Best Online Banks For 2021

Does your current bank account help you get more out of your money with a competitive APY? Or does it charge annoying monthly maintenance fees? 

If you have an account with a brick-and-mortar financial institution, chances are that you answered yes to both of those questions. 

Switching to an online bank is a smart choice because it can help your money grow without the extra charges that most banks charge. Some even offer cashback rewards just for using your debit card! 

If you’re ready to get more out of your bank, check out The Penny Hoarder’s top choices for the best online banks for 2021.

Ally Bank

Many experts consider Ally to be one of the best places to open an online checking or savings account, thanks to its high APYs. Currently, Ally savings accounts offer 0.60% APY, while checking accounts earn 0.25%. It doesn’t charge service fees or requires a minimum balance.

Ally makes online banking convenient. It offers a variety of loans, over 43,000 Allpoint ATMs around the country, and will reimburse up to $10 in monthly ATM fees. You can also monitor your account and deposit checks through the user-friendly mobile banking app.


Short for the National Bank of Kansas City, nbkc streamlines banking by combining your checking and savings into a single account called the Everything Account — which offers 0.50% APY on your entire balance.

This online bank charges absolutely no fees — including foreign transaction fees or overdraft penalties. Plus, you can enjoy convenient access to more than 34,000 ATMs and $12 monthly credit for ATM fees. The mobile app is intuitive and offers helpful tools to help you reach your savings goals faster.


Synchrony also offers 0.60% APY for its savings accounts, as well as a convenience card to withdraw money from an ATM. Although this APY may be low compared to 2019’s rates, it’s still considerably higher than Bank of America. That, plus zero fees (including penalties for exceeding the six-per-month withdrawal limit) is why The Penny Hoarder ranked this online bank at the top of its list.

Radius Bank

This online bank doesn’t offer the same competitive APYs as other online banks, but it offers something that few others have: 1% cashback on all purchases. In other words, you can get $1 for every $100 you spend with your card. Not only that, but Radius is currently extending a 1.5% cashback offer for qualifying categories like groceries, health, entertainment, and social good. 

Radius checking accounts have a 0.15% APY. Depending on your savings account balance, you’ll receive an APY of either 0.15% or 0.025%. Additionally, you can use any ATM in the country and the bank will reimburse the cost — no matter how many fees you incur. Besides that, you can access your paycheck as soon as two days before the direct deposit. 

Radius’s mobile app includes location-based limitations and spending restrictions, and notifications when your card is used. You can also use it to report a lost or stolen debit card.

Alliant Credit Union

Alliant has over 80,000 in-network ATM and will repay up to $20 in monthly ATM fees, making this online credit union one of the most convenient options. In addition, it has an innovative mobile banking app to monitor your checking and savings accounts. And if you live in Chicago, you can take advantage of brick-and-mortar locations, too.

Right now, Alliant offers 0.25% APY for checking accounts and charges no monthly maintenance fees or requires a minimum balance. When you open an account, you’ll receive a complimentary Visa debit card that allows contactless payments.

If you open a savings account, you can enjoy 0.55% APY. While you do have to pay $5 to open an account, Alliant will cover the cost for you.


Chime is ideal for people who want to open their first bank account. It has zero monthly fees, overdraft penalties, minimum balance requirements, and foreign transaction charges. Additionally, you’ll be able to use more than 38,000 in-network ATMs free of charge around the country.

Even better, however, is the ability to automatically transfer a portion of your direct deposits from your checking to savings account for easy savings. Plus, Chime will round up to the next dollar on every purchase and put the difference in your savings. Chime savings accounts offer 0.50% APY, and you can also receive the money from your paycheck as early as two days when you opt for direct deposits.


  • Moore, Timothy. “The 13 Best Online Banks for 2021.” The Penny Hoarder, The Penny Hoarder, 14 Dec. 2020,
Ian Schindler