I’ve written about Bankdirect before, but not much and not in awhile (e.g. here).
In a low interest rate environment, a BankDirect checking account is especially attractive. And I’ve been thoroughly happy with them for the past six years.
BankDirect offers online mileage checking, as well as other products (I’ve only been a customer for their checking). They don’t have physical branches, at least outside of Texas. In exchange for that, though, they offer a huge set of benefits compared to a regular brick and mortar bank checking account. I do need to keep a $2500 average balance to avoid fees, but I do that anyway. They offer:
The account does pay a miniscule amount of interest. But in a low interest rate environment, it’s all about the miles. Interest is taxed, miles are not. And with rates as they are, I’m not giving up much that I’d gain with a higher interest earning checking.
Amazingly enough I’ve earned well over 150,000 American Airlines miles from my BankDirect checking account. And not from referrals, either, mostly from the churn of depositing expense reimbursement checks and holding the funds until my credit card statement is due. What has your checking account gotten you?
I don’t mind online banking at all, I don’t miss a brick and mortar location. I mail in my deposits in prepaid envelopes provided by the bank for free. The only downside to online banking is that I can’t walk into a BankDirect branch to deposit Presidential Dollar Coins ordered from the US Treasury.
Of course for that I could still maintain a free checking relationship with the bank next door to my office… But I’m happy with BankDirect as my primary checking account institution.