Radius Bank Rewards Checking Review: Fee Free and 1% Cash Back Perks

Kailey is an industry specialist covering bank accounts, credit cards, and all things personal finance. Her work has appeared on USA Today, CNN Money, Fox Business, and MSN Money.

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The Radius Bank Rewards Checking account is a top choice for those interested in securing perks competitive with the best checking accounts. If you maintain a balance of $2,500 or more, you can look forward to a high cash back rate on debit card purchases, a free order of checks, and unlimited ATM fee reimbursements. But there are also features that appeal to those without much money, including budgeting tools and the option to get your paycheck up to two days early.

Top perks

Earn 1% cash back on debit card purchases: Qualifying customers will earn 1% cash back on every online and signature-based "credit" transaction they make with their Radius Bank debit card. To qualify, you need to keep an average of $2,500 or more in your account or receive at least $2,500 worth of direct deposits into your Radius Bank Rewards Checking account per month. You must also have your account open for 30 days before you can begin earning cash back.

Free ATMs worldwide: Radius Bank doesn't have its own network of ATM fees, but it partners with MoneyPass® and SUM networks to offer fee-free ATMs nationwide. It also offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements worldwide, just in case you're not near a MoneyPass® or SUM ATM. Some people prefer this to having to stick to a specific ATM network because it enables them to access their cash fee-free anywhere.

No minimum balance requirement or monthly fees: Radius Bank doesn't charge maintenance fees to any of its customers. That means that while you do need at least $100 to open your Radius Bank Rewards Checking account, there is no ongoing minimum balance requirement. However, you will need to maintain a minimum balance of $2,500 or more if you hope to earn interest.

Get your paychecks up to two days early: If you set up a direct deposit to your Radius Bank Rewards Checking account, Radius Bank will make these funds available to you as soon as your employer submits its payroll files to the Federal Reserve. This means you could start using your paychecks as soon as two days before you could access the funds at most other banks.

Feature-rich mobile apps: The Radius Mobile app enables you to remotely manage and transfer your funds, deposit checks, schedule automatic bill payments, and pay friends and family. There's also a separate Radius Card app that lets you activate and deactivate your card and set location-based restrictions and spending caps to prevent yourself from spending too much money.

Built-in budgeting tools: Your online Radius Bank Rewards Checking account includes tools to help you create a budget you can stick to, analyze trends in your spending habits, create an actionable debt repayment plan, and find out your net worth. You can also link your external financial accounts so you can get an overview of all of your finances in one place.

Free first order of checks: When you sign up for a Radius Bank Rewards Checking account, the bank will pay for your first order of checks.

What could be improved

Only the highest balances get the highest APY: In order to earn the promised 0.15% APY, you must maintain an average checking account balance of $100,000 or more, which most people probably cannot do. You can still earn 0.10% if you maintain a balance of $2,500 or more, which is much more doable and still far above average for checking accounts. If you maintain a balance of less than $2,500, you won’t earn interest at all, and a high-yield savings account may be a better option.

Not everyone will earn the cash back: As I mentioned above, you must have had your account active for 30 days and maintain a minimum balance of $2,500 or more or have $2,500 in direct deposits to your account per month in order to qualify for the cash back. Those who don't qualify can still use their debit cards and take advantage of fee-free ATMs worldwide, but they won't earn any money back on their purchases.

Incoming wire transfers cost money: Most banks charge for outgoing wire transfer fees, but few charge incoming wire transfer fees. Radius Bank is one of the few that does. But this fee is pretty simple to avoid. Just fund your account another way.

Fees

Radius Bank Rewards Checking Monthly Maintenance ATM Withdrawal Overdraft Stop Payment Insufficient Funds Incoming Wire
Fees $0 $0 $5 per day, beginning on the fifth calendar day after the overdraft and continuing for 30 days if the account remains negative. Overdrafts of $5 or less will not result in a fee. $25 $25 per item $10

How to access your money

Radius Bank gives you the following options for accessing the funds in your Rewards Checking account.

Deposit options

You can deposit money into your Radius Bank Rewards Checking account using any of these methods:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Mailed check
  • Mobile deposited check
  • ATM deposit at select ATMs

Note that if you choose to fund your account via wire transfer, you'll pay a $10 incoming wire transfer fee and the bank you're transferring the funds from may charge an outgoing wire transfer fee as well.

Withdrawal options

These are your options for withdrawing money from your Radius Bank Rewards Checking account:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • ATM withdrawal

You can check Radius Bank's website to find the nearest fee-free ATM in its network to you, or you can just use any ATM nearby and Radius Bank will reimburse you for the fees.

Alternatives to consider

The Axos Bank Rewards Checking account is a great alternative to the Radius Bank Rewards Checking account if you want to earn a high APY but don't think you'll meet Radius Bank's minimum requirements to earn interest. The Axos Bank Rewards Checking account also has interest-earning requirements, but they're a little more lenient and you could potentially earn even more than you could with the Radius Bank Rewards Checking account. Axos Bank also offers unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements like Radius Bank.

If it was the cash-back option with Radius Bank Rewards Checking account that piqued your interest but you don't think you'll qualify, consider the Discover Cashback Debit account instead. It also offers cash back on debit card transactions and it doesn't require you to meet certain standards in order to earn these rewards. Like Radius Bank, it doesn't have a minimum balance requirement or charge a monthly maintenance fee.

Rates as of March 18, 2020
Offer
Radius Rewards Checking
 
Member, FDIC
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
 
Member, FDIC
Discover Cash Back Debit
 
Member, FDIC
Rating
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Rating image, 4.5 out of 5 stars.
APY

APY: Up to 0.15%

APY: Up to 1.25%

APY: 0%

Best For

Best For: Cash back and free ATMs

Best For: High APY and unlimited ATMs

Best For: Cash back on $3,000 of spend monthly

Min. to earn APY

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $1

Next Steps

This checking account is right for you if:

The Radius Bank Rewards Checking account is a potentially lucrative account to have if you expect to maintain a minimum balance of $2,500 or more. Few checking accounts offer cash back or interest, let alone both, so there's a lot of potential to grow your wealth with this account.

Its built-in budgeting tools also make it a good choice for those who are trying to manage their money better. Its leniency in how it structures its overdraft fees and the potential to get your paychecks up to two days early may also suit those who don't have a lot of money coming in every month.

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