California-based Fintech Upgrade launched its Premier Savings account earlier this week. Earning 3.50% APY on daily balances of at least $1k, the Premier Savings has no required minimum opening deposit. According to the FAQs, if the closing daily balance should fall below $1k, no interest will be earned on that specific day.
The Premier Savings landing page lists only the most basic information:
- Earn 3.50% APY on $1,000 or more
- No monthly account fees or transfer fees
- Same-day transfers of $100,000 or less to/from other banks
At first glance, the transfer capability looks decent. However, several limitations were noted in the fine print:
Funds withdrawals are subject to threshold limits. For example, you may be limited from withdrawing funds to external bank accounts, and may only withdraw to the source account that they were deposited from, for 60 days after the original transfer date of those funds.
Additional limitations and thresholds are described in this FAQ. The following is a summary of the FAQ provided by the CSR:
Premier Savings accounts are subject to a daily maximum transfer of $100k, but each account will be assigned a unique number of transfers (Count Limits) and dollar amounts (Threshold Dollar Limit).
- Count Limits from external account are between 2-7 transfers within a 7-day period. To external accounts there are no count limits.
- Threshold Dollar Limits from or to an external account are between $2k to $15k within a 7-day period.
The fine print on the landing print states,
See Savings Deposit Account Agreement and
Truth in Savings Disclosure for additional information.
Unfortunately, neither document is available on the Upgrade website. According to CSR, documents are provided after a Premier Savings account is opened, not before. The following information was obtained from CSR.
- There is no minimum opening deposit requirement.
- There is a limit of one Premier Savings account per customer. Existing High Yield Savings customers will not be eligible to open a Premier Savings account and vice-versa.
- A soft pull credit check will be run when applying for a Premier Savings account. No hard credit inquiry will be done.
- Interest compounded and credit monthly.
- Deposits can be made by ACH or wire transfer. Deposits initiated externally and transferred by wire or ACH will be made available immediately on receipt. ACH deposit transfers initiated by Premier Savings will be held 3 business days.
- Accessing the funds can be done through an ACH transfer to a linked external bank account or transferred into an Upgrade Rewards Checking account.
- There is no ATM or debit card associated with the Premier Savings account.
Upgrade, Inc. is a California Fintech company that has partnered with New Jersey-based Cross River Bank to offer the recently launched Premier Savings account.
Opening any Upgrade account, including a Premier Savings account, can only be done online. According to the FAQs, joint accounts are not available: "Only individual account holders are allowed at this time for Premier Savings accounts."
The following DA reader reviews were posted yesterday.
brice – I just set up the Premier Savings account. Transferred some money from another account (very few are able to be linked), and found out that I could only transfer out a max of $5000 at a time, 3 times within a week. I would have not opened the account if that information was available. I talked to their customer service and they confirmed it. Said it was a new product and they are gradually changing things.
JimLindaDE – Yesterday morning I applied to open a new savings account, which was fairly simple. My application was rejected because of a credit freeze on the credit report @agency they use. They said they only do a soft pull to verify my identity. Why not give me that information before starting so I could have lifted it before application? I lifted the freeze immediately but they say I cannot even reapply until it is posted, usually as long as 30 days! Ridiculous! I even had a confirmation # from credit reporting company that it had been lifted.
850 Credit Score and they don't want my $500K!
Glad I found out sooner than later. Many large, established banks will love my investment! BYE-BYE Don't waste your time!
davereview – Was opening premiere savings account and NATURALLY wanted a beneficiary. WHO WOULD'T? They said they would do it verbally, can you believe that, verbally! Naturally I requested an email confirming that and they said they don't do that. So they expect me to just believe they did it and the information is correct. That is insane!
Headquartered in San Francisco, Upgrade is not a bank. Founded in 2017, Upgrade is a Fintech best known for credit cards that turn monthly balances into installment loans. Cross River Bank (a New Jersey state chartered bank) provides banking services to Upgrade. Upgrade deposits are held by and are FDIC insured through Cross River Bank.
Cross River Bank has an overall health grade of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 1.99% (excellent) based on June 30, 2022 data. In the past year, Cross River Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $408.33 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 19.65%. Please refer to our financial overview of Cross River Bank (FDIC Certificate # 58410) for more details.
Established in 2008 by French-born entrepreneur and finance industry veteran Gilles Gade, Cross River Bank is currently New Jersey’s seventh largest bank, with assets in excess of $8.5 billion. As stated in a March 2022 BusinessWire press release,
CRB Group, Inc., the parent company of Cross River Bank (“Cross River”), a technology infrastructure provider that offers embedded financial solutions, today announced a $620 million financing. The round was led by Eldridge and Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Investment Management, Inc., Whale Rock and Hanaco Ventures.
This new capital will accelerate Cross River’s ongoing technology-focused growth strategy, which includes four core initiatives: building out the Company’s leading embedded payments, cards, lending and crypto solutions; further investing in its people and communities; continuing to execute against plans for international expansion; and bolstering strategic partnerships that underscore Cross River’s commitment to reshaping global finance and promoting financial inclusion.
How the Premier Savings Compares
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 Upgrade Premier Savings APY shares the top spot with the DollarSavings Direct Dollar Savings Account APY and the Salem Five Direct eOne Savings APY.
The above information and rates are accurate as of 10/29/2022.