Have you been looking for a digital bank that offers definite advantages when it comes to interest rates? If your answer is a yes, then this comprehensive UFB Direct Bank review is perfect for you.
UFB Direct Bank, an online-only bank offers exactly what you are looking for — and we are going to tell you more about it as you read on.
In the past year, the country and the world gone through one of the most challenging times in history. The COVID-19 pandemic hit, and all of us were left to very limited choices. Suddenly, our lives were changed. Our day-to-day activities were restricted.
Thanks to digital technology, though, people managed to survive. A lot of industries were greatly affected, but with technology, we’re able to keep going.
Digital banking during the time of the pandemic was a different story, though. It was during those times when digital banks have one over more customers in the United States, according to a report published online by Reuters.
Digital banks were like lifesavers. People managed to purchase, send and receive money, save funds, and more because everything is done right at their fingertips.
So, what are we trying to say?
Well, it’s plain and simple — digital banking platforms have suddenly become a hit. With an increasing number of customers, digital banking is definitely not going anywhere else but up.
There are a lot of digital banks out there to choose from. In fact, there are too many it’s kind of hard to choose the right one for you. However, if you are specifically looking for an online-only bank that provides very competitive rates, UFB Direct Bank may just be the right one for you.
Today, we are going to specifically do a UFB Direct Bank review. We hope to give you all the important things you need to know about this digital bank.
Specifically, we are going to tackle the following important things about the bank:
- What is UFB Direct Bank?
- Who is UFB Direct Bank best for?
- What are the products offered by UFB Direct Bank?
- How to do banking with UFB Direct Bank?
- Is UFB Direct Bank safe?
- What to like about UFB Direct Bank?
- What not to like about UFB Direct Bank?
WHAT IS UFB DIRECT BANK?
Choosing a bank is as tricky as choosing the best school for your children. You see, it’s your hard-earned money, and you do not want to just entrust it anywhere – it has to be somewhere you are confident, comfortable, trustworthy, and somewhere where your money can grow.
We always say it, and we are going to say it again, before opening an account, make sure to do a little background check on the bank. This helps earn your trust and confidence.
With that said, we are going to share some important things you need to know about UFB Direct Bank —
UFB Direct Bank was established in 1999 and is a division of Axos Bank (formerly known as Bank of Internet USA), a digital bank founded in 2000. It is an online-only bank that offers deposit accounts as well as mortgages.
Since UFB Direct Bank is an all-digital bank, it doesn’t have any physical branches or locations, which makes it not ideal if you are after traditional banking.
For some, they may see UFB Direct Bank as just like any other digital bank. But, what really sets UFB Direct Bank apart from the rest is the fact that it offers definite advantages when it comes to interest rates, as we have mentioned earlier.
Just to give you an overview, UFB Direct Bank’s savings account pays up to 0.40% APY, and its money market account pays up to 0.40% as well. But of course, while the bank offers really competitive rates, you will need to meet certain requirements to take full advantage of its rate offerings.
In the next sections, we are going to explain in detail about the bank’s products and how you can take advantage of its benefits.
UFB Direct Bank is a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) member, which means the federal government pays up to as much as $250,000 per depositor in case of bank failure. The fact that the bank is FDIC insured means you can have the confidence that should anything go wrong, you won’t be left hanging.
WHO IS UFB DIRECT BANK BEST FOR?
Before moving on to the more detailed information about UFB Direct Bank, in this section, we are going to talk about who it is best for first.
This helps you gauge if the bank is indeed right for you based on your personal and banking needs and preferences.
As mentioned earlier, UFB Direct Bank is an online-only bank or an all-digital bank, which means, it does not have physical branches or locations where you can go in case you want the traditional way of banking or you want to do an in-personal transaction.
Having said that, you are someone who is willing to sacrifice branch visits for low fees, then UFB Direct Bank is right for you. The bank works best for customers who do not mund the quirks of digital or mobile banking.
Furthermore, UFB Direct Bank is also ideal for people who can maintain balances of $10,000 and beyond, those who are satisfied with minimal account options, and ultimately, as we kept saying, for customers who prefer online banking over traditional banking.
If you have ticked off all these, then UFB Direct is perfect for you.
WHAT ARE THE PRODUCTS OFFERED BY UFB DIRECT BANK?
Now that you already know what UFB Direct Bank is and who is it best for, in this part of our UFB Direct Bank review, we are going to talk about its product offerings.
Earlier, we mentioned that the bank is right for you if you are someone who does not mind minimal product choices. That is because UFB Direct Bank has relatively few offerings.
However, even so, you are assured that the accounts and products it offers come with really competitive benefits.
Currently, UFB Direct Bank customers can only open either or both of the following:
- Savings Account
- Money Market Account
Now, let’s take a look deeper into each of these products:
One of the very few offerings of UFB Direct Bank is its high yield Savings Account. Unfortunately, the bank has only one savings account option available for customers.
Before moving on, if you are wondering what a high yield savings account is and if it’s really worth it, here’s a good video reference from Think Wealthy with Mike Adams:
The UFB Direct Bank Savings Account comes with a debit card, which allows you to withdraw money anywhere in the United States without having to pay out-of-network fees. Although there might be other surcharge fees that cannot be reimbursed. More so, the debit card can also be used in making store purchases. What’s nice about it is that the bank does not charge monthly maintenance fees unlike other digital banks out there.
One of the things that we find really appealing about this account, apart from the fact that it is a high yield savings account, is that customers do not need to have a single cent to be able to open one. However, customers are required to maintain at least 0.01 to keep it. Now that’s amazing, right?
It is important to note, though, that customers are given 60 days after opening an account to transfer the money.
Also, as mentioned, it is a high yield savings account. But, it is very important that you hit a $10,000 balance in order for it to yield any interest.
Now, for as long as you keep a balance of at least $10,000 in your account, you will be able to earn up to 0.20% annual percentage yield (APY) on your savings. Those accounts with balances that fall under the $10,000 threshold will not earn any interest.
By the way, one more thing to like about this product is that it does not charge transfer fees between direct deposit accounts.
Just the same as most savings accounts out there, UFB Direct Bank customers are limited to six withdrawals per monthly only. Should the customer exceed those limits, it’s either the account will be closed or that the funds could be transferred to another account that allows more frequent withdrawals.
Money Market Account
Another product that UFB Direct Bank offers is the Money Market Account. Unfortunately, UFB Direct Bank does not offer a dedicated checking account, but the thing is, the bank rolls some aspects of checking into its Money Market Account, which includes check-writing privileges as well as Visa debit card access. The account also comes with complimentary paid-postage envelopes and allows you to transfer money between direct deposit accounts for free.
The bank’s Money Market Account boasts a 0.20% APY. However, for you to be able to enjoy that rate, you will need to keep at least $25,000 in your account. So, if you are someone who thinks you cannot keep such an amount in your balance, this product or the bank itself may not be your perfect match.
Moving on, UFB Direct Bank charges a $10 monthly account fee for its Money Market Account. However, this can be waived if the customer maintains a daily minimum balance of $5,000.
To open a Money Market Account, you will need to deposit at least $5,000.
Other Financial Products
Apart from savings and money market accounts, UFB Direct Bank through its parent company, Axos Bank, offers mortgage loans to prospective homebuyers.
Although these loans are processes through Axos Bank, UFB Direct Bank customers get to enjoy $0 lending fees.
HOW TO DO BANKING WITH UFB DIRECT BANK?
By now, you are probably wondering already how to open an account with UFB Direct Bank. Well, no need to worry as we are going to give you what you need to know about baking with UFB Direct in this section.
Again, UFB Direct is an all-digital, online-only bank, which means, all you need to do is go online to open an account.
To begin with, make sure you have a valid ID on hand, as well as other basic information like your Social Security Number. For your account application to be approved, you will have to ensure you are 18 years old and above.
The banks offer Teen Checking, though, which is applicable to minors between 13 and 17 years old. However, a parent or guardian needs to be a joint owner of the said account.
You can open an account anytime at the UFB Direct website or by downloading the UFB Direct mobile app. You may also opt to call 1-877-472-9200 for more information.
You see, this is one of the perks of a digital bank, you need not visit a branch in order to open an account. Instead, you can do it anytime, anywhere you want to.
IS UFB DIRECT BANK SAFE?
One of the things that make people feel hesitant about digital banks is security. People are wary about the fact that online-only banks do not have a physical branch where they can go in case of any problem with their accounts.
In the case of UFB Direct’ Bank, similar to any other digital bank out there, they have put all essential safety and security measures in place to ensure that their customers’ accounts are safe and secured. They follow standard web security requirements so their customers need not worry about possible fraud or identity theft threats.
More so, the bank is FDIC insured, which means, in the case of a bank failure, the federal government pays at most $250,000 per depositor.
WHAT TO LIKE ABOUT UFB DIRECT BANK?
In the previous sections in our UFB Direct Bank review, we have tackled the most important information you need to know as a potential customer.
We summed everything up and came up with a list of advantages of dealing with UFB Direct Bank. Some of the highlights we saw in the bank are as follows:
- Competitive Interest Rates on Deposit Accounts – One of the things that UFB Direct Bank boasts is its competitive rates. With UFB Direct, customers can enjoy up to a 0.20% annual percentage yield on both savings and money market accounts provided you meet the minimum balance requirements set by the bank.
- No Minimum Deposit Required to Open a Savings Account – Unlike other savings accounts offered by its competing digital banks out there, UFB Direct Bank does not require any cent to open a savings account. Moreover, the minimum you need to maintain your account is only 0.01, and that you are given 60 days to make the deposit.
- No ATM Charges – Since UFB Direct Bank does not have its own network of ATMs, customers can access any ATM in the country. Although UFB Direct won’t charge an out-of-network ATM fee, there are possibilities of surcharges from the bank or the company that operates the machine.
- Money Market Account Has Check-Writing Privileges – Although UFB Direct does not offer to check accounts, it did roll some aspects of checking into its Money Market Account, which includes check-writing privileges.
- No Monthly Maintenance Fees – Unlike other banks of the same type, UFB Direct Bank does not charge its customers a monthly maintenance fee, which allows you to save a few amounts of money instead.
WHAT NOT TO LIKE ABOUT UFB DIRECT BANK?
In the previous section, we listed some of the advantages of UFB Direct Bank. In this section, we are going to share with you a few of its downfalls.
As a customer, it is important that you are also aware of the disadvantages so you can fully balance out the pros and cons to be able to come with a decision.
So, with that said, here are a few of the disadvantages of UFB Direct:
- Requires a Sizeable Balance to Earn High APY – As stated earlier, both savings and money market accounts require a minimum balance in order to enjoy a high rate. For a savings account, it’s $10,000, while it’s $25,000 for a money market account.
- High Initial Deposit Requirement for Money Market Account – Contrary to other digital banks, UFB Direct Bank requires a minimum deposit of $5,000, which is definitely higher.
- Limited Account Options – While other digital banks offer various account options, UFB Direct Bank is limited to savings and money market accounts only. Although it offers mortgage loans as well, it is Axos Bank, the parent company of UFB Direct that processes it.
- No Physical Branches or Locations – Similar to most online-only banks out there, UFB Direct does not have a physical branch or location. Everything is done online instead.
- Website Provides Limited Information – UFB Direct is an all-digital bank, but, unfortunately, we found that its website provides very limited information. This means, if you need more, you will have to call them at their hotline.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON UFB DIRECT BANK REVIEW
Digital banking has undoubtedly boomed since the pandemic. People have realized the importance of mobile banking especially at a time when going out was restricted.
There are a lot of digital banks out there, and UFB Direct Bank is just one of them. While its competitors have the respective qualities that make them stand out, with UFB Direct, it’s their high yield savings and money market accounts that make them stand out from the rest.