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Axos Bank Review 2022: 7 checking account options and rewards, but low APY on high-yield savings

November 22, 2022, 4:45 PM UTC
Illustration of the Axos bank logo surrounded by an orange and blue frame.
Axos offers 7 checking accounts but low APY on its high-yield savings.
Illustration by Fortune; Original logo by Axos Bank

San Diego, California-based Axos Bank is an entirely online bank offering numerous account options for individual and business customers. In addition to multiple types of checking accounts designed to suit various life stages and financial needs including a notable rewards checking, the bank provides money market, high-yield savings, lending, and investment account services. 

Founded in 2000, Axos prides itself on its tech-driven platform and well-developed mobile app that allows for banking around the clock, 24/7 chat support, analyzing spending patterns, and syncing all financial accounts—even those outside of Axos. 

With all the options offered, Axos can be a good choice for those who have a range of banking needs. However, the yield on its savings is not as competitive as others in the industry and to earn its checking account rewards, you’ll need to meet various requirements. 

All rates and fees are current as of November 21 and are subject to change.

Axos Bank offerings 

Axos offers a diverse array of banking products. In addition to five core types of checking accounts there’s also World bank accounts designed for international residents and those who do a significant amount of globetrotting and Premier accounts for those who can make more substantial deposits. Axos also offers high-yield savings, money market and CDs.

Checking and savings accounts 

Essential Checking

  • APY: $0
  • Fees:
    • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
    • Overdraft or insufficient funds: $0
    • Bill pay fee: $0
  • Monthly balance requirement: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • ATM Reimbursement: Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements

As the bank’s most basic checking account offering, Essential accounts do not provide interest. However, these accounts do feature direct deposit express, which allows for receiving pay up to two days in advance.

Rewards Checking

  • APY: Up to 1.25%
  • Fees:
    • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
    • Overdraft or insufficient funds: $0
  • Monthly balance requirements: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • ATM Reimbursement: Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements

The Rewards account features a notable $150 welcome bonus and 1.25% APY. However, the entry level APR is 0,7% and there are several requirements that must be met in order to earn the highest APY on the Rewards checking. To earn the initial 0.7% customers must set-up monthly direct deposits totaling $1,500 or more. You’ll also be required to use the Axos Visa debit card for at least 10 transactions per month or sign up for Personal Finance Manager in the Axos banking app, which aggregates all of your accounts. To reach 1.25% APY, customers must also link an Axos bank loan payment and an Axos investment account to their Rewards checking. Additionally, the linked investment account must have an average daily balance of $2,500 per month.

First Checking

  • APY: 0.10%
  • Fees:
    • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
    • Overdraft or insufficient funds: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • ATM Reimbursement: Up to $10 in domestic ATM fee reimbursement
  • Daily transaction limits: $100 cash, $500 debit

First checking accounts are only available to those who are 13-years-old to 17-years-old. In addition, to open a First checking, an adult co-signer is required. A free debit card is provided with the account. There are no check writing privileges with this account.

CashBack Checking

  • APY: 1% cash back
  • Fees:
    • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
    • Annual fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly balance requirement: $1,500 to earn 1% cash back
  • ATM Reimbursement: Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements

While this account does offer cash back, customers are required to maintain a $1,500.00 average daily balance to earn the highest-tier of 1% cash back. For those who balance falls below that threshold the cash back earned drops to .50% for the month. In addition, the cash back calculation is based only on signature-based transactions and cash back rewards can only be deposited to your Axos checking account. There are no other cash out options for the rewards. A free starter kit of checks is provided with this account.

Golden Checking

  • APY: 0.10%
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250
  • ATM Reimbursement: Up to $8 in domestic ATM fee reimbursements

In order to open the Golden checking customers must be 55 or older. The account comes with a free debit card and one free box of checks every six months.

World Checking

  • APY: 0%
  • Fees:
    • Monthly maintenance fee: $30 when average daily balance falls below $150,000
    • International wire fees: Unlimited fee waivers for incoming and outgoing international wires.
    • ATM foreign currency conversion: Four ATM foreign currency conversion fee reimbursements per month. For additional currency conversions there is no reimbursement for fees.
  • Monthly balance requirements: Average daily balance of $150,000 to avoid maintenance fee. Average balance calculations will be based on both World checking and World savings account balances to reach $150,000 threshold.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $75,000
  • ATM Reimbursement: Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements, four international ATM fee reimbursements per month. 

The World checking account comes with a complimentary set of starter checks and unlimited check writing privileges. Though there is a $30 maintenance fee for balances below $150,000, the bank will consider both a customer’s World checking and World savings balances combined to calculate daily balance averages before assessing the fee.

Private Client checking

  • APY: Up to 2.0% but requirements apply
  • Fees:
    • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
    • Stop payment fee: $0
    • Overdraft or insufficient funds fee: $0
    • Domestic and international wires: $0
    • Foreign currency conversion fees: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250,000 aggregate opening deposit between Private Client checking and Private Client savings 
  • ATM Reimbursement: Unlimited reimbursement of domestic and foreign transaction fees.

While the Private Client checking offers an APY as high as 2.0% there are a variety of requirements to attain that level of interest. In order to earn 0.6% interest on the account you must have monthly direct deposits totaling at least $5,000. 

To earn additional interest customers must take additional steps. By adding a Managed Portfolio or Self-Directed Trading account with at least $50,000 invested, customers earn another 0.4% in interest on the Private Client checking. An additional 0.4% can be earned by linking a small business basic checking account and maintaining an average daily balance in that account of $50,000. Finally, those who use a Private Client checking to make an Axos consumer loan payment earn another 0.4%.

These accounts also offer VIP access to more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world, as well as travel and emergency assistance.

High-yield savings account 

High-yield savings

  • APY: Up to 0.61%
  • Fees:
    • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Monthly balance requirement: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250

The high-yield savings offered tiered interest. For those with a balance of up to $9,999 the APY is 0.61%. For balances $10,000 to $100,000, the interest drops to 0.25%. The APY on anything above $100,000 is 0.15%.

World savings

  • APY: 0.25%
  • Fees:
    • Monthly maintenance fee: $30 when average daily balance falls below $150,000
    • Outgoing international transfer fee: Those who maintain a minimum balance of $150,000 are not charged transfer fees. For others, the fee is waived for first outgoing international transfer. If your account balance is below $150,000, the charge for subsequent transfers is $35 for domestic wire transfers and $45 for international wire transfers.
    • ATM foreign currency conversion: Four ATM foreign currency conversion fee reimbursements per month
  • Minimum opening deposit: $75,000

The World savings is the companion account to the World checking account. Though there is a $30 maintenance fee for balances below $150,000, the bank will consider both a customer’s World checking and World savings balances combined to calculate daily balance averages before assessing the fee.

Private Client savings

  • APY: Up to 2.0%
  • Fees:
    • Monthly service fee: $0
    • Insufficient fund or overdraft fee: $0
  • Minimum balance to open: $250,000—this is an aggregate balance for the Private Client checking and Private Client savings accounts

The Private Client savings is the companion account to the Private Client checking.

Money market accounts 

High-yield money market

  • APY: 0.25%
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $0
  • Monthly balance requirement: $0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000

Customers can access their money market funds with a debit card.

Certificates of deposit

  • APY: 0.2%
  • Maintenance fee: $0
  • Set-up fee: $0
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 
    • 3 through 5 months: One and a half months loss of interest—accrued or not
    • 6 through 11 months: Three months loss of interest—accrued or not
    • 12 to 23 months: Six months loss of interest—accrued or not
    • 24 to 35 months: 12 months loss of interest—accrued or not
    • 36 to 47 months: 18 months loss of interest—accrued or not
    • 48 months or greater: 24 months loss of interest—accrued or not
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000

Whether the CD term is three months or 60 months, Axos offers the same 0.2% APY.

Other services Axos Bank offers 

Axos offers a wide variety of additional banking products beyond checking, savings, CDs and money market accounts. 

  • Mortgages: Axos offers an array of mortgage products for all types of home buyers including first-time buyers and those looking to refinance. It’s mortgage products include conforming loans, non-conforming loans, portfolio loans, FHA loans, VA loans, jumbo loans, super jumbo loans, and interest-only mortgages.
  • Home equity loans: Axos also offers home equity loans and home equity lines of credit.
  • Personal loans: Some of the personal loan products available from Axos include debt consolidation, home improvement and major purchase loans.
  • Auto loans: In addition to standard auto loans, Axos also offers auto refinance loans
  • Investing: Axos’ services also extend to managed portfolio investing and self-directed trading
  • Commercial lending: Axos offers a diverse range of commercial products including commercial lines of credit, commercial loans and more.

The Axos Bank platform and customer support 

Axos offers a well-developed online and mobile banking platform. The mobile app includes a variety of user-friendly features including the ability to link all of your accounts to get an overview of your entire financial picture, analyze your spending patterns, pay bills and deposit checks.

There’s several ways to get in touch with Axos. The mobile app provides 24/7 chatting with Evo, a virtual financial assistant that’s designed to provide answers to nearly all financial questions. Customers can also send secure messages to the bank through the mobile app. 

Bank representatives can also be reached by phone. Personal banking customers can call Axos 24/7 at (844) 999-2967. For questions about personal loans, customers can call the bank between 8 a.m. PST and 5 p.m. PST Monday through Friday at (888) 408-1781. Those with questions about home loans can reach Axos customer service at (888) 408-1778  from Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. PST and 8 p.m. PST and between 8 a.m. PST and 2 p.m. PST on Saturday. 

Representatives are also available to discuss auto refinancing questions via phone from 8 a.m. PST until 5 p.m. PST Monday through Friday at (844) 517-5564.

Pros and cons of Axos Bank

Pro: Rewards checking account: Axos is one of the few banks to offer cash back rewards with a checking account.

Pro: Variety of checking account options: Axos offers checking accounts for every phase in life, whether you’re just starting out or are enjoying retirement.

Pro: Mobile app with helpful money management features: The Axos mobile app includes helpful features such as a broad overview of your entire financial picture that allows you to manage your money more easily.

Con: Low APY on high-yield savings. The high-yield savings APY is just 0.61%.

Con: Low APY on money market account: The money market account APY is also lackluster at 0.25%

Con: High minimum balance requirements for some accounts: The Axos CD requires a $1,000 minimum deposit, and the World checking and savings account require $75,000.

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