Albert checking account review: A smart online checking option

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Albert checking accounts at a glance

Physical locations None.
Getting started An Albert cash account is easy to open, and you can start with only $1.
Monthly service fee

None.

Overdraft fees None, but it’s possible to incur one with a “connected” bank account.
Other fees

In-network ATM fee: $2.50 each unless you subscribe to Albert’s Genius feature.

Out-of-network ATM fee: $2.50 each.

How to deposit External bank transfers and direct deposit.
How to withdraw/pay Transfer to an external account, ATM withdrawal, Albert Cash debit card.
Notable feature Albert has a “Genius” feature you can subscribe to that gives you advice and assistance. You can pay what you think is fair for your subscription, starting at $6 per month.

Albert is an online financial service, not a traditional bank. Still, deposits are FDIC-insured — and Albert has a feature than can help you manage your money across multiple bank accounts and track your spending and bills.


4 things to know about an Albert Cash account

Here are a few things to know if you’re considering an Albert Cash account.

1. ‘Genius’ provides human financial experts

If you subscribe to Albert’s “Genius” offering, you can access real people for advice and info on your financial and investing decisions. The Genius team works like a personalized financial advisory service for subscribers. 

Subscribing also gets you access to individualized guidance, benefits and other services like:

  • Notifying you if you’re overpaying a bill
  • Giving you a higher annual percentage yield (APY) on your Albert Savings account
  • Automating your savings

A Genius subscription starts at $6 a month, but you can pay more if you’d like.

2. Potential for overdrafts

If you’re worried about overdrawing your account, Albert says it tries to avoid this by declining transactions that would cause an overdraw. 

Overdraft fees also are possible if the financial institution that handles your “connected” account charges them.

If an Albert transaction triggers an overdraft fee from your connected institution, you may be able to get reimbursement from Albert — if you meet certain conditions.

3. Cash advance option

Albert Instant is a service that may advance you up to $250 from your next paycheck. But you’ll have to meet eligibility requirements, including a paycheck via direct deposit into your connected account (open at least two months) and proof of consistent income from the same employer. 

You can choose to pay a small fee to get the money right away or wait to get it within two to three days for free. 

If you don’t qualify, keep in mind that Albert also offers paycheck access up to two days early if you have direct deposit.

See our picks for the 10 best apps that loan money.

4. No physical branches

Albert isn’t a traditional bank, so if you’re looking for face-to-face checking account services, you probably want to look elsewhere. With Albert you won’t be able make deposits and withdrawals in person.

Does Albert give you money?

You have the potential to earn cash-back rewards on certain purchases with your Albert debit card. For example, you can get money back when you use your card to buy groceries, coffee or gas at certain places.

Keep in mind that you’ll have to activate this feature, and you can only choose one offer at a time.

Does Albert let you borrow money?

Yes. Albert Cash lets you borrow up to $250 at a time if you meet certain requirements, but you have to pay it back using your next paycheck. You have two borrowing options: You can either get the money right away for a fee or get it within two to three days for free. 

Not sure if Albert is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Monzo: If you want a debit card without a foreign transaction fee, Monzo may be worth a look.
  • Cleo: If you want a card that may help you build your credit over time, Cleo is an option to consider.

About the author: Adam Carpenter is a financial and tech solutions writer with a keen interest in cutting-edge insurance products. His work has been featured in Forbes and in the ebooks and websites of many tech, financial, and insuran… Read more.