Simple Review – Online Banking With Saving & Budgeting Tools Built In

Simple is a Portland-based company run in partnership with BBVA USA, a diversified financial institution with branches all through the southern United States. 99% of Simple’s income streams are from debit card processing charges, curiosity earnings on deposited funds lent out by BBVA USA, and loans.

Simple gives FDIC-insured deposit accounts. Simple calls its financial savings answer the “Protected Goals Account,” a high-yield account that boasts a aggressive yield that’s as excessive as 0.50% APY (as of December 10, 2020). You can use your Protected Goals Accounts to trace your progress towards near- and long-term monetary objectives or obligations with out having to handle a number of logins.

Simple harnesses a slew of knowledge about your spending habits and earnings to supply a whole, responsive image of your monetary life – no less than, each facet of your monetary life tied to your Simple ecosystem. For occasion, Simple makes use of approved transaction knowledge, pending invoice funds, and different data to supply a operating complete of how a lot you may safely spend out of your account; this is called your Safe-to-Spend. A Simple Visa® Debit card makes spending this money a breeze.

All instructed, Simple’s options make saving, budgeting, and long-term monetary planning simpler than many conventional banks, which could present fundamental instruments to assist with these actions however finally go away you liable for doing them.

Simple is nice for day-to-day spending and saving, in addition to long-term planning. But as a result of it has few long-term financial savings merchandise or credit score merchandise, it’s not a alternative for a full-service financial institution. Here’s what it’s essential to learn about its merchandise, companies, and general suitability.

Key Features

These are Simple’s most salient options:

Simple Card & Account

The Simple Visa Debit card can be utilized at any service provider or ATM that accepts Visa, is central to the Simple expertise. The card ties to your Simple checking account, which you’ll replenish with digital transfers, direct deposits, mailed deposits, and cellular examine deposits.

Your Simple account doesn’t include paper checks, although you may direct Simple to chop and ship paper checks utilizing its examine mailing service, which carries a $5 charge per checkbook. Note that you could’t overdraft your Simple account; transactions that will usually end in an overdraft merely fail. The good factor about that is that Simple doesn’t cost overdraft, nonsufficient funds (NSF), or returned-item charges.

If you’ve merged funds together with your partner or home associate, or must collectively handle funds with a co-parent, roommate, pal, or anybody else, you may open a Shared Account with all of the options of an Individual Simple account. While many {couples} keep separate checking and financial savings accounts for quite a lot of causes, it’s undoubtedly good to have the choice to open a joint account as effectively.


Goals are particular spending and saving designations, just like price range envelopes. You can create a Goal for any future expense, whether or not it’s a one-time outlay (similar to an upcoming trip or marriage ceremony) or a routine price range line merchandise (similar to lease or groceries).

Protected Goals Account

All balances in your Protected Goals Account yield as much as 0.50% APY, topic to alter with prevailing charges.

You can specify the dimensions of a Savings Goal and Emergency Fund and set a date for when it must be funded (such because the date of your trip or your lease due date). If you want, you too can direct Simple to put aside a small quantity every day to get you nearer to that focus on on schedule. Set-aside funds stay in your account and are separate out of your Simple Account to maintain it protected from spending; nonetheless, there aren’t any withdrawal limits and funds are at all times out there if and once you want them.


Expenses is an automatic budgeting characteristic that quietly stashes away funds reserved for particular recurring payments, similar to utilities and lease. Compared with Goals, Expenses is a useful approach to save for bills you recognize you’ll face each month. You can monitor your progress towards goal Expense balances every month and manually alter if obligatory – as an illustration, in case your fuel invoice unexpectedly spikes from one month to the following.

You may also use the Expenses characteristic to set month-to-month spending limits on specific classes – as an illustration, capping your restaurant spending at $200 monthly. Whenever you make a purchase order that falls into the related class, Simple routinely deducts funds from the cap, letting you see at a look how your funds stack as much as your month-to-month spending and financial savings objectives.


Simple’s Safe-to-Spend characteristic reveals you ways a lot money you may safely spend after accounting for all your pending approved transactions, upcoming payments, and Goals. It’s a good way to stop a spending crunch and doubtlessly a transaction denial as a result of inadequate funds.

Trackable Spending

Simple routinely collects and is sensible of a slew of knowledge about your spending. It information every transaction’s particular service provider, service provider sort (similar to “restaurant” or “grocery store”), quantity, time, bodily location, and tip (if relevant). Though Simple routinely information broad spending classes, similar to journey purchases and restaurant meals, you too can present a finer degree of element by assigning key phrases or hashtags to purchases – as an illustration, “coffee” or “#fancydinner.”

Spending Search

Simple additionally has a built-in search characteristic, just like a web based search engine, that will help you discover particular transactions. The engine acknowledges data similar to service provider names, broad spending classes, and customised key phrases or hashtags.

Photo Check Deposits

The Simple app facilitates cellular examine deposits through the Photo Check Deposit perform. To use it, merely snap a photograph of the back and front of the examine and full the prompts on the app. Photo Check Deposits additionally helps money order and cashier’s examine deposits, so it’s a helpful workaround when you’ve got money it’s essential to deposit into your account. Simply change your money for a money order and use Photo Check Deposits as regular.

Instant P2P Transfers

Simple facilitates person-to-person (P2P) transfers with different Simple account holders via a proprietary and safe switch system that’s helpful for splitting restaurant payments and settling different small money owed. You can entry the characteristic via the Simple app, and there’s no charge to make use of it. If you’re settling up with non-Simple customers, know that Simple works with PayPal, Venmo, and Square Cash.

Fee-Free ATM Network

Simple permits fee-free withdrawals from any machine within the 40,000-strong Allpoint ATM community. It doesn’t reimburse charges charged by out-of-network ATM Owners.

Customer Support

Simple’s buyer help workforce is offered by telephone throughout prolonged business hours on weekdays and 10 am to five pm ET on Saturdays. After hours, or when you favor written communication to verbal, you may ship Simple’s customer support workforce a message via your safe Web account or Simple app. And Simple has an intensive information base with detailed articles which can be fairly useful.


  1. Great Resources for Budgeting and Tracking Spending. Simple’s defining differentiator is its unabashed use of transaction knowledge – each routinely collected and offered by you – within the service of sound budgeting practices. When used persistently and in live performance, Goals, Expenses and Safe-to-Spend present a tremendously detailed image of your month-to-month price range, so long as you utilize Simple as your major day-to-day checking account. Depending on how complicated your monetary scenario is, it’s attainable to make use of Simple as a alternative for client accounting apps similar to FinanceWorks or Mint.
  2. No Minimum Balance Requirements or Maintenance Fees. Simple doesn’t have any minimal stability necessities or month-to-month upkeep charges, eradicating a key supply of fear for a lot of on-line checking account holders. By distinction, SunTrust Bank fees a $7 upkeep charge for accounts that aren’t signed up for paperless statements and fail to log no less than 10 debit transactions throughout a given assertion cycle.
  3. Fewer or Lower Maintenance Fees Than Many Competitors. Simple has comparatively few upkeep charges. There’s no overdraft charge, and there’s additionally no nonsufficient funds or returned-item charge. Most different on-line banks, together with Capital One 360 and Bank5 Connect, cost NSF, returned-item, and overdraft charges. And at Simple, it prices nothing to interchange a lost debit card, whereas another banks, together with PNC Bank, cost $5 or extra for alternative playing cards.
  4. Transparent, Straightforward, Supportive Approach to Banking. Simple manufacturers itself as an alternative choice to conventional banks, and its web site is stuffed with references to its transparency, simple pricing, and truthful insurance policies. While it may sometimes come off as self-important, there’s lots to again up Simple’s claims. For occasion, there’s little or no wonderful print on its web site, and its in depth FAQ part comprises all of the vital caveats and explanations you’d usually discover buried in financial institution disclosures or phrases and circumstances statements. Simple’s web site makes use of plain, simple language that’s clearly written by actual folks – a welcome change from the legalese widespread to many different financial institution web sites. The expertise is refreshingly sincere.
  5. Solid Yields on Deposits. Funds held in Simple’s Protected Goals Account yield as much as 0.60% APY, larger than many online-only opponents and most brick-and-mortar banks. That’s nice information for depositors trying to earn an actual rate of return on funds earmarked for non-current bills.


  1. No IRAs. While it’s nice that balances held in your Protected Goals Account yield as much as 0.50% APY, it’s a drag that there’s no such factor as a Simple IRA. Simple’s web site mentions imprecise plans to supply a broader product lineup sooner or later, however it’s nothing to hold your hat on.
  2. Few Credit Products. Simple gives only one credit score product to pick out prescreened prospects: a personal loan for debt consolidation. If you’re trying to purchase a automotive, faucet your own home fairness for low-interest funding, or open a brand new credit score card, it’s essential to look elsewhere. Try Ally Bank for aggressive auto loans, Capital One Bank for house loans, and Discover Bank for bank cards.

Final Word

Simple presents itself as a extra simple, sincere various to conventional banks. The web site continuously mentions “big banks” in a derogatory context, which is a bit ironic on condition that Simple operates in partnership with BBVA USA, an enormous monetary establishment. And Simple isn’t distinctive in its customer-friendly method to banking. Plenty of no-frills on-line banks, from massive gamers similar to Ally Bank to smaller banks similar to Salem Five Direct, have excessive satisfaction rankings and affordable charge schedules.

That stated, Simple does take transparency to an unusually excessive degree. And its data-heavy method to monitoring spending, budgets, and long-term objectives stays the exception moderately than the rule – although this may occasionally not at all times be the case given the rising acceptance of massive knowledge.

If you’re in search of a nontraditional banking possibility that treats you want an actual particular person and doesn’t muddy the waters with superfluous choices, you received’t do significantly better than Simple. Just don’t anticipate them to finance the acquisition of your subsequent house.

Do you utilize Simple to trace your spending and saving? What do you want about it?

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