Home Best 5 Mobile Banking Apps Compared for 2021
Vidal Arias

The advancement of technology and telecommunications has had a major impact on most sectors of the economy, and banking has not been an exception. Keep in mind that only 10 years ago the idea of a bank operating fully online was crazy and nor very probable. Nowadays we have seen all types of financial institutions becoming online platforms in an effort to keep up with the pace of change, but also to benefit from all the savings that a nonphysical business offers.

Even though these periods of time has been hard for the banks and their employees, on the other hand, it has been a delight for the end users who have been able to benefit from the drop in prices and the increase in the offering. With so many different options of financial institutions providing a similar service, it has become difficult for individuals to choose from. Not to mention the ongoing fight between institutions trying to control the largest piece of the pie.

 We are stuck with technology when what we really want is just stuff that works Douglas Adams

It is very likely that this is going to be the new paradigm on which the financial system will create its bases for many decades to come. If you are interested in the best possible banking app available in the market, you should review the following list. Keep in mind that the offering of banking apps has sharply risen over the past few years, it is more important and ever to review and analyze all existing options before making a decision.

Best Banking Apps for 2021: Summary

REVIEWERS CHOICE

Capital one – banking apps

Rating

Account Type

Fixed

Interest Rate

0.5%-1.5%

Initial Deposit

0

Rating

Visit Now

Bank of America – banking apps

Rating

Account Type

Advantage Savings Account

Interest Rate

0.03 % APY

Initial Deposit

100

Rating

Visit Now

Discover – bank apps

Rating

Account Type

Online Savings Account

Interest Rate

1.4

Initial Deposit

0

Rating

Visit Now

Chime Bank

Rating

Account Type

Automatic savings account

Interest Rate

0.06% APY

Initial Deposit

100

Rating

Visit Now

Chase

Rating

Account Type

Chase savings account

Interest Rate

0.07 % APY

Initial Deposit

0

Rating

Visit Now

Which are the Best Banking Apps of 2021?

1. Capital One - King of Online Banking

If you mention online banking in the US it is pretty probable that the first name that will come to mind will be CapitalOne. The company is one of the first banks that ventured in a fully online model and approach.

This is an institution that is very though after by individuals who are interested in an online bank due to its pricing but do not want to give up a fairly large network of ATMs around the country.

Capital One offers access to most traditional services and products like savings/checkings account, CDs and even certain types of loans. As a fully online bank, the firm depends heavily on its platform and its ability to simplify the reliability of its services.

From an app perspective, it is tangible how experienced the company really is, in fact, not many platforms have gotten to the level of perfection where capital one is currently standing. Their platform might not be the best looking, but it is a working horse that delivers cutting edge technology like no other app.

Additional Information

  • Price: Access to the app is free and it is available for all account and cardholders
  • Best Feature: Cutting Edge Technology, Imaging being able to talk to your Amazon’s Alexa device and ask for your account information like its balance or the last transaction, and all of this knowing that the device will differentiate your voice from others and will only deliver at your request. This is the kind of technology we are talking about.
  • Recommended for: It is a very straightforward company if you feel comfortable with an online app you should give it a try, otherwise you might want to take a look at Chase or at Bank of America.
  • Application: The firm offers both smartphone and web applications, making access to your account available for any individual. This is a platform that you will enjoy using, intuitive, agile and safe.

Our Rating

  • Full Suite: Mobile app is powerful enough to perform a full banking operative
  • No Monthly Fees: It is pretty common to see banks charging hidden fees for their apps and their accounts, Capital One, on the other hand, is one of the most transparent organizations in the market
  • Easy to Open: Opening a bank account can be tricky and time-consuming, with their fully online model you will be able to open any kind of account directly from your smartphone
  • No minimum Balance: This a benefit as you won't have to worry to keep a minimum balance to avoid unnecessary fees
  • Funding the account is difficult: Keep in mind that capital one is a fully operational online bank, you won't be able to find branches like you normally would with a traditional Bank. This is one of the reasons why funding your account to open it can be tricky and time-consuming as you will have to send a cashiers check or a wire transfer. Once the account has been open it becomes easier
  • Limited Customer Service: Since there are no branches all customer services relies on phone calls or chat via their webpage. Depending on the scenario you should prepare yourself for a couple of hours on the phone
  • Low APY: You could get a better yield with any of their competitors

2. Bank of America - Strong Contender for Best App

When referring to Bank of America it is common to hear the term “MegaBank”, driven because of the size of the bank and also its scope over the financial and banking system in the US. This is an organization with full nationwide scope, delivering a broad range of services and products.

It is important to understand that Bank of America acts as a traditional bank, offering access to different types of accounts, CDs, IRAs, and even investment accounts and services.

From an app perspective, it is worth mentioning that the company delivers a very straightforward model that works perfectly. It might not be the most disruptive or the most original, but it certainly delivers with the highest standards.

If you are interested in opening in an account with a solid financial institutions then you should take into consideration Bank of America as a strong candidate.

Additional Information

  • Price: Access to the app is free and it is available for all account and cardholders
  • Application: Bank of America offers access to its online platform via its web services and also through a proprietary smartphone app. As mentioned before, this is a reliable tool that won’t let you down but won’t amaze you either.

Our Rating

  • Accessibility: Bank of America offers one of the largest networks of branches in the US, if you are interested in a personal service you should highly consider them over other names on this list
  • Powerful App: BofA offers one of the best platforms in the market. Not only it is reliable but it also offers a full suite of services, allowing you to manage your accounts as if you were directly on a branch
  • Full Service Bank: Even though mobile banks are gaining popularity and are becoming better every day, it is important to keep in mind that they still can not be compared to traditional banks in terms of the services they offer. with BofA, you will get access to all types of banking and financial products that will be difficult to find anywhere else
  • Many Fees: This company offers a very complete service, but you need to be aware that it won't be for free. You should keep in mind that most of these services will incur in fees and commissions
  • Slow Customer Service: If you ever encounter a problem with your account or with any of their services, you can be certain they will provide excellent support.... but it won't be fast!

3. Chime - Best for Payments and Savings

Just like Robinhood is the millennial approach to investing, Chime is considered by many experts as the closest thing to a millennial bank. The company has combined a fully integrated banking system with modern technology, allowing individuals to get a live view of their balances and also fast access to payment execution.

Even though Chimes operates as a Bank, it is important to keep in mind that their services are still limited and that they are far away from becoming a fully operational institution.

From an app perspective, the company offers a very refined and minimalistic layout that makes it look elegant and desirable. If you don’t need many services besides a savings/checkings account and you would like to integrate your banking services with a modern platform, Chime will be your best option.

Don’t forget that this is still a fairly new company, it is expected that as the firm grows the same will happen to the range of services.

Additional Information

Price: The only time you will have to spend while using Chime is if you utilize an ATM from another network $2.40

Recommended for: Individual interested in controlling their spending habits and anyone who wants to budget and plan their personal finances

Application: Chime is the best platform for anyone interested in actively managing their personal finances and especially their checkings and savings account. The firm offers a very modern approach for budgeting and expense analysis.

Our Rating

  • Budgeting: The firm offers an in-house budgeting platform that will help you analyze your spending habits and will also provide you with insight and advise on how to improve it
  • Free of Fees: The Only fee you will ever pay is if you use an ATM of another network (24,000 ATM Locations)
  • Free Visa Membership: You might not know this but every time you get a Visa credit or debit card you are charged for its membership program. With chime, these fees will be covered by the company and you will be able to use their service for free!
  • State of the Art Platform: Traditional banks should pay attention to the type of platforms that companies like Chime and Robinhood are developing. This powerful and minimalistic approach is becoming the new norm expected by most individuals.
  • Range of Services: Services offered by Chime as delivered in the most high-quality package you can imagine, the problem is that it is a very narrow range of products and services. Chime will only offer you access to their payments service and also their savings account. If you are in need of any other type of service you should look for a different platform

4. Discover - Best Online Bank (Runner-up) App

Discover is another well rounded and mature financial institution in the US. Keep in mind that the firm began their operations as a payment platform, it was not until later in their life that they ventured into offering a full operation online bank.

One of the best Benefits of this institution is how transparent and clear things are, with this Discover you will be told since day one all the guidelines and all the possible fees you will incur for utilizing their services. This type of practice is a fresh breeze of air in a market where most institutions try to disclose the least possible with the intention of profiting from their high fees and commissions.

From an app perspective, it is easy to tell that the company has a vast experience in building systems and applications. Not only does the app works perfectly but it is incredibly powerful and reliable.

If you are looking for a straightforward and easy to use app, you might want to learn more about Discover and all their vast range of products. In the end, you will be getting a handy tool to manage your money directly from your phone without having to take any additional expenses or risking with a less reputable bank.

Additional Information

Price: Access to the app is free and it is available for all account and cardholders

Recommended for: Anyone interested in an online Bank

Application: As mentioned above, this is not the first time of Discover developing an app or a platform. The company has proven once again that this is what they excel and what they are the best at. With this app you will be able to manage your accounts directly from your cellphone, chances are that you will never have to use their desktop version as it is practically the same experience. Not many institutions can say that they offer all the service from a branch in a smartphone application

Our Rating

  • Full Banking Suite: The company is starting to expand its services, making them a go-to option for anyone interested in a full banking suite
  • Easy to use and Reliable Platform: Discover has always been in the payment business, but with their latest venture they've gotten their own banking license. Keep mind that the platform is probably one of the most straightforward and easiest to use in the market
  • Fully Operational Online Bank: Lack of branches can be a problem for certain individuals who are used to more personal interaction.

5. Chase - Overall Best App

When it comes to commercial banking in the US Chase is one of the largest and most important financial institutions of the country. The firm operates as the retail banking subsidiary of the Titan and Investment Bank JP Morgan. Chase offers a full range of banking services ranging from plain vanilla checkings and savings accounts to mortgages and even small investing solutions.

This is a brand with more than 5,100 branches and 16,000 ATMs around the country, and it is in continuous expansion. Keep in mind that if you are looking for a traditional bank this might be your best option.

From an App perspective, the firm offers a wonderfully executed platform that is easy to US and powerful enough to satisfy the most demanding customers. One of the many benefits of utilizing a company of this size is that its budget for R&D is considerably larger. You won’t be able to get this level of technology and sophistication with any other bank or institution in the country.

Don’t forget that you should not be aiming to choose the bank with the best app, but the best bank instead. With Chase, you will be able to sleep well at night without ever having to worry about where your money is.

Additional Information

Price: Access to the app is free and it is available for all account and cardholders

Recommended for: Anyone! Chase is such a great option that will fit almost all profiles and all individuals

Application: It is easy to develop a powerful and well-executed platform when you have almost unlimited funds like Chase. This is an app that will allow you to simplify the banking experience and will make your life easier. The is not a single negative point I can mention about the app.

Our Rating

  • Reputation: When you are doing business with chase you are doing business with JP Morgan, one of the most important investments and corporate banks in the world. If you are interested in using a bank with international capabilities this is probably your best option
  • Branches: The firm is a well known traditional bank in the US, it won't be difficult for you to get access to a branch disregarding on where you live... there are everywhere!
  • Overall Best Platform: Once we've combined a powerful banking platform with an easy to use and very user-friendly layout, the result is the overall best platform in the market! Chase's platform offers everything you will need in the palm of your hand!
  • ATM Fees: Utilizing an external ATM will not only incur in traditional charges from the ATM company but also from Chase. If you usually withdraw from your account constantly you might want to plan in advance your cash needs in order to avoid paying these fees

6. PNC - Best Mid-Size Bank

PNC is another bank that has focused on delivering an excellent model of online and mobile banking. Even though the firm has more than 2,600 branches across 19 states, their main business is still based on online banking.

Following a similar approach to the market trends, the company has developed its own budgeting tools in order to allow its users to consolidate and plan their finances under the same platform. One of the most famous tools offered by this company is their Virtual Wallet, this savings account type of instrument allows individuals to organize and manage their finances with the highest level of analysis.

This platform is a great gadget for anyone who has had problems following a budget as it will keep informed of your balances in order to keep you on the right track.

Additional Information

Price: Access to the app is free and it is available for all account and cardholders Best Feature: P

Recommended for: PNC is a great alternative banking option for anyone looking to stay out of more commercial banks. If you are trying to get a more personal experience, PNC might your cheapest option

Application: PNC has invested a considerably large sum of money in developing a reliable platform that is easy to use and that will also satisfy the necessities of its customers.

Our Rating

  • Powerful platform: There is nothing worse than being in need of doing a transaction and then realizing that the app was not working properly or simply nor responding. PNC offers a simple but super reliable platform that won't let you down.
  • Free ATMs
  • Access to Branches: It is worth noticing that the firm does not have a branch structure as big as other traditional banks from this list but it is always a plus to have
  • Virtual Wallet: The company offers its own virtual wallet which allows an individual to enjoy from the same benefits as a traditional savings account but free of charge
  • Low APY: If you are interested in keeping a considerably high balance in your savings account you should consider another option as most firms will give you a better yield over your savings

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing for a bank or a financial institution more and more individuals are making their choices based on how good their online and mobile platform offered truly are. This proves how important it has become for our modern society to have access to their money from anywhere and at any time.

With such a broad offering it is fairly common to see individuals complaining about how overwhelmed it can be to choose a bank/FI. Keep in mind that for most cases the services delivered will be pretty much the same, it is the pricing and the overall layout of the package what truly changes.

It is always recommended to check at least a couple of options before committing to one, remember that even though you can change your mind at any time, there is usually a cost associated with changing banks!

Take your time analyzing what is it that you want from a financial institution and go from there, it is pretty likely that you will find an institution that will meet all your necessities and your requirements.

Glossary Of Banking Terms

Checking Account
Checking Account

A Checking Account is typically an account held with a bank, which money can be deposited into and where checks can be drawn from.

CD Rate
CD Rate

A CD or Certificate of Deposit is a savings account with a fixed rate and maturity date. This type of account is often dependent on keeping the money in the account for a fixed duration to realize the full advertised rate. The CD rate is the rate of return over the investment period.

CD Ladders
CD Ladders

A CD Ladder is where an investor splits a sum of money into equal amounts and places the funds into CD accounts with different maturity rates

Jumbo CD
Jumbo CD Ladders

Jumbo CD Ladders are where and investor splits a sum of money across several CD accounts with different maturity dates. What make it a Jumbo CD ladder is that the sums of money invested are significantly higher. There is no official value at, which a CD becomes 'Jumbo' but it is generally assumed to be in excess of $100,000.

Savings Account
Savings Accounts

Simply a bank account that earns interest.

Money Market
Money Market Accounts

A bank or credit union account that tracks the interest rates in money markets. They traditionally offer a higher interest rate than a regular savings account.

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Vidal Arias

Vidal Arias

Vidal is an experienced Strategist and Portfolio Manager with a keen interest and passion for the financial markets and also writing. During his career, he has developed excellent market timing skills, focusing mainly on the macro analysis of the US Equity Market and the overall US Financial Market. He started his career as a financial analyst for a major American bank and continued his way into the trading desk as a Sr. Trader and later as a Portfolio Manager for an Offshore Hedgefund in Europe. Linkedin: vidalarias Email: [email protected]