BankDirect Review 2019

BankDirect Logo

3.9/5

BankDirect is an online-only bank that features competitive interest rates and is available to customers in all 50 states.

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Bankrate's overall ratings for financial institutions comprise weighted averages up to five stars of five main categories: customer service, savings accounts, checking accounts, money market accounts (MMAs) and certificate of deposit (CDs).

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About BankDirect

BankDirect went live in May 1999. The financial institution is the national internet banking division of Texas Capital Bank, which was founded in December 1998. BankDirect and Texas Capital Bank operate independently. Altogether, their parent financial institution, Texas Capital Bancshares Inc., closed 2018 with $28 billion in assets.

BankDirect partnered with American Airlines in 2000 to become the first internet-based bank to offer mileage opportunities to new and existing AAdvantage members.

Those looking for an established online-only financial institution should consider BankDirect. It might be the right choice especially for American AAdvantage members looking to earn miles because of BankDirect’s relationship with American Airlines. However, those looking for access to physical branches will want to go with another option.

 Pros

  • Access cash at over 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs through the Allpoint network.
  • Ability to have ATM surcharge fees refunded.
  • Customers can earn American AAdvantage Miles.

 Cons

  • No physical branches.
  • High minimum deposit required for CDs.
  • Better savings rates can be found elsewhere.

BankDirect Services

CDs Rating

4.2/5

BankDirect has a handful of CDs that are available across different terms. Besides traditional CDs, there are IRA CDs that require a lower minimum deposit in exchange for a lower annual percentage yield. Penalties for closing your CD before it matures will vary depending on the length of the CD term. As usual, the longer the term, the harsher the penalty. For 12-month CDs, the penalty is 90 days’ interest based on the amount withdrawn.

 Pros

  • Interest is compounded daily.
  • Interest rates are competitive across most terms.
  • Most standard CD terms are available.
  • Earned interest can be withdrawn before maturity without penalty.

 Cons

  • High minimum deposit required for CDs.
  • Low yield for long-term CDs considering the high minimum deposit required.

BankDirect CDs

TERM APY MIN DEPOSIT
2 year 2.53% $10,000
18 month 2.43% $10,000
1 year 2.28% $10,000
2.5 year 1.51% $10,000
3 year 1.51% $10,000
6 month 1.50% $10,000

CDs available from other banks

Goldman Sachs Bank USA Logo
2.50% APY
$500 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
CIBC Bank USA Logo
2.45% APY
$25,000 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
Rising Bank  Logo
2.60% APY
$1,000 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
Savings Rating

3.7/5

BankDirect has a Regular Savings Account that earns 0.1 percent APY, which is in line with Bankrate's national average for savings accounts. It has a low minimum opening balance requirement of $100. It doesn’t have a monthly fee.

 Pros

  • Low minimum opening balance requirement of $100.
  • Interest is compounded daily.
  • No monthly fee.

 Cons

  • Much higher yields are available elsewhere.

Savings accounts available from other banks

CIBC Bank USA Logo
2.39% APY
$1 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
CIT Bank Logo
2.30% APY
$100 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
Goldman Sachs Bank USA Logo
2.15% APY
$0 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
Checking Rating

2.2/5

BankDirect’s Checking with Interest account can be opened with a $500 minimum deposit. The account offers tiered rates with interest available on balances of $2,500 or more. Those whose average daily ledger balance falls below $2,500 will be charged a $15 monthly fee. Another interest-bearing option from Bank Direct is the Mileage Checking with Interest account. The account has lower rates than the Checking with Interest option but allows users to earn American AAdvantage miles. The account can be opened with a $500 minimum deposit and comes with a $12 monthly maintenance fee. Bank Direct’s Smart Checking does not come with a monthly maintenance fee and requires $100 to open. The trade-off is this simpler account does not come with interest.

 Pros

  • 4 reimbursed ATM withdrawals per statement cycle for Checking with Interest customers.
  • First order of 50 personalized checks for free.
  • Interest paid on balances greater than $2,500.
  • Access to cash at over 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs through the Allpoint network.

 Cons

  • Other financial institutions make it easier to waive monthly maintenance fees and earn interest.
  • No physical branches.
  • The nonsufficient funds (overdraft) fee is $38 per item.

Checking accounts available from other banks

TIAA Bank Logo
1.21% APY
$5,000 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
MMAs Rating

4.0/5

Bank Direct has two types of money market accounts. Each has different benefits. The Money Market Plus account has a competitive yield. It’s not a top-tier APY, but it’s still much greater than the Bankrate national average. To get this APY, you need to have at least $10,000 or more in the account. This account has interest compounded on a daily basis and has checks — up to 50 — available for free. You also can get an ATM card — so accessibility and a respectable APY are two features of this account. The Mileage Money Market Account isn’t for the saver — due to a very low yield — but it may be a good fit for the frequent American Airlines flyer. The account is one of the rare bank accounts that offers the opportunity to earn American AAdvantage miles. The Points Guy values American AAdvantage miles at 1.4 cents per mile.

 Pros

  • Opportunity to earn American AAdvantage miles.
  • Both money market accounts have an ATM card.
  • First order of 50 checks are free.

 Cons

  • Value of the miles may not exceed value of earning higher APY elsewhere.
  • High minimum balance requirement ($10,000) to earn highest yield on the Money Market Plus account.

MMAs available from other banks

State Farm Bank Logo
2.15% APY
$1,000 MINIMUM DEPOSIT
Bank Experience Rating

2.8/5

BankDirect provides plenty of access to ATMs. As a customer, you will have access to more than 55,000 ATMs for free through the Allpoint network. While the mobile banking app exists, the design is basic. But the most important features are in the app, including the ability to pay your bills and deposit checks. You can also set up controls on your cards through CardValet. This feature lets you call the shots on your debit card — such as when and where you can use your payment card — through your mobile device. You’ll also have the ability to use Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay. The ability to get customer support on the phone is limited to weekdays, however.

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Citibank Logo
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