VirtualBank Review – Forbes Advisor – Forbes

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VirtualBank is an online bank that offers competitive interest rates on money market accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs). It’s a division of Tennessee-based First Horizon Bank, which merged with IBERIABANK on July 1, 2020.

Online banks, like VirtualBank, continue to gain in popularity as more people get comfortable managing their money digitally.

This review focuses on VirtualBank’s personal banking products and services. Here’s a detailed look at what this online bank offers and how it compares to other banking institutions.

Account Basics

Money Market

VirtualBank provides an eMoney Market account for banking customers. This online money market account offers tiered high-yield interest earning on all balances. Currently, all balance tiers earn 0.80% APY, which far exceeds the national average and many competitors.

VirtualBank offers a higher rate of 1.00% APY to customers who open and fund a new eMoney Market account with new money not currently held in a VirtualBank account. Because VirtualBank is a division of First Horizon Bank, these funds also can’t be First Horizon funds.

eMoney Market accounts require a $100 minimum opening deposit. There is a $5 monthly maintenance fee associated with the account, but it can be waived by keeping at least $100 in your account.

The money market account from this bank doesn’t come with a debit card or check-writing privileges, but it does allow for mobile deposits.

CDs

VirtualBank CD accounts offer APYs that are slightly below the best online CD rates. There are 11 term lengths available, from one month to five years. CDs from this bank currently earn up to 0.95% APY depending on the CD term.

One catch is that VirtualBank CDs require a relatively steep $10,000 minimum deposit. While that’s not the highest minimum deposit requirement among banks, it’s higher than required by many of its competitors.

CDs automatically renew at maturity unless a customer requests to withdraw the principal balance and any accrued interest at that time.

Interest on VirtualBank CDs is compounded daily and credited quarterly. Penalties will occur If you choose to pull money out of the account before it reaches maturity. Early withdrawal penalties are based on your CD term. Here’s what you’ll be charged for withdrawing your money early:

  • Terms of at least 30 days but less than one year: 100% of interest on the amount withdrawn
  • Terms of at least one year but less than two years: 1% of principal amount withdrawn
  • Terms of two years or more: 2% of principal amount withdrawn

eCDs from VirtualBank can be an excellent option to consider when building a CD ladder, since there are several different terms to choose from with competitive rates, making it easy to ladder.

Other Accounts and Services

VirtualBank does not offer checking accounts, savings accounts or other banking services at this time. (Although it is no longer offering its eChecking product, VirtualBank continues to service existing accounts.)

Access on the Go

VirtualBank’s selection of banking products may be limited, but its account accessibility is not. All accounts come with 24/7 access, thanks to its online and mobile banking services. Customers can access their accounts online, which allows for bank transfers, bill pay, access to statements and additional services.

Customers also can download VirtualBank’s mobile app from the App Store or Google Play. The app comes with an assortment of helpful features, such as:

  • Mobile check deposit
  • Electronic transfers
  • Account management
  • Access to monthly statements
  • Person-to-person payments

The mobile app even allows you to customize your dashboard, which isn’t very common among banking apps.

Pros

  • Competitive rates on both money market accounts and CDs
  • Bonus APY opportunity for money market accounts funded with new money
  • Mobile and online access

Cons

  • High minimum deposit on CD accounts
  • No debit card or check-writing privileges
  • Lack of account options

How VirtualBank Stacks Up

VirtualBank is similar to many other online banks that specialize only in a couple of specific types of accounts. If you’re looking for full-service online banking, you won’t find it at VirtualBank. However, if you want to maximize your savings, either with a money market account or CD, VirtualBank offers competitive rates for both options.

Although its CD accounts require a relatively high minimum deposit, if you can swing it, you’ll get a variety of term options and fixed, high-yield returns.

With both online and mobile banking solutions, VirtualBank keeps customers connected to their money. If you’re a fan of digital banking or just starting to make the move, you could supplement your other bank accounts with accounts from VirtualBank, giving you the best of both worlds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is VirtualBank FDIC insured?

Yes, VirtualBank is FDIC insured (FDIC# 4977) under First Horizon Bank. The federal government protects your money up to $250,000 per depositor, per ownership category, in the event of a bank failure. In this case, First Horizon Bank and all of its divisions are covered up to $250,000 combined among all accounts.

Is VirtualBank safe?

VirtualBank employs a variety of security methods to help ensure its customers and their accounts are kept safe. Whether accessing your accounts online or through the mobile app, VirtualBank is working to ensure secure banking 24/7.

Does VirtualBank offer business accounts?

No, VirtualBank only offers personal banking solutions at this time.

Does VirtualBank offer any loans?

No, VirtualBank doesn’t offer any lending solutions currently.

Does VirtualBank have credit cards?

No, VirtualBank doesn’t offer consumer credit cards at this time.

Does VirtualBank have local branches?

No, VirtualBank is an online-only bank. You can open an account with VirtualBank online, by mail or by fax.

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