If you're looking for a quick way to earn a few hundred dollars, the answer could be as simple as opening up an online bank account. Banks are continuously looking for ways to earn your business, so many institutions will give upfront bonuses to new customers as an incentive. While you may not understand why a bank would pay you to become a customer, the answer is simple-- they are hoping to create a long-term customer. One of the best ways to find the right online checking account for you is to search online.
Wondering what an online checking account can do for you? Here are five more reasons why you should ditch the brick-and-mortar and opt to go digital.
Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar banks, online banks are accessible 24 hours per day, seven days per week. What's more? Some service providers, including Wells Fargo, Chime, and Ally Bank, offer 24/7 customer service options, too. So even if you're unable to get online, there's a way to talk with a real-life customer service agent.
Mobile banking has made it easier than ever to transfer money, apply for a credit card, check your credit score, and access your savings account. You could say online banks metaphorically cut out the middleman to connect you directly to the source—AKA your checking account.
As long as you're able to log in to your mobile banking app, you can access your accounts, request a new debit card, or do whatever else it is you need to do without driving to the bank or waiting in line.
Another great advantage of mobile banking is online bill pay. Instead of wasting your time filling out forms or writing checks, online bill pay allows you to pay your bills with the click of a button—most online banking portals offer auto-pay options, so you don't even have to log in!
Some banks offer external apps or peer-to-peer payment systems so you can send and receive money with friends and family members at different banks. Zelle, for example, is backed by a number of U.S. banks, including Wells Fargo, BB&T, SunTrust, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Capital One, Bank of America, FirstBank, Citi, and Chase, among others. Sure, you could use Venmo or Apple Pay, but wouldn't you rather work with a trusted service provider's app instead?
Online banking gives customers the power to access their account history, check on recent transactions, and view statements from anywhere, making it easier than ever to double-check for unauthorized use or strange activity.
If you spot an unknown pending transaction in your personal accounts, you can contact your bank and the vendor to reverse the charges before they're posted. The sooner you catch an issue like this, the better!
Most, if not all, online checking accounts don't charge a monthly service fee. Bonus: There's usually no account balance minimum, either. In the long run, this could really save you some money. What's more? Many online checking accounts allow customers to make free ATM withdrawals whereas traditional banks have a sneaky way of nickel and diming customers for everything, including maintenance fees and overdraft fees.
Another perk of banking online is the transparency of your current financial state. With in-person banking, sometimes you aren't aware your finances are on the fritz until it's too late. By using an easy app or having critical information sent to your mobile number, you can know quicker when your balance is low, if there might be fraudulent activity, and if an auto-payment has been posted. All this works to keep the fear of the unknown at bay.
Take a leap of faith and open a web-based bank account—you'll be glad you did. It's the 21st century, so why handle your finances like you're in the 1800s? Mobile banking offers a variety of benefits including, but not limited to, ease-of-access, personalized alerts, and improved security including passcodes, two-factor authentication text messages, and improved communication (thank you, push notifications!).
Traditional branch banking is on the way out, but it's not to say your banking experience has to be impersonal. Online banks are designed to meet your needs like the best of them; the first step is searching online for the right fit.