Simple Review: Digital Banking and Free Checking Account

What is Simple?

Simple is a financial services provider offering an online and mobile banking experience. Simple is partnered with BBVA Bank and money deposited at Simple are FDIC insured.

How Does Simple Banking Work

Simple offers free checking accounts, a debit card, and an app. With Simple, everything is done online or through the mobile app. There are no physical locations or branches for you to visit. Having no physical presence or proprietary ATMs to service can keep operational costs low allowing Simple to offer you free checking.

Using Simple banking is, well, simple. You start by signing up for a free checking account through a streamlined online process. Within a few days, you’ll receive a Visa debit card attached to the account. You have immediate access to your accounts via the app.

  • Deposits –  Deposits are made through direct deposit, electronic transfers or by using the mobile deposit feature. No cash deposits.
  • ATM Access – 40,000 surcharge-free ATMs
  • Connection – Add your other checking and savings accounts

To be eligible, you must be a US Citizen and at least 18 years of age with a valid Social Security number. A mobile smartphone is necessary to access your account.

Simple Bank Feature Highlight

The Safe-to-Spend feature lets you immediately know how much money is available for spending. It takes into consideration your upcoming bills, pending transactions, and savings goals. The feature is quite helpful in avoiding overdraft or not having enough to cover your fixed expenses.

Features and Benefits

  • Spending Notifications – Every time your debit card is used, no matter if it’s used for a purchase or at an ATM, the Simple app will notify you. This is fraud prevention at its finest. If you get a notification about a purchase you didn’t make, you can turn off the card.
  • Transaction Names – With Simple, you’re able to change how the transaction appears by renaming the transaction entirely. This allows for better tracking of where exactly your money is going.
  • Purchase Memos – You can add notes about purchases to help remind you of why you withdrew money.
  • Purchase Categories – Expenses are categorized but you can recategorize them too.
  • Online Bill Pay – Pay your bills online electronically or with a check. This is done directly within Simple. Mailed checks take 3-5 days but larger companies may accept payments electronically.


No Fees – Simple does not charge any fees whatsoever. You won’t find fees for maintenance, returned items, non-sufficient fund, or overdrafts.

If you plan on using an ATM outside of their network, you will pay that ATM owner’s terminal fee. Additionally, if you travel overseas and use the debit card, VISA will charge you a 1% foreign transaction fee.

My Smile Review: Should you use Simple Bank?

You can’t go wrong with a banking service that doesn’t charge you any fees. The online and mobile experience is well crafted. It’s so simple, to borrow their word, to open an account and interact with the bank on mobile or with customer service.

Simple Banking is definitely for the savvy mobile person who wants quick access to their money that gets to the heart of why we work–to spend. I really like Simple’s Safe-to-Spend that highlights one’s available money to spend spontaneously. I also love the micro-saving feature that allows you to save for specific goals and automate transfers.

If you’re looking for a bank that’s highly convenient and offers the tech you desire, then Simple may be the right choice for you. Open an account with Simple Bank using our link and get $20 after your first use of your new Simple card.

Another alternative is Chime Bank offering a feature-rich digital banking experience with no fees. Read the Chime review.

Simple Review

Products & Services
Ease of Use
Customer Service
Fees & Commissions

Simple Banking is definitely for the savvy mobile person who wants quick access to their money that gets to the heart of why we work–to spend.

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Jason Vitug

Jason Vitug is founder at phroogal, creator of the award-winning project the Road to Financial Wellness, and author of the bestseller and NY Times reviewed book, You Only Live Once: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life.

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