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credit & debt

The Best Cyberbanks

These online banks are tops for their savings and checking accounts, ease of use and access to funds.

BEST OVERALL ONLINE SAVINGS ACCOUNT

HSBC Direct www.hsbcdirect.comAnnual percentage yield: 5.05%Why it's the best: Quick customer service, an ATM card, a $1 minimum balance and typically one of the highest yields make this online savings account the one to keep.

SIMPLEST TO USE

ING Direct www.ingdirect.comAnnual percentage yield: 4.50%Why it's simplest: ING Direct's streamlined Web site and four-step application are painless for even a Luddite. With no minimums and no monthly fees, ING Direct set the standard that other online banks follow (or should).

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BEST FOR ACCESS TO FUNDS

E*Trade Financial www.etrade.comAnnual percentage yield: 5.05%Why it's the best: The most inconvenient aspect of online savings is the lag when you deposit money. It can average up to five days to clear a transaction after the initial deposit. But E*Trade users can access deposits on the same day.

BEST ONLINE CHECKING ACCOUNT

EverBank www.everbank.comAnnual percentage yield: Ranges from 3.25% for balances of less than $10,000 to 4.41% for $100,000 or more.Why it's the best: EverBank treats checking almost like savings. You need a minimum of $1,500 to open an account and enjoy an introductory rate of 6.01% for the first three months before it goes down to the market rate.

BEST PLACE TO VET ONLINE BANKS

Bankrate.com www.bankrate.comWhy it's the best: Interest rates and features change daily. This is a fast way to compare the full range of standard bank offerings as well.

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