Milli Review: No-Fee Banking and a High Savings APY

Milli

8

Product Rating

8.0/10

Strengths

  • Competitive APYs on all savings balances
  • No account fees
  • The app tracks your spending
  • Free access to more than 55,000 ATMs nationwide

Weaknesses

  • Mobile app only, no desktop access
  • No joint accounts
  • It doesn't offer credit cards or loans
  • Milli does not accept cash, checks, or wire transfers

If you’re looking for a simple banking app that pays high interest and doesn’t require a credit check, you may want to consider Milli. It’s a user-friendly banking app that comes complete with a Visa debit card, purpose-driven savings accounts, and technology-driven budgeting capabilities to help you reach your financial goals.

This Milli review covers its main features, pricing, pros and cons, and shares a few Milli alternatives.

Table of Contents
  1. Who Is Milli?
  2. How Does Milli Work?
    1. Spending Account
    2. Saving Account
    3. Jars
  3. Milli At-A-Glance
  4. How to Sign Up with Milli
  5. Milli Pros & Cons
    1. Pros:
    2. Cons:
  6. Milli Alternatives
    1. Ally Bank – 4.35% APY
    2. Western Alliance Bank – 5.36% APY*
    3. Raisin
  7. FAQs
  8. Should You Sign Up with Milli?

Who Is Milli?

Milli is an online banking app “on a mission to help you spend smarter today and save more for tomorrow.” The banking app is a division of First National Bank of Omaha (Nebraska), which was founded in 1857 and has over $30 billion in assets.

The Milli app is designed to put their customers at the center. It provides a high-interest savings account with no fees, no account minimums, and access to a large network of no-fee ATMs nationwide.

Milli works around the concept of “Smart Savings Jars,” which help save money for specific purposes and earn an attractive APY on those savings along the way.

Milli is available for iOS devices at The App Store, with a rating of 3.0 out of five stars among 184 users, and for Android users on Google Play, where it has 2.6 out of five stars among 470 users.

How Does Milli Work?

Milli is a banking app for iOS and Android devices; no web version is offered. The Milli Bank app centers around three accounts: Spending, Saving, and Jars. Each serves a different purpose in your banking activity.

Spending Account

Milli’s Spending account challenges customers to set goals to maximize the money available for monthly savings. You can set up plans to spend on specific budget categories, like rent, groceries, and travel. The app will help you stay within the budgeted amounts. You’ll also be able to see your spending patterns in real-time. You’ll know what you’re spending money on, how much, and your ongoing account balance.

The Spending account comes with both a virtual card and a Visa debit card that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, including outside the U.S. Cardholders can take advantage of fee-free transactions at more than 55,000 AllPoint ATMs nationwide. You are permitted to have only one Visa debit card at a time. Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay can be added to the card.

Saving Account

Milli Savings currently pays interest of 5.50% APY on all account balances. There’s no minimum balance requirement and no fees connected with the account. 

Funds can be accumulated in Savings through direct transfers from the Spending Account or by taking advantage of automatic transfers (Set and Forget) and spending roundups.

Jars

This is the signature feature of Milli Bank. The name “jars” refers to the old-fashioned practice of putting money in glass jars to save for specific purposes. It’s the same purpose for Milli Jars, except they are digital. But unlike old glass jars, funds held in Milli Jars earn interest of 5.50% APY on all balances, like the Milli Saving Account. 

You can create up to five customized digital Jars for various purposes. You can set a dollar goal for each Jar, and Milli will calculate the amount you’ll need to save each day, week, or month to make it happen.

Milli At-A-Glance

Accounts offered: Checking and savings accounts.

Availability: Individual accounts only; joint accounts are not currently offered.

Minimum deposit: $0

Fees: No fees for monthly maintenance, overdraft or returned items, cash withdrawals, transfers, balance inquiries, statements, or stop payments.

Mobile banking: Available for both iOS (15.0 or later) and Android devices (8.0 or later).

ATM network. More than 55,000 AllPoint ATMs nationwide.

Account security: All deposits are held with the First National Bank of Omaha, where they are covered by FDIC insurance for up to $250,000 per depositor. The bank employs industry-standard protections, including multiple countermeasures to protect information, secure data, and adhere to rigorous compliance requirements.

Customer contact: Available seven days per week, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM CST, via in-app chat and by email at [email protected].

How to Sign Up with Milli

You can open an account by downloading the app on either Google Play for Android devices or The App Store for iOS devices. Milli does not run a credit check, so you don’t need to be concerned if you have less-than-perfect credit or even bad credit. However, you must verify your basic information, including your name, home address, date of birth, and Social Security number.

You should also expect to provide a government-issued photo ID, like a driver’s license, to verify your identity.

Funding your Milli account: The best way to fund your Milli account is to link to an external bank account and make transfers by ACH, which includes direct deposit. Milli does not accept checks, cash, or wire transfers. 

There are no daily limits for transfers into your account, but there is a limit of $100,000 per transaction if the transfer is coming from an external bank account. The limit extends to $250,000 if the transfer comes from a First National Bank of Omaha account.

Milli Pros & Cons

The Milli app has some distinct advantages, not the least is its high APY on savings. But the app has its limitations, too. Here’s my list of Milli’s pros and cons.

Pros:

  • Competitive APYs on all savings balances
  • No account fees
  • The app tracks your spending
  • Free access to more than 55,000 ATMs nationwide

Cons:

  • Mobile app only, no desktop access
  • It doesn’t support joint accounts
  • It doesn’t offer credit cards or loans
  • Milli does not accept cash, checks, or wire transfers

Milli Alternatives

If Milli seems a bit too limiting for your general banking needs, you may want to check out the following alternatives:

Ally Bank – 4.35% APY

Ally Bank will not be able to compete for the highest interest rates (they typically lag our best high yield savings accounts) but they are a full service online bank with everything you need. They also have an Ally Invest portion for your investing needs too. As a hub bank, it does a good job.

They have both desktop and mobile versions of its app (seems to weird to bring up but Milli doesn’t offer it). It also offers certificates of deposit, home loans, credit cards, auto loans, personal loans, and both managed and self-directed investing features (as we mentioned before).

The savings account currently pays 4.35% APY on all balances, while a checking account (“Spending”) pays up to 0.25% APY. The checking account has no monthly or overdraft fees, comes with a debit card, and access to more than 43,000 no-fee ATMs nationwide.

If that isn’t enough, Ally Bank reimburses out-of-network ATM fees for up to $10 monthly.

👉 Learn more about Ally Bank

Western Alliance Bank – 5.36% APY*

For something in the middle – a high interest rate and full-service banking – Western Alliance Bank might be up your alley. They have a higher interest rate than Ally and are a little less well known (no brokerage either), but still offers all the products of a commercial bank.

👉 Learn more about Western Alliance Bank

Raisin

If you just want a high interest rate and don’t mind jumping through hoops, you can use a platform like Raisin to get some of the highest rates. They are a marketing company that works with banks to offer some of the highest rates you’ll see (oftentimes higher than what’s on the bank’s website itself).

Check out our Raisin review for more.

👉 Learn more about Raisin

FAQs

Is Milli a reputable bank?

Yes. Milli is a division of First National Bank of Omaha, which has been around for over 150 years. Through First National, all deposits with Milli are FDIC-insured for $250,000 per depositor.

How do I withdraw from Milli?

You can withdraw funds from any of your Milli accounts by making ACH transfers into external bank accounts. But you can also access cash through the Visa debit card at any ATM machine.

What is the interest rate for a Milli savings account?

The current interest rate on a Milli Savings account is 5.25% APY. That is a variable rate, subject to change in the future.

Learn More About Milli

Should You Sign Up with Milli?

Milli is a solid choice if you are new to banking or have had difficulty opening a bank account elsewhere due to poor credit. It’s a straightforward banking app to help you manage and save money while paying you a high APY.

And since they don’t require a credit check at signup, Milli is available for consumers at all credit levels.

However, if you require full banking services, like a credit card, mortgage, loan, or business checking account – you’ll be better off with a different option, like Chime or Ally Bank.

Of course, you could always join Milli to earn 5.25% APY on your savings and conduct the rest of your banking activities elsewhere.

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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 OutofYourRut.com. 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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