Are you a resident of New Jersey who is looking for an online bank that offers high-yield savings account without monthly fees? If your answer is a yes, then, you got to check this Amboy Direct review.
Amboy Direct is an online bank that provides both high-yield savings accounts as well as money market and certificate of deposit accounts without charging monthly maintenance fees like other banks of the same time do. Well, that is like hitting two birds with one stone, right?
Anyway, in case you forgot or you totally do not know what it is, a high-yield savings account, according to an article by CNBC, “reward you with a higher interest rate, allowing your money to grow even faster as it sits in your account”.
The interest rate is called the annual percentage rate or APY. Basically, the higher the APY of a savings account or any deposit account for that matter is, the faster your money in the bank grows, which is why it is important to research and look for banks that offer the best rates.
But of course, we cannot also deny the fact that apart from rates, consumers also have to look into other perks that the bank provides. In this case, an online bank.
By the way, an online bank, according to Policygenius, is a type of bank that offers pretty much the same as what traditional banks provide except for the fact that in most cases, it does not come with a physical branch.
Online banks allow you to deposit, withdraw, as well as manage your account anytime, anywhere for as long as there is an internet connection.
Over the recent years, online banks have become popular especially among the younger generations.
A report by Statista states that in 2018, about 61 percent of American people used digital banking. More so, experts believe that the number is set to increase to 65.3 percent by 2022.
We believe, however, that there is a big chance the number will even go higher because of the recent turn of events.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, a lot of consumers, both young and adults have relied so much on digital banks. There are even studies showing that Americans are now ready to make online banks their primary bank choice.
Now, even before all these things happen, there are already a lot of existing online banks. Among the many choices in the market is Amboy Direct, and today, we are going to focus on this. We will look into what the banks have to offer and what would make it an ideal choice.
In this Amboy Direct review, we are going to provide answers to some of the most commonly asked and very important questions, which include:
- What is Amboy Direct?
- Who is Amboy Direct best for?
- What are the products offered by Amboy Direct?
- How to do banking with Amboy Direct?
- Is Amboy Direct safe?
- What to like about Amboy Direct?
- What not to like about Amboy Direct?
WHAT IS AMBOY DIRECT?
Choosing an online bank can be quite difficult given the so many options out there, which is why, as we always say, it is important to do your part. Research about the banks you are eyeing, and compare them to each other.
By doing so, you get to trim down your options, and eventually come up with a decision.
When looking for a bank, whether it be traditional or online, it is essential to look into the history of the bank. This will help build up your confidence as a possible account holder. After all, your number one priority is to keep your money in a credible and trustworthy bank.
Now, to start off this Amboy Direct review, let’s take a look at what the bank is all about —
Amboy Direct is an online division of Amboy Bank, which is a full-service institution founded in 1888 for both retail and commercial clients. Amboy Bank is present throughout central New Jersey with over 20 branches to date.
Amboy Direct was established in 1990 specifically to cater to customers who prefer not to do bank in person at a bank.
Initially, Amboy Direct was meant for banking by mail. But, that changed in 2003 when Amboy Bank decided to upgrade it into an internet banking service.
Since Amboy Direct does not come with physical branches, it helps keep the online bank’s overhead costs low, which is why the bank is able to offer high-interest rates on the different accounts it offers. Needless to say, Amboy Direct does not charge monthly service fees.
Similar to most online banks, all Amboy Direct accounts are insured up to $250,000 per depositor by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
Before moving on, if you want to know more about FDIC and how you, as a bank customer can benefit from it, we recommend you check the video below from FDICchannel:
WHO IS AMBOY DIRECT BEST FOR?
In the previous section, we learned some important things about Amboy Direct. This time around, we are going to share with you who Amboy Direct is best for.
Generally speaking, since Amboy Direct is an online banking platform, it makes it appealing to people who do not want to bank in-person at a bank branch. This is ideal for people who prefer managing their accounts as well as make banking transactions right at their fingertips.
Now, technically, Amboy Direct will appeal to consumers who want to enjoy competitive deposit accounts, at the same time, enjoy not having to pay for monthly maintenance fees.
Additionally, it is also ideal for those who want to open a savings account with a very minimal opening deposit requirement. In this case, Amboy Direct only requires at least $1 to open specifically for the Jersey First eSavings, which is a savings account exclusive for New Jersey residents only.
While Amboy Bank, the mother company of Amboy Direct, caters only to New Jersey residents, Amboy Direct is available for everyone.
WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY AMBOY DIRECT?
One important factor when choosing an online bank is the list of products and services the bank offers. Although every customer has his or her own preference, it would be ideal to look for a bank that offers more than what you need in case you decide to also open other accounts in the future.
With Amboy Direct, the online bank offers high-yield deposit accounts, which include:
- Savings Account
- Money Market Account
- Certificate of Deposit
Now, let’s take a look at each of these products —
Amboy Direct is known for its Amboy eSavings account, which essentially is a high-yield savings account that uses the tools as well as perks offered by online banking.
Amboy claims that through the eSavings account, customers can earn 40 times more as compared to the accounts offered by major banks.
Since everything is done strictly online, Amboy Direct is able to offer higher rates as compared to most traditional banks.
If you are living in New Jersey, though, you can take advantage of the Jersey First eSavings account, which is exclusive to New Jersey residents only. This account pays higher yields and only requires $1 to open.
Meanwhile, for non-New Jersey residents, the minimum initial deposit requirement is $100.
Amboy savings account allows any account with check-writing privileges to be linked. Similar to most online banks, withdrawals are available but are only limited to six per month, per federal regulations.
Amboy Direct offers tiered interest rates. For eSavings account, customers earn 0.30% APY on balances of $300 to $2,999, and 0.55% APY on balances of $3,000 to $100,000. Meanwhile, for Jersey First eSavings account, customers can earn 1.01% APY on balances of $1 to $50,000, and 0.64% APY on balances of $50,001 to $250,000.
As mentioned, the Amboy Direct savings account does not charge a monthly maintenance fee.
Money Market Account
Apart from the savings account, Amboy Direct also offers money market accounts, which also offer very competitive rates. Needless to say, the minimum balance requirement is also astounding.
The Amboy Direct Max More money market account is available and is exclusive to New Jersey residents only.
This account comes with some notable features like it allows customers to link to any account with check-writing privileges, as well as provides an option to schedule automatic transfers from linked account.
Again, just like the savings account, account holders are only limited to six withdrawals per month.
Amboy Direct offers tiered interest rates that usually change. As of January 2021, though, Amboy Direct money market account holders can earn 0.20% APY on balances of $5,000 to $29,999.99, and 0.60% APY on balances of $30,000 to $250,000.
To open an Amboy Direct Max More money market account, you have to have at least $100 to meet the initial deposit requirement.
Certificate of Deposit
Amboy Direct offers a certificate of deposit account to both residents and non-residents of New Jersey.
However, contrary to its eSavings CD account for residents, the bank falters when it comes to CD accounts for the non-resident.
Amboy Direct CD version is a two-year variable-rate CD. The interest rates are quite competitive as well.
As of January 2021, the rates for eSavings CD with a 12-month term is 0.30% APY for balances up to $9,999.99, and 0.65% for balances of $10,000 to $250,000. Meanwhile, for Treasury Index 2-Year CD, the rate is 0.60% (three-month Treasury rate of 0.10% plus 0.50% margin). Please note, though, that the rates change on a quarterly basis.
Although Amboy Direct only requires $100 to open a CD account, unfortunately, the bank requires a whopping $25,000 balance before the CD earns interest.
However, if you are a resident of New Jersey, you have a better option. The eSavings CD earns interest on every dollar you save, as well as the ability to add funds for six months.
As for Treasury Index 2-Year CD, account holders may also add funds for 30 days after opening the account.
Similar to many CDs, a penalty may apply for withdrawals made prior to the account’s maturity date.
HOW TO DO BANKING WITH AMBOY DIRECT?
Now that you already know the products offered by Amboy Direct, it’s time to talk about how to actually open an account with this online bank.
Interested customers may open an Amboy Direct account in three different ways — by phone, by mail, or through its website.
Of all the options available, opening an account online is the most ideal way as it only takes at least five minutes to finish.
However, make sure that you have the following requirements on hand to make the account application process as fast as possible”
- Your Social Security number
- Valid government-issued identification such as your passport or driver’s license
- A copy of a personal check from the account you will be used to fund your Amboy Direct account
In addition, be ready to provide your personal and employment information as well.
By the way, when you visit Amboy Direct homepage, look for the “Open” account button on each of the product descriptions. Choose the product/account that you want to open, and just follow the prompts to complete the application process.
Again, it only takes a few minutes to finish.
Once done with the application process, you may deposit or transfer your initial deposit. It takes a little patience though as the length of time for deposits to clear, and for transfers out of your account to complete may take up to five business days and up to three business days, respectively.
It’s definitely one of the downsides of Amboy Direct. Other than that, everything else should be smooth.
By the way, apart from the website, you can also access Amboy Direct through its mobile app, which is very new. The app is available on both the App Store and in Google Play.
Currently, the app is only limited to checking balances, transferring money, as well as contacting customer service.
IS AMBOY DIRECT SAFE?
One of the things that hinder people especially the older ones from opening an online account or entrusting their money to an online bank is safety and security issues.
In the past, there have been a number of fraud and identity theft cases in various online banks. So, it’s very understandable why people are kind of hesitant with online banks.
So, having said that, in this part of our Amboy Direct review, we are going to talk about how safe and secure banking with Amboy Direct is.
The same as most online banks in the country, Amboy Direct has put necessary safety and security measures to help ensure its customers that all their data, including their money, are safe.
In addition, and probably a very important feature in every bank is that all Amboy Direct accounts are FDIC-insured, which means, in the event of a bank failure, each depositor can get up to $250,000.
With this in place, plus the safety and security measures on its website and app, we got to say that yes, banking with Amboy Direct is safe.
WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT AMBOY DIRECT?
This review on Amboy Direct will not be complete if we will not provide you with a list of the things that we particularly like about this online bank.
Some of the things that really stand out for us are as follows:
- High-Yield Accounts – As mentioned earlier, Amboy Direct has become popular because of its high-yield account offerings. All of its products basically offer the same benefit, which makes it ideal for people who want to save money and earn from their money at the same time.
- No Monthly Maintenance Fee – Unlike other online banks, Amboy Direct does not charge a monthly service fee. Definitely, a good feature for us.
- 24/7 Access to Withdrawals and Deposits – Since it is an online bank, it means account holders can access their accounts and make transactions anytime, anywhere.
- Low Minimum Deposit Requirement – Although the bank requires at least $100 minimum opening deposit for non-residents, it only requires at least $1 for New Jersey residents. So, if you are from this state, you will benefit a lot from Amboy Direct.
- FDIC-Insured – Of course, one of the most important features of the bank is that it is a member of the FDIC, which means in case of a bank failure, clients can get up to $250,000 per account.
WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT AMBOY DIRECT?
While Amboy Direct has its share of good points, it does have some downsides as well.
To complete our Amboy Direct review, we are sharing with you some of the things that the bank can improve on. This includes the following:
- Limited Account Options – Unfortunately, Amboy Direct only offers savings, money market, and certificate of deposit accounts only. This means that if you are looking for a checking account or a business account, you may have to look elsewhere instead.
- Money Market Max More is Available for New Jersey Residents Only – Unfortunately, the Amboy Direct Money Market Max More account is only available for residents of New Jersey. Non-residents may have to consider looking for another bank.
- Mobile App is New – Although the Amboy Direct website is doing pretty well, and is providing an excellent online banking experience when it comes to the mobile app, it’s not as functional as other mobile banking apps out there yet. However, we believe that there’s a chance it would be better and more functional in the long run.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON AMBOY DIRECT REVIEW
To be honest, Amboy Direct has a lot of things to work on especially if the bank looks forward to catering to a larger client base.
However, if you are a New Jersey resident, we must say that Amboy Direct is perfect for you. You can absolutely benefit a lot from what the bank has to offer.