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CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Taxes & Financial Planning > Online Banking

Online Banking Cost


How Much Does Online Banking Cost?

 
low costLow: Freeaverage costFees: $1-$10 Per Month
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Online banking permits customers to view accounts and monthly statements, make deposits and conduct money transfers, all from a personal computer. As a related service, people with checking accounts can also pay bills online, while some institutions allow customers to view their accounts or conduct online banking from a mobile phone or other internet-enabled device.

Typical costs:

  • Online banking is often free but there may be charges of $1-$10 for accounts and fees for related services, depending on account balances and individual bank policies. For example, SunTrust[1] offers free checking accounts; the Georgia-based bank, which operates branches throughout the South, does not pay interest and requires no monthly minimum balance with a $100 minimum opening deposit. However, accessing images of cleared checks costs an additional $1 per month. Online banking services are also free at Ballston Spa National Bank[2] , which operates branches in upstate New York and offers free checking for accounts containing a $500 average daily balance. A $3-per-month fee assessed if the checking balance falls to $499 or less.
  • Online banking deposits are typically made at ATMs, and there may be fees associated with using ATMs outside of the banks' direct network. SunTrust[3] accepts deposits to online accounts only at SunTrust ATMs or by mail. Depending on the type of checking account held, cash withdrawals made at other ATMs can result in a $2 charge from SunTrust, plus an additional fee from the bank that owns the ATM. Premium checking account holders who maintain a minimum $5,000 balance don't pay extra to use non-network ATMs and are reimbursed for any ATM fees assessed by other banks.
  • Online banking is free at Bank of America[4] in conjunction with various checking accounts, including one account that's free with a $1,500 minimum balance or monthly direct deposits of at least $250. The company's e-banking account requires no minimum balance, but requires customers to receive only electronic statements and perform all deposits and withdrawals at ATMs. Visit an in-person teller and there's an $8.98 per month charge.
  • Veteran online bank ING Direct[5] says checking accounts associated with its online banking service do not carry additional fees or require a minimum balance. Charles Schwab Bank[6] also doesn't require a minimum monthly balance and says it reimburses fees other companies charge to use their ATMs.
  • Wells Fargo[7] customers receive free online banking if they hold one of several checking accounts. The Custom Management account is free with a $1,000 daily balance or if the account receives a direct deposit of at least $100 per month. Otherwise, the monthly cost is $10. ATM transactions are free at Wells Fargo or affiliated Wachovia ATMs. There's a $2.50 charge for each withdrawal made from non-member ATMs and those out-of-network ATMs may also charge an additional fee for the same transaction.
Related articles: Online Bill Pay, Financial Planner

What should be included:
  • Online banks should enable customers to easily find ATMs in the network. ING Direct, for example, permits account holders to search for in-network ATMs on its website.
  • Online banks should have toll-free phone numbers or email addresses for consumers to ask questions. Some smaller financial institutions, including American Bank of Texas, offer live telephone service support only on weekdays. Citibank's[8] customer service telephone lines are open 7 days a week, as are ING Direct's and BankAtlantic's[9] .
Additional costs:
  • To prevent financial and personal information transmitted over the internet from being intercepted by unauthorized outsiders, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. provides security suggestions[10] .
  • Some companies allow banking transactions executed online to be directly downloaded into personal finance trackers including Quicken; SunTrust charges $5.95 per month for that service.
  • Some online banks limit how often customers can withdraw money from ATMs or use their debit card without incurring extra fees, according to BankRate.com[11] . For example, Nebraska-based FNBO Direct[12] charges $1 each time an online account holder uses a non-Circle One ATM to check an account balance, a fee waived if the prior month's balance was $25,000 or more.
Shopping for online banking:
  • Not all banks operating on the internet -- particularly institutions chartered outside the U.S. -- are insured by the FDIC, and customers may not be reimbursed by regulators should the bank fail. Check a bank's status using the FDIC's Bank Find[13] tool.
  • Research the most favorable interest rates at Bankrate.com[14] .
  • The FDIC has detailed information[15] about online banking regulation and where to file complaints, as well as other consumer rights issues.
  • Consumer Reports[16] has information about mobile banking and costs.
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External Resources:
  1.  /www.suntrust.com/portal/server.pt/community/chk_compare_accounts/441
  2.  /www.bsnb.com/site/personal_banking_checking.asp
  3.  /www.suntrust.com/portal/server.pt/community/checking_account_selector/440
  4.  /www.bankofamerica.com/onlinebanking/online-banking.go
  5.  helpcenter.capitalone360.com/ingd/Topic.aspx?category=C3BNKEOBAS
  6.  www.schwab.com/public/schwab/banking_lending/checking_account
  7.  /www.wellsfargo.com/checking/
  8.  /online.citibank.com/US/JPS/portal/BrowserWarning.do?ts=1369643709054
  9.  www.bbt.com/
  10.  www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/online/protect.html
  11.  www.bankrate.com/funnel/checking-account/checking-account-results.aspx?local=false&prod...
  12.  /www.fnbodirect.com/01d/html/en/
  13.  www2.fdic.gov/idasp/main_bankfind.asp
  14.  www.bankrate.com/funnel/checking-account/
  15.  www.fdic.gov/bank/individual/online/help.html
  16.  www.consumerreports.org/cro/money/credit-loan/banking-by-cell-phone/overview/index.htm
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