If you’re looking for the OG online bank, look no further than First Internet Bank, also known as First Internet Bank of Indiana or First IB. When First Internet Bank opened shop in 1999, it became the first state-chartered institution to operate without brick-and-mortar bank locations.
Since then, while plenty of other digital banks have come and gone, First Internet Bank has continued to provide the low-fee, high-earning accounts on which it made its name.
From its most impressive products to customer service and support, this First Internet Bank review shows how FIB stacks up against the new wave of online banks.
What is First Internet Bank?
Officially titled First Internet Bank of Indiana, FIB is based out of Fishers, IN, a suburb of Indianapolis. It’s owned by First Internet Bancorp and was founded by David Becker, who still serves as its CEO.
First Internet Bank is available in all 50 states and offers deposit accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, and loans.
First Internet Bank Checking Accounts
First Internet Bank offers two checking accounts:
Free Checking Account
First Internet Bank’s free checking account is a no-frills digital checking option.
You can open an account with as little as $25, and it comes with a Visa debit card, online and mobile bill pay, and your first order of checks for free. There’s no interest rate associated with the account, but it also doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee. For basic checking needs, Free Checking should suffice.
Interest Checking Account
Interest Checking is an interest-bearing checking account with a $10 monthly maintenance fee. You’ll need to maintain a monthly balance of at least $500 to get around it.
The main draw of this account is its annual percentage yield (APY), which currently sits at 0.50%. This is higher than most interest checking accounts, but you must maintain an average $500 balance to earn interest.
You’ll need an initial deposit of at least $100 to open an account, and you’ll also get $10 in ATM fee rebates per month.
First Internet Bank Savings Accounts
Here are the current savings account options with First Internet Bank.
Free Savings Account
Free Savings is a basic savings account that has no monthly maintenance fee. The account pays 0.80% APY, and you can open one with as little as $25.
You can make up to 6 monthly withdrawals from the account, and you’ll get $10 in ATM rebates each statement period.
Money Market Savings Account
Money Market Savings is First Internet Bank’s highest-yield savings option with an APY of 3.76% with a daily balance of $1,000,000 or less or an APY of 5.46% with a daily balance greater than $1,000,000.
The account does come with a $5 monthly fee, but you can avoid it by keeping a balance of $4,000 or more.
There’s a $100 minimum deposit requirement to open; otherwise, the account has the same features as Free savings.
Tomorrow’s Tycoons Savings Account
If you have kids, you can get them off on a positive financial start by opening a Tomorrow’s Tycoons Savings Account. This account is available to minors and automatically converts to a Free Savings account when your kid turns 18.
To open an account, you’ll need an initial deposit of at least $100, and there’s no monthly maintenance fee.
Tomorrow’s Tycoons come with a 0.80% APY, and parents or guardians must be joint account holders.
Health Savings Account
First Internet Bank offers a Health Savings Account that you can open with literally $0. There are no monthly maintenance fees, and you will receive a debit card for your health spending needs. The account earns a 0.15% APY.
The best part is that your contributions and interest earnings are all tax-free.
First Internet Bank Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
First Internet Bank CDs come with the company’s highest interest rates. You can open one with an initial deposit of $1,000 or more.
Here are the current First Internet Bank CD rates:
|3 Month CD
|6 Month CD
|1 Year CD
|18 Month CD
|2 Year CD
|3 Year CD
|4 Year CD
|5 Year CD
As a reminder, when you deposit money into a CD, you’re not supposed to touch it until it matures. If you do, you’ll pay early withdrawal penalties.
First Internet Bank Cashback Credit Card
First Internet Bank offers a single credit card, the Cashback Card, which earns 3% back on gas and 1% on all other purchases.
There’s no annual fee; you can apply for a credit card on the website or mobile app. Unfortunately, the Cashback Card has no sign-up bonus or a promotional APR.
First Internet Bank – Other Products Offered
Along with the main banking products that First Internet Bank offers, you can also apply for the following:
- Home Equity Loans
- Auto Loans
- Specialty Vehicle Financing
- Personal Loans
- Student Loans
- Mortgage Refinance
First Internet Bank Features
To give you a better idea of what First Internet Bank is all about, let’s take a look at its best consumer banking features.
First Internet Bank is an entirely online bank, so you won’t have access to any physical branches. All your bank account needs, including deposits, transfers, and bill pay, are handled online.
If you’re new to online banking, there’s no need to worry. Digital banks like First Internet Bank provide all the features and guidance you would expect from a traditional bank.
You won’t miss out on anything unless you highly value in-person hand-holding.
With the First Internet Bank mobile banking app, you can make mobile check deposits, monitor your balances, and move money around whenever needed.
The mobile banking app is available on iOS and Android, and users on both operating systems seem happy with its functionality.
The app has an excellent 4.8-star (out of 5) rating in the App Store and a similarly positive 4.4 star (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.
Free ATMs (Sometimes)
Unlike most online banks, First Internet Bank doesn’t belong to an ATM network, so you won’t have to find specific ATMs when you need cash. This comes with pros and cons.
If you open a First Internet Bank Interest Checking Account, any ATM fees up to $10 per month are reimbursed. That’s the good news.
However, if you opt for a Free Checking Account, there’s no ATM reimbursement, so you’ll be stuck paying whatever the ATM charges per transaction.
Fortunately, there’s a workaround. First Internet Bank offers fee rebates for ATM withdrawals from any of its savings accounts, so you can always transfer funds over and pull from your savings instead.
First Internet Bank is compatible with Zelle, one of the most extensive digital payment networks in the US.
Zelle works with more than 1,000 different banking apps and lets you easily move money between accounts or send money to friends and family.
Online banks are typically known for their low (or non-existent) fees, and for the most part, First Internet Bank fits the bill. However, this is by no means a completely fee-free platform. The good news is that most of First Internet Bank’s fees are avoidable.
Here’s a look at the most common fees you’ll likely pay.
Monthly Maintenance Fees
Both of First Internet Bank’s premium accounts — Interest Checking and Money Market Savings — come with a monthly fee attached.
You can get around both bank fees by maintaining a minimum balance. If you’re nervous that you won’t be able to hit the mark consistently, you can opt for Free Checking and Free Savings, which are both fee-free.
First Internet Bank doesn’t have its own ATMs or belong to an ATM network, so no matter what ATM you use, you’ll be responsible for covering any fees for your withdrawal.
If you have a premium checking account, you’ll get $10 in fee reimbursements per month.
The same rebate applies to savings accounts. Keep this in mind as you choose which accounts to open.
Incoming transfers, including both wires and ACH, are always free with First Internet Bank. Unfortunately, outgoing wires are $20 for domestic and $50 for international.
With this in mind, always try to use Zelle if you can. The service is free, and you can easily send money to most major bank accounts.
To open a new account, head to www.firstib.com and download the app. You must be at least 18 and a legal US resident to qualify. You must also come prepared with your Social Security number and government-issued ID.
Opening an account only takes a few minutes, and once you’ve made your initial deposit, you’ll be ready to get started.
Unfortunately, there’s no sign-up or referral bonus associated with a First Internet Bank account at the moment. That said, you never know when promotions will pop up, so be sure to check back for any updates.
If you’re interested in finding the biggest bank bonuses, check out our full list of bank promotions.
As a bank with a long history of operating in the digital space, First Internet Bank has a good handle on online security.
Here are just a few of the ways that it keeps you and your money safe:
- Single Socket Layer (SSL) Encryption
- Fraud Monitoring
- Automatic Time-Outs
- Multi-Factor Authentication
- FDIC Insurance
First Internet Bank’s online security center also has a ton of helpful tips on avoiding scams and taking steps to protect your information.
First Internet Bank’s customer support team is available over the phone Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.
You can work with a customer service rep or a Relationship Banker when you call them.
First Internet Bank’s Relationship Bankers are qualified banking experts who you can bounce ideas off or get more in-depth answers.
When it comes to service, the bank has a solid reputation, as demonstrated by its 5.0-star rating (out of 5) on ConsumerAffairs.
Pros & Cons
- High APY earning on savings accounts
- Well-rated mobile app
- Free account options
- Top-notch customer service
- No sign-up bonus
- More fees than other online banks
- No ATM network
- Only one credit card option
Alternatives to First Internet Bank
If you want to look elsewhere, there’s no shortage of online banks to choose from.
First Internet Bank may have been the first, but in the last 20 years, the digital banking space has exploded.
Here are some of the top alternatives to check out:
Frequently Asked Questions
Is First Internet Bank legit?
Yes, First Internet Bank is FDIC-insured, an Equal Housing Lender approved by the US Small Business Administration (SBA). It’s as legit as any other bank out there.
Is First Internet Bank FDIC insured?
Yes, First Internet Bank is an FDIC-insured financial institution, meaning all your deposits are protected up to $250,000.
How long has First Internet Bank been in business?
First Internet Bank was founded in 1996 and has been providing banking services since 1999.
Is First Internet Bank Right For You?
In 1999, First Internet Bank probably sounded like a strange concept. Back then, full-service banks without brick-and-mortar locations were uncommon.
Today, First Internet Bank is far from the only bank that’s ditched physical branches in favor of a low-overhead digital platform.
That being said, it’s managed to remain a top provider of low-cost, high-earning online accounts as I found in my First Internet Bank review.
First Internet Bank is easy to use and offers plenty of different account options. Its high-end interest rates are among the best in the business, and it brings everything together with a highly rated mobile app and great customer service.
The only downside is the fees. Plenty of online banks have moved completely away from fees, but First IB has still held onto a few.
It’s still a more affordable option than most traditional banks, but if truly fee-free is what you’re after, you might have to look elsewhere.
Here’s to finding the best bank that works for you and not the other way around.