Simple Checking Account Review

Kailey is an industry specialist covering bank accounts, credit cards, and all things personal finance. Her work has appeared on USA Today, CNN Money, Fox Business, and MSN Money.

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Though Simple is a bit of a misnomer, its high APYs and detailed budgeting tools make it difficult to pass over. Setting up your account requires jumping through a few unnecessary hoops and not everyone will like that they must have more than one checking account with Simple to earn the highest APY. But the digital envelope-style system and the lack of restrictions on transfers and withdrawals could lead some people to replace their savings accounts with a Simple Protected Goals Account.

Top perks

Earn up to 1.90% APY: Simple has a high-yield checking account called a Protected Goal Account which offers you the opportunity to earn 1.90% APY on your money. This bests most savings accounts and could make Simple an even better choice than a high-yield savings account for those who feel constrained by the monthly withdrawal limit the federal government imposes on savings accounts. Only balances over $10,000 are eligible for the 1.90% APY, but balances under $10,000 will earn 1.75% APY, which is still far above the national average.

No monthly fees: This is a good checking account to consider as it cuts out-of-pocket costs with no monthly maintenance or minimum fees.

$0 ATMs: Simple doesn't charge ATM fees.

Tools to help you stick to your budget: Simple's mobile app enables you to list and track your expenses which will help you achieve your savings goals and stick to your existing budget. It can also help you figure out how much money you can safely afford to spend on wants and identify areas where you might be able to cut back your spending. It takes a little work upfront to input all your information, but once you get everything set up, there's no math required. Everything you need to know is there in the app.

Mobile app: Simple's mobile app for Android and Apple devices enables you to view your balance, transfer funds, pay bills, and remotely deposit checks. You can also access all of Simple's budgeting tools and send money directly to other Simple customers without going through a third-party payment app, though you can link third-party payment services as well.

What could be improved

Account setup: Simple does not enable you to open a Protected Goals Account directly. Instead, you must open a Simple Online Checking Account first. Once you've set this up, you can open a Protected Goals Account and fund it from your Simple Online Checking Account. You can also set up multiple savings goals to keep money for each goal separately. Juggling multiple checking accounts may not bother some, but it would be much easier if Simple just let you open a Protected Goals Account from the get-go.

Fees

Simple Checking Account Monthly Maintenance ATM Withdrawal Overdraft Stop Payment Insufficient Funds
Fees $0 $0 $0 $0 $0

How to access your money

Simple gives you the following options for depositing and withdrawing money from your Simple Online Checking Account or Protected Goals Account.

Deposit options

You can deposit money in your Simple checking accounts in any of the following ways:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Mailed checks
  • Mobile-deposited checks

There is no limit to the number of deposits you can make per day or per month. Direct deposits and wire transfers are available on the same business day while mailed and mobile-deposited checks are available on the business day Simple receives the check.

Withdrawal options

You may withdraw money from your Simple checking accounts in these ways:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Requesting a mailed check
  • ATM withdrawal
  • Point-of-sale cash withdrawal

Simple partners with Allpoint to offer over 40,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide to its customers. You can locate the one nearest you using the ATM finder tool on Simple's website or in its mobile app.

Online checking account comparison

The Axos Bank Rewards Checking Account falls a little short of the Simple Protected Goals Account's APY, but it's still worth considering if you find Simple's multiple account format confusing or hard to manage. Axos Bank doesn't have an ATM network like Simple, but it promises unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.

Those interested in automatic savings tools who prefer an easier system should look into a Chime Spending Account. It enables you to automatically divert a percentage of each paycheck toward saving and will round up every debit card purchase to the nearest dollar, if you choose, and place the extra change in savings to help you reach your goals faster. It doesn't enable you to create separate savings accounts for different goals, but that also means fewer accounts you have to manage.

Rates as of March 18, 2020
Offer
Simple
 
Member, FDIC
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
 
Member, FDIC
Chime
 
Member, FDIC
Rating
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
APY

APY: Up to 1.90%

APY: Up to 1.25%

APY: 0.01%

Best For

Best For: Budgeting tools

Best For: High APY and unlimited ATMs

Best For: Early direct deposit and online check payments

Min. to earn APY

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $1

Next Steps

This checking account is right for you if:

If you don't like the idea of juggling multiple checking accounts and you don't need help budgeting, you might be better off choosing a more straightforward interest-bearing checking account or stashing most of your cash in a high-yield savings account instead.

Two kinds of people will be drawn to Simple checking accounts. Those who want to earn high interest rates on their savings without dealing with the government restrictions on savings account withdrawals. With APYs ranging from 1.75% to 1.90%, Simple offers some of the most competitive rates in the industry, plus unlimited account transfers and withdrawals.

The other kind of people who should consider Simple are those who want to leverage technology to help them create and stick to their budgets. Simple's envelope-style Protected Goal Accounts and comprehensive budget-tracking resources can help you reach your goals more quickly and feel more confident in your ability to meet your obligations.

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