A year ago, Popular Direct 5-year Popular Direct CD was earning 2.35% APY; as of yesterday, the rate is 3.05% APY. In a series of five rate increases, the APY has added 75 bps since early May 2017. The minimum deposit for the CD is $10k, with no stated balance cap.
A significant issue with Popular Direct CDs is the harsh Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP). As stated on the CD Disclosure page, the EWP reads as follows:
For terms equal to or greater than 60 months, the fee is 730 days simple interest.
Another downside related to the EWP is that it also applies to credited interest. According to the CD Disclosure:
Withdrawals of either credited interest and/or principal
prior to maturity will result in early withdrawal penalties
The CD Disclosure page also states that interest is compounded daily and credited on the last day of the month. The automatic renewal grace period is 10 calendar days following the maturity date.
Funding a Popular Direct CD must done through an external account from another U.S. financial institution that has been “validated through the External Account function in Popular Direct Online Banking.” After linking the external account, you may not change it for 60 days. Each time you change the external account, it cannot be changed for another 60 calendar days.
Thanks to DA reader, iamaroc, for his continued Forum posts on Popular Direct products.
UPDATE 5/17/2018: the Exclusive Savings account is no longer being offered. Popular Direct has brought back its Plus Savings Account, which currently earns 1.85% APY.
In mid-January, Popular Direct introduced its new Popular Direct Exclusive Savings account with a 1.50% APY. Popular Direct phased out its Plus Savings Account to make way for the Exclusive Savings, which is the fourth savings account added to the product line in about two years. The Exclusive Savings is currently earning 2.00% APY, following two rate increases in the past three months. According to the Account Disclosure, the Exclusive Savings is structured exactly like the Plus Savings Account, just with a new name and new rate.
The Account Disclosure for the Plus Savings Account contains the same information (listed below) as the disclosure for the Exclusive Savings.
- Minimum opening deposit is $5k
- $4 monthly service fee if the balance on any day is below $500.
- $25 early closing fee if account is closed within 180 days of opening.
- $5 monthly dormancy fee if there has been no activity for 12 months.
- Withdrawals only allowed via an external account, internal transfer to another Popular Direct account, or ACH.
- $5 fee for each additional debit exceeding the limit of six per statement cycle.
- Deposits only allowed via an external account, internal transfers to another Popular Direct account, ACH, or Popular Direct mobile app.
The following information from an earlier blog post is still in effect.
- There is an ACH transfer service that customers can log into and initiate a transfer to/from outside accounts.
- Initiating ACH transfers is fee-free.
- There is a $10k maximum for incoming and outgoing transfers.
- Only one external account can be linked and it cannot be changed during the first 60 calendar days following the linking.
- The hold period for ACH deposits is five days.
As an online division of Banco Popular North American, Popular Direct’s website states,
All Popular Direct deposit products are offered by, and will be opened through, Banco Popular North America (BPNA). BPNA is a Member FDIC institution and a New York state chartered bank.
Opening any type of account, including the 5-year Popular Direct CD, must be done online.
Popular Direct/BPNA has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 7.81% (excellent) based on December 31, 2017 data. In the past year, the Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $621.17 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 10.91%. Please refer to our financial overview of Popular Direct/BPNA (FDIC Certificate # 34967) for more details.
BPNA was also the holding institution for the now defunct E-LOAN; on May 15, 2017, all E-LOAN deposit products became Popular Direct products. BPNA is currently the 12th largest bank headquartered in New York, with assets in excess of $9.1 billion and more than 233,000 customer accounts.
How the CD Compares
When compared to the 192 similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide and require a minimum deposit of $10k or less, Popular Direct’s 5-year Popular Direct CD APY currently ranks second.
When compare to only internet banks, the 5-year Popular Direct CD APY currently ranks first.
The above rates are accurate as of 5/16/2018.
To search for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD rates table.