The Fintech Affirm Offers Rate Leading Savings Account

POSTED ON BY

Deal Summary: Savings Account, 1.30% APY on all balances

Availability: Nationwide (via mobile app)

Last year I would have never had thought that I would be reviewing a new savings account with a yield of only 1.30%. In today’s new zero rate environment, that is unfortunately a top rate for a savings account. The new savings account is from the financial technology (fintech) company, Affirm, which has partnered with Cross River Bank to offer the savings account through Affirm’s mobile app. Opening the savings account and managing the account can only be done through the app. There’s no access through Affirm’s website.

APYMINMAXINSTITUTIONPRODUCTDETAILS
1.00%--AffirmAffirm Savings
Rates as of October 1, 2020.

Affirm’s primary business that has been in operation since 2012 is the offering of loans that can replace credit cards. Affirm provides loans that allow shoppers to pay for goods and services over time with fixed monthly payments. Early this year, Affirm decided to add a savings account to their offering.

Affirm Savings Account Features

The Affirm savings account has no minimum balance requirements and no monthly service fees. The details of this account are described in the Deposit Account Agreement document. A link to this document is available in this FAQ on Affirm’s website. A few important things to note from this document include:

  • Interest rate may change at any time.
  • There are no minimum balance requirements to open this Account, avoid fees or to obtain the disclosed APY.
  • Interest will be compounded on a daily basis and will be credited to your Account monthly
  • If you close your Account before interest is credited, you will not receive the accrued interest.
  • Deposits must be done by ACH or by Wire Transfer. Checks for deposit and cash deposits at ATMs are not accepted.

Affirm has an ACH transfer service that’s managed through the app. It appears to be a typical type of ACH transfer system in which you are first required to establish links to other bank accounts. Affirm has FAQs on adding funds and withdrawing funds using this transfer system.

There’s no listed limit on the amount that can be transferred to and from linked bank accounts. I confirmed the lack of a dollar limit with a CSR yesterday. However, the disclosure does say that they “reserve the right to establish (and change) maximum dollar limits for withdrawal transactions from time to time.” There’s also no dollar limit on ACH transfers that are initiated from your other banks. The Affirm savings account has routing and account numbers that can be used at your other bank to establish a link.

No Joint Accounts and No POD Accounts

The Affirm savings account can only be opened as an individually-owned account. As the disclosure states, “you may not add a joint-owner to your Account.” According to a CSR, beneficiaries cannot be designated on the savings account. So there’s no option for POD or ITF accounts.

My Take

I don’t think Affirm designed the savings account for savers who want to deposit $100k+ of funds. They appear to be targeting customers, specifically the younger generation, who would be interested in their loan service and would only have a relatively small amount in savings.

Even though the savings account may not be intended for large savers, I have not been able to identify account limits that would inhibit large savers. The current interest rate (1.30% APY) applies to all balances, with no stated balance cap. They have an ACH transfer service that’s managed through the app, and there’s no listed limit on the amount that can be transferred to linked bank accounts. Many small online banks tend to have low dollar limits on the amounts that can be transferred to linked accounts via their ACH transfer service. If Affirm does place dollar limits, you should still be able to initiate ACH transfers from your other bank account without a dollar limit.

The main deal killer for many large savers is likely the inability to open joint accounts or accounts with beneficiaries (i.e. POD or ITF accounts). Only individually-owned accounts can be opened. This prevents customers from extending FDIC coverage over the standard amount ($250k) through joint accounts and POD accounts.

As a new savings account, it’s questionable if the Affirm savings account will maintain a rate-leading status. Very few new online banks maintain savings account rates that remain above the well-established online savings account rates for the long run. New online banks often maintain top rates during all or part of the first year, but the rates eventually fall to levels that are near or below the rates offered by the well-established online banks. So unless the new savings account has a rate guarantee or some unique feature, opening a new account is often not worthwhile.

Availability

Affirm is offering accounts nationwide. Anyone 18 years or older with a valid Social Security number or Taxpayers Identification Number and with a residential address in the U.S. can open an account.

Only individual accounts can be opened with Affirm. Joint accounts are not allowed. Also, no beneficiaries can be designated.

According to Affirm’s FAQ on account opening, “Opening an Affirm savings account won’t affect your credit score, and closing an account won’t affect it either.”

The account opening FAQ currently states that “For the time being, the Affirm savings account is invitation-only.” However, I was told by the CSR that invitations are no longer necessary.

Applying for the Affirm savings account can only be done by using the Affirm mobile app. There is no application on Affirm’s website. Note, mobile apps can also be run using a tablet instead of a smartphone. The device just has to run Apple iOS or the Android operating system.

The account opening FAQ does leave out details about applying via the app. I was told by the CSR that you must first open an Affirm account before you can apply for the savings account. When you first open the app, click on the “Get Started” button. You’ll then have to provide your mobile phone number and your email address to gain access to the app and the application for the savings account.

To get help with the application or with other account questions, Affirm’s customer support team is available from 7am to 7pm CST every day of the week at (855) 423-3729. Note, I was not able to find this contact information on Affirm’s website. I was only able to find it at Affirm’s Twitter feed.

Bank Overview

Affirm is a financial technology company that has partnered with Cross River Bank. The savings accounts are held by Cross River Bank, member FDIC, and the savings account deposits are FDIC insured up to the applicable limits. This partnership can be confirmed at this Cross River Bank web page which shows the Affirm logo at the bottom.

Cross River Bank has an overall health grade of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 2.51% (excellent) based on December 31, 2019 data. In the past year, Cross River Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $246.94 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 21.57%. Please refer to our financial overview of Cross River Bank (FDIC Certificate # 58410) for more details.

Established in 2008 by French-born entrepreneur and finance industry veteran Gilles Gade, Cross River Bank is currently New Jersey’s 14th largest bank, with assets in excess of $2 billion.

Born in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Cross River was built with the goal of providing access to credit to consumers in need. Since then, it has evolved into a national technology leader, providing innovative fintech solutions across the country. Cross River has received outstanding recognition for its leading technology, community commitment, innovations in financial services and unmatched workplace culture.

How the Affirm Savings Account Compares

When compared to the Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide, Affirm’s Savings Account APY currently ranks first.

The above rates are accurate as of 7/9/2020.

To review the best Savings and Money Market rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our Savings Account rates table and Money Market Account rates table.

Related Pages: savings accounts, nationwide deals, Internet banks

Comments
midas89
  |     |   Comment #1
Cross River is paying just 0.65% APY for a savings account. I think it is pretty safe to say that if this Affirm account were to be flooded with 6-figure deposits, the current 1.30% rate would have to drop for sure.
ichaelm
  |     |   Comment #2
..............which will obviously happen in the next few days, thanks to the DA effect.
deplorable_1
  |     |   Comment #3
Right rate drop in........3..........2.........1
#4 - This comment has been removed for violating our comment policy.
thowellIII
  |     |   Comment #5
Also, be aware that Cross River Bank is the institution behind BrixDirect, so if you have an account with Brix, it would affect your FDIC coverage.
111
  |     |   Comment #6
Not for me. Not a fan of FIs that INSIST that you bank via cellphone, by denying all other pathways.
deplorable_1
  |     |   Comment #7
Same here do all my banking on a hard line windows PC. Maybe I'm just paranoid but cell phones and banking don't work for me although I have done mobile deposit during this corona crisis but only out of necessity.
Rickny
  |     |   Comment #8
I only use the Chase app on my cell phone. I like the remote check deposit feature. I no longer use the ATM for deposits since the app is so convenient. The app does have a 25k limit so I the ATM is still available for large deposits.

Many people dont realize that the mail is an un safe way to do banking. If you mail checks be sure not to leave outgoing mail with checks in your mailbox. In my area they even steal mail out of the blue mail drop boxes. Thieves have master keys or use eat traps or a sticky substance on the pull down door to steal mail. They have recently taken off the pull down door and replaced them with slots.
Buckeyes
  |     |   Comment #9
I find it to be a waste of time to consider new savungs accounts right now unless the rate is fixed for awhile or a CD. All the banks are dropping on various days and it's pretty difficult to determine if your new great bank will be next. So to save myself some grief I rolled into various no penalty CD's and I'll just sit back and watch. The banks don't want or need our money right now. Sorry to be negative but the more than one percent drop in 3 months is weighing me down.

The financial institution, product, and APY (Annual Percentage Yield) data displayed on this website is gathered from various sources and may not reflect all of the offers available in your region. Although we strive to provide the most accurate data possible, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The content displayed is for general information purposes only; always verify account details and availability with the financial institution before opening an account. Contact [email protected] to report inaccurate info or to request offers be included in this website. We are not affiliated with the financial institutions included in this website.