Popular Direct hasn’t changed their controversial 60-day account freeze policy, but the Bank took one small step to correct a mistake. A reader emailed me a letter he received from Popular Direct informing him of a credit adjustment that will effectively move the start date of the 2% APY from July 23 to May 17. When the Bank increased the Popular Direct Plus Savings Account APY from 1.85% to 2.00% on July 23, they had apparently failed to update the effective date. Below is the excerpt of the letter that the reader received:
During the week of July 23, 2018, we published an increased interest rate of 2% effective July 23, 2018 on our Popular Direct Plus Savings Account on PopularDirect.com, but the published effective date was not updated accordingly.
As a courtesy, we are extending the new 2% interest rate (+.15% difference) earned on your account from the published date of May 17, 2018 through July 22, 2018. A credit adjustment will be applied to your Popular Direct Plus Savings Account during the week of August 6, 2018.
We value you as a Popular Direct customer and are here to help. If you have any further questions, please contact us at 1.800.274.5696.
It’s nice to see Popular Direct provide this credit adjustment, but it doesn’t do anything to make up for the 60-day account freeze policy implementation. Many existing customers were surprised by this freeze, and many reported that they had to spend considerable time to have the freeze lifted early. As I described in my review of this account freeze policy, it’s an unusual policy that hasn’t been done by other internet banks. Not being able to access your savings account money for 60 days can be a major issue for people who need liquidity with their cash.
Even before the 60-day freeze policy, Popular Direct had issues. One issue was its practice of creating new savings accounts with higher rates rather than just raising the rate on one savings account for both new and existing customers. Another issue which was similar to this latest mistake was the incorrect listing of interest rates and APYs for CDs in December 2016.