Popular Direct Bank Review: Savings and CDs
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- CD rates
- Banking experience
Overall institution rating
The online bank, a division of the international company Popular and New York-based Popular Bank, offers competitive rates on savings and certificates of deposit for customers who are able to meet the steep minimum deposit requirements. You need to have a bank account at another bank in order to fund a Popular Direct account.
Best for: Those who don’t need a checking account, want to earn highly competitive rates on savings and CDs, and can meet the high minimum deposit requirements by funding from an external bank account.
- Competitive savings account rate.
- Extended hours for live customer support.
- Steep minimum opening requirements.
- No branch or ATM network.
- No checking account.
- Must link to an external bank account and can only use that external bank account for transfers within the first 70 days.
4.0/5 NerdWallet rating
Popular Direct’s High-Rise Savings account offers a competitive interest rate that applies to all balances. To open this account, you need at least $5,000, which is a large amount compared with what other, similar accounts typically require.
» Want to see more options? Check out NerdWallet’s best high-yield online savings accounts
Like many other online savings accounts, Popular Direct's doesn't have a monthly fee. But if you take out money more than six times a month, there’s a $5 excessive withdrawal fee.
Popular Direct has an unusual policy: Once you set up your funding account, you must use only that account for transfers during the first 70 days a Popular Direct account is open.
4.5/5 NerdWallet rating
Some of Popular Direct’s CD rates are competitive, but all require a large minimum deposit. To open a CD, the minimum deposit is $10,000, which is higher than many banks’ requirements of $0 to $2,500.
» COMPARE: Best CD rates
Full list of Popular Direct CD rates:
3-month CD: 4.50% APY.
6-month CD: 5.10% APY.
1-year CD: 5.25% APY.
18-month CD: 5.00% APY.
2-year CD: 4.70% APY.
3-year CD: 4.55% APY.
4-year CD: 4.30% APY.
5-year CD: 4.53% APY.
Popular Direct’s website clearly lays out rates and minimum deposits, but you have to dig into the disclosures to see the fees. Live customer service is available by phone Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to midnight Eastern and weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern, and you can also message the bank. The bank lacks some support channels, such as live chat, that some other online banks have.
The no-frills mobile app mainly helps you monitor accounts and deposit checks.
How does Popular Direct compare?
SoFi Checking and Savings
CIT Bank Platinum Savings
Citizens Online Savings Account
With $0 min. balance for APY
With $5,000 min. balance for APY
With $0.01 min. balance for APY
Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.
at CIT Bank
NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.