offer a checking account
  • Does not have any branch locations
  • No mobile check deposit option

DISCOVER BANK

Discover Bank is an FDIC-insured online bank. It offers a wide range of options like a debit card that comes with cashback rewards. While it does have one branch located in Greenwood, Delaware, most of its users/customers manage their accounts online or through the bank’s mobile app.

Discover Bank has offered deposit products online since 2007. Just like American Express, Discover is popularly known for its credit card products. However, it does also offer a savings account, checking account, money market, as well as a certificate of deposit.

As with its savings account, although the Discover Online Savings Account isn’t the highest-yielding account, it does offer a very competitive APY. It also does not require a minimum opening deposit and does not charge a monthly fee.

HIGHS:

  • Competitive APY at 1.50% on savings account
  • Does not require a minimum balance
  • Offers the most popular types of deposit products
  • Offers checking, money market accounts, savings and CDs

LOWS:

  • APY is not as high as its competitors
  • No ATM access

BARCLAYS BANK

Barclays Bank is a British multinational investment bank and financial services company. The bank is headquartered in London. Apart from offering investment banking, Barclays is divided into four core businesses, which are personal banking, corporate banking, wealth management, and investment management.

Of all its products, Barclay is usually known for its credit cards. However, it has also gained popularity in its savings products because of the high-interest rate.

All the products offered by Barclay in the United States are only available online.

HIGHS:

  • Competitive, high-yield savings account (1.50% APY)
  • No minimum balance required for APY
  • Provides 24/7 access to funds
  • Allows online transfers to and from other banks and direct deposit
  • A mobile app is available and allows both deposit and transfer of funds
  • Ideal for those who like to bank online and want an outside institution for its savings options

LOWS:

  • No ATM access
  • Not a full-service banking institution
  • Does not offer a checking account option
  • Does not have branch locations

CITIBANK

Citibank, which is the retail banking arm of Citigroup has recently launched a high-yield savings account called Citi Accelerate. It was only in 2019 when the popular company launched the said online savings account.

The said savings account pays 1.60% APY, which is very competitive. Needless to say, it is above the national average. Citi Accelerate does not require a minimum balance required to be able to earn the APY. It also does not require any minimum amount to open an account. However, the APY is only made available for certain markets.

HIGHS:

  • High APY at 1.60%, making it one of the top yields to be found in big banks
  • No minimum balance required for APY
  • $0 minimum balance required to earn the APY
  • Does have ATM access

LOWS:

  • Charges a monthly service fee amounting to $4.50 (This applies if you open the Citi Accelerate Savings account in a Basic or Access Account package. Otherwise, the fee is waived provided you keep at least $500 average balance per month.)

IMPORTANT REMINDERS

So, we’re done with our list of 11 best online savings accounts out there. But before we end, we just want to share a few very important reminders regarding online savings accounts.

  • Online savings accounts are ideal for people who want to take advantage of higher interest rates and lower fees, which is evident among online banks given the fact that they do not carry the same overhead costs as other walk-in branches.
  • When choosing a bank that offers online savings account, take into account not just the APY but also the charges and fees, and other perks that come with it. It also considers if they do have ATM access or not (although most online savings account does not offer such). Also, take into consideration the minimum balances or opening balance required.
  • Make sure to only deal with online savings accounts that are safe. In order to ensure safety, see to it that the bank is an FDIC bank or at an NCUA credit union.
  • An online savings account is an ideal place for growing an emergency fund or for saving up for any financial goal.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON BEST ONLINE SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

You see, there are so many options available when it comes to opening up online savings accounts. Needless to say, like the ones on our list, they offer really competitive interest rates.

Choosing one among the so many options out there could be really challenging. Thus, it is best to set certain personal criteria so you get to pick the best out of the bests.

Having said that, have you picked your choice yet?

We got to say that if you were to choose from our list of best online savings accounts, you will surely not go wrong as they all have already established their names in this industry. It will really just go back to what it is that you are specifically looking for in an online savings account.

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Investment Apps and Websites

Ally Bank Vs Marcus: Your Guide In Choosing The Best Online Bank

This Ally Bank vs Marcus review will help you understand the difference as well as similarities of these two well-known companies in the mobile banking industry. This will hopefully help you choose the perfect fit according to your online banking needs.

Ally Bank vs Marcus What You Need To Know

Today, we live in a more privileged world. Everything is made for our convenience. With the advent and the help of technology, it is probably safe to say that everything is becoming available in an instant. And yes, we are not just talking about food or material things. This includes different products and services as a whole — including banking.

Mobile banking is a new thing in the banking industry. Today, banks are adjusting and adapting to the needs of the people, at the same time, to what technology has to offer.

Let’s face it, while traditional banking is still good and has so much to offer, given our constant movement and also the ease of use, a lot of us would prefer mobile banks.

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Back in 2013, in an article published by Pew Research Center, it says that “51% of U.S. adults, or 61% of internet users, bank online.” In addition, the same article says that “32% of U.S. adults, or 35% of cell phone owners, bank using their mobile phones.”

Meanwhile, in 2015 data published by Statista Research Department, says that the “number of digital banking users was forecast to surpass 161 million in the United States in 2019.” Furthermore, it explained that there are two factors that led to such growth in mobile or digital banking. These are “increased prevalence of smartphones and other digital technologies, and the other is an increase in financial technology (fintech) firms.”

You see, times have changed. Even the way banking is done has changed. No wonder why companies such as Ally Bank and Marcus by Goldman Sachs are becoming popular in the said industry. Precisely why we are making this comparative review among these two popular names in the mobile banking industry.

If you are someone who’s looking into what particular online bank to deal with, where to entrust your money and rely on your other banking needs, this one is for you.

In particular, we are going to talk about the following regarding both Ally Bank and Marcus by Goldman Sachs:

  • What Ally Bank and Marcus is all about?
  • Types of Accounts Offered          
  • Special Features
  • Branches and ATMs
  • Fees and Charges
  • Customer Service Support
  • Pros and Cons

ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: BRIEF BACKGROUND

In anything especially if we are talking about an institution where you are going to park your money into, it is very important to get to know the company first. This will give you an idea on whether or not the bank is reliable and trustworthy, or the other way around.

Having said that, here’s a brief backgrounder of both Ally and Marcus for your reference:

ALLY BANK

Ally Bank whose roots were in the automobile industry has been around for years already. Based in Midvale, Utah, the company is part of the General Motors Corporation.

GMC established a company names General Motors Acceptance Corporation or GMAC in 1919. The company was established to particularly help provide financing for its growing customer base back in the days.

Overtime, GMAC expanded and eventually ventured into banking. It offered functions of what traditional banks offer on a day-to-day basis.

Years later, specifically in 2009, GMAC changed the name of its banking unit to what we know today as Ally Bank. The name change gave the company a fresh start having gone through a financial crisis.

Eventually, GMAC decided to change the name of the entire financial company. They rebranded to what is now called Ally Financial. However, it was only in 2014 when Ally Financial went public with the ticker ALLY.

Things went smoothly for Ally Financial, as well as Ally Bank, which is why it is not surprising that the company decided to expand and open up an online brokerage. The company bought TradeKing, and it was rebranded to Ally Invest, which is a name that is also popular in the online brokerage industry.

If you are interested in knowing more about Ally Bank, here’s an insightful review by CBLifeHacks. Click the red button below to watch the whole thing:

MARCUS

Marcus is an online bank that was founded in the United States in 2016. It is owned by Goldman Sachs, an investment bank that has been around since 1869.

Headquartered in New York City, Marcus has become popular in the online banking space because of its high-yield savings and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts. These accounts are made accessible even with a low deposit. Moreover, Marcus also gained popularity as people find its No-Penalty CD feature as a unique option as compared to its competitors.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs is ideal for those who want to take advantage of the highest savings account interest rates available. Furthermore, it is ideal for those who:

  • Wants fee-free savings to account to keep money
  • Do not have enough savings to qualify for highest rates in other banks out there
  • Do not need a separate checking account intended for payments
  • Need to move money fast through wire transfer

ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: TYPES OF ACCOUNTS OFFERED

Every bank customer out there (like you and me) has different banking needs and preferences. That is why knowing what it is that you need will make the selection process easier.

Both Ally Bank and Marcus offer different sets of products depending on the needs of their clients. Here’s a list of what these online banks have to offer:

ALLY BANK

Online Savings Account

Ally Bank offers a high annual percentage yield or APY on deposits. In addition, it offers features, which include:

  • No minimum initial deposit or ongoing minimum balance required
  • Funding your account by transferring money from another account, wiring funds, mailing checks for deposit, or making a mobile check deposit
  • No monthly fees

The downside of Ally Bank’s Online Savings Account though is that it does not include an ATM card. Withdrawals can be done by linking an external account and transferring the money there. Otherwise, you can open a Money Market or Interest Checking Account if you want easier access to your money.

Money Market Account

Ally Bank’s Money Markey Account is a mixture of both checking and savings accounts, which means you can make money from interest. Needless to say, this type of account lets you use your money anytime you want.

In addition, the Money Market Account also offers the following features:

  • High annual percentage yield (exact rate vary from time to time)
  • A debit card and free checks for expenditures
  • No monthly fees
  • Enjoy ATM access

Unfortunately, because of federal regulations, withdrawals from your Money Market Account have certain limitations. While you can withdraw cash via an ATM machine anytime you need cash, payments, and transfers out of your account are limited.

Interest Checking Account

Ally Bank’s Interest Checking Account is free. Apart from that, Ally’s Checking Account also pays a reasonable return on your cash.

Additionally, it also provides the following features:

  • You can earn 0.10% on balances of less than $15,000
  • You can 0.50% on balances of $15,000 or more
  • No monthly fees
  • You can send instant and secure payments to friends and family through Zelle
  • Deposit checks to your account through the mobile app

Ally Bank’s Interest Checking Account is an ideal choice for everyday spending. While earning interest on your account balance, you can also pay bills online without any hassle. Needless to say, you will also receive a debit card for easy cash withdrawals.

With Ally’s ATM you can withdraw cash anytime at any Allpoint ATM free of charge. Furthermore, you can also get up to $10 per statement cycle in ATM fee rebate charges from other ATMs in the country.

Another plus is that Ally Bank does not charge you for using a non-network ATMs. However, there may be some ATM operators that will charge you instead. As with foreign transactions, Ally Bank does charge a 1% foreign transaction fee is the case you withdraw cash outside the country.

Certificates of Deposit

Ally Bank offers a variety of Certificates of Deposit, which includes the following:

  • High-Yield CDs – These are traditional CDs that do require a commitment to leaving funds with the bank for a particular period of time.
  • Raise Your Rate CDs – This type of CD has rates that can potentially grow, which precludes situations wherein you get stuck with a low CD for a couple of years.
  • No Penalty CDs – These are considered as liquid CDs, which means your money is accessible anytime.

Apart from the above-mentioned products, Ally Bank also offers the following:

  • Auto Loans
  • Home Purchase Loans
  • IRAs
  • Managed Investment Portfolios
  • Mortgage Refinance Loans
  • Self-Directed Investment Accounts

MARCUS

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers the following types of accounts:

Online Savings Account

Compared to the national average, what Marcus Online Savings offer is significantly higher. Other features of this product include:

  • Earning 2% APY on account balances as low as $1
  • No minimum initial deposit requirement
  • No ongoing minimum balance requirement
  • Funding account by wiring funds, money transfer, or mailing checks for deposit
  • No fees (unless cashing out of a CD early)

Several CD Options

Marcus does have very competitive CD rates. Apart from that, you have various options to choose from.

Here is some very important information you have to know about Marcus CDs:

  • Requires at least $500 to open a CD
  • Standard CDs require you to leave your savings in an account for a particular period of time
  • Marcus may assess an early-withdrawal penalty on highest-paying CDs depending on the term of your CD
  • No-Penalty CDs are liquid CDs with a term of 13 months (full balance can be withdrawn after 7 days from the day you purchased your CD)

Personal Unsecured Loans

Marcus offers unsecured personal loans amounting from $3,500 up to $40,000. For this, your application will be evaluated by the lender. They will be particular on your credit scored as well as your income. The thing about this is, you are not required to pledge collateral to secure loans.

ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: SPECIAL FEATURES

Both Ally Bank and Marcus have a couple of features that make each of them stand out from the rest. Having said that, let’s look into what both banks have to offer.

ALLY BANK

Apart from the various type of accounts, as well as other products that the bank offers, there are two other things that Ally Bank has become really popular about. These are its customer service support and their mobile app with card management.

Ally Bank has a very reliable customer service support, which is available 24/7 via phone, live chat, and email.

Ally’s customer service is very dependable that in fact, it has earned second place in the 2019 J.D. Power 2019 Direct Banking Satisfaction Study.

Meanwhile, with their mobile app, unlike other banks’ mobile application, Ally comes with a card management feature, which makes it even more convenient for its customers/users.

MARCUS

Meanwhile, Marcus has two key features as well. These are loan specialization, as well as having a learning center plus debt resources.

ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: BRANCHES AND ATMs

This time around, we’ll look into both Ally Bank and Marcus Bank’s availability via bank branches as well as ATM access.

Unfortunately, Ally Banks does not have a physical branch, which is precisely why it is called a mobile-only bank in the first place. This perhaps can be considered as a downside especially for those people who prefer talking to a bank officer or teller face-to-face. Nevertheless, Ally Bank knows how to make it up to its users by giving them a reliable and dependable 24/7 customer service support.

Meanwhile, with regards to ATM access, Ally Banks has around 43,000 ATMs where you can withdraw money from free of charge.

As for Marcus, they do have two branches available. As with the bank’s ATM services, they boast over 80,000 ATMs nationwide available anytime you want to withdraw money from your account.

ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: FEES AND CHARGES

When it comes to fees and charges, we have to say that both are almost equal in this part. Both Ally Bank and Marcus do have their share of highs and lows on this part.

With Ally Bank, there are no fees like monthly maintenance fees. Ally Bank does not charge you for using a non-network ATMs as well — unless the ATM operator charges a fee for using their services. Meanwhile, with regards to making foreign transactions, the bank charges a 1% foreign transaction fee for cash withdrawals outside the country.

As with Marcus, they do not charge monthly fees as well. However, they do have early-withdrawal penalties for CDs. Also, you cannot overdraw your account or pay fees at foreign ATMs without a checking account or ATM card.

ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: CUSTOMER SERVICE SUPPORT

Our review will not be complete if we will not look into each bank’s customer service support.

As mentioned earlier, Ally Bank excels when it comes to customer service. They do offer customer service support via phone, live chat, email, and even through social media 24/7. This is definitely one of the reasons why people love online banking with Ally. They may not be physically available, but they do know how to make it up.

Now, with regard to Marcus, they do have phone support to both new and existing customers available between 8 in the morning and 10 in the evening (Eastern Time) from Monday to Friday, while 9 in the morning until 7 in the evening on weekends. Chat support, meanwhile, is exclusively available for customers who are logged into their accounts only.

ALLY BANK VS MARCUS: PROS AND CONS

To complete our review, we are going to look into the overall pros and cons of both Ally Bank and Marcus. This will surely help you make a decision if you have not decided yet whether to go for Ally or Marcus.

ALLY BANK

PROS CONS
It offers a wide variety of financial products. It has fewer loan options as compared to Marcus and other competing banks.
It is easily accessible with widespread ATM access, and of course, its cutting edge mobile application. It has slightly lower savings rates.
It has excellent 24/7 customer service support. It does not have a brick-and-mortar location, which means face-to-face transactions or consultations is impossible.

MARCUS

PROS CONS
It offers slightly higher savings rates, which means you have the chance to earn a little more if you park your money with Marcus. It has very limited financial products.
It has lower fees. Its customer service is not accessible compared to Ally Bank.
It offers a wide range of loan options.  

FINAL THOUGHTS ON ALLY BANK VS MARCUS

It is actually hard to choose between the two because ultimately, they are two different banks with different offerings. However, if we will base it on overall impact, we have to say Ally Bank wins. But, then again, it depends on the user or customer.

If you want a higher interest rate, then it is a no-brainer, it is Marcus winning for this. But if you are fine with a little lower interest rate but with excellent customer service support and money is more accessible, then it has to be Ally Bank.

Again, it all boils down to what your needs and preferences are as a user.

So, have you decided yet? Which do you think meets your requirements?

While this Ally Bank vs Marcus comparative review gives you a lot of vital information to help you decide, at the end of the day, it all goes back to what your goals are. Once you know what you want for your money, then it should be easier to determine which between Ally and Marcus you will get your money into.

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Investment Apps and Websites

Ally Bank Vs Chime: Choosing The Mobile Bank For You

When it comes to institutions that specialize in digital banking, there are two popular names that are battling off being the best — it is Ally Bank vs Chime. Both offer low-fee checking and savings accounts, but, their rates, as well as account access, vary.

Ally Bank vs Chime comparative review

Through this Ally Bank vs Chime review, we are going to compare both companies in order to be able to determine which among the two is the most ideal based on your needs and preferences.

As mentioned both Ally Bank and Chime Bank offer mobile banking, which is probably the most sought after banking platform these days. Well, how could you not get into it when it offers so much convenience and ease for customers like you and me.

Mobile banking has ended changed the way banking is done. In fact, in data presented by Statista, back in 2015, “the number of digital banking users was forecast to surpass 161 million in the United States in 2019.” This number represents over twenty percent growth from 2014. According to the study, there are two factors that led to this increase in mobile or online banking. One of them is the increased prevalence of smartphones, as well as other digital platforms, and the second one is the increase or growth in financial technology firms — like Ally and Chime.

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If we may just say, another reason why digital or online banking is becoming “in” is the fact that people today – especially the young generation – loves anything instant. People have changed. We now want anything that will provide us convenience or ease of use.

Don’t get us wrong, there is totally nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s a good thing. Because that also gives us the impression that the banking industry is adapting to change.

Anyway, going back to our Ally Bank and Chime comparative review, we are going to specifically talk about the following?

  • What is Ally Bank?
  • What is Chime?
  • How does Ally Bank and Chime work?
  • What are the key features of Ally Bank and Chime?
  • What are Ally Bank and Chime fees and charges?
  • How is the customer service of Ally Bank and Chime?
  • What are the pros and cons of both Ally Bank and Chime?

ALLY BANK VS CHIME: BRIEF BACKGROUND

First and foremost, let us talk about what these companies are. For any customer/client, it is very important to get to know the institution first before signing up or dealing with them. This will help give you peace of mind, at the same time, build trust knowing that the organization is reliable and have an awesome background to back them up.

ALLY BANK

For those who are not familiar with Ally Bank, the company actually started in the automobile industry. It’s quite interesting knowing that from automobiles, they have become who they are now – one of the most popular names in digital banking.

Anyway, General Motors Corporation established the company as the General Motors Acceptance Corporation or GMAC back in 1919. GMAC was established to help provide financing for its then growing customer base.

Just like any growing companies, eventually, GMAc expanded its operations and added functions that any traditional bank offers.

In 2009, however, GMAC’s banking unit had to change its name. It has become what we now know as Ally Bank. The said name change actually helped GMAC get back on track after going through a financial crisis.

Eventually, GMAC had to embrace a totally new name. The whole mega financial company was rebranded and named Ally Financial. In 2014, Ally Financial went public with the ticker ALLY.

Meanwhile, in 2016, the company expanded and entered into the online brokerage arena. Ally bought TradeKing, which was in the end rebranded to Ally Invest – the company’s, online brokerage firm.

Ally Bank is based in Midvale, Utah.

CHIME BANK

As mentioned, Chime Bank is an online, rather, a “mobile-only” bank that offers an alternative to traditional banking. This one’s ideal for people who tired of having to pay high fees or those who hate dealing with overdrafts.

Chime makes things convenient, needless to say, it offers its customers a streamlined service that is very understandable.

Just so you know, Chime is both a bank account and a mobile application. Once you have decided to open an account with Chime, you get both a Spending Account and a Savings Account. In addition, you will also get the Chime Visa Debit Card.

All accounts with Chime are FDIC-insured, which makes them a reliable online banking institution.

Furthermore, Chime does offer features that you will surely enjoy. This includes not having monthly minimums or fees, no overdraft fees, and most of all, it has a lot of fee-free ATMs, which definitely made it more appealing especially to the younger ones.

Now, before we continue, here’s an informative review from MissBeHelpful, a YouTube video creator regarding Ally Bank and Chime Bank. Watch the video by clicking below play button:

ALLY BANK VS CHIME: HOW IT WORKS

This time around, let’s look into how both Ally Bank and Chime Bank work. This will give you an idea which between the two institutions is more convenient for you.

ALLY BANK

The primary reason why a lot of people choose Ally Bank over other mobile or digital banks is that it offers relatively high-interest rates. Sounds good?

Apart from that, Ally Bank does not charge fees like monthly maintenance fees to its customers. More so, it does not also require minimums on any of the accounts they offer. No wonder why Ally Bank is very much appealing to small investors.

Ally Bank is FDIC-insured, which basically means, each depositor is protected for up to $250,000. Note that not all mobile or digital banks are FDIC-insured. Thus, knowing that Ally Bank is FDIC-insured means you can sleep at night peacefully knowing that your money is safe.

Signing up with Ally Bank is easy. All you need to do is provide your personal information, which includes your Social Security number. In addition, you will also need to answer questions, which is in compliance with the PATRIOT Act.

Going through the whole signing up process is not painful at all. Also, another thing that we like about Ally is that should you decide to open another account, you will no longer have to go through the same process. The bank will basically just pull your information off from their database – which makes it really convenient.

CHIME BANK

Chime Bank is very straightforward. Basically, all those who will sign up will have access to a checking account, which Chime calls as Spending Account; a savings account, and lastly, a debit card.

Initially, all the money deposited in your Chime account will go directly to your checking account. This allows you to use the money to make everyday purchases using your debit card. You also have the option to use it online just like a standard checking account to send money, or you may use it to write paper checks using the Chime Checkbook app.

Just like any online banking account, your money from your checking account can also be transferred to your savings account giving you the option to keep it there or set up an external transfer account. Don’t worry about charges as there are no fees charged for transferring cash.

ALLY BANK VS CHIME: KEY FEATURES

While both Ally Bank and Chime Bank seem to have similarities, it is also important to note that the two are still different from one another. One of the bases on that is the key features they both offer. Let’s take a look at them.

ALLY BANK

Ally Bank offers a wide variety of financial services like a savings account, checking account, money market, as well as certificates of deposit. In fact, you can open different bank accounts either for everyday use or for long-term savings.

Since it’s an online bank, it’s pretty obvious that Ally is accessible using either your smartphone or your laptop. Ally Bank’s mobile app is available for both iPhone and Android users.

Furthermore, Ally Bank offers ATM reimbursement, online deposits (unfortunately, a cash deposit is not supported), and perhaps the most unique feature it has is the Ally Invest.

Ally Bank is like a one-stop-shop for your banking as well as investing needs. Ally Invest is Ally’s online stock broker service. Just like Ally Bank, there’s so much to like about Ally Invest especially its great pricing model.

Another notable feature of Ally Bank that a lot of their customers are really giving praises to the bank’s customer support which is available 24/7 via phone, live chat or email.

By the way, apart from the bank accounts, we mentioned a while ago, Ally Bank also offers a robust range of products such as:

  • Auto Loans
  • Home Purchase Loans
  • IRAs
  • Managed Investment Portfolios
  • Mortgage Refinance Loans
  • Self-Directed Investment Accounts

But for us, the best feature of Ally is that it is free from any charges, and it does not charge foreign transaction fees as well.

CHIME BANK

Chime Bank offers a variety of key features, which include the following:

SpotMe – This feature allows you to use your debit card in buying stuff without having to worry about overdraft fees. The thing about this feature is that Chime will “spot” you wherever you want to put that little extra cushion to cover the cost of your purchases. To qualify for this feature, you have to receive $500 or more in direct deposits within the last 31 days. Basically, the SpotMe limit starts at $20, and it can go as high as $100 or more. This will be based on your individual account history as well as usage.

Chime Savings Round-Ups – This is how it goes — every time you use your debit card in using something, Chime will automatically round the change up to the nearest $1, and then, it will be deposited to your savings account.

High-Yield Interest Rate of 0.01% – Compared to traditional banks that pays an APY north 1%, Chime Bank only pays a 0.01% APY. If you park your money on your savings account, expect not to earn an annual interest rate. The good thing is, you are given the ability to transfer your Chime savings account to an external account, which allows you to earn 1.15% APY for a balance amounting to $10,000.

Automatic Savings Feature Plus Checkbook – All members of Chime are allowed to have direct deposits places into their checking accounts. From there, customers or users do have the freedom to choose setting up an automatic savings feature, as well as take advantage of the checkbook feature, which allows you to send a paper check for free.

Automatic Deposits and No Foreign Transaction Fees – Chime also offers automatic deposit for your paycheck, which allows you to get your paycheck early. Also, Chime does not charge foreign transaction fees, which makes it a great choice for those who usually travel abroad.

ALLY BANK VS CHIME: FEES AND CHARGES

Both Ally Bank and Chime Bank do not charge any fees like monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, and foreign transaction fees, which makes both online banks equal on this part.

So, if you are someone looking for an online bank that is free from fees and charges, you can just opt for any of these two.

However, for Ally Bank, it does have transaction limits for savings accounts, which is limited to 6, after that you will have to pay $10 per exchange.

To add, both banks do not require minimum fees.

ALLY BANK VS CHIME: CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPERIENCE

This Ally Bank vs Chime comparative review will not be complete without us looking into the customer service support of both banks. As a user/customer, customer service support is vital especially since these institutions are online-based.

Having said that, here’s what we found out:

ALLY BANK

One of the things that make Ally Bank on top of its game – apart from their list of products and other notable features – is the fact that it has excellent customer service support.

Ally Bank has earned second place in the 2019 J.D. Power 2019 Direct Banking Satisfaction Study. According to the said study, they have found that customers of Ally Bank particularly like their Ally account opening experience, the products, as well as the bank’s fee structure.

But apart from all these, the customer applauded the bank’s customer service support. Ally Bank provides phone, email, and live chat support, which is available 24/7. Another unique feature of the bank is that you get to see your estimated wait time before calling, allowing you to decide whether to push through with the call or not.

Meanwhile, if you are using the app or are logged in online, you may also choose to send secure messages and chat about account-specific problems.

CHIME BANK

Unfortunately, unlike Ally Bank, Chime’s customer service and support staff is lacking, which makes it a big disadvantage given that it is an online banking platform. However, if you are someone who doesn’t mind having or not having customer support, then, this should not be a problem at all.

ALLY BANK VS CHIME: THE PROS AND CONS

To put everything together, here’s our list of pros and cons for both Ally and Chime:

ALLY BANK
PROS CONS
– Does not charge any fees (e.g. maintenance fee, foreign transaction fees)Does not require account minimums in opening or maintaining an account

– Provides 24/7 customer service through phone, email, or chat

– Offers an interest-paying checking account

– Provides very competitive rates

– Provides an investing platform through Ally InvestProvides an easy-to-use online interface

– Allows e-check deposit – you just have to snap a photo of your check and upload it
– Does not have a provision for cash deposits

– Does not have a brick-and-mortar location, which means face-to-face contact with a bank officer or teller is not feasible

– Has transaction limits for savings accounts (limited to 6, after which you will have to pay $10 per exchange)
CHIME BANK
PROS CONS
– Free from fees and charges like monthly fees, overdraft fees, as well as foreign transaction fees

– FDIC-insured, which means your money is safe with them

– Have lots of ATMs — thousands of them that are free for use

– Offers simple direct deposit
– Does not support cash deposits
– The interest rate is not ideal for savings
– Does not have physical branches — everything is online only
– Customer service is the company’s biggest downfall

As you can see from the above tables, both Ally Bank and Chime Bank have their respective pros and cons, and it’s all up to you to choose which fits your needs and preferences.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON ALLY BANK VS CHIME

Both Ally Bank and Chime Bank offer competitive financial products — depending on the financial situation you are in. But to make things simple, we got to say choose Ally Bank if you want something that has a wide variety of product selections, as well as higher interest rates. Meanwhile, choose Chime Bank if you want mobile banking that comes with money management and savings tools as well.

As we have said earlier, while both Ally and Chime do have their similarities, if you will look closely, they have so many differences as well. At the end of the day, it’s about choosing the platform that you think will work best for you.

So, having said that and having read all the information we provided, have you decided which one is the perfect mobile bank for you yet?

Nevertheless, whatever you choose between Ally Bank vs Chime, one thing’s for sure, you are picking one of the most popular mobile banks in the country. Both have earned their respective posts in the mobile banking industry.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

Ally Bank Review: How It Works And Why It’s Popular

This Ally Bank review will help you understand further why it is a well-known online bank particularly among people who are looking for strong rates and robust customer service. Furthermore, this review will share with you some of the most essential details regarding Ally Bank.

Ally Bank Review What You Need To Know

Let’s face it, today, we live in a totally different world. In this day and age, people do a lot online. Apart from the fact that it’s very accessible, anything online can be just in just a few seconds or minutes.

Like in banking. In a traditional bank setting, making a deposit or withdrawal takes a while, but with online banking, it doesn’t even take a minute! Yes, that’s how easy and convenient online banking is. No doubt why there are more than 60% of Americans who do things mostly including banking online.

In data published by Statista, it says that the “usage of mobile banking has been steadily increasing among Bank of America customers since 2012.”

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As of 2019, there are 57 million banking users in the country. Well, the number is not surprising given the fact that online banking does more than just banking. In fact, 86% of U.S. banks offer bill payment through mobile banking.

You see, mobile banking continues to become the new norm when it comes to banking.

One of the most popularly known companies when it comes to mobile banking is Ally Bank — precisely why this Ally Bank review. The company is trusted by over 1 million customers for both checking and savings accounts. On top of that are mortgage and auto loans.

Ally Bank became popular not just for their excellent online banking services, but also because of high-yield CDs as well as no-fee policy.

Ally Bank is definitely one of the hassle-free solutions to your online banking needs.

Now, as part of our Ally Bank review, we are going to specifically talk about the following:

  • What is Ally Bank?
  • Who is Ally Bank Best for?
  • What does Ally Bank offer?
  • How does Ally Bank work?
  • What are the other financial products from Ally Bank?
  • How is Ally Bank’s customer service?
  • What are the pros and cons of Ally Bank?

WHAT IS ALLY BANK?

You will probably surprise if we tell you that Ally Banks has its roots in the automobile industry. Yes, you read it right!

Way back in 1919, General Motors Corporation established the company as the General Motors Acceptance Corporation or GMAC. The said company was founded to help provide financing for its growing customer base.

As years go by, GMAC expanded its operations, and eventually added all the functions of what an everyday bank offers.

Now, about 90 years to 2009, GMAC changed the name of its banking unit to what we now know as Ally Bank. Unfortunately, GMAC went through a financial crisis and having a new name brought the company to a fresh start.

A year after GMAC had a name change, the entire mega financial company rebranded and was ever since called Ally Financial.

It was in the year 2014 when Ally Financial went public with the ticker ALLY. Meanwhile, in 2016, the company expanded what it already offers then entering into the online brokerage space. Ally bought TradeKing, which was eventually rebranded to Ally Invest.

While Ally Financial (the mother company) is headquartered in Detroit, Ally Bank, meanwhile, is based in Midvale, Utah.

Before we proceed, if you want to know more about Ally Bank and how it works, you may want to check the below video by Baby Stepping 2 Freedom as she shares her thoughts about the bank. Click the play button below to watch the whole thing:

WHO IS ALLY BANK BEST FOR?

As part of this Ally Bank review, we are also giving you details on who the company is best for. This alone will help you gauge whether or not Ally Bank is your perfect match when it comes to online banking.

Anyway, based on the company’s characteristics and what it offers, we thought that Ally Bank is ideal for consumers who are looking for a solid online bank account.

In particular, Ally Bank is ideal for those who want to:

  • Open a savings account with no minimum balance requirement
  • Open a checking account that comes with a debit card and no monthly maintenance fees
  • Make a modest return on savings
  • Make more money with CDs that require no minimum deposit
  • Bank with an established, well-known online bank

If you associate yourself with any of the above-mentioned, or perhaps all of them, then, no doubt, Ally Bank is perfect for you.

WHAT DOES ALLY BANK OFFER?

In any Ally Bank review, you will surely find yourself reading thoughts rather than information about what the bank offers. Ours is not an exemption.

Just so you know, Ally Bank offers a wide variety of financial services. In fact, you can open different bank accounts either for everyday use or for long-term savings.

Some of the key financial services that Ally Bank offers are as follows:

Online Savings Account

If you are looking for a bank that offers a high annual percentage yield or APY, then, Ally Bank is the right bank for you.

Ally Bank’s Online Savings Account pays a relatively high APY on deposits. It offers other features, which are as follows:

  • As of February 2020, you can earn 1.60% APY, regardless of your account balance.
  • There’s no minimum initial deposit or ongoing minimum balance required.
  • You may fund your account by transferring money from another account, wiring funds, mailing checks for deposit, or making a mobile check deposit.
  • It does not charge monthly fees.

Now, if you wish to make a withdrawal from your savings, all you have to do is transfer funds to another Ally Bank account or it may also be a linked account from a different bank. Another option is to request a check or an outgoing wire.

Unfortunately, Ally Bank’s Online Savings Account does not include an ATM card. However, you can open a Money Market or Interest Checking Account if you want easier access to your money.

Money Market Account

Ally Bank’s Money Markey Account is a hybrid of both checking and savings accounts. This means, you can make money from interest, at the same time, you can also spend your money anytime you want.

Money Market Account also offers the following features:

  • As of February 2020, you can earn as much as 0.75% APY, regardless of balance.
  • Receive a debit card and free checks for spending your money.
  • No monthly maintenance charges.
  • Enjoy the same ATM access just like the Ally Checking Account.

Due to federal regulations, there are limitations when it comes to certain withdrawals from your Money Market Account — which is limited to six per month. Meanwhile, you can withdraw cash as often as you want through an ATM machine. However, payments, as well as transfers out of your account, is limited.

Interest Checking Account

Ally Bank’s Interest Checking Account is free. It also pays a reasonable return on your cash.

Furthermore, it also provides the following features:

  • Earn 0.10% on balances of less than $15,000.
  • Earn 0.50% on balances of $15,000 or more.
  • No monthly maintenance charges.
  • It allows you to send instant and secure payments to friends and family through Zelle.
  • Deposit checks to your account using the mobile app.

The bank’s Interest Checking Account is a great option for everyday spending. While you earn interest on your account balance, it also allows you to pay bills online with ease. You also get to have a debit card for cash withdrawals and another everyday spending.

Another thing worth sharing about Ally’s ATM is that it is pretty decent. You can withdraw cash anytime at any Allpoint ATM free of charge. In addition, you can also get up to $10 per statement cycle in ATM fee rebate charges from other ATMs in the country. Fortunately, Ally Bank does not charge you for using a non-network ATMs. However, some ATM operators may charge you instead. Finally, when it comes to foreign transactions, Ally Bank does charge a 1% foreign transaction fee is the case you withdraw cash outside the country.

Certificates of Deposit

Ally Bank offers a variety of Certificates of Deposit. This includes High-Yield CDs, Raise Your Rate CDs, and No Penalty CDs.

Let us first talk about High-Yield CDs. These refer to traditional CDs that require a commitment to leaving funds with the bank for a particular length of time.

Because of this, the bank may pay higher rates at issue than other more flexible options available.

What’s is notable is that the rate stays as it is no matter what — until maturity. Also, take note that there is no minimum deposit required to get started, which is uncommon for CDs. Just so you know, a lot of CDs from other banks have a minimum requirement of at least $500. Having said that, Ally Bank’s CDs make an excellent option for anyone who has very little to invest in.

To give you an idea, here are Ally Bank’s CD rates as of the end of February 2020:

Term APY
3-Month 0.75%
6-Month 1.00%
9-Month 1.25%
12-Month 2.00%
18-Month 1.90% to 2.05%, depending on deposit
3-Year 1.95% to 2.10%, depending on deposit
5-Year 2.15%

Next, let’s discuss Raise Your Rate CDs.

The thing about Ally Banks’s Raise Your Rate CDs is that all of these have rates that can potentially grow, which prevents situations wherein you get stuck with a low CD for how many years.

Just so you know, if you have a 2-year CD, you have the opportunity to request for an increase once. Meanwhile, for those with a 4-year CD, they get to enjoy two opportunities.

To be honest, there are very few products similar to what Ally offers. Needless to say, among all of them, Ally Bank’s Raise Your Rate CD is one of the best.

To give you an idea, as of February 2020, the APY for both 2-year and 4-year Raise Your Rate CDs is 2.05%. Also, do take note that there is no minimum deposit required.

Lastly, let us discuss No Penalty CDs.

Ally Bank’s No Penalty CDs are considered as liquid CDs. This addresses the ultimate drawback of using a certificate of deposit. While most banks require you to commit to leaving your money in your account for a specific time length, this No Penalty CD by Ally Bank makes your money accessible anytime especially in times of emergencies.

The bank’s No Penalty CDs are 11-month CDs. However, as mentioned, it is liquid, which means you can withdraw all your money after the first six days. How much you earn varies from time to time.

As of February 2020, you can earn as much as the following:

  • 1.65% on deposits of less than $5,000 (no minimum deposit required)
  • 1.85% on deposits between $5,000 and $24,999
  • 1.90% on deposits of $25,000 or more

HOW DOES ALLY BANK WORK?

Perhaps the ultimate reason why people choose Ally Bank over other mobile banks is that Ally offers relatively high-interest rates.

In addition, Ally Bank also does not charge fees like monthly maintenance fees, and that it also does not require minimums on accounts they offer, which makes it even more appealing especially to small investors.

With all the beautiful offerings of Ally, it is also worth sharing that the bank is FDIC-insured, which means, protections apply up to $250,000 per depositor. Knowing the fact that it is a mobile bank, this gives consumers peace of mind.

Meanwhile, when it comes to signing up, it’s pretty easy. Just like any other mobile bank, you will need to provide personal information including your Social Security number. You will also be asked questions in compliance with the PATRIOT Act.

The whole process of signing up and opening an account is not painful at all. In fact, you can open various accounts like CDs and bank accounts using the same screen without the need to fill out the same information again and again. Now, that is convenience at its finest, right?

WHAT ARE THE OTHER FINANCIAL PRODUCTS FROM ALLY BANK?

Apart from the aforementioned bank accounts, Ally Bank also offers a robust range of products, which include:

  • Auto Loans
  • Home Purchase Loans
  • IRAs
  • Managed Investment Portfolios
  • Mortgage Refinance Loans
  • Self-Directed Investment Accounts

HOW IS ALLY BANK’S CUSTOMER SERVICE?

Of course, our Ally Bank review will not be complete without checking out the bank’s customer service. As a consumer/customer using an online platform, customer service is one of the deciding factors.

Having said that, we, of course, checked how’s Ally Bank’s customer service.

We found out that Ally Bank has earned high remarks when it comes to customer service. In fact, the company is a second place in the 2019 J.D. Power 2019 Direct Banking Satisfaction Study. Based on the said study, it has been found that customers specifically like Ally Bank’s account opening experience, and the products as well as the fee structure of the bank.

On top of all these, Ally Bank provides phone support, which is available 24/7. What makes it different from other banks, particularly online banks is that you get to see your estimated wait time before calling, which allows you to decide whether to push through with the call or not.

Apart from the phone support, you may also chat with a customer service representative if you prefer typing instead of talking. Just the same, it is open for service 24/7. If you are using the app or are logged in online, you may also opt to send secure messages and chat about account-specific concerns.

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF ALLY BANK?

Just like other Ally Bank reviews, this one’s not going to be complete without us discussing the pros and cons of the bank. This will hopefully give you an overall overview of what and what not to expect on Ally Bank.

PROS

  • It does not charge any fees (like maintenance fee).
  • It does not require account minimums in order to be able to open or maintain an account.
  • It provides 24/7 customer service via phone or chat.
  • It offers an interest-paying checking account.
  • It provides very competitive rates.
  • It also provides an investing platform through Ally Invest.
  • It provides an easy-to-use online interface.
  • It allows e-check deposit — all you have to do is snap a photo of your check and upload it.

CONS

  • It does not have a provision for cash deposits.
  • It does not have a brick-and-mortar location, which means face-to-face contact with a bank officer or teller is not possible.
  • It has transaction limits for savings accounts (limited to 6, after which you will have to pay $10 per exchange).

FINAL THOUGHTS ON ALLY BANK REVIEW

Overall, we have to say that Ally Bank is a solid online bank. It comes with great checking and savings account options. Needless to say, the zero fees. Who can beat that anyway?

Moreover, the company has gained its growing customer base because of its record of dependable and friendly live customer service, which is available 7 days a week from 7 in the morning until 10 in the evening (Eastern Time).

While it does not provide access to cash deposits just like most online banks, in totality, Ally Bank is still very promising.

We just have to make a point though that Ally Bank is particularly ideal for those who want to park their money in a savings or checking account free from any hassle.

So, having read all the information we share, what do you think about Ally Bank? Are you in for it?

We just want to say that this Ally Bank review is basically giving you everything that you should know especially if you are not familiar with how the bank works. But to be fair, we also shared some of its downsides. This way, you know what exactly to expect from the bank.

Categories
Investment Apps and Websites

Chime Review: Is This Free Mobile Banking Ideal For You?

This Chime review will make you appreciate the bank’s efforts in ensuring you do not have to worry about monthly banking charges that keep growing month after month. Chime Bank understands the plight of bank clients, thus, they are trying to address it the way they know-how.

Chime review what you need to know

Do you have a savings or a spending account or you have both? How do you feel about it? Do you find the charges overwhelming or you’re okay with it? Well, while some may be fine with bank charges, a lot of us would rather now have such fees. After all, it’s like forfeiting the very reason why we are trying to save money or manage our money by putting it in the bank, right?

In an article published by Forbes, it mentioned about a 2018 study conducted by Deposit Accounts wherein it says that “the average bank or credit union customer pays nearly $34 for an overdraft, $2.28 for an ATM Fee, and $4.58 in monthly fees”. For an ordinary citizen or individual, that is so much money spent paying charges and fees when they could have just saved them, right?

To be honest, bank charges and fees are quite frustrating. Good thing, there’s Chime Bank. A mobile banking app that offers both spending and savings accounts. Chime is said to be one nuisance bank that hopes to solve bank charges and fees dilemma among clients/customers.

Sounds very promising, right? That is exactly why we are going to do this Chime review — to help you understand better what Chime is all about, how it functions, and more.

To be specific, we are going to tackle the following:

  • What is Chime?
  • How does Chime work?
  • What are Chime Bank’s key features?
  • How is Chime Bank’s pricing? What about fees?

In addition, we are also going to look into the following:

  • Signing Up with Chime Bank
  • Chime Bank Security Feature
  • Chime Bank Mobile Support & Accessibility
  • Customers Service Service
  • … and lastly, the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Chime Bank

WHAT IS CHIME BANK?

Chime Bank is an American technology company that provides financial services through a mobile app. Chime Bank has earned its popularity as it does not charge overdraft or maintenance bank fees — unlike most of its competitors.

Chime Bank was founded in 2013 by two brilliant men, namely Ryan King and Chris Britt. Chime Bank aims to be an alternative to traditional banks. Since its inception, Chime has been considered the leader in the US challenger bank space.

As mentioned earlier, Chime Bank offers both spending and savings accounts. When you open an account with them, you get to have a Spending Account, a Visa Debit Card and an optional Savings Account, which we find pretty impressive.

Chime was designed for banking using your smartphone instead of the usual brick-and-mortar bank.

To put it simply, Chime Bank is an online or “mobile-only” kind of bank that offers you an alternative to traditional banking. While it is tagged as a bank for millennials, it’s definitely open for anyone — especially those who are tired of paying high bank charges, as well as those who are sick of dealing with overdrafts.

Before we move on to our Chime review, here’s a very insightful one from Shay Budgets that you may want to check out. Click the play button to watch the whole thing.

HOW DOES CHIME WORK?

How Chime works is pretty simple. All you have to do is sign up, and then automatically, you will have access to a checking account, which is called “Spending Account” by Chime, a savings account, as well as a debit card.

All the money that you put into your Chime account will primarily be placed in your checking account. You can use the money to make everyday purchases using your debit card. You can also use it online like the usual checking account that allows you to send money to someone else. In addition, you can also write paper checks using Chime Checkbook app.

The money in your checking account is transferrable to your savings account. You have the option to either let it sit there or you can set up external transfer accounts. Don’t worry about charges because transferring cash through Chime does not have any fee.

WHAT ARE CHIME BANK’S KEY FEATURES?

As part of our Chime review, we are also going to look into Chime Bank’s key features. We are particularly checking some features that make Chime Bank set apart from other online banks and even traditional banks.

– Automatic Savings Feature + Checkbook

This feature lets all its members/users enjoy direct deposits placed into their checking accounts. From there, users have the freedom to set up an automatic savings feature. This allows 10% of your direct deposit to automatically be placed in your savings account. This is applicable for direct deposits over $500.

Furthermore, Chime Checkbook lets you send a paper check to anyone for free. All you have to do is download the app, or you may also find it in your Chime online account. If you are worried about limitations, set that aside as there are no limits to how many checks you can send every month. However, you can only send up to $5,000 per check, and $10,000 per month.

– Automatic Deposits and No Foreign Transaction Fees

Unlike other online and traditional banks, Chime lets you do an automatic deposit for your paycheck. This makes it convenient for Chime users.

Also, as stated, you do not have to deal with foreign transaction fees because there is no such thing at Chime.

– High Yield Interest Rate of 0.01%

Unlike other banks, particularly the traditional ones, Chime only pays 0.01% APY. This means that savings account will not earn an annual interest rate. But as compared to other online banks, it still is better than the others.

Having said that, if you are someone who’s after your money’s earning while in the bank, then perhaps Chime is not for you. The good thing is, Chime lets you transfer your savings account to an external account anytime you want to.

– Chime Savings Round-Ups

Each time you use your Chime debit card in making a purchase, the bank will automatically round the changeup (to the nearest $1) and deposit the change to your savings account.

With Chime, Savings round-up bonuses are deposited every Friday. The maximum amount of bonus money that you can earn is up to $500 annually. That is not bad at all, right? At the end of the day, no amount of money is small enough.

– SpotMe

SpotMe is a unique feature of Chime Bank. It basically allows you to make debit card purchases that may overdraw your account free of any overdraft fees.

Although SpotMe is free, it gives you the ability to leave Chime an optional tip once you are able to repay your negative balance. Tipping, according to Chime, helps them continue to offer such service to its members/clients for free.

To be able to take advantage of SpotMe, you have to have at least $500 or more in direct deposits within the past 31 days. Your SpotMe limit is from $20 and can go as high as $100 or more. This will be based on your individual account history and usage.

If you want to know more about SpotMe, you got to check Chime’s website.

Meanwhile, here’s how you get to enjoy the privileges SpotMe gives (according to Chime):

  • Open the Settings tab in your Chime app to find out if you’re eligible for the SpotMe feature (make sure you have the latest version of the app).
  • Once you agree to the SpotMe Terms and Conditions, you are officially enrolled in SpotMe!
  • When you’re enrolled in SpotMe, you will be able to make debit card purchases that overdraft your account up to $100*.
  • When we receive your next deposit, we will automatically apply it to your negative balance. No overdraft fees are applied. Ever.

HOW IS CHIME BANK’S PRICING? WHAT ABOUT FEES?

Of course, our Chime review will not be complete without looking into the costing. Before you even think about contradicting information – because we earlier said that it’s free and all – you better check this out first.

First and foremost, allow us to share with you the reasons why in general, you incur a fee on your checking account. Here are they:

  • Your average daily balance plunged below the required amount to keep your account free from fees.
  • You did not make adequate withdrawals from your account in a period of one month.
  • The account you had signed up for was withdrawn, and you were automatically enrolled in a different program, which now incurs fees.

The thing about Chime is, it does not charge you for any of the above-mentioned scenarios.

True to what we have already mentioned, Chime is fee-free. Perhaps, the only fee you will encounter when using your Chime savings, checking, or debit card account is when you wake a withdrawal using an ATM that is not part of their network.

Furthermore, Chime does not also charge you for foreign transactions, which means if you travel regularly in different parts of the world, you can use your Chime account without having to worry about transaction fees.

HOW TO SIGN UP WITH CHIME BANK?

This time around, we are going to talk about signing up with Chime Bank.

Just like any other online banks, Chime is not perfect. Unfortunately, one of its imperfections has something to do with signing up.

Generally, signing up should not be complicated, however, it is not always instantaneous. We’ve seen reports from Chime members/clients who claim that they have not received their bank account card up to two weeks after they have signed up.

For some people, this can be quite inconvenient. But if you come to think about it, Chime is still a pretty good option.

The actual application process is not as complicated as you think. However, you may wind up waiting longer to take advantage of the account than you would like.

When signing up, you will have to prepare standard forms of identification. Again, generally, signing up is easy, as well as managing your Chime account. Everything is done through your smartphone only.

HOW SECURED IS CHIME?

Our Chime review is not complete if we do not get into this — security features!

We are not just talking about a simple account online. We are talking about money, which is very essential. Thus, it is likely that as a user or member, you would want to ensure that you can fully trust the bank you are dealing with.

Good thing is, Chime Bank has the fundamental security credentials you would expect from a bank when it comes to security.

Chime is insured under FDIC, which should make you feel confident knowing that your hard-earned money is in good hands. Needless to say, you can set up either a checking or a savings account or both without anything to worry about.

Chime is a “mobile-only” bank, except that it does not function like a typical bank. Meaning, unlike traditional banks, if you encounter security problems, it is will most likely become difficult to resolve certain issues. Unfortunately, being an online bank, it does not have the same robust support structure that most traditional banks do.

So, if you are a security freak, make sure to take this into consideration before signing up or opening up an account with Chime or even with other online banks.

HOW IS CHIME’S MOBILE SUPPORT AND ACCESSIBILITY?

Apart from the fact that Chime does not charge fees, its mobile support and accessibility are also one of Chime Bank’s amazing features.

Since Chime is a mobile-only bank, it was structured around mobile support and accessibility. This allows you to access your account conveniently anytime, anywhere.

With Chime, keeping track of your money is effortless. Chime offers a straightforward experience that lets you do what you need to do without any hassle.

HOW IS CHIME’S CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SUPPORT?

As a client or as a member, especially when we deal with anything mobile, it is important that we look into customer service and support. We believe that for a mobile bank to succeed, it has to have good customer service and support. After all, unlike traditional banks, we cannot go elsewhere to have our problems settled, right?

Unfortunately, we found a lot of Chime reviews from its users/members stating that the bank’s customer service and support staff might be lacking.

One example is when you encounter problems with your account, you do not have an option to talk to someone face-to-face. Everything is solved through phone conversations only.

Unlike other online banks, Chime Bank is not a large bank, which means, it does not have essential partnerships and is a credible operation.

But whether they are a big company or not, still, the level of their customer support staff is not up to the same standard as many traditional banking options have. To be honest, this is quite harming a user’s overall experience. Needless to say, this may make more people shy away from signing up.

Having said that, if you are the type who’s worried about encountering problems with your account, you may want to consider this before signing up.

WHAT ARE CHIME BANK’S ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES?

Our Chime Bank review will not be complete without sharing with you some of the highlights and downsides of signing up with Chime Bank.

For your reference, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages that we found:

ADVANTAGES

It’s free! – As we’ve said, the key feature of Chime is the fact that it is free of charges and fees. You do not have to worry about monthly fees.

It’s FDIC-insured. – Since Chime is insured by the FDIC, you are assured that your money is safe with them.

It does not have foreign transaction fees. – Chime does not also charge foreign transaction fees, which makes it ideal especially for people who travel to different countries on a regular basis.

It offers a simple direct deposit. – The bank makes it easier to get a direct deposit of your paycheck to your Chime account.

It has lots of ATMs. – Apart from the $2.50 out of network ATM charge, Chime does not charge you for anything else. However, given the fact that they do have lots of ATMs around, you will not have to deal with such a non-Chime ATM charge.

DISADVANTAGES

The interest rate is not ideal for savings. – Chime Bank offers a very low-interest rate on a savings account, which makes it challenging to use if you aim to increase your money.

Depositing cash is a challenge. – Another big disadvantage of Chime is that it will be hard for you to deposit cash. It lacks a physical banking location, thus, making it really challenging.

It does not have physical branches. – In relation to the aforementioned, Chime does not have physical branches. Everything is mobile/online, which makes it hard for you especially if you have concerns regarding your account.

Customer service is not impressive. – Another disadvantage, as we mentioned earlier, is Chime’s customer service support. Unfortunately, it’s not as good as you hoped it would be.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON CHIME REVIEW

Chime is very promising, would you agree? Well, who doesn’t want free services, right? It’s nice knowing that they thought about the usual concerns of bank users/members. While it has its pros and cons, we have to say that their pros still overpower the cons.

What do you think?

To end this Chime review, we just want to say that after all the information we shared, in the end, we will let you decide whether or not Chime is a great option for you. We believe that a mobile bank or online bank’s impressiveness will always depend on the users themselves.