I work in information security and in my opinion this is a place to avoid in spite of the rate.
I was impressed with the 1.25% savings so I enrolled for an account and provided wire transfer information for an extremely large initial funding.
I received their confirmation deposits in my primary account this morning and clicked the link to finalize things. Got the congratulatory web page and a link to open an account (hey, I thought I already did that!). Followed the instructions again.
Got an "account creation error." Started sweating. Called their number. Nobody was home. Started sweating some more. Clicked on the "forgot my password" link. It asked me for more information then told me it wanted to send me a login token to a cell phone number not associated with my account. Started sweating profusely! Called, emailed, etc., self-defibrillated, ran around the block, etc. Lots of cash at stake here!
I finally got hold of my primary bank and let them know what was going on. We ended up moving all the cash assets and putting a fraud flag on wire transfers. Yes, I was mortally embarrassed.
Anyway, I finally got hold of someone at UFB Direct (they only have first names there--it apparently requires a security clearance to get anyone's last name). He seemed a bit huffy that I was so concerned about losing cash. Apparently it takes them at least 24 hours to create an account which leads me to believe it's their policy to wire transfer large sums into bank purgatory while computer magic just happens. I still wasn't completely clear on all this--but they clearly communicated that I was an idiot for being so concerned.
The best they could do is to show a lack of concern so the best I can do is look elsewhere for a bank. So my opinion is: "be very, very, very careful and proceed at your own risk; your mileage may vary, etc."
We opened a savings account online with UFB. After it was approved, we transferred a sizable amount of money from an American bank into the account. Approximately two weeks later we found that they had closed our account (they would not disclose why) and they were sitting on our money. They would not send the money back to our bank even though UFB was the one who cancelled the account. So, here we are three weeks out and still no money. This is what I would expect from a third world country. We have filed a complaint with the Federal regulators and now we wait.
After taking all my confidential personal information and funding bank account number and routing number, this bank then refused to open a new savings account. When I called them, they also would not give me any reason for not approving my application. I requested to speak to a supervisor and one of them did call me back about 2 hours later.
He stated that a few years ago, the Equifax credit bureau recorded that I reported a possible identity theft situation. This bank's policy is now that they won't open any new accounts if the victim applicant has any identity theft reporting on his credit report regardless how long ago this occurred. They don't tell you this in advance anywhere on their website. I my case, no identity theft actually occurred and we weren't certain if the information was actually stolen (even though it could have been). This undisclosed refusal to open new accounts policy could impact many thousands of applicants over time.
I got one of my first credit cards through them. I had heard all of the horror stories about high interest on credit cards so I was a little concerned that I wouldn't get a good deal. I didn't want a large amount on my card; I just wanted a card to help build my credit rating. I had a very good job so paying my credit card off each time I used it would not be a problem. I spoke with the customer service person and she told me about a couple different credit cards they offered. I picked one that if I paid the total amount off each month that I would be able to get airline miles easier. I do like to travel and I wanted to be able to get some points quickly. That was six months ago and I love having the freedom a credit card brings, and paying it off each month is easy. Paris here I come.
A lot us play the rate chasing game in this horribly low interest rate environment.
UFB has twice now gone from an attractive industry leading rate to mediocre rate, both times without notice. The most recent was a drop from 1.25 to .9 to .7 in a series of months.
It is enough to make me just stick with Ally. At least they have rate stability and don't have nonsensical ACH policies that require me to pull from other banks.
I jumped through all their hoops to start an account (took over a week to get everything reviewed and approved. Nothing instantly approved on the web) only to find that they have a $2000 a day or $5000 a month limit on external account transfers. The only way you can transfer more than $2000 is to link an external account and make the transfers from there or write a check. I cannot link an external account to my checking account and dealing with paper checks is not acceptable. Be careful of starting an account if you need to transfer more than $2000 at a time or more than $5000 a month.
I was going to open a new account with UFB because of the 1.25% rate but their withdrawal amount of only $2000 per transaction and $5000 per statement cycle is too low. So, if you're like me and are chasing higher interest rates for your cash, give this one a pass. You won't be able to get the $25,000 it take to get the 1.25% rate out fast enough (5 months!) is another bank has a better rate.
I opened the account mainly for the rate, so I only have a savings account. Opening process went very smoothly, but they use all kinds of security questions during the opening process from Equifax or similar, so if you get anything wrong or can't remember where you lived 20 years ago, it could cause you some headaches.
The biggest problem I have with them is there web site. Lots of 3rd party cookies my security software alerts on. If you don't enable the 3rd party cookies you can't use the site. I also find it too complicated and cluttered. I prefer banks with a more traditional spreadsheet look and feel and not all the extra clutter and eye candy.
I will never use them as my primary bank because of the clunky web interface and as soon as the rate drops or another bank has something better, I'll be out.
Same as other posts. Savings rate was 1.25% when I signed up, went down to 0.4% within 3 or 4 months. And they make it hard to transfer money out, forcing you to initiate ACH transfers from another bank. Save your time and just open a Synchrony bank or Ally Bank savings account to start with. Those two are really large organizations that can put your money to use, so they won't be throttling deposits up and down with the interest rate they pay on deposits.
Those limits only apply If you initiate the external transfer at UFB Direct. Those stated $ limits do not apply if you initiate the transfer of UFB Direct funds at the receiving bank. The only $ limit would be what the external bank receiving the funds imposes.
You could (and should) open a checking account (min $100.00, NO FEES, 50 free checks) when you open the savings account at UFB. It gives you much more flexibility. Just easily transfer money from savings to checking (no $ limit) when you need it, and get it through bill pay, which has higher limits of $9,999.00 per transaction, and a limit of $19,999.00 per DAY. Also, you could just write a (free) paper check for ANY amount.
1. No Free ACH Transfers from your non UFB account, its very hard to move money
2. Fluctuates interest rate, so if you open account when interest rate is high, within month it will go way below than competitor banks
3. If you take your money out before last day of the month, whatever interest you have earned for that month will be forfeited, its not mentioned anywhere.
I just closed my account here. It was very problematic to even log on to the account. Every time, I had to request an "access code" (because they didn't recognize my computer?). And transferring money in and out of the account was also very complex. Forget about getting Quicken access. The customer service people sound very unknowledgeable, too. I'd love to get the 1.3% interest (I'm getting 1.1% now at Captial One), but I just don't trust this place. 5 stars for interest rate, one start for everything else.
I read the posts about FDIC insurance. I reviewed my bank statements on accounts I have at UFB. August and September were printed on Bank of the Internet USA bank statements. October is on BofI Federal Bank Statement. On those statements it states UFB Direct accounts powered by Bank of the Internet etc.
I talked to the FDIC and they said they would not have a list of internet subsidiary banks of BofI Federal....that you should contact them directly, which I did, and they state that both B of Internet and UFB Direct are subsidiarys on the same FDIC Charter.
They are not insured seperately, so the totality of deposits at the banks divisions are subject to the insurance of the one FDIC certificate; account holder is insured to $250k in entirety for accounts owned by BofI Federal; is how I am understanding this.
If anyone has more info, I am interested in knowing how FDIC is not informed of all operating divisions of a Bank? This is pretty unsettling to me!
Had online MM account for about a year then moved funds to another bank via ACH transfer on the last day of the month. Bank refused to deposit ~$50 in interest accrued for the month because of the obscure provision in their disclosure agreement that I have to notify the bank that I'm about to remove all the funds from it.
Customer service calls didn't help. I contacted SEC, FDIC and BBB to complain.
Looks to me they just want to find a way to pocket customer's funds. Stay away!
These fraudsters lure you in with what appears to be a higher rate than other banks (1.25% BIG WHOOP) and then shortly after they lower the rate well below the competition WITH NO WARNING. Then, after you finally find out you've been ripped off, they tell you in their fine print that that they can change the interest rate ON A DAILY BASIS at their discretion. THEN, when you are good and pissed about being ripped off and transfer your money out, they ILLEGALLY keep your accrued interest. They have a serious lawsuit coming their way. Good banking business practice??? Methinks not.
In order to enjoy the large 1.25% APY, one can deposit money into ufbdirect much more than 200K at once, if they open a new savings account online and make the large opening deposit as ACH deposit. But for subseqent ACH, there are limits of say 5K or so per transfer or per month if I recall. So one can open multiple savings account as needed, and close initial ones.
UFB Direct would rather insist on collecting a $25 fee for a simple oversight which I immediately corrected, than retain a long-time customer.
Had I known they offer linked accounts and overdraft line of credit, I would have set those up to avoid being subject to the fee. I do not recall ever being offered those services, it was only upon inspection of their fee schedule that I became aware they even offer those options.
Nonetheless, customer-no-service was unable to provide any fee forgiveness and allowed me to close all accounts without any concern for losing a five-year customer (I was a UFB Direct customer back when they were Huffington, and applied for a new account as soon as they re-opened under Bank of Internet).
Oh well, it was nice while it lasted - Enjoy your $25 fee, UFB Direct.
I recently opened a UFB MM a/c but find the very low EFT transfer limitation (confirmed in the following excerpt from an email) unacceptable.
"Thank you for contacting UFB Direct. Our external banking limits are $2000 daily/ $5000 monthly. However, if you initiate the transfer through another other financial institution you would be subject to their transfer limits; which may be higher".
There have been negative reviews of UFB Direct but I decided to open an account. I experienced the same problems plus more. I paid to notarize a trust certification which is only required for a trust account. As part of the application UFB makes a soft inquiry to Transunion which was blocked because of a security freeze. So I had to pay to temporarily lift the security freeze and also had to completely reapply again. Why couldn't UFB reactivate the original application? The account was to be funded by an ACH transfer. UFB said that the ACH transfer didn't happen because of a problem in their system but that I could pay to wire the funds. UFB sent a confirmation email that the account was open but it really wasn't because of the ACH transfer. The information provided for the ACH transfer was correct. Why couldn't UFB fix their problem and complete the ACH transfer? Also wrong information was given on limits on future ACH transfers. In the middle of the application UFB dropped the interest rate. UFB systems were poor, procedures were cumbersome, customer service was unreliable, and problems weren't resolved. So I cut my losses and didn't open the account.
I recently opened a checking/savings account with them because of their airline miles along with their high 1.3% savings rate. After reading their website, they are FDIC insured up to 250K per account. So I'm insured upto 500K combined.
The other reviews hit most of the points, but to be clear:
1. Interest rates fluctuate (and not in a good way). In less than 6 months, the rate has dropped from 1.25 to 0.9 to 0.7 to 0.4. These changes are during a period during which more banks are raising these rates.
2. Really low ACH limits. $2k per day, $5k per month. Yes, one can work around them by linking from another account, but if the rates aren't going to be consistently good, that means shifting money around more often than I want to.
3. A kind of buggy website. The last time that I was logged in, the account type listed for me went from online savings to airline savings and then back again.
4. Not entirely transparent. It's an overlaid brand of BofI. One can find the information but one has to be diligent to realize that it is the same FDIC number.
5. A hassle to open if you've opened other online accounts recently. I was rejected due to information in the credit report (but have a FICO score in the upper 700s). What was there? I had opened other online savings accounts. Calls and emails to the bank yielded the advice to try in another month.
6. The forfeiture of accumulated interest at account closing is not disclosed as clearly as it is with other banks. About 20% of the higher yield banks have this not customer friendly feature, so it is not a unique feature from UFB/BofI. But it's more clearly disclosed at other banks.
Now I'm getting concerned. I am with UFB and have contacted them a few times about this since reading these reviews. I asked before opening the accounts with them, and they informed me that all accounts are held at Bank of the Internet through them, and you're covered up to a combined 250k FDIC through them. This includes the accounts from BofI plus UFB Direct adding up to no more than that to be fully insured. But it's true I only found this information out through their reps. I'd like to make sure of this, since I have accounts elsewhere and am really thinking of pulling all balances I have at the UFB accounts to them.
Extremely negative experience, Moving the money in and out especially from their saving account extremely difficult. Requires that you either initiate it externally or move it to the checking account first. The second option did not work for me so I had to initiate the withdrawal externally (after they dropped their interest rate). That left a zero balance plus the accumulated interest which they refused to pay when I requested that the saving account be closed. This is a highly unprofessional practice almost unheard of practice in US banks and saving institutions. Almost all of them pay accrued but uncredited interest upon account closing.
Re their checking account, they slapped a non sufficient funds penalty $25 on me after I mistakenly repeated my account closing transfer request. I repeated because it appeared they simply ignored the first request (no deduction from my account) for more that a week from the initial requested. No amount of pleading with them (including an appeal to the supervisor) helped. That despite the fact that was my fist and only mistake with them/ Again first mistakes of this type are usually forgiven. Not with them,
Previous poster wrote that he has two accounts at the bank (a checking and a savings), so he thinks he's insured upto $500K combined.
This is PROBABLY NOT true. $250K FDIC insurance is per BANK, not per account.
It's kinda complicated, but per the FDIC website: "...a bank customer who has multiple accounts may qualify for more than $250,000 in insurance coverage if the customer’s funds are deposited in different ownership categories and the requirements for each ownership category are met." But different accounts are NOT automatically considered being different ownership categories.
For more, see: