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Popular Direct Review: Savings Accounts and CDs With Competitive Interest Rates

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Our experts answer readers’ banking questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess banking products). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.

How Popular Direct products compare

  • Popular Direct CD

  • Popular Direct Savings

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Editor’s Rating

3.5/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

Editor’s Rating

3.5/5

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

Popular Direct Pros and Cons

The Popular Direct Savings pays a high interest rate, and it doesn’t charge monthly service fees. If you don’t have $100 to open an account, then you can find other online accounts that pay similar rates.

Popular Direct has a unique rule about transferring money. When you set up your Popular Direct Savings, you’ll link it to an external account to transfer funds for your opening deposit. For the first 70 days you have the account, you can only transfer money from Popular Direct into the account you used to fund the savings account — no other accounts.

Popular Direct pays high interest rates on CDs.  The bank requires a high minimum deposit of $10,000. It also charges relatively high penalties if you withdraw funds before your CD matures, especially for longer terms.

Popular Direct is an online bank with a high-yield savings account and CDs. There’s no checking account, which means you can’t access your savings quickly. You’ll have to transfer money to an external account, which could take a couple business days.

When you set up a Popular Direct Savings, you’ll link it to an external bank account to transfer funds to Popular Direct. The bank has a rule that if you transfer funds out of savings in the first 70 days, then you can only transfer to the linked funding account.

You can speak with a live customer service representative 24/7 over the phone. There is no live online chat feature.

Popular Direct has a mobile app in the Apple and Google Play stores, but there are hardly any reviews. If a strong mobile experience is important to you when choosing a bank, then you might want to look elsewhere.

Your deposits are FDIC insured for up to $250,000, or $500,000 for joint accounts.

Is Popular Direct Trustworthy? 

We usually consider ratings from the BBB, which rates businesses on transparent business practices and customer service issues. However, Popular Direct doesn’t have a rating from the BBB yet.

To see if a particular financial institution is right for you, talk to current customers or read online customer reviews.

Popular Direct hasn’t been involved in any recent public controversies.

Popular Direct FAQs

Yes, Popular Direct is a legitimate financial institution; it’s a subsidiary of Popular Bank. Popular Direct offers online savings accounts and CDs.

Yes, Popular Direct bank accounts are federally insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000 per depositor. The FDIC is a government agency that protects consumers’ insured deposits if a bank fails.

The early withdrawal penalty for CDs under 12 months is 120 days of simple interest. For CD terms longer than 12 months but shorter than 36 months, the penalty is 270 days of simple interest. For CD terms longer than 36 months but shorter than 60 months, the penalty is 365 days of simple interest. Any terms that are 60 months or longer have a penalty of 730 days of simple interest.

Methodology: How We Review Popular Direct

For our Popular Direct review, we rate bank products and services using our bank account methodology.

At Personal Finance Insider, we rate products on a scale from zero to five stars. For bank accounts, we review different features for distinct types of bank accounts. For example, we’ll look at early withdrawal penalties and CD variety specifically for CDs. Meanwhile, for savings accounts, we’ll factor monthly fees.

We’ve compared Popular Direct to two online-only banks: Marcus and Ally.

Popular Direct review vs. Marcus review

Both Popular Direct and Marcus have savings accounts and CDs, but no checking account. Both banks require you to transfer money to an external account to access your savings.

Marcus is the better choice for low minimum deposits. Marcus has a $0 minimum deposit requirement for its savings account, and a $500 minimum for CDs — Popular Direct asks for $100 to open a savings account, and $10,000 to open a CD. Along with the Marcus High-Yield CD, there’s also a Marcus No-Penalty CD that doesn’t charge a fee when you withdraw funds before your CD matures. If you’re interested in a no-penalty CD, then Marcus is the way to go.

Popular Direct review vs. Ally review

Ally pays similar interest rates on savings accounts and CDs.

Unlike Popular Direct, Ally has a checking account. This makes it much easier to access your savings. All you have to do is transfer money from savings to checking, and you can spend the funds almost instantly.

Ally is the clear option if you don’t have thousands of dollars for an opening deposit with Popular Direct. Ally doesn’t require minimum deposits for any of its accounts.

You might like Ally’s CD options. There’s an Ally High Yield CD that’s similar to the Popular Direct CD. There’s also a Ally No Penalty CD and an Ally Raise Your Rate CD. The Raise Your Rate CD lets you increase your rate should Ally’s rates go up, once during a 2-year term and twice during a 4-year term.

 

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