Popular Direct Bank Review

An online bank with competitive rates on savings accounts and CDs

We publish unbiased product reviews; our opinions are our own and are not influenced by payment we receive from our advertising partners. Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money.

Popular Direct

Popular Direct

Popular Direct is a online-only bank. It is a subsidiary of Popular Bank, a full-service financial services provider that was founded more than 120 years ago. Popular Direct was launched in 2016 and offers high yield online savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs). This in-depth review can help you decide if its deposit accounts are right for your banking needs.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Company Overview
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No monthly fees on savings account

  • Competitive rates on savings and CDs

  • Customer service available 24/7

Cons
  • No ATM card access to savings

  • High minimum deposit requirements

  • Fee may apply if you close an account

Company Overview
  • Year Founded 2016
  • Official Website www.populardirect.com
  • Banking Products Offered Savings, CDs
  • Customer Service 24/7 Phone: 1-800-274-5696

Pros Explained

  • No monthly fees on savings account: Although the savings account has a minimum opening deposit requirement, there are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements once the account is open.
  • Competitive rates on savings and CDs: Popular Direct offers competitive rates on both savings accounts and CDs.
  • Customer service available 24/7: Live customer service is available by phone any time that you call.

Cons Explained

  • No ATM card access to savings: Popular Direct does not offer ATM cards for its savings accounts. To gain access to your funds, you'll need to initiate an electronic transfer and wait for it to complete.
  • High minimum deposit requirement:. The high minimum deposit requirements may prevent some potential customers from being able to open an account. You must have $5,000 for a savings account and $10,000 for a CD.
  • Fee may apply if you close an account: If you close your savings account within 180 days, you may be charged a $25 fee. Additionally, early withdrawal penalties apply to CDs.  

Who Is Popular Direct Best For?

Popular Direct is best for customers who want an online bank account to compliment their existing banking relationship. It may be a good fit if you:

  • Are at least 18 years or older
  • Have a checking account at another bank
  • Are not looking to have one bank handle all of your deposit and lending needs
  • Have larger balances to meet the minimum opening deposit requirement
  • Are looking for a high yield online savings account or CD
  • Do not need immediate access to your funds
  • Are able to deposit money electronically
  • Want 24/7 telephone access to customer service

What Does Popular Direct Offer?

As an online-only bank, Popular Direct has a limited selection of deposit products. Its accounts are not meant to replace your existing bank for daily transactions, but can supplement your primary account with high-yield deposit products. It only offers:

  • Savings accounts
  • CDs

Savings Accounts

The Popular Direct Select Savings account offers a high annual percentage yield (APY) with no monthly fees. To open an account, the minimum deposit is $5,000. There is no minimum balance required to earn interest. Once your account is opened, it must remain open for at least 180 days or you may incur a $25 fee.

If your account has not had any activity for 12 months, a $5 monthly dormancy fee may apply. Savings accounts are entitled to a combination of six transfers or withdrawals per month. Each additional withdrawal will cost $5.

POPULAR DIRECT SAVINGS ACCOUNTS
ACCOUNT NAME MIN OPENING DEPOSIT MONTHLY FEE APY
Select Savings $5,000 $0 0.70%
as of October 14, 2020

The standard statement period is quarterly. However, if there is account activity, you will receive a statement for that month.

CDs

CDs from Popular Bank have terms ranging from three months to five years. There is a minimum deposit of $10,000 required for all CDs. The bank does not offer higher rates for larger balances.

POPULAR DIRECT CD RATES
TERM APY
3 months 0.15%
6 months 0.20%
1 year 0.30%
18 months 0.40%
2 years 0.45%
3 years 0.50%
4 years 0.60%
5 years 0.80%
as of September 1, 2020

CDs automatically renew at maturity at the prevailing rate. However, customers have a 10-day grace period after maturity where they can withdraw money without being charged a penalty.

If you need to terminate your CD before maturity, you will pay a penalty depending on the term length of the CD.

POPULAR BANK CD EARLY WITHDRAWAL PENALTIES
TERM PENALTY
Less than 91 days 89 days simple interest
From 91 days to less than 12 months 120 days simple interest
From 12 months to less than 36 months 270 days simple interest
From 36 months to less than 60 months 365 days simple interest
Equal to or greater than 60 months 730 days simple interest
as of September 1, 2020

Popular Direct Customer Service

Popular Direct customer service by phone is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 800-274-5696. It is also possible to mail a letter to Popular Direct at its Florida address.

Customers can also access their account through the Popular Bank mobile app. It is available for both Apple and Android devices. Through the mobile app, you can see an overview of your accounts, review your account history, make mobile deposits, and transfer between eligible accounts.

How to Bank With Popular Direct

Because Popular Direct does not have any physical branches, the best way to open an account is through its website.

Once your account is open, you can access your accounts by telephone, online, or mobile banking. Popular Direct does not issue ATM cards, so you'll need to request a transfer to your deposit account at another bank to withdraw money. To deposit money, you can initiate a transfer from your existing bank account or perform a mobile deposit through its app.

Verdict

Popular Direct offers competitive rates for its savings accounts and CDs if you can meet its minimum deposit requirements. These accounts should be used to complement your existing banking relationship in order to earn higher rates of interest than your current bank offers.

Be careful if you need to close your savings account or withdraw from your CD early. Popular Direct charges an early closure fee on savings accounts if closed within 180 days. CD early withdrawal penalties apply when making a withdrawal before the CD matures.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of banks. We collected over 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.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Popular Direct. “Select Savings.” Accessed September 1, 2020.

  2. Popular Direct. “Popular Direct CDs.” Accessed September 1, 2020.

  3. Popular Direct. "Schedule of Fees for Popular Direct Accounts." Accessed September 1, 2020.

  4. Popular Direct. "Characteristics and Fees of Our Popular Direct CD Account." Accessed September 1, 2020.