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FNBO Direct Review

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CR
Christian Rigg
May. 03, 20214 min read

FNBO Direct summary

FNBO Direct is the online-only division of First National Bank of Omaha, a veteran bank that’s received praise for customer satisfaction and strong products. FNBO Direct does a good job of living up to the standards of its parent company, with 24/7 live support and impressive checking and savings accounts. The app could use some work, and overdraft fees are high, but overall, it’s a solid offer.

Pros

  • High-interest savings and checking accounts
  • 24/7 customer support
  • APY from 0.90%
  • No-fees on all accounts and cards

Cons

  • Mobile app needs improvement
  • Steep overdraft fees

Advantages Over Regular Bank

As an online bank, FNBO Direct has a number of advantages over a traditional brick-and-mortar institution. Here are a few of the ways FNBO Direct stands out:

High-interest savings account: FNBO Direct’s online savings account is a great option for anybody looking to watch their money grow. There are no monthly fees, and the interest rate is very advantageous. In fact, at 0.90% APY, it’s fifteen times higher than the national average. Plus, you start earning interest at $0.01.  

No-fee checking account: Checking accounts that earn interest aren’t unheard of, but it’s hard to beat FNBO Direct’s 0.65% checking account APY. That’s as high as some online savings accounts. Add no-fee ATM withdrawals, a free Direct Visa Debit Card, and free money transfers with Poptransfer, and there’s a lot to like.  

Cutting-Edge Banking Services

FNBO Direct has several innovative features that help it stand out. 

The free bill payment feature, BillPay, lets you schedule payments up to 90 days in advance, check pending payments, view your payment history, set up recurring payments, and add, delete, or reference payees. 

Account alerts help you stay on top of your finances and protect against fraud. You can decide which notifications you want to receive and how often, with payment reminders, and alerts for overdraft usage or when changes are made to your account and billing profile.

Finally, you can deposit checks virtually through the mobile app: just choose the account to deposit to, enter the amount, and snap a picture of the front and back. 

Traditional Banking Services

On top of great high-interest savings and checking accounts, FNBO Direct also offers a NEST 529 College Savings Account, to help you plan for your childrens’ academic future, and the ExtraEarning Visa Credit Card. No surprise, the credit card is no-fees, and has a good points structure: earn 2 points per dollar for the first year, then 1 point per dollar after that. You can trade in 2,500 points at any time for $25, deposited directly into your FNBO Direct account.  

FNBO also offers Student Loan refinancing. Simplify your loans into one monthly payment, which you can set up for automatic payment through your checking account. At the time of writing, a $200 bonus was also offered for new customers.  

Interest Rates and Fees

As we’ve already mentioned, the Checkings, Savings and ExtraEarnings Visa card have no monthly fees and no transaction fees, which is a great perk. We do have to mention, however, that FNBO Direct’s overdraft fees are a little high, at $33 per transaction, up to 4 transactions per day. That can add up really quickly. 

As with most online banks, the key to taking advantage of the great rates and avoiding the pitfalls is to keep your account in good standing. Make use of mobile banking and the custom alerts to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

Account
Interest
Online Savings Account0.90% APY (starting at $0.01)
Online Checking Account0.65% APY (starting at $0.01)

Customer Service  

FNBO Direct offers 24/7 customer support by phone, as well as a very comprehensive FAQ section.  

Mobile Apps

While the online banking platform is intuitive and easy to use, the mobile apps could use some improvement.

Notably, only internal transfers are supported for the moment (no outgoing transfers), and technical issues with logging in and installation aren’t uncommon. That being said, the company has taken the time to respond to many reviews and is adamant that upgrades are forthcoming.

Security

Like all online banks, FNBO Direct has put a lot of thought into keeping customers’ information safe. Of course, the User ID and password help limit access to your accounts, but more importantly, FNBO has enabled encryption for all communication between your devices and their own systems, which are secured with firewalls, virus protection, and regular patching. 

Conclusion 

Overall, we were very pleased with FNBO Direct. The interest rates in particular are very advantageous, especially with 0.65% APY for the checking account, and the fact that all accounts and credit cards are zero-fee is a big plus.

Innovate features, like excellent bill management and virtual check deposits are nice touches, and help soften the blow of some missing mobile app features. Keep your account in good standing to avoid steep overdraft fees, and this is a great online banking choice. 

CR
Written byChristian Rigg

Christian Rigg is a freelance writer who’s spilled ink on everything from finance and technology to data science. Born and raised in Canada, he currently lives in the south of France. He writes for BestMoney and enjoys helping readers make sense of the options on the market.‎

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