Online banking platform Simple is known for its comprehensive budgeting tools, but it also offers a checking account, high-yield account, and CD

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    Online banking platform Simple is known for its comprehensive budgeting tools, but it also offers a checking account, high-yield account, and CD

    Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

    • Simple is an online banking platform powered by the bank BBVA USA (Member FDIC).
    • Simple has three accounts: a traditional checking account, a high-yield checking account that can serve as a savings account, and a no-penalty CD.
    • All three accounts are strong, but Simple’s budgeting features are where the company shines.
    • Simple’s budgeting tools help you do four things: budget for recurring expenses, save for big financial goals, figure out how much extra money you can spend each month, and evaluate your spending habits in account activity reports.
    • See Business Insider’s picks for the best online banks »

    As of January 2021, the Simple banking platform is shutting down. Any existing Simple accounts will be transferred to its partner bank, BBVA.

    Simple is a banking platform that has a regular checking account, a high-yield checking account, and a no-penalty CD. You must open a regular checking account to be eligible to open a high-yield account or CD.

    All three are strong accounts, but Simple’s budgeting features are what set the platform apart from competitors. Simple tracks your recurring expenses, helps you set and save for big goals, tells you how much you have left over every month, and provides spending reports.

    Simple could be a good fit if you want an all-in-one banking service and budgeting tool.

    The bottom line: Simple is a great choice if you want comprehensive budgeting features tied to your bank accounts.

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Built-in budgeting feature that helps you stick to a budget and save for big goals
    • No opening deposit or minimum account balance
    • No monthly maintenance fees
    • Link to a companion high-yield account
    • FDIC insured
    Pros
    • Built-in budgeting feature
    • No monthly service fee
    • High-yield companion account
    • No opening deposit or minimum account balance
    • No overdraft fees
    • Mobile check deposit
    • 40,000 ATMs
    • No out-of-network ATM fees
    Cons
    • No physical branch locations
    • No overdraft protection — Simple will deny your transaction
    • Doesn’t reimburse out-of-network ATM fees charged by providers


    Read Our Review
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    Business Insider has chosen the Simple Online Checking Account (Member FDIC) as one of our favorite checking accounts overall. It doesn’t require a minimum opening deposit, and Simple doesn’t charge monthly service fees. 

    But the budgeting feature is what sets this checking account apart from others. It’s rare to have a bank account and budgeting tool all in one place, and this combination is what made us also choose Simple as one of our top budgeting apps. Set up recurring monthly payments, such as groceries or rent, and Simple will automatically store the money in the “Expenses” section. To save for a goal, set up automatic savings or enter your target date and amount for Simple to regularly set aside money for you.

    With its Safe-to-Spend feature, Simple tells you how much you can spend on non-essentials without going over budget. The app also shows how much you’ve spent in different categories each month so you can see where you have more wiggle room or where you need to cut back.

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Checking account that allows you to set savings goals
    • Must have a Simple Online Checking Account before opening a High-Yield Protected Goals Account
    • Built-in budgeting feature that helps you stick to a budget and save for big goals
    • No opening deposit
    • No monthly maintenance fees
    • FDIC insured
    Pros
    • High APY for a checking account
    • Easy to set savings goals
    • Built-in budgeting feature
    • No monthly service fee
    • No opening deposit or minimum account balance
    • Mobile check deposit
    • No overdraft fees
    • 40,000 ATMs
    • No out-of-network ATM fees
    Cons
    • Must also have a Simple Online Checking Account
    • No physical branch locations
    • Doesn’t reimburse out-of-network ATM fees charged by providers
    • No overdraft protection — Simple will deny your transaction


    Read Our Review
    Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    The Simple High-Yield Protected Goals Account (Member FDIC) is technically a checking account, but it functions as a savings account. You’ll earn the competitive rate that typically comes with a high-yield savings account, and you can set savings goals. The main difference between the Simple High-Yield Protected Goals Account and a savings account is that you’re legally restricted to six transactions per month from a savings account, but the Simple account doesn’t limit your transactions.

    You must already have a Simple Online Checking Account to open the companion Simple High-Yield Protected Goals Account. As with the regular checking account, you don’t need a minimum opening deposit, and you won’t pay monthly fees.

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Must have a Simple Online Checking Account to open a CD
    • Withdraw funds any time after the first 7 days without paying a penalty
    • 12-month term
    • FDIC insured
    Pros
    • Competitive APY
    • $250 opening deposit
    • No penalty for early withdrawal
    Cons
    • Only term option is 12 months
    • Must also have a Simple Online Checking Account
    • No physical branch locations


    Read Our Review
    Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    Traditional CDs charge a penalty if you withdraw funds before the CD term is over. No Penalty CDs typically come with a lower rate and more limited term options than regular CDs, but you aren’t charged for taking out money early.

    You must already have a Simple Online Checking Account to open the 12-month Simple No-Penalty CD. The $250 minimum deposit is lower than what most banks require, but there are institutions that don’t have a minimum deposit requirement. You can find higher rates for no-penalty CDs at a few other banks, but not all offer a 12-month term.

    Simple is a banking platform powered by the bank BBVA USA. It’s an online-only operation, and you have free access to around 40,000 Allpoint ATMs nationwide.

    Simple doesn’t charge a fee when you use an out-of-network ATM. However, Simple won’t reimburse any out-of-network fees the ATM provider may charge.

    Simple offers a checking account and a high-yield checking account that can function as a savings account. Simple also has “shared accounts,” which are kind of like joint accounts. Two people have their own Simple checking accounts but can create shared funds and savings goals. You can open a shared account with anyone — from a spouse or parent to a friend or roommate.

    Simple also has a 12-month no-penalty CD. You can open up to five CDs at once, as long as your combined balance doesn’t exceed $250,000.

    Simple’s most unique feature is its budgeting tool. Simple keeps track of your recurring expenses, automatically sets aside money for your savings goals, tells you how much “fun money” you have left over, and puts everything in a spending report for you.

    The Simple mobile app has received 4.4 out of 5 stars in the Apple store, and 4 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

    You can call customer support between 9: 00 a.m. and 7: 00 p.m. ET on weekdays, and between 10: 00 a.m. and 5: 00 p.m. ET on Saturdays, but there’s no customer support on Sundays. You can also send a secure message from your account, and someone will respond ASAP.

    BBVA USA provides FDIC insurance for Simple accounts, and you’ll be insured for up to $250,000 per account.

    Simple is a banking platform powered by a separate bank. We’ve compared it to two other platforms that offer some similar tools and accounts: Personal Capital and Chime.

    Simple review vs. Personal Capital review

    Like Simple, Personal Capital is known for its budgeting and money management tools. Other than that, though, the two platforms are pretty different.

    Personal Capital is primarily an investment company. It has one cash account that acts as a savings account, but you’ll probably prefer Personal Capital if you’re looking for a place to invest and Simple if you’re looking for a place to bank — especially since Simple’s high-yield account’s APY is much higher than the Personal Capital Cash Account APY.

    Legally, banks can insure accounts for up to $250,000, or up to $500,000 for joint accounts. But Personal Capital is powered by multiple banks, so you can insure up to $1.5 million. If you want to keep big bucks in a bank account, then Personal Capital is probably the better choice.

    Simple review vs. Chime review

    Simple and Chime have a lot of similarities: They both have a checking account and a high-yield account (although Chime’s is technically a savings account while Simple’s is checking), and they pay similar rates.

    But if the built-in budgeting tool is important to you, then you’ll probably prefer Simple — Chime doesn’t have any budgeting features. 

    Chime also doesn’t offer CDs.

    Chime allows you to receive your paycheck up to two days early, which means you can a) access your money faster, and b) start earning interest sooner. But unlike Simple, Chime charges a $2.50 fee when you use an out-of-network ATM. So you’ll probably like Chime if you want to get your paycheck early, but Simple if you plan to use out-of-network ATMs.

    This post was reviewed and updated on January 8, 2021.

    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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