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Alternatives to Capital One: The Best Online Bank in 2024

In this article, we will talk about the Alternative to Capital One: The Best Online Bank in 2024. Check out our full-free list at Alternatives to Capital One: 12 Best Online Banks in 2024.

Online Banking

It is no secret that banking is one of the industries that have been most significantly impacted by digitalization. The need to visit a bank has reduced with the introduction of ATMs, while the introduction of online banking channels has significantly diminished the need for physical banking. A recent MarketWatch survey among US adults revealed that 41% of respondents prefer to use their bank’s mobile app over using its website or going to a branch.

In 2023, Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) clients had 23.4 billion digital interactions. This was an 11% increase from 2022, which itself was an all-time record for Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC), highlighting just how rapidly online banking platforms are penetrating the consumer banking market. In times past, a lack of digital literacy and susceptibility to data theft made it challenging for clients to adopt mobile banking options safely. Presently, however, Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) reports that 86% of Americans know how to protect themselves and their personal information online while 70% of U.S. households report being enrolled in digital banking for some or all of their accounts.

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As such, digital banking has transformed from being an amenity to now being an essential component of any banking experience. Motley Fool reports that 91% of consumers view digital banking as an important factor in choosing where to bank. Consequently, providing the best digital banking experience has become imperative for banks in order to gain a greater chunk of the market. From the consumer perspective, expectations regarding online banking experiences continue to evolve and become more demanding, and a failure to meet said expectations can have severe implications for financial institutions.

Factors Impacting Customer Satisfaction towards Online Banks

According to a recent J.D. Power study, although online banks have a higher level of customer satisfaction than traditional banks, customer satisfaction scores among online banks fell by nearly 3% between 2023 and 2024. Some of the most common reasons for a decrease in customer satisfaction according to the study were extended problem resolution times, issues with debit cards, fraud & unauthorized account activity, and user-friendliness of the banking applications. However, digitalization isn’t the only factor determining how good an online bank is.

In addition to factors involving digitalization, banks competing to provide the best banking services must also pay attention to more conventional factors. Motley Fool reports that a competitive interest rate is an important factor for 88% of consumers in choosing where to bank. Moreover, when asked for which product are competitive interest rates most important, 49% of consumers responded that interest rates on savings were more important to them than any other product.

Offering a higher yield on savings and certificates can help institutions establish themselves as the best online banks for savings. The impact of high-yield accounts on customer satisfaction was recently highlighted in the U.S. National Banking Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power. The study revealed that more and more national bank consumers were holding secondary bank accounts. This trend was primarily fueled by the ability of investment management and internet-only financial institutions to offer higher deposit interest rates. The same study also ranked Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) highest in terms of overall satisfaction.

Capital One: The Best Online Bank?

Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) has consistently been regarded as one of the best online banks in the industry. Its 360 savings accounts have no fees or minimum balance requirements. It offers an Annual Percentage Yield (APY) of 4.25% on any balance, meaning consumers across all levels of savings can earn a healthy yield. Similarly, its one-year CD accounts have an APY of 5.00%. Moreover, its mobile application and website are both extremely efficient and user-friendly, allowing clients to navigate through a range of products without overwhelming those interested in using basic features. Thus, a combination of competitive savings rates, an affordable fee structure, and a convenient mobile application has enabled Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) to establish itself as one of the largest digital banks in the US.

Although interest rates offered on deposits by Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) aren’t the highest in the industry, they are still quite competitive. The reason major banks often offer a less competitive savings rate is to stretch the gap between its average lending and borrowing rates, which directly translates into a higher net interest income for these institutions. Currently, Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) offers a much higher savings rate in comparison to competitors such as Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), which is evident in its financials.

Although Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) posted an interest income of $41.94 million in 2023, its interest expense for the period was recorded at $12.70 million. On account of such high-interest expenses, 75% of which were due to payouts on deposits, the company’s earnings per share fell by 33% (YoY) to $11.98. Despite this, share prices have increased significantly since the start of 2023 and reached $148 at the end of Q1 2024. This is largely because the stock got a boost after investors learned that Berkshire Hathaway was accumulating shares of the company. The first two quarters of 2023 saw Berkshire purchasing nearly 12.5 million shares of Capital One stock. The company is also poised to get a boost from a reduction in interest rates in 2024. Investor confidence is also on the rise after the company's definitive agreement to acquire Discover, a strategic expansion that aims to enhance its consumer banking and global payments platform. Moreover, a forward P/E ratio of 10.67 for Q1 2024 indicates that the company is in a position to yield further gains to investors.

While we at Insider Monkey recognize the potential of Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE: COF) stocks and other direct banks, we strongly believe in the AI stocks hold greater promise for delivering higher returns and doing so within a shorter time-frame. By checking out our report on the cheapest AI stock you can obtain our insights on an investment that has the potential to secure you a 10,000% return over the next decade.

Alternatives to Capital One: The Best Online Bank in 2024
Alternatives to Capital One: The Best Online Bank in 2024

Alternatives to Capital One: The Best Online Bank in 2024

Methodology

To develop our list of alternatives to Capital One, we initially picked out the most recommended best online banks in 2024 on the internet. We used 5+ sources including Nerd Wallet, Money Crashers, and Market Watch to develop a shortlist. Further research was narrowed down to these banks only. Among these best online banks in 2024, we developed a scorecard using metrics such as APY on savings accounts and one-year CDs, affordable fee structures, app ratings, and online banking & card reviews on Reddit threads. By standardizing these metrics on a linear scale, each bank was scored, based on which we sorted our list in descending order. The top 12 alternatives to Capital One were chosen as the best online banks in 2024. At Insider Monkey we are obsessed with the stocks that hedge funds pile into. The reason is simple: our research has shown that we can outperform the market by imitating the top stock picks of the best hedge funds. Our quarterly newsletter's strategy selects 14 small-cap and large-cap stocks every quarter and has returned 275% since May 2014, beating its benchmark by 150 percentage points (see the details here). Here is the Best Online Bank in 2024:

1. UFB Direct

Insider Monkey Score: 5.37

Based on our methodology, UFB Direct is the best online bank in 2024. UFB Direct offers its banking products and services through Axos Financial, Inc. (NYSE: AX). It is one of the best alternatives to Capital One in terms of savings rates, as it offers a 5.25% APY on all balances with no monthly fees. Many of its digital banking features can be accessed via SMS, making it convenient for users with limited access to fast internet. Users can boost savings even further if they open a Freedom Checking Account that can allow them to attain an APY of up to 5.45%, given certain conditions. Both of these accounts can be accessed using a single mobile application which has a 4.7 rating on Google Play Store and a 4.8 rating on Apple Store.

Check out our full-free list at Alternatives to Capital One: 12 Best Online Banks in 2024.

At Insider Monkey, we delve into a variety of topics, ranging from the best online banks in 2024 to the best retirement destinations; however, our expertise lies in identifying the top-performing stocks. Currently, Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology stands out as one of the most promising fields. If you are looking for an AI stock that is more promising than NVDA but that trades at less than 5 times its earnings, check out our report about the cheapest AI stock.

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Disclosure: None. This article is originally published on Insider Monkey.