Net Gains: A Guide to Online-Only Banks

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Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Most banks now offer online services for their customers. But other banks have taken that to the extreme, and now only exist on the Internet. For people who don’t need a brick-and-mortar location, this could be a great banking option. There are some definite perks that come along with online banks, but be wary — there are also some conveniences lost along the way, and online banking isn’t for everyone. Considering changing to an online-only bank? Read these tips, along with some recommended banks, before making the switch.

The benefits

Online-only banks don’t have the same expenses that brick-and-mortar branches do, so they can often offer lower fees and higher interest rates. And, many online banks will let you use any ATM for free – you can often see ATM rebates show up in your checking account each month.

“Customers willing to restrict their banking to an Internet-only experience earn certain perks. For example, interest paid on deposits at Internet-only banks typically is higher than it is in accounts offered by more traditional banks,” writes Bankrate.

They also give you instant access to your money 24/7, making it easy to stay up-to-date on what’s going on with your account. It’s easy to make transfers, and many online-only banks typically have customer service representatives available to chat with you any time of the day.

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