Top 10 Online Banks

There’s a swell article up on MSN Money listing the Top 10 Online Banks. If your bank’s on there, you are probably scratching your head and hiccuping “Huh?” over and over again to yourself, incredulous at its presence. But more interesting and less questionable than the list itself is the accompanying article, which details many of the pitfalls consumer’s face when switching over to an online banking solution:

One drawback to online-only banks is making deposits. For payroll checks, this usually isn’t an issue, because most customers use direct deposit. But if direct deposit isn’t available, you’ll have to mail deposits to the bank (envelopes are provided), use an ATM that accepts deposits for your bank or transfer funds from an account at another bank.

Of course, mailing a check will increase — by days — the time it takes for your check to clear. And, says Online Banking Report publisher Jim Bruene, “People don’t like to make deposits at an ATM,” particularly one that isn’t owned by their bank. When Megacz was living paycheck-to-paycheck two years ago, he’d send checks to First Internet Bank via FedEx or express mail, which, he says, can be a pain.

There’s also an excellent list of features to look for in an online banking solution if you’re looking to switch over from the traditional method of handling your finances: actually fingering the disgusting pieces of paper that have anonymously shuffled through ten thousand greasy, possibly diseased paws before you.

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  1. Mike Panic says:

    I didn’t see ING Direct in there… they currently pay me 3.8% intrest on the savings account I have with them and have no mimimums.

  2. RandomHookup says:

    “People don’t like to make deposits at an ATM.” ?? So who are all those people clogging up the “All Transactions” line at my BoA branch? I deposit hundreds of checks a year (and even cash) and my ATM and never have any real problems (except when my math skillz fail me).

    I can understand the foreign ATM thing, but surprised an industry person would make this comment.

  3. Roxstar says:

    ING is a savings only. They do not offer checking services such as bill pay nor even check writing. Still, I think it is the best way to go. I use a B&M bank for my checking account and keep my savings at ING. I can xfer money back and forth at will and I’m getting close to 4% with no mins and no fees. This also solves all the problems people have with online banks in that I can still walk up to a teller window and make a deposit, get a cashiers check, use a safety deposit box, etc.

  4. Tonya says:

    I noticed that the article did not mention ING DIRECT Savings Account which has no minimums and no fees! They do not have checking accounts, but do have a number of bank products including CDs, equity lines of credit, and investment accounts.

    For a savings account, they pay the best interest rate online anywhere, which is 3.80% right now. They raise the interest rate on a regular, timely basis.

    I have had an account with them since September 2003 and have have been really happy with the site and the customer service. I’ve never had to wait more than a few minutes for a customer service rep (CSR) and the CSRs themselves have all seemed to be intelligent and professional.

    I have just $50 per week automatically transferred from my Bank of America Account to them each week and it really adds up quick. You can link more than one account with them to transfer money into and out of. They are FDIC Insured and have great security measures in place: When you speak to a CSR, you enter your pin number in a way that they cannot hear what you enter. Each time you login on the site, they ask different security questions. You can receive your statements via online or have them sent to you via snail mail.

    Caveats:

    1) If you transfer money, it is not available for a few days until it clears their system. Once money is available in your account, it takes 2-3 business days to transfer money back to your checking account, so you have to be able to think a few days ahead. They do let you know when the funds from each transfer will be available.

    2) You can go online to set up a recurring transfer like I did (Example, $50 every week from your regular checking account to your ING savings account); however, you CALL to cancel or change it. You cannot change it online ~ that’s the only thing that irks me.

    3)In order to link your accounts you must snail mail a check from the account you wish to link.

    I don’t give recommendations easily, but I really love them. http://home.ingdirect.com/