Less than a month ago, California-based internet bank UFB Direct introduced two new accounts: UFB Preferred Money Market and UFB Preferred Savings, both of which offered 4.55% APY. As of yesterday, UFB Direct has upped the rate on both accounts to 5.02% APY.
As stated by a UFB Direct official,
Please note that existing customers with a UFB Preferred product [Savings or Money Market] will not have to do anything as the rates will be reflecting accurately on their account details page.
If you have either a UFB Preferred Money Market and/or a UFB Preferred Savings account, feel free to leave a comment if your rate was increased automatically.
UFB Preferred Money Market and Savings Account Details
Note: while the UFB Preferred MMA landing page and the UFB Preferred Saving landing page each lists five balance tiers ($0, $10k, $25k, $50k, and $100k), the new 5.02% APY currently applies to all tiers.
According to the UFB Preferred MMA landing page, there is a $10 monthly maintenance fee if the daily average balance drops below $5k. If the UFB Best Money Market account is closed mid-cycle, any accrued interest will be forfeited.
According to CSR, the UFB Preferred Money Market account offers limited checking writing, with a free ATM card available upon request. There is a $10 Excessive Transaction/Withdrawal fee for each transaction/withdrawal beyond the standard six allowed.
If you exceed the transfer limits on more than an occasional basis, we may convert
your account to one not subject to transfer limitations or close your account.
Other than the UFB Preferred Money Market Account’s potential monthly maintenance fee and checking writing capabilities, there is essentially no difference between the UFB Preferred Money Market Account and the UFB Preferred Savings Account. As stated on the MMA landing page,
The UFB Preferred Money Market offers the security
of a savings account with check-writing privileges.
ACH Transfer Limits and Hold Times
According to CSR, there are limits on ACH transfers initiated through UFB Direct during the first six months following account opening: $10k per day and $25k per rolling month; thereafter, the limits are $100k per day and $250k per rolling month. In response to the UFB Direct February 23, 2023 blog post, DA reader, Evil_Capitalist, provided the following comment.
I've got a UFB account and was using them for a couple of weeks last year when they had the highest rate back then. I found their website to be a bit MEH, but the thing that caused me to leave for another bank was their glacial like funds transfer times. Up to (9) days in some instances to move money IN.
Unlike some of the other top rate online banks out there right now, they also don't provide you an immediate deposit credit for deposits. They make you wait until the funds transfer has been 100% completed before the deposit shows up on your balance. They will often still put a HOLD on those funds even after waiting a very long time for them to even show up!
I would advise anyone thinking of moving their cash into UFB to consider all of the above. Granted... I left UFB about 5 months ago, so things may have changed, but I was just on the site this morning and nothing looks any different in terms of the web UI.
The following is a comment made by DA reader, 111, as part of a November 2022 Forum post discussion.
I've had a small free checking account with UFB for years. Each I time I have to request them to convert my savings account to a “new” savings account to get the higher rate (like today), I make sure I can still transfer internally to checking, with no limits. There are no “new account” ACH transfer restrictions on the checking account because it's not new. Also, of course, I can always transfer everything to checking and then write a check if I really want to vamoose. And in any case, I usually initiate the ACH (whether debit or credit) from another FI, where I know the rules and limits.
Headquartered in San Diego, UFB Direct offers its product line to all U.S. citizens and resident aliens, 18 years or older, who have a valid Social Security number and valid form of identification. Like all UFB Direct accounts, a UFB Preferred Money Market Account or UFB Preferred Savings account must be opened online.
In October 2018, BofI Federal Bank (the former Bank of Internet USA) became Axos Bank, with all its separate divisions rebranding as Axos, with the exception of UFB Direct, which remains a separate branch with its own website. UFB Direct operates under Axos Bank’s FDIC Certificate and shares its financial history.
As stated on the bottom of every page of the UFB Direct website,
All deposit accounts through Axos Bank brands are not separately insured by the FDIC
from other deposit accounts held with the same ownership and/or vesting at Axos Bank.
UFB Direct/Axos Bank has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 6.64% (excellent) based on June 30, 2022 data. In the past year, UFB Direct/Axos Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $2.71 billion, an excellent annual growth rate of 26.17%. Please refer to our financial overview of UFB Direct/Axos Bank (FDIC Certificate # 35546) for more details.
Established in 2000, Axos Bank is the oldest pure internet bank. It’s currently the 14th largest bank headquartered in California and the 113th largest bank in the country with assets in excess of $16 billion and more than 394,000 customer accounts. Axos Bank is part of the public company, Axos Financial, Inc.
How the UFB Preferred Money Market Account and UFB Preferred Savings Account Compare
When compared to nationally available Money Market Accounts and Savings Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com, that do not require large balances or direct deposit and do not have small balance caps, the UFB Preferred Money Market Account and Preferred Savings Account APYs currently rank first.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 3/14/2023.