Popular Direct Review 2021

Published January 2021 by Liz Hund

AT A GLANCE
3.5

Bankrate Score

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Popular Direct is best for anyone itching for a new savings account paying more interest than the average brick-and-mortar bank.

  • Savings
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    4.8
  • CDs
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    3.1
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.70 % APY

    18mo

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.70 % APY

    18mo

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Overall

    3.5

    Bankrate Score

    Popular Direct serves mobile and online banking customers who are searching for some of the best interest rates available to savers across the country.

    What we like

    • Popular Direct offers one of the highest nationally available rates on its savings account.

    • Any fees that are charged are relatively easy to avoid.

    What we don't

    • Minimum deposit requirements for CDs and savings accounts are high.

    • Customers cannot visit a physical branch.

    • There is no ATM access; funds can only be accessed electronically.

    • The mobile app has limited capabilities and low customer experience ratings.

    • There are minimal product offerings.

    Savings accounts

    4.8

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Popular Direct offers one of the highest APYs available with a $5,000 minimum deposit. While the $5,000 minimum deposit is higher than some other banks, this is one of the highest APYs nationwide.

    Popular Direct doesn’t have an ATM card available for its savings account, so you will need to make an external transfer to access the funds if needed. Additionally, you can make deposits via mobile check deposit with your mobile device.

    What we like

    • Popular Direct offers one of the most competitive APYs.

    • There is no monthly service fee.

    What we don't

    • There are lower minimum balance accounts elsewhere that earn similar APYs.

    CD rates

    3.1

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.70 % APY

    18mo

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Popular Direct offers CDs across various terms with decent rates. Those searching for more competitive APYs can find them if they shop around. The minimum deposit on Popular Direct's CDs is $10,000, which may be a struggle for the average saver.

    Early withdrawal penalties vary depending on the length of the CD term. For example, for a 12-month CD, the penalty for an early exit is 270 days of simple interest. For a 5-year CD, the penalty is much steeper: 730 days of simple interest.

    What we like

    • There's a good variety of short-term and long-term CDs.

    What we don't

    • Requires a high minimum deposit.

    • Higher yields can be found elsewhere.

    • A harsh early withdrawal penalty applies for long-term CDs.

    • No bump up or penalty-free CD options available.

    Bank experience

    At Popular Direct, you won’t have cash access at ATMs and you won’t have access to checks. However, you will have access to mobile deposit capture.

    Besides mobile check deposit capabilities, customers can’t do much else on the app besides checking their balances and search for past transactions. Overall, customer reviews of the app suggest there’s a lot of room for improvement.

    You can, however, call a customer service representative 24 hours, seven days a week.

    About Popular Direct

    Popular Direct is an online bank that was launched in July 2016 in an effort to use digital platforms to simplify the process of opening and maintaining a bank account. The institution offers certificates of deposit and a saving account. Both types of accounts are opened through Popular Bank, a community bank and subsidiary of a leading financial services firm with federally insured deposits.

    Popular Bank was known formerly as Banco Popular North America. Its parent company, Popular Inc., was founded in 1893. The financial institution serves customers in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Liz Hund Twitter Created with Sketch. @LIZ_HUND

    Liz Hund Twitter Created with Sketch. @LIZ_HUND

    About the author Liz Hund is a social producer at Bankrate and occasionally writes special features on-site with a social-first angle. Her writing has been featured on MSN, Business Insider and in various local publications. In the media MSN Business Insider The Points Guy