FNBO Direct High Yield Savings Account Review

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FNBO DirectA reader emailed me, after reading my post about high yield savings accounts, asking whether Emigrant Direct should even belong on the list. She recommended her number one choice, FNBO Direct, because it crushes Emigrant’s 3% APY interest rate.

I think I was always partial to Emigrant Direct because they’ve been around for so long, but, she had a point. There are plenty of banks on the north side of 3% and Emigrant doesn’t offer any particularly innovative features that would justify it being in the top five with that rate, so I sought to review her number one choice. (Another name that appeared a couple times in the comments and emails was Provident Direct, the online bank of Provident Bank).

Application Process

Last week, I opened an account at FNBO Direct, a process that took less than five minutes. There were all the obligatory personal information fields, a quick credit verification (where they ask three questions from your credit report), and my online savings account was “opened.” A few more screens later (login credentials, funding the account) and I was done.

One nice feature in the process, one that HSBC Direct also uses, was online bank account verification. You enter in your online access credentials and they try to login to verify you are who you say you are. While it worked at HSBC Direct, it didn’t at FNBO Direct and I had to wait for the two trial deposits. Those arrived the very next day (the ETA was 3 business days). I went back to the FNBO application, entered my two trial deposits, and my application was complete. Within an hour, FNBO sent me an email indicating the initial transfer was being initiated. The next day, I was told my account activated and I could log in.

Here’s where I ran into problems, all of my own doing. I tried to login and was prompted with two security questions – two questions I had never answered. Turns out that at the end of the application, on the page that said “Done,” there was an Activate button. That’s where I was supposed to setup all the security information, select the personal message, etc. After that brief three page process I was set up.

If you were like me and somehow missed that, you can always return to the application, view the confirmation page, and then hit the “Activate” button on that screen.

Account Features

FNBO Direct Account Summary ScreenshotThe features of the FNBO Direct account are your standard options for a high yield online savings account. To the right I included a screenshot but it’s very plain looking – which is exactly what I like in a bank website. I want a bank website to be fast loading, simple to navigate, and FNBO delivers on both points. You won’t find a fancy CD laddering form like you can on ING Direct (they’re the only ones, as of this writing, that offer it) but I’ll take a fast loading site over a fancy form any day (ING loads fast too). Plus, the less time they put towards their website, while still giving you the basic functionality, the better. It means they can offer a higher yield.

In the screenshot you’ll see the standard Account Detail, Account Services, Transfer Funds, and BillPay buttons. They all lead to your standard screens with all the expected functionality. I won’t go into those.

More FNBO Direct Information

Here’s some useful information you may need somewhere down the road if you get an FNBO Direct account:

  • FDIC Certificate: #5452
  • ABA Routing Number: 104000016
  • Telephone: 877-370-3707, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Official Website: http://www.fnbodirect.com

Overall, FNBO Direct is as I expected it to be. A functional high yield savings account with a 3.50% APY yield with no minimum balance requirements. I’m going to try to link up other high yield savings accounts to this one, to expedite any transfers, but otherwise this matches up with every other bank.

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12 Responses to “FNBO Direct High Yield Savings Account Review”

  1. This is yet another example of a bank that insists on checking your credit report, ostensibly to verify your identity. I have learned that some online banks actually require a minimum credit score and will refuse to open any form of deposit account if you don’t meet it. GMAC Bank is one example. If you are a young adult with no credit history (credit score=zero), they do not want your money. Credit score obsession in our economy is completely out of control.

    • OnlineSaver says:

      Dear ToughMoneyLove,

      I know using the credit report is a tough way to go about verfiying one’s information, but as a fraud-concerned individual, this is the most secure way to make sure that I (and only I) am opening the account in my name. I applaud them for doing this credit check, as it did not impact my credit score at all, and now I can be sure of the safety of not only my account, but of the bank too.

      Hope this helps change your mind…

  2. Ann says:

    I opened my FNBO account on 8/23. So smooth. I can actualy access the account and I have completed a bank transfer with further funds to FNBO acct. I really like the fast opening. Much faster than HSBC. I need to check to see if I can open additional accounts with them. I really like the **** rating compared to the ** rating of HSBC. Looking forward to future banking relationship!

  3. Bob says:

    I have had an account with FNBO Direct (First National Bank of Omaha) for quite a while now. They are owned and operated by First National Bank of Nebraska, who owns my local bank where I have my checking accounts, First National Bank of Fort Collins. First National Bank of Nebraska is the largest privately owned bank in the US. One of the great things about using FNBO Direct is that the site features are identical to that of my local branch. So whether I log on to my local bank or FNBO, the web site operates and looks identical. Also, with FNBO’s ATM card, I can go to any of the local branches here (over a dozen), as well as any other First National Bank of Nebraska-owned bank in Colorado, Texas, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and many more and get cash with no fees. Love my account here!

  4. Philippe says:

    Well, as of today, the rate is 2.80% and Emigrant is still at 3.50%.
    No comment.

  5. Philippe says:

    No, you’re wrong.
    It’s still 3.50%
    Check here: https://www.dollarsavingsdirect.com/DollarSavingsDirectWeb/index.jsp

  6. Bob says:

    That is for there account with a $1000 minimum. Their regular, no minimum account is indeed 2.40%. So, you are both right!


  7. Jim says:

    The rate for Dollar Savings recently fell to 2.65% and who knows (or cares) where Emigrant is at this point.

  8. mikestreb says:

    I had an account with FNBO a while back. Then their rates bottomed out. Anyone know how to cancel an account here? I have like 50 cents in the account and earn a penny each month and I think I got a 1099 for $1 last year. Trying to simplify my banks accounts that are everywhere due to rate chasing.

  9. aua868s says:

    compare these rates with those of now!…paltry!

  10. xenki says:

    hey thanks for this great post cheers mate

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