As DA reader, kxlly, noted in a Forum post today, Popular Direct is now offering 2.00% APY on its Exclusive Savings Account. The minimum opening deposit is $5k, although the minimum balance to earn the stated APY is only $0.01.
|2.00*%||-||-||Popular Direct||Popular Direct Exclusive Savings - New Account Rate|
The Exclusive Savings is the fourth savings account Popular Direct has introduced in about two years. Added in mid-January, its initial rate was 1.50% APY, which was raised to 1.65% APY in February. Its predecessor, the Plus Savings Account, was earning 1.40% APY when the Exclusive Savings was unveiled. Popular Direct has a history of creating a new savings account with a higher rate to attract new customers and/or new money, leaving the owners of the phased-out accounts stuck with a lower rate.
DA reader, iamaroc, stated this morning in the Forum thread,
I spoke to a phone rep today and was told that existing 1.65% rate will automatically be upgraded to 2.0% in one or two business days. Setting up a new account was not required for this rate bump.
I called Popular Direct to confirm what iamaroc was told, but I was unsuccessful. I was told by three different CSRs that unless I could provide a savings account number, they were unable to tell me if an existing Exclusive Savings Account (earning the 1.65% APY) would automatically earn the new 2.00% APY. All three CSRs referred me to the fine print on the promotion page, an indirect hint that existing accounts might not qualify for the new rate.
Annual Percentage Yield (APY) offer is available only for new Popular
Direct Exclusive Savings account opened effective as of 4/2/2018.
Bottom line, Popular Direct Exclusive Savings Account owners probably need to call to try to get their existing APY upgraded. The following is from my February blog post about the Exclusive Savings. I’m including it here as illustration of how Popular Direct has handled new rates in the past.
When I wrote about the Exclusive Savings in January, I reported that CSR confirmed that existing Plus Savings accounts would earn the same 1.50% APY offered on the Exclusive Savings. The operative word CSR used was “grandfathered,” as in the Plus Savings would be “grandfathered” into the Exclusive Savings and eligible for the new rate. DA reader, NYCDoug, was told the same thing:
I tussled back and forth with PopularDirect's Customer Service trying to get the 1.50% APY rate applied to my existing Plus Savings account. Initially I was told it would be "grandfathered." After patiently waiting over two weeks (to the end of the month, when interest posted) without receiving any rate increase, I was nonchalantly told that I had been misinformed, and that was not going to happen. I promptly opened a new Exclusive Savings account, easily transferring everything over except for a $500 minimum balance.
My interaction with CSR was over the phone, but NYCDoug chose another method.
All my communication with this bank was through their internal email, fully documented, including the two misleading pieces of misinformation about grandfathering, and fee-less closing. So after some more arguing I was at least able to get the $25 fee reversed.
Be careful with this bank. Due to grammatical and spelling errors in their emails, in addition to the misleading information, I get the sense that there are internal communication problems, as well as linguistic barriers, and everyone is not on the same page. Whatever you do with them, I suggest you use their internal email system, and get it in writing -- just in case you need to refer back to it!
I would like to thank all the DA readers for their Forum posts about their experiences with Popular Direct. The better informed we are, the better decisions we can make.
Exclusive Savings Account Facts
The Exclusive Savings Account Disclosure provides important information about fees and policies. FYI – none of the information on the Account Disclosure has changed since I cited it in my February blog post.
- 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.
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 an account with Popular Direct, including the Exclusive Savings account, 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 E-LOAN, but 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.
In June 2017, The New York Times published 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 Exclusive Savings Account Compares
When compared to the 200 Personal Savings accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationwide, Popular Direct’s Dollar Exclusive Savings APY currently ranks first.
|Interest Rate||Account Name||Credit Union/Bank|
|2.00% APY||Exclusive Savings (no min)||Popular Direct|
|1.85% APY||eOne Savings ($1m max)||Salem Five Direct|
|1.80% APY||Dollar Savings Account (no min)||DollarSavingsDirect|
The above rates are accurate as of 4/2/2018.
To look for the best Savings account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our Savings Account Rates Table page.