If you are looking for a fee-free online bank to open an interest-bearing checking account, you might like Simple Bank. As you will discover in this Simple Bank review, the potential advantages of choosing an online bank. Plus, there are more features than just a place to store your money.
About Simple Bank
Simple Bank is a 100% online bank that offers checking accounts with a current interest rate of 0.01%. Deposits are FDIC-insured and stored at one of the partner banks, The Bancorp Bank or BBVA Compass, but, Simple doesn’t have any physical branches.
Not having any physical branches helps Simple Bank keep fees low and allows your checking account to be completely free.
Simple Bank Amenities
When you open a checking account with Simple Bank, you will enjoy the following amenities.
There are zero monthly maintenance fees and no ATM fees at over 50,000 machines that belong to the BBVA Compass ATM Network. And, there are no account inactivity fees if you do not make a certain amount of transactions on a monthly or quarterly basis.
They also do not charge an overdraft fee which is also pretty remarkable.
No Minimum Balance Requirement
Simple Bank require a minimum balance to open your account or to remain in good standing.
Free Bill Pay
Simple has free bill pay. Bills can be paid electronically or Simple will mail a check. You can also quickly transfer money to friends with PayPal, Venmo, and Square Cash.
They also accept direct deposit, making it easy to know you will always have a steady stream of cash coming in to pay your bills each month.
Safe-to-Spend Budgeting Tool
We all want to make impulse purchases periodically. In these instances, you might “hope” there is enough money in your account to pay the bills after you make this purchase.
Simple Bank has a Safe-to-Spend tool that makes your decision easier. The Simple app can quickly calculate your account balance and any planned expenses to tell you the amount of money that is “Safe-to-Spend” and not overdraft your account.
Very few banks offer a similar tool, so this is one unique feature offered by Simple.
You can also create savings goals with Simple. They can be short-term or long-term goals. After choose the time horizon and the savings target, Simple will tell you how much you need to save each day.
Other banks offer similar goal setting features, but, how many of them set aside the money in a digital envelope? If you like to budget with the money envelope system, you will probably like the goals feature. For each savings goal you set, the saving can be automated and Simple will transfer the money from your regular account to the savings goal.
Simple will track and categorize your spending when you use your debit card. An added touch is that you can also enter spending details in real-time with the app by taking a picture of the purchase and leaving a small note about it.
Advantages of Banking with Simple
Here are a few reasons you will like to bank with Simple.
- No fees (overdraft, account maintenance, bill pay, or inactivity fees)
- Access to 50,000 fee-free ATMs
- Safe-to-Spend tool helps ensure you will never overdraft again
- Add notes and photos to spending in real-time
- Automated digital envelope system for savings goals
- Customer service can be contacted by text or phone call
Disadvantages of Banking with Simple
As you will see, the largest drawback with Simple is that it is an online-only bank.
- Online only, no physical branch support if you need in-person help
- Checking Accounts Only
- Other online banks have higher interest rates for their checking accounts
- Must be near a BBVA Compass ATM to withdraw money fee-free (unless the ATM waives the fee)
Banking with an online-only bank can take some adjustments. If you are only looking to move your checking account, Simple is a good option to consider because there are no fees. The real potential value with Simple is with the additional app features like “Safe-to-Spend” and the visualized spending that allows you to add photos and notes to your purchases. If you need help managing your money, Simple is a bank that can help improve your skills.