Simple Bank Alternatives: My Review & Alternatives

Simple Bank Online (now closed) was founded in 2009 on the notion that banking should be just that: simple. [Don’t worry, I’ll show you Simple Bank alternatives]. Simple designed accounts that are integrated with budgeting and savings tools in collaboration with BBVA. In reality, Simple considers itself to be more of a product enterprise than a financial solution.

Simple offers several banking services with low costs and attractive interest rates. It does so in part by remaining entirely online. Simple branches do not exist anywhere in the physical world. 

In this post, I’m going to give you an in-depth Simple Bank review (ha, which no longer matters since it’s closed).

I’m also going to provide you with a rundown on some Simple Bank alternatives to help you make a better choice. 

Let’s get started! 

simple bank alternatives

Simple Bank Basics 

Online Checking With Simple 

The Simple Account is Simple’s primary account. This checking account presently pays no interest (or, according to Simple’s website, a 0.00% annual percentage yield). It has no monthly fees or requirements for a minimum balance. In addition, there are no charges for:

  • Ceasing payment requests 
  • Overdrafts 
  • Incoming wire transfers 

Unlike many other online checking accounts, Simple Accounts include check access for a $5 fee for a pack of 25 checks. Simple Account holders can also use the Simple mobile app to make mobile check deposits.

They go hand-in-hand Visa debit card and access to over 40,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs around the country. Simple doesn’t charge fees for using an ATM outside of its network, but the ATM owner could. Of course, there is a 1% International Service Assessment (ISA) tax on international purchases made with a Simple Visa debit card.

Related Reading: How to get free money on PayPal – Check Them out Here

Shared Checking With Simple 

Simple offers a Simple Shared Account if you want to share a checking account with someone else. Simple Shared combines two separate Simple accounts, resulting in a single account that can be shared and two individual accounts that can be used independently. When it comes to sharing your finances with someone else, this gives you more options.

The interest rate on shared accounts is the same as on individual accounts: The current APY on a Simple Shared Account is 0.00 %. A Shared Protected Goals Account pays a 0.50 % yield. To open a Shared Account, each person must first create their own Simple Account. The Shared Account is funded with money from the individual accounts.

High-Yield Checking With Simple

The Protected Goals Account from Simple is a high-interest checking account that functions more like a savings account. The current APY on the Protected Goal Account is 0.50 %.

Because they are linked, a Simple Account is required to open a Protected Goals Account.

You don’t have to worry about monthly fees or minimum deposit requirements with this checking account, as there are with the Simple Account. However, because it is intended for savings rather than everyday use, it does not include an ATM card or checkbooks, unlike your standard Simple account. 

Protected Target Accounts encourage you to save by allowing you to choose a savings goal amount and a deadline. Then, using transfers from a Simple Account, you can set up automatic savings contributions. This type of account is ideal for achieving savings goals such as paying for a vacation or establishing an emergency fund.

Simple’s Certificates of Deposit (CDs) 

Simple’s Certificates of Deposit (CDs) 

Simple also offers CDs that are free of charge. These no-penalty CDs have a set rate of 0.40 % APY and are only available for a 12-month term. A $250 minimum beginning deposit is required for Simple CDs.

Banks usually charge you an early withdrawal penalty if you take money out of a CD before it matures. The no-fee CDs from Simple are unique. Customers can withdraw their whole balance as well as any accrued interest seven days after opening a CD without incurring any fees or penalties.

Before they may open a CD, customers must first create a Simple Account. A maximum of five CDs can be opened at a time, with a total amount of $250,000.

Simple’s Notable Features 

Simple Accounts come with various built-in budgeting features to assist clients in automating budgeting, creating savings goals, and tracking spending patterns, in addition to several enticing online accounts.

Simple’s Safe-to-Spend tool gives you a real-time picture of available finances, taking into account your assigned expenses so you never waste money. Safe-to-Spend provides a clear image of how much money you can spend without having to use a calculator or double-check your invoices and expenses.

Customers can also set savings objectives using a Protected Goals Account, as previously discussed. With your Simple Account, you may also set up round-up rules. Simple uses round-up rules to round up the amount to the nearest whole dollar number when you make a purchase. The rounded-up change is sent to your Protected Goals Account whenever it exceeds $5.

Simple Bank’s App

Much of Simple’s account management is done online or through their mobile app, as it is with many other online banks. The app may be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play. It has many of the features you’d expect from a good banking mobile app, such as:

  • Debit card blocking (in case it gets lost or stolen) 
  • Depositing mobile checks 
  • Instant transfers (to other Simple accounts) 
  • Built-in budgeting tools 
  • Third-party payments 
  • External account linking 

As I mentioned, Simple doesn’t have any physical branches. Simple’s only in-person banking offering is access to the Allpoint ATM network, which has over 40,000 fee-free ATMs. Simple does not charge out-of-network ATM costs. However, it does not offer reimbursements for ATM operator fees, unlike several banks.

My Thoughts on Simple 

While Simple’s online banking products provide a lot of value, it also features some highly enticing built-in budgeting tools that can help you save, pay your bills, and spend responsibly.

Its Shared Accounts also make it easier to keep track of joint costs. These accounts are a fantastic option for people who want to split spending but keep their own accounts.

The Simple Protected Goals Account has a competitive annual percentage yield. It isn’t a legitimate savings account, despite the fact that it behaves like one. Simple does not provide a separate savings account.

It is ideal for people who desire simple bank accounts who wish to budget and save money. They are not suited for those who require full-service banking or in-person service from a local bank location.

Simple Bank Alternatives 

Since Simple Bank is closed, there’s no longer a need for a Simple Bank Review. We need some other options! Here are some viable Simple Bank alternatives for you to check out!.

Bank Novo

simple bank alternatives - Bank Novo

When you establish your own business, using your personal bank account can rapidly become overwhelming. Bank Novo offers free services to assist you in separating your company and personal accounts.

We commonly pay our business expenses out of our own bank accounts as freelancers. However, as my customer list grew, I realized that I needed to segregate things.

Bank Novo recognizes this need and makes opening and managing an account simple, with no minimum balance requirements.

The Bank Novo app also makes it simple to transfer money and make electronic payments, which comes in useful when I need to pay for marketing expenses like website design and business cards.

Bank Novo is a digital startup that caters to freelancers and small business owners. It’s part of a growing trend of online-only banks vying for business alongside traditional lenders. This platform, like other online-only banks, works well as a supplement to a personal bank account.

Although there is no requirement for a minimum balance, you will need $50 to get started. It’s also worth noting that the funds in your account will not accrue interest. It’s designed to make business transactions more manageable for you.

Bank Novo’s Notable Features 

Banking With No Fees 

You’ll never have to pay a fee for your Bank Novo account, even if you have a $5 amount each month. It’s ideal for freelancers and small business owners who need a second account to keep their finances separate.

You can move and increase funds as needed once you’ve deposited the initial $50.

Straightforward Sign-up 

The time and effort required to open a business-specific checking account is one hurdle. Bank Novo eliminates this barrier by allowing you to sign up for a new account online.

To get through the application procedure and be authorized, you’ll only need $50 and acceptable credit.


Despite being new to the market, Bank Novo has already integrated with Xero, Zapier, Slack, and TransferWise. More apps will be released very soon.

You can transfer payments and push updates to your communication channels using integrations. Teams can see when bills are due or expenses have been paid directly in Slack, for example.

Easy Transfers 

Because Bank Novo isn’t meant to be your only bank account, you’ll need to be able to transfer money back and forth quickly.

If you require $100 to pay a vendor, you’ll need to be able to transfer the money from your personal account if you don’t have it. But, most crucially, you can transfer money to your personal account on occasion, allowing you to pay yourself a wage for your hard work.

One Finance 

One Finance

One Finance is a new financial company founded by former leaders from Capital One, Personal Capital, and PayPal. Its goal is to help customers maximize their profits, share money more readily, and bridge any financial gaps that may arise.

Coastal Community Bank holds all One accounts, which are FDIC insured and secured with 256-bit encryption. Did you know that a supercomputer would have to work uninterrupted for millions of years to solve this type of encryption? 

One is a flexible and safe mobile bank to try out because there are no overdraft fees, cash advance fees, or account minimums.

One Finance’s Notable Features

High-Yield Autosaving 

The high-yield Save pocket is a huge draw for many customers that come to One. You can earn an excellent 3.00 % Annual Percentage Yield in the Auto-Save Pocket and 1.00 percent in your main Save pocket as of August 2020. 

Other Save Pockets can be created, but only Auto-Save and your primary Save will earn interest.

One only lets you save up to 10% of your direct deposit income into the 3.00% APY Save Pocket. PLeas even at 1%, your standard Save Pocket is currently more significant than most other high-yield savings accounts.

Integrated Borrowing 

You can get a Credit Line up to the value of your paycheck if you set up a direct deposit with your company.

Users are protected from overdraft fees because they are automatically sent to their Credit Line rather than being charged a fee if they go overdrawn. You don’t have to pay interest on any amount borrowed from your Credit Line if you pay it back in the same month (don’t worry, One will pay it back with your next direct payment).

If you carry an amount over, you will be charged interest at 1% per month, for a total of 12.00% APR. This is lower than the current average credit card APR of 16%.

This service is intended to assist you in making ends meet, avoiding bouncing payments, and so on. To avoid putting you in debt. As a result, while your Credit Line limit may start at $20, it will never exceed your direct-deposited paychecks in general.

One Debit Card

The adaptability of a One account’s debit card is the final element that sets it apart. To begin, you do not need to wait for your card to arrive in the mail before using it. As soon as you’ve been accepted, you’ll be able to use your card online and through the One mobile banking app. If you misplace it, you can easily lock it in the app.

You can utilize money, thereby simply attaching the card to any Spend Wallet or Credit Line in the app. That means you can use your Spend account to purchase gas, then move the card to your shared Spend pocket with a friend or family member. 

Finally, you may use your One card at nearly 55,000 ATMs without paying a fee. On the ATM, search for the Allpoint network logo.


simple bank alternatives - Chime

Chime’s bank account, dubbed a Spending Account, boasts a zero-fee policy. It has no monthly account fees and no minimum balance requirement.

Chime has a feature that allows you to get your direct deposits up to two days ahead of schedule. Once you’ve set up direct deposit into your Spending Account, you’ll be entitled to receive your paycheck up to two days early when your employer deposits it.

Chime’s SpotMe service is available if you receive direct deposits of at least $500 per month. This optional service allows you to make up to $20 in debit card purchases without incurring a fee. 

Chime has the ability to increase your SpotMe amount up to $200 based on your account history. In the SpotMe mobile app, you can check your limit.

Do you need to mail a paper check? You can create one using the Chime mobile app, and Chime will deliver it to you in the mail.

Chime’s Notable Features 

Savings Account 

Chime’s high-yield savings account pays a 0.50 % percentage yield. There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. There is no limit to the amount of interest you can earn, and you will receive interest as long as you have at least a penny in your account. 

No minimum deposit is required to start a Chime Savings Account, but you must first have a Chime Spending Account.

Chime offers two extra services to help you save money.

When you use the Save When You Spend function, you can save modest sums each time you make a purchase. When you use your Chime debit card, the transaction is rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the difference is transferred to your Chime Savings Account. 

You’ll pay with your debit card at the store, and Chime will transfer 50 cents from your spending account to your savings account. It may not appear to be much, but if you make a lot of debit purchases, your savings can add up quickly.

Chime also has a function called Save When I Get Paid, which lets you set up a recurring transfer of 10% of your direct deposit paycheck of $500 or more from your Spending Account to your Savings Account every time you accept payments. 

Secure Credit Card 

Chime offers a secured credit card called Credit Builder that doesn’t require a credit check. You can transfer money from your Chime Spending Account to your Credit Builder account to use on your Chime Visa credit card if you’re attempting to improve your credit history. 

Your payments are reported to all three main credit bureaus by Chime. The Credit Builder secured card is unique in that it has a 0 % percentage rate.

Chime’s Pay Friends peer-to-peer system allows you to send free mobile payments to family and friends. A monthly restriction of $2,000 applies.

Chime App 

Chime’s mobile app is supposed to be used primarily through it. Therefore it has a lot of features that make mobile banking easy. Chime is most recognized for its smartphone app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. 

When you make a purchase, the Chime app sends you daily account balance updates and transaction alerts. If you misplace your card, you can deactivate transactions from the Chime app, saving yourself a customer support call. You can also use the app to disable foreign transactions.

You may add your Chime debit card to your Apple Pay or Google Pay mobile wallet and use it everywhere Visa is accepted. There are also over 60,000 fee-free ATMs available to you.

You can deposit a check into your Chime Spending Account using the Chime app’s mobile deposit feature. Replacement debit cards are available for free through the Chime app.



Varo’s online checking account, known as the Varo Bank Account, has no monthly maintenance fees and no requirement to maintain a minimum amount. Signing up requires a government-issued photo ID and your Social Security number, but no minimum deposit is required. You must be at least 18 years old and have a device to use Varo’s mobile app.

Varo encourages early direct deposit payments. According to the Varo website, deposits are typically posted the same day they are received, which may be up to two days sooner than the payer’s planned payment date. This means that the monies may be available on Wednesday for most Friday paydays.

Before the service is implemented, you must enroll in No Fee Overdraft via the Varo app. If your account is overdrawn, you have 30 calendar days to pay it back, which Varo will deduct from your next direct deposit.

With the Varo Bank to Varo Bank a transfer option, you can send money to other Varo users without incurring any costs. You can’t make wire transfers with your Varo account right now.

Varo’s Notable Features

Savings Account 

You can open a Varo Savings Account after you’ve opened a Varo bank account. There is no requirement to make a minimum deposit or maintain a minimum account balance to get started. You can receive interest on your savings account if you have at least a penny in it.

Currently, the account pays a 0.20 % percentage yield (APY). Varo offers the opportunity to earn a significantly higher APY of 3.00 % if specific monthly requirements are met.

Advance Customers must have an active Varo Bank Account that is at least 30 days old. They also need to have received at least $1,000 in direct deposits to either the Bank Account, Savings Account, or both combined within the previous 31 days.

They give you instant access to up to $100, which you must repay within 30 days. There is no charge for requesting the Advance until May 12, 2021. Regular fees, which range from $0-$5 depending on the Advance amount, will apply from May 13 onwards. At any given time, Varo customers can only have one advance outstanding.

Varo Believe 

The Varo Believe plan, which is still in the works, aims to help Varo Bank account members build credit by providing a credit card with no upfront deposit, no monthly fees, and annual percentage rates. 

The Believe program credit card will be in sync with your Varo Bank Account, which will set aside funds in real-time as the user makes purchases, withdraws cash from ATMs, or receives money back when making a transaction into a Vault Account.

These funds will be set aside to pay off the credit card debt entirely and on schedule. Varo will inform the three major credit bureaus about your payment history.

Debit Card 

A Visa debit card is included with all Varo bank accounts. It’s compatible with Apple Pay and Google Pay mobile wallets, and the debit card has a daily spending limit of $2,500.

ATM withdrawals are limited to $750 per day, while cashback from shops is limited to $500 per day. You can withdraw both methods in a single day if the total amount is less than $1,000.

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Final Thoughts 

Modern banking affords us many conveniences. Gone are days when you had to line up at a bank branch and go through great lengths to pay and get paid. 

Simple Bank is genuinely a solid choice as a financial product, but it’s not for everybody. I hope the alternatives that I provided on this list prove helpful as you choose your next banking solution.

Disclosure: This article might contain affiliate links to the resources I refer to. It's at no cost to you, and it's how we pay the bills. Get more info here.

Brooks Conkle Banner Image
Brooks Conkle

Brooks is an entrepreneur, father, husband, & follower of the golden rule. He has over 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur after graduating with a Finance degree from Auburn University. Addicted to starting new business projects, he believes in creating multiple income streams and a life of flexibility. Business should work around your life, not the other way around. He creates content on his website, sharing his projects to help other hustlers in marketing, personal finance, and online business.