One of the best ways to know more about how BrioDirect works, as well as the products and services it offers, is through a BrioDirect review — just like this one.
Through reviews, a potential customer like you will have an idea about the bank, and also, this will help you gauge whether or not BrioDirect is best for you.
Online banking is becoming the new norm. Well, it’s not surprising at all given the fact that it’s so convenient and easy to do.
In the United States alone, there are an estimated 76.9 million Americans (30.3% of the US population) who says that they are either planning or they already have opened a digital or online-only bank. The data was based on Finder’s Neobank Adoption survey.
Furthermore, in the same survey, Finder found that there are roughly 27% of millennials and 30% of Gen X who said that they have had an account with an online-only bank. Meanwhile, .8% of baby boomers said they had an account at one of these banks, while another 4.4% of boomers said they are planning to open one.
You see, these numbers tell so much as to how the banking industry is becoming – especially with the advent of technology and the internet. Needless to say, with all that’s happening in the world right now, digital banking or online banking will definitely become a hit.
There are already a number of online-only banks today. In fact, even big banks have already established either their own online banking system, or they’ve opened up an entirely new online-only bank, which is the case of Sterling National Bank.
Sterling National Bank launched BrioDirect, its online banking division.
So, having said that, if you are looking for an online-only bank that will help you save and let you earn a good amount of interest, this in-depth BrioDirect review can definitely help you decide if it’s the right fit.
To help you gauge if it’s fit for your banking needs and preferences, we are going to tackle some of the most important information that every potential client must know. This includes the following:
- What is BrioDirect?
- What are the pros and cons of BrioDirect?
- Who is BrioDirect best for?
- What does BrioDirect offer?
- What are BrioDirect fees and charges?
- How to bank with BrioDirect
- How is BrioDirect’s customer service?
Before we move on to our BrioDirect review, here’s an informative video by Wander Wealthy by Tess Wicks on how to choose the best high-yield savings account:
WHAT IS BRIODIRECT?
First and foremost, as a potential client or customer, it is important to make time to get to know the financial institution that you are looking at.
Know more about the background of the bank, in this case, of BrioDirect so you get to judge the bank’s credibility, and also on how strong its foundation is. After all, you’re going to entrust to them your hard-earned money, right?
So, before we get into a more detailed BrioDirect review, here are a few vital information that we thought you must know about BrioDirect:
First, as mentioned earlier, BrioDirect is Sterling National Bank’s online banking division.
Second, BrioDirect is an FDIC-insured bank that offers high-rate certificates of deposit, and high-yield savings accounts, which is essential in growing your money.
Third, BrioDirect High-Yield Savings account is known for its strong interest rate, and also for not charging any monthly fees.
Fourth, BrioDirect CDs are also notable for providing very attractive interest rates for short maturity terms of either 9 months or 12 months.
Lastly, all BrioDirect accounts are manageable online or through Sterling National Bank mobile banking apps, which are available for both iOS and Android users.
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF BRIODIRECT?
There are so many digital banks out there to choose from. That is why it is important to really do your research and weigh your options.
Apart from knowing the bank’s background, it is also important to look at the pros and cons of the financial institution. This is one of the best ways for you to be able to gauge whether it’s a fit or not according to your banking needs and preferences.
For BrioDirect, here are some of the things that we like and we do not like:
- Very Competitive Savings Rate – This is actually the key feature that makes BrioDirect’s high-yield savings account stand out from any average savings account.
- No Monthly Fee – BrioDirect does not charge any monthly fee or maintenance fee, which also makes it attractive to potential clients.
- Low Opening Deposit – You can open a BrioDirect’s high-yield savings account for only $25.
- All Deposits are FDIC-insured – Unlike other online-only banks, the BrioDirect savings account is FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
- Mobile and Online Banking Features – BrioDirect makes managing your money simple and easy with features available in their mobile and online banking platforms.
- Account Security – Security is a top priority of BrioDirect. Thus, the bank use technology as well as follows protocols to help ensure a secured online account opening, as well as online and mobile banking experience.
- Financially Strong and Stable – Sterling National Bank, the bank behind BrioDirect is a strong financial institution. Founded in 1888, the bank currently has over $30 billion in assets and is rated as one of “America’s 100 Best Banks” by Forbes. That said, this translates to being a BrioDirect account holder, you are assured of the bank’s strength and stability.
- Limited CD Options – Unfortunately, BrioDirect offers CDs with terms up to 12 months only.
- No ATM access – Unlike other online-only banks, BrioDirect does not provide ATM access to your money.
WHO IS BRIODIRECT BEST FOR?
From what it offers, we thought BrioDirect is ideal for people who are looking for a safe and secure place to keep their money, at the same time, earn a good amount of interest.
Apart from that, BrioDirect may also appeal to those who:
- Have at least $25 (the minimum required) to be able to open a BrioDirect Savings Account, or those who have at least $500 to open a Certificate of Deposit
- Does want to save from paying monthly maintenance fees
- Do not need ATM access to their money
- Are interested in building a CD ladder
Do you see yourself in any of these, if your answer is yes, then, let’s proceed to the next?
WHAT DOES BRIODIRECT OFFER?
Just like any other online banks out there, BrioDirect also offers online deposit accounts, as well as basic customer service options, which include:
- Savings Accounts
- Certificates of Deposit
- Mobile and online banking
- Customer service
Now, let’s take a look at BrioDirect’s accounts closely. Here are a few important information about these accounts:
BrioDirect High Yield Savings Accounts
As we have mentioned earlier, BrioDirect’s High Yield Savings Account is an FDIC-insured online savings account, which is something we expected given the fact that it is owned by a well-known bank. More so, it is also known for paying highly competitive rates, which makes it ideal for savers who want to earn more from their savings.
Moreover, here are some of the benefits of getting a BrioDirect High Yield Savings Account:
- Earn a highly competitive annual percentage yield. As of May 2020, it is at 1.40%. This is applicable to all balances with a $25 minimum.
- No monthly maintenance charges
- Low minimum deposit required to open an account — it’s at $25
- Manage your savings account whenever you want, and wherever you are through BrioDirect’s mobile and online banking
If you take a look at it, BrioDirect’s savings account is actually quite similar to other high-yield savings accounts from other online banks out there. Just the same, it offers a very generous annual percentage yield, and also, it does not require any monthly maintenance payments.
Opening a BrioDirect account online is very easy and simple. In fact, it will only take a few minutes of your time to complete the whole process of opening an account.
Once you have successfully opened an account, you can link immediately link it to a checking or savings account at another bank to easily transfer money here and there. Although, make sure to keep in mind that for savings accounts, the Federal Reserve regulations only allow up to six “convenient” transfers or withdrawals in a month.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good with BrioDirect Savings Account. It’s not perfect — just like most online-only banking. It does have its share of downsides as well.
One of them is that it does not come with an ATM or debit card access, which means, depositing and withdrawing money can be quite a challenge.
Another thing is that BrioDirect limits its savers from transferring money in and out of their accounts. They can only do it through ACH transactions, mailing a check, as well as through wire transfer.
In addition, there is a possibility that BrioDirect may charge you a pair of fees for using their savings account. The fees include $10 for every transaction beyond the six-transaction limit, and $35 each time you overdraft your account or don’t have sufficient funds to complete a transaction.
To avoid such fees, and wasting money from paying these fees, make sure to always check your account and ensure that you are always on track.
BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Accounts
Another notable product that BrioDirect is known for is its BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Account. BrioDirect CDs have terms that range from 30 days up to 12 months.
Some of the key highlights of BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Accounts include:
- Requires a $500 minimum balance to open an account
- Allows you to open multiple CDs to create a ladder
With BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Accounts, how much APY you earn depends on how long you keep your money in the bank. The shorter period stays, the lesser the rates would be. The longer it stays, the higher the APY will be.
To be honest, what we like about the BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Account is that the minimum deposit requirement is not as steep as compared to what required by other online banks out there.
For savers who want to take full advantage of all the rates that BrioDirect has to offer, we highly encourage you to set up a CD ladder. You can create a CD ladder by purchasing multiple CDs with different terms and rates. What happens is, when one of the CDs mature, you can cash it out, and then collect the interest, and roll it into another CD. It’s basically like a money wheel — you just continue doing a process to earn money through your accounts.
As a BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Account holder though, make sure to keep in mind that the bank may close your account if you withdraw all your money from your CD or have a balance below $500 for more than 20 days.
So, again, make sure to always keep yourself on track of your account to ensure you have enough funds, and that you are not breaking any rule. This way, you get to have easy banking experience. Needless to say, you get to take full advantage of what the account has to offer.
When opening a CD account, make sure that you will not need or spend that money up until it’s due. Just like any other CD accounts out there, BrioDirect will charge you an early withdrawal penalty should you take your money out of a CD before the end term.
WHAT ARE BRIODIRECT FEES AND CHARGES?
As mentioned, one of the key highlights of BrioDirect — both for their savings and CD accounts is that they do not charge any fees.
To be specific, BrioDirect does not charge anything for the following:
- Monthly Maintenance
- Monthly Inactivity
- Non-Sufficient Fund (Overdraft)
- Stop Payment item
- Return Deposit
- Domestic Wire Transfer (Outbound)
- Domestic Wire Transfer (Inbound)
- Non-Bank ATM
So, if you want to save money from paying such fees, BrioDirect may just be the best option for you.
Meanwhile, particularly for those opening a CD account, in case you decide to withdraw your CD ahead of its maturity date or before the end of the term, BrioDirect will charge you an early withdrawal penalty.
For your reference, here’s how much you will be charged for:
|Terms of 30 days or less||The penalty will be 30 days interest, whether or not earned|
|Terms of 12 months or less||The penalty will be 90 days interest, whether or not earned|
|Terms of 18 months or more but less than 60 months||The penalty will be 9 months interest, whether or not earned|
|Terms of 60 months or more||The penalty will be 12 months interest, whether or not earned|
Apart from the afore-mentioned, BrioDirect does not charge for any other fees.
HOW TO BANK WITH BRIODIRECT?
Since BrioDirect is an online-only bank, this automatically means you can only open an account through their online platforms.
Opening an account with BrioDirect is made easy and simple. In fact, it only takes a few minutes of your time!
Just make sure to keep the following handy as you create your account:
- Driver’s License
- U.S. Passport or State I.D.
- Social Security number
- Contact Information
Of course, just like in any other bank, BrioDirect will also ask your personal details.
Meanwhile, to set up your initial deposit, all you need to do is to link your checking or savings account with another financial institution or bank to your BrioDirect online high-yield savings or CD account, and then transfer funds from your offline account to your new online account.
You may also consider sending a check or wire funds into your account if you think these are better options.
HOW IS BRIODIRECT’S CUSTOMER SERVICE?
BrioDirect lets you manage your savings account and/or your CD accounts either online or through their reliable mobile banking.
However, if you opt to speak to a client service representative, all you need to do is call their toll free hotline 877-369-BRIO from 8 in the morning until 8 in the evening (Eastern Time), Mondays through Fridays. On Saturdays, they are available to take your calls from 8:30 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon (Eastern Time).
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BRIODIRECT REVIEW
As we have said, there are so many digital banks or online-only banks out there. Too many that choosing one can get a little overwhelming. However, reviews like this one are very much helpful to ensure you get to fully understand and learn what to expect about the bank you are eyeing for.
For this BrioDirect review, in particular, we have shared with you the key information that every potential client must know. Thus, hopefully, this helps you decide on whether or not BrioDirect is fit based on what your banking needs are.
To sum up, what we like about BrioDirect is the fact that it offers really competitive rates. We also like the fact that it is owned by a strong and stable bank, which is Sterling National Bank, and that it is FDIC-insured. This is like a security blanket for any bank client, right? Knowing that whatever happens, your money is secured.
To be honest, although we shared a few downsides, apart from those, we really have no major issues with BioDirect.
So, have you decided to go for BioDirect yet?