There have been great discussions on the BOFI board discussing the earnings report (very positive) but most stock holders weren’t actual customers of the bank and it was asked if anyone who was could tell what it was like. Soth12 posted this very helpful summary of his experience as a Bofi customer.


Great questions. I will do my best to answer what I can.

First of all I joined the bank because at the time I had just moved to another state and got a new job. I thought it was a good time to make a bank change. I didn’t like the community bank because of poor service and a very very poor online presence. I had been researching BOFI for a year already and had owned shares for 9 months at the time. It seemed like a great time to give them a shot. I mainly joined for investment research purposes and to help out the company in which I had a stake. I thought if the experience was bad I would know to get out of the investment. I also joined ing direct a little bit later to be able to compare it to a more well known online bank. It wasn’t for the interest rate or anything. The higher rates are nice but it isn’t enough to move the needle. When I first joined they had just started the “Rewards Checking” accounts which is what I got. During the process I called the support line and while sorting things out (support was very helpful and friendly) I asked about the popularity of the account. The lady told me so far (a month after its release) it was very popular and they had very good response to the product. Since opening the account I have had very few problems and haven’t missed branches in the least. I just do all my banking either on the computer or over the phone app. If I need to deposit a check I just use the phone app. Snap a couple pictures of each side of the check and the money is in my account typically within 24 hours sometimes sooner. It does have a bill pay service on the site and the ability to transfer to anyone with an email or text. I though have never used these so I can’t discuss how well they work. Overall if I was to compare BOFI to ING I would have to say I prefer BOFI because of ease of use of the site and a few bonus features to help manage a budget. Not to mention the rewards they offer on your debit card is nice as well. I will go into a bit more detail about that later.

When I first log into my account I see several panels of services the bank offers.

The first one is a my accounts panel. This panel contains a list of all my accounts and balances. This panel also allows me the option to quickly transfer funds between accounts or view the transaction history of each account. The history seems to go back about 2 years if you enter a custom date. This page also has several options to allow someone to save or print their transaction data.

The next panel is an outside accounts panel. This allows me to link other bank, stock or loan accounts allowing quick access to balances of each account

The next panel is a bill pay and fund transfer panel. This one I can’t share anything about because I have never used it. It supposedly allows you to make payments or setup automatic bill pay. I like to pay all my bills by hand so if there is anything I want to dispute I can. The cable companies are notorious for trying to sneak in extra charges.

Then there is a purchase rewards panel. This just tracks the current debit card reward offerings. Yes you can actually get discounts to certain stores/restaurants when making a purchase with your debit card. The offers seem to vary from month to month but there is a good mix of various restaurants and stores. It is usually something like 10% off xx restaurant/store and so on for making a purchase using your debit card. These deals expire after a given amount of time. There are typically anywhere between 20 to 30 deals running at any one time. There are only two downsides to this offering I have found so far. First you have to actually click each offer you are interested in to add it to your card. Next the cash back you earn takes about 3 months to be deposited in your account.

The final panel is a service to track your spending activity. The viewable panel offers a colored pie chart and a list of my top spending categories tracked on the chart. If I go in for more details I can get a lot of information about my spending habits. They have an overview which will take all your accounts both within BOFI and any outside accounts that have been added calculating your current net worth including how much it increased/decreased over x period of time. There is also a couple windows offering budget type tools to track how much you are spending each month and compare it to previous months. It even allows you to set spending goals in each of the categories allowing you to set a monthly budget. It will track how much you have spent in each category on the budget so you will know how much you might have left. It tracks and enters all transactions from all accounts both within and outside BOFI for budget/goal purposes. I have used this tool extensively and it can be very handy.

The mobile app is also very nice offering much of the same features excluding the budget software.

I have not needed to call into customer service very often but when I did it was a very nice experience compared to other services. I never seem to have to wait long to talk with a representative. They are always very helpful/friendly answering all my questions to my satisfaction. I have yet to have a bad experience.

As far as fees go… My accounts are all free but there are the standard fees that you get at most banks such as account overdraft and such. They offer your debit card for free but if you lose it it will cost you $35 per time I think. I have never lost it so that is just what I read and they could have changed it since. They also charge $35 for checks which I don’t mind since I rarely use them. There is no minimum balance fee on my accounts as far as I know.

As far as transfers I have yet to have a problem transferring funds. As I mentioned above there is the option to transfer funds to anyone through email or text. I have yet to try this so I don’t know how it works. I can also transfer funds between accounts with very little to no trouble just like any bank I would assume.

Overall I am extremely satisfied with BOFI overall. They are not perfect but what service is? Overall I feel they have a very solid offering.

I hope this gives you all the details you might need. :slight_smile:

BTW Great earnings review Fletch! I enjoy reading your reviews every quarter and you have made following this stock so much easier. Your input is greatly appreciated.

Happy Investing!