Best Digital Banks

These days you can accomplish almost any banking task from your phone, so why go through the hassle of visiting a retail bank location? Traditional banks charge lots of fees and offer bottom-of-the-barrel interest rates on your savings. On the other hand, digital banks don’t have the same overhead.

Online banks with digital banking can offer fee-free platforms with better online functionality, since it’s all they do.

What is Digital Banking?

Digital banks are financial institutions that operate entirely online, without physical branches. As the name suggests, with digital banking, all of your financial services are handled, well, digitally. From deposits to account monitoring to customer service, you rely on tools that exist entirely online.

So, what’s the benefit to you as a banking consumer? – Digital banks are nearly always better for your wallet.

Keep reading to find the perfect digital bank with the best options that work for you.

11 Best Digital Banks for 2022

1. Chime

With Chime, there’s a lot to like. If you think about all of the benefits of digital banking in general, Chime checks virtually all of the boxes.

To start, Chime simply does not charge fees. This means no monthly fees, no minimum balance fees, no overdraft fees, and so on. The only fee you could see is one for an out-of-network ATM withdrawal. Fortunately, with a free ATM network of over 60,000 cash machines, this isn’t likely to be a problem.

From there, Chime continues to impress. Its checking account comes with a Visa debit card, and there’s no replacement fee if you lose it. You can also use its SpotMe feature for fee-free overdrafts, and you can expect your direct deposits to arrive up to two days early. Chime Checking also makes automatic transfers to your linked savings account a breeze.

With Chime High Yield Savings, you can round off your debit purchases and drop the remainder into your savings account. Plus, you can use Save When I Get Paid to automatically contribute a percentage of each paycheck toward the long term.

All of this is sure to add up with Chime’s top-tier 0.50% APY. The rate is 8 times the national average, and it applies to all of your savings, no matter what your balance is.

Combine all of this with a mobile app that has 4.8 stars (out of 5) in the App Store and 4.5 stars (out of 5) in the Google Play Store, and you’ve got a sure winner.

Products

  • Chime Checking Account
  • Chime Credit Builder
  • Chime High Yield Savings Account

Features

  • No monthly fees
  • 60,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • Fee-free overdrafts
  • 0.50% APY
  • Top-rated mobile banking app
  • Early direct deposit

2. Axos Bank

Axos Bank is a fully-chartered banking solution. This means that it does not need to rely on a third party to provide its accounts and FDIC coverage. Essentially, it’s a traditional bank that happens to limit its operations to the digital space.

Much like Chime, there isn’t a lot to criticize about Axos. There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, though most of its accounts do require a certain initial deposit to open.

That said, Axos is not entirely fee-free and does charge for certain actions like wire transfers. This might seem like a downside, but the reality is that most banks charge for these. Those that don’t (like Chime) only avoid doing so by not letting you send wires.

Furthermore, Axos stands out among digital banks with its wide variety of banking products, including multiple checking and savings accounts, money market accounts (MMAs) and certificates of deposit (CDs). It offers five different checking account options, two for savings and certificates of deposit (CDs).

Of its checking accounts, the two strongest are Essential Checking and Rewards Checking.

  • Axos Essential Checking is a standard digital checking account with no fees, unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, and express direct deposit.
  • Axos Rewards Checking pays a up to 1.25% APY, but you need to utilize a bunch of Axos’ financial products to max it out. To get the full rate, you must enroll in direct deposit, use your debit card, invest in both managed and self-directed trading, and take out a loan. It’s a lot, but even if you don’t get the full rate, you’ll still get credit for the pieces you do use. (Learn why it tops our list of Best Rewards Checking accounts)

On the savings end, your best best is Axos High Yield Savings, which earns a up to 0.61% APY on balances up to $25,000. The account is completely fee-free, but you need at least $250 to open an account.

Products

  • Axos Essential Checking
  • Axos Rewards Checking
  • Axos High Yield Savings

Features

  • No monthly fees
  • Regular sign-up bonuses for new customers
  • up to 1.25% APY
  • Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements
  • Early direct deposit
  • Top-rated mobile banking app
Axos Bank Logo

$150

Axos : Rewards Checking
Available nationwide

Details

3. Discover Bank

Discover might be best-known for its credit cards, but its digital banking services are on par with almost any other online bank. Like Axos, it has its own banking license, so it operates as an independent, chartered bank.

From a deposit account standpoint, Discover is about as fee-free as it gets. Both its checking and savings accounts options are entirely fee-free, aside from a $30 charge for outgoing wire transfers.

Discover’s Cash Back Debit account earns 1% cashback on your first $3,000 in purchases each month, for a maximum of $360 per year. This makes it a great alternative to a rewards credit card.

For savings, you have two solid options with Discover Online Savings and Discover Money Market. Online Savings comes with a 0.50% APY on all balances. If you want an account that’s a bit more flexible, you can opt for the Money Market Account. The APY is slightly lower at up to 0.45%, but it comes with the benefit of an included debit card.

Discover Bank also has an outstanding reputation when it comes to overall customer experience, but its mobile banking experience is among the highest-rated of any bank. Its mobile app has an incredible 4.9-star rating (out of 5) in the App Store and a comparable 4.7-star rating (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.

Products

  • Discover Cashback Debit
  • Discover Online Savings Account
  • Discover Money Market Account

Features

  • 1% cashback rewards
  • No monthly fees
  • 60,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • 0.50% APY
  • Top-rated mobile banking app
  • Zelle

4. Monzo

Monzo is a UK-based digital bank, where app-based financial institutions are known as challenger banks. Along with other banks like Revolut, Monzo is one of the original and most popular challenger banks in the industry.

Overall, Monzo US is an option that has a ton of potential, even if it’s a bit limited at the moment. The bank is still getting off the ground in the US but comes with enough functionality to merit a place on this list.

Some of what we love about Monzo is based on what it’s accomplished in the UK, where it boasts more than four million customers. That said, even in its infancy, the US version still has a lot to like.

Monzo is an all-in-one bank account, so it can serve as both your checking and savings in one convenient spot. There are no fees to worry about, and the platform is designed exclusively for your mobile device.

Most impressively, Monzo puts budgeting and savings on autopilot. With its intuitive tools, you can easily track and adjust your spending. Plus, with Savings Pots, you can automatically roll over spare change and create various Pots for whatever you’re saving for.

Of course, one glaring weakness of Monzo US is its lack of an APY associated with the account. This might make it a tough sell, but Monzo assures that interest will be available stateside soon.

Products

  • Monzo Bank Account

Features

  • No monthly fees
  • Seamless mobile banking
  • Intuitive budgeting tools
  • Savings Pots

5. Quontic

Quontic might not have the name recognition of some of the other banks listed here, but it’s well worth your attention. As possibly the most innovative digital bank right now, it’s also a government-designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). This means that it provides inclusive lending services to a diverse group of borrowers that other banks might push away.

As of January 1, 2022, Quontic has made a lot of changes, which earned it a place on this list. Among these changes is the elimination of 12 different bank fees, including those for overdrafts and domestic wires.

Dropping those fees is even more exciting when you consider what Quontic already had to offer. Its Bitcoin Rewards checking account is truly one of a kind and earns 1.5% back in Bitcoin on all eligible debit card purchases. Plus, if you aren’t a crypto person, you can opt for the high-interest checking account, which comes with up to 1.01% APY.

Its savings account, called High Yield Savings, comes with an impressive 0.75% APY. Like its options for checking, there are no monthly fees, and you can open an account with as little as $100.

Products

  • Bitcoin Rewards Checking
  • High-interest Checking
  • High Yield Savings

Features

  • No monthly fees
  • Bitcoin or cashback rewards
  • up to 1.01% APY
  • 90,000+ fee-free ATMs

6. Aspiration Bank

If you want a bank with a purpose other than profit, you might not be able to do better than Aspiration Bank. The platform is built entirely around combating climate change, and your deposits always support that cause. Plus, it comes with a ton of awesome digital banking features.

For starters, Aspiration is committed to never funding fossil fuel projects, but it takes it even further. The company also allows offers a Plant Your Change feature, which uses your rounded-off change to reforest the planet. It also rewards you for climate-conscious purchases, with up to 10% cashback on transactions with mission-driven retailers.

While all of this is great, you still need a bank to work for you, too. Fortunately, Aspiration’s business model allows you to do good while still doing well.

Spend & Save is a free all-in-one account that comes with a 0% (with qualifying actions) on your first $10,000. You’ll also earn 3% to 5% cashback on any Conscience Coalition purchases.

If you upgrade to Aspiration Plus, the max APY is bumped up to up to 5.00% APY, and Conscience Coalition purchases earn 10% back.

Products

  • Aspiration Spend & Save
  • Aspiration Plus

Features

  • No investments in fossil fuel projects
  • up to 5.00% APY
  • 55,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • Early direct deposit
  • Up to 10% cashback
Aspiration Logo

$300

Aspiration : Zero
Available nationwide

Details
Aspiration Logo

$200

Aspiration : Plus
Available nationwide

Details

7. CIT Bank

CIT Bank, not to be confused with Citibank, was recently acquired by First Citizens Bank, the largest family-controlled bank in the United States. Before then it was the direct banking subsidiary of the CIT Group, which had been in the banking world since 1908.

CIT is a digital banking option that’s consistent across the board. It doesn’t boast the flashy features of some of its competitors but does everything relatively well. If you’re looking for a consistent online bank, CIT is definitely a good bet.

CIT’s platform does feature a few banking fees, but it’s upfront and reasonable about them. For example, the bank charges $10 for outgoing domestic wires but waives this fee if your balance is $25,000 or more. It also charges $10 for a replacement debit card, but you get one free pass per year. Otherwise, it pretty much steers clear of banking fees.

CIT’s standout deposit account is its interest-bearing eChecking Account, which comes with a up to 0.25% APY on balances of $25,000 or more and 0.10% on anything less. It also includes $30 in ATM fee reimbursements per month and free transfers with Zelle.

Savings Connect is your best option for a savings account. If you link eChecking, you can earn an APY of up to 0.90% APY. All you need to qualify is a deposit of $200 or more into your checking each month. Alternately, if you’re focused on long-term savings, you can look at a five-year Term CD.

Products

  • CIT eChecking
  • CIT Savings Connect
  • CIT Term CDs

Features

  • No monthly fees
  • up to 0.90% APY
  • $30 per month in ATM reimbursements
  • Zelle

8. Varo Bank

Varo is another online bank that’s managed to acquire its very own bank charter. It was founded in 2015 and currently serves more than a million customers.

At first glance, Varo appears to be a run-of-the-mill digital bank. It has extremely few fees, a highly competitive APY on its savings account, and a solid network of free ATMs. Those features in themselves would be enough, but Varo manages to take it a little further with some unique additions.

First, when you shop with your Varo card at certain retailers, like Walmart, CVS, and the Home Depot, you get cashback. Just visit the Perks tab in the Varo app, add your deal, and watch your cashback balance grow. When your balance reaches $5, Varo automatically transfers it to your bank account.

​Varo also goes against the grain with its savings account. Its standard savings rate of 0.50% is impressive, but it also gives the opportunity for lower balances to earn up to 5.00%. Here’s how it works:

First, receive direct deposits of $1,000 or more in your checking. Then, If your savings balance stays at $5,000 or less for an entire calendar month, you get the maximum rate.

Varo also operates as a small-time lender with Varo Cash Advance. There’s no interest and no fees, and you can borrow up to $100 at a time.

Products

  • Varo Bank Account
  • Varo Savings Account
  • Varo Advance

Features

  • No monthly fees
  • 55,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • ​up to 5.00% APY
  • Interest-free cash advances
  • Up to 15% cashback
  • Early direct deposit

9. American Express Bank

You know all about Amex for credit cards, but the company also operates a very solid digital bank. It’s been offering savings products for a while and just recently introduced an online checking account.

Amex is a trusted brand in the banking world, with high-earning credit cards and top-tier customer service. Now, as a major player in digital bank accounts, it’s expanding its reach even further.

Amex’s newest product is a free Rewards Checking account, which is currently only available to Amex cardholders. The account earns interest with a 0.50% APY, plus membership reward points (just like an Amex credit card).

For savings, there’s the Amex High Yield Savings account, which has the same APY. It has no monthly fee and allows for up to 9 free withdrawals per month. If you want to shoot for Amex’s highest APY, you can also opt for a CD.

Products

  • High Yield Savings
  • Rewards Checking
  • Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Features

  • No monthly fees
  • 0.60% APY
  • Interest checking
  • Debit rewards
  • 37,000+ fee-free ATMs

10. BlueVine Bank

Our top pick for small business digital banking is BlueVine. This option focuses entirely on its business checking account and consistently ranks as one of the top options for startups or entrepreneurs.

BlueVine is an all-in-one account built for small businesses. It’s completely fee-free and aims to make the day-to-day of running your business a little easier.

The BlueVine Business Checking account has no monthly fees or minimum requirements, and you can make unlimited transactions. You also get free ATM withdrawals at all MoneyPass locations, plus an awesome up to 1.50% APY on balances up to $100,000.

You can also use it to borrow money to run your business. With BlueVine loans, you can apply for a line of credit, up to $250,000.

Products

  • BlueVine Business Checking
  • BlueVine Business Loans

Features

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balances
  • ​Unlimited transactions
  • 37,000+ fee-free ATMs
  • up to 1.50% APY
  • Credit lines up to $250,000

11. Current

Rounding out the list is Current Bank, an all-in-one digital bank account. Current is centered around the idea that premium banking should be accessible and affordable and aims to help anyone improve their financial outcomes.

Current offers one account with three different tiers: Basic, Premium, and Teen. The Basic account is the only one that comes without a fee, but take a look at the features of each one:

Basic

  • No monthly fee
  • Basic debit card
  • Standard direct deposits
  • Spending Insights
  • One savings pod with 4.00% APY (on balances up to $2,000)

Premium ($4.99 per month)

  • Exclusive Premium Card
  • Early direct deposit
  • Spending Insights
  • 3 Savings Pods with 4.00% APY (on balances up to $6,000)
  • Gas station authorization holds immediately released
  • Overdrive overdraft protection

Teen ($36 per year)

  • White or Black Card
  • Standard direct deposits
  • 1 Giving Pod for donations

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best digital bank?

This might seem like a non-answer, but it depends. Banking comes down to you as an individual, so the best one is the one that best suits your personal needs.

How do digital banks work?

Mostly, they work in the same way as traditional banks. But, in many ways, they work better.

The biggest difference is the lack of physical branches. You might miss it if you prefer in-person support, but otherwise, the adjustment is fairly seamless.

Which is the biggest digital bank?

Ally Bank is by far the biggest digital bank. In fact, it’s one of the biggest banks in the US, period. Though it’s not included it in this list, rest assured that it’s still an excellent option for digital banking.

Which Digital Bank is Best For You?

So, now that you know a little more about the top digital banks, you should be a little closer to finding the right one for you.

Fortunately, it’s almost always incredibly easy to sign up with any digital bank. You can handle the whole process online, and it rarely takes more than a few minutes (assuming you have all your information ready).

No matter which option you go with, make sure that the bank you chose is working for you and not the other way around.