Thought leadership for banking and financial services professionals
Posted on February 20th, 2014
This article originally appeared on MyBankTracker.com.
A s MyBankTracker has grown over the past few years, our focus on banking has never wavered, as we have tracked 6,927 FDIC insured banks and compiled useful information for consumers to make smart banking decisions. We currently have just over 8,600 bank reviews from real bank customers for the purposes of building banking transparency.
Our criteria for picking the top rated online banks are based around report card ranking comprised of bank health, fees, technology, rates, location and mobile access. According to MyBankTracker’s reviewers, the top banks are: Ally Bank, Charles Schwab, USAA Bank, Capital One 360, and Bank of Internet.
*In determining which banks topped the list, we chose banks that each had at least 20 reviews.
Ally Bank ranked three out of five stars by reviewers, with a total of 417 reviews, an “A” grade, and an overall rating score of 83%.
Without branches, Ally is able to offer free ATM use on any machine by reimbursing customers for surcharges, and offers high yields and 24/7 customer service for checking and savings. Ally interest checking comes with no maintenance fee with higher than average interest rates — accruing 0.4% on up to $15,000 and 0.75% above that. Ally Online Savings is also free, and offers a competitive interest rate on all balances, coming in at a flat 0.84%.
Charles Schwab Bank has been rated by our reviewers as three out of five stars with a total of 48 reviews, an “A” grade, and an overall rating score of 81%.
Besides checking and savings accounts, Charles Schwab offers a multitude of services, including help in saving for retirement, ways to invest, and trading tools. Consumers can stay connected by being able to talk with specialists, going online with mobile apps, and heading to workshops, such as free retirement workshops. Schwab’s High Yield Investor Savings comes with no account minimums, no monthly service fees, unlimited free rebates from any ATM worldwide, the ability to deposit checks from anywhere (Schwab Mobile Deposit) with an interest rate of 0.12%. The Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account gives customers 0.10% variable interest on any balance, and offers free bill pay, free standard checks, a Visa Platinum debit card, and a linked Schwab One brokerage account without fees or minimums.
3. Bank of Internet
Bank of Internet has been rated three out of five stars with a total of 24 reviews, an “A” grade, and an overall rating score of 77%.
Bank of Internet is an online, branchless bank which offers high-interest checking, savings, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts. There are no overdraft fees and consumers receive things like ATM fee reimbursement, free online banking, free bill pay, mobile deposit and more. Bank of Internet’s homepage advertises rewards checking with the potential to earn up to 1.25% APY, 6 times the national average, as well as low interest rate mortgages.
USAA Bank has been rated three out of five stars by 220 reviewers, a “B” grade, and an overall rating score of 65%.
Established in 1983, USAA Federal Savings Bank provides a full range of financial products and services to the military community globally. USAA offers military members and their families investment products, checking and savings products, credit cards, and life insurance. Like the other banks on our list, USAA has free ATMs nationwide, and offers mobile and technological ways of accessing and managing your money, bills, spending, and budgeting. The bank advertises interest rates that are twice the U.S. average, but this does not compare to Bank of Internet’s APY of 6 times the average. Rates on USAA savings vary from 0.10% to 0.20%. USAA checking comes with an APY of 0.01%.
5. Capital One Bank
Capital One Bank has been ranked two out five stars on average by 67 reviewers, but earns a “B” grade.
Capital One has some competitive features, such as no fees for opening an account and no monthly maintenance fees. They also have a savings APY of 0.85% for a minimum deposit of $100 and an APY of 0.90% for a minimum deposit of $25,000. Additionally, the bank offers many cards designed for business owners with varying features, APRs, and rewards.
As seen in our list of the top online banks, banking has become more competitive, with online banks now offering more lucrative features for consumers than traditional banks such as high-interest and free ATM use. The future of banking, we predict, will move even further in that direction, with banks continuing to move to the online sector and consumers growing disenchanted with the traditional approach to banking.
Charles Schwab Review 2017 – The Original Discount Broker
Review of: Charles Schwab
Reviewed by: Larry Ludwig
Last modified: August 29, 2017
Charles Schwab is the Nordstrom of the investment world, and customers virtually always leave happy. As a customer, you'll get access to virtually all the investment services that come standard at any major brokerage. However, if you're an active trader, you might other firms with better options.
Charles Schwab was founded in 1971 by its namesake chairman, Charles R. Schwab. The full-service investment firm is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Schwab manages $2.61 trillion in investments for more than 9 million clients. It has 300 locations in the United States where you can meet with an advisor face to face, or you can easily reach your designated consultant by phone or email.
Outstanding customer service — From our test we’ve had only positive experiences with Schwab customer service. In one example the personal consultant, named Melanie, promptly answered all questions we had about an account. When we opened a new retirement account, she helped find mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) we could buy with no fee. When we needed to update information in the portfolio, she pointed me to the right people. And because it is Schwab, her advice and help are all free.
24/7 customer service — You can reach a customer service representative any time of any day of the week and even 365 days per year. You can get help with investing and trading and with personal financial decisions. The service is free and is available by phone, email or online chat.
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios — Schwab is bringing professional investment advisory services to the small investor. For investors with as little as $5,000 to invest, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios uses an advanced algorithm and the professional insights of Charles Schwab Investment Advisory Inc. to develop a portfolio of low-cost ETFs. Your portfolio can include as many as 20 asset classes, including commodities and real estate.
Once your portfolio is in place, the Schwab advisory team will continue to monitor its performance. And if your balance is $50,000 or more, you will be eligible for tax-loss harvesting. Best of all, there are no advisory fees, commissions or account service fees.
Nationwide branches — Charles Schwab operates more than 300 local branch offices across the United States. It’s a nice option to have if you ever need face-to-face help with your investing needs.
Portfolio management services — You can go the do-it-yourself route, but if you’d like some help, you can always get it at no cost by calling customer service. But if you want full investment management, Charles Schwab offers it through various services, including Diversified Managed Accounts, which give you access to multiple asset managers through just one account or Schwab Intelligent Portfolios or Schwab Managed Portfolios.
Schwab can provide fully managed accounts, as well as their Thomas Partners dividend growth strategy. They also offer their Windhaven Strategies for global diversification. There are minimum account requirements as well as various fees associated with portfolio management services.
Current Schwab promotions — Charles Schwab is currently paying a cash bonus of up to $500 when you become a client. You can do this by opening an eligible brokerage or IRA account and making a qualifying net deposit into the account within 45 days.
The cash bonus pays on a sliding scale, based on the amount of the net deposit as follows:
One-on-one portfolio consultation — If you have at least $25,000 in your account, you are eligible for one-on-one portfolio consultation, even if you aren’t participating in Schwab Intelligent Portfolios.
Charles Schwab Bank — Charles Schwab offers banking to go along with your investment account. Through Charles Schwab Bank, you can have checking and savings accounts, as well as get home financing. This includes a Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account, which pays interest, has no monthly fees, no minimum account balance, and unlimited fee rebates from ATMs worldwide. It works with the mobile app, offers mobile deposits, and can be linked to Apple Pay
Investments available — Just about every asset type you can think of, including options. They also offer more than 3,000 no-load, no transaction fee mutual funds.
Account protection — Cash on deposit with Charles Schwab Bank is FDIC insured for up to $250,000 per depositor. Investment accounts are protected by SIPC for accounts of up to $500,000 in cash and securities, including up to $250,000 in cash.
Assets under management — $2.61 trillion, with nine million customers.
schwab interest checking
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