Kansas-based Brilliant Bank (internet division of Equity Bank) raised the rate on its Money Market Account (MMA) late last week. Following a 29bps increase, the MMA now earns 4.30% APY, which is currently the highest rate offered on an internet bank money market account. The minimum opening deposit is $1k, with a $500k maximum deposit and/or balance. While the 4.30% APY applies to all balances, there is a $10 monthly service fee if the balance fall below $2k.
The MMA made its debut in August 2022 with an initial 2.25% APY. In the past five months, Brilliant Bank has increased the MMA rate seven times, adding a total of 205 bps (including last week’s 29 bps increase.
DA reader, sethw, announced the rate increase in a Forum post on Friday. There are three comments that are somewhat concerning:
remmymo – I saw that when I logged in today but my rate was still 3.98%. when I called, I was told it was just for new money to draw new customers, but the agent said he'd give it to me anyway. […]
FindSave – I took a chance with them in October and am very glad I did. But, I guess I'll have to call and ask for my rate to be raised too as it's not showing the 4.30% yet. […]
xer00 – I just had the weirdest conversation with a CSR at Brilliant Bank. I asked him to change my account to the new interest rate they have on their home page 4.30%. He told me I would be contacted Monday by someone in charge of that and he would explain the new requirement to get that rate???? […]
Brilliant Bank does not have 24/7 customer service, so I won’t be able to contact the bank until Monday. This is just speculation on my part, but some type of requirement to qualify for the new rate might explain what’s at the top of the landing page:
Money Market Account
Up to 4.30% APY
I will update this blog post when I have more information.
UPDATE 1/23/2023: According to CSR, the new 4.30% APY is theoretically for new accounts or existing customers who deposit new money into their MMA. N.B. – When questioned about “new money,” CSR stated there was no required minimum amount of new money that would qualify for the 4.30% APY.
CSR repeatedly offered to review my MMA so she could recommend I receive the higher rate. When I asked what did “review my MMA” entail, CSR replied she would look at how long the MMA had been opened and what the balance was. I asked what bearing the account balance and longevity had on receiving the 4.30% APY; she had no real answer. Even though Brilliant Bank has not been completely transparent with this latest rate increase (“Up to 4.30% APY”), my advice for existing account holders would be to simply call and ask for the new rate. And if needs be, deposit a few dollars into your MMA.
9-Month and 15-Month CDs
Brilliant Bank’s 9-month CD (4.50% APY) and 15-month CD (4.85% APY) continue to be competitive. The minimum opening deposit is $1k and is capped at $500k.
|4.85%||$1k||$500k||Brilliant Bank||15 Month CD|
|4.50%||$1k||$500k||Brilliant Bank||9 Month CD|
DA readers may remember that Brilliant Bank unveiled the 9-month and 15-month CDs last October, but pulled the CDs from the website within days. After a hiatus of about three weeks, the two CDs were again part of the product line. More details about the CDs can be found in the Brilliant Bank December 6, 2022 blog post.
Availability and Account Opening
As an internet division of Equity Bank, Brilliant Bank offers its product line through an online banking platform to U.S. citizens/resident aliens (18 years or older), who live anywhere in the U.S., with the exception of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma (determined by Zip Code).
Opening a Money Market Account (called the “Electric Money Market” on the application) must be done online.
Brilliant Bank is one of the newest internet bank, having opened its virtual doors in May 2022. Forum posts (in August and September) on the Brilliant Bank MMA by DA reader, rockies, are insightful and replete with information, which is quite helpful because the Brilliant Bank website does not provide a detailed FAQs or Truth-in-Savings disclosure. The information provided on the MMA landing page is minimal, at best. The following was obtained in a previous conversation with CSR.
- Minimum opening deposit is $1k.
- Minimum $2k balance to avoid $10 monthly service charge.
- Maximum deposit/balance of $500k.
- Interest is credited monthly.
- Unlimited check writing.
- ATM/debit card is available, with no ATM fees nationwide.
- Free online banking and mobile banking.
- Initial and subsequent funding can be done by ACH, wire, or check (mobile deposit).
- $5k daily/monthly limit on outgoing/incoming ACH transfers initiated by Brilliant Bank. (The monthly time frame is a calendar month, not a rolling 30-day period.)
- There is a $2.55 charge for external transfers initiated by Brilliant Bank. No charge for outgoing transfers initiated by an outside financial institution.
- Unlimited beneficiaries can be designated. Social Security numbers are not required when naming beneficiaries, but are required should a disbursement occur.
As an online division of Equity Bank, Brilliant Bank operates under Equity Bank’s FDIC Certificate and shares its financial history.
Equity Bank/Brilliant Bank has an overall health grade of “A” at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 5.39% (excellent), based on June 30, 2022 data. In the past year, the Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $565.24 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 15.44%. Please refer to our financial overview of Equity Bank/Brilliant Bank (FDIC Certificate # 25858) for more details.
With assets in excess of $5 billion and nearly 153,000 customer accounts, Equity Bank is currently the fourth largest bank in Kansas. Established in 1985 as the National Bank of Andover, the bank rebranded as Equity Bank, A National Association in 2003, with the Equity Bank name adopted in 2012. Between 2006 and 2021, Equity Bank acquired 14 banks in four states: Kansas (7), Missouri (3), Oklahoma (3), and Arkansas (1).
How the Money Market Account Compares
When compared to the Money Market Accounts and Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide and do not require large balances, direct deposit, or have small balance caps, the Brilliant Bank Money Market Account APY currently ranks second.
|APY||Account Name||Credit Union/Bank|
|4.35%||MySavings Account (no min/no max)||MySavingsDirect|
|4.30%||Money Market ($1k min/$500k max)||Brilliant Bank|
|4.25%||High Yield Money Market via SaveBetter (no min/$10m max)||Western State Bank|
|4.21%||UFB Best Money Market (no min/no max)||UFB Direct|
|4.21%||UFB Best Savings (no min/no max)||UFB Direct|
The above information and rates are accurate as of 1/23/2023.