Finding the right bank gives you a plethora of opportunities, including access to no-fee debit cards, a safe place to store your money, access to loans and a number of other investing services. Unfortunately, choosing the wrong bank can mean risking your funds or paying way too much in fees.
We’ll compare online banks to traditional banks and take a look at some of the ways MoneyLion saves you money and helps keep your accounts safe.
A Look at Bank Fees: Traditional Banks vs. MoneyLion
There are three types of banks you’ll encounter once you start digging into all of your options:
- Traditional banks (like Chase or Bank of America) offer physical locations.
- Online banks (like USAA or Ally) are strictly available online. They allow you to open an account and use services from the comfort of your home.
- MoneyLion is similar to an online bank in that it’s exclusively a digital bank, but it also offers traditional banking services. MoneyLion also offers more beyond what you’ll find at a traditional or online bank.
Most banks charge a range of fees for everything from overdrawing on your account to using an outside ATM. You might not even know that another bank has a certain fee until you trigger it.
Understanding which fees your bank charges can help you avoid them — or help you switch to a more affordable option. Use the table below to compare the fees and features generally offered by banks.
|Typical Bank Fee or Service||Range (Varies by Bank)|
|Monthly service fee||$1 to $15|
|Minimum balance requirement||$0 to $1,500|
|Overdraft fees||$0 to $35|
|No-fee ATMs||0 to 55,000|
|APR on cash advances||0% to 36% APR|
Monthly service fees: Many banks charge a monthly service fee, and it’s often higher for account holders who have less than a certain amount of money in their account. It’s wise to choose a bank like MoneyLion that has no hidden fees, 55,000 free ATMs, and more for one very low, all-inclusive $1 month service fee. It’s an awesome value, and you know what you’re getting. Would your rather get hit with a $35 minimum balance fee because your account dropped too low, or pay just $1 a month to get premium banking and stay protected against absurd bank fees like that?
Minimum balance: If your bank requires a minimum balance, it means that you need to have at least a certain amount of money to open an account. If you have the minimum balance when you open your account but you dip below the minimum later, your bank might charge you a monthly fee until you get your balance back up to meet the minimum. MoneyLion saves you the headache of excessive fees with its $0 minimum balance.
Overdraft fees: An overdraft occurs when you spend more money than you have in your account. Banks that charge overdraft fees charge you more money after you’ve paid back the negative balance in your checking account. MoneyLion, on the other hand, will not.
Free ATMs: An automatic teller machine (ATM) is a machine that you can use to withdraw money from your account without visiting your bank’s physical location. Most traditional banks have their own chain of ATMs that you can use without paying a fee, but charge you for using an ATM that’s outside of your bank’s network. MoneyLion uses the Allpoint network, which has 55,000 ATMs. That’s more than Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America combined.
Access to cash advances: It’s happened to everyone at some point or another: A sudden and unexpected bill pops out of nowhere. Cash advances allow you to borrow a bit of money without paying the high fees you’d incur with a payday loan, and MoneyLion has turned the industry on its head with its innovative 0% APR Instacash advances.
Credit builder loan: One of the best ways to build credit is by taking out a small, low-interest loan and making your payments on time every period. But credit builder loans often put borrowers into a Catch 22 — you need a low-interest loan to build credit, but a low credit score stops you from getting a low-interest loan. Banks like MoneyLion that offer credit builder loans with no minimum credit requirement can help you build up your credit without getting caught in a frustrating loop of high-interest options.
Managed investment account: Managed investment accounts help you grow your money over time more effectively than regular interest in a savings account. Unfortunately, getting started with a managed investment account often requires a large initial deposit or high management fees. Most banks don’t offer managed investment accounts like MoneyLion. Zero management or trading fees and no minimums can help you invest more without risking your savings. MoneyLion takes care of everything (including rebalancing for free) and then you can modify your portfolio if you choose.
Rewards on spending: Most traditional banks don’t offer rewards on standard checking and savings accounts. However, banks like MoneyLion buck the old model and offer rewards similar to those offered by credit card companies.
TransUnion credit score and monitoring: If you have a good credit score, you’ll have access to lower interest loan options and more favorable terms. Be aware that some banks and online lenders charge high fees before you can view your credit score. MoneyLion allows you to see and monitor your credit score online as part of the Credit Builder Plus membership. Keep track of your credit score to help you more quickly catch identity theft and fraud.
How Digital Banking Works
You might have some questions about an online bank if you’ve never used one before. You might be wondering how you can deposit cash, withdraw funds or get a loan without talking to a teller. You might also be wondering how digital banks protect your money.
Digital banks work in largely the same manner as traditional banks. If you have an account with a traditional bank, chances are that you’re already doing a bit of digital banking. From checking your account balances or depositing money into your account online, most traditional banks have embraced some form of digital technology.
Digital banks take this concept and extend it further. These banks move services like loan applications and cash advances online as well as checking. When you open an account with a digital bank, you’ll still need to submit your personal information. The bank just collects information online instead of during an in-person consultation.
Digital banks often have lower fees and account minimums than traditional banks. Because digital banks don’t need to spend money on branch maintenance, they’re able to transfer those savings on to you. Digital banks also allow you to access your account 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This additional convenience can be especially useful if you work a standard 40-hour-per-week job and often find yourself having trouble making it to your bank. The best digital banks also offer free ATM access, which can allow you to withdraw cash from anywhere in the country.
Are digital banks as safe as traditional banks? Yes! Digital banks have FDIC insurance, which means that your money has insurance exactly like it would be if you had it in a traditional bank account. Many digital banks also take additional steps to keep your money protected, like offering fraud monitoring and encryption.
How to Open a MoneyLion Account
Are you ready to ditch the fees and get started with MoneyLion? Just use these simple steps to open your account!
1. Download the App
Before you open your Checking Account, you’ll need the MoneyLion app. Download the MoneyLion app from the Apple App or Google Play store onto your phone and follow the in-app instructions to create your free account.
2. Follow the In-App Instructions
Once you’ve verified your phone number, you’ll need to provide some personal information to open your account. Enter your name, current address and Social Security number.
You’ll also need to verify your identity by uploading a valid photo ID. A state driver’s license, military ID, state-issued ID card and passport are all valid forms of photo identification. Follow the in-app steps to enter and upload your information and open your account.
3. Open a RoarMoney account
To take advantage of everything that MoneyLion has to offer, lots of folks like to start by opening a RoarMoney account. It’s MoneyLion’s powerful mobile banking account, and you can learn more and sign up here. It doesn’t take long for them to start enjoying Instacash 0% APR cash advances too. Follow the instructions in the app to link your direct deposit.
4. Maximize Your New Account
Now that you’ve opened your RoarMoney account with MoneyLion, it’s time to start exploring your new bank! Set up direct deposit to unlock the highest amounts of Instacash. You can set it up in the app or directly through your work’s employee portal or HR department. You’ll start getting your checks up to 2 days early too. Read more about rewards and products available through MoneyLion at moneylion.com.
Find the Right Bank for You
Is your bank working for you? Or are you stuck in an endless cycle of hidden fees and minimums? The spread of digital banks has made it easier than ever before to open an account without expensive monthly fees or high minimums.
There’s no telling how much you might be able to save by making the switch to MoneyLion. Head over to the Google Play or Apple App store today and take advantage of all that MoneyLion has to offer.