Popular Direct Review 2019

Popular Direct Logo

3.8/5

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

High APYs
Top Saving Rates

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The experts at Bankrate are continually researching, reviewing, and rating banks to help you objectively compare and choose institutions that fit your needs. To support our constant research we sometimes receive compensation from links you choose to click on.

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).

The Bankrate editorial team compiles publicly-available company data as well as information from the government organizations like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for our review of each financial institution. App ratings are obtained from iTunes and Google Play. The interest rates, branch densities, fee amounts and other data was collected in fourth quarter 2018 and first quarter 2019.

When a financial firm offers more than one checking, savings or MMA accounts, Bankrate reviews the account with the highest APY. Each bank is evaluated based on the 12-month certificate of deposit (CD) it offers.

All reviews are prepared by Bankrate staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information including rates and fees presented in the review is accurate at time of publication. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.

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. As it did when it was first established, the institution offers certificates of deposit (CDs) 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. It’s parent company, Popular Inc., was founded in 1893. The financial institution serves customers in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Popular Direct is best for anyone itching for a new savings account or CD paying more interest than the average brick-and-mortar bank. If you don’t have thousands of dollars that you’re ready to park in an account, however, or you want the ability to choose from multiple kinds of deposit products, you’ll be happier at another bank

 Pros

  • Popular Direct offers some of the highest nationally available rates on deposit products.
  • Any fees that are charged are relatively easy to avoid.
  • Customers have access to a mobile app and mobile check deposit.

 Cons

  • Minimum deposit requirements for CDs and savings accounts are high.
  • Customers cannot visit a physical branch or avoid out-of-network ATM fees.
  • Product offerings are limited.

Popular Direct Services

Savings Rating

4.7/5

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 certainly one of the highest APYs around. You can also deposit checks electronically using your mobile device. Popular Direct doesn’t have an ATM card available for its savings account. So you’ll need to make an external transfer to access the funds if you need them.

 Pros

  • One of the highest APYs around.
  • Reasonable minimum balance for such a high APY.
  • Interest compounds daily.

 Cons

  • Popular Direct doesn’t have a money market account.
  • There are lower minimum balance accounts.
  • No ATM card access to your savings.

Popular Direct Savings

2.30 % APY
Savings
$5,000
MINIMUM BALANCE FOR APY

Savings accounts available from other banks

CDs Rating

4.5/5

Popular Direct offers CDs across various terms with highly competitive rates. The minimum deposit, however, is $10,000. The average saver may struggle to meet that threshold. 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.

 Pros

  • Interest is compounded daily.
  • Yields offered are some of the best rates in the nation.

 Cons

  • Compared to other banks, the minimum deposit is higher.
  • Withdrawals of either credited interest or part of the principal will result in an early withdrawal penalty.
  • A harsh early withdrawal penalty applies for long-term CDs.

CDs available from other banks

2.25% APY
$500 MIN DEPOSIT
2.35% APY
$2,500 MIN DEPOSIT
2.30% APY
$1,000 MIN DEPOSIT
Bank Experience Rating

2.9/5

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. You can also search your transactions on its mobile banking app  —  a feature many banks have yet to add. You can also call a customer service representative 24 hours, seven days a week.

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