Three weeks ago, New York-based Popular Direct raised the rates on three of its longer-term Popular Direct CDs. Popular Direct is ending the month with higher rates on its two shortest-term Popular Direct CDs. Following rate increases of 80 bps and 30 bps respectively, the 3-month (4.05% APY) and 6-month (4.50% APY) Popular Direct CDs have become quite competitive. The minimum opening deposit for any Popular Direct CD is $10k, with no stated balance cap.
|4.50%||$10k||-||Popular Direct||6 Month Popular Direct CD|
|4.10%||$10k||-||Popular Direct||3 Month Popular Direct CD|
Some DA readers have been critical of Popular Direct’s harsh Early Withdrawal Penalty (EWP) on longer terms. As stated on the CD Disclosure page, the EWPs for the short-term CDs are more palatable:
For terms less than 91 days, the fee is 89 days simple interest.
For terms equal to or greater than 91 days but less than 12 months, the fee is 120 days simple interest.
Another negative aspect of 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.
Availability and Account Opening
As an online division of Popular Bank, Popular Direct’s website states,
Popular Direct products are offered by Popular Bank, the U.S. banking subsidiary of Popular, Inc. [NASDAQ: BPOP], a publicly traded, full-service financial services provider in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
Opening any type of account, including the 3-month and 6-month Popular Direct CDs, must be done online.
Funding and Other Details
- Funding – Transfer from external account from another U.S. financial institution that has been validated through Popular Direct Online Banking platform.*
- Interest – Compounded/credited monthly but cannot be withdrawn penalty-free.
- Maturing Funds – Transfer to the linked external account or deposited into a Popular Direct savings account.
- Beneficiaries – Unlimited with equal shares “unless otherwise stated in a letter of instruction;” Social Security numbers required for all beneficiaries.
- Grace Period – 10 calendar days before automatic renewal.
*After linking the external account, it may not be changed for 60 days. Each time you change the external account, it cannot be changed for another 60 calendar days.
Popular Direct is an online division of Popular Bank, an FDIC member institution and a New York state chartered bank. Popular Direct and Popular Bank deposits are combined for purposes of determining FDIC coverage eligibility.
Popular Direct/Popular Bank has an overall health grade of "A+" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 1.70% (excellent) based on June 30, 2022 data. In the past year, the Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $464.9 million, an above average annual growth rate of 6.42%. Please refer to our financial overview of Popular Direct/Popular Bank (FDIC Certificate # 34967) for more details.
Established in 1999, Popular Bank was originally known as Banco Popular North America (BPNA). In the first six years of operation, BPNA acquired 13 banks located in California (3), Florida (2), Illinois (5), New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and Texas. BPNA was also the holding institution for the now defunct E-LOAN; in May 2017, all E-LOAN deposit products became Popular Direct products.
The Popular Bank rebrand occurred in 2018 and according to a Sun Sentinel 2018 article,
The name change is largely about conveying to the public a perception of a larger, more expansive bank with a broader base of services ranging from condo loans and single-family residential mortgages to private banking.
"When I started, we were Banco Popular and changed to Popular Community Bank," Velasco said in a telephone interview. "At that point it was the right thing for us to change. One of the challenges we had was that in the States, a lot of people perceived us as being a bank just for Hispanics or a bank for foreigners.
Popular Bank is currently the 14th largest bank headquartered in New York, with assets in excess of $11.1 billion and more than 162,000 customer accounts.
How the 3-Month Popular Direct CD Compares
When compared to similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally and have minimum deposit requirements of $10k or less, no banks or credit unions have a higher rate than currently offered on the Popular Direct 3-month Popular Direct CD. The following table compares the 3-month Popular Direct CD to the two highest-rate CDs from other banks and the two highest-rate CDs from credit unions.
How the 6-Month Popular Direct CD Compares
When compared to similar length-of-term CDs tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available nationally and have minimum deposit requirements of $10k or less, only one credit union has a higher rate than currently offered on the Popular Direct 6-month Popular Direct CD. The following table compares the 6-month Popular Direct CD to the two highest-rate CDs from other banks and the two highest-rate CDs from credit unions.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 12/29/2022.
To look for the best CD rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our CD Rates Table page.