Can an Online-Only Bank Meet All of Your Banking Needs?

What's Hot


The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

Trump Scraps FHA Rate Cut — What Does It Mean for You?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your BudgetFamily

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

Some banks operate exclusively on the Internet. Does that mean they're less reliable than the brick-and-mortar names you know?

Is there any reason not to use a bank that operates solely online now?

A few: It can be hard to withdraw large sums of cash because of ATM daily limits, for instance. You may also lose out on other bank services, like notarizing documents. And when you’re confused about something, it’s nice to deal with someone face-to-face. (We should also note that some brick-and-mortar banks are providing ATMs that have teller service over video).

But the advantages might outweigh those considerations for some. Without brick-and-mortar locations to maintain, online banks have lower overhead costs, which can mean higher interest rates and fewer fees. But a reader asked CNNMoney: Can you trust them?

The answer is often yes. Here’s what to look for, CNNMoney says:

  • FDIC insurance. Like traditional banks, reliable online banks will have Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. protection for amounts up to $250,000. The FDIC has a tool for looking up the banks it backs. If a bank name doesn’t turn up in the results, make sure it isn’t operating under another name. “BankFind does not contain all the trade names for these institutions,” the FDIC says.
  • Imitators. Scammers often try to mimic the look and Web address of legitimate bank websites, CNNMoney says. Especially if it’s a bank you aren’t familiar with, make sure you’re on the right site by checking the URL against a search for the bank’s name. Avoid clicking on emailed links to banking sites. It might have been sent to you by a scammer.
  • Encryption. Make sure the bank takes customer privacy and security seriously. The site should mention its security measures and use encryption to deter identity thieves. Look for a Web address that starts with “https” instead of “http,” sometimes shown with a lock or key icon.

Of course, you’d also avoid a brick-and-mortar institution that isn’t FDIC-insured or is careless with its customers’ online security.

When it comes to picking a bank, comparison shop the fees, services and interest rates. For starters, you can check out our savings account search and NerdWallet’s list of top online checking accounts.

Do you bank exclusively online, or would you be willing to try it? Let us know why or why not on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 7 Free Sources of Manufacturer Coupons You Can Find Online

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,794 more deals!