Popular Direct Boosts Plus Savings Account Rate to 1.40% APY


Deal Summary: Popular Direct Plus Savings, 1.40% APY, $5k minimum opening deposit

Availability: Nationwide, internet bank

Popular Direct, Banco Popular North America’s newest internet division, celebrated its first anniversary in August. The first Popular Direct account I wrote about was the Popular Direct Savings. Its initial rate of 1.26% APY was short-lived, dropping to 1.15% APY sometime in December, and was quietly removed from the Bank’s website soon after. At about the same time, Popular Direct began promoting a new account, the High Rise Savings that earned 1.15% APY.

In what seems to be becoming an accepted industry practice, Popular Direct phased out the High Rise Savings account in August, replacing it with a new account - Plus Savings (1.21% APY). Over the weekend, that rate was raised to 1.40% APY.

1.40%$5k-Popular DirectPopular Direct Plus Savings Account
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of October 22, 2017.

As DA reader, iamarco, stated in an August Forum post,

Popular Direct needs to be much clearer and fairer in their rates on savings. 1.21% is for new accounts only old money remains at 1.15%. It took a phone call to find out that information as the posting on their website did not clarify. This is a deceptive practice in my opinion. Everyone should be eligible for the new rate.

The Plus Savings account disclosure contains a lot of helpful information, such as,

  • 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.

CSR supplied the information I couldn’t find on the Bank’s website.

  • 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.

Thanks to DA reader, Carpline, for spotting this new savings account rate leader.

Popular Direct CDs

In the past year, I’ve written six blog posts about CDs offered by Popular Direct, which continue to offer competitive rates. Earlier this month, the 2-, 3-, and 5-year CDs had rate increases that placed their APYs in the top five for their respective term lengths. The minimum deposit for any Popular Direct CD is $10k.

2.40%$10k-Popular Direct5 Year Popular Direct CD
2.05%$10k-Popular Direct3 Year Popular Direct CD
1.85%$10k-Popular Direct2 Year Popular Direct CD
Accounts mentioned in this post. Rates as of October 22, 2017.

The one downside to these CDs is the heavy-handed Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP). As stated in the CD Disclosure, the EWP reads as follows:

For terms equal to or greater than 12 months but less than 36 months, the fee is 270 days simple interest.

For terms equal to or greater than 36 months but less than 60 months, the fee is 365 days simple interest.

For terms equal to or greater than 60 months, the fee is 730 days simple interest.


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 Popular Direct Plus Savings, must be done online.

Bank Overview

Popular Direct/BPNA has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas ratio of 6.602% (excellent) based on June 30, 2017 data. In the past year, the Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by 939.44 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 18.53%. Please refer to our financial overview of Popular Direct/BPNA (FDIC Certificate # 28934) for more details.

BPNA was also the holding institution for E-LOAN, but on May 15, 2017, all E-LOAN deposit products became Popular Direct products. BPNA is currently the 14th largest bank headquartered in New York, with assets in excess of $8.9 billion and more than 243,400 customer accounts.

Note: This past June, The New York Times ran an article about Santander’s takeover of the failed Spanish bank, Banco Popular. The similarity in names caused a DA reader to express some concern about BPNA. To quote myself from a Forum post,

Popular Direct is a division of Banco Popular North America, which is a subsidiary of the Puerto Rico-based bank holding company, Popular, Inc. I can find no connections between Popular, Inc. and the Spanish Banco Popular.

How the Direct Plus Savings Account Compares

With the line between Savings and Money Market accounts becoming more and more blurred, I’ve chosen to use both in this comparison. When compared to the 204 Savings Accounts and 172 Money Market Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally with similar balance requirements and balance caps, Popular Direct’s Plus Savings APY currently ranks second.

Interest RateAccount NameCredit Union/Bank
1.41% APYMoney Market Savings (no min)UFB Direct
1.40% APYPopular Direct Plus Savings (no min)Popular Direct
1.35% APYeOne Savings (no min)Salem Five Direct
1.31% APYYield Pledge Money Market (no min)EverBank

The above rates are accurate as of 9/25/2017.

To review the top Savings and Money Market accounts, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our Savings Account rates table, Money Market Account rates table. To search for the best accounts in your area, please refer to our Rates Map page.

Related Pages: New York savings accounts, Miami savings accounts, savings accounts, 5-year CD rates, nationwide deals, Internet banks

deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #1
Yeah I got stuck with the 1.15% rate. Now they raise it to 1.4% and I have to close the old account down and open the new account to get that rate. This is the same thing Emigrant direct did to me a while back. I hope this isn't the new trend in banking where they lower the interest rate in the hopes you won't notice and change accounts. I don't like how these banks won't just switch your account over to the higher rate. They are definitely making it difficult on purpose.
Att   |     |   Comment #2
10K restrictions on transfers is a deal killer for me. Dollar Direct has 1.40% rate, no minimum and 1 day ACH transfers. I do check on the rate at least once a week to ensure they are offering a top rate.
Tazz   |     |   Comment #3
"$25 early closing fee if account is closed within 180 days of opening"

No thanks, they'll drop the interest rate as soon as I open it.
Att   |     |   Comment #4
5k min to open. Also, you must pay $4 fee on any day the balance goes under $500.
Hotshot01   |     |   Comment #5
I agree, I had the 1.26% which they dropped to 1.15%, very sneaky hoping you don't notice. Well I will be opening the 1.4% and transferring funds to that on the 1st of next month so I don't lose interest. If you transfer completely during the month you will lose interest.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #7
Exactly Hotshot01 you have to time the closing right after the interest posts. Just one more thing they hope you don't notice. Then soon after you open the new account they will most likely drop the rate again ala Emigrant. Check out Duke energy premier notes 1.41% for the $50,000 tier plus unlimited monthly withdrawals/debits. I think this will be my new bill pay checking account.
111   |     |   Comment #10
These Duke Energy Notes are not FDIC or NCUA-insured, correct?
Att   |     |   Comment #11
They are not insured.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #14
Correct but still pretty safe IMHO. I never lost a dime in GMAC/ALLY demand notes and I have been with them for decades.
Nothing   |     |   Comment #15
Keep the spouse working!
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #16
I'll be thinking about you Nothing while I'm NOT driving to work tomorrow morning! lol
Att   |     |   Comment #17
For unsecured debt they should be paying a higher rate in IMO. I had a GE Intrest Plus account that was similar to these notes. Unlimited withdrawals and checks. The checks had to be at least $250. At the time they were paying more than the highest bank savings accounts. GE Financial stopped offering this product. I'll take 1.40% from Dollar Direct with no minimum and FDIC insurance.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #18
@Att: Yes they used to pay close to the going rate of 5 year CD's and hike rates along with the FED. Demand notes used to pay the high rate on $1000 with no tier levels. It really depends on what you will be using the account for. If you are just using it for straight up savings then FDIC insured is the way do go for sure. I use them for paying all my monthly bills by ACH debit like a checking account. This way I can leave next to nothing in my 0% checking account without having to worry about a low balance fee. Then I can earn a top rate on liquid cash right up until the bills get paid without having to worry about hitting the 6 withdrawal per month limit or having debit card hoops to jump through.
Att   |     |   Comment #19
I prefer not to put 50K in a non insured account that is unsecured debt. If they offered a higher rate I would consider it. I get free checking as my wife's salary is ACHed to our account each month. I also need ATM access and also signature guarantees from the bank. It works for you.
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #20
Yeah the $50,000 tier is high and no FDIC can be a deal breaker for some. The $1,000 tier still pays 1.21% and $10,000 pays 1.26% Not bad for what is essentially a free checking account with unlimited ACH withdrawals and no debt card hoops. Ally's top tier is only 1.16% currently on $50,000. If you only keep $1,000 in there plus bill pay money you don't really have to worry all that much about FDIC. Ally lets me pay bills by ACH for less than $250 with no fee so I need to call Duke and see what their terms are.
Luvcd   |     |   Comment #21
Deplorable...how about sharing you and your wife's strategy in accumulating $1M? As I understand it you have been "out of the employment world" for about 15 years, approx. 45 years of age, etc. OR about $66K per year "savings". Just a little fact check...how did you do it? Thanks!
xyz   |     |   Comment #22
in another thread
high paying job with heavy OT
deplorable 1
deplorable 1   |     |   Comment #23
@Luvcd: basically hat xyz said. I sometimes worked as much as 18 hrs. a day 7 days a week and banked most of it. I used to get 6-7% compound interest in various accounts as well. Compound interest was key. plus 0% no fee balance transfers on around $500,000, monthly/quarterly paying dividend stocks, bond funds, mutual funds ect. I also started out with $0 debt other than a small mortgage(small house). A few other things like keeping monthly recurring expenses low, driving used cars, credit card rewards and bank bonuses. I went almost 10 years without healthcare which saved me $100,000 at least. Lots of sacrifices. With these low interest rates I would have never got there today. Also no college degree and $0 college debt. Also not caring what people think or trying to keep up with the Joneses ;-).
Att   |     |   Comment #13
Why not open an account with Dollar Savings? Same rate, no minimum and less restrictions than Popular. Dollar also has 1 day ACH.
Robb   |     |   Comment #6
The 2 year EWP on a 5 year CD is about the highest I've seen in recent memory. No thanks.
Bozo   |     |   Comment #8
Query for the "inside baseball" folks. While BPNA is FDIC-insured, would a collapse of Banco Popular (due to Hurricane Maria) have any impact?
Att   |     |   Comment #9
They have 60 branches in the US in New York, New Jersey and Florida. They also own E Loan. I wouldn't open a savings account with them with the restrictions.
NYCDoug   |     |   Comment #12
A big correction regarding restrictions on the Plus Savings account,
after speaking with a knowledgeable CSR just a few minutes ago:

The daily transaction limit is NOT $10,000 a day but "a penny less than a million dollars" 
. . . up to 6 credits & 6 debits per month

Scroll down to the table of External Account Transfer Limits here:

The original $10K limit (which less au courrant CSR's apparently remember from June of last year?) was raised -- significantly -- after customer review. They must have noted its chilling effect!

Limits to still keep in mind with this Plus Savings account include: the standard six withdrawals per month; only ONE externally linked ACH account (which you must wait 60 days to change); and the fact that the 1.40% APY can change at any time.

Of course you can always link to your Plus Savings account with external institutions. Do note that the routing number is not the same as Popular Community Bank [026008811]; instead, Popular Direct's routing number is 113007835
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