5 Star Bank VS Popular Direct

Which bank is better for you?

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

  • Variety of different accounts offered
  • Low opening required amounts
  • Reimbursement for ATM fees
  • No monthly fees or minimum balances

Cons:

  • Money market account has tiered rates
  • Must meet requirements to earn interest
  • Daily debit card limits
  • Higher balances earn lower rates
  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon
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Pros:

  • High-interest rates on accounts
  • Account available everywhere
  • Variety of CD terms
  • Online and mobile banking

Cons:

  • Opening accounts requires large deposit
  • The savings account has a monthly fee
  • Only offer CDs and one savings account
  • Linked external account required
5 Star Bank Review

5Star Bank offers a variety of personal deposit and business accounts. There are three different personal checking accounts. One that earns interest, one earns cash back, and one rewards you for shopping online. 5Star Bank offers a savings account, money market account, and different CD terms. Business accounts include checking, money market accounts, CDs, and loans.

5Star Bank has low amounts required to open their accounts. Each of the different checking accounts only require $50 to open. The Kasasa savings account does not have a set amount required when opening. Both the money market account and the different CD terms each require $1,000 to open.

There are no fees to use 5Star ATMs. 5Star Bank will refund up to $20 each month in ATM fees for each of their checking accounts. ATM transactions do not count toward the required debit card transactions to earn interest or rewards.

Most all 5Star Bank accounts do not have monthly maintenance fee. Each of the different checking accounts is free, as well as the savings account. The money market account has a $5 fee, which is waived by keeping at least $1,000 in the account. The different term CDs do not have monthly fees.

To earn the most competitive rates for the money market account requires a large sum. To earn the best rate, you must have a balance of $250,000 in the account. Any balance over $1,000 does earn interest, but a lower rate. The rates gradually increase the more money you have in the account.

5Star Bank checking accounts have requirements you must meet to earn competitive rates. Those requirements include enrolling in online banking and receiving eStatements. You must also make at least 12 debit card purchases each month. ATM withdrawals or account transfers do not count toward those purchases. If you do not meet the requirements for the month, you will not earn the competitive interest rate. The 5Star Bank savings account has the same requirements to earn interest.

5Star limits the amount of money that you can use with your debit card. The limit for point of sale purchases is $1,000 per day. The limit for ATM withdrawals for each day is $300.

Once you reach $25,000 in the savings or checking account the interest rates drop. Any amount under that balance will earn the competitive rates. Any amount over that earn a much lower rate.

Read the full 5 Star Bank review.

Popular Direct Review

The interest rates on Popular Direct accounts are very competitive. They are considerably higher than your typical brick and mortar banks. The rates are competitive with other online-only accounts.

Because Popular Direct is an online-only bank, the accounts are available everywhere. Applying for the account is quick and completed online. Everything you need for your account is accessed online. There are no branch locations.

Popular Direct offers a variety of different CD term lengths. The terms range from a three-month term to five-year terms. The other terms include six months, one year, eighteen months, two, three, and four-year terms. The interest rates increase the longer the term length.

All Popular Direct accounts come with online and mobile banking. With online banking, you can set up account notifications and see statements. You can transfer funds between the linked external account. Mobile and online banking allow you to transfer money between Popular Direct accounts. You can check account balances and deposit checks.

To open a savings account with Popular Direct, you must have $5,000 as your opening deposit. To open a CD with Popular Direct, you must have $10,000 as the opening required deposit. You will still earn interest if your balance drops below these required amounts.

Popular Direct savings account has a monthly fee. The fee is $4 per month if your balance falls below $500. No fee is charged if your balance remains above $500. There is also a fee for closing the account before 180 days after opening it. A $5 monthly fee is charged each month if your account is inactive for 12 months. Following the 12th month, the fee is charged each month the account is inactive.

Popular Direct only offers CDs and one savings account. They do not offer a checking account, money market account, or any business accounts. The CDs range from 30-day CDs to a five-year term.

Popular Direct requires you link your account to an external account. The linked account allows you to make deposits into your Popular Direct account. The external bank account cannot be changed within the first 60 days of opening the account.

Read the full Popular Direct review.

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