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California First National Bank VS Popular Direct

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.0 Star Icon
0.25%APY
Savings/MMA
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Pros:

  • Reimbursement of ATM fees
  • Competitive interest rates on accounts
  • Interest rates are not tiered
  • Free first order of checks with checking

Cons:

  • Not a wide variety of accounts
  • High opening required amounts
  • Accounts have monthly fees
  • Not all CDs offer competitive 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
2.30%APY
Savings/MMA
Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon

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
California First National Bank Review

You can withdraw money from any ATMs with the specific “Plus” logo. If you withdraw money from another ATM, you are reimbursed for the fees charged. CalFirst will reimburse up to $6.00 each statement cycle in ATM fees.

Most CalFirst accounts offer competitive interest rates. The interest rates are not tiered, so you earn the highest rates offered on any balance in the account. Interest is paid monthly on the actual daily balance.

The interest rates for CalFirst accounts are not tiered. Any amount you have in their accounts earns the competitive interest rates. You do not have to have a certain amount in the account to earn the most competitive rates.

The first order of checks is free when you open an interest checking account. You get an ATM card when you open an interest checking account. Free online bill pay comes with each CalFirst checking account opened.

CalFirst does not have a wide variety of accounts. No business accounts are available, only personal deposit accounts. One money market account and savings account are available. There is an interest checking and one regular checking account. CalFirst only offers five different CD terms.

CalFirst accounts have high opening amounts. The money market account and CDs require $5,000 to open. The interest checking account requires $2,500 to open. The savings account and regular checking account both require $1,000 to open.

The accounts at CalFirst all have a monthly fee. The fees range from $10 to $20 a month, depending on the account you open. Waive the fee by keeping a set amount in CalFirst accounts. You can also have a combined balance between a variety of CalFirst accounts.

Not all the CD terms offer competitive rates. The most competitive rates are the three-month, six-month, and the one-year terms. The two-year and three-year terms have interest rates much lower than the other terms. Regular CDs require $5,000 to open. The IRA CDs require $2,000 to open. The only fees are if you withdraw the money before the maturity date.

Read the full California First National 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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