UFB Direct

Deposits held and insured by Axos Bank

Overview / Commentary
877-472-9200
4350 La Jolla Village Drive,
San Diego, CA 92122
Deposits held and insured by Axos Bank

UFB Direct is a division of online-only Axos Bank offering checking, savings and money market accounts.

The online bank has a Secure Savings account that earned an annual percentage yield (APY) of 5.25% as of May 21, 2024. This high-yield savings account has no minimum opening deposit and no maintenance or service fees, and it comes with a variety of digital tools, including mobile check deposits.

UFB Direct’s Secure Money Market account also earns an APY of 5.25% and charges no monthly maintenance fee with a balance of at least $5,000; otherwise, the monthly fee is $10.

You can boost your APY on a money market or savings account by up to 0.20% by combining it with a UFB Freedom Checking account. Here’s how: Set up qualifying direct deposits to unlock a 0.05% APY increase, and then maintain a minimum balance of $10,000 to get an additional 0.10% APY. Earn an extra 0.05% APY boost with 10 approved debit card transactions per statement cycle — for a total boost of 0.20% APY.

The checking account has no maintenance or minimum balance requirements. It includes a free debit card you can use at more than 90,000 ATMs and offers up to $10 in domestic ATM reimbursements monthly.

For support, check UFB Direct’s Frequently Asked Questions page, log in online to send a secure message, or call 877-472-9200 24/7.

UFB Direct pros and cons

Pros:
• Competitive APYs on savings and money market accounts
• Up to $10 in domestic ATM reimbursements monthly
• 24/7 support for customers

Cons:
• Money market account fee (waiver possible)
• No branch access for service
• Limited product selection

Related Posts

UFB Offers Another New Account at 5.25% - 8/13/2023

Here we go, again After only a few weeks UFB Priority Savings and MMA = DEAD ! NEW offering UFB High Yield Money Market UFB High Yield Savings Earn up to 5.25% APY Either request your current account be upgraded or open a new account

UFB Direct New Priority Savings And MMA - 7/24/2023

What a surprise: UFB Direct has another new savings and MMA. As usual, you have to contact UFB Direct to update your existing savings/mma to receive the new stated APY. "UFB Priority Money Market Maximize your saving potential. Earn up to 5.06% APY" "UFB Priority Savings Earn up to 5.06% APY* with no maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements."

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Reviews (230)

After Rough Initial Seas, An Overall Positive Voyage So Far.

Posted by: |

Warning: long/detailed review below.

So to echo some of the other reviewers here, I too was filled with a bit of trepidation aftering reading the mostly negative reviews across several different online venues(first on the app store for the UFB mobile banking app, then some of the bigger financial review sites like Nerdwallet and Gobankingrates and then finally here at DA) but because I'm a giant n00b when it comes to financial literacy/health, I'd already opened the account with UFB and started funding it $2k/day(because of reading via their app that their ACH limits for "new" accounts are that) at a time(had $8k funded at this point) so you can imagine the gnawing feeling in me tootsies as I kept reading. I'd only chosen UFB because their online application actually worked and was near painless and I was approved instantly as opposed to a few other banks I tried to open accounts with prior and which lost my business because of a mixture of poor site management/placement and bad coding behavior with their ID verification tool(s).

First the bad bits about UFB in my experience of 4+- months with them so far:

1.) There's confusing and contradictory information on their site/mobile app regarding ACH transfers inbound and out. The fine print speaks of a daily limit of $15k in/out OR $2k for "new" accounts. No time period is given as to when a new account is no longer considered so. Because of that information I at first had to schedule several multiples of daily ACH transfers(pulls as I'd later discover is the terminology) and these could only be done one at a time via the app(spent like an hour the first day doing that). After about four days, I noticed that the transactions showed up and updated the "total" but the "available" balance stayed at $0. As this was my first real foyer into account funding I started getting worried and started reading reviews about UFB and no prizes for guessing how that went.

1.5) After stopping all future ACH pulls, I sent a secure message to the UFB customer support team and waited and waited growing more nervous all the time. About four business days later(come to find out this the standard fare when messaging with them via the app's secure messaging), they replied that ACH transfers take 6 business days to clear but do start earning interest the day they're received. They also gave more confusing info on $ limits saying it's $50k per day and $100k/month and that one can ask for a temporary 72 hour increase on those limits of $150k/day and $400k/rolling 30 day period.

2.) Armed with this "knowledge", I attempted to set up an ACH pull of $10k and it failed the next day with no info given as to why. Also, you have to set up an ACH pull request before 11:00AM PST the business day before if you want it go through the next business day, otherwise it schedules for the second business day. All of this was news to me so as that first $10k attempt failed, I then had to wait until the following Tuesday to have a new attempt. That one also failed at $10k with no reason for the failure given in the auto eMail they send you. I then thought that the agent gave me the wrong info so setup more $2k transfers however since I had probably 5+ daily transfers already scheduled in the app, I just modified each one for $2k instead of $10k. All failed thus losing me another 7+ actual days(including weekends) of incredible frustration. At this point after much research online, I found that you can chat with a live person via their "Evo" chat assistant in the app by typing "speak to someone". The actual AI assistant "Evo" is frigging useless just like many a review here state. That live agent basically repeated what the secure messaging agent said and as these first level agents are all based on the Indian subcontinent, she didn't quite understand what I was telling her about the ACH transfers failing one after another with no reason given. She could see no reason and kept repeating that the limits are what I wrote above. At this point I'm quite unhappy and while this isn't their problem, I can only deal with all of this after I get off work at like 3:30PMish PST and we're not allowed to have our phones on us at my job so I'm basically incommunicado for 9+- hours daily. I decided to skip lunch the next day at work so I could try and call their customer service number and actually speak to someone and was on hold for nearly my entire break to finally get an agent and while this agent seemed to be US based and quite friendly and empathetic, couldn't tell me anything other than "just keep trying new transfers because I don't know why they're not working but we'll figure it out and don't get discouraged and just keep trying". All this is taking many days and almost 11 actual business days have now gone by with me only having funded the account with the first $8k and my frustration is now nearing boiling point. I attempt to send yet another secure message as yet another ACH pull fails with no info and this time writing something approaching the size of this review. Finally the agent gives me some correct info which is that due to a bug(s) in their app, once an ACH transfer request is initiated in the app, that specific request instance should not be edited as making an edit to it will automatically cause it to fail the next business day that the system attempts to make it. This is written no where across UFB's digital spread.

3.) At this point having lost nearly 30 days of interest and getting worried that I'm missing the high APY wave as the Fed had just had that first meeting where they decided to not do another increase, I decided to initiate a wire from my funding Citibank account and eat the $25 fee that Citi charges to send the $48k I had in that account to the UFB one. At this point I'm almost breaking even as the partly interest on the $8k I had in the UFB account is near-depleted by the wire fee.

4.) As other reviewers have pointed out, UFB changes their account offerings/names on a seemingly arbitrary basis and as I write this they've renamed their offerings to start with the word Secure(Secure Savings/Secure Money Market). With the changes in offerings come changes in rate/APYs so as others have said, you've got to be proactive and log into the mobile app daily to see if your account's shown rate is matching their currently advertised rate. At this time it looks like the 5.25% APY is still their highest offer.

5.) Speaking of the rate, when I opened my account, the account offering was called Priority Savings and offered a 5.06 % APY. While reading reviews trying to deal with the issues above, I came across the fact that if your account is at a lower rate, you can ask UFB to bump you up to their highest offer at the time. I did so using the "speak to someone" option via Evo and the agent gave no push back at all and was very courteous and said the rate increase would take 48 business hours. It took like 2 hours and the account was set to 5.25%. However, and this'll be a controversial take, I've been diligently checking the interest $ amount posting daily on my total balance(this is after I've solved all of the "liquidity" issues I've referenced here throughout) and have had about 2.5 full months of a very similar $ amount on deposit(about $72.5k-$74.2k) and I am consistently not getting the full 5.12% rate advertised(I'm not discussing APY for obvious reasons). When doing the math, I'm averaging somewhere between 6 to 9ish basis points lower than I should be getting. I did chat in again with a live agent and had them confirm and reconfirm that I am indeed at 5.12% rate/5.25% APY, but it's just not adding up. We're talking about $.25 per day of interest difference and you might consider it insignificant but it's like $90/ year so buys me a tank of gas at least! I'm keeping a close eye on this as if the rate isn't what's being advertised, that's a massive and probably relationship-ending problem for me.

6.) Speaking of the mobile app, it "used" to be quite unstable and would crash over and over with random chance, requiring constant log in and re-log in. One weekend, I actually locked my self out of the account because the app just wouldn't stop crashing out as soon as I'd attempt to choose any option inside it and I kept logging and re-logging in over and over. The latest app update(a week or so ago) seems to have helped quite a bit and I've only had two crashes since then(still seems to happen most often when tapping on different selections quickly while the app is still loading the previous request).

6.) I mentioned these in less detail above but the usual four business day response time via the secure message function in the app is frustrating when you're trying to resolve issues quickly. They are very friendly sounding and looks like the talk scripts they're using at least attempt to placate the customer while like any other CSR experience, it really matters which agent you arbitrarily get at random. Had that one agent not let me know of the app's bug with modifying already future scheduled ACH pulls making them automatically fail, I'd still be banging my head against a wall. Luckily there's a way around this and the next point which I'll touch base on in the positives. The other issue is the six business day processing/verification of incoming ACH pulls, which isn't a huge issue if you're using the savings account to just attempt to park funds and earn the rate but as UFB offers a free debit "card"(the "card" looks/feels like it was printed onto a 100lb cardstock) thus allowing the interpretation that the account can be used as a sort of checking/debit account hybrid, this poses a problem.

With the bad out of the way, here are positives in my experience with them:

1.) Their customer service agents are very friendly and empathetic and do seem to really try and want to help answer your queries and solve your issues. As others have noted, do not use the Evo AI assistant via the app/website, immediately ask to "speak to someone" for a live agent response. They also seem to be available 24/7 and I've tested this a few times because of my lack of communication ability on account of my job for a large part of a normal day, though at busy times, my longest wait time was about 70 minutes.

2.) Because they change their product offerings so often and this often includes a rate change as well, you can simply chat in with the live agent and ask for your account to be bumped up to the higher offered rate and they'll do it no questions asked. Your proactivity is a requisite.

3.) As I wrote above, the reason UFB won my business initially is because their website's application process was actually painless and worked the first time without any issues and approved me automatically; the whole process took about 20 minutes from start to finish. Didn't have to take picture of any IDs or selfies, just the standard entry of applicable identifying info in alpha-numeric format.

4.) Setting up an external account via the mobile app is also very easy and worked the first time with no glitches. I luckily chose the manual option so searched for the funding account I had at Citibank so didn't run into the issues that some reported of using the automated option and it not finding your wanted funding bank, even giants like Chase/Wells Fargo/Citi etc. After the obligatory two small deposits and refunds the account was verified and good to go. This is far easier than trying this same setup with Citibank as you cannot do it in their mobile app and have to use the Online portal, which if any of you have ever had the "pleasure" of using, you'll know it to be a god-forsaken travesty and has been for nearly 15 years now(Google some Reddit posts on this topic for sardonic comedy).

5.) As I just recently(last Thursday) discovered, a way around UFB's six business day "hold" on incoming ACH-pulls is to push funds into the account. I did so finally after wrestling with Citi's online portal and adding UFB as an external account to my profile and pushed about $1.4k on Thursday around 4:30PM PST, the money left Citi that same evening and showed up in my UFB account as AVAILABLE in less than 12 hours! A massive and much needed improvement on the six business days when pulling via UFB. Pushing funds from UFB also are beholden to the setup before 11:00AM PST and it goes out the following business day, but those funds do show up in the next business day or two to the receiving account, so still a lot better than UFB's pulls.

6.) As I wrote in the bad portion about "having" to wire in funds to UFB and pay Citi's $25 wire fee, one day as I was browsing UFB's site for any/all info, I stumbled on the fact that UFB will reimburse you for the incoming wire fee if you ask their CSRs and I sure did ask them via their Secure Messaging option and after their obligatory multi-day response time, they agreed to credit the $25 I paid Citi for the fee and the credit was posted in my UFB account in 24 business hours. I don't know if there's a limit on how many reimbursements per month/annum but it's a nice policy of theirs.


So overall in conclusion it's been a positive experience even though there's been many bumps along the way with combination of my own iniquity of knowledge of finance and UFB's actual policies and procedures. I'm still pretty miffed about the math seemingly not adding up on the interest gained and am actually working on another option, but that's slightly outside the scope of this post, and it's gone on long enough.

Thanks for reading if you've made it this far!

Current Rates For UFB Account.

Posted by: |

I’ve had to open 4 accounts since march of 2023 to get the current high rates. Within the last week or two they dropped my rate from above 5% to 4.5% without notifying me. Their current advertised rate is 5.25% so another account was opened to get the current rate. I can’t say this is a professional way to act as a bank so I doubt I will be here long term. It’s been nice getting $450 a month in interest but with having over $100k in a bank I shouldn’t be playing these bait and switch games. I’ve had no issues with withdrawals but deposits take over a week+ to show up. Withdrawals take 2 days. If you don’t mind playing games and staying one step ahead of their nonsense with interest rates it’s a good return. I can’t believe it is legal to lower your rate while advertising and giving higher rates to newcomers. It just tells me whoever is running this bank is trash. I’ve made a couple grand in interest since march so it is legit if you stay ahead of their childish interest games.

Hints For Dealing With UFB Direct

Posted by: |

An update to my 10/3/22 comment. Besides my comment that users with existing UFB savings accounts need to continually check for rate increases, and request a new account when new, higher rate accounts get created, UFB seem to now lower rates on your existing accounts instead of keeping them the same as they did previously, without informing you, hence it is even more important to keep checking their latest advertised rate on the UFB home page, and requesting an account change when the rate goes up.

On the plus side, sending a secure message though their messaging system works well, and they usually respond to requests for an account change within a few hours. You don't need to open a new, additional account or go through any other paperwork.

It's much easier to move funds around if you have an Axos checking account (Axos and UFB are closely affiliated). In my experience, transfers between UFB and Axos requested through secure messaging take place almost instantly, for any amount. My primary checking account is with Axos, and this works well for me.

If you have substantial cash funds you need to park for a while, it's probably worth it. Does anyone want to take bets on how this will work when rates start to go down?

Alex

Poor Experience

Posted by: |

Interest rate competitive, Customer Service response time decent and website layout is fine, but like other reviewers have stated, saving with this bank bites. Deposit and withdrawal processing times are lengthy and rates drop without notice while a higher rate is advertised to new customers. You can get the latest rate by converting your account every so often. I thought if the rate varies, it will automatically adjust up or down, but my yield dropped without any notification while a much higher rate was available all along, and I had been getting a much lower rate for almost the last six months. Very bad system to have to keep monitoring for a change in rates, only to then have to request to convert the account to a new one offering the latest higher rate. This is unfair for some customers to be getting higher rates because they noticed it sooner and others who don’t constantly monitor their accounts or get busy and forget to be getting a much lower rate when the higher one is available to everyone. There is a lot of inequality with this system, and therefore, hate dealing with this company. Will be taking my funds elsewhere because six-figure amount accruing almost one percent interest less for several months just because you have to play games to keep checking and contacting CS is not right. All institutions don’t do this and others automatically adjust when interest rates increase, as I have another account somewhere else that works this way. But the way UFB does it creates extra work and increases margin of lost earnings potential. Hope everyone takes their money to a better place and this company goes out of business.

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Health
A

Data as of Q1 2024

Data displayed below is for insuring bank: Axos Bank
Learn why bank health matters

Health Grade Components

Overall
FDIC Certificate #35546
Year Established2000
Employees1290
Primary RegulatorOCC
Profit Margin
Return on Assets - YTD1.84%
Return on Equity - YTD18.36%
Annual Interest Income$422.6MM
Assets and Liabilities
AssetsQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$21.8B$18.94B
LoansQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$17.89B$15.82B
DepositsQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$19.23B$16.86B
Equity CapitalQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$2.19B$1.84B
Loan Loss AllowanceQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$187.3MM$161.1MM
Unbacked Noncurrent LoansQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$171.7MM$95.9MM
Real Estate OwnedQ1 2024vs Q1 2023$1.8MM$4.3MM
Rates
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* The APY shown varies based on the deposit amount. Expand the listing to see APYs for other deposit amounts.

UFB Direct Savings Account Rates

APYMINMAXACCOUNT NAMEVIEW DETAILS
5.25%$0-UFB Secure Savings

UFB Direct Money Market Rates

APYMINMAXACCOUNT NAMEVIEW DETAILS
5.25%$0-UFB Secure Money Market
Locations

UFB Direct is an Internet only bank and does not have branch locations. Its headquarters is located at 4350 La Jolla Village Drive, - San Diego, CA 92122

The financial institution, product, and APY (Annual Percentage Yield) data displayed on this website is gathered from various sources and may not reflect all of the offers available in your region. Although we strive to provide the most accurate data possible, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The content displayed is for general information purposes only; always verify account details and availability with the financial institution before opening an account. Contact [email protected] to report inaccurate info or to request offers be included in this website. We are not affiliated with the financial institutions included in this website.