By choosing an online bank, you often save time, you avoid certain procedures and you limit bank charges. But these banks are numerous on the market and it can seem difficult to find the one that suits you best. A precise study of the services offered can make it possible to discover the online bank which offers the most notable advantages.
Account opening and management
Before choosing your online bank, first check the steps required to open an account. Most often, these formalities are much more limited than those imposed by traditional banks.
To open an account in a dematerialized bank, you do not need to make an appointment. All procedures are done online. All you have to do is fill out a form and provide some supporting documents by scanning them. Thanks to a specific code, you sign the contract online. The whole thing will only have taken you a few minutes and you will receive the answer in less than a week.
Also, carefully study the requirements for opening an account. Some online banks require minimum income conditions or the initial deposit, on the account, of a more or less significant sum. Other rarer banks open your account without any income requirement.
In addition, account management fees are, on average, significantly lower than in a traditional bank. Some online banks even maintain your accounts for free. For example, it would be very instructive for you to see user reviews about Boursorama.
Even in the case where account maintenance is chargeable, the annual fees are very low and often covered, for several months, by the amount of the welcome bonus. Finally, it is very often possible to open an individual account or a joint account.
Credit cards often free
The free credit card is part of the offer of most online banks. Under these conditions, how to choose the most advantageous bank for you?
In fact, these free cards are divided into several categories. Basic cards only allow you fairly limited withdrawals or payments. They will be significantly higher if you choose a card from a higher category. To obtain it, however, you will often have to deposit a monthly sum, sometimes significant, into your account or leave savings there.
Similarly, the free bank card can be permanent or limited in time. In addition, some online banks may impose a financial penalty on you if the bank account has not shown sufficient activity during a certain period.
Also pay attention to how you can use the card abroad. Some online banks allow, in this regard, a number of free withdrawals in foreign currencies. In the euro zone, payments and withdrawals are sometimes unlimited.
Other banking services
Online banks, like traditional institutions, offer their customers all banking services. To choose your online bank, you therefore have to check again, with each of them, the possibilities of subscribing to a savings account or the conditions for obtaining a loan.
This is how most online banks offer you a wide choice of savings products, from the Livret A to the Housing Savings Plan. Interest and limits for unregulated savings products depend on each bank. It’s up to you to decide which conditions suit you best.
Similarly, the life insurance contracts offered by the various online banks have conditions specific to each of them. Some favor contracts backed by a fund in euros, which are safer. Others offer contracts which, being more dependent on the financial markets, present certain risks but can prove to be more profitable.
To choose your online bank, also carefully check the conditions under which they can grant you credit. The amounts, capped or not, as well as the duration, of the credit, depend on its purpose. Indeed, most banks grant you loans for a real estate project, the purchase of a new car or even the carrying out of work. For a mortgage, for example, check in particular the amount of the personal contribution requested.
Most online banks also allow you to consider stock trading. Their online processing and access to real-time quotes represent significant advantages over conventional banks.
Finally, some online banks have a specific offer for professionals. For an often very modest monthly subscription, and without providing for commissions, this offer can include the issuance of a bank card and a complete insurance system. The opening of the account can be conditioned by the payment of an initial sum, the amount of which is often quite low. Some offers are aimed at auto-entrepreneurs.
Read also: How to find the best loan online?