Fed up with your bank? Online banks like Simple offer an appealing alternative to the constant transparency issues with major financial institutions.
Simple is an online banking account for individuals looking to escape the hidden fees and issues with major banks. Simple is an app driven checking account, with no physical locations. The lack of physical locations means they can offer checking accounts with no fees of any kind:
- No monthly fees
- No overdraft fees
- No card replacement fees
- No minimum balance
For a limited time, receive a $20 sign up bonus after making your first purchase with your Simple debit card.
Simple bank review: The no fee banking app that helps you prepare for the future
The lack of fees is just one of the benefits of banking with Simple.
The real differentiation between Simple and other online banks is the budgeting and expense tracking tools.
People who are looking to improve budgeting and expense tracking will appreciate the Mint-like tools offered by Simple. Better yet, these tools are free of charge and come complete with your checking account.
These tools work by creating a concept called “safe to spend” money. This is money that is left over in your account after adjusting for upcoming bills and saving goals. Saving goals are set up in any way you like, and money is automatically deducted from your “safe to spend” money to fund them. In other words, your “safe to spend” money is a future amount that you can spend. Not only does this assist you in reaching your saving goals, but it helps keep you from overdrawing the account.
Just as importantly you don't have to give up convenience when banking with Simple. There are over 40,000 in network ATM's that are free of charge to use. Simple offers online bill pay & mobile check deposits. There is even a slick way to transfer funds immediately to other Simple customers, all free of charge. In fact, the only drawback is the ability to deposit cash.
As with most online banking platforms, cash is difficult to deposit. Typically, you will need to get a money order from Western Union (or similar) and deposit the money order. Anyone who makes a lot of cash deposits will probably want to look for a different banking solution.
If cash deposits aren't a big concern, read on to explore more of what Simple has to offer.
Pros and Cons of banking with Simple
With any banking platform, there are advantages and tradeoffs that must be made. Some of the “pros and cons” might not be relevant for everyone's situation. It's important to weigh them accordingly.
- No fees. There are no overdraft, inactivity, card replacement, or monthly account fees.
- There is no account minimum. Many banks require accounts to maintain a minimum balance to get free checking or charge a fee if the account falls below a minimum threshold.
- The free budgeting and expense tracking tools. The free tools are excellent for individuals who struggle with budgeting or keeping track of where the money is being spent. Keep in mind that these tools only interact with your Simple account.
- Free ATM's at over 40,000 locations. In addition, the ap will help you locate the nearest ATM.
- Well designed and easy to use interface. Most large banks have apps that can be frustrating to use. Simple has a well designed easy to use front end.
- Simple will send checks on your behalf. If you need to pay a bill with a check, Simple will send it out for you, free of charge.
- Save with a 1% interest rate. The new Simple savings account allows you to build up that emergency fund while earning interest.
- No physical locations. One of the advantages of a physical location is the bank knows you when you need other services such as financial planning or a home mortgage.
- Cash depositors are left out. There is just no easy way to make cash deposits. You'll have to create a money order and then deposit it like a check.
Who would benefit most by using Simple?
In today's electronic world Simple is suitable for nearly everyone. The ideal users will be individuals who:
- Want to avoid fees.
- Don't have a lot of cash deposits.
- Want a straightforward way to budget and track expenses that is free to use.
- Want to do banking from their phone or computer.
- Don't need a physical bank location.
In fact, the only people who really wouldn't want to consider switching are those need to make cash deposits on a regular basis. For everyone else Simple is a great checking and savings account solution.
How to set up a Simple checking account
Setting up a Simple checking account, really isâ€¦well, simple! They advertise that it only takes a couple minutes and it really does. Unlike a physical bank where you are filling out paperwork for an hour, signing up with Simple is quick. The entire process takes less time than half a cup of coffee.
First, click the “Apply Now” button. Then you fill out the required information, name, address, and so on. After completing the information, you need to fund your account. This is another very easy process.
The Simple app will connect to your existing bank so you can make the transfer automatically. Simply select your bank from the list, and it will connect through your internet login. Fortunately, there is no minimum balance with Simple, so you can transfer as little or as much as you like.
Additional set up is required to set up savings goals, but after you have funded the account you are up and going. A visa debit card is mailed out and confirmation emails will arrive shortly.
To see how easy it is to get started with Simple, click here.
Alternatives to a Simple checking account
Many banking alternatives exist today. A local credit union is an option for individuals who want to escape the large banks but aren't quite ready for an online bank. People looking for online banking can find them in all varieties.
There are online banks that compete directly with Simple by offering no fee accounts, such as Chime.
Other banks offer relatively high interest rates, such as Radius or Bank of Internet USA. However, many of these will have tradeoffs such as minimum account balances, overdraft fees, or even monthly fees.
There are even banks that have other promotions to attract customers. For instance, Fidelity and Charles Schwab both offer relatively high interest checking accounts for free. In addition, these come with a brokerage account which is where they stand to make their money. Discover card even offers a checking account with cash back on purchases.
Simple bank sign up bonus
At A Richer You, we love it when businesses offer free sign up bonuses for new users – and Simple doesn't disappoint. Just by setting up an account and making your first purchase with the free debit card, you'll receive a $20 sign up bonus.
Simple bank referral bonus
Simple bank will offer you $20 for every friend that you refer who creates a new account and makes a purchase using their debit card. That's $20 for you, and $20 for your friend.
Because it's such a great tool, referring it to friends is easy. Meanwhile, the free and instant money transfer between Simple bank users makes it a great way to transfer money with friends and family.
The online banking world is still evolving. Over the last few years, Simple has evolved as well. They have constantly added new features and will likely continue to improve. Simple offers a great no fee solution for individuals looking for an easy to use, transparent, banking solution.
What bank do you currently use? What do you like and dislike about the way they do business?
Jesse Blair retired from the corporate world at the age of 42 to live off his investments, spend time with his daughter, and focus on self-improvement. You can follow Jesse's investment experiences at TheIncomeAdventure.com