The best online banks of 2022

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Online banks require you to conduct all of your financial activities over the internet – there are no physical branches to visit. While this lack of access to the real world may be a dealbreaker for some, these banks generally charge the lowest fees and offer the most competitive returns on savings accounts and certificates of deposit. And they offer a modern and intuitive banking experience online or on a mobile app.

CNET’s list of the best online banks includes some of the most popular banks and credit unions in the country. Our editorial team provides unbiased analysis of major banks and credit unions. The banks included in this list are online-only banks that do not have physical branches but are FDIC or NCUA insured up to $250,000 per person.

The best online banks of 2022

  • Alliant Credit Union
  • Ally
  • Basque Bank
  • Savings on bread
  • Brio Direct
  • Discover the Bank
  • loan club
  • Marcus of Goldman Sachs
  • SoFi
  • Synchrony

Products offered: Current accounts, savings accounts, certificates

Monthly fee: None

Advantages

  • Competitive APYs on savings and checking accounts
  • No monthly maintenance or overdraft fees
  • Low minimum deposit requirements to open accounts
  • Up to $20 off ATMs per month
  • Free network of 80,000 ATMs

The inconvenients

  • No support for peer-to-peer payment tools

Membership is open to current or former employees of Alliant partner companies in the United States. No monthly fees are charged on accounts when you choose to receive electronic statements. Alliant Credit Union offers a variety of CD terms from 12 to 60 months.

Products offered: Current account, savings account, money market account, CD

Monthly fee: None

Advantages

  • Competitive APYs on deposit accounts
  • No monthly maintenance or overdraft fees
  • Free network of 43,000 Allpoint ATMs
  • No minimum deposit requirement
  • 24/7 customer support

The inconvenients

  • No cash deposit accepted

Ally offers a solid set of deposit products, loans, and other financial services. The bank also offers replacement CDs (which automatically adjust to a higher APY when available) and penalty-free CDs. There are no fees charged for all accounts and 24/7 customer support is available via phone, chat or email.

Products offered: Savings accounts, CDs

Monthly fee: None

Advantages

  • High APY on savings and CDs
  • Low minimum deposit requirements for savings account
  • Low fees
  • Variety of CD terms available

The inconvenients

  • No current account
  • High minimum deposit requirement for CDs
  • Limited number of products available

Bask Bank offers competitive APYs on savings accounts and CDs. There is no minimum balance required to open or maintain a savings account. With a deposit of $25,000 you can earn American Airlines miles. CD durations range from six months to one year.

Products offered: Savings account, CD

Monthly fee: None

Advantages

  • High APY on savings and CDs
  • Low deposit required to open a savings account
  • Low fees
  • Variety of CD terms available

The inconvenients

  • No current account
  • High minimum deposits to open a CD
  • Limited number of products available

As the online banking arm of Bread Financial, Bread Savings offers competitive rates on savings, CDs and accounts with minimal fees.

Products offered: Savings account, money market account, CD

Monthly fee: None

Advantages

  • Competitive APYs on savings accounts
  • Low deposits required to open savings accounts and CDs
  • No account fees

The inconvenients

  • Longer durations required to earn the highest APY CD
  • No checks for money market accounts
  • Checking accounts not available

BrioDirect is the online branch of Webster Bank. It offers savings accounts, CDs – with terms ranging from 30 days to 5 years – and money market accounts. Checking accounts are “in maintenance” for an indefinite period and not available at this time.

Products offered: Current account, savings account, money market account, CD

Monthly fee: None

Advantages

  • Competitive APYs on savings accounts
  • No monthly maintenance or overdraft fees
  • No minimum deposit requirement to open accounts
  • Free network of 60,000 ATMs
  • Direct deposits accessible two days in advance
  • Cash back when checking out

The inconvenients

  • High minimum deposit to open a CD
  • No cash deposit accepted

Discover Bank offers deposit accounts, credit cards, personal loans and student loans. It eliminated fees on deposit accounts in June 2019. The Discover Cashback Debit Account is a completely free checking account that pays out 1% cash back on debit card purchases up to $3,000 per month.

Products offered: Current account, savings account, CD

Monthly fee: None

Advantages

  • High APY on savings and CDs
  • Low deposits required to open a savings account, no minimum balance required
  • Low fees
  • Cash back on qualifying debit card purchases
  • Unlimited discounts on ATM fees

The inconvenients

  • APY paid on higher check balances
  • High deposit required to open CDs

LendingClub offers a full range of banking products and services. Unlimited ATM fee rebates provide customers with unlimited access to an extensive network of ATMs. And low fees and competitive APYs make LendingClub’s savings accounts and CDs particularly attractive.

Products offered: Savings account, CD

Monthly fee: None

Advantages

  • Competitive APYs on deposit accounts
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Low minimum deposit requirements
  • 24/7 automated customer support

The inconvenients

  • No cash deposit accepted
  • No checking accounts
  • No ATM network
  • Limited account types

Launched in 2016, Marcus is the online-only banking arm of Goldman Sachs, which is one of the top 10 banks in the United States. The bank’s savings accounts and CDs offer competitive returns and low fees.

See our full review of Marcus by Goldman Sachs for more details.

Products offered: Current account, savings account

Monthly fee: None

Advantages

  • Competitive APYs on checking and savings accounts
  • Low deposits required to open savings account and CD account
  • No monthly maintenance or overdraft fees
  • Free network of 55,000 Allpoint ATMs
  • Direct deposits accessible two days in advance

The inconvenients

  • Fees charged for depositing cash

SoFi (Social Finance Inc.) is the brainchild of Stanford Business School grads who created an alumni-funded lending source that initially focused on refinancing student loans. Since then, SoFi has expanded into a variety of loan categories and now offers online checking and savings accounts. Some applicants may benefit from a new account bonus.

Products offered: Savings Account, Money Market Account, CD, IRA Money Market Account, IRA CD

Monthly fee: None

Advantages

  • Competitive APYs on deposit accounts
  • No monthly maintenance or overdraft fees
  • Up to $5 Off-Network Discounts Per Month
  • No minimum deposit requirement

The inconvenients

Synchrony takes advantage of its limited overhead to offer competitive rates on deposit accounts. In addition to a wide variety of financial products such as IRA CDs and IRA money market accounts, Synchrony offers niche CD types, including bump-up (which automatically adjusts to a higher APY when ‘it is available) and varieties without penalty.

Methodology

CNET reviewed online banks based on the latest APY information, fees charged and services offered on issuer websites. We rated online banking among more than 50 banks, credit unions, and financial companies. We selected the banks with the highest APY and were insured up to $250,000 among the organizations we surveyed.

Banks surveyed include: Alliant Credit Union, Ally Bank, America First Credit Union, American Express National Bank, Axos Bank, Bank of America, Bank of the West, Bank5 Connect, Barclays, BMO Harris, Bread Savings, BrioDirect, Capital One, CFG Community Bank, Citizens Access, Colorado Federal Savings Bank, Connexus Credit Union, Consumers Credit Union, Credit One Bank, Discover Bank, First Internet Bank of Indiana, First Tech Federal Credit Union, FNBO Direct, GO2bank, Golden 1 Credit Union, Bank HSBC, Huntington Bank, Lake Michigan Credit Union, LendingClub Bank, Live Oak Bank, M&T Bank, Marcus by Goldman Sachs, Merrick Bank, Nationwide (by Axos), Navy Federal Credit Union, NBKC, OneUnited Bank, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, PNC , Popular Direct, PurePoint Financial, Quontic Bank, Rising Bank, Salem Five Direct, Sallie Mae Bank, Santander Bank, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, Synchrony Bank, TAB Bank, TD Bank, TIAA Bank, Truist Bank, US Bank, UFB Direct, United on Bank, USAA Bank, Vio Bank and Wells Fargo.

Editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our editors and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It was not supplied or commissioned by a third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

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