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Popular Direct 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: 5.0 Star Icon
0.45%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
  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 3.5 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.0 Star Icon
0.45%APY
Savings/MMA
Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon

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
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.

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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MMA 07/31/2021
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