By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
No one has time to hop in the car and run to the bank, right? That is why online banking is so easy to love. The ability to transfer funds, check balances, and make e-payments saves times and grants a small measure of peace of mind. However, not all online banking platforms offer the same level of function and security. What are some of the best banks for online banking?
Ally Bank earned the top spot for online banks in 2014. Why? They don’t charge a checking account maintenance fee, a huge plus considering that some institutions charge more than five dollars a month simply to hold onto your money. Another great thing about Ally bank is that they offer around-the-clock customer service via telephone — try getting that from most typical brick-and-mortar banks.
If you want to amp up your savings plan, Ally Bank is a good option because they offer high yields on CDs and savings accounts.
You can access your Ally Bank account through their mobile app wherever you are, and they make traveling easier because they refund all fees at ATMs across the nation. However, if you plan on traveling internationally, you may run into some fees. Also keep in mind that if you try to access your bank online when you are in another country, it may send up a red flag. To save yourself the hassle of an unwarranted fraud alert, you should consider using Hotspot Shield to change your virtual location back to the United States.
When you think of Discover, your mind probably goes straight to credit cards, but the financial giant also offers regular banking services via their online platform. Like Ally Bank, they do not charge you an account maintenance fee, and they offer tens of thousands of free ATMs across the nation.
Another great thing about Discover Bank is that they offer impressive rewards on transactions. For debit card purchases, online payments, and checks cleared, they will pay you ten cents per transaction for up to 100 transactions a month. That could amount to as much as $10 per month that you can have them deposit in your checking account or put toward your Discover credit card bill.
U.S. Bank is a familiar name because the giant institution has branches across the country, but they also offer an impressive online banking option through both their website and their mobile app. Via the app or in your web browser, you can schedule payments in advance and even make peer-to-peer payments.
While all banks strive to keep their online tools secure, incidents do happen, which is why U.S. bank offers a risk-free guarantee that shields customers against fraud. Still, to help prevent worrisome incidents, you should exercise caution when you access your bank account online. Hotspot Shield can help you protect your passwords and account numbers from prying eyes when you use public Wi-Fi.
Chase Bank’s highly-rated mobile app offers everything you would expect from a major bank’s online service, plus some. Via the app, you can request money, send wire transfers, and easily make changes to pending transactions. It even lets you set up an alert if your balance goes below a certain amount, which will spare you from having to constantly log in to check on your personal funds. Check deposits too are a breeze with this app; all you have to do is take a picture of the check.
Bank of America
Investopedia says, “One of the greatest things about the Bank of America mobile app is that Bank of America designed the interface to meet customer needs.” The intuitive interface lets you easily find information on your finances, and it even lets you get a quick look at your Merrill Lynch brokerage accounts. Bank of America rewards you in the app by including a section that has cashback opportunities and deals from merchants.
Whether you want to switch banks altogether or open another account for business or personal reasons, choosing a new financial institution is a big decision. You have to weigh things like their commitment to security, their customer service options, and the reviews they receive from current and past customers. Whichever bank you settle on, however, you should always apply safe online banking practices. When you couple a great online bank with some technological savvy, your money is more likely to stay safe and be easy to access.