BofI Federal Bank Changes Name to Axos Bank - Updated Product Reviews
When a bank changes its name, there’s typically just one old name and one new name. The name change of BofI Federal Bank to Axos Bank isn’t that simple. BofI Federal Bank had several different brand names and websites which targeted different groups. Most of these brand names have also been changed to Axos Bank, and their websites now forward visitors to Axos Bank’s new website at axosbank.com. Below is a list of all of the BofI Federal Bank brands and websites that have been consolidated to Axos Bank at axosbank.com:
- BofI Federal Bank, bofifederalbank.com
- Bank of Internet USA, bankofinternet.com
- Bank X, bankx.com
- Net Bank, netbank.com
- BofI Advisor, bofiadvisor.com
- Annuitants Federal Bank, anfedbank.com
- Virtus Bank, virtusbank.com
In addition to the website changes, Axos Bank has a new mobile app, and existing mobile app customers must download the new app.
Not all brands have been consolidated to Axos Bank. UFB Direct at ufbdirect.com remains as a separate brand and website. The only difference is that Axos Bank is now listed as the bank that is offering UFB Direct products and services.
On Axos Bank’s website, they describe the change and assure customers that they should be able to continue banking without problems:
With our new design, we will roll out new technologies, customized products, and customer service features to enhance your banking experience.
In the meantime, your current account features, account number(s), and routing number will stay the same. Your FDIC insurance will remain in place and you can continue accessing your funds using your existing ATM cards.
Axos Bank Rewards Checking
The Axos Bank continues to offer the Rewards Checking Account. This account was first launched by Bank of Internet USA in July 2011, and the top rate has remained the same at 1.25% APY. Maintaining this rate during the zero interest rate environment was an accomplishment. During this time, this Rewards Checking Account was a good alternative to online savings accounts, which typically had lower rates than this. However, the zero interest rate environment is over, and we now have many online savings accounts with yields above 2%. So now the Rewards Checking Account is no longer a good alternative to online savings accounts. However, it’s still competitive if you just compare it to checking accounts.
Axos Bank is one of the few internet banks to offer a high-yield rewards checking account. These accounts require specific monthly activity to qualify for the high yield, and the top yield is limited to a certain balance. For the case of Axos Bank Rewards Checking, the top rate applies only to balances up to $150k, which is far above the average reward checking balance cap. That helps it compete against reward checking accounts which typically have top yields of at least 2%.
The monthly requirements of the Axos Bank Bank Rewards Checking Account has been simplified since it was launched in 2011. To qualify for the full 1.25% APY (up to $150k), the following three requirements must be met each month:
- Receive monthly direct deposits totaling $1,000 or more - Earn 0.4166%
- Use your Axos Visa® Debit Card for a total of 10 transactions per month (min $3 per transaction) - Earn 0.4166%
- Use your Axos Visa® Debit Card 5 more times, a total of 15 transactions per month (min $3 per transaction) - Earn 0.4166%
Most reward checking accounts are all or nothing when it comes to the rate. If you don’t meet all of the monthly requirements, you only earn the tiny base rate. For the Axos Bank Rewards Checking, you can qualify for one third, two thirds or all of the 1.25% APY. Meeting each of the above requirements adds 0.4166% to the rate.
Like the typical reward checking account, the Axos Bank Rewards Checking has no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. Also, the account offers unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements, and there are no overdraft or non-sufficiant fund fees.
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
|0.61*%||-||$25k||Axos Bank||High Yield Savings|
|OTHER TIERS: 0.15% → $100k+ | 0.25% → $25k - $100k|
If Axos Bank wants to compete in the online savings account race, they’re going to have to raise the rate. With a current APY of 1.30%, it’s low when compared against many other no-minimum savings accounts at well-established online banks. At least the High Yield Savings Account has some nice features, which include:
- No monthly maintenance fees
- No minimum balance requirements
- Free ATM card upon request
Axos Bank High Yield Money Market Account (MMA)
The current High Yield Money Market Account rate (1.05% APY) is also low compared to many MMAs at other online banks. However, at least it’s a real money market account with check writing privileges. You can also use a debit card. Just like all savings and money market accounts, it has a limit of six withdrawals per month (excludes some withdrawals such as ATM cash withdrawals). And just like the High Yield Savings Account, there are no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirements.
UFB Direct High Yield Money Market Account
UFB Direct appears to be the only brand that Axos Bank retained. UFB Direct was launched by Bank of Internet in 2011. The main focus of UFB Direct appeared to be airline mileage rewards that you can earn with their checking account. That still exists, but UFB Direct was most interesting to DA readers due to its occasional top rates of its savings and money market accounts.
The history of UFB Direct’s top savings and money market accounts started in 2011 with the UFB Savings Account that offered a 1.30% APY. At that time, this was a top savings account rate. That lasted for less than six months, and then the rate fell until it bottomed out at 0.20% in 2013. There were two additional times when the rate regained its top status. Both times the top rate lasted about five months before falling. The current rate is now 1.00% APY, and that has held since June 2016.
In May 2017, the UFB Direct regained the top savings account rate status with the introduction of its new savings account, the UFB Premium High-Yield Savings Account. This offered 1.30% APY for balances of at least $50k. Now the minimum balance is $25k. Balances below $25k only earn 0.20% APY.
In January 2018, UFB Direct yet again regained the top rate status with the introduction of a new account, called the High Yield Money Market Account (MMA). This offered a 1.60% APY on all balances. Minimum deposit is $5k, and there is a minimum $5k balance to avoid a $10 monthly maintenance fee. New money is required. It is a real money market account with free limited check writing privileges.
UFB Direct MMA still has a 1.60% APY, which is still competitive for a real money market account, but there are now several real MMAs with higher rates.
To view the latest UFB Direct product rates, please refer to our UFB Direct rates table.
Axos Bank Account Features
Axos Bank is highlighting its commitment to banking innovation with slogans like “Banking, Evolved.” They do offer a mobile app, but an important feature for online-only banks isn’t mentioned on their website (at least I can’t find it.) It’s the bank-to-bank ACH transfer service which allows customers to move money between their banks. This is the primary way customers of online banks deposit and withdraw money from their accounts.
In Axos Bank’s FAQs, I found this answer to the question “How can I withdraw funds from my Savings Account?”:
The options to withdraw funds from your Savings Account are:
Use your ATM card at an ATM machine. Initiate a transfer of money from another Financial Institution. Initiate a wire transfer (Wire Transfer Form)
I thought they should have more ACH transfer capability than this. When I posted on UFB Direct in 2011, they had a transfer service with low limits. So I called Axos Bank's customer service, and I was told they do have an ACH transfer service with similar low limits that I reported in 2011, and the service can be used for any of their liquid accounts. Links to up to five external accounts can be established by either the trial deposit method or by immediate verification if the external bank allows it. For customers who had accounts opened for at least 90 days, the maximum dollar amount that can be transferred per day is $15k, and the maximum per rolling 30-day period is $25k. For new customers, the maximum is $5k daily and $7.5k per rolling 30-day period. These limits are only when you initiate transfers at Axos Bank.
Headquartered in San Diego, California, Axos Bank began on July 4, 2000 under the name Bank of Internet USA. In October, 2011, the official name changed to BofI Federal Bank. They kept Bank of Internet USA as a brand and website. On October 1st of this year, BofI Federal Bank officially became Axos Bank. As I mentioned above, the Bank of Internet USA brand, along with several other brands have been discontinued as of October 1st.
Axos Bank has grown into a sizable bank with total assets of $9.53 billion and total deposits of $8.09 billion as of June 30, 2018.
Axos Bank has an overall health rating of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 4.26% (excellent) based on June 30, 2018 data. In the past year, Axos Bank has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $160.98 million, an above average annual growth rate of 2.74%. Please refer to our financial overview of Axos Bank (FDIC Certificate # 35546) for more details.
Acquisition of Nationwide Bank
Axos Bank deposits will soon be expanding due to the upcoming acquisition of Nationwide Bank deposits. In August 2018, it was announced that BofI Federal Bank will purchase from Nationwide Bank certain assets and assume certain liabilities, including about $3 billion of deposits of Nationwide Bank. On September 21st, regulatory approval was received, and the transaction is expected to close no later than November 16, 2018.
If you call yourself with any obnoxious name but your products are at the top and the interest rate is the best, you can proclaim yourself success, even if your name is the worst that can be.
Makes it easy to figure out everything.