Internet Banking is a great way to earn interest and
pay bills online.
Should I open up an online free checking account?
Internet banking works great for paying bills, writing
checks, and, depending on the bank, an ATM-dependent
lifestyle. You'll pay less for services and often earn
interest above what a brick-and-mortar bank offers.
If you can manage the paperwork, I suggest you keep
two bank accounts: an Internet bank as your primary
bank and a local bank in which to store a small balance.
If you're going to use an Internet bank, which one should
you choose? Presidential Online Bank came in last because
of its lack of 24/7 phone support, buggy Web site, fees
for accounts under $500, and charges for ATM use. E*Trade
Bank was second to last, losing points for high minimum-balance
requirements, fees for accounts less than $1,000; although
E*Trade did have ATM's in Targets across the US among
other places. American Express Centurion Bank, came
in first. It offers the widest ATM network, no minimum-balance
requirements, no fees, and interest on most accounts.
Second place goes to US Bank, which offers Free Checking,
and a Debit card that pays you up to 1% cash back.
A recent report from Jupiter Research found that around
19 million households viewed and paid bills online during
2003. This is up from 12.2 million in 2002 and the figure
is expected to soar to 60.6 million by 2008.
Tips for Safe Internet Banking
- Confirm that an online bank is legitimate: Most
bank Web sites have an "About Us" section
or something similar that describes the institution.
You may find a brief history of the bank, the official
name and address of the bank’s headquarters,
and information about its insurance coverage from
- Make sure your deposits are insured by the FDIC:
(our banks US Bank and American Express are both insured
by the FDIC and are both reputable banks) To verify
a bank’s insurance status, look for the familiar
FDIC logo or the words "Member FDIC" or
"FDIC Insured" on the Web site.
Why Should I Bank Online?
- You earn more interest from an online bank than
a traditional brick and mortar bank! One example with
me was I had an account with American Express online
and Bank of America and Bank One. American Express
Money Market back in early Spring 2002 was around
2.5% compared to Bank of America and Bank One at .05%
or somewhere close to that and it did not make me
any money so I pulled all my money into my American
Express Account to earn more interest. Of course the
interest rates keep going down so you have to compare
and see what banks pay the most but the Online banks
can pay more interest because the brick and mortar
banks cannot afford to since you are paying for the
customer service of seeing them in person at the drive
thru's, etc. I have no need for Banking in person
when I have direct deposit and pay my bills online.
- Free Online Bill Pay - Paying bills online without
any hassle, no stamps, and easy to manage your bills! With the prices of stamps increasing significantly each year you have to wonder why everyone does not use this service.
- Free Online Banking - Looking up your account and
- Some Online Banking accounts pay you cash back for
using their debit cards up to 2%. This can help earn airline miles or even Thank You points with banks like Citibank.
- Many Online Banking accounts credit your account
for any ATM Fees!
- Great Customer Service 24-hrs a day! (American Express
- ACH Transfer (Electronic transfer of funds are free
with American Express Centurion Bank, although Netbank
and E*Trade does charge extra for outgoing money-
you have to Love American Express for their Customer
Service compared to ETRADE or NETBANK who LACK in
that department!! Etrade and Netbank will someday
realize that people want to transfer funds electronically
out of the bank and in the bank and not be charged
for it!) A new service from ING
DIRECT lets you transfer between funds and earn
interest without having to deal with all the problems
you normally have to deal with.
- Free Checks- but why do you need checks?? You can
bank online for free! (most online banks give the
first set of checks for free)
- No need to wait for a paper statement - view your
- Earn More Interest with online
banks such as ING
DIRECT or EmigrantDirect.com
on Internet Banking | EverBank®
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Let the Bank Lady help you find the best online banking
experience! We can help you find the best Money
Market, High Yield Savings, T-Bill Money Rate, Free Checking,
and Free Bill Pay online program available. Find out more about bank fees and what free checking
really means! Write us and tell us your comments or if you have
a banking and savings review you would like to send in yourself
to the Bank Lady where you can find your Bank Online. List of Bank regulatory Agencies | Bounced Check Fees