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Investment Apps and Websites

Linus Review: What Makes It An Ideal Choice For Building Emergency Fund

This Linus review focuses on providing you everything you need to know about this fintech company — including both the good as well as the risks involved – which is ideal in building your emergency fund.

Linus Review: What Makes It An Ideal Choice For Building Emergency Fund

Saving for our future has become necessary especially when the pandemic hit not just in the country but the world in 2020.

A lot of people struggled because of a lack of savings. It was very unpredictable no one was prepared for it to happen.

If there is one good thing, though that the pandemic brought us, a lot of people realized how valuable it is to have savings especially in case of unforeseen events. Many had to reevaluate how they spend and manage their money to hopefully become better at that, and so next time the same thing happens, they’re already prepared.

Now, if you are one of those people, here’s a tip.

If you are thinking about saving money in a financial institution, it is important to look into the options available.

Yes, there are lots of deposit account options out there. There’s checking, savings, money market, as well as a certificate of deposit accounts. Each has its respective pros and cons. Needless to say, you also need to look into the different banks out there and see what suits your needs and preferences.

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In this article, obviously, we are going to focus on Linus, a financial technology company that provides a high-yield savings account.

If you are wondering what a high-yield savings account is, it basically is a savings account that offers a high annual interest rate.

While you may opt for a traditional savings account, in an article published by CNBC, they spoke with Shon Anderson, a certified financial planner and president at Anderson Financial Strategies. The expert recommends opening high-yield savings account especially for those who need to start using their emergency fund soon, or anyone worried that they have won’t be enough.

A high-yield savings account is the best account type for people who want to start building their emergency fund, which is very essential especially these days when everything is so uncertain. This helps you earn more from your money.

Unlike other deposit accounts like a certificate of deposit wherein you have to park your money in the bank for a specific term (and you can only withdraw until it matures), a high-yield savings account makes your money still accessible anytime you need it.

Going back to Linus, as mentioned, the company specifically offers a crypto-based high-yield savings account, which has no fees and is very easy to manage.

For your information, according to Investopedia, cryptocurrency is “a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend.”

Moving on, in this Linus review, we are going to particularly tackle the following:

  • What is Linus?
  • Who is Linus best for?
  • What does Linus offer?
  • How does Linus work?
  • Are there fees involved?
  • How to bank with Linus?
  • Is Linus safe?
  • What to like about Linus?
  • What not to like about Linus?

WHAT IS LINUS?

Before moving on to the more technical matters, let first and foremost know what Linus is all about.

Linus Financial, LLC or simply Linus is a financial technology or fintech company located in Nashville, Tennessee. It was founded in 2019, which means it’s one of those companies that are new in the industry.

Linus offers customers a flexible, excellent high-yield alternative to a traditional savings account.

Basically, the fintech company earns through digital asset lending. In return, it gets to offer consumers an interest rate that is very compelling.

Unfortunately, while the high-yield account seems very attractive, unlike banks and other financial institutions out there, Linus is not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). It is not associated with any bank.

With that, it means there is more risk involved than saving money with a traditional bank. However, if you don’t mind it at all, and you are after the high-interest rate, then, it would be best to consider it more of an investment rather than a typical savings account.

Know more about Linus and what’s in store for you by watching this very insightful review by Eddie Yoon. This basically highlights the most important facts you need to know about the company.

WHO IS LINUS BEST FOR?

Now, obviously, in this section, we are going to talk about who would benefit the most with Linus.

Well, as mentioned, Linus is a fintech company that offers a crypto-based high-yield savings account, which means this should appeal most to those who want to earn more from their money without having to park it in a banking institution to be able to earn bigger interest.

It is best for those who want to start building their emergency fund, and be more ready should unforeseen circumstances happen in the future.

Linus is also ideal for those who are willing to take the risk. As mentioned, Linus is not affiliated with any bank, which means it is not FDIC-insured. So in case it fails, you won’t get any insurance. However, this should work if you see it as more of an investment rather than a typical savings account.

Ultimately, since Linus is entirely online and does not have branches like traditional banks, it should appeal most to those who like the idea of managing their accounts online, and do not mind not having a physical branch.

Now, if you think you fall in all these, then, you got to keep reading as Linus may probably the one you are looking for.

WHAT DOES LINUS OFFER?

In this part of our Linus review, we are going to dig deeper into the most important information you need to know — what Linus offers.

Using Open Finance protocols, the company provides retail consumers the opportunity to benefit from high-yield savings.

The company offers consumers a way to access the advantages of cryptocurrency investment without having to work hard for it at all.

With a $500 initial deposit requirement, customers are able to earn up to 4.5% on annual percentage yield (APY) on their savings account.

To compare, traditional savings accounts only offer around 0.08% APY. So, if you think about it, the difference is extremely high.

Another thing is that, unlike traditional or online banks, Linus does not require any maintaining balance. Needless to say, the company does not charge fees for its services.

So, if you come to think about it, you get to save yourself from all that, which definitely is a breather.

Bonus Offer

Linus is a relatively new fintech company having been established only in 2019.

Thus, the company is still working hard to attract more users. In order to do so, Linus currently offers a $20 bonus with your first deposit.

Apart from that, they do offer regular promotions to help boost your Linus account. You can get a $20 bonus every time you refer a friend.

Additionally, in September 2020, the company also offers a 1.0% bonus on deposit transactions. We won’t be surprised if Linus continues to offer promotions and bonuses in order to attract more new users.

HOW DOES LINUS WORK?

By this time, you are probably wondering already how Linus actually works. How in the world is the company able to produce such a high yield?

Well, the answer to that is simply converting your savings into cryptocurrency.

As mentioned in the previous section, Linus utilizes Open Finance protocols, which allows them to provide their customers with high-yield savings.

Furthermore, Linus also uses blockchain contracts via Ethereum. It is another cryptocurrency and set of blockchain protocols. This means that the company is also involved with blockchain credit markets.

Once you deposit your money into your Linus account, it is tokenized into USDC. USD Coin or USDC is a type of cryptocurrency that is referred to as a stable coin. A stable coin, meanwhile, is tied to some real estate asset.

Basically, USDC is backed one-to-one by US Dollars. Once your money is converted into USDC, it becomes available to digital capital markets. Unfortunately, Linus did not disclose the details of these markets, which could be a concern in terms of transparency as compared to banks that would provide those kinds of details.

Moving on, people get to borrow your USDC, which of course means they pay interest for borrowing.

Now, how does Linus avoid loan defaults in these digital credit markets? Basically, the markets used by the company require borrowers to put up collateral that is worth more than what they owe. This helps protect Linus’s investment.

So, how the company reduces risk? The loans that Linus are involved in are fully collateralized. More so, the company also sets aside a specific undisclosed amount of reserve based on deposits.

Everything, both digital trading and conversion happens behind the scenes.

Now, as an investor (which is a better term than the word saver given how it all works), you get to make deposits and withdrawals just like how you would do it with a regular savings account.

ARE THERE FEES INVOLVED?

Perhaps you are wondering about the fees.

Well, here’s some good news for you —

Linus does not charge any fees including transfer fees. Additionally, the fintech company does not require a minimum balance in your account.

However, it is important to be aware that if you keep a zero balance for an extended period of time, Linus may be forced to close your account.

HOW TO BANK WITH LINUS?

To open a Linus account, all you have to do is visit its website.

Again, Linus is a fintech company, which means, unlike banks, it does not have physical branches for in-person transactions.

Initially, you will be asked to provide your email address as well as your preferred password to start the online application process. To proceed with your account application, you will also be asked to provide some personal information including your legal name, address, phone number, date of birth, as well as an image of a valid government-issued identification such as passport or driver’s license.

Depositing Funds

There are two ways to transfer money into your Linus account.

First, you may use your bank’s debit card, and second, you may also use ACH to transfer money in and out of your account.

Good thing is, Linus does not limit the number of transfers you make in a month. However, it is important to remember that your Linus account is not a checking account and that it should never be like one.

Also, keep in mind that the money in your Linus account may not be accessible as soon as you want it. Don’t worry, though, as they’re not locked in your account like that of a certificate of deposit.

Withdrawals

To make withdrawals, it’s pretty much the same as when you deposit money into your Linus account.

All you have to do is transfer money from your Linus account to your regular banking account.

It takes time, though, so make sure to have lead time when making withdrawals.

Typically, a wire transfer with Linus takes one business day to get into your bank account. Meanwhile, ACH transfers can take longer, between three to five business days.

To withdraw, just log into your Linus account and then link your checking account or debit card.

IS LINUS SAFE?

Since Linus operates entirely online, it is important to look into its security features as well.

Based on the information they provided on their website, Linus uses Passbase to store sensitive personal information. Passbase allows Linus to verify the identity of its customers without having to store their sensitive information on Linus’s server.

Linus also allows users to set up two-factor authentication to further strengthen their account’s safety and security.

While Linus seems to be a perfect choice to store your money and earn high interest, unfortunately, it lacks FDIC insurance, unlike regular banks.

If you open a Linus account, there are a number of risks to consider like the fact that its underlying infrastructure is based on cryptocurrency, as well as the use of new technologies to achieve high returns.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT LINUS?

This part of our Linus review will provide you with a list of things to like about Linus. These basically are the pros of using Linus, which includes the following:

  • High-Yield Savings – Unlike regular savings accounts, Linus allows you to earn up to 4.5% annual percentage yield. It’s definitely high considering that traditional savings account only earn around 0.08% annual interest rate.
  • No Fees – Another thing to like about opening and maintaining a Linus account is that it does not charge any fees at all. You can use the platform and make transactions absolutely for free, which is a not-so-common thing among financial institutions like banks.
  • No Maintaining Balance Required – Linus does not also require any maintaining balance. You can even withdraw everything when you need it. However, it is important to note that Linus may close your account if you leave it with zero balance for a certain period of time, which is totally fair.
  • Minimal Initial Deposit Requirement – Considering all the benefits you get, the $500 initial deposit requirement is definitely low. Needless to say, it’s the only requirement that the company asks you to comply.
  • Ability to Deposit USD and Leverage into Cryptocurrency – With Linus, you no longer have to spend time studying cryptocurrency. They do everything for you. Once you deposit money, the company immediately turns it into USDC, and then, that’s it. You can just sit back and relax and wait for your money to grow.
  • Online Access – Linus is accessible entirely online, which is how fintech company operates really. What’s nice about it is that you can access your Linus account anytime you want, and anytime you need without having to go through the hassle of visiting a branch like in typical banks.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT LINUS?

Of course, to complete our Linus review, here are some of the downsides of this fintech company:

  • Not FDIC-Insured – Linus is not affiliated or partnered with any bank, thus, it is not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which protects depositors in case of a bank failure. To be honest, this one of the greatest risks in opening a Linus account – unless of course if you see it as an investment rather than a savings account.
  • APY Subject to Fluctuation – Linus says that customers can earn up to 4.5% APY. But of course, this is subject to fluctuation. You may earn big now, or a little lower next time. Nevertheless, the APY is still high compared to what regular savings accounts offered by banks.
  • Entirely Online – For most, especially the tech-savvy ones, this is a pro. However, for those who are a little old-school, this may be a risk as well. Unlike banks, you can go to a branch anytime you have concerns, with this one, everything is done virtually.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON LINUS REVIEW

Linus is a fintech company that provides a crypto-based high-yield savings account. It is great for individuals who want to save their money and earn a high annual interest rate.

While it seems ideal, it does come with risks especially since Linus is not insured by the FDIC. Although it works like a savings account, Linus looks more like an investment, which is why it is a great choice to build up your emergency fund.

With that said, unless you are willing to take the risk, this may not work for you. Are you?

With this Linus review, hopefully, you are able to get all the information you need to convince you that this fintech company is worth a try especially when building an emergency fund.

Categories
Mobile Banking

BMO Harris Bank Review: Full-Service Banking And Accessibility In One

If you are looking for a full-service bank that comes with mobile access and a wide selection of banking products and services, then, this BMO Harris Bank review is perfect for you.

BMO Harris Bank Review: Full-Service Banking And Accessibility In One

In an article entitled, The Mobile Banking and Payment Revolution, which was written by Sunil Gupta, the Edward W. Carter Professor of Business Administration and co-chair of the executive program on Driving Digital Strategy at Harvard Business School, it says that mobile technology has revolutionized the global banking and payment industry.

He further states that it offers new opportunities to banking institutions to provide added convenience to their customers. In the said article, it says that mobile penetration in the United States as well as in France is 105%.

Meanwhile, data by Statista says that as of 2018, the total number of mobile banking users in the United States is 57 million, and the number is expected to increase further as years go by.

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In fact, according to Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) as reported in a CNBC article, there was a 200% jump in mobile banking registrations in early April of 2020, which was the peak of the pandemic in the country.

Furthermore, mobile banking traffic increased to 85%, definitely higher as compared to previous years. This was not surprising at all, though, since a lot of bank branches had to close, and tellers were not available for health and safety reasons.

While 2020 was a challenging year for almost all industries, it was in a way a game-changer for the banking industry per se.

It was then that banks had to step up and ensure they are able to cater to the needs of their customers – whether it be in-person or online.

It was also during that time that a lot of people realized the value of having a bank that does not only provide a traditional banking experience but a great online banking experience as well.

One of the banks that actually offers both ways before the pandemic hit the world is BMO Harris Bank.

In this BMO Harris Bank review, we are going to tell you more about what to expect in this full-service bank, and what makes it a good banking option.

In the next few sections, we are going to particularly tackle the following:

  • What is BMO Harris Bank?
  • Who is BMO Harris Bank best for?
  • What are the products offered by BMO Harris Bank?
  • How to bank with BMO Harris Bank?
  • Is BMO Harris Bank safe?
  • What to like about BMO Harris Bank?
  • What not to like about BMO Harris Bank?

WHAT IS BMO HARRIS BANK?

First of all, we are going to share with you key facts you need to know about BMO Harries Bank. This provides you a picture of what the bank is all about and where it stands out as compared to other banks of the same kind.

So, with that said, here’s what you should know about the BMO Harris bank —

BMO Harris Bank is a full-service financial entity that runs over 500 brick-and-mortar locations across eight states. It is a subsidiary of Canada’s Bank of Montreal, with U.S. headquarters located in Chicago.

Founded over 130 years ago, BMO Harris Bank is currently in the eighth spot among the largest banks by assets in North America. The bank boasts having over 12 million customers to date.

If you want to know more about BMO Harris Bank, check the video below by nctv17:

BMO Harris Bank offers a wide selection of banking products and services including checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit (CD), IRAs, as well as other investing and loan options. Needless to say, providing customers with a large ATM network of over 40,000 nationwide.

Moreover, the bank offers a high-yield money market account, while its checking accounts are generally affordable and provides several options to waive fees.

Adapting to the needs of its customers, and providing better banking services, BMO Harris Bank comes with a mobile banking application that provides some distinct features such as a service that links all your accounts, including non-BMO ones, to give you a full picture of your current financial situation.

Furthermore, the mobile app also allows its users to withdraw money from some BMO Harris ATMs even without their physical debit cards. 

WHO IS BMO HARRIS BANK BEST FOR?

Obviously, in this section of our BMO Harris review, we are going to talk about who is the bank best for.

Generally, BMO Harris Bank should appeal to customers who want a Midwest-based bank that offers a wide variety of banking products and services.

As mentioned in the previous section, BMO Harris is a full-service banking institution making it an ideal choice for those who want to manage all their finances in just one bank.

Furthermore, BMO Harris Bank is a good choice for clients who are looking for competitive money market account, as well as multiple checking account options.

Since the bank offers over 40,000 ATM networks, this should also appeal to those who want easy access to cash.

BMO Harris Bank has brick-and-mortar locations, and it is also accessible through its mobile banking app. Thus, making it appealing to those who want to have access to both.

WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY BMO HARRIS BANK?

Similar to other full-service banks, BMO Harries had everything you need financially. Apart from traditional checking and savings accounts, the bank offers personal loans, wealth management services, mortgages, retirement and investment accounts, as well as business and commercial banking.

BMO Harris has over 500 physical branches located in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, and Wisconsin. Needless to say, the bank has over 40,000 ATMs, allowing customers to withdraw their money anytime.

Now, for the purpose of this BMO Harris review, we are going to focus only on its deposit product offerings such as checking and savings accounts, as well as money market and certificate of deposit accounts.

Checking Accounts

BMO Harris Bank offers three different types of checking accounts. These are:

Smart Advantage Checking

This checking account type is the most popular among all of the bank’s checking account offerings.

The Smart Advantage checking account requires no monthly maintenance fees as well as ATM fees. While electronic statements are free, if you prefer receiving a paper statement, you may do so for a fee of $2 per month.

Smart Advantage checking account comes with a debit MasterCard, which enables the account holder to withdraw money from the bank’s large ATM network.

To open a Smart Advantage checking account, BMO Harris only requires a minimum of $25 opening deposit, which is definitely lower as compared to other banks.

The only downside of this account type is that it does not earn any interest.

Smart Money Checking

Unlike Smart Advantage, the Smart Money checking account comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $5. This fee is waived only if the account holder is 25 years old and below.

Additionally, Smart Money checking account is free from overdraft fees or non-sufficient fund fees. Basically, this is because customers can only spend the funds available in the account.

Similarly, Smart Money checking account electronic statements are free. However, if you opt for a paper statement, this costs a $2 fee.

Also, this checking account type comes with a debit MasterCard and can be used in over 40,000 ATMs.

To open a Smart Money checking account, the bank requires a minimum of $25 initial deposit. This account type does not earn interest, as well.

Premier Checking

Of all the three checking account types offered by BMO Harris Bank, Premier checking is the only one that bears interest.

With Premier checking, all account balances earn interest. However, you need to have a minimum of $25,000 in your account to earn the highest interest rate, which currently is 0.10% APY.

The Premier checking account comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $25. However, this can be waived only if you meet any of the following requirements:

  • Maintain a $10,000 minimum daily balance
  • Has $25,000 in combined BMO Harris accounts
  • Has a BMO Harries investment account

Similar to other checking account types, this also comes with a debit MasterCard. More so, it also offers up to a $25 rebate monthly on out-of-network ATM fees. Fees are also waived on cashier’s checks and money orders.

Overdraft fee can be waived if you set it up by linking your savings account, MMA, or other checking accounts. The fee is $36 for every overdraft over $5 with a maximum of four overdrafts per day. Additionally, a $10 fee is charged for transferring funds to cover the overdraft.

To open a Premier checking account, the minimum initial requirement is also $25.

Savings Accounts

BMO Harris Bank only has one savings account option. This is the one they call the Statement Savings.

Similar to the bank’s checking account options, BMO Harris only requires at least a $25 initial deposit.

Unlike other savings account offerings from other banks, the Statement Savings only offers a 0.05% interest rate, which is below the national savings account average rate.

The savings account also comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $5, which can be waived for account owners who are 25 years old and below, or those who are keeping a minimum daily ledger balance of $100 for the month.

Money Market Accounts

If you want to earn a competitive interest rate, one of the ways to achieve that is by opening BMO Harris’s Platinum Money Market account.

Currently, account balances between $5,000 and $999,999.99 earns 0.95% annual percentage yield (APY), while balances that range $1,000 or more earn 0.75% APY.

While it requires a minimum opening deposit of $5,000, the account does not have an ongoing balance requirement.

Unlike the previous account types, the Platinum Money Market account does not charge a monthly maintenance fee. Furthermore, it comes with check-writing privileges.

Generally, the Platinum money market account is ideal for people who want to keep an emergency fund.

Certificate of Deposit (CD) Accounts

BMO Harris Bank offers two kinds of certificate of deposit (CD) accounts. These are Standard CD and Add-On CD accounts.

When it comes to interest earned, it is handled similarly with the two account types. For CD terms below 12 months, the interest is compounded daily and credited at maturity. Meanwhile, for CDs 12 months or greater, the interest is compounded on a daily basis and is credited to the CD account quarterly.

Now, to understand the difference between the two-CD account types here’s a brief explanation of each:

Standard CDs

This CD account type features terms from three to 60 months. It has an option for one-month and two-month CDs for balances of at least $100,000.

Standard CDs have tiered fixed rates depending on the term as well as the account balance. Rates vary from 0.05% for 1 month CD term up to 0.70% for 60 months CD term. Occasionally, the bank offers special rates for certain term lengths.

The minimum balance requirement for this CD type is $1,000.

Add-On CDs

As the name of the product suggests, this allows account holders to add more funds to their CD account after opening.

Unlike the other CD type, Add-On only has a one-year CD term, which at the moment earns 0.30% APY.

Similarly, the bank requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open an Add-On CD account.

For both CD types, the bank charges an early withdrawal fee of up to 545 days interest if you opt to withdraw your money prior to its maturity date.

HOW TO BANK WITH BMO HARRIS BANK?

This part of our BMO Harris review will focus on how to actually bank with BMO Harris.

What’s nice about BMO Harris is that the bank pairs some of the best in-person banking features with its digital banking functionality.

To open an account with BMO Harries, customers have the option to either visit any of the banks’ over 500 branches located in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, and Wisconsin or do it online via its website.

Similar to any other financial institution out there, BMO Harris Bank requires all new customers to provide some personal information including their name, address, phone number, and Social Security number. Additionally, government-issued identification such as a passport and driver’s license is also required.

ATM Access

As already mentioned, BMO Harris has over 40,000 fee-free ATMs where customers can access cash.

Mobile Banking

For those who prefer mobile or online banking, BMO Harris Bank provides digital banking services so you can access your account anytime and anywhere.

The bank’s mobile app is highly-rated in both App Store and Google Play.

Using the mobile app, customers are able to enjoy the following features:

  • Mobile cash withdrawals in most of the bank’s ATMs
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Bill Pay
  • Total Look account management
  • Apple Pay and Zelle integration

Customer Service

If you have any concerns, you may contact someone at BMO Harris’s call center, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

IS BMO HARRIS BANK SAFE?

Of course, we made sure to also look into the bank’s digital platforms’ safety and security features.

As mentioned, you can access your BMO Harris Bank account either through the website or the mobile app.

Having been in the banking industry for more than 130 years, BMO Harris surely knows how to keep its customers’ personal data and accounts safe and secured.

The bank uses bank-grade encryption to ensure all accounts and personal data are free from possible fraud or identity theft.

Additionally, BMO Harris Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which means all deposits are insured for up to $250,000 per depositor, per account category in case the bank fails.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT BMO HARRIS BANK?

In this section, we are going to give you a list of the things that really stand out about BMO Harris Bank, and the list includes the following:

  • Several Product Offerings – BMO Harris is a full-service bank. Thus expect to find a wide variety of banking products and services. Not only does it offer traditional checking and savings accounts, but that it also offers personal loans, wealth management services, mortgages, retirement and investment accounts, as well as business and commercial banking.
  • Inexpensive Checking Accounts – For only $25, you can easily open a checking account of your type.
  • Waivable Monthly Maintenance Fee – For most of its products, the bank charges a monthly maintenance fee. However, the fee is waived if you meet certain requirements.
  • Competitive Rates for Money Market Accounts – Of all the deposit products offered by BMO Harris Bank, the best in terms of rates would be Money Market. It definitely offers one of the best rates out there.
  • Large Fee-Free ATM Network – The bank has over 40,000 ATMs free of charge.
  • Physical Branches – Apart from providing a highly-rated mobile application, as well as online access, the bank has over 500 physical branches in select states.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT BMO HARRIS BANK?

While there are a lot of things to like about BMO Harris Bank, it sure does have its share of downsides as well, and this includes the following:

  • Low-Interest Savings Account – Unlike other banks of the same type, BMO Harris Bank’s savings account is not that appealing. It offers a low-interest rate. In fact, below the national average for savings accounts even.
  • Limited Branches – Although we like the fact that BMO Harris Bank does have physical branch locations, it is limited to eight states only. It would be nice, though, if they could have more and eventually be present across all 50 states.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON BMO HARRIS BANK REVIEW

BMO Harris is a full-service bank that offers a wide selection of banking products and services. It comes with over 500 physical branches across eight states and provides access to over 40,000 ATMs.

While it does have a few downsides, the good things that it provides overshadow them.

Setting the not-so-good things about the bank, would you consider opening an account with BMO Harris?

To sum up, with this BMO Harris review, we found that the bank, while imperfect, is definitely one of the best options out there especially if you want a full-service financial institution that provides an access to both a physical branch (if you are from the Mid-west) and excellent digital platforms.

Categories
Mobile Banking

Copper Review: An All-Digital App Teaching Teens Financial Literacy

Teaching financial management to teenagers can be quite a challenge. With this in-depth Copper review, you will find essential facts about this all-digital banking platform that is specially designed to help parents teach their children how to successfully manage their finances.

Copper Review: An All-Digital App Teaching Teens Financial Literacy

Personal finance management is generally not taught in high school. Thus, it leaves room for parents to step in and be the ones to train their kids on how to manage their money responsibly.

While this can be a bit of a challenge for parents, good thing there are banking platforms such as Copper that are made to allow parents to monitor their teen’s spending and saving habits. Essentially, help their young ones how to handle their finances well.

According to the National Financial Awareness Day Survey, which was provided by the Junior Achievement USA, while most teens today love technology, a lot of them still rely on cash when it comes to making purchases and getting their allowances from their parents.

In fact, the survey shows that “80 percent of teens who receive money from parents or caregivers say it is in the form of cash and 75 percent of teens say they have made purchases in cash.”

Meanwhile, “26 percent who received money from parents or guardians said it was wired into their bank account, while nearly as many (23%) used their parent or caregiver’s credit card for online purchases,” while only 10 percent used financial apps like mobile banking apps such as Copper to receive money or purchase items.

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Another noteworthy finding is that although most receive money in cash, 48 percent say they use mobile or online apps to help manage their money. Particularly for budgeting and planning purposes.

To be fair, we see the result of this survey in a positive light. Although most of the respondents receive and purchase using cash, we like the fact that nearly half are using mobile apps to help manage their finances.

For us, it is a good sign that many of the young people today care about their money. Unlike the older generations, thanks to technology, younger generations are more literate or are more willing to learn when it comes to proper handling of their money.

It’s nice knowing that with their easy access to mobile apps or mobile/online banking, young people learn. Needless to say, it makes the task of parents when it comes to teaching their children financial management easier.

Now, going back to Copper.

Obviously, in the next couple of sections, we are going to share with you answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this all-digital banking platform.

In particular, we are going to tackle in the Copper review the following:

  • What is Copper Banking?
  • Who is Copper Banking best for?
  • What are the products offered by Copper Banking?
  • How to bank with Copper Banking?
  • Is Copper Banking safe?
  • What to like about Copper Banking?
  • What not to like about Copper Banking?

WHAT IS COPPER BANKING?

Similar to when you are choosing a bank for your banking needs, as parents, you also need to check and do your own research when it comes to selecting a tool that will help you teach your children financial management.

There are a couple of online banking platforms that are targeting teens, so finding the best one that fits your preference as a parent and what you think is best for your teenager is important.

So, in this part of our Copper review, you will find out some of the key information about this online bank.

Copper Banking is a free digital-only banking platform that was established in April 2019 and is currently based in Seattle, Washington.

Learn more about Copper in this video below:

The online banking platform was founded by Eddie Behringer and Stefan Berglund, and was specifically designed for teens.

As of this writing, Copper Banking has raised $4.3 million through seed funding.

Copper Banking provides a digital checking account and a debit card for teenagers with a strong focus on financial literacy.

The mobile app comes with exclusive content as well as quizzes designed by Certified Financial Planners and other financial education experts to help the users learn more about financial management.

Additionally, the bank app also features built-in savings tools to help teens reach their respective financial goals.

While it does earn an annual percentage yield, it’s not as compelling as regular checking accounts. Nevertheless, it definitely serves its purpose.

WHO IS COPPER BANKING BEST FOR?

Copper Banking is an all-digital banking platform that is specifically designed for teens.

Obviously, it will benefit teenagers aged 13 to 17 years old the most. The app features exclusive content, quizzes, as well as built-in savings tools to help teens become better at managing their finances.

Copper Banking is ideal for parents as well who want an effective tool to teach their kids how to properly handle their money.

While the app is made for their children, it comes with certain parental controls particularly allowing parents to view transactions made by their kids, enable notification when the user is making a purchase, and a lot more (we are going to share with you the detailed feature in a different section).

WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY COPPER BANKING?

Now that you already know what Copper Banking is all about and who will benefit from it the most, it’s time to share with you important information about the fintech’s product offering.

By now, you probably have figured already that Copper only offers one – checking account with a debit card.

Before we move on, we just want to reiterate that technically speaking, Copper is not a bank but a fintech company. Fintech is the term for financial technology, which, according to Investopedia is “used to describe new tech that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services.”

Copper uses SynapseFi, a partner of Evolve Bank & Trust for the backend technology of its app. The relationship between these two entities makes it possible for Copper to offer banking services to consumers.

As mentioned, Copper Banking is a mobile app that was specifically designed to help young people particularly teens aged between 13 and 17 years old learn about financial literacy.

While there are a lot of banks out there, most of them do not have accounts that are made to cater to the needs of teenagers.

Copper offers a digital checking account that comes with a MasterCard debit card, which enables the users to withdraw money from or use it in making purchases.

What’s nice about this all-digital banking platform is that it comes with a parental involvement feature that allows adults to track and monitor their teen’s spending habits.

With Copper Banking, sending and receiving money between parents or guardian and their teens easier. Everything is done digitally. So, with just a few clicks, parents or guardians are able to immediately transfer funds to their teen’s account.

As stated, Copper Banking offers a digital checking account. Unlike other banks that offer the same product catering to teens, Copper does not have a compelling APY. In fact, it’s too minimal you won’t feel it.

Moving on, the account comes with a MasterCard debit card that enables the users to withdraw cash at over 55,000 ATMs, at the same time, use it in making purchases where MasterCard is accepted.

What’s nice about it is that you do not have to wait until the physical card arrives before you can use it. As soon as parents or guardians fund the account, the virtual debit card is automatically activated.

Furthermore, the Copper debit card can be added to Apple Pay as well as Google Pay digital wallets.

Now, apart from the checking account and the debit card that comes with it, the Copper Banking mobile app also comes with other interesting and helpful features.

Now, let’s dig deeper into what these features have to offer —

Financial Education

Copper Banking was not only designed to provide banking services to teens but more importantly, to help them learn more about financial management.

Having said that, the fintech company actually has two primary ways to teach teens about financial literacy.

First is by offering a financial literacy quiz allowing teens to test their knowledge about financial management, at the same time, learn about it.

The second is by providing financial lessons, which they call “Cheat Codes.”

The company’s financial education department is headed by Liz Frazier who is a Certified Financial Planner, as well as an author of the book entitled, “Beyond Piggy Banks and Lemonade Stands: How To Teach Young Kids About Finance.”

Parental Involvement

Copper acknowledges the fact that the app is not enough to teach teens how to manage their finances. Parental guidance still plays a very important role.

So, with that, the app was created to ensure there is still parental involvement.

Copper provides parents or guardians certain controls through the app, and this includes the following:

  • View transactions made by their teens
  • Enable notifications every time a purchase is made
  • Ability to easily send as well as request funds between accounts
  • Ability to automate recurring transfers between parent and teen account for allowance or other regular funding purposes

HOW TO BANK WITH COPPER BANKING?

In the previous section of this review, we talked about what product does Copper Banking offers. This time around, we are going to talk about how to actually bank with Copper.

First of all, to be able to sign up for a Copper account, the parent or guardian must be at least 18 years old, while your child should be between 13 to 17 years old.

You must be a citizen or a permanent resident or non-permanent resident alien in the United States on a valid long-term visa. You must also have a valid Social Security number or a tax identification number, as well as an existing checking account to link to Copper.

When signing up, you will also be required to provide your personal information as well as your teen. Your Social Security number or tax identification number will also be asked, and of course, you will need to provide your login information for your linked checking account as well.

Since Copper is an all-digital banking platform, you will have to sign up online. Here’s a step-by-step guide for you:

  1. Click the Apply Now button on the website.
  2. Enter your phone number, and then, you will receive a link to download the Copper Banking app for teens.
  3. Once downloaded, launch the app and click How Does It Work?
  4. Click Let’s Do This.
  5. You will have to enter your phone number and then, click Next.
  6. Enter your security code.
  7. Choose whether you’re a teen or a parent.
  8. Provide your name, birthdate, email address, and zip code.
  9. Follow the next few steps to invite your teen or parent.

Cash Deposits

Apart from transferring funds online, another way to fund your teen’s Copper account is via cash deposit.

Copper uses the Green Dot network to enable cash deposits. So, all you have to do is visit the nearest Green Dot retailer location.

It is important to note, though, that retails usually charge a fee for this transaction. It varies depending on the retailer, but it could be up to $4.95 per transaction.

We highly suggest you only take this route when you have no other options left or when you have a good amount of money to deposit to make the fee worthwhile.

Deposits, Withdrawals, and Spending Limits

Unlike a typical deposit account, Copper has some depositing and spending limits. This includes:

  • $250 for daily load limit for debit card funding or ACH
  • $2,000 monthly load limit for debit card funding or ACH
  • $2,000 daily spending limit

While transferring money into a Copper account through ACH is fee-free, it takes 3 to 5 days before it gets credited to your account.

Additionally, if you use a debit card when transferring funds to a Copper account, there would be a small fee to cover the transaction cost.

Another option to transfer funds into a Copper account is by using online remittance platforms like Cash App, PayPal, and Venmo.

Meanwhile, to withdraw money from your account, you may opt to use an ATM, cashback at a retailer, ACH transfer, or fund transfer to a linked checking account.

Customer Support

Since Copper is a digital banking platform, it obviously does not have any local branches for in-person support.

So, in case you have any concerns, its customer support is only available through email at support@getcopper.com.

Fees

Unlike other fintech companies, Copper does not charge monthly fees, overdraft fees, as well as account maintenance fees.

The only possible fee you will encounter is the one charged by Copper’s third-party ATM operators should you decide to withdraw cash.

Also, as mentioned earlier, you may also be charged by Green Dot retailers if you opt to deposit cash.

IS COPPER BANKING SAFE?

Copper understands and acknowledges the importance of the safety and security of your personal as well as account details.

Thus, the fintech company features round-the-clock fraud monitoring to help ensure your teen’s money is safe from any suspicious activities.

Apart from that, the app also put other bank-grade security measures to avoid any untoward events.

With Copper Banking’s affiliation with Evolve Bank & Trust, all Copper deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for up to $250,000 per depositor, per account category in case of a bank failure.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT COPPER BANKING?

At this point of our Copper review, we are going to share with you a few things we like about this all-digital banking platform. This includes:

  • No Monthly Fees – Unlike other online banking platforms, Copper Banking does not charge monthly fees, as well as overdraft and account maintenance fees.
  • Parental Involvement Feature – Copper knows how essential the involvement of parents or guardians is in terms of teaching financial management among teens. That is why Copper provides them certain controls through the app to see how their teens are doing with their finances.
  • Exclusive Financial Literacy Content – We love this feature. We thought it is a nice touch for a teen banking app. This will definitely help broaden young people’s knowledge and understanding of financial management.
  • Lots of Deposit and Withdrawal Options – Apart from digital transfers, Copper also enables users to fund their account via Green Dot retailers for a minimal cost. Meanwhile, withdrawals may be done using the MasterCard debit card that comes with the Copper account in any of the over 55,000 ATMs nationwide.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT COPPER BANKING?

Of course, this Copper review will not be complete without a list of the things that we do not particularly like about Copper, which includes:

  • Very Low APY – Unfortunately, Copper accounts can only earn a 0.001% annual percentage yield, which when compared to other mobile banking platforms that also cater to teens is very, very low.
  • Fees for Cash Deposits – While Copper allows cash deposits through Green Dot retailers, it does come with a fee of $4.99. So, unless it’s an emergency or you have a good amount to deposit, we highly recommend doing everything digitally.
  • Very Limited Customer Support – Since Copper is an all-digital banking platform, it also comes with a very limited customer support feature. Right now, customers may only contact them via email. No phones, no live chat support available.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON COPPER REVIEW

Copper is an all-digital banking platform that was specifically designed to help teens develop better financial management skills.

This also helps parents or guardians teach their teens how to handle their money properly to avoid future financial mistakes.

If you are a parent or guardian, does Copper meet your preferences? We do hope so.

Generally, we found through this Copper review that while there are a couple of good things about the banking platform, it also has some notable downsides including not earning a good APY as compared to others. So, unless that does not bother you, overall, it still is worth it.

Categories
Mobile Banking

Dave App Review: A Low-Cost App That Provides Fee-Free Cash Advances

Hitting a $0 balance on your checking account can be very stressful. With this Dave App review, we do not only provide you essential facts about this membership app/service but hopefully, this gives you an option to ensure that you always have money in the bank especially when you need it most.

Dave App Review: A Low Cost App That Provides Fee-Free Cash Advances

While nobody wants to lose money before the next paycheck, the reality is, a lot of people actually experience that. Many people try hard enough to make ends meet every time, but there are just some instances when their money runs out even before it gets replenished.

Worse is, you do not have money in the bank and then there’s an emergency. That is a kind of situation we all do not want to be in, right?

When things get worse, a lot of us rely on loans. Many of us apply for payday loans or personal loans or borrow money from someone we know just to get through until the next payday.

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Last year, when the pandemic hit the United States, a lot of people were unprepared. Many struggled financially especially since many Americans live paycheck to paycheck.

In fact, according to an article published by CNBC, based on a recent report from CareerBuilder, 78% of full-time workers in the country fall into that category.

While the option of taking a loan is a good idea, we cannot deny the fact that it can be stressful, too, given the fact that there is interest to take into consideration. That’s a lot of money, to be honest, especially for the minimum wage earners.

But, what if there is a financial institution that provides an interest-free cash advance feature?

Sounds too good to be true?

Well, it is true! That is exactly what makes the Dave app stand out from the rest. Dave app is not your typical financial service provider. It is actually something that could potentially help every individual who runs out of cash to avoid interest-bearing loan programs and save a lot eventually.

In the next few sections, we are going to share with you key information about the Dave app and hopefully, at the end of this Dave app review, we get to convince you that this one’s worth it.

In particular, we are going to provide answers to the following questions:

  • What is Dave App?
  • Who is Dave App best for?
  • How does the Dave app work?
  • How to sign up for Dave App?
  • Is Dave App safe?
  • What to like about the Dave App?
  • What not to like about the Dave App?

WHAT IS DAVE APP?

By now you are probably curious to know what the Dave app is all about, what makes it special, etcetera.

Well, we won’t keep you waiting because, first of all, in this section, we are going to give you a little background on what the Dave app is all about.

As we always say, it is important to get to know the bank or the financial service provider first before signing up so you get to gauge if it’s really the one you need or the one you are looking for.

So, here are some key points you need to know about the Dave app —

Dave app is a low-cost membership application. It was specifically designed to offer customers fee-free checking as well as provide up to $75 in interest-free advances. Needless to say, outsmart overdraft fees, which could potentially help Americans avoid paying billions of dollars per year just on overdrafts alone.

The app comes with a monthly membership fee, but for a very minimal cost of $1. Considering the app’s features, you definitely get the best of what you are paying for.

Furthermore, the Dave app helps its users to budget. It looks at the user’s traditional cash flow throughout the month and lets the user know if a pinch is upcoming so he or she can plan ahead.

Before moving on, if you want to know more about the Dave app and how it benefits customers, watch this very informative and insightful video review below by Mr. Modern Financials:

WHO IS DAVE APP BEST FOR?

Now that you already know something about the Dave app, it’s time to assess if this fits you.

While there are no restrictions as to who can only use the app, Dave would be most useful to those people who live on a paycheck-to-paycheck basis.

This will surely help them a lot in making ends meet without having to fall into payday loans or other types of loans that charge a certain amount of interest.

Through the app’s cash advance feature, you get to have access to a certain amount of money without having to worry about paying for interests.

So, if you want that kind of service, the Dave app should appeal to you the most.

Of course, as we’ve already mentioned, this app should be ideal for people who live paycheck to paycheck. They are the ones who will benefit from the Dave app the most.

Additionally, this would be great for those who want to get away from overdraft fees, and also those who want to keep a track of their monthly budget.

Also, this should be a good app for those who are willing to pay $1 a month for a monthly maintenance fee. Unless you have a Dave debit card and you use it in shopping at your preferred merchants, this fee can be eliminated.

HOW DOES THE DAVE APP WORK?

In this part of our Dave app review, we are going to tell you more about this app. In particular, how it actually works.

Generally, the Dave app works in two ways —

First, it helps users to budget and looks at their traditional cash flow for the entire month provided your debit card is connected to the Dave app. The app automatically lets the user know if it looks like funds are almost running out or if the user over budgets.

Second, this provides an overdraft fee-avoiding solution through the cash advance feature.

Now, let’s take a deeper look into each of these functions.

Budgeting Feature

Basically, the app helps you track your budget, and let you know how low your money gets before your next paycheck comes in.

The app uses your monthly expenses such as your utility bill, phone bill, and etcetera to calculate just how much you have left until the next payday. If you overspend in a month, or your bills are higher than how much they’re usually are, the app automatically sends you an alert. This is very helpful so you get to avoid fees.

Cash Advance Feature

Dave app’s cash advance feature is actually what makes it special. Customers are into it for that very reason.

The app’s cash advance feature is available for customers whose bank accounts are linked to the Dave app.

As mentioned, cash advances provided by Dave app have no fees involved, and definitely, no interest rates as well.

It basically is like taking a mini loan against your own paycheck to help you make ends meet before your next payday comes.

As soon as you are able to connect your checking account to the app, you immediately get to avail of the cash advance feature. The app lets you advance money of up to $100.

This may not be as big as what you can borrow at lending companies, but, this surely could help tide you over for a couple of days without having to deal with fees and interests.

When using this feature, it is important to note that standard transfers take up to three days for free. However, if you wish to receive the money sooner (in 8 hours or less even), this incurs a small fee of $4.99.

Now, you are probably wondering how to repay your advance, right?

Well, it is so easy. You simply repay your debt automatically as soon as you receive your next paycheck. Once paid, you can utilize the cash advance feature again as needed.

Fees

As already mentioned earlier, while the cash advance feature saves you from interests and fees, using the app comes with a monthly fee.

The Dave app comes with a $1 monthly membership fee. This overs access to cash advances, account monitoring, as well as other helpful resources.

If you come to think of it, $1 is not a big amount. However, when added up, it means spending $12 a year to monitor your cash flow and for the cash advance feature, which may not be worthwhile for a mid-earner.

But, for those who live paycheck-to-paycheck or those who constantly need a buffer, the Dave app is definitely a huge help.

Here’s some good news, though. There is a chance that the $1 monthly fee can be waived if you shop at certain stores. But of course, you don’t want to keep shopping just to forgo the $1 fee, right? At the end of the day, every penny counts.

Mobile Support and Accessibility

Obviously, the Dave app is an entirely mobile platform, which means it is not accessible via computer.

The Dave app is available for both iOS and Android mobile devices.

Dave app is very easy to use. Even new users won’t have a hard time using it. All they have to do is follow the prompts to be able to set up as well as manage the account.

The app also comes with different alerts such as text messages or push notifications, which makes it easier to know when your account threshold has already been reached or almost there.

Customer Support

Dave app has a Support section on its website wherein a ton of frequently asked questions are answered. Also, it provides screenshots that walk you through the steps of managing your Dave account.

However, if you couldn’t find the answers in there, you can contact Dave customer support through the app or the contact form, which can be found on the website.

Unfortunately, it does not say how long it takes to get a response. Also, Dave does not have a direct hotline where you can speak with a real person. This can be quite a challenge if you have an immediate concern.

HOW TO SIGN UP FOR DAVE APP?

Now that you already what the Dave app is all about, its features as well as other key information about it, it’s time to look into the process of signing up.

Opening an account with Dave is quick and easy. It all starts with downloading the highly-rated app on your mobile device (could be your smartphone or a tablet). As mentioned, the app is available for both iOS and Android devices.

The sign-up process requires you to share a few personal information such as your name, email address, date of birth, and even your Social Security Number — similar to any other financial platform.

Apart from personal information, you will also be asked to make a few account choices, select your preferred form of communication for when or if your estimated account balance drops.

Additionally, you will also be asked to choose your account balance threshold for notifications. It could be anywhere between $0 and $1,000.

To finish the whole process, you will have to accept the terms and conditions.

Once done, you can already link your debit card to your Dave app account, which allows you to access the fee-free cash advance option.

IS DAVE APP SAFE?

The safety and security of your account are very important. That is why in this section of our Dave app review, we are going to see how secure this financial platform is.

When opening a Dave account, you will be asked to provide personal information. Additionally, to be able to benefit from its features, you will have to link your bank account to the app.

With all this information, it is imperative that the Dave app be as secure as possible.

According to Dave’s website, the app uses “industry-standard” 2048-bit encryption when managing users’ sensitive information. The app utilizes a two-factor authentication process to further protect its users and their accounts.

In addition, the employees of Dave also receive rigorous security training every year to ensure that the company provides a secure and safe online financial platform.

To help ease your worries, your banking information is not stored. It is only used once for authentication purposes as well as in linking your account.

Furthermore, it is important to note that on the website, Dave has this disclaimer with regards to sharing less-sensitive information with a third party:

We may share personal information about you as follows: With third parties to provide, maintain, and improve our Services; In connection with, or during the negotiation of, any merger, sale of company stock or assets, financing, acquisition, divestiture, or dissolution of all or a portion of our business; To respond to subpoenas, court orders, or legal process; In order to investigate, prevent, defend against, or take other action regarding violations of our Terms of Service, illegal activities, suspected fraud, or situations involving potential threats to the legal rights or physical safety of any person or the security of our network, Sites or Services; To respond to claims that any posting or other content violates the rights of third parties; In an emergency, to protect the health and safety of our Site’s users or the general public, or As otherwise required by law. How we secure your information. We use the highest security industry standards to ensure your information is kept safe and only available to you and the required Services provided by Dave.”

While it is unclear what particular information is shared, it is just right to be aware that there is a possibility of information-sharing.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT THE DAVE APP?

This review on the Dave app will not be complete without a summary of the things to like about this online financial platform.

Some of the things we particularly like about Dave are as follows:

  • Fee-Free Cash Advances – Of course, this has to be on top of the list. With Dave, borrowing money is easy and free. Once your account is linked to the Dave app, you automatically become eligible to advance money of up to $100 free of interest and fees.
  • Low Monthly Membership Fee – To use the features of the Dave app and benefit from it, you will need to pay $1 per month. Compared to how much you pay for interest and fees when borrowing money elsewhere, this monthly fee is still cheap.
  • Easy to Use App – The Dave app is very easy and simple to use. As long as you have a mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet, you can download it, and use the app anytime, anywhere.
  • Alerts and Notifications – Dave app sends alerts or notifications once you reach your account limit based on your expenses. This saves you from overdraft fees, as you can easily borrow money once you need a little more to cover any excess cost.
  • Pause Account As Needed – If you feel like you need to take a break from using the app, you can pause your membership through the app. This also means you won’t be charged anything until you activate your account again.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT THE DAVE APP?

Just like any other financial platform, the Dave app has its share of downsides as well.

So, below, we are sharing a few of the things to not like about the app:

  • Takes Up To 3 Days for Advances to be Credited – Unfortunately, it takes up to three days before your cash advance is credited to your account. However, if you wish to expedite the process and receive the money in 8 hours or less, you’ll need to pay $4.99.
  • No Web Platform – All Dave accounts are only accessible through the app. Sure, it has a website, but it does not provide access to your account.
  • No Phone Support – The Dave app does not have phone support. For concerns, Dave customer support may be reached through the app or the contact form.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE DAVE APP REVIEW

Dave app is a mobile app that is known for providing a fee-free cash advance feature.

While it does have a monthly membership fee of $1, as compared to the interest you will have to pay when borrowing money from lending companies and banks, it definitely is still cheaper. Needless to say, the fee can be waived if you shop using your debit card at selected stores.

Now, given all the information we provided, do you think the Dave app is the right one for you?

With this Dave app review, we hope you are able to see how it can be very beneficial especially among people who paycheck-to-paycheck.

Categories
Mobile Banking

TD Bank Review: A Full-Service Bank With Mobile Access

People living on the East Coast and are looking for a full-service bank with mobile app access, this one’s for you. This TD Bank review provides you key information on how this financial institution may just be the right one for you.

TD Bank Review: A Full-Service Bank With Mobile Access

The increasing number of smartphones as well as the presence of the Internet has brought rapid changes in a lot of things — including financial services.

With technology, consumers, as well as banking institutions, now have access to new tools — digital ones — for managing finances. Needless to say, technology in the banking industry has changed the customer-bank relationship to a different level.

According to a report by the Federal Reserve, which is the central bank of the United States, it has found that the use of smartphone technology has grown rapidly in the country. Mobile banking use has expanded, including for banking.

In the said report, it says that based on the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED), in 2017, “about half of U.S. adults with bank accounts had used a mobile phone to access a bank account.”

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Meanwhile, according to Statista, based on a 2018 survey, it was found that the use of mobile banking differs among demographic groups — 69.3% of Millennials used mobile banking, while only 24% among respondents who belong to Baby Boomers are into it.

This study shows that while a lot of young people are into mobile banking, the older generations are not as receptive to it because they are more confident and trusting with traditional banking. They find mobile banking too risky.

However, things changed when the pandemic struck the world in 2020.

In fact, an article by CNBC says that according to Fidelity National Information Services (FIS), there was a 200% jump in new mobile banking registrations, while mobile banking traffic rose to 85%.

With health protocols in place, it is no doubt people relied so much on mobile banking instead.

While the pandemic is still around, the number of mobile banking users will surely continue to surge.

Now, while this is good news to mobile banks, this somehow poses a challenge to traditional banks. This means they need to keep up with the game by providing better mobile banking services.

TD Bank is one of those traditional banks that managed to keep up with the changing needs of their customers.

Unlike other banks of the same type, TD Bank offers customers the ability to open an account either through its online channels or by visiting one of its 1,250 physical locations.

Sounds interesting?

Well, as mentioned earlier, in this TD Bank review, you will surely find out more about this financial institution and what makes it an ideal choice.

In particular, we are going to tackle the following in the next few sections:

  • What is TD Bank?
  • Who is TD Bank best for?
  • What are the products offered by TD Bank?
  • How to bank with TD Bank?
  • Is TD Bank safe?
  • What to like about TD Bank?
  • What not to like about TD Bank?

WHAT IS TD BANK?

Before we proceed with the more serious information like the products offered by the bank, let us first and foremost get to know TD Bank.

As a customer, it is important to know the history of the bank. This tells you a lot in terms of how credible and how strong its foundation is.

TD Bank, for instance, has been around for 150 years now. The longevity of its presence in the banking industry only means they are doing what is right — including insuring they get to adapt to changes, and of course, provide excellent customer service.

TD Bank is actually a subsidiary of the Canadian Toronto Dominion Bank. Currently, the bank’s headquarter in the United States is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The bank boasts more than 9 million customers as of this writing, and 1,250 brick-and-mortar locations along the East Coast. Thus, making it an ideal bank for people living in that area.

Also, TD Bank currently has more than $300,000,000 in assets, making it ranked 9th based on the mx.com 2019 rankings.

TD Bank is a full-service bank, which means, if you want to have access to a variety of bank products and services (including checking, savings, and CD accounts), this one’s got to be among your top choices.

Additionally, it is also known for providing an exemplary customer experience.

The video below by Talend provides you information on how the bank delivers a legendary customer experience.

TD Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which means every depositor could receive up to $250,000 per account category in case of a bank failure.

WHO IS TD BANK BEST FOR?

How do you know if TD Bank is indeed right for you?

Well, on this part of our TD Bank review, we are going to talk about who’s going to benefit from it the most.

First, as mentioned in the previous section, TD Bank is a full-service bank, which means it offers a variety of products and services. Thus, it is ideal for those who want a wide range of bank product selections.

Second, TD Bank should appeal to consumers who want to bank in a traditional banking institution, at the same time, enjoy the benefits of having mobile access.

Third, since there are a few TD Bank branches that are open outside the usual banking days, this financial institution would also be great for people who want access to a brick-and-mortar location on weekends.

Fourth, TD Bank is a good choice for those who want to park their money into their accounts to be able to waive the monthly fees.

Fifth, if you are someone who wants a bank that reimburses out-of-network ATM fees reimbursed, TD Bank is also a good option. However, you need to meet the minimum balance required to be able to enjoy this feature.

Sixth, this bank is also a great choice for people who use their debit cards for international travel.

Lastly, TD Bank is a great bank for those who want a financial institution that caters to different types of customers — from students to those aged 60 and above.

WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY TD BANK?

Similar to any other large financial institution out there, TD Bank offers a wide range of banking products and services.

For this TD Bank review, however, we are going to particularly focus on the following:

  • Savings Account
  • Checking Account
  • Certificate of Deposit (CD) Account

Savings Account

TD Bank offers two different savings accounts for customers to choose from. These accounts are the TD Simple Savings and the TD Beyond Savings.

Now, let’s look into what these accounts are all about —

TD Simple Savings

With TD Simple Savings, all balances earn a 0.05% annual percentage yield (APY). This basically means that regardless of you only have a $1 balance in your account, you are still going to earn the said APY.

The bank charges TD Simple Savings account holders a monthly fee of $5. However, this can be waived as long as you do any of the following conditions:

  • Keep at least a $300 daily balance
  • Connect your savings account to an existing TD checking account
  • Make a $25 or more recurring transfer from your linked account (Please note that this is only good for the first 12 months since you open your TD Simple Savings account.)

Furthermore, the bank also waives the monthly fee if the account holder falls below 18 or above 62 years old.

One of the best things about the TD Simple Savings account is that it does not have a minimum deposit to be able to open an account, which makes it a great choice for anyone.

TD Beyond Savings

The TD Beyond Savings account is ideal for those who keep high balances of $20,000 and above on their savings accounts.

Having a balance below $20,000 entitles you to a monthly maintenance fee of $15. Also, you only get to earn 0.10% APY.

Meanwhile, for those whose balances are $20,000 and above, apart from the waived monthly fee, they get to earn 0.50% APY, which is quite competitive given that TD Bank is a traditional bank.

In addition, account holders who are able to keep at least $2,500 on balances also get to reimburse out-of-network ATM fees.

Checking Account

TD Bank offers five checking account options — pretty much covering almost all types of bank customers, including students and seniors.

These accounts are namely: TD Convenience Checking, TD Simple Checking, TD Beyond Checking, TD Student Checking, and TD 60 Plus Checking.

Unlike most banks of similar type, TD Bank does not require a minimum opening deposit for any of its checking account options.

However, it does charge monthly fees if the account holder is not able to meet a certain minimum balance requirement.

Now, let’s take a look at what each of these accounts has to offer —

TD Convenience Checking

This checking account type is suitable for customers who want to earn interest but does not keep a high balance in their account.

Although there is a monthly maintenance fee, it can be waived if you are able to keep a minimum of $100 balance in your account. Account-holders aged 17 to 23 are also exempted from paying the monthly fee.

Additionally, a $1 monthly fee is charged if you prefer receiving a paper statement. The bank also charges $3 for a non-network ATM fee.

Speaking of which, this account has a daily ATM limit of $750.

TD Simple Checking

The TD Simple Checking account is ideal for those who want a no-frills checking account.

Unlike the other checking accounts, though, TD Simple Checking comes with a monthly maintenance fee of $5.99 no matter how much you have in the bank.

True to its name, it comes with just the basics like free online statements and free access to TD Bank’s mobile app.

TD Beyond Checking

With TD Beyond Checking, monthly maintenance fees of $25 are waived if you do any of the following requirements:

  • Get monthly deposits of $5,000 or more
  • Have an average daily balance of $2,500
  • Have a combined total of $25,000 across eligible TD Bank accounts

In addition to waived monthly maintenance fee, account holders may also enjoy other perks such as:

  • Free basic checks
  • Reimbursement of up to two overdraft fees per year
  • Fees incurred with a rush bill payment will be covered
  • Reimbursement of fees tacked onto one outgoing wire—domestic or international—per statement cycle

While everything seems great, the downside of this account is that the APY is not as competitive. For minimum daily balance of $0.01 to $9,999.99, the APY is only 0.01%; for balances between $10,000 and $49,999.99, it’s 0.03% APY, while for balances of $50,000 and up, the APY is 0.05%.

TD Student Checking

What’s nice about TD Bank is that they take into consideration the different needs of their target market.

TD Student Checking is specifically designed for young people aged 17 to 23. This account features no minimum balance requirements, as well as no monthly maintenance fees.

More so, the no-account fee bleeds over to a linked Simple Savings account if you are 24 years old or below.

Similarly, the TD Student Checking charges $3 for the non-network ATM fee, as well as $1 for the paper statement fee.

The daily ATM limit is also $750.

TD 60 Plus Checking

The TD Plus 60 Checking account is obviously for customers aged 60 and up. This account features free checks, money orders, as well as statements.

While it does have a $10 monthly maintenances fee, it can easily be waived by keeping an average daily balance of $250.

Additionally, account holders get to earn 0.05% APY on all balances.

Certificate of Deposit (CD) Account

TD Bank offers tiered interest rates on its CD account depending on the deposit amount.

What’s nice about it though is that account holders get a rate bump if their CD accounts are linked to an eligible TD Bank checking account. Otherwise, the rate is only 0.10% APY.

TD Bank offers CD terms from three months to 12 months.

To open a TD Bank CD account, the minimum deposit requirement is $250.

Similar to other banks, TD also penalizes early withdrawals depending on how early you get your money. For withdrawals made during the first seven to 89 days after opening an account, you will lose all interest earned.

Meanwhile, for withdrawals made anywhere between 90 days and a year since opening the account, you will lose three months’ worth of interest.

Other Products

Just to give you an idea, other products that TD Bank offers are:

  • Money Market
  • Home Equity Loans and Lines
  • Mortgages
  • Personal Loans
  • IRAs
  • Prepaid Cards

HOW TO BANK WITH TD BANK?

In this section of our TD Bank review, we are going to talk about how to actually bank with TD Bank.

As mentioned earlier, you have the option to sign up for an account either online through the TD Bank website or by visiting one of the bank’s 1,250 branch locations.

Similar to other banks, you will be asked to provide personal information including your address, phone number, as well as your Social Security number. Presentation of a valid government ID such as a passport or driver’s license will also be required.

Mobile App

The TD Bank mobile app is available for both iOS and Android users.

The app lets you access most of the bank’s products. Additionally, it also allows users to deposit checks, transfer money between accounts, view statements, as well as find the nearest branch location or ATM.

IS TD BANK SAFE?

Your account’s safety and security are an utmost concern of TD Bank. Thus, the bank made sure to put all bank-grade security and safety measured to avoid fraud or identity theft threats.

The bank uses high-grade encryption not only on its website but on its mobile app as well.

As mentioned, TD Bank is insured by the FDIC, which means all depositors can receive up to $250,000 per account category in the event that the bank fails.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT TD BANK?

This TD Bank review is not complete without a list of things to like and not to like about this financial institution.

First, let’s talk about the things that really stand out —

  • Wide Selection of Banking Products – TD Bank is a full-service bank, thus, it offers a wide selection of banking products and services.
  • Solid Checking Account Options – The bank offers five different checking account options, which cater to the varying needs of customers. Needless to say, depending on what stage in life they’re in. Whether you are a student, a professional, or someone who’s over 60 years old, TD Bank has a specific checking account for you.
  • Mobile App – Apart from the fact that the TD Bank mobile app is secured, it also allows users to access most of the bank’s products and services, as well as provide essential features to have a better mobile banking experience.
  • FDIC-Insured – TD Bank is a member of the FDIC, which provides insurance to all accounts should the bank fails.
  • Sign-Up for an Account Online – Although you can open an account in any of TD Bank’s branches, it also allows you to sign up online through its website, which makes it very convenient for customers especially these days.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT TD BANK?

Now, in this section, let’s talk about some of the things that did not stand out. This includes:

  • Low APY on Savings Accounts – Compared to other banks, TD Bank savings accounts do not provide competitive rates.
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee – The bank charges monthly maintenance fees. Although it can be waived if you meet certain requirements.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON TD BANK REVIEW

TD Bank is a full-service bank that offers both traditional and mobile banking experiences particularly for people living on the East Coast. It offers a wide selection of products including checking, savings, and CD accounts.

While it may not be the best in terms of rates on its deposit accounts, TD Bank is still worth a try especially if you want to get the best of both worlds – access to a physical branch and online, do you agree?

With this TD Bank review, we hope you are able to find all the information you need, and hopefully, this convinces you that this financial institution is the right one for you especially if you are from the East Coast.

Categories
Mobile Banking

Vio Bank Review: Competitive Rates And Convenience In One

An online bank that offers competitive rates and convenience. This Vio Bank review will provide essential information you need to know on what makes this digital banking platform an ideal choice for you.

Vio Bank Review: Competitive Rates And Convenience In One

Online bank is not a new thing in the United States. In fact, the very first financial institution that offers internet banking to its customers dates back to 1994 according to a report published by Go Banking Rates.

Since then, the internet or online banking grew to what it is today. A few years after, people now are, no doubt, into it. Digital banking has become part of people’s day-to-day lives.

In a survey conducted by Finder, they’ve found that “an estimated 76.9 million Americans (30.3% of the US population) say they have, or are planning to, open a digital-only — or neobank — account. “ Meanwhile, “54.4 million digitally savvy Americans (about 21.4% of the total US population) already bank with digital-only banks.”

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By the way, if you’re not quite familiar with what online-only banking is, it basically means as it is. You can only bank or make banking transactions online. Online-only banks do not have a physical branch where people can make in-person banking transactions. Again, everything is entirely online.

Online-only banks provide a lot of benefits especially for people who are always on the go and have no time to visit a bank’s branch location. Online banks give access to account holders to get to manage their accounts as well as make banking transactions all right at their fingertips through their mobile devices.

Currently, there are lots of online banks in the country already, and to be honest, finding the right online banking platform could be quite a challenge for some.

While it looks like all of them offer the same thing, the truth is, they don’t. Some of them offer a better customer banking experience than the others or offer better rates than their competitors, which is actually the case of Vio Bank.

As mentioned earlier, this review will focus on Vio Bank, an online-only division of MidFirst Bank, which is one of the largest, privately-owned banks in the country

This Vio Bank review will focus on the following to help potential customers see how good of an option this online bank is:

  • What is Vio Bank?
  • Who is Vio Bank best for?
  • What are the products offered by Vio Bank?
  • How to bank with Vio Bank?
  • Is Vio Bank safe?
  • What to like about Vio Bank?
  • What not to like about Vio Bank?

WHAT IS VIO BANK?

As you go along with this Vio Bank review, you are going to find out about the products it offers, if it suits you, the process of banking with it, and a lot more.

But, before we talk about those things, in this section, we are going to get to know more about Vio Bank is.

We always say that as potential customers, we always have to take time to look into not only what the financial institution offers, but also its history. This helps establish confidence and trust, which are key to building a good relationship with your bank.

Now, with that being said, here are some key information about what Vio Bank is all about —

As already mentioned earlier, Vio Bank is the online-only division of MidFirst Bank, one of the country’s largest, privately owned banks. MidFirst has been in the banking industry since 1911.

Currently, it has $20 billion in assets and services over 600,000 customers.

Although headquartered in Oklahoma City, MidFirst Bank also serve customers in Texas, California, Colorado, Arizona, and the rest of Oklahoma.

MidFirst Bank established Vio Bank only in 2018 in the hope of providing banking services to a larger customer base. This time, on a national level.

Vio Bank offers competitive rates and low opening minimum requirements on its savings account, which makes it really appealing to a lot of customers. Additionally, the online-only bank also offers a suite of certificates of deposit.

Since it is an online-only bank, it does not offer ATM or branch network, thus, it is best for people who want to set aside cash and let it grow.

Similar to most online banks, Vio Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). All deposits are insured for up to $250,000 per depositor, per account category, in case the bank fails.

In the next few sections of this review on Vio Bank, you are going to know more about this online banking platform especially on what makes it an ideal choice for those who want to save and grow their money.

WHO IS VIO BANK BEST FOR?

Vio Bank is an online-only bank, which makes it appealing to customers who want easy, no-frills access to their money. By the way, the Vio Bank app is available for both iOS and Android mobile device users.

As mentioned in the previous section, this bank is not accessible to ATMs as well as branch networks. Thus, making it an ideal choice for those who want to save their money and let them grow.

Vio Bank offers a limited selection of products, so, if you are looking for a wide variety of deposit accounts and financial products and services, you may have to look elsewhere.

Furthermore, Vio Bank is a great option for individuals who want a simple, online bank to put their money into and let it grow. It’s best for those who want a low minimum opening deposit requirement, at the same time, avoid monthly maintenance fees.

So, if you are any or all of these, then continue reading as Vio Bank may be the one you are looking for.

WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY VIO BANK?

One of the most important things that the majority of bank customers look into is the products and services that a banking institution offers.

As mentioned earlier, unfortunately, unlike other banks of the same type, Vio Bank does offer a very limited selection of products.

Currently, the bank only offers a high-yield savings account and certificates of deposit.

Now, here’s what you should know about these product offerings:

High-Yield Savings Account

Although Vio Bank does not have a lot of product offerings, customers will surely have a lot to like about the bank’s high-yield savings account.

In the video below by Martin Su, he explains how worth it Vio Bank’s savings account is if you are looking forward to earning high-interest rates from your money.

Well, obviously, as the name implies, the savings account offers a competitive interest rate. In fact, as of this writing, customers can enjoy a 0.76% annual percentage yield (APY) on all balances. Please take note that interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.

Apart from the high-interest rate, Vio Bank’s savings account only requires a low minimum deposit of $100 to open an account. More so, customers need not worry about monthly fees, because Vio Bank does not charge any of that unless you prefer getting a paper statement over an online statement.

Just so you know, opting for paper statements will cost you $5 per month. Meanwhile, the bank also charges an excessive transaction fee, which costs $10 per transaction. That is in excess of six per statement cycle.

Additionally, Vio Bank also charges $30 for outgoing domestic wire transfers, while incoming domestic or international wire transfers are free of charge.

The list of charges does not end there. Vio Bank also charges a $30 stop payment fee, as well as a $7 fee for returned deposits.

Realistically, all of these charges can be avoided to keep you fee-free. So, it should not bother you that much at all.

Certificate of Deposit Account

Certificate of deposit accounts is ideal for people who want to set aside funds that they do not need anytime soon and earn some interest from them.

Vio Bank offers CD terms that range from six months up to 10 years. The interest rate varies depending on your CD term of choice. But, to give you an idea, Vio Bank’s CD could earn as much as 0.70% APY for a 10-year term. For CD accounts, interest compounds daily.

Although Vio Bank’s CD rates may be lower as compared to other banks, overall, it’s pretty decent still.

To open a CD account, Vio Bank requires a minimum deposit of $500 regardless of the CD term you choose.

Similar to other CD accounts, once your CD reaches maturity, it may automatically renew. However, it is important to note that the bank reserves the right to allow or decline the renewal of a CD.

Vio Bank provides maturity notice before the CD’s maturity date, allowing you to enjoy a 10-day period to decide whether you want to reinvest your money in another CD or you opt to withdraw it instead.

Just like other banks, Vio charges early withdrawal penalties, which depend on your CD term. Vio Bank charges a penalty of 3% of the amount withdrawn plus a $25 fee for CD terms greater than 12 months, while a penalty of 1% of the amount withdrawn plus a $25 fee for terms of 32 days to 12 months.

Meanwhile, for CD terms of seven days to 31 days, the penalty is all of the interest earned on the amount withdrawn.

HOW TO BANK WITH VIO BANK?

So, in the previous sections, you already learned about what Vio Bank is about, as well as the products it offers.

In this section of our Vio Bank review, we are going to talk about how to actually bank with Vio.

As mentioned, Vio Bank is an online-only bank. It does not have a physical branch location, thus, all transactions including opening an account are done entirely online.

To open an account, all you got to do is fill out an account application online. Similar to other banks, Vio requires customers to provide some personal information like your name, address, phone number, as well as your Social Security number.

Additionally, you will be asked to provide a valid government-issued identification like your passport or driver’s license to help verify your identity.

For a savings account, Vio Bank requires a minimum initial deposit of $100, while for a CD account the bank requires at least $500 to open one.

As mentioned earlier, Vio Bank does not charge monthly fees. Although, it has a list of other fees charged, all of which can be avoided.

Deposits and Withdrawals

Vio Bank is an online-only bank. Unfortunately, it does not provide access to any ATM network or a physical branch location.

The bank does not support cash deposits. So, the only way you can fund your account is by linking your savings account to your existing external bank checking account.

Direct deposits are supported. Also, if you need recurring deposits to occur from your checking account, Vio Bank provides that feature.

Online and Mobile Access

Your Vio Bank accounts can be managed through the mobile app that is available for both iOS and Android devices. The app allows you to view account information, transfer funds, search transaction history, as well deposit checks.

Vio Bank provides a number of online features including eStatements, online transfers, set up notifications, contact Vio Bank’s customer service via email, as well as stop payments and download information to Microsoft Money or Quicken.

Customer Service

Vio Bank’s customer service is available via online form, secure email, website chat, and phone. It is available from Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT, as well as Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. CT.

IS VIO BANK SAFE?

The safety and security of all depositors are one of Vio Bank’s primary concerns. Thus, it has put bank-grade security features in place to avoid possible fraud or identity theft cases.

As mentioned earlier, Vio Bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Thus, the federal government protects depositors’ money for up to $250,000 per depositor, for each account ownership category, in the event of a bank failure.

So, is Vio Bank safe? The answer would be, it definitely is.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT VIO BANK?

Vio Bank may not be similar to other online-only banks that provide a wide variety of products, it, however, gives customers the following benefits to enjoy:

  • Competitive Rates on Savings Account – One of the things that make Vio Bank stand out from among its competitors is the fact that it provides competitive interest rates for its savings account regardless of how much the balance is.
  • Low Minimum Deposit Requirement – To open a savings account, Vio Bank only requires at least a $100 initial deposit, while for a certificate of deposit accounts, the bank requires at least $500 to open an account. Compared to other banks out there, these are low and definitely are achievable.
  • No Monthly Maintenance Fees – Another thing that makes Vio Bank appealing to customers is that it does not charge monthly maintenance fees, allowing customers to save a couple of bucks instead of paying for monthly charges.
  • Online and Mobile Access – Since Vio Bank is an online-only bank, it means customers may access their account anytime and anywhere by simply checking through the website or by downloading the Vio Bank app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.
  • FDIC –Insured – Vio Bank is an FDIC member, which means all deposits are insured. Each account holder can receive up to $250,000 per account category should the bank fails.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT VIO BANK?

To complete our Vio Bank review, we are also giving you a list of things to not like about Vio Bank. These are things that Vio can improve on in the future to appeal to more customers.

Some of these things include:

  • Limited Product Offerings – Unlike other online banks, Vio Bank’s products are only limited to savings and certificate of deposit accounts. So, if you want to open a checking account, you may have to find it elsewhere.
  • No ATM Access – Another downside of Vio Bank is that it does not provide ATM access to customers. Although, it’s not an isolated case because it’s a very common thing among online-only banks.
  • No Physical Branches – Apart from the lack of ATM access, Vio Bank also does not have a physical branch location. All transactions are made entirely online.
  • No Cash Deposits or Check-Writing Capabilities – Unfortunately, Vio Bank does not support cash deposits, and has no check-writing capabilities as well.
  • CDs Automatically Renew – Unless you reach out to the bank and talk to a customer service representative within 10 days after your CD term matures, your CD account will automatically review.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON VIO BANK REVIEW

Vio Bank is an online-only bank. It is a division of one of the country’s largest banks, MidFirst Bank. It was established only in 2018 to provide banking services not only in select states but to customers across the country.

Although its product offerings are limited, it does offer a high-interest savings account which makes it very competitive in the market.

Do you want to save and earn high interest from your money? If your answer is yes, then Vio may just be the right online bank for you.

To end, may this Vio Bank review was able to provide you the key reasons why you should consider this online-only banking service provider.

Categories
Mobile Banking

Earnin Review: How It Helps Improve The Financial Lives Of Americans

This Earnin app review provides essential information on how it works on improving the financial lives of American people who are living paycheck to paycheck.

Earnin Review: How It Helps Improve The Financial Lives Of Americans

The United States is a first-world country. Thus, it is not surprising that the country’s financial system is the largest in the world.

However, just when a lot of people thought it’s flawless, there is actually one very apparent complaint about the financial system of the country – that is, it is unfair.

Unfortunately, people who are earning lower and unstable incomes usually end up paying the most for a lot of financial services.

As you know, most banking institutions charge fees such as monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, high-interest debt, ATM fees, and a lot more. When all of these are combined, it could really hit hard among American consumers. It could cause them to struggle financially. These fees affect consumers a lot.

According to the FDIC Survey of Household Use of Banking and Financial Services report in 2019, nearly 95% of American households are banked, and a portion of them suffer from bank fees because of not being able to meet the requirements set to be able to avail the institutions’ fee-free features.

For some, bank fees may be little, but for the underprivileged, that is a big money loss. No wonder why a lot of people rely on loans.

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A report published by CNBC says that currently, there are 12 million Americans who use payday loans annually. Meanwhile, according to the Economic Research of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, in 2017 alone, there were 14,348 payday loan storefronts in the United States.

By the way, a payday loan is “a type of alternative financial service that provides fast cash to cover emergency situations or help pay a borrower’s expenses from one paycheck to the next.”

It is nice knowing that there are financial institutions that are working on addressing the needs of the less privileged, helping them make ends meet.

Disruptive companies such as Earnin are working on improving the financial lives of those who are living from paycheck to paycheck by allowing them to get an advance of up to $100, but unlike usual payday loan storefronts, this one’s easily accessible online.

In this Earnin review, you will find out more about how this paycheck advance app is a good alternative especially for those who are struggling to make ends meet or those who need emergency funds before payday comes.

In the next few sections, we are going to particularly tackle the following:

  • What is Earnin app?
  • Who is Earnin app best for?
  • How does Earnin app work?
  • How to setup an Earnin app account?
  • Is Earnin app safe?
  • What to like about the Earnin app?
  • What not to like about the Earnin app?

WHAT IS EARNIN APP?

Before we even talk about the technicalities of the Earnin app, we are going to share with you some pieces of important information about this paycheck advance app first.

It is important to look into what the company is about to have a better understanding of what service it provides, as well as how it could be beneficial for you.

As mentioned earlier, Earnin app aims to help those who are living on a paycheck to paycheck basis by providing an online platform that allows workers to get an advance of up to $100, which is sent directly to their bank account. Unlike banks that charge a fee for certain transactions, Earnin earns through optional tips given by users.

Earnin was built in the hope of providing a “financial system for the people by the people.”

Since it is app-based, Earnin is available for people across the United States.

According to the company, the Earnin app has already had over 10 million downloads and has 2 million active users to date.

Furthermore, the company is proud to report that in just a few years since its existence it already impacted a lot of lives.

In fact, according to the Internal Earnin analysis, as of January 2021, 49% can now cover an emergency of $400 since using the Earnin app, 73% can budget better, and 66% can now pay bills — all through the help of the Earnin app.

Know more about the Earnin app in the video below by Gig Nation. They provide a very insightful review with lots of important information you need to know.

WHO IS EARNIN APP BEST FOR?

In the previous section, we talked about what Earnin is all about.

On this part of our Earnin review, we are going to share with you who would benefit from it the most.

As mentioned, Earnin is an app that allows workers to get an advance of up to $100, making it an ideal online platform for those who need emergency money.

The Earnin app is ideal for those who occasionally need a small amount of money before the next paycheck.

Of course, you need to meet the company’s eligibility requirement to be able to use the app’s features.

Earnin is ideal for those who are hourly or salaried employees using electronic timesheets at work.

Furthermore, Earnin is also ideal for those who have a checking account and are being paid through direct deposit.

Also, this app is a good choice for those who do not want to overdraw their bank accounts and pay for an overdraft fee, which usually costs $35.

Meanwhile, the Earnin app is not for you if you have a habit of spending more than what you earn, work independently or have multiple employers/clients, as well as if you are being paid by a reloadable debit card.

HOW DOES EARNIN APP WORK?

Now that you already know what Earnin app is, and who would benefit from it the most, this time, we are going to tackle how it actually works.

As mentioned, the Earnin app allows workers to get an advance of up to $100, and have it directly deposited to their bank accounts.

Unlike a typical bank or other financial service providers (such as lending companies), Earnin does not charge a fee. Instead, the company relies on tips given by its users. However, it is optional, thus, allowing users to tip $0 if they really need the money up to the last cent.

If you think Earnin is handing out free money, you’re wrong. The company knows they are going to be repaid as it only advances money when the user has already earned it.

Earnin app takes a cut of the user’s future check as soon as it is directly deposited to his or her checking account.

As mentioned, you have to be eligible to be able to use and enjoy the features of the Earnin app. The requirements include:

  • Must be paid through direct deposit
  • For hourly workers, the Earnin app must be connected to their company’s online timesheet (otherwise, upload photos of their daily timesheet)
  • Salaried workers, they must allow the app to track their location. This helps confirm that they have gone to work.
  • For gig economy workers, they must upload receipts or trip information to the Earnin app for early payouts.

Furthermore, the Earnin app also offers a Balance Shield option, which is specifically designed to automatically transfer money once your checking account balance reaches a certain balance.

It is important to take note, though, that that the Balance Shield is only free for the first time of using it. After that, the Earnin app charges $1.50 per transfer, which is quite a manageable fee.

HOW TO SETUP AN EARNIN APP ACCOUNT?

In this part of our Earnin review, we are going to talk about how to actually set up an account.

The Earnin app is available for both Android and iOS devices.

To start setting up an account, you have to download the app first. Then, follow the prompts to complete the whole signing-up process.

The Earnin app will be asking you to provide information such as your email address, preferred password, paycheck information, bank name, bank account information, and employer information.

By the way, it may take 48 to 72 hours for your Earnin account to be fully set up before you can start requesting funds.

Amount That Can Be Borrowed

Earnin allows you to borrow up to $1,000 if you are under Earnin Express. However, for newbies, the app allows up to $100 on your pay cycle.

Depending on how often you use the app, Earnin may allow you to borrow up to $500, or get an invitation to sign up for Earnin Express.

By the way, Earnin Express is an exclusive feature that allows members to cash out up to $1,000 or 80% of the amount of the paycheck you direct to Earnin. This, however, requires the user to set up and route his or her paycheck to an Earnin Express virtual bank account (through Earnin’s bank partner, Evolve Bank & Trust).

The maximum amount a user can borrow is dynamic and re-evaluated each pay period. To be eligible for better and exclusive features, you must have good spending habits and a positive bank account balance.

Fees and Rates

Earnin app does not charge fees or interests.

As mentioned, the company earns through tips given by users. Users can donate any amount for up to $14, or if the budget is tight, the app does not mind a $0 tip. Earnin deducts the tip from your paycheck on your payday along with the money you’ve withdrawn.

If you come to think of it, Earnin is really doing a big favor to users who are mostly struggling financially.

Once you are done with the signing up process, you can now access the money once you’ve earned it, of course.

It is important to note that whenever you request money, Earnin verifies your hours worked, which does not take that long. The company says it usually takes about 10 minutes to finish provided you submit through the app.

The disbursement of the money requested is on the next business day. There is a possibility to get the money sooner, but that depends on your bank if it supports it.

Earnin users must take note that the app only allows two withdrawals. The limit is $100 for all users on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the total amount you can withdraw during your pay period will depend on how much you’ve earned, any bills due, as well as your financial behavior.

IS EARNIN APP SAFE?

Earnin provides cash advances for workers who need emergency funding. Unlike personal loans or other types of loans, Earnin is considered a short-term loan since it automatically deducts the amount borrowed once the paycheck is deposited to the user’s checking account.

Generally speaking, Earnin is safe. With millions of active users to date, it should be safe. Also, since it requires you to provide personal information, all the more that the app works on providing a safe and secure mobile platform.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT THE EARNIN APP?

Now that we’ve already covered the most important things that you need to know about the Earnin app, it’s time to give you a summary of the features we like about this online paycheck advance application.

So, what really caught our attention about the app are as follows:

  • No Mandatory Fees – What makes this company disruptive apart from the fact that it provides advance payments to people who are living on a paycheck to paycheck basis, Earnin users also get to enjoy fee-free transactions. Fees are very common among banks and lending institutions, which is why it’s so refreshing to know that the company does not charge any.
  • Tips Are Optional – Technically, Earnin earns from tips given by its customers. However, even tips are also optional. In case you badly need all the money up to the last cent, Earnin does not mind getting a $0 tip from its customers.
  • No Interest Rate – Unlike typical payday loan providers or banks or other lending companies, Earnin does not charge any interest when you borrow money from them, which enables borrowers to save a lot of money from fees and interests.
  • Fast Funding – Earnin provides funding as soon as within the day of request provided your bank supports it. But generally, the funding is received the next business day, which is still fast enough as compared to other lending institutions.
  • Balance Shield – With the Earnin Balance Shield feature, you are alerted every time your checking account balance reaches low. Earnin provides an optional Cash Out up to $100 directed to the low account. While the Balance Shield is free, there is a minimum tip required of $1.50 to keep the Cash Out feature once enabled.
  • Offers Cashback Rewards – With Earnin app, you can enroll your credit or debit card under its Cash Back Rewards program. This allows you to earn between 1% and 10% cashback in particular stores and restaurants. Earnin app is compatible MasterCard, Visa, and American Express.
  • No Credit Check Required – Earnin does not check your credit score and credit history, which makes it even more ideal for anyone even those with not-so-good credit scores.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT THE EARNIN APP?

While the Earnin app does have its share of highs, it also has some flaws. Although, we thought these can be adjusted or can be worked on so the company could provide better services to the people.

Some of the things to not like about the Earnin app include:

  • Requires A Checking Account – For you to be eligible to use the features provided by Earnin app, the company requires you to have a checking account where you receive your earning or salary.
  • Eligibility Depends on How You’re Paid and the Kind of Job You Have – Earnin requires you to have a checking account where you get paid. Also, you have to fall under their three employment type to be eligible to borrow from Earnin. You must either be a salaried worker, an hourly worker, or an on-demand worker.
  • Privacy Concerns – Once you sign up for the Earnin app, you are required to share your bank details, as well as your paycheck information. Although it gives you access to take advantage of features provided by the app, this may pose some privacy concerns.
  • Low Maximum Loan Limits – When you are new to the app, you can only borrow up to $100. However, depending on your situation, paycheck, and spending habits, there is a chance you could borrow up to $1,000.
  • May Encourage Poor Financial Habits – The Earnin app is a great app for emergency financial needs. To be honest, it’s too tempting given the fact that it does not charge fees and interests. Unless you are able to contain yourself, there could be a chance you’ll end up overusing it, which in turn could lead to poor financial habits.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE EARNIN REVIEW

Earnin app is a disruptive company that helps improve the financial lives of those who are underprivileged, particularly those living on a paycheck to paycheck basis.

It is a great alternative for payday loans especially since it is easily accessible through its mobile app, it does not do credit checks, the funds are made available as soon as within the day of request, as well as the fact that Earnin specifically caters to workers who are either salaried, hourly, or on-demand.

With so many people struggling to make ends meet, Earnin is definitely an app to beat, right?

With this Earnin review, we hope you are able to know a lot about Earnin, what it has to offer, and how it could potentially help address the financial system concerns of the people.

Categories
Mobile Banking

Truist Bank Review: Providing You A Better Financial Experience

If you are looking for a better financial experience including digital banking, then, you got to keep reading this Truist Bank review.

Truist Bank Review: Providing You A Better Financial Experience

In this review, we are going to tackle the most important details that make this bank one of the best choices out there.

Let’s face it, finding a digital banking service provider that provides a better financial experience than everyone else in the industry can be quite tough. But, guess what? That is exactly what Truist Bank promises to its customers.

Every single day, the bank continues to evolve depending on the needs and preferences of its customers. Your financial goals influence the kind of products and services the bank creates to be able to “help you make the choices that lead to better opportunities.”

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Sounds too good to be true? Well, we’ll find out later on as we go along with our Truist Bank review.

But before that, allow us to share with you some interesting facts first.

Truist Bank, while it does have physical branch locations offer a superior digital banking experience as well.

Just a quick overview, digital banking refers to the digitization or automation of all traditional banking activities. More so, it also includes other financial features that makes it even more convenient and easy to use.

Digital banking is not a new thing. It has been there for years, but only until lately especially in 2020 that it really boomed.

In the Insider Intelligence’s Mobile Banking Competitive Edge Study, which was published by Business Insider, it was found that 89 percent of the respondents said they do use mobile banking or digital banking. The study further states that 97 percent of Millennials use mobile banking, 91 percent are Gen Xers, while 79 percent are Baby Boomers.

This study shows that digital banking is not for young generations alone, but that even older consumers are into it. That actually becomes real when the pandemic hit. A lot of people relied on digital financial services to be able to do day-to-day banking transactions.

The digitization of banking services, while it was a bit of a challenge to the banking industry at first, has really changed the way people bank. Needless to say, it provided a lot of opportunities for banks to serve their customers better.

Truist Bank is surely one of the banks that embraced the challenge. Apart from providing traditional banking services, in its hope to provide an improved customer experience, the bank also managed to come up with a better digital banking experience for its existing customers and the potential ones.

So, as mentioned earlier, in the next couple of sections, we are going to particularly focus on essential information that makes Truist Bank, the bank of choice.

Specifically, we are going to tackle the following:

  • What is Truist Bank?
  • Who is Truist Bank best for?
  • What are the products offered by Truist Bank?
  • How to bank with Truist Bank?
  • Is Truist Bank safe?
  • What to like about Truist Bank?
  • What not to like about Truist Bank?

WHAT IS TRUIST BANK?

Truist Bank is a banking institution formed after BB&T acquired the assets of SunTrust Bank. The two banks merged, and the whole merging process was completed on December 6, 2019.

To know more about the merger, check out the video below from CNBC Television as Kelly King, Truist Bank CEO talk about it:

The merger of BB&T and SunTrust Bank involved $228 billion and $220 billion in assets, respectively. Thus, the formation of Truist Financial (with the two banks combined assets) made it the 6th largest bank in the United States.

During the time of the merger, the bank serves close to 10 million households in 17 states. But, with the existence of its digital banking platform, and almost two years since the merging transpired, the numbers, for sure, have already increased.

Here’s the thing, though, although the Truist website is already functional, all products and services are still available on both BB&T and SunTrust Bank. As to when they’re going to be in one site/bank, we do not know.

Meanwhile, the bank still uses the BB&T mobile application, which will eventually become Truist anyway.

Do you find it confusing?

Well, to simply put it, if you opt to open an account with Truist, you may do so at BB&T or SunTrust Bank branches, or through the BB&T mobile app.

It doesn’t matter where and how you open an account because all clients of both banks are considered Truist.

At the moment, all banking products and services offered by both banks are still functional, which means also that they will be carried over to what Truist Bank offers.

Truist Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which means all funds placed by depositors in this bank are protected by the federal government. Each depositor will receive up to $250,000 insurance per account category in the event of a bank failure.

WHO IS TRUIST BANK BEST FOR?

Now that you already know what Truist Bank is, it’s time to look into who would benefit from it the most.

Generally speaking, Truist Bank should appeal to consumers who are looking for better banking experience.

It would be ideal for depositors who appreciate continued innovation in the banking industry.

Furthermore, Truist Bank is best for those who are looking for a stable and reliable bank that offers both traditional and digital banking services.

Both BB&T and SunTrust Bank offer a wide variety of products, which will surely be carried over by Truist Bank. Thus, Truist would also be a great choice for those who want to enjoy a variety of banking products and services to choose from.

Also, Truist Bank customers will surely enjoy waived ATM fees, as well as competitive rates on its deposit accounts. So, if you are looking for such features, this should appeal to you as well.

WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY TRUIST BANK?

In this part of our Truist Bank review, we are going to talk about one of the most important things that people look into when finding a bank.

As mentioned earlier, technically speaking Truist right now is just a name. In fact, both BB&T and SunTrust have a link to Truist, and vice versa.

Sure, it can be quite confusing but, technically speaking, all BB&T and SunTrust Bank customers automatically become Truist Bank customers.

Right now, if you go visit the BB&T and the SuntTrust Bank websites, both offer a variety of banking products and services.

But for the purpose of this review, we are going to focus on both checking and savings accounts only.

Checking Account

Similar to the banks’ savings accounts, there is not much to expect on their checking accounts as well.

Both banks do not offer high-yield checking accounts. In fact, with BB&T, customers need to pay a monthly maintenance fee. The fee can be waived though if you have a student checking account, or you meet the minimum balance required by the bank.

To be honest, if Truist Bank wants to really become the better choice, it has to work on its product offerings. The bank has to be competitive in terms of rates.

After all, most customers prefer to have the ability to earn more from their money than anything else.

Savings Account

One thing that we noticed about BB&T and SunTrust Bank when it comes to their savings account offerings is that both do not offer high-yield savings accounts.

It kind of saddens us because the trend right now is really on high-yield savings accounts.

However, the fact that both banks are full-service banks, it’s quite not that surprising. Generally speaking, traditional or conventional banks have lower annual percentage yields (APY) as compared to online banks, which is typically caused by the higher operating costs.

Yes, online banks are really the ones that are competitive when it comes to rates.

Now, given the fact that Truist Bank aims to provide a better banking experience, we are looking forward to what would be in store for existing and potential clients in the future — especially if they put more focus on their digital banking offering.

Now, before we move on to the next section, just to give you an idea, here’s what BB&T offers:

Banking

  • Checking Accounts
  • BB&T@Work
  • Savings Accounts
  • Prepaid Cards
  • Credit Cards
  • Debit Cards
  • Certificates of Deposit

Lending

  • Home Mortgage
  • Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit
  • Auto Loans
  • Personal Loans

Retirement and Investing

  • Investment Products (such as Annuities, Asset Management Account, Bonds, Mutual Funds, etc.)
  • Coverdell Education Savings
  • Certificates of Deposit

Insurance

  • Personal Insurance

Meanwhile, here’s what SunTrust Bank offers:

Personal Banking

  • Checking Accounts
  • Savings Accounts

Credit Cards

  • Cash Rewards
  • Travel Rewards
  • Prime Rewards
  • Secured
  • Business

Loans

  • Home Improvement
  • Home Equity Line of Credit
  • Auto Loans
  • Student Loan
  • Debit Consolidation
  • Recreational Loans
  • Unsecured LightStream
  • Personal Lines of Credit
  • CD Secured Loan
  • Physician Loans and Lines of Credit
  • Business Loans

Mortgages

  • Fixed-Rate
  • Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
  • Affordable Financing
  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loans
  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Loans
  • USDA Rural Development Loans
  • Conventional Financing for High-Cost Areas
  • Doctor Loan Program
  • Jumbo Financing
  • Premiere Loans for Professionals and Entrepreneurs

Small Business

  • Banking
  • Credit Cards
  • Loans

Investing and Retirement

  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Mutual Funds
  • Global Investing
  • Annuities
  • ETFs
  • Types of IRAs
  • Taxable Brokerage
  • BrightFolio

HOW TO BANK WITH TRUIST BANK?

In the previous sections, we shared with you pieces of important information about Truist Bank including its product offerings.

This time around, we are going to talk about how to actually bank with them.

As already mentioned, Truist Bank, as of the moment is just a name. If you are interested to open a bank account or avail of any of its other services, you have to either visit a BB&T or Suntrust Bank or these banks’ respective websites.

Again, all depositors of BB&T, as well as SunTrust Bank, are all Truist Bank customers as well. This kind of setup is just for the meantime, but, eventually, it will all be in one place.

Now, when it comes to opening a bank account, similar to all the other banks out there, you will be asked to provide your personal information such as your name, address, phone number, email, as well as your Social Security number.

To verify your information, the bank will, for sure, ask you to present valid government-issued identification such as a passport or driver’s license. So, make sure to keep these documents handy.

By the way, once you have opened an account particularly on BB&T, please note that customers can access their accounts through the BB&T mobile app. All you have to do download the app, which is available for both iOS and Android users, and then, follows the following steps:

  • Step 1: Open the U by BB&T app, and select Enroll Now.
  • Step 2: Choose Personal Banking.
  • Step 3: Scroll down and select your account type.
  • Step 4: Enter your account, debit, or ATM card number.
  • Step 5: If you choose debit or ATM card, enter your PIN.
  • Step 6: Enter your ZIP code.
  • Step 7: Enter your email address.
  • Step 8: Select Continue.
  • Step 9: Create a unique user ID that’s easy for you to remember.
  • Step 10: Create your password.
  • Step 11: Submit your information.

Meanwhile, customers of SunTrust Bank may also check and manage their accounts through the website.

IS TRUIST BANK SAFE?

Technically speaking, Truist Bank’s website is not yet functional like that of a normal bank. However, as mentioned earlier, you can open a bank account through the BB&T and SunTrust Bank websites.

Respectively, both banks have bank-grade security measures in place to ensure that all personal data provided are safe from fraud or identity theft threats.

Meanwhile, Truist Bank is FDIC-insured. So, whether you opened an account through BB&T or SunTrust Bank, since both merged, all their customers are Truist Bank customers as well, which means each of them could receive up to $250,000 per account category in the event of a bank failure.

So, is Truist Bank safe? Well, being one of the largest banks in the country, and with two financial institutions with years of experience in the banking industry to back it up, it definitely is.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT TRUIST BANK?

Now that you already know what Truist Bank is all about, who it is suited for, what products and services it offers, how to bank with them, and how safe it is, it’s time to come up with a list summary of the things that really stand out the most.

Some of the things that we particularly like about Truist Bank include:

  • Wide Array of Banking Products and Services – As you know by now, Truist Bank is the output of the BB&T and SunTrust merger. Respectively, these banks have a wide selection of banking products and services from personal banking, business banking, as well as loans, insurance, and investments.
  • Allows to Open an Account Online – Both BB&T and SunTrust website provides customers the ability to open an account online. Currently, Truist Bank website provides links to the websites of the two banks and vice versa.
  • Mobile App (BB&T) – BB&T has a mobile app called U. This allows customers to manage their accounts anytime and anywhere. The mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
  • Low Fees (BB&T) – BB&T customers can benefit from low fees in certain bank products and services.
  • Lots of Rooms for Improvements – Truist Bank has lots of rooms for improvement, which we consider a plus given the fact that it is the baby out of the merger between two banks. We cannot wait for what’s in store for its customers once everything is settled.
  • Stability – With the merging, Truist Bank currently has over $400 billion in assets, making it one of the largest banks in the country. That alone is enough to prove how stable the bank is.
  • FDIC-Insured – Truist Bank is FDIC-insured, which means all depositors can receive up to $250,000 per account category in case the bank fails.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT TRUIST BANK?

This Truist Bank review will not be complete without a list of the things to not like about it.

While we did provide you a good number of things to like, here are a few downsides of the Truist Bank:

  • The existence of BB&T and SunTrust can be confusing – Although they say that eventually all customers of both banks are considered as Truist Bank customers, it can really be confusing to have these two banks still. We cannot wait to just have one – and that’s Truist Bank, of course.
  • Does Not Offer High-Yield Savings and Checking Accounts – Both BB&T and SunTrust Bank do not offer high-yield savings and checking accounts, which is understandable, though, since they are full-service banks with overhead costs to consider.
  • Fees – For both banks, their savings and checking accounts do have fees to watch out for. BB&T checking account does have a monthly maintenance fee unless you have a student checking account or have met the minimum balance requirement. For SunTrust’s Essential Checking, there is also a monthly fee. It can be waived if you meet the minimum balance requirement of $500.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON TRUIST BANK REVIEW

Truist Bank is technically a new bank that still needs a lot of ironing especially since it is formed because of the merging between two banks.

As mentioned earlier, the existence of BB&T and SunTrust Bank can cause confusion to potential customers. So, the earlier BB&T can resolve this, the better for its customers, right?

To wrap this Truist Bank review, we got to say that there’s so much potential here especially since the institution promises to provide customers a better banking experience, which is very much feasible given the credibility of BB&T.

Categories
Mobile Banking

Provident Bank Review: Offering Both Traditional And Mobile Banking

If you are living in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or a portion of New York and is looking for a full-service bank with mobile access, then, this in-depth Provident Bank review is for you.

Provident Bank Review: Traditional And Mobile Banking In One

A lot of people today are into mobile- or online-only banking. But, there are still some who prefer having the best of both worlds — conventional or traditional banking with mobile or online access.

With so much happening around and being in a fast-paced era, consumers these days prefer having the ability to make banking transactions anytime and anywhere.

According to a study conducted by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, 43 percent of mobile phone users with a bank account in the United States prefer using mobile banking services. Furthermore, the study found that 53 percent of smartphone owners with bank accounts used mobile banking in the past 12 months prior to the survey.

Also based on the study, the number of consumers who use mobile banking services increased year after year – and there seem to have no signs of slowing down.

According to data reported by Statista, as of 2018, there are 57 million mobile banking users in the United States. The number, for sure, has increased in the last two years especially with the pandemic that happened in 2020, most consumers relied on mobile banking services.

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So, you see, every year there is an increasing demand for mobile banking services, needless to say, the competition between banks now has also something to do with their mobile banking offerings.

With more and more people preferring mobile banking, banks need to really step up their game. True enough, these days, finding the right financial institution to bank with is quite a challenge given the fact that banks are really trying to win as many consumers as they can.

Now, in today’s review, though, we are going to focus on a bank that specifically services residents of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Yes, we are talking about the Provident Bank.

In the next few sections, we are going to share with you some of the most important details you need to know about this full-service bank.

In particular, we are going to provide answers to the following questions:

  • What is Provident Bank?
  • Who is Provident Bank best for?
  • What are the products offered by Provident Bank?
  • How to bank with Provident Bank?
  • Is Provident Bank safe?
  • What to like about Provident Bank?
  • What not to like about Provident Bank?

WHAT IS PROVIDENT BANK?

First of all, we are going to talk about what Provident is all about.

We always say this, when selecting a bank – whether it be an online bank or a traditional/conventional bank – it is every consumer’s responsibility to do a little background check. This helps you see how credible, reliable, and stable the financial institution is.

Having said that, here are some of the key information you need to know about Provident Bank –

As mentioned earlier, Provident Bank is a full-service bank that specifically services residents of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as a portion of New York. Currently, the bank has more than 95 local branches to serve its customers’ banking needs.

By the way, before we proceed, if you are wondering what the different banking services available are out there, check out the video below by Corporate Finance Institute:

Established in 1839, Provident Bank is considered one of the oldest banks in the United States. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Provident Financial Services, Inc. Currently, the bank’s assets total at $10 billion as well as deposits totaling $7 billion, which is also what makes it a considerably large bank.

Provident Bank offers a full suite of checking, savings, as well as a certificate of deposit products

So, if you live in either New Jersey or Pennsylvania or some parts of New York, and you are looking for a bank that offers convenience because of local branch access, at the same time, mobile app access, then Provident Bank is for you.

By the way, it may sound confusing for some, but please take note that Provident Bank is totally not affiliated with The Provident Bank as well as its online-only bank arm, Bank Provident Online.

WHO IS PROVIDENT BANK BEST FOR?

Before we move on to the more technical stuff, let’s talk about who Provident Bank is most suitable for first. This helps you assess if you are eyeing the right bank.

As mentioned earlier, Provident Bank is only available for residents of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and a few parts of New York.

Although it has mobile app access, it only offers very limited features that make it only available for those who already have an existing Provident Bank account.

Having said that, technically speaking, Provident Bank should appeal to consumers from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and some parts of New York who want to have access to a physical branch, at the same time, have mobile phone access to their bank accounts.

This also is a good choice for customers who are not that particular with earning good interest from their deposit accounts, because to be honest, while the bank offers a full suite of deposit accounts, it does not have very attractive interest rates as well as fee structures like what online banks these days offer.

The bank, however, does not charge monthly fees (on certain products), and also refunds ATM fees, which makes it an ideal choice for those who want to enjoy such features.

Provident Bank should appeal the most as well to those who are looking for a wide variety of account choices, because, certainly, they have so much to offer in that aspect.

WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY PROVIDENT BANK?

In the previous sections of our Provident Bank review, we provided you important information on what the bank is all about, as well as who should it appeal to the most.

This time, we are going to talk about the products that the bank offers.

Provident Bank is a full-service bank that offers different account types including checking, savings, certificates of deposit, business accounts, as well as IRA, wealth management, and mortgages.

In this review, however, we are only going to focus on the three major bank offerings — checking, savings, and CD accounts.

Now, let’s dig deeper into what each account has to offer —

Checking Account

Provident Bank offers a bunch of checking products that cater to different needs. In fact, it has seven different checking accounts to choose from. All of which requires an initial deposit of $50, which is quite a good amount as compared to what other banks of similar type require.

Provident Bank checking account options include:

Provident Basic Checking

This checking account type offers the following features:

  • First six (6) paid checks FREE each month
  • FREE direct deposit
  • FREE Provident Debit Mastercard®
  • FREE ProvidentConnect Online Banking with Bill Payment
  • FREE eStatements1
  • FREE Mobile Banking with Check Deposit
  • Unlimited ATM transactions
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Funding from a linked account to help avoid overdraft fees
  • Access to 95+ bank locations in New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania

Meanwhile, for this account type, a $0.50 fee per check is charged after the sixth paid check. Also, a $2 monthly fee is charged if the account holder opts to receive a paper statement.

Provident Cash Back Checking

Provident Cash Back Checking account holders will get to enjoy the following features:

  • Cashback on the total amount of eligible signature-based point-of-sale (POS) transactions, credited monthly when qualification requirements are met2
  • No limits on the amount of cash back2
  • FREE ProvidentConnect Online Banking with FREE Online Bill Payment
  • FREE Provident Debit Mastercard®
  • FREE eStatement
  • FREE Mobile Banking with Mobile Check Deposit3
  • ATM fee refunds nationwide when qualification requirements are met
  • No monthly minimum balance requirements4
  • No monthly service fees
  • Access to 95+ bank locations in New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania

Please note that to be able to earn 1.50% cashback and domestic ATM fee/surcharge refunds for every statement period, the account holder must:

  • Conduct ten (10) signature-based point-of-sale transactions with your Provident Debit Mastercard
  • Have one (1) direct deposit or one (1) automatic ACH debit
  • Establish and maintain a FREE ProvidentConnect Online Banking relationship
  • Elect to receive your periodic account statement electronically via ProvidentConnect Online Banking

If in case you do not meet the above requirements, you still will get to enjoy a free checking account and be eligible for cashback and ATM fee/surcharge refunds in the very next statement period.

NJ Consumer and NY Basic Checking

For these checking account types, account holders will get to enjoy these features:

NJ Consumer Checking

  • $50 deposit to open the account
  • Minimum of $1 to maintain the account
  • Maximum $3 monthly service fee
  • Eight (8) free withdrawals per month by check
  • Free unlimited deposits and in-person withdrawals

NY Basic Checking

  • $25 deposit to open the account
  • Minimum of $.01 to maintain the account
  • Maximum $3 monthly service fee
  • Eight (8) free withdrawals per month by check
  • Free unlimited deposits and in-person withdrawals

Provident Debit Mastercard

For this type of account, customers will get to enjoy the ability to purchase items at millions of locations and ATMs where MasterCard is accepted worldwide.

Additionally, account holders will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Extended Warranty
  • Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Zero Liability Protection against Unauthorized Purchases

Provident Platinum Checking

All Provident Platinum Checking account holder will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Higher yields for higher balances
  • FREE Provident Debit Mastercard® (Daily cash withdrawal limit: $500. Daily purchase limit: $1,500)
  • FREE ProvidentConnect Online Banking with Bill Payment
  • FREE direct deposit
  • FREE basic checks
  • Unlimited check writing
  • No ATM fees (fees will be refunded at end of cycle)
  • Bonus .25% APY on Certificates of Deposit
  • Access to 95+ bank locations in New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania

Please note that as stated on the bank’s website, account holders are required to “maintain a combined $10,000 daily account balance in conjunction with eligible linked deposit accounts, mortgage loans, or select consumer loans and credit lines to avoid fees.”

Additionally, a minimum of $50 must be kept to be able to receive interest payments.

Provident Prestige Suite

The Provident Prestige Suite is a bundle of Provident Bank’s Checking & Money Market that yields big benefits, including:

Provident Prestige Checking

  • FREE eStatements
  • FREE Identity Theft Protection through ULTIMATE ID2
  • FREE Mobile Banking with Mobile Check Deposit3
  • FREE Debit Mastercard®
  • No minimum balance
  • FREE Basic-Style checks
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Unlimited domestic ATM fee refunds
  • Bonus 0.25% APY on Certificates of Deposit

Provident Prestige Money Market

  • Total money management with a linked Provident Prestige Checking account
  • Competitive APY on balances from $15,000 up to $500,000
  • FREE unlimited balance transfers
  • FREE eStatements
  • FREE direct deposit
  • FREE ProvidentConnect Online Banking
  • No withdrawal penalties

To be able to maintain this type of account, customers must:

  • Open and maintain a Provident Prestige Checking account – receive at least one direct deposit and process at least one automatic debit1
  • Open and maintain a Provident Prestige Money Market account

Provident Smart Checking

With Provident Smart Checking, you get to earn 1.51% APY for balances up to $15,000, at the same time, enjoy domestic ATM fee/surcharge refunds, per statement period as long as the following requirements are met:

  • Conduct ten (10) signature-based, point-of-sale purchases with your Provident Debit Mastercard that post and clear your account.
  • Receive one (1) direct deposit or process one (1) automatic ACH debit.4
  • Establish and maintain a ProvidentConnect Online Banking relationship.
  • Elect to receive your periodic account statements via ProvidentConnect Online Banking

Additionally, all account holders will get to enjoy the following benefits:

  • FREE ProvidentConnect Online Banking with Bill Payment
  • FREE Provident Debit Mastercard®
  • FREE eStatements
  • FREE Mobile Banking with Check Deposit
  • ATM fee refunds3 nationwide when monthly requirements are met
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No monthly service fees
  • Access to 95+ bank locations in New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania

Savings Account

Provident Bank also offers a selection of savings accounts that suits almost every customer type. These options include:

Provident Power Savings

For this savings account type, customers will get to enjoy the following benefits:

  • 0.35% APY1 on the portion of your daily balance over $10,000
  • 0.05% APY1 on the portion of your daily balance $50 – $9,999.99
  • FREE online account with no fees or service charges
  • FREE ProvidentConnect Online Banking with FREE Online Bill Payment
  • FREE Mobile Banking with Mobile Check Deposit2
  • FREE Provident Basic Debit Card
  • FREE eStatement
  • No funding fees on transfers to another Provident deposit account

Please note that account holders be able to maintain a $50 minimum daily balance to earn interest.

Additionally, the account holder must be able to establish and keep a free ProvidentConnect Online Banking relationship and elect to receive periodic account statements electronically via ProvidentConnect Online Banking.

Platinum Money Manager

All Platinum Money Manager account holders will get the following benefits:

  • Total money management with a linked Provident Platinum Checking account
  • FREE monthly combined statement
  • Higher yields for higher balances
  • FREE direct deposit
  • FREE ProvidentConnect Online Banking
  • FREE 24-hour telephone banking access
  • No ATM fees
  • FREE unlimited balance transfers
  • No withdrawal penalties
  • Access to 95+ bank locations in New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania

To qualify for this account you must have or open a Provident Platinum Checking account first. To open an account, the bank requires a $50 minimum deposit, while to earn interest, you must be able to keep a $5,000 combined daily balance.

Young Saver

The Young Saver savings account is designed for kids aged below 18 years old. To open an account, the bank only requires a minimum of $1 deposit. Meanwhile, to be able to receive interest, you must at least have a minimum balance of $0.01.

This does not charge monthly service fees, and just the same as the other account types, your kids can easily access 95 bank locations in New Jersey, New York & Pennsylvania

Certificate of Deposit Account

Provident Bank’s certificate of deposit account is ideal for those who have money but won’t be accessing it anytime soon.

The bank offers competitive rates for its CD accounts with terms ranging from 91 days up to 60 months.

HOW TO BANK WITH PROVIDENT BANK?

Now that you already know the different deposit accounts that Provident Bank offers, this time, let’s talk about how to actually bank with them.

Although Provident Bank has a mobile app, unfortunately opening an account online is not yet accessible. You will need to visit a local branch near you if you want to become a customer of Provident Bank.

Once you’ve opened the account, though, you can easily access and manage your account through its mobile app that is available for both iOS and Android devices.

More so, the mobile app allows you to transfer money, pay bills, as well as find an ATM or a branch near you.

At the moment, the mobile app does not cater to mobile check deposits yet.

In case you need assistance but cannot go to the branch, you may call Provident Bank customer service or you may email them through the website.

IS PROVIDENT BANK SAFE?

This section of our Provident Bank review will focus on how safe your money is with Provident Bank.

Provident Bank is insured by the FDIC, which means every depositor will get up to $250,000 per account in case of a bank failure.

Meanwhile, its mobile app as well as website use encryption to ensure all data submitted through these channels are safe and secured.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT PROVIDENT BANK?

This Provident Bank review will not be complete without a list of things to like about this financial institution, which includes:

  • Mobile App Access – Although there still is so much to improve on its mobile app, we like the fact that the bank is keeping up with the needs of its customers. The mobile app access is definitely a great help especially for people who are always on the go.
  • No Monthly Fees – For the majority of its account selections, Provident Bank does not charge monthly fees.
  • Wide Account Selection – The bank offers a wide selection of financial products, which actually is a very common feature of a full-service bank.
  • 95+ Local Branches – Provident has more than 95 local branch locations across New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and parts of New York.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT PROVIDENT BANK?

While it does have its share of highs, Provident Bank does have a few downsides as well, and this includes the following:

  • Limited Mobile App Features – The bank has still a lot of things to work on with regards to its mobile app. One downside of it is that it does now allow opening an account online yet.
  • Less Competitive Rates – Compared to other banks of similar type, Provident Bank has less competitive rates.
  • Limited Access to Customer Service – Customer service is only accessible through phone or email.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON PROVIDENT BANK

Overall, Provident Bank is a good full-service bank that caters to residents of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and parts of New York.

While it does offer mobile and online bank access, it is limited only to fund transfer, bill payment, and other basic mobile banking services. Definitely better if the bank also allows opening an account through the website or the mobile app.

Nevertheless, it is a good choice for those who want to have access to both a branch location and mobile app, right?

With this in-depth Provident Bank review, we hope you are able to see the potential there is in this bank, especially because it tries to cater to the needs of consumers these days by providing access to both a branch location and a mobile application.

Categories
Mobile Banking

PenFed Checking And Savings Review: A Credit Union With Competitive APY

This in-depth PenFed Checking and Savings review is ideal for consumers who prefer joining a credit union instead of a bank or those who want to add a credit union account for their checking and savings.

PenFed Checking And Savings Review: A Credit Union With Competitive APY

This review will provide you the essential information you need from the integrity of PenFed Credit Union, how competitive and beneficial their checking and savings accounts are, up to how to actually join and be part of it.

Before we even get deeper into this PenFed checking and savings review, let us define what a credit union is first.

According to an article published by Forbes Advisor, although a credit union has similar offerings as to banks, what makes it different is that it is owned by its members.

Credit unions are set up as cooperative. It usually “open membership to individuals who share a common bond, such as the industry they are employed in, the community they live in, their faith or their membership in another organization.

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Additionally, the article states that “credit unions are also generally exempt from federal taxes, and some credit unions even receive subsidies from the organizations that they are affiliated with.” For this reason, “credit unions do not have to worry about making profits for shareholders.”

Perhaps you are wondering why choose a credit union over a bank?

Well, since credit union is a cooperative financial institution, it means they put their members first. In fact, credit unions are known for providing excellent customer service.

If you are particular about having great customer service, then, no doubt, a credit union would be the best option for you.

Now, according to an IBISWorld report, there are currently 6,293 credit unions in the United States, which is a 2.7% increase from 2020. With a lot of options, it could be a little challenging as well to choose one.

But just like when choosing a bank, it all boils down to what your needs and preferences are.

Among all the credit unions in the country today, PenFed Credit Union is one of them.

In the next few sections, we are going to talk about what this credit union is all about, its product offerings particularly checking and savings accounts, and a lot more.

For your reference, here’s a guide on the things that we are going to tackle in this PenFed checking and savings review:

  • What is PenFed Credit Union?
  • Who is PenFed Credit Union best for?
  • What are the products offered by PenFed Credit Union?
  • How to bank with PenFed Credit Union?
  • Is PenFed Credit Union safe?
  • What to like about PenFed Credit Union?
  • What not to like about PenFed Credit Union?

WHAT IS PENFED CREDIT UNION?

Pentagon Federal Credit Union, which is more popularly known as PenFed Credit Union is a full-service credit union that was established in 1935.

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, PenFed currently has 1.8 members and $25 billion in assets. Thus, making it one of the largest credit unions in the United States to date.

Primarily, PenFed was exclusive to members who have a relationship with the military or federal government. However, over time, PenFed has eventually opened its doors to everyone who wanted to join the credit union regardless of affiliations.

PenFed Credit Union services all 50 states, including Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, as well as Okinawa in Japan.

To ensure that all deposits are safe, PenFed is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and is an Equal Opportunity Lender.

PenFed offers a variety of financial products including credit cards, homes, cars, and student loans. In this blog, however, we are going to specifically focus on PenFed’s checking and savings account offerings.                   

If you are interested to know more about PenFed and the services it offers, below is an insightful review by CreditKim:

WHO IS PENFED CREDIT UNION BEST FOR?

Now that you already know what PenFed Credit Union is, in this section of our review, we are going to tackle who it is best for.

As mentioned earlier, a credit union, although offers similar products to banks, what makes it unique is that it is owned by its members, which means, to be able to open an account, you have to join its membership first.

So, unless you are okay with that, then, PenFed is not for you.

PenFed Credit Union specifically with its checking and savings account offerings would be ideal for people who want to enjoy earning competitive interests for both accounts. It would appeal to consumers who want to take advantage of good customer service, which is often one of the concerns customers have with banks, particularly online banks.

In addition, it would also be a great choice for those who want to have ATM access for free across more than 85,000 ATMs nationwide.

Similar to online banks, PenFed Credit Union offers online and mobile access, which makes it ideal for people who want easy access to their accounts.

If you think this all pertains to what you are looking for, then PenFed Credit Union and its account offerings are perfect for you.

WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY PENFED CREDIT UNION?

You already know what PenFed Credit Union is about and who would benefit from it the most. This time in our PenFed checking and savings review, we are going to talk about, obviously, the deposit accounts offered by the credit union.

Although PenFed Credit Union has several product options, which include credit card, home, car, and student loans, this review will particularly focus on its major offerings – the checking and savings accounts.

PenFed Credit Union offers one checking account and four savings accounts. PenFed Credit Union accounts can be accessed through a network of more than 85,000 ATMs nationwide.

More so, members can bank online or through PenFed’s mobile application. Unlike most mobile banks that do not have physical branch locations, PenFed Credit Union has almost 50 branches across 16 states as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and Okinawa.

Now, let’s talk more about each product to know what’s in store for customers like you —

Access America Checking Account

As mentioned, PenFed Credit Union only offers a single checking account, which they call the Access America Checking account.

Eligible accounts could earn 0.20% annual percentage yield (APY) on daily balances up to $19,999.99, while those with daily balances between $20,000 and $50,000, could earn 0.40% APY. Dividends for this account type are compounded daily and paid monthly.

By the way, the account becomes eligible for dividends by setting up at least a $500 recurring direct deposit.

To be able to open an Access America Checking account, you must first and foremost be a member of PenFed Credit Union by opening a savings account with at least a $5 initial deposit. No savings account means no access to opening the credit union’s checking account.

The Access America checking accounts comes with a free Visa contactless debit card. It a card that is compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay, as well as Samsung Pay. The debit card allows you to access over 85,000 ATM networks of Allpoint and CO-OP ATMs nationwide for free.

In addition, the account does not charge out-of-network ATM use, however, there may be a surcharge fee from the third-party ATM operator.

Access America Checking account comes with a monthly service fee of $10. However, this can be waived if a direct deposit of a minimum of $500 is made per month or by maintaining a balance of at least $500 on a daily basis.

The Access America Checking account also offers Bill Pay for free, as well as a no-fee overdraft line of credit starting at $500. The account’s line of credit comes with a fixed 17.99% APR, as well as flexible limits starting at $500.

Regular Savings Account

Unlike other PenFed’s deposit accounts, the Regular Savings Account pays only 0.05% APY on all balances.

While the rate is quite low, the good side of it is that you get to gain ATM access to over 85,000 ATMs nationwide.

The Regular Savings Account is also the key to establishing a PenFed membership. With at least a $5 initial deposit, you get to establish yourself as a PenFed member, allowing you to enjoy other products that the credit union offers.

The Regular Savings Account lets you access your money easily. As mentioned, it comes with a free ATM card that is accessible to thousands of Allpoint and CO-OP ATMs across the country.

Please note that All Regular Savings Accounts are federally insured for up to $250,000 and are also backed by the full faith and credit of the government.

Premium Online Savings Account

Unlike the Regular Savings Account, PenFed’s Premium Online Savings Account allows account holders to earn 0.50% APY on balances up to $250,000.

This account does not charge monthly fees, but, unfortunately, it does not have ATM access. If you want to withdraw your money, you will have to transfer it to your Regular Savings Account first.

To open a Premium Online Savings Account, you also only need at least a $5 initial deposit.

Please note, though, that unlike checking accounts, savings accounts have more restrictions. As the federal law states, account holders can only withdraw money from their account up to six times per month.

Additionally, customers are only allowed to make deposits of up to $10,000 per day and a total of $50,000 per month. Otherwise, fees will be charged.

Money Market Savings Account

Unlike the first two savings accounts, the Money Market Savings Account requires a minimum of $25 initial deposit. Similar to Premium Online Savings, this, too, does not have ATM access.

However, you also get to enjoy no monthly fees, as well as free checks upon request.

As with interests, the Money Market Savings Account has several tiers depending on balances. For those with balances of $10,000 and below, the APY is 0.05%. For account holders with balances between $10,000 and $99,999, it’s 0.10% AP, while those with balances of $100,000 and above, get to earn 0.15% APY.

To easily access your account, all you have to do is visit PenFed’s website or download the mobile app.

Money Market Certificates

Last on the savings account options is the Money Market Certificates. This one’s similar to banks’ certificate of deposit (CD) account.

PenFed Credit Union offers a variety of Money Market Certificates to choose from. The certificate terms vary from six months up to 7 years. All of which require at least a $1,000 deposit to open.

The APY also differs depending on the terms, but customers could earn up to 0.75% APY for a seven-year term.

Similar to CD accounts, your money must stay in the certificate until it matures. Otherwise, you will be charged with an early withdrawal penalty if you get it before the maturity date.

Similar to checking accounts, dividends are compounded daily and paid out monthly.

PenFed’s Money Market Certificates are available in the branch, by phone, as well as online.

HOW TO BANK WITH PENFED CREDIT UNION?

As mentioned, to be able to enjoy the products offered by PenFed Credit Union, you have to become a member first.

Joining the credit union comes in three very easy steps.

First, you have to be eligible to join. You can join through association membership, employment, military affiliation, and a lot more. To know the full list, you may check with a PenFed branch near you or visit their website.

Second, you will need to provide your personal information such as your name, phone number, email address, as well as your home address.

Lastly, you will have to open a savings account with at least a $5 initial deposit.

Once you’re done with all these, you are now a PenFed member. By being one, you do not only get to access the different financial products that PenFed offers, but also other membership perks like member discounts, access to the advice center, financial hardship center, as well as deployment guide.

ATM Access

Although not all accounts have ATM access, you can easily withdraw by transferring funds to your Regular Savings Account, which is the basic account requirement to avail PenFed membership.

All PenFed issued debit card is accessible to over 85,000 Allpoint and CO-OP network ATMs nationwide.

Online and Mobile Access

All PenFed checking and savings accounts are accessible through its mobile app. It comes with all the features your’s expect from a full-service credit union.

It comes with features like instant check deposit, account management, bill pay, the ability to send money to almost anyone, as well as the ability to transfer funds between your PenFed accounts.

The mobile app is available for both iOS and Android devices.

Fees

Almost all of PenFed’s accounts do not come with fees except for its Access America Checking account that charges a $10 monthly fee. However, it can be waived by keeping a $500 balance or set up a $500 monthly direct deposit.

IS PENFED CREDIT UNION SAFE?

This Penfed checking and savings review will not be complete if we are not going to tackle the safety and security features of the credit union.

As mentioned, all accounts can be accessed online and through the mobile app. To ensure all data are safe from fraud or identity theft threats, PenFed follows bank-level security.

As with your money, all funds deposited with PenFed are federally insured by the NCUA. It’s insurance similar to FDIC for banks.

Just the same, with the NCUA insurance each member depositor can receive up to $250,000 per account in the event of credit union failure.

WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT PENFED CREDIT UNION?

At this point of our review, we are going to share with you a list of the things that we like about PenFed Credit Union as a whole, as well as its checking and deposit account offerings.

The list includes:

  • Competitive Rates – Except for the Regular Savings account, all the other accounts offer very competitive rates.
  • No Monthly Charges for Savings Accounts – All savings account holders are free from monthly charges. As with checking account holders, while there is a $10 monthly fee, it can be waived by either keeping a $500 balance or set up a $500 monthly direct deposit.
  • Online and Mobile Access – All deposit accounts are accessible both on PenFed’s website as well as through its mobile app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.
  • Easy Membership Application Process – PenFed has three easy and simple membership applications. Needless to say, it was already made available for anyone in the United States.
  • Available Across 50 States – PenFed is available across all 50 states as well as in Guam, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and Okinawa, Japan.

WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT PENFED CREDIT UNION?

While there are a lot of things to like about PenFed Credit Union, it sure has its flaws as well.

Some of the things to not like or probably to improve on are as follows:

  • $500 Recurring Direct Deposit to Earn Dividends – PenFed requires all checking accounts to have a recurring $500 direct deposit to earn dividends, which can be quite a challenge for some.
  • Requires to Open and Maintain a Regular Savings Account – The credit union requires opening a savings account to be able to become a member. Needless to say, it has to be maintained to be able to withdraw money from other accounts.
  • Limited Local Branches – Although PenFed is available across 50 states, its local branches are only available in 16 states.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON PENFED CHECKING AND SAVINGS REVIEW

Although PenFed is a credit union, which functions like a cooperative, it has similar product offerings to banks, including checking and savings accounts.

It’s a good alternative especially for people who want to enjoy the same type of products that banks offer but in a more relaxed environment.

With PenFed checking and savings accounts, for instance, both offer competitive rates sans bank fees (except for checking account, which charges a $10 monthly fee if requirements are not met).

Given the information we provided, do you now consider joining a credit union to have a credit and savings account?

Overall, we hope that this in-depth PenFed checking and savings review has all you need to know to see if it suits your needs and preferences.