BrioDirect Bank is an online bank offering competitive deposit accounts. BrioDirect is the digital offshoot of Sterling National Bank, which was founded in 1888 and is headquartered in New York.  This in-depth review will help you make an informed decision as to whether BrioDirect is a good bank for your needs.

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Pros
  • Low minimum deposit requirements

  • No monthly fees 

  • Hassle-free bank

Cons
  • Primarily for deposit accounts 

  • Higher rates for CDs elsewhere


Pros Explained


Low minimums deposit requirements – To open a BrioDirect savings account requires $25. If you’re interested in tucking a larger amount in a certificate of deposit (CD), then the minimum amount is $500.

No monthly fees – You won’t have to worry about keeping a certain amount of money at all times to avoid account maintenance fees. Nor do you have to meet a litany of criteria to get those fees waived. However, for CDs, if you fail to keep a minimum of $500 in your account, then after 20 days BrioDirect can close your account.

Hassle-free bank BrioDirect is supreme in its simplicity: It offers two deposit accounts, an online application process, and straightforward fees and rates.

Cons Explained

Only two types of accounts Depending on what you’re looking for, an advantage of banking with BrioDirect can also be a downside. BrioDirect is just for deposit accounts, and you can only open either a savings account or a CD. If you’re looking for a bank with a host of options, this isn’t the choice for you.

Higher rates for CDs elsewhere BrioDirect’s rates for its savings accounts and CDs are competitive and higher than the national average. However, as online banks are known to offer higher interest rates than their brick-and-mortar competitors, you can probably find even more-impressive CD rates at some of the other digital banks that offer only deposit accounts, depending on the CD term.

Who Is BrioDirect Best For?

BrioDirect Bank should appeal to customers who are comfortable banking online and don’t have a need to step into a brick-and-mortar location. It might be a particularly good fit for those who:

  • Want to open a CD with a low minimum deposit 
  • Want to open a savings account without worrying about monthly fees
  • Don’t want to be paralyzed by myriad choices
  • Want to work with a bank that’s backed by an established financial institution

What Does BrioDirect Bank Offer?

BrioDirect offers Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)–backed deposit accounts for those who want a safe place to stash their savings and earn some interest.

High-Yield Savings

BrioDirect Bank’s high-yield savings account has a competitive rate of 0.90% annual percentage yield (APY) (as of July 23, 2020). You won’t have to worry about paying a monthly fee, and you’ll need $25 to get started.

While there are no monthly maintenance fees, and the minimum amount to open makes it accessible, there are a few fees if you’re not careful: a $10 fee for withdrawals from your savings that are in excess of six per month and $35 for each overdraft.

And while the FDIC protects your money up to $250,000 per account holder, if you’re an existing customer with BrioDirect’s parent bank, Sterling National Bank, you’ll need to consider the fact that the $250,000 is across all your deposit accounts for both banks. For example, if you have a savings and checking account with Sterling National Bank and want to open a savings account and CD with BrioBank, you’ll be covered up to $250,000 for all your accounts. As this is per person, if you share joint accounts with someone, then the covered amount doubles to $500,000.

High-Rate CDs

BrioDirect Bank’s high-yield CDs can be an appealing way for you to tuck away savings that you don’t need to touch for a period of time. CDs typically offer higher interest rates than a standard savings or checking account, and you’ll usually find that the longer the term of the CD, the higher the interest rate.

BrioDirect offers CDs for anywhere from 30 days to five years, with interest rates that are higher than the national average. The APY starts at 0.05%, and you’ll need a minimum of $500 to open. Should you neglect to fund the account or let the balance fall below $500, your account can be closed after 20 days.

Note that BrioDirect Bank’s CDs automatically renew upon maturity. You’ll need to opt to kick the funds over to another account or withdraw them. However, after the CD matures, there is a seven-day grace period for you to do so. Should you need to take money out of your CD before the maturity date, you’ll be hit with an early withdrawal penalty.

BrioDirect’s rates for its high-yield CDs are as follows:

BrioDirect Bank High-Yield CD Rates
Term APY
30 days 0.05%
Three months 0.50%
Five months 0.65%
Nine Months 0.30%
One Year 0.45%
18 Months 0.45%
Two Years 0.45%
30 Months 0.45%
Three Years 0.45%
Four Years 0.45%
Five Years 0.45%
(as of August 3, 2020)

The fees for BrioDirect Bank’s CDs are: 

BrioDirect High-Yield CD Early Withdrawal Penalties
Term Penalty
30 days or less 30 days interest, whether or not earned
One year or less 90 days interest, whether or not earned
18 months or more but less than five years Nine months interest, whether or not earned
Five years or more 12 months interest, whether or not earned
(As of July 7, 2020)

BrioDirect Bank Customer Service

Potential and current customers can get a hold of a human by phone six days a week. Its customer contact center is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST on Saturdays. You can also reach out to BrioDirect Bank by way of snail mail.

How to Bank With BrioDirect Bank 

As is the case for online banks, you can apply and open an account online. The process is fairly straightforward, and the application process can take a matter of minutes. You’ll need to have the standard information on hand: your driver’s license, a government-issued ID (e.g., a passport, a state-issued ID), Social Security number, and contact information. You can make an initial deposit by an external transfer through another bank, wiring money, or sending a check.

Verdict

BrioDirect Bank is a straightforward and simple way to park your money for savings. The interest rates are competitive, and there’s a low minimum to open an account. If you’re someone who isn’t keen on a digital-only bank and are more comfortable with an option that has physical locations, then it would probably be best for you to look elsewhere.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of banks. We collected more than 20 data points across more than 80 banks — including products available, interest rates, fees, and accessibility — to ensure that our content helps users make the right decision for their savings and banking needs.