Axos Bank Review 2023: Is Axos Right for You?  

Online banks are everywhere these days, but not all of them stand out in any meaningful way. If you’re looking for an online bank with excellent products and features, check out Axos Bank.

They offer all of the convenience of online banking – including low and no fees – with many of the products associated with traditional banks, like loans, small business banking accounts, and investments.

Table of Contents
  1. Who Is Axos Bank?
  2. Axos Features At-A-Glance
  3. Axos Bank Products
    1. Rewards Checking
    2. Essential Checking
    3. Cashback Checking
    4. First Checking
    5. Golden Checking
    6. Axos High Yield Savings
  4. How to Open an Axos Bank Account
    1. Axos High Yield Money Market 
    2. Axos Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
    3. World Checking & Savings
  5. Axos Small Business & Commercial Banking
  6. Axos Loan Products
  7. Axos Bank Pros & Cons
    1. Pros:
    2. Cons:
  8. Axos Invest
    1. Axos Self-Directed
    2. Axos Managed Portfolios
  9. Axos Bank Alternatives
  10. Chime
  11. Varo Bank
    1. Acorns
  12. FAQs
  13. The Bottom Line on Axos Bank

Who Is Axos Bank?

Launched on July 4th, 2000, Axos Bank is a technology-driven digital bank, FDIC insured #35546. Because it operates digitally, it can offer its services to consumers nationwide. Axos specializes in offering competitive interest rates, little to no fees, and convenient access. Since its launch, Axis has grown steadily and now has more than $18.4 billion in assets.

But what sets Axos Bank apart is that it comes very close to providing comprehensive banking services. That includes checking and savings accounts – the mainstay of online banks – and loan products. And Axos has added investments and small business banking products to its lineup.

Axos Bank has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+, the highest on a scale of A+ to F. Their mobile app has a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 among more than 4,600 Android users on Google Play and 4.7 out of 5 stars among 10,300 iOS users on The App Store. 

Learn More About Axos Bank

Axos Features At-A-Glance

If you’re wondering how Axos’ products and services compare to your bank or other online banks, here’s a list of key features you can expect from Axos:

  • Low or no fees on most accounts
  • Access to one of the largest ATM networks in the US
  • Available in all 50 states 
  • 24/7 live customer service
  • Checking accounts paying up to 3.30% APY
  • Rewards Checking with 1% cash back on purchases
  • Accepts cash deposits 
  • Checking accounts with paper checks
  • Provides small business and commercial banking and financing
  • Offers both self-directed and managed investments
  • Offers mortgage, personal loans, and auto refinance loans

Axos Bank Products

Axos Bank offers five different checking accounts, savings and money market accounts, and Certificates of Deposit (CDs). Here’s a closer look at what each account has to offer.

Rewards Checking

With Axos Rewards Checking, once you deposit $50 to open your account, there is no minimum balance requirement. There are also no monthly maintenance, overdraft, or non-sufficient funds fees.

The account also comes with online debit card management and unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. The account currently pays up to 3.30% APY, but there are five separate qualifying factors to reach that level.  

Learn More About Axos Bank

Essential Checking

Designed primarily for direct deposit, this checking account has no upfront deposit requirement. Like Rewards Checking, Essential Checking has no minimum balance requirement and no monthly maintenance, overdraft, or non-sufficient funds fees. It also comes with unlimited ATM fee reimbursements.

The account includes Direct Deposit Express, which allows you to get paid two days early. But it also includes peer-to-peer payments with family and friends, Bill Pay, debit card management, and a $20 bonus for referring family and friends to open an account. 

Cashback Checking

The Cashback Checking account doesn’t pay interest, but you can earn up to 1% cash back when you make purchases. The account does require the $50 minimum to open, but it comes with unlimited check-writing privileges, no monthly maintenance fees, and unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.

Similar to Essential Checking, it also offers a $20 referral bonus, peer-to-peer payments, Bill Pay, and debit card management.

First Checking

The Axos First Checking account is designed for teens between the ages of 13 and 17. The account comes with daily transaction limits of $100 in cash and $500 in debit purchases and must be co-owned by a parent or guardian. Unfortunately, the account pays a paltry 0.10% APY, but there are no monthly maintenance, overdraft, or NSF fees, and you’ll receive up to $12 in domestic ATM fee reimbursements per month.

Golden Checking

Designed specifically for consumers 55 and over, this is an interest-bearing checking account currently paying 0.10% APY on all balances. The account requires a minimum of $250 to open, but it comes with free personal checks, no monthly maintenance fees, and up to $8 in domestic ATM fee reimbursements per month.

Like the other checking accounts, there is a $20 referral bonus, peer-to-peer payments, debit card management, and Bill Pay.

Axos High Yield Savings

You’ll need to deposit $250 to open an Axos High Yield Savings account, which comes with a free ATM card and a suite of digital money management tools. There is no ongoing monthly minimum balance requirement and no maintenance fees.

The account pays 0.61% APY on balances below $25,000, then drops to 0.25% APY on balances between $25,000 and $100,000. At $100,000 and above, the rate drops to 0.15%.

How to Open an Axos Bank Account

You can open an account online or by downloading the mobile app.

To get started, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Your Social Security number
  • A valid form of ID, typically a US driver’s license or state ID
  • A US cell phone number
  • Valid US address (other than a PO Box)
  • A valid email address
  • You must be either a US citizen or a resident alien
  • You must be at least 18 years of age

You’ll be asked if you want to open a Best Savings Account, paying a much higher rate of interest than their other savings products. However, that product is not listed as a general offer and does require a minimum of $10,000.

Axos High Yield Money Market 

The account pays 0.25% on all balances and comes with check-writing privileges. You must deposit $1,000 to open an account, but there are no minimum balance requirements thereafter. 

In addition to check privileges, you can access your account balance with a debit card. The account comes with a referral bonus, peer-to-peer payments, debit card management, and Bill Pay.

Axos Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Axos Bank offers CDs in terms ranging from three months to 60 months. Unfortunately, the returns aren’t at all competitive, with all CDs paying only 0.20% regardless of the balance or term. The minimum amount required to open a certificate is $1,000. There are no setup or maintenance fees; each CD automatically renews within a 10-day grace period.

World Checking & Savings

Axos Bank offers two special accounts for world travelers and international residents, World Checking and World Savings. They refer to it as “premium banking without borders.”

Either account provides a secure online platform you can access from anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day, seven days per week. A US tax ID number is not required to open either account. Customer service is available in English, Mandarin, and Spanish, and there are specialists on staff to help global clients navigate the US banking system.

World Checking comes with unlimited check writing, a Visa debit card, unlimited US ATM fee reimbursements, and four ATM foreign currency conversion fee reimbursements each month. It also offers unlimited fee waivers for incoming international wires and a waiver for your first outgoing international wire.

The account requires a minimum balance of $75,000 open. There is a monthly service fee of $30, which is waived if the average daily balance is $150,000 or more.

World Savings pays 0.25% APY on all account balances. Like World Checking, the account requires a minimum of $75,000 to open and has a $30 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived if the average daily balance is $150,000 or more. In addition, the fee is waived for the first outgoing international transfer on this account.

Axos Small Business & Commercial Banking

Unlike many digital banks, Axos Bank offers a full suite of business accounts, including Business Checking, Savings, Money Market, and Business CDs.

They also offer commercial banking services to larger businesses, including third-party payment processing, HOA banking and lending, global fiduciary banking, Merchant services, Treasury management, IntraFi Network deposits, etc.

In addition to core banking, commercial clients can get loans, lines of credit, equipment financing, and commercial real estate loans.

If you are in the market for a small business checking account, check out our list of the best business checking accounts.

Axos Loan Products

Axos Bank provides mortgages, personal loans, and auto loans.

Mortgages are available with no lender fee and can be used for both purchases and refinances.

Personal loans are unsecured and can be used for debt consolidation, home improvements, major purchases, or any major expense. You can borrow up to $50,000 ($5,000 minimum) in terms ranging from 3 to 6 years. Rates and payments are fixed for the life of the loan, and there are no prepayment penalties. You can get a prequalification offer online in about three minutes without affecting your credit score.

Auto loans are available for refinances only. Loans are available in amounts between $10,000 and $100,000. The vehicle must have less than 125,000 miles and a value of at least $8,500. There are no out-of-pocket expenses, and no payment is required for the first 90 days.

Axos Bank Pros & Cons


  • High interest on Checking accounts
  • Most Axos Bank accounts are no-fee
  • Fee-free ATM network of 91,000 locations
  • Offers small business and commercial banking products
  • Invest via a self-directed or managed portfolio option (robo-advisor)


  • Have to jump through several hoops for maximum Checking interest
  • Interest on High Yield Savings, Money Market, and CDs isn’t competitive
  • No credit cards

Learn More About Axos Bank

Axos Invest

One of Axos Bank’s competitive advantages is that they are a banking and investing solution wrapped into one. In addition to the banking products and services covered above, you can open self-directed trading and managed portfolio accounts with Axos Invest.

Axos Self-Directed

Key Features:

  • $250 welcome bonus if you deposit $2000 within the first 60 days (subject to change)
  • Commission-free trades of stocks and ETFs
  • Individual, joint, and IRA accounts are available
  • No annual or monthly fees
  • No inactivity fees
  • Enhanced market data (Axos Elite)
  • Extended trading hours (Axos Elite)
  • Margin Trading (Axos Elite)
  • TipRanks market research (Axos Elite)

Axos’ Self-directed trading is done through either a Basic Self-Directed Trading Account or an Axos Elite Account. The Basic Self-Directed Trading Account has no monthly fee, commission-free trading, $1 per contract on options trading, and is available during standard market trading hours.

The Axos Elite Account provides real-time market data and analysis through TipRanks and offers margin trading and extended trading hours. There is a $10 per month service fee, but trading is commission-free, with options trading at $1.00 per contract. The account also provides instant trade settlement credits.

Axos Managed Portfolios

Key Features:

  • Low advisory fee of 0.24%
  • Low $500 minimum balance requirement
  • Automatic portfolio rebalancing
  • Free tax-loss harvesting
  • Extra interest on a linked checking account

Managed Portfolios can be used for both taxable investment accounts and IRAs (traditional or Roth). You can build unique portfolios and as many as you like. Once your portfolio has been created, you’ll get the benefit of automatic portfolio rebalancing and tax loss harvesting.

As a robo-advisor, Managed Portfolios uses algorithm-driven strategies to manage your account. But they can make manual changes to your account as your investment needs and goals change. The portfolio is comprised of exchange-traded funds and is designed for long-term investing.

Get Started with Axos Invest

Axos Bank Alternatives

Axos Bank has a lot to offer, but so do a lot of other online banks. Before signing up with Axos, check out the following alternatives to make sure you’re choosing the best bank for your needs.


Chime is probably the closest competitor to Axos Bank in terms of product offerings. Chime also has several accounts with no maintenance or overdraft fees, and they offer fee-free overdrafts of up to $200 on debit card purchases. 

Unlike Axos, Chime’s high-yield savings account pays an attractive 2.00% APY. Chime also offers a secured Visa card to help customers with no credit or little credit build or rebuild their credit rating. Chime does not run a credit check when you open an account.

If you’re after a credit builder service, Chime is your best bet. If you’re looking for a single checking account with high interest, consider Axos.

Learn More About Chime

Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. The Chime Visa® Debit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Please see back of your Card for its issuing bank.

Varo Bank

Varo Bank is another online bank that, like Chime, does not do a credit check when you open an account. There is no minimum balance requirement, no monthly fees, and no overdraft fees. 

Varo’s Visa debit and credit cards can earn you up to 6% cash back, which is automatically transferred into your bank account once it reaches at least $5. It gives you the opportunity to save money while spending. And to help you save even more, they offer a round-up savings feature. Varo also provides a cash advance of up to $100 when you need it.

Varo’s high-yield savings account pays 3.00% APY, with the potential to go as high as 5.00% APY on up to $5,000. That’s significantly higher than the Axos High Yield Savings.

Learn More About Varo


Acorns is primarily a micro-savings/micro-investing service. Much like Varo Bank, Acorns uses a round-up savings feature to help you accumulate the money to save and invest on the platform. Acorns is a robo-advisor, so they create, manage, and rebalance your portfolio – all you need to do is save money to fund it. This is much like the Managed Portfolio robo-advisor offered by Axos Bank. 

In addition to investing, Acorns also offers online banking, complete with mobile check deposits and digital check writing. There is no minimum balance requirement and no monthly or overdraft fees. You’ll get a Visa debit card you can use for both purchases and to access more than 55,000 fee-free ATMs. And while you’re banking with Acorns, you can fund your investment account with round-ups and direct contributions.

Get Started with Acorns


Is Axos legit?

Yes, Axos is a legitimate online bank with over $18 billion in assets, offering a wide range of banking and investment products.

Who is Axos Bank owned by?

Axos Bank is a federally chartered savings and loan association and direct bank. The San Diego, California-based company is an Axos Financial brand.

What is the biggest con of Axos Bank?

While it’s certainly up for debate, one of the biggest drawbacks to Axos Bank is its low CD rates. At the time of this writing, all Axos CDs are priced at 0.20% APR, far lower than competing banks.

Does Axos Bank charge monthly fees?

Axos does not charge any monthly fees on its checking or savings accounts.

The Bottom Line on Axos Bank

Axos Bank is a solid choice if you are looking for an online bank that provides something close to full banking services, including investment options through its self-directed trading and robo-advisor platforms.

I like the number of accounts they offer to cater to different customer types. Unfortunately, their interest rates on savings and CDs leave much to be desired. That said, you can earn up to 3.30% APR in Rewards Checking.

If you’re looking for a high-yield savings account, there are better options. Also, if you’re looking for a credit card or credit-builder product, Chime is a better option than Axos.



Product Rating



  • High interest on Checking accounts
  • Most Axos Bank accounts are no-fee
  • Fee-free ATM network of 91,000 locations
  • Offers small business and commercial banking products
  • Invest via a self-directed or managed portfolio option (robo-advisor)


  • Have to jump through several hoops for maximum Checking interest
  • Interest on High Yield Savings, Money Market, and CDs isn't competitive
  • No credit cards

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About Kevin Mercadante

Since 2009, Kevin Mercadante has been sharing his journey from a washed-up mortgage loan officer emerging from the Financial Meltdown as a contract/self-employed "slash worker" – accountant/blogger/freelance blog writer – on He offers career strategies, from dealing with under-employment to transitioning into self-employment, and provides "Alt-retirement strategies" for the vast majority who won’t retire to the beach as millionaires.

He also frequently discusses the big-picture trends that are putting the squeeze on the bottom 90%, offering workarounds and expense cutting tips to help readers carve out more money to save in their budgets – a.k.a., breaking the "savings barrier" and transitioning from debtor to saver.

Kevin has a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from Montclair State University.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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