Simple Review 2021

Published January 2021 by Mary Wisniewski

AT A GLANCE
4.6

Bankrate Score

bank-logo

High APYs

Low Minimum Deposit

No monthly fees

Simple is best for people who want to eventually have a BBVA account. On Jan. 7, Simple parent company BBVA notified Simple customers that it would be shutting down the app-based banking service.

  • CDs
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    4.2
  • Savings
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    5.0
  • Checking
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    4.8
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    LendingClub

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.60 % APY

    $ 2,500

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Sallie Mae

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.65 % APY

    18mo

    Term

    $ 2,500

    Min. deposit

    Overall

    4.6

    Bankrate Score

    Simple is an online-only brand of a traditional bank. On Jan. 7, Simple parent company BBVA notified Simple customers that it would be shutting down the app-based banking service. Simple accounts will be transferred to BBVA accounts in the future. For now, Simple customers can continue using the Simple app or website to access their account and money.

    What we like

    • Simple offers savers competitive rates.

    • Simple pairs with a mobile banking app that includes features designed to make your day-to-day financial decisions easier.

    • It doesn’t charge monthly banking fees.

    What we don't

    • Simple doesn’t offer money market accounts.

    • Simple only offers one certificate of deposit term.

    CD rates

    4.2

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Sallie Mae

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.65 % APY

    18mo

    Term

    $ 2,500

    Min. deposit

    The brand offers one CD term. You can find higher rates elsewhere, but the APY is relatively competitive. More impressively, you only need $250 to open a CD and it’s a no-penalty CD — you can withdraw your funds without a penalty with one caveat: you have to wait seven days after opening a CD to do so.

    What we like

    • The minimum amount required to open a CD is low.

    • The rate is relatively competitive.

    What we don't

    • The bank only offers one CD term: 12 months.

    Savings accounts

    5.0

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    LendingClub

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.60 % APY

    $ 2,500

    Min. balance for APY

    At Simple, you only need 1 cent to open a bank account and you’ll earn a very competitive rate. There is no monthly charge either.

    Unlike a traditional savings account, Simple’s high-yield program is tied to your checking account. You have to have a checking account with Simple before you can use the brand’s Protected Goals Account.

    What we like

    • It doesn’t charge a monthly fee.

    • The account offers a competitive yield.

    What we don't

    Checking accounts

    4.8

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Quontic Bank

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.01 % APY

    $ 100

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    In choosing Simple, you will get a free account — the brand doesn’t charge a monthly fee. On its mobile banking app, Simple also shows you what’s “safe to spend,” a feature that lets you know how much you can afford to spend in the coming days. The estimate is based on your scheduled activities, like what will be withdrawn from your account within the next 30 days. It also lets you turn your debit card on and off from the mobile banking app.

    While it’s possible to overdraw your checking account, Simple won’t charge you overdraft fees if it happens.

    With Simple, you will have free access to thousands of ATMs across the country thanks to its partnerships with two ATM networks: AllPoint and STARsf.

    What we like

    • You can use thousands of ATMs across the country for free.

    • Simple offers useful budgeting features.

    • Simple does not charge you when you use ATMs that are outside its network.

    What we don't

    • Simple does not offer bill pay.

    Bank experience

    The online-only bank supports a well-reviewed app for iOS. Its Android score is somewhat lower, however. Regardless of what smartphone you have, Simple is known for pioneering budgeting features in digital banking, including “safe to spend.”

    It also supports a customer service line, but the hours are somewhat limited compared to other banks. You can’t reach someone on a Sunday, for example.

    About Simple

    Simple debuted in the U.S. on a mission to disrupt traditional banking. Now, it’s an online-only unit of BBVA USA. In 2020, PNC announced it is buying BBVA Compass, which includes acquiring the Simple brand.

    Simple is based in Portland, Oregon and the brand is known for its fee-free banking accounts that pair with a mobile app that helps customers manage their day-to-day spending.

    On Jan. 7, Simple parent company BBVA notified Simple customers that it would be shutting down the app-based banking service. Simple accounts will be transferred to BBVA accounts in the future. For now, Simple customers can continue using the Simple app or website to access their account and money.

    Mary Wisniewski Twitter Created with Sketch. @MARYMWISNIEWSKI

    Mary Wisniewski Twitter Created with Sketch. @MARYMWISNIEWSKI

    Mary Wisniewski is a banking editor for Bankrate. She oversees editorial coverage of savings and mobile banking articles as well as personal finance courses. She occasionally writes on fintech trends — a beat she has covered for more than a decade. Mary is a frequent speaker at a variety of leading digital banking events and podcasts, including: Money Next Summit, the Money Experience Summit, the Future of Fintech, Fintech South, Breaking Banks and more. She was named as one of 200 revolutionists in fintech and one of top 100 fintech influencers in 2019. She was also a judge for the Finovate Awards in 2020 and 2019. Previously, Mary covered fintech for American Banker and edited op-eds for the publication's BankThink section. She was also a blogger and editor at Bank Innovation and served as a fashion editor for National Jeweler, where she reported on fashion shows and jewelry news. Her work has appeared in American Banker, Bankrate, the Associated Press, Star Tribune, Billboard, MSN and more. Her stories are referenced in numerous industry reports, like this one by Deloitte. Mary grew up in the Michigan suburbs and now lives in Los Angeles with a maltipoo, a record player and roller skates.