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Bank of Internet Reviews: Checking, CDs Rates, Money Market, and Savings Accounts

Posted May 8, 2018 6:16 p.m. EDT
Updated August 8, 2018 6:00 a.m. EDT

Year Established2000 Total Assets$10.0BLEARN MORE on Bank Of Internet USA’s secure website San Diego, Calif.-based Bank of Internet USA is a newer bank, having started up in the year 2000 while many traditional banks have been around for decades. It was also one of the first banks to exclusively operate online. Even though it’s a new kid on the block, it’s still a solid performer, and has received an “A” health rating from DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree company, which indicates it’s a solid choice for consumers looking for a new bank account.U.S. citizens and resident aliens 18 years or older are welcome to apply for an account with Bank of Internet. To apply online, you’ll need at least three pieces of information: a social security number, a U.S. driver’s license or state ID, and a physical mailing address (P.O. boxes aren’t allowed), along with other basic information about yourself like your name and phone number.In this review we’ll cover Bank of Internet’s checking, CD, money market, savings, and IRA accounts. We’ll discuss the interest rates, fees, and rules that come along with each account so you can decide whether Bank of Internet will be the best bank for you. Bank of Internet USA’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

1.30%

Savings

Bank of Internet USA Smart Savings Account

1.85%

Synchrony Bank High Yield Savings

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1.00%

CD Rates

Bank of Internet USA 12 Month CD

2.50%

CIT Bank 1-Year Term CD

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1.30%

CD Rates

Bank of Internet USA 36 Month CD

2.55%

Ally Bank High Yield 3 Year CD

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2.25%

CD Rates

Bank of Internet USA 60 Month CD

3.00%

Barclays 60 Month Online CD

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In this review, we’ll cover:

Bank of Internet CD rates

Bank of Internet checking account options

Bank of Internet’s Money Market account

Bank of Internet’s Savings account

Bank of Internet’s IRA accounts

Overall review of Bank of Internet’s products

Bank of Internet CD rates

While Bank of Internet’s CDs are pretty standard, they do offer a unique feature: interest is paid out every year for CD terms over one year in length.[Chart-BankOfInternetCDRates]

Term

APY

3 months

0.55%

6 months

0.75%

12 months

1.00%

24 months

1.20%

36 months

1.30%

48 months

1.40%

60 months

2.25%

[/Chart-BankOfInternetCDRates]
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For the 3-month CD, you’ll pay 1.5 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 6-month CD, you’ll pay 3 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 12-month CD, you’ll pay 6 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 24-month CD, you’ll pay 12 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 36-month CD, you’ll pay 18 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 48-month and 60-month CD, you’ll pay 24 months’ worth of interest.

Bank of Internet offers a pretty standard CD with this account. You can choose from a range of terms, and you must bring a moderately-sized deposit to the table to open an account. You’ll also face a penalty for withdrawing your cash early, and if you do withdraw money, Bank of Internet will first remove it from the interest you’ve earned. Since the APY you’ll earn is calculated based on the assumption that you leave the interest in the account to earn even more interest, withdrawing any money early can reduce the actual APY you get.

One important heads-up: if you choose a CD term longer than a year, you’ll receive a payout of the interest you’ve earned from the prior year, rather than having it sit in your CD account until maturity. Additionally, the CD will auto-renew to another CD of the same term length when it matures. You’ll still have a 10-day grace period to withdraw the money or make any changes to the CD, however.

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How Bank of Internet’s CD rates compare

When it comes to CD rates, Bank of Internet is a bit like Goldilocks. It doesn’t offer the best CD rates out there, but it also don’t offer the worst. In addition, its minimum deposit size to open a CD is relatively standard among banks, however it will be a bit cost-prohibitive to many people, especially those just starting out their savings.

One option to get around this is to find another bank with a lower minimum deposit size for CDs, or to simply open a savings account until you have enough cash saved up to open a higher-interest-earning CD.

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Bank of Internet checking account options

Rewards Checking

This fee-free account offers a great opportunity to earn high interest rates on your checking account money.[Chart-BankOfInternetRewardsChecking]

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

Up to 1.25%

$0

[/Chart-BankOfInternetRewardsChecking]
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Unlimited ATM fee refunds for any domestic ATMs
  • Overdraft fees: Free, if you link a savings or money market account to cover any overdrafts.

If you’re looking for a high-interest-earning checking account, this is a great one to consider. You can earn three different tiers of interest rates, depending on how you use the account. To earn the base rate of 0.4166% APY, you’ll need to receive at least $1,000 worth of monthly direct deposits into this account. To earn an additional 0.4166% APY, you’ll need to also make at least 10 purchases of at least $3 per month with your Bank of Internet Visa® debit card. Finally, if you also make another five purchases (for a total of 15) of at least $3 per month, in addition to the direct deposit requirements, you can earn yet another 0.4166% APY — totalling a whopping 1.25% APY.

This account also comes with a cashback rewards program. To enroll, you’ll need to log in to your account and navigate to the Purchase Rewards section, where you can see what cashback offers are available at local and online stores. You’ll need to manually activate the offers in order for it to work; otherwise, you won’t earn anything. If you do earn any cash back, it’ll be deposited into your account at the end of the next month.

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Platinum Checking

The only string attached with the Platinum Checking account is that you need a high balance to earn any interest.[Chart-BankOfInternetPlatinumChecking]

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.71%

$5,000+

[/Chart-BankOfInternetPlatinumChecking]
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $8 per month from domestic ATM surcharge fees
  • Overdraft fees: $0

If you tend to keep a large balance in your checking account and don’t use it a whole lot, this could be a good rewards checking account to consider. You won’t earn anything on the first $4,999 in the account, but once you hit the $5,000 mark, you’ll earn a decent interest rate for a checking account, and with no strings attached like with Bank of Internet’s Rewards Checking account.

There aren’t any fees for using any domestic ATMs; however, you still might owe ATM surcharge fees from the ATM’s owner. Bank of Internet will reimburse you up to $8 for these surcharge fees, but unlike the Rewards Checking account, it’s not an unlimited amount — so this account may be better for folks who don’t use ATMs frequently either.

The Platinum Checking account also comes with the same cashback rewards program as the Rewards Checking account. Simply log into your online account, select which offers you’re interested in, and shop at that store. Your cash rewards will be deposited into your bank account at the end of the next month.

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CashBack Checking

You can earn up to 1.00% cash back when you use your Bank of Internet USA debit card to make purchases with this account.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Unlimited ATM fee refunds for any domestic ATMs.
  • Overdraft fees: $25

Bank of Internet’s CashBack Checking account may be an option to consider if earning cash back if more your style. You’ll earn 1.00% cash back on any signature-based purchases made with your Bank of Internet USA debit card if you keep an average daily balance of $1,500 in your account. (A “signature-based purchase” is one where you don’t use the PIN pad.) If you have less than the $1,500 average daily balance in your account, you’ll still earn cash back, but at a slightly lower rate (0.50%).

You can earn up to $2,000 in cash back per month. Also, heads-up: this cash back is counted as income, so you’ll owe taxes on this money when you file your taxes at the end of the year (the bank will send you a 1099-MISC form to record on your taxes).

In addition to this cashback program, you’re also eligible for the regular cashback rewards program offered with the other checking accounts. All you have to do is log in to your online account, select which offers you’re interested in purchasing, make the purchase, and earn a set amount of cash back on top of what you’re already earning. The money from this cashback program and your normal daily spending will be deposited into your checking account.

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Essential Checking

Bank of Internet’s Essential Checking account doesn’t earn any interest or come with any inherent rewards, but it won’t cost you anything either.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Unlimited ATM fee refunds for any domestic ATMs.
  • Overdraft fees: $0

This fee-free account also does not offer any interest, nor does it come with its own cashback rewards program like the CashBack Checking account.

However, this account is still eligible for Bank of Internet’s own cashback rewards program. To earn cashback rewards with this program, you need to log into your account online and select the cashback offers that you’re interested in. Then, simply use your Bank of Internet USA Visa® Debit Card to make a purchase with these merchants, and your cash rewards will be deposited into your bank account in the next month.

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Golden Checking

The Golden Checking account allows you to earn a small amount of interest and free checks if you’re 55 or older.[Chart-BankOfInternetGoldenChecking]

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

0.20%

$0

[/Chart-BankOfInternetGoldenChecking]
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $8 per month from domestic ATM surcharge fees.
  • Overdraft fees: $0

If you’re over age 55, you’re eligible to open Bank of Internet’s Golden Checking account. It offers a few extra perks on top of its regular accounts — you’ll earn a small amount of interest on any money you keep in the account (with no stipulations for minimum balances or transactions), and you’ll get a free box of checks as often as every six months.

In addition, you’re eligible for Bank of Internet’s cashback program. If you log into your online account, you’ll be able to select from certain retailers offering cashback rewards. Simply activate these rewards, spend money with your Bank of Internet USA Visa® Debit Card at these retailers, and the money you earn will be deposited back into your account the following month.

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First Checking

This checking account is a great option to wean your teen into managing their own money.[Chart-BankOfInternetFirstChecking]

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

0.25%

$0

[/Chart-BankOfInternetFirstChecking]
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $12 per month from domestic ATM surcharge fees.
  • Overdraft fees: $0

Bank of Internet’s First Checking account is designed to be exactly that… your teen’s first checking account. It’s jointly owned by you and your teen (ages 13 to 17, or 18 in Alabama), so you also have complete control over the account, including being able to deposit an allowance into the account and monitor spending.

There are also a few other nice safeguards that come with the account. In order to prevent totally reckless spending, your teen is limited to withdrawing just $100 cash per day, or making just $500 in point-of-sale transactions. Even though it’s a checking account, this account doesn’t allow any check-writing capabilities, though it does come with a Visa® debit card. Finally, your teen won’t be allowed to make certain purchases or use their card at certain kinds of establishments, like bars, liquor stores, or casinos.

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How Bank of Internet’s checking accounts compare

We really like all of Bank of Internet’s checking accounts because they each come with low fees — or even no fees. You can use any domestic ATM you want without paying any Bank of Internet fees, and each of its checking accounts even offers at least some, if not an unlimited amount, of ATM surcharge fee reimbursements. This makes these accounts great for people who use ATMs frequently.

In addition, many of its accounts offers great interest rates. Some of these accounts — like the Rewards Checking account — are even currently rated as some of our best online checking accounts.

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Bank of Internet’s Money Market account

You can write checks from this money market account, but you won’t earn as much interest as with a regular Bank of Internet Smart Savings account.[Chart-BankOfInternetsMoneyMarketAccount]

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

1.05%

$0

[/Chart-BankOfInternetsMoneyMarketAccount]
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $25

Bank of Internet’s Money Market account earns slightly less than its regular Smart Savings account, but in return, you get the option to write checks from this account. You can also pay your bills online for free with this account.

But, just like other money market or savings accounts, you’re limited to making just six transactions per month from this account, per Federal Regulation D. If you go over that number, you’ll pay a $10 excessive transaction fee per each new transaction.

Heads-up: if you also have a checking account and have opted into overdraft protection with this account, any overdraft transfers made on your behalf will also count against the six transaction limit. Finally, any checks you write will be counted against the six-transaction limit in the month that they’re posted to your account, not in the month that you write them.

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How Bank of Internet’s Money Market account compares

Unfortunately, Bank of Internet’s Money Market account offers a lackluster interest rate, especially compared to the best money market account rates out there — but we do like that it has no monthly account maintenance fee and no minimum balance requirement. This will make the account accessible to anyone, but if a high interest rate is what you’re after, you can still find higher-yielding accounts with no fees from other banks and credit unions.

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Bank of Internet’s Savings account

This account offers a fairly high interest rate, but remember to request an ATM card if you plan on making ATM withdrawals from this account.[Chart-BankOfInternetsSavingsAccount]

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

1.30%

$0

[/Chart-BankOfInternetsSavingsAccount]
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $25

The Smart Savings account from Bank of Internet is a pretty standard savings account. Like all savings and money market accounts, you can only make up to six transactions per month from this account as per Federal Regulation D. If you exceed that amount, you’ll pay a $10 excessive transaction charge.

One thing to note with this account is that you’ll need to request a free ATM card with this account if you plan on making ATM withdrawals from it — it doesn’t come with one automatically. It’s not a big deal, but just something to be aware of if you ever plan on making an ATM withdrawal from your savings account.

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How Bank of Internet’s savings account compares

Bank of Internet does offers a higher rate than most banks, but still, it’s not the top contender out there. For that, you’ll need to instead turn to our recent rankings of the best online savings accounts.

Its terms, however, are quite fair. There are very few fees that come with this account, and if most people use it as intended, it’s possible that they never will pay any fees for having a savings account with Bank of Internet. In addition, there is no minimum balance, so it’s easy to get your savings started with this bank.

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Bank of Internet’s IRA accounts

IRA CD rates

These CDs earn a much lower rate than Bank of Internet’s normal CDs, but in return you do get the tax benefits of an IRA account.[Chart-BankOfInternetIRACDRates]

Term

APY

12 months

0.60%

18 months

0.70%

36 months

0.75%

[/Chart-BankOfInternetIRACDRates]
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For the 12-month and 18-month CD, you’ll pay six months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 36-month CD, you’ll pay 18 months’ worth of interest.

Although Bank of Internet’s IRA CDs offer a paltry rate compared to its regular CDs, you do still get the tax benefits from opening these accounts within an IRA. Specifically, you can open a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA through these CDs.

This CD comes with a $1,000 minimum deposit, which may be a hard pill to swallow for savers just starting out on their retirement savings journey. There are other signs this account is geared towards older savers, too: if you need to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA, you can do so from these CDs without paying an early withdrawal penalty — this is a nice feature.

When your IRA CD matures, it’ll automatically roll over into another IRA CD of the same terms, but with the new interest rate of the day. You’ll still have a 10-day grace period to make any changes to the CD without paying any early withdrawal penalties.

There are a few fees to be aware of with this account: If you close the account and/or transfer your money out, you’ll face a $35 fee. If you’d like an annual paper statement, that’ll also set you back $10.

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How Bank of Internet’s IRA CD rates compare

We’ll be honest — Bank of Internet doesn’t offer very high interest rates on its IRA CDs. It may be convenient for you to open an IRA CD here if you already have an account, but if earning the best returns on your money is your primary concern, you will be better off choosing one of these IRA CDs with much higher rates.

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IRA Savings account

You can earn a low rate on your retirement savings but have more flexibility for moving your retirement cash around with this IRA Savings account.[Chart-BankOfInternetIRASavingsAccount]

APY

Balance Requirement

0.15%

$250 - $1,000

0.70%

Over $1,000

[/Chart-BankOfInternetIRASavingsAccount]
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • Overdraft fees: $25

If you think you might want to move your retirement savings to a new institution before your CD term is up and you don’t want to pay early withdrawal fees, then you may want to consider an IRA savings account. You can get started with your retirement savings with as little as $250 with this account, making it much more accessible to those just getting started. You can also choose from a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA.

You won’t get an ATM card with this account (if you’re saving for retirement, you probably don’t need one anyway). If you decide to roll over or close your IRA, you’ll face a $35 IRA transfer fee or a $35 IRA closing fee as well. Finally, you’ll pay a $10 fee if you’d like an annual paper statement from your account.

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Overall review of Bank of Internet’s products

Bank of Internet is a bit hit-or miss. They have many different types of checking accounts, and most of them offer fantastic rates and perks, such as a cashback rewards program. Additionally, these accounts don’t come with any maintenance fees. However, the interest rates offered on its money market, savings, and CD products aren’t really that great, especially compared with its competitors.

It may be worth keeping a checking account with Bank of Internet if you’re looking for a low-fee, high-earning account. But at the same time, it’s also possible to find great rates on the whole package — checking and savings accounts — at other banks as well.

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