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BankDirect VS PenFed Credit Union

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • Low required opening amounts
  • Reimbursement of ATM fees
  • Variety of personal deposit accounts
  • Money market account earns good rates

Cons:

  • Highest MMA rate requires large amount
  • High required amount to open CDs
  • Checking accounts have a monthly fee
  • Must mail in application to open account
  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • CDs have competitive interest rates
  • Low opening required amount
  • CDs offered to save for education
  • Low monthly fee for checking account

Cons:

  • High opening balances for CDs
  • Low-interest rates
  • Best rates require large balances
  • Do not offer a variety of accounts
BankDirect Review

Most of the BankDirect accounts have a low amount required to open the account. BankDirect checking accounts only require $500 to open. Both BankDirect money market accounts require $500 to open. The basic savings account only requires $100 to open.

BankDirect does not own any ATMs; they reimburse their customers the ATM fees. The first four ATM withdrawals per statement cycle are refunded. The refunds are up to $2.50 per transaction. There is a withdrawal limit of $500 from an ATM each day.

BankDirect offers a variety of personal deposit accounts. There are three different checking accounts and two different money market accounts. There are a variety of different CD terms available. BankDirect offers one savings account. There are no business accounts available.

The BankDirect Money Market Plus account offers a competitive interest rate. BankDirect also offers a mileage money market account. This account earns American Airline miles. Both MMA require $500 to open. The mileage money market account earns much lower interest rates. You earn miles instead of interest. There is no monthly fee for either account.

To earn the high rates offered on the BankDirect Money Market Plus account you must have $10,000 in the account. Amounts under $10,000 do not earn any interest. Only $500 is required to open this account, but to earn any interest requires $10,000.

BankDirect offers a variety of different CD terms. The required amount to open any of the CDs is $10,000. There is no monthly fee. The interest rates for CDs are competitive. The 12-month, 18-months, 24-months and 36-month CDs offer the most competitive rates. To open a mileage CD also requires $10,000.

Two of the BankDirect checking accounts have monthly fees. The interest and mileage checking accounts both have a monthly fee. The fee is waived for the interest checking account if you have at least $2,500 in the account. The mileage checking does not list a way to waive that monthly fee.

Opening an account with BankDirect is not entirely online. To open an account, you must fill out the application online, then print off part and mail it in. You will then receive a welcome kit within one to two weeks. Once you get your kit, you can finish setting up your account.

Read the full BankDirect review.

PenFed Credit Union Review

PenFed CDs have competitive interest rates. The rates on CDs are competitive with online-only accounts. The longer you can invest the money in the CD the higher the interest rates you will earn. CD terms range from six months to seven years.

All accounts, other than CDs, have a low opening balance of only $25. The more you invest in the money market account, the higher interest rates you will earn. However, you are only required to have $25 to open an account with PenFed.

PenFed offers CDs designed to save specifically for education costs. These CDs only require $500 to open instead of $1,000. The education CDs range in term from one year to seven years. The interest rates earned on these CDs are competitive with other CD accounts.

Only the checking account has a monthly maintenance fee. The fee is low and is easy to waive. The fee is waived by having a daily balance of $500 in the account. Having a direct deposit into the account of more than $500 each month will also waive the fee. The savings account and money market accounts do not have a monthly fee.

To open a CD, PenFed requires $1,000. The CD terms vary in length from six months to seven years. The longer you can invest your money in a PenFed CD the higher interest you will earn over the CD term. The interest rates on these CDs are competitive with other online-only CDs.

The interest rates for PenFed savings, checking, and money market accounts are not competitive. The rates are low. Those interest rates are competitive to your typical bank rates. Online only accounts offer much higher interest rates for these accounts.

To earn the highest interest on the PenFed checking account, a daily balance of $20,000 to $50,000 is required. If you do not have at least $20,000, you will earn much lower interest rates. Any amount earns interest. To get the highest rates, your daily balance must meet the requirements.

PenFed only offers one checking account, savings account, and money market account. This does not allow you to find the account that best fits your needs.

Read the full PenFed Credit Union review.

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