UFB Direct Review

How does your bank stack up?

  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon

Pros:

  • Low required amounts to open an account
  • No minimum balance or monthly fees
  • Earn American Airline miles
  • High interest rates on accounts

Cons:

  • No branch locations
  • Highest interest rate requires large sum
  • MMA has a fee and large opening deposit
  • Business accounts and CDs not offered

What You Need to Know

UFB Direct checking and savings accounts have a low required opening amount. The opening deposit is only $100. To receive the highest interest rates, you must keep a certain amount in the accounts. If the balance is below the set amount, you will earn a lower interest rate, but not be charged a fee.

Most UFB Direct accounts do not have a monthly maintenance fee. UFB Direct savings and checking accounts are free. There is no monthly fee and no amount required to keep in the account.

Earn miles for everyday purchases with the UFB Airline Rewards Checking account. When you use your debit card for purchases, you earn miles. Earn one mile for debit transactions over $3.00. The miles go toward American Airlines. You can earn up to 120,000 per calendar year. UFB Direct may add more airlines in the future.

The interest rates on UFB Direct accounts earn very competitive interest rates. The savings, checking, and money market accounts earn some of the highest rates on the market. For some accounts, you must keep a high balance in the account. However, if you do not have that set amount in the account, you will earn a lower rate. The lower rate on those accounts is still much higher than your typical brick and mortar banks rates.

There are no branch locations for UFB Direct. It is an entirely online bank. To talk to customer service, you can call a 24-hour phone line. You can reach customer service through mail or email. You can access everything about your account online.

Certain balances are required to earn the highest interest rates on the UFB Direct savings accounts. The basic savings account requires $20,000 in the account to earn the highest interest rates. The Premium savings account requires $25,000 to earn the highest interest rates. Any amount lower than the required amount will still earn interest, just a much lower rate.

The UFB Direct money market account has a monthly fee and a large sum required as the opening deposit. The monthly fee is $10 a month. Waive the fee by keeping a balance of $5,000 in the account. The required opening deposit is $5,000. You will earn interest and can write checks from the MMA.

UFB Direct does not offer business accounts or CDs. The accounts offered are a personal checking, saving, and money market account. There are options for loans, but not business accounts or CDs.

Cool Things

FinanceWorks

On UFB Direct’s Website with FinanceWorks, you see all your accounts with UFB Direct. That includes deposit accounts, credit cards, loans, and investments. You can also see how much you are spending and how the money is being spent. You can set specific goals to help you save money.

MyDeposit

This allows you to deposit checks instantly. You can scan checks from your computer. They will be directly deposited into your account. You can scan multiple checks per deposit. MyDeposit allows you to make deposits from any computer and scanner. The deposits received by 3 p.m. are processed on the same day.

History

UFB Direct is a division of BofI Federal Bank. Bank of Internet USA opened in 1999. Within 14 months the bank was profitable. It operates in all 50 states of the United States. In 2011, Bank of Internet USA changed their name to BofI Federal Bank. They work to cut the overhead cost of banking and branch locations.

Between 2013 to 2015, BofI saw a 327 percent growth in savings deposits. During that time BofI acquired part of H&R Block's banking business. This included 300,000 in individual retirement accounts.

Today BofI has over $8.9 billion in assets. They now have 534 employees. They offer competitive interest rates on their savings and money market accounts. The checking account earns airline miles.

Awards and Recognition

  • BofI named "Best Banks of 2018" by GOBankingRates
  • BofI named "Best Online Bank" by Bank Rate
  • BofI ranked 68th on Fortune’s "100 Fastest Growing Businesses" in 2017

Giving Back

UFB Direct, through BofI Holding, supports the U.S. military. They contribute to sponsoring the SEAL Family Foundation and One Summit. They have supported this cause for the last four years. This is a nonprofit that raises money to help support the families of the Naval Special Warfare.

BofI partnered with the Hope Leadership Foundation. This foundation promotes literacy to elementary schools in San Diego. BofI employees volunteer to teach literacy courses to students. The courses cover budgeting, banking products, and other financial literacy topics. Along with employees volunteering, BofI makes an annual donation. This helps with other aspects of the foundation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is This Bank FDIC insured?

Yes. UFB Direct is FDIC insured. The FDIC is an agency of the United States government that protects funds deposited in banks, up to $250,000 per customer, per bank. The money deposited in FDIC insured banks means money is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

How do I access my money?

You can access your money through electronic transfers, checks, or ATM and debit cards. You can also send and receive money with Popmoney.

Does this bank offer mobile banking?

Yes. The UFB Direct mobile app allows you to deposit checks. You can check your account balances and view transaction history. You can transfer funds and find an ATM.

Is this bank free?

Most all UFB Direct accounts are free of monthly fees. Only the money market account has a monthly fee. Waive the MMA fee by keeping at least $5,000 in the account.

Is this a good bank?

The interest rates are very competitive. You can access everything with your account online. There are no branch locations. Only personal savings, checking, and money market accounts are available.

Is this bank secure online?

Yes. UFB Direct covers 100 percent of any funds taken out of your account without your authorization.

Does this bank offer competitive interest rates?

Yes. The interest rates at UFB Direct are competitive. Their interest rates are much higher than your typical brick and mortar banks. The lower rates offered if you do not have the required amount in the account are still much higher than your typical bank rates.

Can I use this bank for my business accounts?

No. Only savings, checking, and a money market account are available. They do offer loans through BofI Federal Bank.

How is the online bank different from the online banking my bank offers?

The interest rates are much higher than your typical brick-and-mortar banks offer. There are no branch locations; everything for your account is online.

Do their checking accounts pay interest?

No. The UFB Direct checking account does not earn interest. Instead, you earn airline miles. For debit card transactions over $3, you will earn one mile. The miles work with American Airlines. You can also earn cash back for certain purchases.

How do I reach customer service?

By phone or by visiting a local branch. You can do your banking or speak to a customer service representative 24/7. You can follow TD Bank on social media through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Does this bank offer bill pay?

Yes. The UFB Direct checking account offers free bill pay.

Can I deposit cash?

Cash can only be deposited at the UFB Direct institution in San Diego, CA.

How long do transfers take?

Transfers to an external account can be available the next day. To have the transfer the next day, your account must have $750 more than the amount being transferred. It must have no negative transactions. A transfer of $500 must have been deposited from the external account into a UFB Direct account. Only $2,000 can be transferred per day and $5,000 per month.

Can I sign up for direct deposit to this account?

Yes. You can sign up for direct deposit to UFB Direct checking, saving, and money market accounts.

Bank Contact Information

UFB Direct
PO BOX 509127
San Diego, CA 92150-9948
1-888-751-9000

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