FNBO Direct is an online-only bank that launched in 2007. The bank is part of the First National Bank of Omaha, which has been around for more than 160 years. FNBO Direct boasts an easy application process and strong annual percentage yields (APYs) on both savings and checking accounts. This in-depth review will help you decide whether this exclusively online bank is right for you.
- Pros and Cons
- Company Overview
Competitive APY on checking and savings
$1 minimum opening balance and no monthly fees
Access to more than surcharge-free 55,000 ATMs
No money market accounts or CDs
No bank branches
- Official Website www.fnbodirect.com
- Services Offered Savings, checking, 529 college savings, and a credit card
- Customer Service You can reach FNBO by phone 24/7 (877-370-3707) and you can contact support through FNBO's app.
- Year Founded 2007
Who Is FNBO Direct Best For?
FNBO Direct may be a good fit for consumers who want to:
- Use an online-only bank
- Earn interest on savings and checking account balances
- Open a checking or savings account with no minimum balance requirement
What Does FNBO Direct Offer?
As an online-only bank, FNBO Direct provides a limited amount of basic banking accounts and services.
Online Savings Account
FNBO Direct’s online savings account pays 0.50% APY (as of Oct. 5, 2020) with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements. The savings rate is higher than the current national rate, but slightly lower than the best interest-earning savings accounts. Interest is compounded and credited monthly.
Customers can open an account with a minimum of $1 and access their account through online, mobile, or digital platforms. There’s no fee for standard transfers, but next-day transfers are charged $10. There’s also a check issuance fee of $5. Transfers and withdrawals are limited to six per month.
You can enroll multiple deposit accounts as external accounts you can transfer money to and from. You must be the sole owner of any linked accounts.
Per FNBO Direct’s account disclosures, you are allowed to deposit your own funds to your savings account and nobody else’s.
Online Checking Account
FNBO Direct’s checking account pays 0.40% APY on deposits (as of Aug. 18, 2020), which is well above the national average. To earn the APY, the minimum balance required is $0.01. The minimum opening deposit is $1 and there’s no monthly service fee. Low fees and a decent APY make this account a great option if you can’t meet the fee waiver requirements of other banks but want to earn interest.
Checking account features include:
- Visa debit card
- Online banking
- Online bill pay
- Account alerts
- Free debit card fraud monitoring
- Free incoming wires
- Free stop payments
You can’t write checks with your account but you can do online bill payments. You can only schedule one payment per merchant per day and bills must be between $5 and $10,000.
Checking account customers have access to 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs on the Allpoint Network. Also, FNBO will not charge you a fee for using another bank’s ATM in the U.S. or abroad, although the other bank and the ATM operator might.
In the first 30 days after opening your account, only the first $5,525 of deposits will be available to you on the second business day after the deposit. Anything over that amount will be made available on the ninth business day after the deposit.
Overdraft and returned payment fees are $33 per occurrence, with a maximum of four per day. FNBO will refund one of these fees once every 12 months from the last refund.
FNBO Direct has a few withdrawal and deposit limits to consider if you’re a high-earner and make big transfers. You’re not allowed to transfer or withdraw more than $100,000 from your account in a single transaction or in a single business day. Your monthly withdrawal or transfer limit is also capped at $500,000.
You also cannot deposit or transfer more than $250,000 into your FNBO Direct account in one transaction or on a single business day. Finally, the maximum balance you can hold between accounts is $1 million.
First National Bank of Omaha, FNBO, and FNBO Direct are the same FDIC-insured bank. If you have deposits in more than one of these, your deposits are added together and insured banked on FDIC regulations.
529 College Savings Plan
Parents can invest in their child’s higher education with a Nebraska Educational Savings Plan Trust (NEST) 529 College Savings Plan from FNBO Direct. With no minimum dollar contribution, you can start the account with any amount.
Because 529 plans are considered investments, they are not FDIC insured, not guaranteed by the bank or government, and may lose value.
Features of the college savings plan include:
- No account opening or annual fees
- Access to tax-advantaged investing
- Flexible investment options
- Option to contribute automatically from your employer
- Ability to service your account at any First National Bank-affiliated bank
FNBO offers one credit card. It is a rewards card with no annual fee that earns 2 points per $1 on qualifying purchases for the first 12 billing cycles, and then 1 point per dollar on qualifying purchases after that:
- ExtraEarnings Visa Credit Card
Other Financial Products From FNBO Direct
- Student loan refinancing
FNBO Direct Customer Service
FNBO Direct has industry-standard customer service options including 24/7 phone customer support and a mobile app.
The First National Bank of Omaha finished first out of 21 banks in the Midwest region of J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Survey.
How to Bank With FNBO Direct
To get started, visit FNBODirect.com. It can take approximately 10 to 15 minutes to apply for an account, and you’ll need to provide some personal information. If you’re already a First National Bank of Omaha customer, you can log in to your existing account for a faster application process.
FNBO Direct is a solid option for consumers who want free online banking and a competitive interest rate on checking and savings account balances. And, with no minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees, you don’t have to worry about meeting any fee waiver requirements.
While you can earn interest on your savings and checking accounts at FNBO Direct, you may still be able to find better rates elsewhere. The online-only bank may also not be a good fit if you’re looking to visit physical branches or write checks. And with monthly account withdrawal limits and aggregate FDIC limits for all FNBO accounts, FNBO Direct isn’t a great option for anyone with high deposits or transaction amounts in existing FNBO accounts. Also, FNBO lacks a full suite of deposit accounts, retirement, and investment options, which means it’s not a great fit if you want one bank you can grow with over time as you expand your banking portfolio.
FNBO Direct. "Personal Online Savings Account With a Great Rate." Accessed Oct. 5, 2020.
FNBO Direct. "Online Savings Account Disclosures." Accessed Aug. 18, 2020.
FNBO Direct. "Personal Online Savings Account With a Great Rate." Accessed Aug. 17, 2020.
FNBO Direct. "Personal Online Checking Account, Great Rate, No Fees." Accessed Aug. 18, 2020.
FNBO Direct. "Digital Consumer Agreement." Accessed Aug. 18, 2020.
FNBO Direct. "Online Checking Account Disclosures." Accessed Aug. 18, 2020.
FNBO Direct. "Extra Earnings Visa Card, Rewards Yourself." Accessed Aug. 18, 2020.
J.D. Power. "2020 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study." Accessed Aug. 17, 2020.