UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account Review: A Great APY for Bigger Balances

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 UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account should be a top choice for anyone with a five- or six-figure savings account balance. Its APY for these customers is among the highest in the industry, and it offers all the resources you'd expect from an online savings account, including mobile and online banking tools, as well as some you wouldn't expect, like a free ATM card. Those who don't qualify for interest can still enjoy all of these perks, but you can probably do better elsewhere as long as you don't have your heart set on a savings account with ATM access.

Top perks

Earn up to 1.90% APY: UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account holders who have a balance of $25,000 or more will earn 1.90% APY. This is among the highest rates offered by any savings account, so it's a great choice for those who hope to grow their savings account funds as quickly as possible.

No maintenance fees or minimum deposits: UFB Direct requires no minimum deposit either to open an account or to avoid a monthly maintenance or service fee. However, you must deposit some money within 30 days of opening your account or UFB Direct might close it.

Get a complimentary ATM card: The UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account includes a complimentary ATM card that you can use to access your savings account funds. While ATM cards are common among checking accounts, they're relatively rare among savings accounts. This makes the UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account a good fit for those who want to quickly get money out of their savings account without having to first transfer the money to a checking account.

Bank from anywhere: The UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account includes a free online bank account where you can view your balance and transaction history, transfer funds, and pay bills. UFB Direct's mobile apps for Apple and Android devices enable you to do all of these things plus remotely deposit checks into your account. Most people will prefer to manage their funds in one of these ways, but if you're not connected to Wi-Fi, you can also manage your funds via SMS banking from anywhere.

What could be improved

Not all accounts will earn interest: Only those with $25,000 or more in their UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account will earn interest on their money. If you don't think you'll qualify for interest with the UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account, you're better off choosing a bank that's more generous to customers with low balances.

ATM access: UFB Direct does not have its own network of surcharge-free ATMs, nor does it partner with a nationwide network such as Allpoint to offer fee-free ATMs to its customers. Nor does it reimburse customers for ATM fees. UFB Direct does not charge any of its own fees when you use an ATM, but the ATM owner likely will, and you're responsible for paying these charges.

How to access your money

These are your options for depositing and withdrawing money from your UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account.

Deposit options

Here's how you can add money to your UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Mailed check
  • Mobile-deposited check

UFB Direct doesn't charge for incoming wire transfers, but it's possible the bank you're transferring money from may charge for outgoing wire transfers. So choose a different funding method if you don't want to pay this fee.

While the UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account doesn't require any minimum opening deposit, you are required to put some money in the account within 30 days of opening it or else UFB Direct reserves the right to close your account.

Withdrawal options

You can withdraw money from your UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account using any of these methods:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Request a mailed check
  • ATM withdrawal

Note that if you choose to do an outgoing wire transfer, UFB Direct will charge you a small fee. You may also run into fees if you withdraw money at an ATM.

By federal law, you're limited to six "convenient" savings account withdrawals per month. This includes ACH transfers, recurring bill payments, or transfers made over the phone. ATM withdrawals and mailed checks do not count toward your six monthly withdrawals. If you exceed this amount, UFB Direct may charge you an additional fee.

Online savings account comparison

Like the UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account, the CIT Bank Savings Builder account employs a tiered APY system. And while its highest APY is lower than what the UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account offers, it's available to virtually all customers as long as they're willing to make regular monthly deposits. It also has no monthly maintenance fees or ongoing balance requirements, so it's a smart choice for those with smaller balances.

The Discover Online Savings account offers a high APY to all customers with no balance or monthly deposit requirements whatsoever. New customers also have the opportunity to earn a sign-up bonus. There are virtually no fees, so this account is good for making money. It doesn't come with an ATM card, but this is not unusual for savings accounts.

Rates as of Feb. 13, 2020
Offer
UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account Review
 
Member, FDIC
CIT Bank Savings Builder
 
Member, FDIC
Discover Online Savings
 
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 1.90%

APY: 1.75%

APY: 1.60%

Best For

Best For: High APY

Best For: Limited time cash sign up bonus & high APY. Use code BONUS20 when applying to qualify

Best For: Cash sign up bonus - Use promo code: ASCENT220 to qualify.

Min. to earn APY

Min. to earn APY: $1

Min. to earn APY: $25k or $100 monthly deposit

Min. to earn APY: $1

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From Discover:

To get your $150 or $200 Bonus offer: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account by 3/2/20, 11:59 PM ET, online or by phone. Enter Offer Code ASCENT220 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted by 3/16/20, 11:59 PM ET. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account by 3/30/20. Bonus is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. Offer may be modified/withdrawn without notice.

See advertiser website for full details.

This savings account is right for you if:

The UFB Direct High Yield Savings Account is a great fit for those with five-figure savings account balances who want to earn an industry-leading APY. Even most online banks cannot compete with the rate this account offers, and those that do often require even higher balances to qualify for their best interest rates.

It's also a smart choice for those who favor easy access to their savings account funds. In addition to the typical online and mobile banking options, you can also manage your money via SMS banking and withdraw funds at any time using the provided ATM card -- something you can't find with most other savings accounts.

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