Axos Bank Review
When was the last time you went to your local bank branch? If you are haven’t visited a brick-and-mortar branch in a while, it might be time for you to consider opening an account with an online bank.
Axos Bank is a full-service bank that operates entirely online. The lack of physical locations means that less money is spent on building upkeep, maintenance, and other overhead costs associated with brick-and-mortar branches. This means that they are able to give you a higher APY compared to traditional banks.
If you are interested in learning more about Axos Bank, check out our in-depth review.
About Axos Bank
Formerly Bank of Internet USA, Axos bank was founded in San Diego in 2000. They are a full-service bank and offer a wide range of financial products including checking, savings, money market accounts, CD’s, mortgages, loans and self-directed trading. As of the writing of this article, Axos has roughly $11.8 billion in assets.
Axos puts a strong emphasis on an online experience. By having no physical branches, Axos is able to reduce their overhead costs and offer higher rates to their customers. Customers that are comfortable having a fully digital banking experience will be rewarded with high APYs.
As a full-service bank, Axos offers its customers several types of accounts that they can open. Here are the different types of accounts that you can access through Axos.
Axos is a full-service bank that offers a wide range of financial products including checking, savings, money market accounts, CD’s, mortgages, and loans.
- No fees for Checking and Savings
- Great Mobile App
- Unlimited Domestic ATM Reimbursements
- No Physical Branches
- Limited Customer Support
Axos Checking Accounts
Axos offers five different types of checking accounts:
- Essential Checking
- Rewards Checking
- Cashback Checking
- First Checking
- Golden Checking
All checking accounts give you access to other features offered by Axos including free mobile deposit, online bill pay, and mobile banking.
Essential Checking Account
The Essential Checking account is a basic account for those with simple checking needs. It does not have any monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. There are also no overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees.
The Essential Checking account comes with unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements. You can also have your paycheck direct deposited into your account two days early.
Rewards Checking Account
The Rewards Checking account offers the same features as the Essential Checking account, but it also provides 1.25% APY on account balances. You must have at least a $50 minimum balance and meet a certain set of criteria in order to qualify for the full amount. You must:
- Deposit at least $1,000 per month
- Use your Axos debit card for at least 15 transactions per month
This APY is scaled, which means that if you only use your debit card 12 times in a month, you will only receive 0.4166% APY instead of the full 1.25%.
Cashback Checking Account
The CashBack Checking account rewards you for shopping with 1% cashback on all your purchases that require a signature. You will also benefit from unlimited check writing and no monthly fees.
First Checking Account
The First Checking account is a great introductory account for children from ages 13 to 17. This account acts as training wheels for kids and teaches them money management skills while allowing parents to implement restrictions.
The account holder can earn up to 0.25% APY on their balance. This account reimburses up to $12 per month of domestic ATM fees, and there are no monthly fees or overdraft fees.
Golden Checking Account
The Golden Checking account is designed for people in their golden years, which Axos defines as 55 or older. There is a $50 minimum balance to open an account, and the APY earned is tiered based on your balance. There are no monthly fees, and account holders are eligible for up to $8 in monthly ATM reimbursement.
Axos High-Yield Savings Account
Axos’s High Yield Savings account allows you to build your wealth with a competitive APY and other great features. You can earn 0.61% APY on your balance, and interest is compounded daily for the High Yield Savings account.
There are no rate tiers, which means that everyone gets the highest rate no matter their balance. This account has a $250 minimum balance requirement and does not have any monthly maintenance fees.
With a high yield savings account, account holders have access to several online money management tools. You are also entitled to a free ATM card provided if you request it.
Axos Money Market Account
The Money Market account helps you save money but also allows you to access the money in case of an emergency.
Account balances earn interest rates of 0.60% APY, which is higher than the national average for money market account rates. The interest for this account is also compounded daily.
You must have a $1,000 minimum deposit to open an account.
The Money Market account does include any monthly maintenance fees. This account allows for check writing and debit card transactions, which allows you to access the money if you need it.
Axos Certificates of Deposit
Certificates of deposit offer high-interest yields and guaranteed returns. You can open a CD account with terms ranging from three to 60 months. There is a $1,000 minimum deposit to open an account, which is higher than what most banks require.
The APY will vary by term length, but the maximum return rate is 0.40%. There are no maintenance or setup fees, and accounts feature free electronic interest transfer. All CD accounts are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000.
If you withdraw any of the principal from the account before it matures, you will face a penalty fee. This fee will depend on the term length and is defined in terms of months of interest. All accounts offer autorenewal with a 10-day grace period.
Axos does away with many of the fees that come with traditional banking.
For example, Axos’s Rewards Checking account features no monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, domestic wire transfer fees, international wire transfer fee, or ATM withdrawal fees. This is excellent compared to many of Axos’s competitors, who still charge their customers many of these fees.
Depending on the account, you may still have to pay a few fees through Axos. Luckily, they keep these fees to a minimum, so they shouldn’t hurt your wallet too badly.
Becoming a member of Axos Bank is relatively straightforward. The process feels similar to opening an account with any other full-service bank.
To begin the process, you can apply to open an account by visiting a link above. Their team will ask you to provide a Social Security number, a government-issued id, and a valid US residential address to confirm your identity.
In order to open an account with Axos Bank, you must be at least 18 years old and a US citizen. You cannot open an account with an existing security freeze on your credit report. You can contact the insurance bureau directly to unlock your credit report.
As with any bank, customers are concerned with the safety of their money and information. If you decide to open an account through Axos, you can rest assured that you are duly protected.
All accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 per person. This protects your money in case anything should happen to Axos.
As a fully digital bank, Axos also aims to properly protect your data. They have cybersecurity measures in place to prevent hackers from accessing your information in transit or from the server.
These features include bank-grade encryption, anti-virus and malware protection, two-step authentication, automatic logout, and account monitoring.
Axos offers several ways to contact its customer service team if you need assistance. You can contact their team by phone, email, secure message, and through their mobile app. The mobile app is supported on iOS and Android devices.
Axos has several direct phone numbers based on what you need. Each phone number goes to a specific team that handles that particular issue, such as loan servicing or small business banking. Unfortunately, each customer service team is only available during business hours, which can be limiting depending on your schedule and time zone.
In addition to its customer service team, Axos has several tools that can help you manage your money responsibly. They have FAQs, calculators, helpful articles, and other useful features to make banking through Axos a seamless and educational process.
Pros and Cons
There are benefits and drawbacks to opening an account with Axos. To get a balanced perspective, here are some of the pros and cons of becoming a customer of Axos Bank.
- No fees for checking or savings accounts: Because they don’t have the overhead of brick-and-mortar branches, Axos does not charge monthly maintenance fees on a lot of their accounts. They also try to keep any other fees to a minimum. This is another benefit of Axos’s strictly online presence.
- Mobile app: Banking on the go is becoming very common in the age of the smartphone. Axos has created a mobile app to meet the market demand of such technology. You can pay your bills, deposit checks, transfer balances, and more through their smartphone app.
- Unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements: ATM fees can be a pain, especially when you are in a position where you cannot reach your bank’s designated ATM. Luckily, Axos reimburses domestic ATM fee so that you don’t have to worry about getting cash on the fly.
- No physical branches: If you are interested in in-person assistance, you are out of luck. Axos Bank does not have any physical locations and services all its customers through remote customer service. If you are uncomfortable with an entirely online experience, this likely isn’t the bank for you.
- Limited customer service: Axos Bank offers phone support, but only during specific times. Additionally, each team at Axos works on differing schedules. You will need to review each team’s business hours if you would like assistance over the phone.
- Limited ATM reimbursements: Many banks offer unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements. Unfortunately, Axos draws the line between two to eight ATM fee reimbursements. If you make frequent trips to the ATM, you should keep this in mind before opening an account with Axos.
Alternatives to Axos Bank
Axos is not the only bank that offers full service online. If you are interested in other banks that can meet your banking needs electronically, here are some other options to consider.
Radius Bank allows you to conveniently bank from your smartphone while also earning a fantastic interest rate on their Rewards Checking account.
Radius’s Reward Checking account claims to offer the benefits of checking and savings accounts under one roof. You will earn up to 1.5% cash back while being able to flexibly access the money like you would a checking account. You must make an initial deposit of $10, but there is no monthly fees for minimum balances after that.
It is worth noting that you will only be eligible for the maximum interest rate with a balance of $2,500 or higher. Additionally, only the amount above the $2,500 will accrue interest. This is important to keep in mind if you believe you may have trouble reaching that threshold.
Capital One 360
Capital One is a familiar name for all of us because of their credit card commercials. However, they also have a checking account that offers no fees and competitive interest rates.
Like some banking institutions, Capital One offers interest rates based on account balance tiers. Balances below $50,000 will earn a lower interest rate while balances above $100,000 will earn the highest possible APY.
Many people choose to open an account with Capital One because they already have a credit card with them. There is a certain convenience to having all of your accounts under one institution. However, if you cannot meet the $100,000 minimum balance to earn the highest rate, you may consider other institutions that offer higher rates with lower minimum balances.
Is Axos Bank For You?
Axos is one of the leading online-only full-service banks. They are best for people that are comfortable doing their banking online and not having access to physical branch locations.
If you are tech-savvy, own a small business, want to avoid late fees, or are simply looking for a rewarding checking account, Axos can help meet some of your needs.
If you are looking for the highest possible APY for checking and savings, you should probably look elsewhere. Their rates are middle-market and will not get you the highest possible return.
Overall, Axos is a solid choice, but it is always best to compare your options. Be sure to check out some of our other reviews to learn about other banking institutions.