3 Quick Reasons Online Banks are Better

My first bank account ever was with Bank of America.  And why did I sign up with them?  Because my dad banked with them and he had to co-sign on the account.  Not exactly a compelling reason but I was 15 at the time.  When I finally became a responsibl-ish adult, I stayed with BoA just because I was already with them and I didn’t know better.  And that’s the way they like it.  After doing some research and educating myself, I realized online banks are better in each and every way.  Here are three quick and easy reasons why:

1.  No Fees:  I remember the days of scrambling to find the closest ATM.  I do not remember those days fondly.  One of the most frustrating experiences is finding an ATM that won’t charge you any fees.  Plenty of online banks will refund all of your ATM fees, no questions asked.  This makes your life just a little easier.  Most online banks don’t have account minimum fees or anything weird like that either.  If you want to never worry about fees, switch to an online bank.

2.  Free checks:  I’ve had checking accounts with a few of the big banks and have noticed that they all charge for ordering more checks.  Granted, you can probably pay all of your bills online and not have to worry about checks, but some people still require them and it’s nice to have to not pay for them.  Many online banks don’t have any fees for ordering checks.  Can’t say the same for many big banks.

3.  Great customer service:  You will inevitably run into some type of issue while banking that will require you to get on the phone with them.  I have to say I have only had the most pleasant of experiences with online banks.  I am tempted to just call them just to say hi so I can receive the royal treatment.  Pretty much all of my calls to big banks have resulted in long wait times or a less than helpful representative on the other line.

These are three things you’ll never have to be concerned about if you switch to an online back.  While there are undoubtedly more reasons to switch, these three things tend to provide the most headaches when banking with the big guys.  Do your finances a favor and start banking online.



  1. That’s the same reason I originally signed up with Chase- Dad as a co-signer and everything. I’ve since switched all my checking to Schwab online and all my savings to Discover online.

    • Syed says

      Schwab checking is absolutely amazing. And online savings accounts destroy big bank savings accounts as well. Maybe I’ll have to do a post on that also…

  2. Kamran says

    What’s an online bank as opposed to a brick and mortar bank? I do all my chase banking online and its been a breeze. Generally I charge everything on my credit card so I never have to find an ATM and it helps you track all your purchases. Recently I’ve been using the app MINT on android and it breaks down all my purchases for me

    • Syed says

      Great questions. By online bank I’m referring to banks that operate pretty much solely online and don’t have a huge brick and mortar building presence. Examples include Charles Schwab, Fidelity and Ally Bank. Big banks are starting to have a strong online/mobile component nowadays, so I’m glad to see Chase’s system is working for you. I still prefer online only banks because of the complete lack of fees and they do have some other features that people find helpful such as interest bearing checking accounts. I love using credit cards also and people don’t use ATM’s as much anymore, but it is still nice not to have to pay any fees for the inevitable trip to the ATM or check order.

      Mint is a great app which I’ve used myself and it can be used in conjunction with an online bank or a regular big bank. Using a program like Mint along with using your credit cards most of the time is the best way to budget in my opinion.

  3. Kamran says

    also, where do you keep all your important stuff (wife’s gold, baby birth certificate, etc)? With my chase checking account, a lock box comes for free, so we put all our valuables in there. Plus they used to offer identity protection (not now anymore).

    • Syed says

      We use a safe at a local BB&T bank that was like $20/year when you sign up with a checking account. I don’t use the account though.

  4. You forgot better interest rates because of the lower operating costs of not having to maintain brick and mortar banks.

  5. Sean says

    Great Article SYED! I’d just like to add Credit Unions as another alternative to For-Profit Banks. CUs are non-profit, member driven, highly regulated (read: not risky), and local! Most of them would also fall under your criteria for No Fee ATMs, Free Checking, and Friendly Service.

    • Syed says

      Yup I’ve heard many good things about credit unions from friends who bank there. I might have to try them out someday. Thanks a lot for the comment.


  1. […] from The Broke Professional presents 3 Quick Reasons Online Banks are Better, and says, “There are many reasons an online only bank is superior to one of the big banks. […]

  2. […] be time to switch.  From reading my previous posts, you can probably tell I’m a huge fan of online banking.  Savings accounts are no exception.  In fact, online savings accounts are light years ahead of […]

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