Banking and Finance

The 5 Best No-Fee Online Banks for Checking and Savings Accounts in 2021

July 27, 2021

Bank fees hit an all-time high in 2020, rising to an average monthly fee of $15.50, which comes out to nearly $200 per year. If you’re banking with a traditional bank, you better check your statements to see where you’re bleeding money and how you can prevent it. From out-of-network ATM fees to maintenance fees, you’re likely losing money that you work hard to earn.

If that’s the case, we suggest switching to an online bank in 2021. Unlike traditional banks, online banks are able to do away with fees because they don’t have to charge their clients to pay for overhead costs (like physical branches, which require rent, utilities, maintenance, and employee hours, for example). Plus, most online banks in 2021 offer quite a few other perks. Here’s our review of the five best no-fee online banks of 2021.

The Best Online Banks with No Fees

1. Ally Bank

Ally Bank’s interest checking account made our list of the best online checking accounts of 2020. However, aside from offering high interest rates for checking accounts, 0.50% APY on their savings accounts, and great savings tools connected to their mobile app, the bank is well-known in the “no-fee” world of banking for offering $0 in monthly maintenance fees

Furthermore, those looking for a low barrier of entry will enjoy the fact that Ally doesn’t require a minimum balance to open an account with them. Where Ally does charge fees, though, is for overdrafts and wire transfers. Check out Ally Bank’s online account fees below:

💸  Minimum Opening Balance: $0

😢   Overdraft Fee: $25

💲 Other Fees: Ally reimburses up to $10 at the end of each statement cycle for fees charged at other ATMs nationwide; no fees for incoming wires; outgoing domestic wires are $20

2. Discover

Discover Bank is a pretty widely-used online bank, but most people seem to think of Discover as a credit card company. They actually have other accounts available, including a great cashback debit card! They offer credit cards, personal loans, home loans, and even student loans. Other reasons users love Discover Bank aside from their no-fee commitment is the fact that they, like Ally, offer low minimum requirements to open a bank account (both checking and savings), and they also don’t charge ATM fees. 

Those interested in a no-fee debit card might want to check out the Discover Cashback Debit, which earns 1.15% APY (up to $30 per month). It’s worth noting, though, that you also have to open a Discover Online Savings account in order to have the cashback savings sent there.

💸  Minimum Opening Balance: $0

😢  Overdraft Fee: $0

💲 Other Fees: $0 in ATM fees at over 60,000 ATMs nationwide; incoming wire transfers are free; outgoing wire transfers are $30

3. Axos Bank

Axos Bank easily makes our list of the best no-fee online banks of 2021, mostly for their ATM refund policies and the high APY they offer for their savings accounts (it goes up to an impressive 0.61%). However, you do have to have over $1,000 in direct deposits a month to qualify for those kinds of rates. 

Like most other online banks, their fee-free banking option is a fantastic benefit for those who simply want to save money and earn cashback on their purchases, and we love that there aren’t any hidden fees when signing up for or using their accounts.

💸  Minimum Opening Balance: $0

😢  Overdraft Fee: N/A

💲 Other Fees: Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements

4. Varo

If you’re looking for a no-fee online bank that offers incredibly high APY on savings account options, check out Varo. Their savings account APYs go all the way up to 2.80% in some instances, and the interest is compounded daily instead of monthly. On top of the high interest rates, you can expect to enjoy no foreign transaction fees, no hidden fees, and no fees when withdrawing money a 55,000 ATMs nationwide. 

Are there any drawbacks to this no-fee bank? Some, yeah. There are fees on cash deposits (about $5 per transaction), and there is no Zelle incorporation like some other online banks. This means that transferring money from your Varo account to friends or family with other banks might be a little more difficult.

💸  Minimum Opening Balance: $0

😢  Overdraft Fee: $0 (if you overdraft up to $50)

💲 Other Fees: No ATM fees at Allpoint ATMs in the United States; currently there are no wire transfers, both domestic and international, are currently unavailable with Varo Bank

5. Cheese

There’s nothing quite like a Cheese Debit Card! Not only is it by far one of the best fee-free banking options in 2021, but the card earns quite a bit more cashback than other debit cards. When you refer friends and family you can get up to a 3% savings bonus. And, you can receive up to 10% cashback when you shop with our exclusive partners, including Postmates, Hulu, Peet’s Coffee, Sephora, Groupon, and more. Your account will accrue interest on top of earning you cashback each time you swipe it when spending with one of our partners.

While we don’t currently offer savings account options, our debt card is a great happy medium between high-interest credit cards and a low-interest checking account. There are absolutely zero fees. Instead, we replace them with sheer savings opportunities!

💸  Minimum Opening Balance: $0

😢  Overdraft Fee: $0

💲 Other Fees: $0 in fees at 55K ATMs in the US

Did we mention that we also offer bilingual customer servie and no fees on incoming international wire transfers? Sign up for your Cheese Debit Card today to begin unlocking your financial potential.

Cheese 银行卡 美国华人最好的选择
Cheese 银行卡 美国华人最好的选择