Axos Bank

axos bank
Axos Bank card
  • Current account
  • Savings account
  • Business account
  • Commercial account
  • Mortgages and loans
  • Investing

Axos Bank is a pioneer of digital banking. They were doing this while CEOs of some other digital banks were still in pre-school. But did they keep up with the times? Read in our comprehensive Axos Bank review. But first, our short verdict:  

If you want all the bells and whistles of big banks but don’t want to pay all the fees they charge, Axos Bank is your choice. It’s a full-blown bank without branches and exorbitant fees. 

Axos Bank infographic

About Axos Bank

Axos bank was previously known as BofI Federal Bank (until 2018) and Bank of Internet USA. It was founded in 2000 by Jerry Englert, the founder of Bank of Del Mar, and Gary Lewis Evans, president of La Jolla Bank at the time.

It has headquarters in San Diego, California, and offices in Los Angeles, Laguna Hills, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, and Columbus, Ohio. With three branches in San Diego, Las Vegas, and Columbus.

Axos offers a broad and ever-growing range of financial products and services, including checking, savings, CDs, money market, lending, and retirement.

Why is Axos Bank special?

Axos Bank is offering competitive interest rates, low to no fees, and convenient access to their personal, small business, and commercial banking accounts as well as commercial lending. 

With the Axos mobile app, you can view account balances, deposit checks, automate your bills, and more. Axos has no monthly maintenance fees, a low minimum deposit requirement, and unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.

Their Interest Checking Account can earn you up to 0.81% APY and their Savings Account, up to 0.50%. 

How to open an Axos personal account

To open a personal Axos account, you have to have a Social Security Number (SSN), be over 18, have a valid photo ID (Drivers License, State ID). You also need to have a valid US address (no PO box) and be a US citizen or Resident Alien. 

For Teen Checking accounts, you may be between 13 and 17 and must have a parent or guardian over 18 as a joint owner on the account. The parent or guardian should complete the application as the Primary Owner on the account with the Teen as a secondary joint owner.

To start the application process, you’ll have to enter your first and last name, email address, mobile phone number and create a username and password. To verify your identity, you’ll have to enter your date of birth and SSN. 

How to open an Axos business account

To open an Axos business account, you’ll have to enter your name, date of birth, email, phone number, and social security number, which will allow them to verify your identity. They will ask for your business name, address, and Tax Identification Number (TIN).

When you apply for a Sole Proprietor account, Axos will ask you and any authorized signer for your legal name, residential address, date of birth, and SSN. You’ll also need to provide a photo ID.

Below you can see what other documents will be required to open an account based on your business type.

Axos Bank business account requirements

How to deposit funds to Axos bank account

You can deposit funds to your new Axos bank account by direct deposit, mobile check deposit, and by making a cash deposit.

Transfer from another account

To transfer funds from another bank account: 

  1. Open the Axos bank and tap ‘Move $’
  2. Select an account
  3. Tap ‘Add Non-Axos Accounts’
  4. Search for your bank
  5. Sign in to your bank account by using username and password
  6. Select the account
  7. Refresh your ‘Move $’ page
  8. Select the account you just added
  9. Select the account to deposit into
  10. Enter an amount to transfer
  11. Tap ‘Transfer Funds’

Making a mobile deposit

To deposit a cheque, you’ll need to download the Axos app from Google Play Store or Apple App Store. Next, log in to the app and tap ‘Deposit.’ Just follow the directions to take a cheque photo as the process is straightforward. 

Making a cash deposit

Axos has partnered with the Green Dot Network so you can deposit cash into your account at nearly 100,000 of the largest and most respected retailers that include 7-Eleven, ACE Cash Express, CVS, Dollar General, Kroger, Rite Aid, Safeway, Walgreens, and Walmart.

This way of depositing money might cost you in the long run. Even though Axos doesn’t charge fees, retailers may charge you up to $4.95 per transaction.

To add cash to your account, simply ask the cashier to add the specified amount to your Axos Bank debit card. You can deposit from $20 to $500 or even $1,500 at participating ACE Cash Express locations.

Some ATMs take deposits as well, so you can take advantage of that opportunity. Find them in the app.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Desktop and app banking
  • Excellent checking rates
  • No monthly fees for checking and savings accounts
  • 90,000 fee-free ATMs across the US
  • A great choice of accounts
  • Extensive selection of financial products
  • FDIC insured up to $250,000

Cons

  • Below average CD rates
  • Bad customer service

Personal Checking accounts 

There are five different checking accounts available:

  • Essential Checking
  • Rewards Checking
  • Cashback Checking
  • First Checking
  • Golden Checking

Essential Checking

  • Early direct deposit
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees
  • No monthly balance requirements
  • Direct Deposit Express
  • Exclusive Visa offers and perks

This staple account has no monthly fees and no minimum balance. Still, it offers no overdraft fees, and if you make direct deposits, it gives you an early paycheck. You also don’t get any interest on your deposit, but there are unlimited ATM reimbursements. 

Rewards Checking

  • Up to 1.25% APY
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees
  • No monthly balance requirements
  • Online debit card management
  • A 3-step process for direct deposit
  • $50 to open an account

Rewards account can earn you up to 1.25% APY total up to a $150,000 balance. There are no monthly fees, no overdraft fees, but you need to deposit $50 to open the account. 

This Rewards account won rewards for the best checking account overall and the best checking account for high interest.

Cashback Checking

  • 1.00% cashback
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Unlimited check writing privileges
  • $50 to open the account

With the cashback checking account, you can earn up to 1% cashback for all transactions that require a signature. It also has no monthly fees and gives you unlimited check-writing privileges and unlimited domestic ATM reimbursements. The minimum balance to open the account is $50.

First Checking

  • For ages 13 – 17 years old
  • Earn 0.10% APY
  • Up to $12 domestic ATM fee reimbursements per month
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees
  • Daily transaction limits ($100 cash, $500 debit)

This is a teen bank account that is designed for kids ages 13-17 years old. It will earn them a 0.25% APY on all balances and has up to $12 in domestic ATM reimbursements each month. There are no monthly fees or account opening deposits, but it has daily transaction limits of $100 in cash and $500 for debit. 

Golden Checking

  • 0.10% APY on all balances
  • Up to $8 domestic ATM fee reimbursements per month
  • Free personal checks
  • No minimum monthly balance requirements
  • No overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees
  • $50 to open the account

Business Accounts

Axos Bank business accounts

Basic Business Checking Account

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • The first set of 50 checks free
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
  • Visa debit card
  • ACH payments accepted
  • QuickBooks compatible
  • Up to 200 free items debits, credits, or deposited items per month
  • Dedicated Relationship Managers

The basic account has no monthly fees, and the initial deposit required is $1,000. 

Business Interest Checking Account

  • Earn up to 0.81% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • $5,000 minimum average daily balance requirement to waive the $10 monthly maintenance fee
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements
  • Up to 50 free items per month, $0.50 per item after that
  • Up to 60 items per month for Remote Deposit Anywhere
  • Free image statements

With this one, you can earn up to 0.81% APY on deposits of up to $50,000. It goes downhill from there to 0.20 or 0.10% APY. You’ll need to deposit $100 and maintain a $5,000 average daily balance to waive the $10 monthly fee to open the account. 

Analyzed Business Checking Account

  • Competitive Earnings Credit (ECR)
  • $100 minimum opening deposit requirement
  • Up to $50 off the first order of checks
  • Free image statements, bill pay, and online banking
  • Treasury Management services available

This account is for businesses with significant transaction volume and has a $100 initial deposit requirement but no balance requirements. There is a $15 monthly fee which isn’t much for bigger businesses that this account is intended for. 

>>> Need a business account? See the most popular ones in our round-up

Savings 

There are three types of savings accounts:

  • High Yield Savings
  • High Yield Money Market
  • Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

High Yield Savings

  • Earn Up to 0.61% APY
  • Free ATM card upon request
  • Digital money management tools
  • No maintenance fees
  • No monthly minimum balance requirements
  • $250 minimum balance to open an account

As you can see, this savings account has higher rates than most brick-and-mortar banks. For balances under $25,000, you can earn 0.61% APY, from $25,000 to $100,000 you get 0.25% APY, and above $100,000 you will earn 0.15% APY.

There are no monthly fees, and to open an account, you need to deposit $250. If you want to, you can also request a free ATM card which is a bit unusual for savings accounts.

High Yield Money Market

  • Earn 0.25% APY
  • FDIC Insured
  • Check writing privileges 
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Access your savings with a debit card 
  • $1,000 minimum balance to open an account

This savings account offers 0.5% APY on all balances, but you will need to deposit $1,000 to open the account. There are no monthly fees, and you get a debit card and check-writing privileges. 

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

  • Earn up to 0.20% APY
  • Free electronic interest transfers
  • 3 to 60-month terms available
  • $1,000 minimum amount to open an account
  • No setup or maintenance fees
  • FDIC insured

Axos CD account offers lower rates than other digital banks, and the terms start at three months and end at five years. Like other CDs, it renews automatically with a grace period of 10 days. You can then penalty-free close the account, withdraw or add more funds, and even change the CD term. 

Premier banking

Axos also offers premium banking called Axos Premier. There’s the:

  • InsureGuard+ Savings
  • Premier Private Client Banking
  • World Checking and Savings

InsureGuard+ Savings account

This account promises you a competitive interest rate, and the one thing that makes it stand out – your deposits are eligible for multi-million-dollar FDIC insurance. The way that this works is that your deposits are sent to deposit accounts at other member institutions in amounts under the standard FDIC insurance maximum of $250,000. But you’ll have access to FDIC insurance through a single bank relationship. 

Premier Private Client Banking

The Axos version of white-glove service, with great rates and zero banking fees. It also has multi-million-dollar FDIC insurance for your deposits. You’ll get to enjoy VIP access at over 1,200 airport lounges around the globe, unlimited complimentary domestic and international wires, Credit card-like benefits on your Premier Debit Card, and other benefits. 

The minimum balance required to open an account is $250,000.

World Checking and Savings accounts

World Checking and Savings accounts are designed for world travelers and international residents to take advantage of global banking fee reimbursements, unlimited check writing, and competitive rates. 

You don’t need a US tax ID to open an account, and customer service is available in English, Mandarin, and Spanish. You also get access to specialists that can help you navigate the US banking system. 

The minimum balance to open a world checking or savings account is $75,000. The fee is $30 per month if you don’t maintain a $150,000 average daily balance. 

Investing

Axos lets you invest money through the Axos Invest Managed Portfolios. The account minimum is $500. The flat 0.24% annual advisory fee is calculated monthly based on your average account balance of non-cash assets. There are no other hidden charges for trading commissions, transaction fees, or rebalancing fees.

Axos offers different types of investment accounts:

  • Individual Personal Investment Accounts, 
  • Roth IRA accounts, 
  • Traditional IRA accounts, and 
  • SEP IRA accounts.

To start off investing, choose from as many unique portfolios as you want. Axos says that they use a portfolio of passively managed ETFs – exchange-traded funds. The ETFs are selected from a database of over 1,400 different ETFs based on their investment focus, tracking error, historical performance, and operational efficiency.

You are encouraged to hold ETFs for a longer time to get the possible long-term increase in value. 

Mobile banking

It’s easy to stay on top of your finances and your budget with online banking and the Axos app that you can download from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store

The app has a 4.7-star rating on Apple Store, and customers are generally happy with it, although not so much with the latest update, apparently. The Android version of the app has only a 3.4-star rating. People there are also not happy with the newest update. Hopefully, Axos can fix that soon, or at least backpedal. 

The Axos app lets you do many things that will make your day-to-day financial life more manageable. If you’re in the process of swapping banks, ClickSWITCH can help you transfer direct deposit payments to Axos in 3 simple steps.

You can automate your bills with the Bill Pay feature by paying bills automatically from your account. There are also online wire transfers and peer-to-peer payments that enable you to pay your friends from your account using their email address or phone number. 

Personal Finance Manager can help you sync all your external accounts and manage them in one secure place. At the same time, a Virtual Financial Assistant called EVO will be your virtual bank teller that’s here 24/7 to meet your banking needs.

Using Axos card while traveling

You can use Axos Visa debit card abroad, anywhere a Visa card is accepted. You’ll have to pay a Visa foreign currency conversion rate for all ATM withdrawals and transactions. There could also be additional fees imposed by the merchant or ATM used.

You’ll also have to let Axos know by logging in to your app and clicking on the Messages tab. Provide the dates of your travel to ensure total, uninterrupted usage of your Visa internationally.

Other Axos services

Axos has a vast variety of other financial products available, and it’s impossible to cover them all in this review, so we’ll just list them here.

Personal

  • Mortgages
  • Mortgage refinancing
  • Home equity loans
  • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
  • Auto loans
  • Personal loans
  • VA loans
  • FHA loans

Small Business

  • Basic Business Checking
  • Business Interest Checking
  • Business Savings
  • Business Premium Savings
  • Business Money Market
  • Business CDs

Commercial

  • Equipment Finance
  • Lender Finance
  • Small Balance Commercial Real Estate
  • Residential Warehouse Lending
  • Commercial Real Estate Bridge and Construction Lending
  • Treasury Management

How is Axos regulated?

Axos Bank is regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

It is a publicly-traded company that is listed on the NYSE as Axos Financial Inc. (AX). Axos Financial is the parent company of Axos Bank.

Is my money safe with Axos?

Axos is in the digital banking space for more than 20 years already. It’s a neobanking pioneer and a fully-fledged bank with only a couple of physical branches. 

Although they’re not super-popular across the States, they are a reputable institution that is federally charted and Member FDIC. Your deposits are therefore insured up to $250,000. 

Axos security measures include the option to activate, deactivate, or reactivate your debit card, biometric authentication in the form of fingerprints, voiceprints, and facial recognition, the ability to dispute transactions that you don’t recognize.

You can also turn on alerts, get real-time updates on your account activity, and get notified by text, push notifications, or email. 

Customer reviews

Axos Bank has only 15 reviews on Trustpilot and a score of only 2/5. They are also an A+ BBB Accredited Business which is excellent, considering they applied over ten years ago to BBB. Axos has 64 complaints closed in the last three years and 34 of them over the previous 12 months. 

The company also had its share of controversies in recent years, mainly because of its CEO Greg Garrabrants and his enormous bonuses and employee tracking. Their customer service also has a reputation of being less than stellar, according to online reviews.

Customer service

Axos personal banking customer service is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week

(excluding Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day) and can be reached through the online banking portal or on (844) 999-2967.

Competitors

Chime 

chime bank

Chime Bank features include: get paid early, online banking, fee-free overdraft, no hidden fees, mobile banking, automatic savings, mobile payments, security, and control. It is for those looking for a simple, completely mobile, and low-maintenance bank account. 

MoneyLion 

moneylion

MoneyLion is an excellent account if you’re interested in trying a new service that offers saving, borrowing, and investing in one place and will appeal to a range of potential customers, especially those familiar with the neo banking scene. MoneyLion is a great alternative to Axos Bank.

Varo

varomoney

Varo bank account is great for everyday banking, spending, and traveling at home and abroad. It offers an excellent savings account, early payday, and more for $0. 

The bottom line

Axos is a big bank in digital clothing. But, as they’re mobile-only, you won’t have to pay fees for everything. In fact, there are almost no fees at all. 

Axos is, unfortunately, a bit clunky, which is not what we love to see. Their customer service is lacking, people get their accounts closed with no explanation or warning, and their app can get buggy at times. 

With so many digital banking alternatives, Axos should really watch their back.