Live Oak Bank review: High rates on savings and CDs, and no monthly service fees

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  • Live Oak Bank (Member FDIC) is an online bank with a high-yield savings account and CDs.
  • Live Oak pays competitive rates, but you may be able to find better rates at other online banks.
  • You don’t need a minimum opening deposit for the savings account, but you need $2,500 to open a CD.
  • See Business Insider’s picks for the best high-yield savings accounts »

Updated on March 22, 2021: We updated this review with a new section on Live Oak Bank’s Better Business Bureau rating and reputation as a company. We’re currently adding information on trustworthiness to all of Personal Finance Insider’s reviews.

Is Live Oak Bank a good match?

You might like Live Oak Bank if you:You might not like Live Oak Bank if you:
  • Are comfortable banking digitally
  • Are looking for high rates on savings and CDs
  • Have $2,500 to open a CD
  • Aren’t comfortable banking digitally
  • Need to open a checking or money market account
  • Don’t have $2,500 to open a CD
  • Need to contact a bank outside of traditional banking hours
  • Expect to deposit cash
  • Think you’ll need quick access to your savings

The bottom line: Live Oak Bank is good if you’re searching for an online bank that pays high rates. But because there’s no checking account, you might want to look elsewhere if you’re worried about accessing your savings quickly.

Live Oak Bank Online Savings review

Live Oak Bank Online Savings Account

Live Oak Bank Live Oak Bank Online Savings Account

Depositing and receiving cash are the tricky parts. Although you can transfer funds into your account and deposit checks digitally, there’s no way to deposit cash. Because Live Oak Bank doesn’t have a checking account, you can’t simply transfer funds from savings into checking and access the money immediately. You’ll have to transfer funds to an external bank account, which can take a couple business days.

Live Oak Bank CD review

Live Oak Bank Certificate of Deposit

Live Oak Bank Live Oak Bank Certificate of Deposit

Live Oak pays competitive rates on CDs, but depending on the term, you may be able to find better rates at other online banks. The bank charges a relatively low early withdrawal penalty if you withdraw funds before your CD matures, especially for longer terms.

Live Oak Bank features

Live Oak is an online bank with a savings account and CDs. Not many customers have reviewed the mobile app in the Apple or Google Play stores, but the average review ratings so far are mediocre.

Speak to a customer service representative over the phone Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. There’s no customer support available on weekends. There’s no live online chat feature, but you can fill out an online form and wait for a response.

Your deposits are FDIC insured for $250,000, or $500,000 for a joint account.

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Average 401(k) balance

Is Live Oak Bank trustworthy?

The Better Business grades companies’ trustworthiness, but it’s current grade for Live Oak Bank is NR, or No Rating. The BBB claims it doesn’t have enough information to give a reliable score.

As of March 2021, there are allegations that Live Oak, nCino, and Apiture agreed to not hire employees from other companies in Wilmington, North Carolina. As a result, the three banking companies could avoid offering people competitive salaries. The lawsuit is ongoing, but if the scandal worries you, you may decide you’d rather bank elsewhere.

How Live Oak Bank compares to similar banks

We compared Live Oak with two other online banks that pay high yields: Marcus by Goldman Sachs and Ally.

Live Oak Bank
Goldman Sachs
Ally

Account types

Savings, CD

Account types

Savings, CD

Account types

Savings, CD, checking, money market account

Savings APY

0.60% APY

Savings APY

0.50% APY

Savings APY

0.50% APY

CDs APY

0.25% to 0.70% APY

CDs APY

0.15% to 0.60% APY

CDs APY

0.20% to 0.85% APY

Minimum opening deposits

$2,500 for CDs

Minimum opening deposits

$500 for CDs

Minimum opening deposits

$0

Open an accountOpen an accountOpen an account

Live Oak Bank review vs. Marcus review

Live Oak Bank and Marcus have a lot of similarities. They both just have savings accounts and CDs, not checking accounts. This means you’ll have to transfer savings funds to an external bank account and wait a couple days to access your money with Marcus, just as you would with Live Oak Bank.

Marcus does have a couple advantages when it comes to CDs, though. The mandatory opening deposit is only $500, making it the better option if you don’t have the $2,500 Live Oak requires. Marcus also offers both regular term CDs and no-penalty CDs. With a no-penalty CD, you can withdraw funds before your CD matures without paying a fee. If you like the idea of a no-penalty CD, then you’ll probably prefer Marcus.

Otherwise, your choice could come down to which bank is paying the better rate for the account you want to open, or for the CD term you’re considering.

Live Oak Bank review vs. Ally review

Unlike Live Oak, Ally has a checking account. Ally could be the better option if you want to be able to access your savings quickly. You can transfer money from Ally savings to checking and spend the money almost immediately.

You might like Ally’s CD options, too. Like Marcus, it has a no-penalty CD. Ally also has a Raise Your Rate CD, which gives you the option to increase your rate during the term if Ally’s rates go up.

If you just want a savings account and regular CD, then your choice between Live Oak and Ally could come down to rates. You may prefer the higher savings APY, and the bank with the better CD rate could depend on which term length you choose.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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