Choosing your online bank: our advice

Given the costs of physical banks, we are often faced with the need to change to an online bank or even a neo-bank (neo-bank). Here are some tips for choosing the right online bank.

The biggest difference between physical banks and online banks

The biggest difference between physical banks and online banks is the bank fees that one pays throughout the year. Otherwise, you are entitled to checkbooks, bank cards and even a savings account, on the other hand, in terms of granting credit, the possibilities are different from one online bank to another and impossible in neo-banks .

Annual fees

Account maintenance fees are generally between €30 and €150 per year. No account maintenance fees for online banks: Boursorama bank, Fortuneo Bank, ING and we can even tell you that these same banks offer you €80 when you open an account in October 2019. On the other hand, online banks charge fees for non-use of account, if we do not use our bank card at least once or twice a month, they take between 5 and 30 € monthly and directly from the bank account.

Checkbook and credit card

If all banks, physical or online offer a bank card, it is not the same for checkbooks. Indeed, several banks do not issue them, but you will have them on request and free of charge, excluding postage, at Boursorama Banque, ING Direct, Fortunéo, Hello Bank, BforBank, Monabanq. The credit card is often free with online banks. It usually costs between €25 and €50 per year in physical banks.

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Apart from new banks, you can open a savings account in all physical banks or online. Some offer several, Livret A, PEL, LDD (former CODEVI), young booklet, LEP. Some online banks require you to open a current account before acquiring a savings account, such as Hello Bank, ING and Orange Bank.


All online banks allow you to take out credit, but neo-banks do not offer any. Personal loans, consumer loans, car loans or even real estate loans are presented by the majority of online banks: Fortunéo bank, BforBanque, Hello Bank, Boursorama Banque, ING, Monabanq.


The main insurance concerns the means of payment, it is linked to the issue of a bank card and costs approximately €2.50 per month. Insurance, auto, home, borrower (linked to mortgage) are offered by all online banks, which is not the case of health insurance also called mutual or complementary health.

Which online bank to choose?

Fortunéo banque, BforBanque, Hello Bank, Boursorama Banque, ING Direct, Monabanq, Agence Directe are the real online banks in France. All are attached to a physical bank:

  • Fortuneo Bank: Credit Mutuel
  • BforBank: Crédit Agricole
  • Hello Bank: BNP Paribas
  • Boursorama Bank: Societe Generale
  • ING Direct: ING Group
  • Monabanq: Credit Mutuel, CIC
  • Direct agency: Societe Generale

We note that several physical banks have two online banks, do not hesitate to compare their offers.

For, the best online bank is Hello Bank, after many comparisons, it seems to be true, here are the 3 selected:

Hello Bank

  • No account fees + free current transactions.
  • Services: loans (real estate, consumption, auto), insurance (life and investment), savings (Hello + and booklet A), insurance (auto, home, mobile devices), Apple pay, Hello Bank app, Paylib, free withdrawals at abroad, Electron visa card granted without minimum salary.
  • Free Visa card (Electron, unconditional)
  • €80 offered when opening a current account – Current transactions: payments and withdrawals, transfers and Sepa direct debits.
  • Payment means insurance: €26.50 per year (October 2019) Their site is clear, easily navigable, you can download the prices and the price information document, you will see that there are no hidden prices.
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Boursorama bank

  • No account fees + free current transactions.
  • Services: mortgage with borrower insurance, personal loan, Kador account for 12-17 year olds highlighted, possibility of making transfers to the bank account from another account in another bank, online safe to store invoices and documents important, accessible with the Google Assistant, Instant payment, in addition to the usual services.
  • Free Visa card – Up to €130 offered when opening a current account (October 2019)
  • Free day-to-day transactions: payment, transfers and direct debits carried out online.
    – Insurance: account (provision in the event of accidental death, details to be consulted on, car insurance, life insurance. Their site is easily navigable, you can carry out loan simulations there… Recognized by the press, Boursorama receives the « Label Excellence 2019 » for the « Dossiers de l’Epargne » in the field of real estate credit.


  • No account fees
  • Services: youth booklet (12-25 years); credits: revolving, works, auto/word, or other; booklet A, sustainable and solidarity development, Monabanq savings, growth; free transfers and direct debits, check deposits at CIC branches… It is not necessary to have a current account to obtain a savings account.
  • Free Visa card
  • Insurance: home, car, health, death, job loss. The site is easily navigable, it has a very good customer service, Monabanq is « elected customer service of the year » for the 3rd consecutive year.

Read also: Online banks: the pros and cons

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