Axos Bank Review: No Fees MakAxos Bank Review: No Fees Makes Axos A Smart Choicees Axos A Smart Choice

Axos Bank Review: No Fees Makes Axos A Smart Choice

With so many banks out there, it can be hard to find the one that has the most benefit for you and your money. Axos Bank may not be on your radar now, but it should be. Our Axos Bank review offers a critical looking at banking with this online-only institution.

Axos Bank doesn't charge any fees for checking or high yield savings accounts. It also offers higher APY than the average bank and requires little to no money to open up an account. For these two reasons, Axos Bank is a great choice for people who are just starting out on the FI journey and need a secure place to bank.

Table Of Contents

Is Axos Bank Legit?

Yes, Axos Bank is definitely legit. It began in 2000 as Bank of Internet USA and was rebranded a couple of times before becoming Axos Bank in October 2018. The bank is FDIC-insured.

During its entire history, Axos has always been online only. It does not have any physical, brick-and-mortar locations. However, Axos does have a customer service number that you can call and speak to someone if you have questions about your account.

    Two Main Checking Account Options

    Axos offers five different checking account options. We want to highlight two for you because they offer you the most perks and features. The other three offer less features and two have very specific age requirements in order to qualify for them. We mention these three at the bottom of this section so you know all of your choices.

    The two accounts we are focusing on here are the Essential Checking and the Rewards Checking. Each is a great checking account and can meet many needs. Which one you go with will just depend on what specific things you're looking for in your checking account.

    Essential Checking

    Axos Bank Essential Checking is for those who want a basic checking account with no worries and no frills. They just want their money available to them as soon as possible. They don't want to have to worry about minimum balances, they're too busy to try and figure out rewards, and they don't want to think about fees, let alone pay them.

    Essentials Checking Image

    Highlights of the Axos Essentials Checking Account include:

    • No fees for monthly maintenance, overdrafts, or insufficient funds
    • Direct Deposit Express is automatically given to anyone who receives direct deposit payments. Normally there is a hold on direct deposit payments to be sure that the money is really there, usually up to two days. Direct Deposit Express gives you immediate access to your money, no delay.
    • Unlimited monthly reimbursements on all domestic ATM fees
    • High level of security with two-step authentication, SSL encryption, and account monitoring for fraud, among other security features
    • Digital Banking Toolbox so you can set yourself up for mobile banking, free mobile deposits, and online bill pay
    • No-Hassle Switch Kit so you can easily switch your existing account over to Axos

    Open an Axos Bank Essential Checking Account Today

    Rewards Checking

    Axos Bank Rewards Checking is for those who are a little bit more interested in having their money work for them. Sure, they want easy access, but they also have no problem monitoring their account to see how it's doing. They'll sacrifice having immediate access to their direct deposits in order to have other perks.

    Axos Rewards Checking

    Here are the highlights of the Axos Rewards Checking Account:

    • Up to 1.25% APY
    • Required $50 deposit to open an account
    • No minimum monthly balance required
    • No fees for monthly maintenance, overdrafts, or insufficient funds
    • Unlimited monthly reimbursements for all domestic ATM fees
    • High level of security with two-step authentication, SSL encryption, and account monitoring for fraud, among other security features
    • Digital Banking Toolbox so you can set yourself up for mobile banking, free mobile deposits, and online bill pay
    • No-Hassle Switch Kit so you can easily switch your existing account over to Axos

    Start earning rewards now with the Axos Rewards Checking Account

    How Do Axos Bank Checking Accounts Compare To Radius Bank Checking Accounts

    As part of our Axos Bank review, we don't just want to examine Axos on its own. We also want to compare it to another bank so you can see the pros and cons of Axos for yourself. That way you can get a true picture of the advantages that one checking account has over the other. We're comparing both Axos checking accounts to Radius Bank's Rewards Checking Account as the two are fairly similar in the number of perks they have.

     Axos Bank Rewards CheckingAxos Bank Essential CheckingRadius Bank Rewards Checking
    APYup to 1.25%noneUnder $2,500 balance = none; $2,500-$99,999.99 = 1%; $100,000 or more = 1.2%
    Maintenance Feenonenone$5/month for accounts dormant 12 months or longer
    Overdraft Feenonenone$5/day for every day from the 5th-30th that account is in negative
    ATM FeeUnlimited reimbursements on domestic ATM feesUnlimited reimbursements on domestic ATM feesFree worldwide
    Non-sufficient Funds Feenonenone$25/item
    Minimum Balance Required$50 to open account then no minimum balancenonenone unless you want cash back, then:
    $1,500-$2,499.99 for 0.5% cash back;
    $2,500 and up for 1% cash back
    Cash Backnonenone1% on all signature-based (credit) purchases if meet qualifications
    Direct Deposit Express (access to money two days earlier than reg. Direct Deposit)noyesyes

    There are perks to both, but when we compare them side by side, we believe that Axos comes out the clear winner for two main reasons: They don't penalize you for a low balance and they don't charge any fees. Unless you can guarantee that you'll never have below $2,500 in your checking account to make the perks and cash back opportunity of Radius Bank worthwhile, stick with Axos.

    Related: Radius Bank Review 2020–A Powerful & Free Rewards Checking Account

    Axos Bank High Yield Savings Account

    Of course, if you're keeping a large amount of money in your checking account (the only time we would recommend Radius over Axos), the question really is, why? Why not take that money and invest it somewhere that it's actually working for you and earning you even more money?

    Axos review

    The Axos Bank High Yield Savings Account is ready to serve you. Still no fees (like their checking accounts) and now you're earning an APY while your money is in the account. Here are the highlights of the Axos High Yield Savings Account, which operates under the UFB brand.

    • 1.3% APY (if balance is $10,000 or higher)
    • No monthly fees
    • No minimum balance
    • Digital money management tools for 24/7 access to your money
    • Mobile banking & online bill pay
    • FDIC-insured

    Start a high yield savings account at Axos today

    How Does Axos Bank's Savings Account Compare To CIT Savings Builder Account

    As we did with the checking accounts, we wanted to compare the Axos High Yield Savings Account with another savings account to see how each held up against another option. We chose the CIT Savings Builder Account because it was very similar to Axos in the perks and features it offered. Here's a breakdown of the two.

     Axos Bank High Yield SavingsCIT High Yield Savings
    APY1.3% if balance of $10,000 or higher; 0% if under $10,0001.45% if balance of $25,000 or higher; 1.15% if less than $25,000
    Keep APYmaintain balance over $10,000maintain balance over $25,000 OR deposit at least $100 into account each month
    FDIC-insuredyesyes
    Maintenance Feenonenone
    Minimum Balance Requirednone$100 to open account then none
    Monthly Feenonenone

    Although we do like Axos Bank's High Yield Savings Account, when we compare it side by side with the CIT Savings Builder Account, we think that CIT  has a slight advantage.

    Related: Earn More Interest On Your Emergency Fund: CIT Saving Builder Review

    Axos Bank Loans

    Our Axos Bank review would be incomplete without examining the loan services they offer in addition to checking and savings account. If you're shopping around for a loan, you should have Axos Bank on your list of places that might work for you. They also do personal loans and auto loans as well as mortgages. Here are the perks that Axos offers for each of these.

    Personal Loans

    Among the top reasons that people take out personal loans are to consolidate debt, pay for moving expenses, and pay for home remodeling. Whether your reason for taking out a personal loan is one of these or something different, Axos can help you get that personal loan.

    They offer low rates and fixed monthly payments. You can borrow anywhere from $5,000 to $35,000 and choose how long you have to pay that back, up to 60 months. No collateral is required to get the loan, and they have an easy three-step application process to apply for one. You have access to your money only two days after you've accepted the final loan offer!

    Auto Loans

    Although a lot of people shopping for a car don't look beyond the dealership for financing, you really should take the time to examine your options. You can often find better financing for cars through banks and Axos is a good example of that. They offer competitive rates, extended payback up to 84 months, flexible terms, low rates, a no-hassle application process, and no payments for the first 90 days. Use Axos's auto loan calculator to see how much you can afford and what your monthly payments would be.

    Related: How I Bought My Dream Car While Still Pursuing FI

    Mortgages

    When you're shopping around for the best mortgage rate (and you definitely should be), Axos is worth including in that search. They have a lot of perks that might make them a viable candidate to hold your mortgage.

    For starters, they have a $0 lender fee and a close of escrow guarantee. They offer concierge service to ensure a smooth process and can give you pre-approval in as little as ten minutes. And saving the best for last, they offer 3% annualized cash back when you pay with the Total Loan Rewards Checking Account, something only available to people who have their mortgage at Axos. That checking account is also fee-free, like all of their other checking accounts.

    Listen: Should I Refinance My Mortgage?

    Who Is Axos Bank Good For–And Who It's Not Good For

    Upon first reading our Axos Bank review, the bank seems to be good for just about everyone. Is that true? Let's take a closer look if and see who it's really good for and who it might not be as good for.

    Who Axos Bank Is Good For

    We like Axos Bank for people who don't keep a lot of money in their checking accounts. If you're someone who transfers money out and doesn't keep a lot of cash at the ready, the Axos accounts are great for you. The Axos checking account would also work very well for you if you're just starting off on the path to Financial Independence and so you don't have a lot of cash accumulated yet.

    It's hard to find another bank that not only doesn't charge you maintenance fees but also doesn't require a minimum balance or charge you anything for overdrafts or non-sufficient funds. This is huge. They're keeping your money at virtually no cost to you and you don't really have to worry about it. That's a wonderful quality in a bank and a great fit for those who don't want to be hassled with checking on their money to make sure it's working for them–and they don't want to be paying anyone else to do it either.

    Axos is also great for people who like to do everything online and don't feel the need to ever go into a brick-and-mortar bank. If you're thrilled doing everything online, Axos has you covered.

    Listen: Avoid Bank Fees At All Cost

    Who Axos Bank Is Not Good For

    On the flip side, there are two types of people for whom Axos Bank may not be as good of a choice. The first is people who keep a large balance in their bank accounts. If that's you, there are banks that will give you better rewards for that and potentially help you to earn even more money. Choose a bank like Radius, for example, that will give you cash back on qualified purchases if your account is over a certain amount.

    The second group that might not be a great fit for Axos Bank is those who really enjoy having a personal and in-person relationship with their banks. If you like this more traditional way of banking and love stopping in to talk to your teller, you should choose a different bank because, as we said, Axos is online only.

    Recommendation

    In our review of Axos Bank, we found so many positive things going for it that it's impossible for us not to recommend them. Their tagline is “Banking Evolved” and it really is. The way we bank is constantly changing and Axos has kept up with all of those changes. They meet their customers' needs with innovative solutions, smart features, and no fees, and they're ready to meet all of your needs too!

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    ChooseFI seeks to uncover helpful services that help you be financially resilient. However, we may receive compensation, at no cost to you, from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article, including from CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Opinions are the author’s alone, and this content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of these entities. See our disclosures for more info.

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