Star Reviews online banking reviews enable you to easily compare the best online banks. You can check out here online banking website reviews of Bank of America, Wachovia, HSBC, Citibank, ING DIRECT, WaMu and Chase.
Savings Account Online Just Makes Sense – One of the fastest growing segments of banking has to be the savings account online. This Internet based savings account is the wave of the future and attracting many savers who before have never had a savings account. What’s the attraction? Well, with a savings account online, you can usually start it with small setup deposits. They can easily be hooked up to your direct deposit so that a portion of your check can be deposited right into savings before you ever lay a hand on it.
Gold Star Rated Online Banking Website – Bank of America: You’ve seen the commercials: a guy steps in a Starbucks, orders up a latte and charges it to his Bank of America Visa checking card. He sits down, utilizes the Wi-Fi and signs on his Bank of America account. Little does he know, his second-ago Starbucks transaction is magically listed in his pending account transactions!
This scenario is exactly why we like Bank of America. They’re on top of their online banking game, offering great account options, endless resources and a detail-packed website.
* Keep the Change – every purchase you make with your Visa Check Card is rounded up to the nearest dollar. The difference is then placed in your savings account.
* Add It Up – Earn up to 20% cash back on your purchases
While our team was a little overwhelmed by the Bank of America website, it is pretty simple to navigate once you know what you’re looking for. Keep in mind, you will be presented with numerous account and card options (over 400 to be exact) so it may take some patience in waiting for the pages to load. There is a $5.95 monthly maintenance fee for MyAccess Checking Accounts ($0 if you have direct deposit) so consider that before signing up for an account. There is good telephone support, but like most online banking support, you’ll have to brave the automated phone system first. Email support would be a great consideration, Bank of America! But, for their consistency, quality and popularity, we give them our Gold Star rating with 6.0 Stars!
Silver Star Rated Online Banking Website – ING DIRECT: ING DIRECT
If you’re looking for a simple, progressive and even fun form of online banking, then definitely consider ING DIRECT. Upon entry to their site, we noticed how quickly the pages loaded and how bright and visually appealing their designs were!
Getting to the nitty gritty: if you like to save money and don’t want a hassle in doing so, this is the site for you! ING DIRECT banks (no pun intended) on their innovative, online-only format, so everything is handled via the Internet. They do, however, provide the option to sign up for accounts through the mail if you are worried about security.
* Electric Orange accounts – ING’s take on the traditional checking account, except you can earn up to 1.25% in interest with this one.
* Link non-ING checking accounts to your ING Electric Orange and savings accounts
They’ve got your online bill pay, your MasterCard debit, CDs, home equity loans and investment/retirement accounts like most any online banking host. ING DIRECT just simplified the whole process by creating a painless to plow through website. While some who prefer traditional checking, as opposed to an ‘Electric Orange’ account in all its paper and checkless glory, may not fully appreciate their banking, we do. Customer support was friendly and efficient both by email and telephone. They get our Silver Star rating, a thumbs up and 5.5 Stars from Star Reviews!
Bronze Star Rated Online Banking Website – WaMu: You’ve probably seen their humorous television commercials and we definitely think WaMu is worth your time.
Washington Mutual Bank has made online banking for the every man, while keeping things simple and hassle free. However, our team encountered a few glitches with the account sign-up process (resulting in a call to customer support and having to re-sign up).
* WaMu Mobile Banking enables you to review balances, transactions and transfer funds
* WaMu is now part of Chase
Free checking-yes, you heard right. Our team couldn’t believe it either. WaMu is known for its free checking accounts and checks for life feature. You can also sign up for online statements and bill pay here, as well. Your traditional online banking functions like home equity lines of credit and online CDs are available on the site too. If you choose to open a savings account, you need to keep at least $300 in it at all times, or you’ll have to fork over a $4 service charge monthly. Customer support via email was great here, as was telephone support (after being looped through several menu options in the automated system). The FAQs database is extensive, and we found alot of answers to our questions here. All in all, we must say we enjoyed the WaMu experience and feel they deserve our Bronze Star rating with 5.5 Stars!
Online Banking Website Reviews – StarREVIEWS 2010
Chase: We truly applaud Chase on providing their customers with such an intuitive, resourceful website interface. If you’re looking for information on finance, on one of their many checking accounts or account details, you won’t have a problem here.
The application process can be a bit more time-consuming here, as you must first sign up as a Chase member in order to access online banking. But, once you’ve gathered and entered important information, you will be on your way to setting up an account.
* FREE Online Banking and Bill Pay
* FREE Account Alerts sent by phone or e-mail to help you avoid fees
* FREE Chase Debit Card with Zero Liability protection
Star Reviews thinks Chase is excellent once you’ve become an account holder and utilize their online banking functions. They make your account summary page easy-to-navigate, offering you tons of resources. Customers with select checking accounts must pay $4.95 per month to access online bill payment services, so keep this in mind if you’d prefer a free service. Customer support via email was good, but telephone support was incoherent on our first run and borderline rude on our second. Not what we expected from Chase. They receive 5.0 Stars!
HSBC: It would be a crime if we didn’t research the HSBC website, and we’re glad we did! This financial empire is no small player in the finance game, and their intuitive and well-put-together website interface reflects this.
While there may be a lot of resources here for corporate financing and investor relations, don’t let this intimidate you! Their online banking is user-friendly and they have numerous account options available. While you must first be an HSBC customer to sign up for Internet banking, the entire process shouldn’t take you too long (it took us about 20 minutes to sign up).
* 1.35% APY on Savings Account – one of the highest savings rates in the country
* No monthly fees or minium balance requirements
* Paperless Online Payment Account
Star Reviews doesn’t discriminate, simply because HSBC is a household name, it doesn’t mean we hand them a good rating for nothing. They offer a lot here, such as easy account viewing, online bill pay, mortgages and home equity and business banking. Online banking is free, though, individual accounts such as money market accounts have specific fees attached to them. Their FAQs weren’t as detailed as we would have liked, but customer support via telephone was quite friendly and accommodating (once we dodged the automated system). Email support responded back to us sufficiently in two-days-time, which wasn’t lightning quick, but still acceptable. They deserve 5.0 Stars!
Wachovia: When we first surfed onto the Wachovia online banking site, we liked what we saw! There wasn’t a plethora of links or flashing graphics, which definitely made us happy. Instead, we were presented with a simple, intuitive layout.
Wachovia offers what the rest of their competitors offer in online banking-you’ve got your online checking and savings accounts, bill pay, retirement access, credit cards and things of that sort.
* Wachovia is now a part of Wells Fargo
* Way2Save – FREE automatic savings program – transfers $1 from your checking account to a savings account with every check card purchase or online bill pay
* Mobile banking services that let you bank from your cell phone
Star Reviews appreciates how big-name Wachovia kept their online banking simple and user-friendly. Page load times were good and didn’t leave us checking our watches every time we clicked on a new link. While some of the vast amounts of information could have been spread out better, at least it was there for us to see (quite refreshing when compared to other online banking sites). Telephone support via a toll-free number was helpful and efficient in their assistance. If you wish to email customer support, you must first be an account holder, so take that into consideration. Overall, we liked their service and award them with 4.5 Stars!
Citibank: We’ll be honest with you. We expected alot more from the Citibank online banking website. They are, after all, a financial giant that has been around since 1812. Yes, 1812.
When we first landed on the Citibank website, we loved how simple and user-friendly the site feel was. Boy, did they surprise us! We quickly realized how challenging it was to sign up or find any information on specific accounts we were interested in, with fees and other fine-print material available once you’ve made your way through the application process. For a team that likes things straight up, this threw us off a bit.
* Citi Mobile for Smartphones allows you to pay your bills, check balances, and find ATMs from your Cell Phone
* Online Bank Statements – less paper and more convenience
* ThankYou Rewards Network – no fee rewards program
Star Reviews appreciates the relatively low rates here, such as the $3 monthly maintenance fee on EZ Checking accounts without direct deposit. There is also SafeWeb fraud protection implemented, so you can breathe a sigh of relief that your information is secure. Customer support via email was good, as was by telephone, although our live rep was a bit vague when answering our fee-related questions on Citibank accounts. The ‘Help’ section links took us to unrelated answers to our questions, leaving us in a maze of account-fee confusion. Overall, we felt Citibank deserved 4.0 Stars!
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