Axos Bank Review: A Digital Bank With Few Fees and Many Options

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Axos Bank was one of the first online-only banks. It opened for business on July 4, 2000, as Bank of the Internet USA and grew steadily for nearly two decades before rebranding itself as Axos Bank on Oct.1 2018.

It has a lot of options for checking and savings accounts and even has some pretty sweet options for small businesses. But, it’s not perfect.

Our review will give you an honest look at the bank’s checking and savings features for individuals, as well as its overall convenience and mobile banking features so you can make an informed decision about where you do your banking.

In this review:

Axos Bank Review: Pros and Cons

The all-digital bank has big selling points, such as no fees, high interest rates and convenience. But is it right for you and your money?

What we like:

  • Almost entirely fee-free banking.
  • Lots of options for small business banking.
  • Highly regarded customer service.
  • Offers of other banking products like car loans and mortgages.

What we don’t like:

  • Some reviews claim that the app is slow or buggy.
  • No physical branches.
  • Interest rates are good, but they are not the best we’ve found.

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Banking with Axos

As an online-only bank, you won’t find brick-and-mortar bank branches with Axos, but you will find a lot of options for checking and savings including CDs and money market accounts. Axos also offers various checking and savings accounts for small businesses. Everything is accessible online or even through an app on your phone.

Checking

Grade: A

The basic checking account for Axos Bank is called Essential Checking. It’s a free checking account that comes with a lot of perks and no fees. Here are some of our favorite features:

  • No minimum monthly balance required.
  • No overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees.
  • Unlimited fee reimbursement for ATMs.
  • Paycheck deposited up to two days early.
  • You can deposit cash using ATMs.

It’s pretty rare to see no limits on ATM fee reimbursement, and Essential Checking’s Direct Deposit Express lets you get your paycheck a couple of days early. There are no fees for that service either.

Axos Essential Checking does not offer any interest earnings, but it does have an account for that. Axos Rewards Checking offers up to 1.25% APY, but there is some tradeoff. There is a $50 minimum opening deposit and the 1.25% is broken down into three requirements, each of which earns you .4166%. The requirements are:

  • Having direct deposits totalling $1,000 or more, monthly.
  • 10 or more debit card transactions of $3 or more per month.
  • Use your debit card another 5 times during the month.

Axos also offers a Cashback Checking account that pays you 1.0% cash back on signature-based purchases. The account requires a $1,500 minimum monthly balance to earn the reward. This account does charge overdraft fees, though.

There are also checking accounts designed for specific ages. The Golden Checking is for the 55 and older crowd, while First Checking is designed for teens age between the ages of 13 and 17.

Overall, Axos’s checking accounts offer some pretty good benefits without getting bogged down by fees. It’s hard to beat that.

Savings

Grade: B

The primary savings account Axos Bank offers is the High Yield Savings. Like the Essential Checking, this savings account does not have maintenance fees or a required minimum monthly balance. It does require a $250 deposit to open the account, which is a little higher than we’d like.

The High Yield Savings account offers 1.3% APY on your money, regardless of how much you have in your account. Some banks entice you into keeping a higher balance by offering higher interest rates for larger amounts, but not Axos. It’s 1.3% across the board. That’s nice.

Axos also offers CDs and Money Market accounts for customers looking to earn higher yields on money they don’t need to access as often.

You can even get a free ATM card for your savings account. All you have to do is ask.

Small Business Banking

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Grade: B

Axos Bank offers five different accounts to small business owners. This is more than most banks offer, and the interest-bearing accounts offer higher interest than other banks we’ve reviewed.

Basic Business Checking 

If simple is what you like for your business checking, Axos’s Basic Business Checking should fit the bill.

  • No monthly maintenance fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit of $1,000.
  • No-surcharge ATMs.
  • The first set of 50 checks at no cost.
  • Quickbooks compatible for easy record-keeping.
  • Up to 200 free transactions per month, and 30 cents per transaction after that.

Business Interest Checking

If you plan on having a little more money in your account, you might as well earn some interest on it. The Axos Bank Business Interest Checking offers .80% on your balance, regardless of the amount. Here’s what you need to know::

  • Minimum opening deposit of $100.
  • $10 monthly maintenance fee ,unless you maintain a $5,000 minimum balance.
  • Unlimited reimbursements on domestic ATM fees.
  • Up to 50 free transactions per month, and 50 cents per transaction after that.
  • Up to 60 transactions per month for Remote Deposit Anywhere.
  • The first set of 50 checks at no cost.
  • Free image statements.

Business Savings

Axos basic Business Savings account is just that — basic. It offers .80% APY on your money and has a pretty low bar to entry. Here are the essentials:

  • Variable interest compounded daily.
  • Minimum opening deposit of $1000.
  • Free image statements.
  • Deposits can be made from anywhere with free online and mobile banking.
  • $5 monthly maintenance fee unless you maintain a $2,500 minimum monthly balance.

Business Premium Savings

If you can afford to keep a little more money in your savings account, you can let it work for you with the Business Premium Savings account. Balances over $25,000 earn 1.06%. Balances below that threshold earn nothing, so it only pays to go this route if you know your business account can stay at $25,000 or higher. Here are the account details:

  • Minimum opening deposit of $25,000.
  • No monthly maintenance fee.
  • No average daily balance requirement fee.
  • Free image statements.
  • Deposit from anywhere with free mobile banking.

Business Money Market

If you don’t expect to be dipping into your funds too often, the Business Money Market may be for you. It offers .80% APY but is limited to six transactions per month.

  • Minimum opening deposit of $1,000.
  • Minimum average daily balance of $5,000.
  • Free image statements, online banking and mobile banking with Remote Deposit Anywhere.

Convenience

Grade: B

Axos is an online-only bank so if you like walking into the physical place to do your banking business face-to-face, it may not be for you.

But, if you’re computer and smartphone savvy, you can do all of your banking from wherever you are at any given moment. You can also access your money through a network of 91,000 ATMs with no fees.

If you need to get in touch with  customer service, Axos offers 24/7 telephone customer support (except on Thanksgiving and Christmas). If you need to speak to someone about a loan or mortgage, you’ll find they have different schedules of availability.

Mobile Banking

Grade: B

For an online bank, a great app is a must. Axos gets 4.0 of 5 stars in the Google Play store and 4.4 out of 5 in the Apple Store. The app is free to download and lets you handle all of your basic banking right from your phone. According to customer reviews, the app isn’t flashy, but it has what you need.

There are multiple reviews on both sites that mention the app being a bit slow, but that’s about the only complaint.

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Account Fees

Axos claims that it has eliminated fees for your banking, and for the most part, that’s pretty accurate. Here are the fees you won’t see:

  • No overdraft or insufficient fund fees except for Cashback and Golden Checking accounts.
  • No monthly maintenance fees for personal banking.
  • No ATM fees.

Some of the specialized or interest-bearing accounts do have monthly maintenance fees, but you can avoid those by following certain criteria.

Fee structures could change over time, but if you’re looking for personal banking that won’t hammer you with fees, Axos provides that.

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Other Axos Products

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Even as an online-only bank, Axos offers a pretty full menu of banking products beyond just checking and savings accounts. You can find all of these banking options at Axos:

  • Home loans
  • Auto loans
  • Personal loans
  • Investment property lending
  • Managed investment portfolios

If you’re comfortable handling all of these things online, it can be convenient to have your loans at the same place you do your personal banking.

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Axos Bank Customer Service

Axos gets rave reviews for customer service in the app stores. Here’s how and when you can reach support.

Phone:

  • Personal Banking: call 1-888-502-2967, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (excluding Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day)
  • Loan Servicing: 1-866-923-7112, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Mon-Fri
  • Home Loan Division: 1-888-546-2634​, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. PST Mon-Fri and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. PST Sat
  • Personal Loans: 1-866-923-3625, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST Mon-Fri
  • Auto Refinance: 1-844-517-5556, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Mon-Fri
  • Small Business Banking: 1-844-678-2726, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST Mon-Fri
  • Investment Property Lending: 1-877-247-7994, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Mon-Fri

Fax : 1-858-350-0443

Email: Customers can log in to their accounts and send a message.

Twitter: @AxosBank

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Is Axos Bank Right for You?

Axos Bank offers a lot of benefits, but that doesn’t mean it’s the perfect fit for everyone. Here are a few things to consider:

Axos could be a fit for you if:

  • You’re comfortable banking online and are at least moderately tech-savvy.
  • You have trouble avoiding overdrafts.
  • You get a regular paycheck by way of direct deposit.
  • You want access to loans as well as your checking and savings.

Axos might not be a fit for you if:

  • You prefer to do your banking in-person.
  • You need to deposit cash frequently .

If you think you’re in the market to switch to an online-only bank, it’s probably worth your time to scout out Axos Bank. There’s a lot to like and not much to dislike.

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Our Bank Review Methodology

The Penny Hoarder’s editorial team considers more than 25 factors in its bank account reviews, including fees, minimum daily balance requirements, APYs, overdraft charges, ATM access, number of physical locations, customer service support access and mobile features.

To determine how we weigh each factor, The Penny Hoarder surveyed 1,500 people to find out what banking features matter most to you.

For example, we give top grades to banks that have low fees because our survey showed that this is the No. 1 thing you look for in a bank. Because more than 70% of you said you visited a physical bank branch last year, we consider the number of brick-and-mortar locations. But more than one-third of you use mobile apps for more than 75% of your banking, so digital features are also considered carefully.

Ratings are assigned across the following categories:

  • Personal checking accounts
  • Personal savings accounts
  • Small-business banking
  • Convenience
  • Mobile banking

Credit card and loan products are not currently considered.

Tyler Omoth is a freelance writer covering topics from personal finance to career advice and even lawn care. His work has been featured on TopResume.com, Writersweekly.com and more. He is also the author of over 70 educational books for children and a proud parent of twin toddlers.





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