BrioDirect Review 2021

Published April 2021 by Matthew Goldberg

AT A GLANCE
4.8

Bankrate Score

bank-logo

High APYs

No monthly fees

BrioDirect is best for people looking for an online bank that offers a competitive yield on a savings account, money market account and CDs.

  • Savings
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    4.4
  • Checking
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    4.8
  • CDs
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    5.0
  • MMAs
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    4.9
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    LendingClub

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.60 % APY

    $ 2,500

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Sallie Mae

    Member FDIC

    MMA

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Overall

    4.8

    Bankrate Score

    BrioDirect is Sterling National Bank’s online brand. It offers 11 terms of CDs, a money market account, a checking account and a savings account. The savings products tend to have competitive yields. (Sterling National Bank and Webster Bank recently announced an agreement to merge the two companies.)

    What we like

    • BrioDirect offers competitive yields on its savings account, money market account and CDs.

    • BrioDirect’s savings account only requires an opening deposit of $25.

    • Checking customers get up to $20 per statement cycle in ATM refunds and have access to the MoneyPass network.

    • BrioDirect’s Money Market Account doesn’t charge you for incoming domestic wire transfers.

    • The BrioDirect Checking, High-Yield Savings and the High-Yield Money Market all don’t have a monthly service fee.

    What we don't

    • BrioDirect doesn’t offer 24/7 phone customer service.

    • There are no check-writing privileges for the bank's money market account.

    Savings accounts

    4.4

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    LendingClub

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.60 % APY

    $ 2,500

    Min. balance for APY

    The High-Yield Savings account offers a competitive yield. The High-Yield MMA replaced this savings account on Dec. 7, 2020. But in early 2021 the savings account returned.

    You’ll only need $25 to open the High-Yield Savings account and the account doesn’t have a monthly service fee.

    Standard outbound transfers from this account are limited to $75,000, with a monthly limit of $250,000.

    What we like

    • The High-Yield Savings account gives customers a competitive APY.

    • Only $25 is needed to open this account.

    • The account doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee.

    What we don't

    • There may be some higher-yielding options available at other online banks.

    • Some accounts don’t require a minimum deposit when opening.

    • You need to maintain a minimum collected balance of $25 in order to earn interest in this account.

    Checking accounts

    4.8

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Quontic Bank

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.01 % APY

    $ 100

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    The BrioDirect Checking account made its debut on March 8.

    You’ll need $25 to open this account and it doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement or a monthly service fee.

    The account is good for those looking to use ATMs. It refunds up to $20 in out-of-network ATM fees and it’s a part of the MoneyPass network, which has 32,000 ATMs across the country.

    The account earns some interest. At the time of our review, there were two tiers of interest. The $25,000 and above tier earned 10 times the interest of the $0.01 to $24,999 tier.

    It’s important to note that this checking account doesn’t offer checks.

    What we like

    • Up to $20 of out-of-network ATM fees are reimbursed per statement cycle.

    • The account earns some interest.

    • The BrioDirect Checking account reimburses up to $20 per month in out-of-network ATM fees.

    • The checking account is in the MoneyPass network, which gives you access to more than 32,000 fee-free ATMs.

    What we don't

    • Checks aren’t offered by the bank for this account.

    • There’s a $5 fee to receive paper statements for this account.

    CD rates

    5.0

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Sallie Mae

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.65 % APY

    18mo

    Term

    $ 2,500

    Min. deposit

    BrioDirect offers a competitive yield on its CDs. It has 11 terms of CDs, ranging from a 30-day CD to a five-year CD. The CDs require a deposit of at least $500.

    On its website, its early withdrawal penalties are easy to find. All early withdrawal penalties are whether interest has or hasn’t been earned.

    An early withdrawal on a 30-day CD will cost you 30 days of interest. You’ll receive a penalty of 90 days interest on CDs with a term longer than 30 days and up to one year.

    CDs with terms between 18 months but less than 60 months will have an early withdrawal penalty of nine months interest.

    Finally, CD with a term of five years or longer will incur a penalty of 12 months worth of interest. Unfortunately, BrioDirect doesn’t offer a no-penalty CD.

    What we like

    • BrioDirect offers a competitive yield on some of its CD terms.

    • CD early withdrawal penalties are easy to find on the bank’s web site.

    What we don't

    • An early withdrawal on a 30-day CD would cost you 30 days of interest, regardless of whether the interest was earned or not.

    • BrioDirect doesn’t have a no-penalty CD.

    Money market accounts

    4.9

    Bankrate Score

    The High-Yield MMA launched on Dec. 7, 2020. At the time, it replaced the High-Yield Savings account at BrioDirect. You’ll need at least $100 to open this account.

    During our review, the account had two tiers: one for balances under $25,000 and the other for balances more than $25,000. The higher-balance tier earned a higher APY.

    You can only make six withdrawals or transfers each month online or using an ACH before you’ll incur a $10 fee. This account doesn’t allow you to write checks or access ATMs without linking the account to a BrioDirect checking account.

    What we like

    • The account doesn’t have a monthly service fee.

    • The bank waives fees for incoming domestic wire transfers.

    What we don't

    • You’ll be charged a $10 fee for making more than six withdrawals using an ACH or online in a month.

    • The account doesn’t have check-writing privileges.

    Bank experience

    BrioDirect customer service is available on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time and on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time.

    BrioDirect customers can access their account through the Sterling National Bank app. Sterling National Bank’s Personal Mobile Banking app is highly rated on iOS. It receives a lower rating on Google Play.

    About BrioDirect

    BrioDirect is an online sub-brand of Sterling National Bank, which has a history dating back to Provident Savings, a Federal Savings and Loan Association in 1895.

    BrioDirect offers a savings account, money market account and 11 terms of CDs.

    Matthew Goldberg Twitter Created with Sketch. @MATTATBANKRATE

    Matthew Goldberg Twitter Created with Sketch. @MATTATBANKRATE

    Matthew Goldberg is a consumer banking reporter at Bankrate. He uses his banking and financial services experience to help readers with personal finance. Nearly his entire career has either been as a reporter or working in financial services, in banking and insurance. He’s been in financial services for more than a decade. His career includes being a banker in New York City. His reporting career includes working as a staff reporter at two daily newspapers. He earned his first newspaper bylines in 1998. He has been honored by both the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association and the Illinois Press Association. His writing has been featured online on MSN, the Miami Herald, the Houston Chronicle, the Omaha World-Herald, The Kansas City Star, the Arizona Daily Star, and appeared in Sports Illustrated On Campus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Buffalo News and other publications. Matthew’s radio experience includes being a weekly panelist on the SportsWriter’s show on WGEM AM ESPN 1440 in Quincy, Illinois. He was also an occasional co-host and call-in guest on WGEM SportsCenter. He’s also been a guest on other stations throughout the country. Matthew is currently a member of the Board of Governors at the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW), which is the world's largest and oldest organization of business and financial journalists. He chairs the organization's training committee and is on the finance committee. He has previously served on conference planning committees and has been a Best in Business contest judge for the organization. Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University and an MBA at William Paterson University. Media mentions CNBC CNBC Acorns + CNBC WGN Radio 720 in Chicago 1080 KRLD Dallas-Fort Worth