While updating our finances, I got to looking back at some of our older accounts. In doing so, I was struck by the number of different online banks that we’ve used over the years.
Gone are the days of generous signup bonuses and high rates, but the vestiges of those rate-chasing, bank-hopping days are still with us.
In some cases, these are just closed accounts in a computer file. In other cases, the accounts are still open and holding at least a few bucks.
For the sake of posterity, I thought I’d put together a rundown of all the online bank accounts that we’ve had over the years. Note that, while I’ve also used the online interface of various brick and mortar banks, I’m focusing here on banks that have no local presence and are thus available (at least to me) only online.
For background, we opened our first online bank account with ING Direct, and we still have (and use) that account to this day. Subsequent to that, however, we opened accounts with at least eight additional online banks. Here’s the full list:
- Ally Bank
- Discover Bank
- E*Trade Bank
- Emigrant Direct
- FNBO Direct
- HSBC Direct (now HSBC Advance)
- ING Direct (now Capital One 360)
There are, of course, a number of other online banks out there — as well as quite a few that once existed but are no longer with us. But this list is a pretty good rundown of the major players in the online banking space.
As for our current accounts,
ING Direct Capital One 360 is effectively the hub of our banking world, with all accounts (online and real world) linked there. We use Ally Bank primarily for CDs for both their competitive rates and favorable cancellation policy. Discover Bank is just sitting there in the background holding a few bucks but not being used for much of anything (though we had CDs there in the relatively recent past).
All other accounts have long since been closed.
Note: If you don’t have an account with Capital One 360 and would like to try them out, keep in mind that you can get up to a $50 bonus by opening an account and jumping through a few easy hoops.
As a bit of random trivia… According to Wikipedia, Stanford First Credit Union was the first financial institution to offer online internet banking to all of its customers. They did this way back in October of 1994.
Update: I just ran across the phrase “brick and click” to describe brick and mortar banks with an online presence. This term isn’t very useful nowadays, as virtually all banks have an online interface, but I thought it was clever.
As for fully “direct” banks (i.e., those with no brick and mortar presence), Security First National Bank was the first FDIC insured bank of its sort. It launched back in October of 1995.
What about you? I’m curious… What does your list look like? How many different online banks have you used? Which do you still use and why do you like them?