UFB Direct is an online-only bank offering deposit accounts and mortgages. It's a division of Axos Bank, which is a digital bank founded in 2000. UFB’s parent bank launched as Bank of Internet USA and rebranded as Axos in 2018. 

This comprehensive review will help you determine whether UFB Direct’s accounts are a good fit for your needs.

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Pros
  • Good interest rates on deposit accounts

  • No minimum deposit to open a savings account

  • No bank fees on any ATM in the U.S.

Cons
  • Sizeable balance required to get high APY

  • High deposit required to open a money market account

  • Limited account options

Pros Explained

  • Decent interest rates on deposit accounts: You can get up to a 0.40% annual percentage yield (APY) on savings and money market accounts. If you meet the minimum daily balance requirements, you can earn a competitive interest rate on your accounts.
  • No minimum deposit to open a savings account: If you’re looking to open a savings account, the minimum you need to maintain your account is a penny and you have 60 days to make the deposit.
  • No ATM fees: UFB doesn’t have its own network of ATMs, but you can access any ATM in the U.S. While UFB won’t ding you with an out-of-network ATM fee, there might be a surcharge from the bank or company that operates the ATM.

Cons Explained

  • Sizeable balance required to get high APY: While UFB Direct boasts a 0.40% APY, you’ll need to keep a minimum balance of $10,000 to snag that rate on a money market account, or $10,000 for a savings account.
  • High deposit required to open a money market account: While the rates offered by UFB are competitive, you’ll need at least $5,000 to open a money market account.
  • Limited account options: UFB Direct only offers three main types of products: savings, money market accounts, and mortgages. If you’re someone who wants your bank to serve as one-stop shop, you might want to look elsewhere.

Who Is UFB Best For?

UFB Direct should appeal to most folks who want an online bank account to park their money for long periods of time. It may be a particularly good fit for customers who:

  • Have a fair amount of money to tuck away into savings—or might soon 
  • Want to a competitive interest rate on savings vehicles 
  • Don’t have a lot of cash for a minimum required deposit 
  • Want to open a savings account and anticipate a windfall of cash in the near future 
  • Prefer a savings or money market account with a debit card and no monthly account fees 
  • Want an online bank whose parent bank is well established

What Does UFB Offer?

UFB offers a limited selection of accounts with a full range of online services: 

  • Savings account
  • Money market account
  • Around-the-clock personal banking

UFB High Yield Savings Account

UFB’s savings account comes with a debit card and does not charge monthly maintenance fees. What is particularly appealing about this account is that you don’t have to deposit a single cent to open one. However, you do need to maintain a bare minimum balance of 0.01 to keep it. You have 60 days after opening an account to transfer the money. The APY rates are as follows:

UFB Direct High-Yield Savings Rates
Balance  APY
$0 - $9,999.99  0.00%
$10,000 - $24,999.99 0.40%
$25,000 - $49,999.99  0.40%
$50,000 - $99,999.99  0.40%
$100,000 +  0.40%

To get the 0.40% APY rate, you’ll need to park at least $10,000 in your savings. For balances that fall under that threshold, you won’t earn any interest. If you anticipate a small windfall of cash in the near future—perhaps by way of an inheritance, sale of an asset, or a bonus at work—you might consider opening an account now. That way you’ll have a place to tuck away that money when it comes.

You can use any ATM in the U.S. without paying out-of-network fees. However, there might be other surcharge fees that can’t be reimbursed.

Axos Bank lumps together all deposit accounts from its different brands—BofI Advisor, Bank X, NetBank, Apartment Bank, Annuitants Federal Bank, Virtus Bank, and UFB Direct—so if you have different accounts within Axos, each won’t be separately insured by the FDIC, which covers $250,000 per account, per depositor. This means that if you have $300,000 combined in different accounts, only $250,000 comes with FDIC protection.

UFB Premium Money Market Account

UFB’s money market account boasts a 0.40% APY but to get that rate, you’ll need to keep at least $25,000 in your account. The rates for UFB’s money market accounts are as follows:

UFB High Yield Money Market Rates
Balance APY
$0-$9,999.99 0.10%
$10,000-$24,999.99 0.10%
$25,000-$49,999.99 0.40%
$50,000-$99,999.99 0.40%
$100,000+ 0.40%


UFB’s money market account has a $10 monthly account fee, which is waived if you maintain a daily minimum of $5,000.

UFB Customer Service

Banking customers can contact the customer service line seven days a week, 24-hours a day. There is also the standard option to reach out through the website and via a mobile app. Customers also can send a message through the dashboard.

While UFB offers different customer service options, its parent Axos ranks below average in customer satisfaction. Per the J.D. Power 2019 Direct Banking Satisfaction survey, Axos scored 811 out of 1,000 points. That’s a tad below the industry average of 860.

Other Financial Products Offered by UFB Direct 

  • Mortgages

How to Bank with UFB

You can open an account online. You’ll want to have a valid ID on hand, and basic information such as your Social Security number. Prospective account holders need to be at least 18 years old to apply.

For Teen Checking, a minor can be between 13 and 17. However, a parent or guardian needs to be a joint owner on the account.

Have questions and want to receive more information before making a decision? You can fill out a request form on its website.

Unlike some financial institutions, UFB does a credit check before you get approved for an account. So if you have a security freeze on your accounts, you’ll need to lift it before proceeding.

Verdict

UFB Direct could be a good choice if you have a large sum of money you would like stowed away in an online-only account. You’ll also need to mind the rules to avoid the monthly maintenance fee and earn the top APY available.

Those who don’t have as much to put into a deposit account would probably fare better with a bank with lower minimum balance requirements.

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.