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Fifth Third Bank Reviews: Checking, Savings, CD and Money Market Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1865
Total Assets$139.4B
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Fifth Third Bank traces its origins back to 1858, when it operated as the Bank of Ohio Valley in Cincinnati. After a series of bank mergers, they were rebranded as Fifth Third Bank at the start of the 20th century.

Today, Fifth Third Bank has more than 1,200 full-service branches in 10 states throughout the Midwest and Southeast. Fifth Third Bank also offers online banking, and partners with Allpoint, Presto!, and 7-Eleven ATMs so their customers can access their accounts nationwide. However, Fifth Third Bank products are only available in the 10 states where it does business.

We’ve covered the full range of Fifth Third Bank’s deposit accounts so you can decide whether they are the right fit for your money. Please keep in mind that Fifth Third Bank’s rates can change depending on the location. To keep things consistent, we’ve pulled rates from Cincinnati, where their headquarters is located. We recommend you check out the local rates in your area before making a decision.

Fifth Third Bank (OH)’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.02%

Savings

Fifth Third Bank (OH) Fifth Third Relationship Savings

1.75%

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

on Ally Bank’s secure website

0.05%

CD Rates

Fifth Third Bank (OH) 12 - 24 Month Standard CD

2.40%

Barclays 12 Month Online CD

on Barclays’s secure website

0.20%

CD Rates

Fifth Third Bank (OH) 36 - 48 Month Standard CD

2.55%

Ally Bank High Yield 3 Year CD

on Ally Bank’s secure website

0.40%

CD Rates

Fifth Third Bank (OH) 60 - 84 Month Standard CD

3.00%

Barclays 60 Month Online CD

on Barclays’s secure website


*All rates are current as of July 19, 2018

Fifth Third Bank Checking accounts

Fifth Third Enhanced Checking

Barely earns any interest but could be worth a look for perks.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.01%

$0.01 - $9,999

0.01%

$10,000 - $24,999

0.01%

$25,000 - $49,999

0.01%

$50,000 - over

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $20
  • ATM fees: None if using a Fifth Third Bank ATM or ATM that is part of the Allpoint, Presto! or 7-11 networks. $2.75 per transaction at other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $37 for each item, up to five items per day.

Though the Fifth Third Enhanced Checking account claims to pay interest, it’s so low you probably wouldn’t even notice it. It’s definitely not high enough to justify this account on its own. The monthly maintenance fee is $20 and to avoid that charge, you either need to have $5,000 of monthly direct deposits or your combined balance across all Fifth Third investment and deposit accounts needs to reach $20,000 at some point during the month.

However, if you have this account, you are eligible for higher rates on Fifth Third CDs, lower interest rates on loans, and discounts on brokerage services. If you plan on using any of those services, adding a Fifth Third Enhanced Checking account could make sense.

You can open a Fifth Third Enhanced Checking account by phone or at a Fifth Third Bank branch. You cannot open this account online.

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Fifth Third Preferred Checking

Premium account with many bells and whistles, along with a huge deposit requirement.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.10%

$0.01 - $9,999

0.10%

$10,000 - $24,999

0.10%

$25,000 - $49,999

0.10%

$50,000 - over

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25
  • ATM fees: None if using a Fifth Third Bank ATM or ATM that is part of the Allpoint, Presto! or 7-11 networks. 10 free transactions per month at non-Fifth Third Bank ATMs, then $2.75 per transaction.
  • ATM fee refunds: 10 free transactions per month at non-Fifth Third Bank ATMs. Fifth Third will refund the ATM fee charged by the other company on the same day.
  • Overdraft fees: $37 for each item, up to five items per day.

The interest rate on the Fifth Third Preferred Checking is still extremely low, especially considering the high deposit requirements. You need to reach a total balance of $100,000 in your Fifth Third deposit and investment accounts, or else you’ll be hit with the $25 monthly maintenance fee.

This account is loaded with other benefits at Fifth Third Bank. It includes free checks, money orders, notary services, a 3×5 safety deposit box, 10 free transactions at non-Fifth Third Bank ATMs and a World Debit™ Mastercard, which normally costs $3.95 a month.

You also receive better rates on Fifth Third CDs, loans and discounts on investment accounts. If you want these other benefits, this account could be worthwhile especially since the money in your investment and CD accounts will help you reach the $100,000 monthly limit.

To open a Fifth Third Preferred Checking account, you must meet with a Fifth Third Bank advisor in-person or call them by phone. You can’t open this account online.

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Fifth Third Essential Checking

A no-frills checking account with a variety of ways to avoid its monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $11 ($8 if monthly direct deposits total $500 or more.)
  • ATM fees: None if using a Fifth Third Bank ATM or ATM that is part of the Allpoint, Presto! or 7-11 networks. $2.75 per transaction at other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.

The Fifth Third Essential Checking could be worth a look if all you want is a checking account with ATM services. To avoid the monthly maintenance fee of $11, you need to keep an average monthly balance of $1,500 across all your Fifth Third deposit and investment accounts.

That’s a little high for such a basic account especially since it does not offer interest. The good news is there are other ways to avoid the fee, like spending at least $500 per month on a Fifth Third Bank credit card.

You can open an Essential Checking account online, over the phone or at a Fifth Third Bank branch. They estimate it takes less than 10 minutes to open an account online. To set things up, you’ll need to provide your basic personal information, a valid driver’s license or state ID and a way to fund your account.

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Fifth Third Student Banking

A basic account for students that waives the standard checking fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: None if using a Fifth Third Bank ATM or ATM that is part of the Allpoint, Presto! or 7-11 networks. Up to five free transactions per month at other ATMs, then $2.75 per transaction.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $37 for each item, up to five items per day.

Fifth Third Student Banking uses the same setup as Essential Checking but with a discount on the fees. There is no monthly fee or minimum balance requirement on this account. Fifth Third Bank will also not charge a fee on up to five transactions per month at non-Fifth Third Bank ATMs. However, if the ATM owner charges a fee, Fifth Third Bank will not refund it. This account also does not earn interest.

To open this account, you must be at least 16 years old and have a valid student ID. The account discounts will last until you turn 23. At this point, you can apply for one more year if you can prove you are still a student. Otherwise, this account will turn into an Essential Checking account.

You can open an Student Banking account online, over the phone or at a Fifth Third Bank branch. They estimate it takes less than 10 minutes to open an account online. To set things up, you’ll need to provide your basic personal information, a valid driver’s license or state ID and a way to fund your account.

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Fifth Third Military Banking

A discounted checking account for current and former military members.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $11
  • ATM fees: None if using a Fifth Third Bank ATM or ATM that is part of the Allpoint, Presto! or 7-11 networks. Up to 10 free transactions per month at other ATMs, then $2.75 per transaction.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $37 for each item, up to five items per day.

Fifth Third Bank offers a discounted checking account for military families. This includes active duty, veterans, retired and members of the reserve/guard as well as commissioned officers of the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This account is like Essential Checking except that if you make $500 a month in direct deposits, you completely avoid the monthly maintenance fee.

This account also includes 10 free transactions at non-Fifth Third Bank ATMs, though Fifth Bank will not reimburse any fee charged by the owner of the ATM. This account does not earn interest. If you are eligible for Military Banking but want another type of checking account, Fifth Third Bank offers a $5 discount on the monthly maintenance fees for its other checking accounts.

You can open a Fifth Third Military Banking account online, over the phone or at a Fifth Third Bank branch. They estimate it takes less than 10 minutes to open an account online. To set things up, you’ll need to provide your basic personal information, a valid driver’s license or state ID and a way to fund your account.

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Fifth Third Express Banking

Immediate access to deposited checks in exchange for a steep fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: None if using a Fifth Third Bank ATM or ATM that is part of the Allpoint, Presto! or 7-11 networks. $2.75 per transaction at other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: None

Fifth Third Express Banking is a mix of a check cashing service and a checking account. When you cash or deposit a check with Fifth Third Bank, they will give you the money immediately. You don’t have to wait for the check to clear.

But this convenience doesn’t come cheap. Fifth Third charges a fee that ranges from 1-4% of the check amount, with a minimum fee of $4 to $5 per transaction. The amount depends on which type of check you deposit and the number of transactions you make with this account. Another downside is this account does not earn interest.

You can open a Fifth Third Express Banking account online, over the phone or at a Fifth Third Bank branch. They estimate it takes less than 10 minutes to open an account online. To set things up, you’ll need to provide your basic personal information, a valid driver’s license or state ID and a way to fund your account.

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How Fifth Third Bank’s checking accounts compare

Firth Third Bank’s basic checking accounts are straightforward and offer a range of ways to avoid the monthly fee, especially for students and military families. Its premium accounts offer some attractive perks for other Fifth Third Bank services like CDs and loans, and are worth a look if you plan on using any of these services.

The main downside of Fifth Third’s checking accounts is that most do not earn interest and even their premium accounts earn very little. If earning interest on your checking account is a priority, you should look at these top online checking account recommendations.

Fifth Third Bank Savings Accounts

Fifth Third Goal Setter Savings

A savings account that earns barely any interest, even with its one-time bonus.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.01%

$0.01 - $9,999

0.01%

$10,000 - $24,999

0.01%

$25,000 - $49,999

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5
  • ATM fees: None if using a Fifth Third Bank ATM or ATM that is part of the Allpoint, Presto! or 7-11 networks. $2.75 per transaction at other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $37 for each item, up to five items per day.

The Fifth Third Goal Setter Savings barely earns any interest at all, which is disappointing for a savings account. Its main selling feature is that you can pick a savings goal for yourself, between $500 to $25,000. Once you’ve put that much in your account, Fifth Third will pay you a one-time bonus equal to all the interest you’ve earned up to that point. That might sound good, but realistically most people will earn less than a dollar for this bonus. This account also only pays interest on balances up to a maximum of $50,000.

The upside of this account is that it charges a low $5 monthly fee that’s waived for the first six months. After six months, there are a number of ways to avoid the monthly fee so at least this account is not expensive.

You can open a Fifth Third Goal Setter Savings account online, over the phone or at a Fifth Third Bank branch. They estimate it takes less than 10 minutes to open an account online. To set things up, you’ll need to provide your basic personal information, a valid driver’s license or state ID and a way to fund your account.

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Fifth Third Relationship Savings

Low fees to go along with equally low interest rates.

APY with standard rate

APY with relationship rate

Minimum Balance Amount

0.01%

0.02%

$0.01 - $9,999

0.01%

0.02%

$10,000 - $24,999

0.05%

0.10%

$25,000 - $49,999

0.05%

0.10%

$50,000+

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5
  • ATM fees: None if using a Fifth Third Bank ATM or ATM that is part of the Allpoint, Presto! or 7-11 networks. $2.75 per transaction at other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $37 for each item, up to five items per day.

The Fifth Third Relationship Savings account earns a higher interest rate than Goal Setter Savings, but it still doesn’t earn much. This account has two types of interest rates: standard and relationship. To qualify for the higher relationship rate, all you need is to own a Fifth Third checking account to go along with your savings account.

On the bright side, the fees are low on this account as it only charges a $5 monthly maintenance fee that’s also easy to avoid. Still, if you’re opening a savings account you likely want to earn at least some return on your money, and that won’t happen with this account.

You can open a Fifth Third Relationship Savings account online, over the phone or at a Fifth Third Bank branch. They estimate it takes less than 10 minutes to open an account online. To set things up, you’ll need to provide your basic personal information, a valid driver’s license or state ID and a way to fund your account.

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Fifth Third Minor Savings

Minors get to use Fifth Third’s savings accounts for free.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: None if using a Fifth Third Bank ATM or ATM that is part of the Allpoint or 7-11 networks. $2.75 per transaction at other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $37 for each item, up to five items per day.

Fifth Third allows people under the age of 18 to use its savings accounts for free. The person opening a Minor Savings account can choose between using either Goal Setting Saver or Relationship Savings.

Whichever account they pick will be exactly the same as the adult version, except that the $5 monthly fee will be automatically waived until the account holder turns 18. At this point, the account holder will need to either pay the monthly fee or meet the account requirements to have the fee waived.

You can open a Fifth Third Minor Savings account online, over the phone or at a Fifth Third Bank branch. They estimate it takes less than 10 minutes to open an account online. To set things up, you’ll need to provide your basic personal information, a valid photo ID and a way to fund your account.

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Fifth Third 529 Savings and CDs

Tax breaks to help you save for future educational expenses.

Fifth Third’s savings accounts and CDs can be used as part of a Direct 529 Savings Plan through CollegeAdvantage. These accounts offer tax breaks to help you save for a family member’s future college expenses.

You earn the same interest rate as if you had a normal Fifth Third savings account or CD. However, with a 529 plan, you delay income taxes on your interest earnings. If you spend your 529 savings on college expenses, those earnings will be tax-free. With a normal savings account or CD, you’d owe income tax on your interest each year.

You can set up a Fifth Third 529 plan with a minimum deposit as low as $25. To get started, you create an account online with CollegeAdvantage. You’ll need to enter in some basic personal information about yourself and the account beneficiary (the person whose college you’re saving for). You also need to enter your bank information to fund the account. Once you’ve set up, you can choose Fifth Third’s Savings accounts or CDs as your investment choice.

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Fifth Third Health Savings Account

A savings account with tax advantages to help pay for medical expenses.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: See below.
  • ATM fees: N/A
  • ATM fee refunds: N/A
  • Overdraft fees: $37 for each item, up to five items per day.

Monthly fees:

  • Average daily account balance is less than $500, monthly fee = $3.50
  • Average daily account balance is between than $500.01 and $2,000, monthly fee = $3.00
  • Average daily account balance is between than $2,000.01 and $3,000, monthly fee = $2.50
  • Average daily account balance is between than $3,000.01 and $4,000, monthly fee = $2.00
  • Average daily account balance is above $4,000, there is no monthly fee

If you are enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan, either at work or on your own, you can use a Fifth Third Bank Health Savings Account (HSA). When you add money to an HSA, you get a tax deduction for whatever you put in. From there, you can spend your account on qualified health expenses.

Fifth Third provides a debit card for its HSA to pay for health expenses. You can also pay medical expenses online or by writing checks for this account. Fifth Third pays interest on your account balance, though they do not publicly release their HSA interest rates.

Fifth Third charges a monthly fee if your average month HSA balance is less than $4,000. The lower your average monthly balance, the higher the fee, up to a maximum of $3.50 per month.

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How Fifth Third Bank’s savings accounts compare

Fifth Third’s savings accounts don’t inspire much of a reaction, good or bad. The good news is they all charge a low fee that’s easy to get waived. But they don’t pay much in interest, especially for smaller balances.

Out of its regular savings accounts, Relationship Savings is the better choice because it earns a higher interest rate. While Goal Setter Savings offers a one-time bonus, it’s so small it’s not worth the lower interest rates. Still, there are better savings accounts out there that can earn a much higher interest rate on your savings.

Fifth Third Bank Money Market Accounts

Fifth Third Money Relationship Money Market Account

Easy to set up and manage but the interest rates aren’t great.

APY with standard rate

APY with relationship rate

Minimum Balance Amount

0.01%

0.02%

$0.01 - $9,999

0.02%

0.04%

$10,000 - $24,999

0.10%

0.20%

$25,000 - $49,999

0.15%

0.30%

$50,000 - $99,999

0.20%

0.40%

$100,000 - $249,999

0.20%

0.40%

$250,000+

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5
  • ATM fees: None if using a Fifth Third Bank ATM or ATM that is part of the Allpoint, Presto! or 7-11 networks. $2.75 per transaction at other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $37 for each item, up to five items per day.

The Fifth Third Bank Money Market Savings Account is a blend of a savings and money market account. It offers higher interest rates than you’d receive on a Fifth Third Bank’s savings account and it’s still possible to access your money through an ATM. The monthly maintenance fee is only $5 and there are multiple ways to avoid it, including having a Fifth Third Checking account or keeping an average monthly balance of at least $500.

This account has two types of interest rates: Standard and Relationship. To earn the higher Relationship rate, all you’ll need is a Fifth Third Checking account. The downside is even at the Relationship level, the interest rates are still quite low, especially if you have less than $25,000. This account starts earning a more respectable amount once you have more than $25,000, but there are other options out there that earn even more.

You can open a Fifth Third Relationship Money Market account online, over the phone or at a Fifth Third Bank branch. They estimate it takes less than 10 minutes to open an account online. To set things up, you’ll need to provide your basic personal information, a valid driver’s license or state ID and a way to fund your account.

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How Fifth Third Bank’s money market accounts compare

Fifth Third Bank’s money market account can be a nice addition if you already have a Fifth Third checking account. You can transfer extra funds out of your checking account into the money market account, where they’ll earn a higher interest rate, then transfer back to checking when you need the money.

On the other hand, since the interest rates are low compared to the best accounts on the market, it’s probably not worth setting up a Fifth Third Bank money market account by itself. It’s a better play if you already have a Fifth Third checking account.

Fifth Third Bank CD Rates

Fifth Third Bank Promotional CDs

Decent interest rates that last up to 27 months.
 

APY

Minimum Deposit

11 months

1.50%

$5,000

18 months

2.00%

$5,000

27 months

2.50%

$5,000

Fifth Third Bank offers attractive rates on its Promotional CDs that compare well to the best rates in the country. These are relatively short-term offers as the longest promotional rate CD lasts only 27 months.

You must deposit at least $5,000 to qualify for the promotional rate. The interest rate is the same no matter how much you deposit; it doesn’t increase for larger amounts.

If you need to take out part of your CD principal early, Fifth Third Bank will charge a penalty. The penalty amount depends on how close you are to the CD maturity date:

  • Between seven days to 364 days until maturity: the penalty is 1% of the amount taken out.
  • 365 days up to 36 months: the penalty is 2% of the amount taken out.

However, the penalty will not exceed the amount of interest earned by your CD so you will at least get your original deposit back. The only exception is if you take money out within six days of opening the CD. Then, Fifth Third Bank will charge a minimum penalty equal to 7 days of interest.

To open a Fifth Third Bank Promotional CD, you should visit a Fifth Third Bank branch or contact them by phone. They do not provide the option to open CDs online.

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Fifth Third Bank Standard CDs

A lot of options but overall disappointing interest rates.
 

Less than $5,000

$5,000 to $9,999

$10,000 to $24,999

$25,000 to $49,999

$50,000 to $99,999

7 to 89 days

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

3 to 6 months

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

6 to 12 months

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

12 to 24 months

0.05%

0.10%

0.10%

0.15%

0.15%

24 to 36 months

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

0.20%

0.20%

36 to 48 months

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

0.30%

0.30%

48 to 60 months

0.30%

0.30%

0.30%

0.40%

0.40%

60 to 84 months

0.40%

0.40%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

84 months

0.50%

0.50%

0.60%

0.60%

0.60%

While Fifth Third Bank offers many different lengths for their standard CDs, the interest rates are disappointingly low compared with the competition. The interest rate is almost non-existent on CDs that last less than a year and don’t get much better as you lock into longer maturities. While there is a small rate bump for larger deposits over $25,000, it’s not large enough to justify adding so much money.

For CDs that last less than 90 days, the minimum deposit is $5,000. For all CDs that last longer than 90 days, the minimum deposit is $500.

If you need to take out part of your CD principal early, Fifth Third Bank will charge a penalty. The penalty amount depends on the length of the CD term.

  • Between seven days to 365 days the penalty is 1% of the amount taken out.
  • 365 days up to 36 months: the penalty is 2% of the amount taken out.
  • More than 36 months: the penalty is 3% of the amount taken out.

However, the penalty will not exceed the amount of interest earned by your CD so you will at least get your original deposit back. The only exception is if you take money out within six days of opening the CD. Then, Fifth Third Bank will charge a minimum penalty equal to seven days of interest.

All of Fifth Third Bank’s CDs can be set up through a 529 plan to save money tax-free for future education expenses.

To open a Fifth Third Bank Standard CD, you should visit a Fifth Third Bank branch or contact them by phone. They do not provide the option to open CDs online.

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How Fifth Third Bank’s CDs accounts compare

While Fifth Third’s promotional CDs offer an attractive interest rate, once you get past that initial period their rates are pretty disappointing. You really don’t earn that much even if you lock in for more than five years or deposit at least $50,000.

Another downside is that their CDs do not let you take money out without getting hit with a penalty. Other CDs on the market give you at least some penalty-free early access to your money.

If you’re looking for a higher return on your savings, these other CD options might be a better spot for your money.

Overall review of Fifth Third Bank

With Fifth Third Bank, you get accounts with low fees that are easy to avoid. We also like that even though Fifth Third is a regional bank, account holders have free, nationwide access to their money through Allpoint, Presto! or 7-11 ATMs. The main problem we have with Fifth Third Bank is that its interest rates are below average across the board.

With Fifth Third Bank, the more of its services you use, the better its accounts look. If someone has a Fifth Third checking account, they automatically avoid the monthly fee on savings accounts or money market accounts. If someone wants to open a Fifth Third CD or investment account, they’ll qualify for better rates and lower fees by opening an Enhanced or Premier Checking account as well.

On the other hand, there’s nothing in the Fifth Third accounts that would get us to open one all by itself. If all someone wants is a stand-alone account, chances are they would be better off looking elsewhere.

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David Rodeck
David Rodeck |

David Rodeck is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email David here

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Strategies to Save

Understanding How Overdraft Protection Works

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Understanding how overdraft protection works
Source: iStock

Have you ever written a check for an amount you didn’t have in your account and incurred a fee? Or have you ever been embarrassed by a declined debit card transaction? If the answer’s yes, you’ve had experience with overdrawn checking accounts.

You may have heard about overdraft protection and how it may help you pay for expenses when you lack the funds in your account. While this service has the potential to help you in times of need, it’s important to be aware of the drawbacks. In this post, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of the various types of overdraft protection, and how you can avoid overdrawing your account in the future.

Featured checking account with no overdraft fee

 

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

 
nbkc bank

0.90%

$5

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Your deposit is FDIC-insured up to the maximum limit.

What is overdraft protection?

Overdraft protection is a way to fund an account that has been overdrawn. Without this service, you would most likely be charged an overdraft or non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee and have your transaction declined. The fees can add up every time your account is overdrawn, but this service can provide a safety net if you withdraw too much money.

How does overdraft protection work?

There are three types of overdraft protection that work in slightly different ways. While they ultimately transfer funds to your overdrawn checking account, the fees charged differ.

Here are the three options you may have for overdraft protection:

  1. Opt in for overdraft coverage for ATM and one-time debit card transactions. By opting in, you authorize the bank to pay any overdrafts from ATM and one-time debit card transactions. Beware banks often charge you high fees.
  2. Link your checking account to an eligible savings, secondary checking, money market account or line of credit like a credit card. If your account is overdrawn, funds will be transferred from your linked account. There is often an overdraft protection fee associated with the transfer of funds.
  3. Overdraft protection line of credit. If you overdraw your account, the line of credit transfers funds to cover the amount overdrawn plus any fees charged. The amount you overdraw is subject to a variable interest rate and a fee. Note, some banks may require a minimum annual income to open an overdraft protection line of credit.

Overdraft protection fees

If you have overdraft protection and overdraw your account, you will most likely be charged a fee. This fee is often a fixed amount that is charged per overdraft item and varies based on the protection you have.

Here are the fees associated with the options detailed in the previous section:

  1. Opt in for overdraft coverage for ATM and one-time debit card transactions: Typically $34 per overdraft item and an extended overdraft fee may apply if your account is overdrawn for a certain amount of days.
  2. Link your checking account to an eligible savings, secondary checking, money market account or line of credit like a credit card: Typically $10-$12 per transfer.
  3. Overdraft protection line of credit: Typically $10 or more per transfer, plus an APR of around 20% charged on the amount transferred.

While you can potentially be charged the fee multiple times in one day if you continue to overdraw your account, banks typically limit the amount of times you can be charged the fee in a day.

Understanding the overdraft protection law

In 2010, the Federal Reserve passed a law regulating overdraft practices for one-time debit card and ATM transactions. The law banned banks from automatically enrolling customers in overdraft protection for these transactions.

Prior to this law being passed, banks were allowed to process one-time debit card and ATM transactions in which consumers lacked the necessary funds and were charged an overdraft fee. But, the law changed that practice and required banks to allow customers to opt in or opt out of overdraft protection at any time.

If you opt in, the bank will process your one-time debit card and ATM transactions and charge a fee. While if you opt out, the bank will decline your transaction and won’t charge you an overdraft fee — but they may still charge an NSF fee.

The benefits of opting in to overdraft protection

Transactions are approved. This service may be helpful if you need a transaction to go through and can’t afford to have it declined in cases of emergencies or upcoming due dates on bills.

Less embarrassment when paying. If you’re someone who lives from one paycheck to the next, you may run into instances where you’re short of funds for needed expenses like groceries. It can be embarrassing to have your debit card declined due to insufficient funds, and this service may help you avoid those situations.

When can you benefit from overdraft protection?
You may benefit from overdraft protection if you find yourself in a situation where you don’t have the money to cover the cost of an unexpected emergency. For example, say you have a $0 balance in your account but your car broke down because of a flat tire. In this situation, you have your checkbook but don’t have the needed cash or credit card to pay for the tow and service on your card.

If you enrolled in this service and linked an eligible savings account that has the needed funds, you could write the check. Then, the bank would transfer the funds from your savings account to your checking account. You would be charged a $10-$12 overdraft transfer fee, but that’s minor compared to the typical $34 NSF you would be charged if the check bounced.

The drawbacks of using overdraft protection

Fees may still apply. If you enroll in overdraft protection, you may still be charged fees, such as an overdraft protection fee or an NSF fee. And you may incur multiple fees in one day.

High fees for overdrafts funded by credit cards. If you use a credit card to fund your overdraft, it is considered a cash advance which often comes with high APRs over 25% and a cash advance fee that is 3% or 5% of your withdrawal.

When is overdraft protection not worthwhile?
If you opt in for overdraft protection on ATM and one-time debit card transactions and make unnecessary transactions when you have a $0 balance, you can see fees add up quickly. For example, say your account charges a $34 overdraft fee up to four times a day. You’re unaware you currently have a $0 balance in your checking account.

You decide to go to the mall and use your debit card to make three separate purchases: pants for $20, a shirt for $10, and a hat for $8. In total you spent $38 on clothes, but incurred $102 in overdraft fees. That makes the effective cost of your clothing purchase an alarming $140. It’s pretty obvious that it would’ve been a better decision to opt out of the service for ATM and one-time debit card transactions so those transactions would’ve been declined.

Which type of accounts can be linked to a checking account for overdraft protection?

You can link several accounts to your checking account for overdraft protection, including: savings, secondary checking account, money market or line of credit like a credit card. Note that linkable accounts may vary by bank, so refer to your overdraft protection agreement for eligible accounts.

How to avoid overdrawing your account

If you want to prevent future overdrafts, the tips below may help you avoid overdrawing your account, and are general best practices when it comes to financial products:

  • Open a checking account with no overdraft fees. There are banks that offer checking accounts with no overdraft fees. So, instead of being hit with the average $34 fee, banks most likely will decline the transaction — if you aren’t opted into overdraft protection.
  • Don’t overspend. You may have trouble managing your spending, which may lead you to overdraw your account. You can create a budget to get a better picture of your finances and see where you can cut costs to avoid overdrawing your account. A good rule of thumb is don’t spend more than you can afford.
  • Set up low balance alerts. Many banks allow you to set alerts when your balance reaches a certain amount. This is a helpful feature that can make you aware when funds are running low and when you should minimize spending.
  • Review your account balances. It’s important to keep track of how much money is in your checking account. You can keep a register or log in to online banking to stay up-to-date on your account balance. This way, you know how much you can afford to spend.
  • Don’t write checks before you have the money in your account. You may run into issues if you write checks in advance of having the necessary funds in your account. While you expect to have the needed funds in your account when the check is cashed, things may change and result in you lacking the funds to fulfill the check.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at alexandria@magnifymoney.com

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Reviews

Apple Bank Savings Accounts, CD Rates, Checking Account and Money Market Account

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1863
Total Assets$13.1B
LEARN MORE on Apple Bank For Savings’s secure website

Few banks can claim that they started in a tavern, but that’s the case with Apple Bank. The founders gathered in a local Harlem tavern in 1863 to sign the papers establishing the Haarlem Savings Bank. Since then, the bank has gone through numerous mergers and acquisitions until it finally ended up in its present form as Apple Bank in 1983.

Today it’s the 9th largest bank in New York and the 109th largest bank in the country. It operates 79 branches throughout the New York area, including Westchester, Queens, Long Island, Brooklyn and others.

Apple Bank is one of the few major banks left that still allow you to use a passbook with many of its accounts. If you choose this option (as opposed to its “statement savings account,” which works like a normal online bank account), you won’t be allowed to make any ATM transactions or pre-authorized debits from your account, such as ACH transfers.

If you’re interested in opening an account (or several accounts) with Apple Bank, there are a few things you need to know. Most importantly, these accounts are only available to New York residents with a valid New York ID. We’ll cover how these bank accounts work in this review to make an informed decision.

Apple Bank for Savings’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

1.60%

Savings

Apple Bank for Savings Grand Yield Savings

1.75%

Ally Bank Online Savings Account

on Ally Bank’s secure website

2.15%

CD Rates

Apple Bank for Savings 1 Year CD Special

2.40%

Barclays 12 Month Online CD

on Barclays’s secure website

2.60%

CD Rates

Apple Bank for Savings 3 Year CD

2.55%

Ally Bank High Yield 3 Year CD

on Ally Bank’s secure website

2.80%

CD Rates

Apple Bank for Savings 5 Year CD

3.00%

Barclays 60 Month Online CD

on Barclays’s secure website

*All rates are current as of July 17, 2018

Apple Bank’s savings account options

Grand Yield Savings

This account earns a great interest rate, but you won’t earn anything unless you have $2,500 in the account.

APY

Minimum balance to earn APY

1.60%

$2,500

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 per transaction at a non-Apple Bank ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, for up to six items per day.

Normally, we would consider this bank an excellent choice if you’re looking for a high interest rate. However, you only earn this high interest rate on $2,500 and up, meaning a significant portion of your deposit won’t earn interest.

One of the nice things about this account, on the other hand, is that you have a wide range of options for how to deal with your interest. You can choose to have it redeposited back into this account, deposited into another Apple Bank account or paid out to you each month in the form of a check (as long as you have at least $10 accrued).

Like all other savings accounts, you’re limited to just six debit card, telephone or ACH withdrawals per month, per Federal Regulation D. If you go over that amount, you’ll pay a $20 per-item fee. If you do this enough times, Apple Bank might change your account type or close the account.

How to get Apple Bank’s Grand Yield Savings account

If you want to open Apple Bank’s Grand Yield Savings account, you’ll need to visit a branch in person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Apple Bank For Savings’s secure website

BONUS Savings

Apple Bank’s BONUS Savings account allows you to earn a very tiny bonus each year on your account-opening anniversary.

APY

Minimum deposit amount

0.75%

$2,500

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 if your account balance drops below $2,500.
  • ATM fee: $2 per transaction at a non-Apple Bank ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, for up to six items per day.

For people who need bonuses in order to motivate them to save, this account may be one option. It doesn’t earn the greatest of interest rates, but it does offer a bonus every year on your anniversary: an extra bonus of 0.25% of the smallest balance you’ve held in the account during the previous year. If your account balance dipped down to just $2,500 (the minimum required to avoid the monthly service fee and to earn any interest at all), that’s just a measly $6.25.

This account also has a six-item limit on certain types of withdrawals (telephone, debit card or ACH). If you go over these limits, you’ll pay a $20 per-item fee, and Apple Bank may downgrade your account to another type or close it if this happens often enough.

How to get Apple Bank’s BONUS Savings account

If you want to open this account, you’ll need to head over to a local branch.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Apple Bank For Savings’s secure website

Apple Bank Savings

This savings account has a lower threshold to earn interest, but you won’t earn much with this account.

APY

Minimum balance to earn APY

0.10%

$250

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4 if your account balance drops below $500.
  • ATM fee: $2 per transaction at a non-Apple Bank ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, for up to six items per day.

If you don’t have the high account balances needed to earn interest with Apple Bank’s BONUS Savings or Grand Yield savings, this could be one alternative. You can open the bank with as little as $100, and you’ll start earning interest after you’ve saved $250. If you can save up $500, you won’t have to pay the monthly account maintenance fee, either.

This account also comes with the option to have your interest paid out in multiple ways. You can choose to have it redeposited back into the account (as with most normal savings accounts), sent to you by check (as long as the interest earned is more than $10) or deposited into another Apple Bank account.

Per Federal Regulation D, you’re limited to just six ACH, debit or telephone withdrawals per month. For each withdrawal you make over that amount, you’ll pay a $20 “excess withdrawal fee.” Apple Bank can close your account or change it to another account type if you do this frequently enough.

How to get the Apple Bank Savings account

You can open this account at any local Apple Bank branch.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Apple Bank For Savings’s secure website

Youth Savings

This passbook-style account allows children and teens to earn a small amount of interest, as long as they keep at least $5 in the account.

APY

Minimum balance to earn APY

0.10%

$5

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $2 per transaction at a non-Apple Bank ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, for up to six items per day.

Apple Bank allows youth ages 6-17 the chance to earn a small amount of interest with this account. It’s not a traditional savings account because it uses a passbook, just like your grandparents used back before the internet existed.

While your child only needs $1 to open this account, they won’t earn any interest until they have at least $5 saved. After that, if they withdraw money and dip the balance below $5 at any point during the month, they won’t earn interest for that day until the balance is back to $5 or more.

When your child turns 18, they won’t be able to make any more deposits into the account. However, it will still earn interest, and Apple Bank will contact them with their options for converting the account to an adult version at that point.

How to get Apple Bank’s Youth Savings account

If your child is between ages 6-17, has their own ID (even just a school ID or birth certificate), and can sign their own name, you can open a Youth Savings account with your child. You’ll need to visit a local branch in order to open this account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Apple Bank For Savings’s secure website

Holiday/Vacation Club accounts

This is a great forced savings plan for people who need help saving for holidays or for vacations, although you still won’t earn much interest with this account.

APY

Minimum deposit amount

0.10%

$5

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, for up to six items per day.

If you struggle with saving up for holidays or for vacations, this account can be an excellent choice for you — albeit, you still won’t earn very much interest on your deposit.

The way it works is this: You open the account with as little as $5. Then, you designate how much and how often you want automatic withdrawals taken out of another Apple Bank account and deposited into this one. You can choose either weekly, biweekly, monthly or quarterly transfers.

If you open a Holiday Club Account, all of your money — plus the interest you’ve earned — will be sent to you via check or deposited into another of your Apple Bank accounts (such as your checking account) in the fall, just in time for holiday spending. If you instead opt for the Vacation Club account, the money will instead be sent to you via check or deposited into your other Apple Bank account during the spring, before your spring or summer vacation.

But watch out: If you make a partial withdrawal before the fall or spring (depending on which account type you have), Apple Bank will completely close the account. This account also does not come with ATM access.

How to get Apple Bank’s Holiday/Vacation Club accounts

You can’t open these accounts online — you’ll need to visit a branch in-person to do this.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Apple Bank For Savings’s secure website

magnifying glass

How Apple Bank’s savings accounts compare

We’re a bit torn with Apple Bank’s savings accounts. Its highest-earning account, the Grand Yield Savings account, actually does earn a decent interest rate. However, you won’t earn interest on a significant portion of your deposit. If you live in the New York area and want an in-person bank offering a good interest rate, this can be a great option for you.

The rest of its savings accounts, however, offer very little interest. If you’re comfortable banking online and want to earn the best rates possible (on all of your deposit), consider one of these top online savings accounts instead.

Apple Bank CD rates

Apple Bank’s CD accounts offer much higher interest rates than your average neighborhood bank — but watch out for the high early withdrawal penalty.

Term

APY

6 months

2.00%

1 year

2.15%

13 months

2.15%

1 ½ years

2.30%

2 years

2.40%

3 years

2.60%

4 years

2.75%

5 years

2.80%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For the 6 month CD, you’ll pay a $50 fee plus an extra 1% of the amount withdrawn. For all other CDs, you’ll pay a $50 fee plus an extra 3% of the amount withdrawn.

This account may be a great choice for you as long as you’re fairly certain that you won’t be tempted to withdraw money from this account. That’s because the early withdrawal penalty is very high with this account — you’ll pay a flat $50 fee, plus an extra 1%-3% of the amount withdrawn. Furthermore, if you withdraw enough to drop the balance below the $1,000 mark, Apple Bank will close your CD outright and charge you the penalty on the entire balance.

If you keep the CD open until maturity, it will automatically renew unless you instruct Apple Bank not to do so. If you opt for the account not to renew at maturity, then it’ll earn the same interest rate as the Apple Bank Saving Account until you do something with the cash. But if the CD automatically renews, you’ll still get a five-day grace period to make any changes to the account.

How to get Apple Bank’s CDs

If you want to open one of Apple Bank’s CDs, you’ll need to visit a local branch to set up your new account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Apple Bank For Savings’s secure website

magnifying glass

How Apple Bank’s CD rates compare

Apple Bank’s CDs carry interest rates right on par with our current best CD picks. This can be an especially good option if you want to bank in person with a local branch, yet don’t want to earn the measly CD interest rates that many community banks offer.

However, we advise watching out for the fees that come along with this account. If you think you might need to withdraw the cash at some point during the CD’s term, you may end up paying more than you would at other banks, thanks to this CD’s high early withdrawal penalties. This is especially true if you only open the CD with the minimum opening deposit.

Apple Bank’s checking account options

Grand Yield NOW Checking

You can earn a high interest rate on your checking deposit with this account, but you’ll need to keep a high balance in the account.

APY

Minimum balance to earn APY

0.50%

$2,500

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 if your account balance falls below $2,500.
  • ATM fee: $2 per transaction at a non-Apple Bank ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: Your first four non-Apple Bank ATM transactions of the month are free. However, the ATM’s owner may still charge you a surcharge fee, and this is not reimbursed.
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, for up to six items per day.

Apple Bank’s Grand Yield NOW checking account offers an exceptionally high interest rate on your checking deposit. It does this by shuffling around money from a money market sub-account to this high interest-earning checking account in the background for you. You don’t need to worry about any of this: All you’ll see on your monthly statement are the transactions you’ve made, along with the one interest rate you’ll receive for this account.

Although you can open this account with as little as $100, you’ll need to keep at least $2,500 in the account in order to earn interest and avoid the monthly maintenance fee. Finally, when you open this account, you’ll also receive your first order of personalized checks for free.

How to get Apple Bank’s Grand Yield NOW Checking account

You can open this account by visiting a local branch in the greater New York area.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Apple Bank For Savings’s secure website

Free ExtraValue Checking

This Apple Bank’s version of a standard no-frills checking account.
  • Minimum deposit amount: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $2 per transaction at a non-Apple Bank ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, for up to six items per day.

If you want a bank account with no hassle about remembering to keep up a certain balance level to avoid a monthly fee, this may be one option for you. Of course, this is a noninterest-bearing account, so you won’t earn anything from your deposit either.

One of the perks of this account is that you’ll get your first order of personalized checks for free after you open the account.

How to get Apple Bank’s Free ExtraValue Checking account

If you live near an Apple Bank branch, you can easily open this account in person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Apple Bank For Savings’s secure website

BasicValue Checking

This account makes little sense. It charges a monthly fee, earns no interest and only allows a limited amount of transactions.
  • Minimum deposit amount: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3, regardless of your balance.
  • ATM fee: $2 per transaction at a non-Apple Bank ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, for up to six items per day.

We don’t know why anyone would want this account.

First of all, there’s a $3 monthly charge, with no way to avoid it. You’ll be paying $3 per month for this account for as long as you own it. Secondly, you’re limited to just eight withdrawals per month with this account. If you go over that amount, you’ll pay a $1 per-item fee. This account seems more like a savings account than a checking account because of these transaction limitations, but it doesn’t offer any interest.

On the bright side, your first order of personalized checks is free.

How to get Apple Bank’s BasicValue Checking account

If you do decide that this account is right for your situation, you’ll need to visit a branch in person to open this account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Apple Bank For Savings’s secure website

Free ClassValue Checking

This free checking account is open to students between the ages of 17 and 25.
  • Minimum deposit amount: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $2 per transaction at a non-Apple Bank ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: Your first two non-Apple Bank ATM transactions of the month are free. However, the ATM’s owner may still charge you a surcharge fee, and Apple Bank does not reimburse such fees.
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, for up to six items per day.

New York students looking to bank with a local institution may find this a decent option. There are no monthly maintenance fees, and you get two out-of-network ATM fees reimbursed per month.

You’ll need to be between the ages of 17 and 25 to apply for this account, however. Once you reach age 26, you won’t be able to use this account anymore. Apple Bank will let you know your options for transferring your money to a new checking account before your birthday.

Like the rest of Apple Bank’s checking accounts, your first order of personalized checks comes free with this account.

How to get Apple Bank’s Free ClassValue Checking account

If you want to open this account, you’ll need to visit a branch in person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Apple Bank For Savings’s secure website

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How Apple Bank’s checking accounts compare

Compared with most community banks, Apple Bank does offer a decent checking option with its Grand Yield NOW account. The rest of its accounts, however, are mediocre, because they come with account maintenance fees or few perks. This is especially the case with the BasicValue Checking account, which charges you an unavoidable monthly fee for a limited amount of monthly transactions.

If you’re looking for an interest-bearing checking account, we recommend one of these online checking accounts instead.

Apple Bank’s Money Market account

This account earns a decent rate, but only on balances above $2,500.

APY

Minimum balance to earn APY

1.25%

$2,500

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 if your account balance falls below $2,500.
  • ATM fee: $2 per transaction at a non-Apple Bank ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, for up to six items per day.

If you want to earn a higher interest rate on your savings but also want the ability to write checks from your deposit, this money market account might be right for you. You can make up to six withdrawals per month via check, debit card, ACH transfer or telephone transfer. After that, you’ll pay a $20 per-item “excess withdrawal” fee. If you violate these limits too many times, Apple Bank may close your account or downgrade it to another type.

Although this account earns a decent interest rate, you’ll need to keep a hefty balance in the account to benefit. If your balance dips below $2,500, you won’t earn any interest for that day unless your balance is brought back up to $2,500. In addition, you’ll also pay a $10 monthly fee if your account balance dips below the $2,500 mark.

How to get Apple Bank’s Money Market account

You can open this account by visiting a branch in person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Apple Bank For Savings’s secure website

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How Apple Bank’s Money Market account compares

Apple Bank definitely does not offer the highest-earning money market account on the market today. Still, its rate isn’t bad, as long as you can pony up the $2,500 needed to earn interest and waive the monthly maintenance fee. This would be a good option for people looking for a local in-person bank they can work with, but don’t want to sacrifice earning good rates on their money market deposit.

Overall review of Apple Bank’s products

We think Apple Bank is a bit hit-or-miss. None of its accounts are front-runners in their classes by any means. But, many of its accounts are also not bad options either, especially for folks who want to do their banking in person and not pay for it in the form of piddly interest rates.

We do recommend watching out for some of its accounts, such as the BasicValue Checking account which offers limited transactions for an unavoidable monthly fee. But, if you choose your accounts carefully, you might very well come out ahead by choosing Apple Bank.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Advertiser Disclosure

News

MoviePass, AMC, Cinemark, Sinemia — Which Theater Subscription Is Best?

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

iStock

MoviePass is facing stiff competition as several theater chains and startups have launched their own rival theater subscription services. There’s AMC Entertainment’s AMC Stubs A-List, launched in June, Cinemark’s Movie Club, which hit the scene at the end of 2017, and Sinemia, a startup founded in 2014.

All three competitors seem in their own way to directly target the biggest consumer gripes about using MoviePass — the inability to book tickets in advance, see multiple films in one day and see the same flick more than once.

To its credit, MoviePass isn’t going down without a fight. It already made a dramatic pricing change, slashing its monthly fee from $39.99 at its highest to $9.95 per month, attracting millions of new subscribers in the process. The number of MoviePass subscribers reportedly surged from about 20,000 in early 2017 to 3 million as of June 2018. Earlier this year, it reportedly sued Sinemia for patent infringement. And it recently diversified its offerings with a lower-priced subscription plan.

For consumers, competition is almost always a good thing. Companies are forced to make their services more appealing in hopes of attracting new customers.

In this post, we will go over the benefits and limits of the four monthly movie subscription packages to help you choose the one that best fits your needs.

MoviePass vs. AMC vs. Cinemark vs. Sinemia

Fees and fine print

AMC Stubs A-List



MoviePass



Sinemia



Cinemark Movie Club



COST


$19.95/month + tax

$7.95/month or $9.95/month depending on the plan

$4.99 to $14.99 per month for individual plans; $8.99 to $89.99 for family plans.

$8.99/mo

MOVIE LIMITS


See up to 3 movies per week

1 movie per day or 3 movies per month, depending on the plan.

See up to 1, 2 or 3 movies per month, depending on the plan.

1 movie per month

THEATER ACCESS


600+ AMC theatres

5,200+ theaters

4,000+ theaters

339 Cinemark theaters

CANCELLATION POLICY


You can’t cancel your subscription during the initial three months of membership. After the three-month commitment, you can cancel anytime and your benefits last until the end of the current billing period.

If you cancel your subscription, you won’t be able to re-enroll or start a new subscription for 9 months. Your account will be active until the last day of your current billing cycle.

You can cancel anytime but Sinemia won’t refund you the upfront annual fee. However, you’ll be able to use your membership until the last day of your plan.

You can cancel any time you want and won’t have to wait for a period of time to reactivate your membership after cancellation. Your benefits are effective until the last day of the current billing cycle.

FINE PRINT


May charge surcharge when movies are in high demand

The monthly fee is actually charged upfront for the entire year.

Though there are many limitations with MoviePass, like the one-movie-per-day or one-visit-per movie rule, it’s got one of the most competitive prices. Cinemark might look more appealing at $8.99/mo, but you can only see one film per month and you’re limited to Cinemark theaters. By comparison, MoviePass’ lowest price plan charges $7.95 for three movies per month at a wide variety of theaters.

AMC’s fee may seem steep, but it offers more flexibility, such as advance ticket-booking, repeated visits to the same movie and seeing more than one movie on any given day.

If you are not a frequent moviegoer, Sinemia’s classic plan — one 2D movie per month — is by far the least expensive plan, starting at $4.99/mo. But read the fine print. The service charges its fees upfront, meaning you could be on the hook for anywhere from to $59.88 to $179.88 right off the bat, depending on which plan you choose. And if you cancel your subscription before the year is up, they won’t refund you the upfront fee.

Hidden costs

MoviePass recently introduced peaktime pricing, meaning users will have to pay a surcharge fee — on top of their monthly subscription — for high-demand movies, depending on the specific title, date, or time of day. In order to avoid the additional cost, price-sensitive users will need to pick showtimes and locations accordingly.

Variety of plans

AMC and Cinemark are simple with just single plan options. MoviePass has two plan options. Sinemia has the most complex offerings, with four different plans to choose from:

Classic (2D movies only)

  • $4.99 (1 movie per month)
  • $6.99 (2 movies per month)

Elite (all movie formats)

  • $9.99 (2 movies per month)
  • $14.99 (3 movies per month)

Available formats

AMC Stubs A-List


MoviePass


Sinemia


Cinemark Movie Club


All formats, including 2D, Dolby Cinema at AMC, IMAX and RealD 3D


2-D movies only


Varies by plan.


2-D movies only


If you want premium movie formats, go for AMC Stubs A-List or Sinemia’s Elite packages. MoviePass and Cinemark Movie Club members can only see 2-D movies. However, with Cinemark Movie Club, you have a choice to see premium movies, such as IMAX, with some additional fees.

Book tickets in advance?

AMC Stubs A-List



MoviePass



Sinemia



Cinemark Movie Club



Yes. You can make a reservation through the AMC website or mobile app.


No. You can only reserve a same-day ticket if the app indicates e-ticketing is available in a particular theater. Otherwise, you have to book in person. A physical card is needed for ticket purchasing in most cases unless the theater supports e-ticketing.


Yes. You can book your tickets online up to 30 days in advance through the app.

You can also order a physical card separately, which allows you to purchase tickets on the spot at the theater in a MoviePass fashion.


Yes. Tickets can be purchased via the Cinemark app, online, or at the box office.


MoviePass might require the most hassle to reserve a ticket. First, you need to sign up for a MoviePass account online or through its mobile app. Then you have to wait for a physical MoviePass card to arrive in the mail to activate your account. MoviePass users must physically show up at theaters to buy same-day tickets with the card (unless the theater supports e-ticketing, in which case you don’t need the card) and, they have to verify the purchase each time they use MoviePass by taking a photo of the ticket stub and submitting it through the app. You can follow our step-by-step guide to use MoviePass correctly and effectively to avoid unwanted frustration.

With other services, a membership card isn’t necessarily needed for purchase tickets. Members can make a reservation in advance through the services’ websites or mobile apps or at the theater box office.

Can multiple users share a subscription?

AMC Stubs A-List



MoviePass



Sinemia



Cinemark Movie Club



No


No


Yes


Yes*


Most of these services don’t let friends or family share subscriptions — the exception is Sinemia. It features a wide selection of family plans for two to six people, charging from $8.99/month (one movie day for two people) to $89.99/month (three movie days for six people).

*Cinemark allows Movie Club members to pay $8.99 for an additional ticket at checkout. Theoretically, it could be a $17.98 monthly subscription for two.

Other perks

AMC Stubs A-List




MoviePass



Sinemia



Cinemark Movie Club



-Members receive the AMC Stubs Premiere benefits for free (worth $15/year+tax).
-Members can earn AMC Stubs points on the monthly membership charge:100 points on per $1 spent.


You can refer up to three friends who, upon sign-up, will get their first month of MoviePass for free.


You can get $5 for referring each friend to Sinemia. Your friend also gets the same credit reward.


-Members can receive 20% off on concession purchases.
-New subscribers can get a free Android smartphone (as of July 10) if they pay $100 for 2 months of wireless services.
-Members can earn Cinemark Concessions points.


While it’s unclear which Android phone comes with a Cinemark Movie Club membership and an additional $100 for two months of wireless services, for those who need a smartphone, the deal just comes in time.

Which subscription service is best for me?

Who MoviePass is best for

If you are a flexible, frequent moviegoer who does not mind avoiding peak time to see movies and feel comfortable going through the multiple steps to purchasing tickets, MoviePass is a more cost-effective deal for you. In many parts of the country, such as New York, where a movie ticket easily costs more than $15, you could get your subscription value back by seeing just one movie each month. If you have a taste for indie, low-budget movies, or you simply don’t frequent AMC or Cinemark theaters, you should also stick with MoviePass.

Steer clear of MoviePass if you live in a densely populated area where movies may sell out quickly. You may find it difficult to get to the theater and reserve a seat the same day.

And keep in mind MoviePass will block you from reactivating your plan or signing up for a new subscription after cancellation.

Check participating MoviePass theaters here.

Who AMC Stubs A-List is best for

Mainstream movie viewers who prefer to lock in tickets in advance — especially tickets to premieres of big releases — or have a particular liking for premium movie formats, such as 3D, may want to pay extra for the better service terms with AMC. You could also get discounts on beverages or popcorn at the concession stand. Just make sure you live in reasonable distance of an AMC theater.

Check participating AMC theaters here.

Keep in mind AMC Stubs A-List requires a minimum three-month subscription from its members, during which they cannot cancel their membership.

Who Sinemia is best for

If you only go to the movie theater once or twice a month and are willing to commit to paying an entire year’s subscription up front, consider Sinemia, whose multi-layer pricing structure could satisfy people with different entertainment needs. For families, couples and friends who would like to see movies together, a Sinemia’s family package could also be a worthwhile investment.

See participating Sinemia theaters here.

Keep in mind Sinemia, which charges members a lump sum subscription fee once a year, won’t refund you if you cancel your membership.

Who Cinemark Movie Club is best for

If you are someone who lives in a place where a movie ticket costs more than $9 and you do not like to commit to seeing a certain number of movies each month. Cinemark Movie Club allows unused credits to be rolled over. If monthly credits are used up, subscribers can also buy two additional tickets per transaction for $8.99 each. Basically, it’s an indirect way to sell a movie ticket for $8.99 that comes with some conditions. And if you happen to need a smartphone, its current sign-up deal is a steal.

Is MoviePass here to stay?

The finances of MoviePass have recently been called into question. Industry experts have suspected that the company can’t stay afloat with its unprofitable business model. MoviePass buys full-price tickets from theaters and offers them to subscribers.

In May, the company’s majority owner, Helios and Matheson Analytics, reported more than $26 million in net profit losses during the first quarter of 2018.

Helios and Matheson Analytics’ stock traded at $0.12 per share on July, 17, a nearly 52-week low, down almost 100% from last October’s peak of $38.86.

While MoviePass projects its subscribers to surpass 5 million by August, some analysts have predicted in media interviews that the company has a high likelihood of bankruptcy.

If MoviePass eventually proves to be too good to be true, current users should enjoy the deal while it lasts. At least alternatives are now available.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Shen Lu
Shen Lu |

Shen Lu is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Shen Lu at shenlu@magnifymoney.com

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Pay Down My Debt

Good Debt vs. Bad Debt — What’s the Difference?

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

When you think of debt, you might picture someone faced with thousands of dollars in credit card or student loan bills. Or perhaps you’ll think about a substantial loan someone secured to launch their small business.

Although these are all forms of debt, they are not all created equally in the eyes of lenders or credit bureaus. No form of debt is inherently “good,” but there are forms of debt that are not necessarily as bad and can contribute to someone’s financial future in meaningful ways.

Learning to spot the difference between good debt and bad debt, knowing which type of debt to pay off first, and determining what forms of debt you should never take on can allow you to have financial stability and peace of mind.

What is good debt?

Good debt is debt that in some way contributes to your financial future in a significant way.

“When people are financing either assets or other things that have some sort of true and intrinsic value — and maybe even an ascending value — then you can make a pretty good argument that it’s good debt,” said John Ulzheimer, founder of The Ulzheimer Group and a credit-reporting expert formerly of FICO and Equifax.

Gerri Detweiler, a consumer credit expert and author of Debt Collection Answers: How to Use Debt Collection Laws to Protect Your Rights, said good debt boils down to whether someone comes out of debt with something to show for it.

“I think overall, generally good debt is debt where you come out ahead,” Detweiler said. “Whether that’s investing in a home that’s later paid for and provides you with a place to live, or an education that results in higher earning power over your career, or even small business debt that allows you to start or grow a small business that brings an income — those are all examples of debt that can be good debt.”

But Detweiler adds that all forms of good debt must be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

“[They’re not] automatically ‘good’ debt, because it’s possible, of course, to get into a house that ends up being a money waster,” she said. “You could end up spending a lot of money for an education and not be able to translate that into a career or a steady income. Or you could invest in a small business that fails. There’s no guarantee that those types of debt that are often good will be good for you. You have to be sure you’re making a smart decision.”

Experts agree that generally speaking, the following are all forms of good debt.

Mortgages

A mortgage taken out to finance a home is considered a good debt because as a buyer, you are investing in a piece of property that will hopefully provide you a return on investment one day. And depending on your income level, a mortgage could provide a deduction on your taxes.

“You can make a pretty strong argument that debt incurred to buy a home is good debt, presuming that you’re buying a home that is going to appreciate over time, and when you sell it someday, you’re going actually make money out of it,” Ulzheimer said.

Mortgages also tend to have lower interest rates than other types of loans. The average interest rate in the U.S. for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is currently 4.55 percent, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. On the other hand, the average interest rate for new credit cards in the U.S. is nearly 14 percent, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Student loans

Perhaps the most valuable debt someone will incur in their lifetime, according to Ulzheimer, is student loan debt to pursue a college education.

“I think studies are pretty clear that people who have a college degree over their lifetime are going to earn more than people who do not,” Ulzheimer said. “In my mind, that may be the best of all debts in terms of return on investment.”

Interest rates on federal student loans vary, but currently sit between 4.45 and 7 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The earning potential for college graduates is starkly higher than that of non-graduates. Men with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $900,000 more in their lifetime than men with only a high school education, while women with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $630,000 more in their lifetime than their high-school educated counterparts, according to data from the Social Security Administration. The numbers only increase with graduate degrees: Men earn an average of $1.5 million more and women $1.1 million more in their lifetimes than those with only a high school education.

Small business loans

Taking out a small business loan can be beneficial — investing in a small business, assuming it succeeds, means investing in something that could provide you significant future earnings.

Loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), for example, typically have lower down payments, lower interest rates and flexible overhead requirements, according to the organization.

“You’re making an investment in yourself, in your future, in your business,” said Kathryn Bossler, a credit counselor with GreenPath, a nationwide consumer credit counseling agency.

That being said, there are some very high-cost short-term business loans available that could cause a strain on your bottom line; approach these with caution.

Home equity loans

Home equity loans fall into the “good” category because they allow someone to borrow against him or herself (instead of from an outside lender) to make a large purchase or investment, or to pay off debt with a higher interest rate.

In addition, home equity loans typically come with lower interest rates — they range from about 4.25 to 6 percent, according to LendingTree — and can help someone consolidate and pay back other higher interest rate debts.

However, home equity loans used for the wrong purpose, such as financing a vacation or an unnecessary large purchase, could become a form of “bad” debt — ultimately, it all depends on what the home equity loan proceeds are used for.

What is bad debt?

When Detweiler was in her 20s, she went to Sears and got approved for a credit card. She purchased a couch, an answering machine and a lamp. “Before that debt was paid off, the couch had a rip in it, the answering machine had been zapped by lightning and the lamp was broken,” she said. “I still had a bill, and nothing to show for it. That’s definitely bad debt.”

Detweiler said “bad” debt is debt in which the borrower has nothing to show for it, save for the fact that they’ve spent a significant amount of money.

Forms of bad debt typically come with very high interest rates, making it difficult for borrowers with significant debt to pay it back in a timely manner.

Experts agree that generally speaking, the following are all forms of bad debt.

Credit card debt

Credit card debt is perhaps the most pervasive form of “bad” debt in the U.S., with 121 million Americans currently carrying credit card debt. The average credit card debt per person is $4,453, while the average credit card debt per household is $8,683.

Credit card debt falls into the “bad” category mainly because of the high interest rate that often accompanies credit cards. In fact, the average interest rate for a new credit card in the U.S. is around 14 percent, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

“Typically, it’s a red flag if you need to carry a balance on your credit card,” Bossler said. “Credit cards are really designed for convenience. There are lots of consumer perks in terms of points and rewards … But carrying a balance is probably going to come with a high interest rate, and is promising money that you don’t have right now.”

Luckily, consolidating credit card debt can help borrowers pay it back more quickly than they might be able to pay back other forms of “bad” debt.

Payday loans

Payday loans should be avoided at all costs.

“I think the worst of the worst, most people would agree, would be payday loan type debt, because the interest rates are so high and the repayment requirements are so immediate,” Bossler said. “And usually someone who is taking out that type of loan is in serious financial distress.”

Because payday loans are typically smaller and paid back in a couple of weeks, borrowers might not feel their impact. But that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

“They’re called ‘lenders of last resort’ for a reason,” Ulzheimer said. “Their interest rates are, when you annualize them, in some cases several hundred percent APR. You don’t feel that because they have short-term amortization schedules.”

“Gray area” debt

Some debts may not be inherently good or bad. It all depends on how you use them.

401(k) loans

Borrowing against your 401(k) might not seem like a terrible decision in the short-term — after all, you’re taking out a loan from yourself — but it can come with a number of consequences. Ulzheimer said he often sees people take money out of their retirement accounts to pay off debt, but then fail to pay back their 401(k) loan.

“You’re almost compounding the problem by doing something silly like that,” he said. By not paying it back, people face countless consequences, including delaying their retirement plan, potentially paying more in taxes (401(k) funds are pre-tax), and potentially paying a penalty for not paying back the loan in time.

In addition, if someone leaves a job before paying back their 401(k) loan, he or she must repay the loan over a set period of time or it could be treated like a distribution and taxed accordingly.

Auto loans

Auto loans fall into the murky territory between good and bad. A car can be a necessary purchase for many people. And someone with the right financial know-how can take on an auto loan that is neither bad nor good, but rather necessary.

However, Detweiler said people often get swept up into higher car payments than they can afford, which can lead to a situation in which someone is paying for a car that is either not running or not worth investing in anymore. “You really have to be on guard when going into debt for something like a car, because it’s very easy to get talked into or psyched into spending more than you can afford.”

Bossler said that when she first began working as a credit counselor 12 years ago, three to five-year loans were common. Now, because cars are more expensive and because consumers want the lowest interest rate possible, she’s seeing terms as long as 72 and 84 months.

“That’s when I would say we’re getting into dangerous territory,” she said. “The car is probably not going to be worth what you owe a couple years down.”

Learn more: Revolving debt vs installment debt

Installment debt is a standardized loan that is paid back in installments that are typically monthly. Mortgages and auto loans are common forms of installment debt. The amount the borrower pays typically remains the same month-to-month.

Revolving debt, on the other hand, doesn’t have a set amount to be paid by the borrower each month, though there is a limit to how much a borrower can use. Credit cards and home equity lines of credit are common forms of revolving debt, because credit is borrowed, then paid back, then borrowed again in a revolving manner, with the amount changing each month.

Both forms of debt affect your credit report and credit score, though revolving debt is typically seen as riskier by the credit bureaus, as credit scores often hinge on the amount of available credit a consumer uses. Installment debt is often associated with an asset (i.e. a home or car), making it a safer form of debt in the eyes of credit bureaus.

It’s generally viewed as positive to carry a mix of both installment and revolving debt, with fewer of the latter in your credit mix. Credit mix makes up 10% of your credit score.

How to eliminate debt

Regardless of what type of debt you have, paying it off in a timely manner is crucial for achieving financial freedom. Keep these best practices in mind when you begin paying off your debt.

1. Know your interest rates.

Detweiler said she has spoken to countless consumers who have no idea what their interest rates are. They will throw money at a debt trying to get out of it before actually looking at what the numbers say.

By taking a look at the interest rates for all of your loans, you can determine whether refinancing or consolidating is a good option. Or, you can identify which loan has the highest interest rate, and then prioritize paying back that loan first.

2. Consider refinancing your debt.

Getting a lower interest rate on your debt can be integral for paying it off. “While you’re paying off debt,” said Detweiler, “look at whether you can refinance some of that debt to make the interest rate less expensive.”

For personal loans, such as mortgages and student loans, this could mean refinancing to get a lower rate. For credit card debt, it could mean taking on a lower-interest consolidation loan or transferring a balance to a card with a better interest rate.

3. Establish your priorities.

Ulzheimer said you should first ask yourself what your priority is. Is your priority to get out of debt as quickly as possible? Is it to pay down your most expensive debt first? Is it to eliminate nuisance balances on retail store credit cards? Is it to improve your credit score?

Once you identify your priorities, you can begin effectively paying off your debt.

One strategy Ulzheimer recommends for paying off credit card debt is paying down the cards you use the most while also paying off your nuisance balances.

“Credit scores hate balances on credit cards, and credit scores hate to see highly leveraged cards, to the extent you can take care of those first,” Ulzheimer said. “A. You’re getting out of debt which is good, and B. Your credit scores are going to start to improve because your utilization ratios are going to go down, and the number of accounts you have balances with is also going to go down.”

4. Be conscious of the credit you use while paying off debt.

Bossler said she would advise someone looking to get out of debt pursue the strategy that is not only going to give them the best interest rate, but is also going to stop them from using the credit again and digging themselves into the same hole.

“What we see sometimes is that people will refinance their home or take out equity to pay off credit cards or get into those 0 percent interest credit cards, and then go back around and use the old cards again,” she said. “Something we talk a lot about with consumers is yes, we have this strategy to address your debt, but what are the other steps you’re going to take to avoid it again?”

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Jamie Friedlander
Jamie Friedlander |

Jamie Friedlander is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Jamie here

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Get A Pre-Approved Personal Loan

$

Won’t impact your credit score

Advertiser Disclosure

Personal Loans

loanDepot Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

loanDepot
APR

6.17%
To
29.00%

Credit Req.

640

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Fees

1.00% - 5.00%

APPLY NOW Secured

on loanDepot’s secure website

loanDepot offers personal loans that carry no prepayment penalty and a 15-day grace period. They offer some of the lowest APRs available on personal loans that can go up to $35,000. While these loans and rates are available for most areas, there is a lot of fine print and you may find that loans are not available in your location based on the rate that you receive.

loanDepot personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 36 or 60 months
  • APR Range: 6.17% to 29.00%
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Time to Funding: Once approved it can take 2 to 3 business days to get money.
  • Hard pull/soft pull: A soft pull is required to do a preapproval.
  • Origination fee: There’s an origination fee of 1.00% - 5.00%, and it’s deducted from the loan funds before you get the money.
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: There’s a $15 fee for late or failed payments. However, loanDepot does give you a 15-day grace period. You get charged the late fee on the 16th day of your payment being late.

loanDepot benefits

loanDepot has a Knowledge Cafe with several educational articles and videos on loan products and personal finance topics to help consumers make informed financial decisions.

In addition to personal loans, loanDepot has such a large mortgage lending division that it’s worth quickly highlighting. loanDepot offers mortgages for new purchases, refinances and home equity loans. Loyal loanDepot mortgage customers also get a special perk called the Lifetime Guarantee. After financing a home with loanDepot, lender fees on subsequent mortgages are waived plus appraisal fees are reimbursed when you refinance.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: 640
  • Minimum credit history: loanDepot will accept borrowers with fair credit or better. The lowest interest rates are given to borrowers with the best credit. loanDepot will look at items including your credit reports, payment history, outstanding debt and scores to make a decision.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: TBD

You need to be at least 18 years old (or 19 years old in Alabama and Nebraska). Applicants need to be U.S. citizens or documented U.S. permanent residents. You must also have verifiable income, a verifiable bank account and a valid email address to apply.

Loan restrictions

There are some state-related restrictions. loanDepot loans are not currently available in West Virginia. All loans in Massachusetts have to be greater than $6,001, and loans in Ohio have to be greater than $5,001.

Here are a few APR restrictions:

  • Residents of Connecticut need to qualify for a rate of less than 12% APR to be considered
  • Residents of New Hampshire who need a loan less than $10,000 have to qualify for an APR of 10% or less to be considered
  • Residents of New York have to qualify for an APR of less than 16% to be considered
  • Residents of Vermont have to qualify for an APR of 12% or less to be considered

Applying for a personal loan from loanDepot

The application process for loanDepot happens in three stages:

Pre-qualify online. Go to the loanDepot website to start the pre-qualification process. This pre-qualification doesn’t affect your credit score. There’s also the option to call a consumer lending specialist to pre-qualify over the phone if you prefer.

Application verification. If you decide to accept a loan offer, you will need to provide more information like your Social Security number, employment information and bank account to go through the verification stage. Verification can take two to three days. This stage is to confirm the information you put in your application. Additional documents may be required like bank statements, W-2s and pay stubs.

Loan funding. The loan will be deposited into your bank account once the application is approved. Loan funding can take two to three business days after verification.

Pros and cons of a loanDepot personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Interest rates are comparable to competitors. Interest rates from loanDepot (6.17% to 29.00% APR) are in line with interest rates from other online lenders. Typically, the very lowest starting rates available are around the 3% to 6% APR range.
  • Fair credit may be accepted. loanDepot does mention that the very best rates are for people with excellent credit. However, there is a chance you could qualify for a loan, albeit with a higher interest rate, if you have fair bordering on good credit.
  • Only a soft pull is required for a rate quote. Lenders who offer a soft pull for a rate check help you shop for the best loan without multiple hard inquiries. You can compare personal loans here; this list notes other lenders who also offer a soft pull.
  • The origination fee. Be mindful of the origination fee here. The 1.00% - 5.00% that loanDepot has is comparable to that of other lenders who charge a fee. With that said, it’s possible to qualify for a personal loan that doesn’t have an origination fee depending on your credit. We’ll cover a no-fee lender below for a comparison.
  • Some state restrictions. loanDepot has limitations for various states. Residents of West Virginia can’t apply for the loanDepot loan at all. Massachusetts and Ohio have limits on loan amounts, and Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont have APR restrictions.
  • Limited loan amounts available. You can borrow between $5,000 and $35,000. This may not be the right loan if you need a smaller or larger amount.

Who’s the best fit for a loanDepot personal loan?

A loanDepot personal loan is a decent option for those with fair credit or better who need to borrow between $5,000 and $35,000. loanDepot offers terms of 36 or 60 months, giving you a decent amount of time to repay your loan. Interest rates are low and fixed, making this loan one to put at the top of your loan shopping list.

The main drawback is the origination fee especially for people who have above average or excellent credit (740+). People in this range may be able to qualify for a loan that doesn’t have any origination fee at all. A no-fee loan could save you a nice chunk of money. For example, if you borrow $10,000 from loanDepot to consolidate debt, you’ll pay $100 to $500 in fees. Go with a no-fee lender instead and you keep that savings in your pocket.

Fees aside, the funding time for loanDepot could be a week or more. If you need money quickly, you need to turn in all supporting documents for your application promptly because your diligence could speed up the funding process.

Whenever you’re ready to borrow, shop around with multiple lenders. We share some of the top personal loans, including several that have no fees, in our personal loan roundup here.

Alternative personal loan options

LendingClub

Lending Club
APR

6.16%
To
35.89%

Credit Req.

600

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Fees

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingClub is a great tool for borrowers that can offer competitive interest rates and approvals for people with credit scores as low as 600.... Read More

Lending Club is a peer-to-peer lender that offers loans of Lending Club to $40,000. Peer-to-peer lending is when you borrow from investors instead of traditional funding sources. Despite the P2P lending aspect, there are many similarities between LendingClub and loanDepot. LendingClub, like loanDepot, is an option for borrowers who have less than perfect credit. You may even be able to qualify for a LendingClub loan with a lower credit score. LendingClub also has an origination fee, and funding can take as much as seven days.

SoFi

SoFi
APR

6.58%
To
14.87%

Credit Req.

680

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 to 84

months

Fees

No origination fee

APPLY NOW Secured

on SoFi’s secure website

Advertiser Disclosure

SoFi offers some of the best rates and terms on the market. ... Read More


Fixed rates from 6.58% APR to 14.87% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.275% APR to 12.575% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of July 16, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.275% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.10% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Terms and Conditions Apply.

Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.

SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK, OK, and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, KS, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, OK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.

Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi's underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

SoFi is one lender that has no origination fee. There’s no specified minimum credit score. However, SoFi generally lends to borrowers who have at least good credit. You can borrow large amounts from SoFi ($5,000 to $100,000). There are also multiple loan terms to choose from — 36 to 84 months. As an added benefit, SoFi offers loan perks like employment protection if you lose your job.

Upgrade

Upgrade
APR

6.87%
To
35.97%

Credit Req.

620

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

36 or 60

months

Fees

1.00% - 6.00%

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 6.87%-35.97%. All loans have a 1% to 6% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay. For example, a $10,000 loan with a 36 month term and a 17.97% APR (which includes a 5% origination fee) has a required monthly payment of $343.28. Upgrade is available in all states except: Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, West Virginia.

Upgrade is a lender that offers personal loans with a minimum credit score that’s also welcoming to people who have less than perfect credit. Interest rates are competitive like loanDepot. There’s also an origination fee that’s comparable to what loanDepot charges. You can borrow from $1,000 to $50,000 so this could be a better option if you need access to more money.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Taylor Gordon
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Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here

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Balance Transfer

How to Do a Balance Transfer With Citi

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Citi has a handful of great 0% intro APR balance transfer offers available at the moment, which could make it tempting for anyone carrying credit card debt to consider completing a balance transfer with Citi. Balance transfers can be a nice way to get out of debt if you have a balance sitting on one or more high interest credit cards. By transferring a balance to a card with 0% intro rate, you give yourself more time to pay off debt without incurring interest charges that can delay your progress — so long as your balance is paid in full prior to the end of the intro period. Completing a balance transfer with Citi is easy. You can do it on the phone or online, and it should only take a few minutes. We provide a step-by-step guide on how to complete a balance transfer with Citi, and at the end, we include best practices for completing a balance transfer and our top picks for Citi balance transfer cards.

Complete your transfer online

Citi allows you to complete balance transfers quickly and easily online in a matter of minutes. You can request a transfer online after you’ve received your card in the mail and have signed up for online banking. See below for the steps you need to take.

1. Log in to your account. You should see that you’re eligible for a balance transfer. Select “View Offer.”

2. Choose an offer 

You should see your available balance transfer offers. In the example above, this person has had this card for a while, and they are no longer eligible for the 0% intro rate, hence the 1.99% promo APR offer.

Select “I want this offer.”

3. Start your transfer

That will drop down more details regarding your offer. After reviewing the details, select “Start your Transfer.”

4. Choose the type of transfer you want to complete.

Keep in mind, you can’t transfer balances from other accounts issued by Citibank or its affiliates. You have four transfer options: credit card, direct deposit, check by mail, and loan or other creditor. Credit card was selected for the sake of this example since that will most likely be the common choice.

Then, select “Continue.”

5. Fill out the form

Fill in the amount you are transferring and your account number of the credit card with the debt. Then, select “Find my creditor.”

6. Verify your info

Now, your creditor information should appear. Verify this and select “Continue.”

7. Add more balances

You can add additional transfer requests (four total) if needed. Select “Continue” when you’re finished adding creditors.

8. Review and submit

Last, review your transfer request and the terms and conditions. After that’s done, check the box agreeing to the terms and conditions, and submit the transfer.

Complete your transfer by phone

If you prefer to complete a transfer over the phone, simply call the number on the back of your card to speak to a representative.

You’ll need the following information to complete your transfer over the phone:

  • Name on the account with the debt
  • Amount to be transferred

Citi balance transfer rules

  • Request your balance transfer as soon as possible since Citi requires balance transfers to be submitted within the first four months from account opening.
  • Review the terms of your balance transfer offer to verify they’re correct. Make sure you receive the offer you expected and note when the intro period ends.
  • Continue to make payments toward your balance until the balance transfer posts to your account. This may take up to 14 days.
  • Pay each bill on time since late payments may cause Citi to cancel the offer.
  • Keep spending to a minimum so you don’t rack up more debt. Your goal should be to pay off your balance, and excessive spending can lead you to fall into more debt.

Citi balance transfer cards

If you haven’t applied for a Citi balance transfer card yet, here are our top picks:

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card– 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer

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on Citibank’s secure website

Read Full Review

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card– 21 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 24.74%* (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
0%* for 12 months on Purchases*
Intro BT APR
0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers*
Annual fee
$0*
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

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on Citibank’s secure website

Read Full Review

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Regular Purchase APR
15.74% - 25.74%* (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
0%* for 18 months on Purchases*
Intro BT APR
0%* for 18 months on Balance Transfers*
Annual fee
$0*
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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on Citibank’s secure website

Read Full Review

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Regular Purchase APR
15.24% - 25.24%* (Variable)
Intro BT APR
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers*
Annual fee
$0*
Rewards Rate
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent, Good

Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card

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on Citibank’s secure website

Read Full Review

Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card

Regular Purchase APR
15.24% - 25.24%* (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 15 Months on purchases*
Intro BT APR
0% for 15 Months on balance transfers*
Annual fee
$0*
Rewards Rate
Earn 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment and Earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3%, whichever is greater
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at alexandria@magnifymoney.com

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Personal Loans

NetCredit Personal Loan Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

NetCredit
APR

34.00%
To
179.00%

Credit Req.

500

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

6 to 60

months

Fees

0.00% - 5.00%

LEARN MORE Secured

on NetCredit’s secure website

NetCredit personal loan details
 

Fees and penalties

  • Terms: 6 to 60 months
  • APR range: 34.00%-179.00%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000-$10,000
  • Time to funding: 1-4 business days
  • Hard pull/soft pull: Soft Pull
  • Origination fee: 0.00% - 5.00%
  • Prepayment fee: None
  • Late payment fee: $10-$15. In some states, you will be charged 5% of your late payment if that would be less than the $10-$15 fee. This fee will be charged if you’re 10 or more days late in most states, though in some states you’ll get a grace period of up to 15 days.
  • Other fees: None

If you joined active-duty military after taking out a NetCredit personal loan, you may be eligible to have your interest rate reduced under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). This law requires lenders to reduce the rate of interest on installment agreements to 6% if the loan was taken out prior to entering active duty. You may also qualify for SCRA protection if you are the dependent of an active-duty servicemember.

Because of the Military Lending Act that governs consumer loans obtained by active-duty servicemembers, Enova says certain loans may be unavailable to military families.

Eligibility requirements

  • Minimum credit score: The average Enova customer has a credit score between 500 and 680.
  • Minimum credit history: Enova looks at credit score when evaluating potential borrowers but says key factors it considers are income, length of employment and how long you have lived at your current address.
  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: Enova will consider outstanding debts when considering loan applications.

NetCredit only issues loans to residents of the following 14 states:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • North Dakota
  • New Mexico
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Applying for a personal loan from NetCredit

To get started on your NetCredit personal loan, you will first have to check your eligibility. During this stage of the process, you will be asked for basic identification information like your name, address and Social Security number. You’ll also have to provide information about how much you’d like to borrow, and the income with which you plan to repay the loan. NetCredit will do a soft pull on your credit to check eligibility; a soft pull does not affect your credit score.

You’ll immediately find out if you were deemed eligible. You’ll then be able to select the loan term and sign a loan agreement. Many borrowers have their final agreement approved the same day, but if NetCredit needs you to provide supporting documentation or additional information, the process could take up to three days. At this point, NetCredit will do a hard pull on your credit, which may lower your score. Once your final agreement is approved, your funding should be available the next business day.

Pros and cons of a NetCredit personal loan

Pros:

Cons:

  • Quick financing. As long as you submit any requested documentation or information in a timely manner, your loan may be funded as soon as the business day following final loan approval.
  • Low minimum credit score requirement. While meeting the minimum credit score requirement is just one factor in the approval process, the fact that Enova will dip as low as 500 in certain cases ups your odds of approval.
  • Standard fees. Though NetCredit does charge an origination fee for residents of some states, this practice is fairly standard. It is notable that they do not charge a prepayment penalty, or any other punitive fees outside of late fees.
  • High rates. NetCredit charges extremely high rates given their credit requirements. If you’re at the higher end of Enova’s average customer credit score, it’s highly recommended that you do some comparison shopping as you are likely to find a better offer somewhere else.
  • Limited availability. Currently, NetCredit only operates in 14 states.
  • Origination fee. Depending on the state you live in, you may be charged an origination fee, which will reduce the amount you can borrow.

Who’s the best fit for a NetCredit personal loan?

If you have a credit score hovering around 580 or lower and cannot get approved anywhere else, NetCredit may be a match for you. Be sure to carefully consider if taking out the loan is worth it, though. With such high interest rates, you may be better off delaying whatever purchase you’re making and saving the money up yourself.

Alternative personal loan options

At the very least, comparison shop. There are lenders out there who work with scores below even the 580 mark, and they do so with lower interest rates.

Apple Federal Credit Union

Apple Federal Credit Union
APR

9.24%
To
16.99%

Credit Req.

560

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

60

months

Fees

No origination fee

APPLY NOW Secured

on Apple Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Apple Federal Credit Union offers a variety of benefits that are included with their personal loans, including no early payoff penalties, lump-sum funding, fixed rate payments and maximum loans amounts of $50,000.... Read More


A good place to look for lower rates is at credit unions. Apple Federal Credit Union offers personal loans to those with credit scores of 560 or above. While there is no origination fee, the term can potentially be longer, up to 60 months. Membership is restricted to those who live in certain parts of Virginia, attend certain schools or colleges there or are employees of “select employer groups.”

OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial
APR

16.05%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

Varies

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 60

months

Fees

Varies

APPLY NOW Secured

on OneMain Financial’s secure website

If you have a credit score below 600, OneMain Financial is one of the few lenders that you can use to get a personal loan.... Read More


OneMain Financial is another lender that works with those on the lower end of the credit scale with rates far lower than NetCredit. Like NetCredit, OneMain takes more than credit score into account when evaluating potential borrowers.

LendingPoint

LendingPoint
APR

15.49%
To
35.99%

Credit Req.

585

Minimum Credit Score

Terms

24 to 48

months

Fees

Fee Varies

LEARN MORE Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingPoint offers personal loans for a wide variety of reasons, including paying for home repairs, consolidating credit card debt, or to make a large purchase. Their online process can help you to quickly apply for a personal loan, get qualified, and receive funding. While their interest rates can be higher than others, they do offer fast approval and can transfer funds to your bank account in 24 hours.


LendingPoint prides itself on serving those with lower credit scores. Though its website says customers have credit scores in the 600s, Chief Marketing Officer Mark Lorimer says customers may qualify with scores as low as 585. To top it off, terms are 24 to 48 months, potentially making the term as long as NetCredit’s with a dramatically lower interest rate.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Earning Interest

The Best CD Rates – July 2018

Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this articles are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any lender or provider of the products listed.

The Best CD Rates
iStock

Updated July 16, 2018

If you are looking for a better yield on your savings, a high rate CD (certificate of deposit) offered by an online bank could be a good option. Internet-only banks offer much better interest rates than traditional banks. For example, a 12-month CD at Bank of America would require a $10,000 minimum deposit and would pay only 0.07%. At an online bank, you could earn 2.25% with no minimum deposit. (If you would rather get a savings account or money market with no time restriction, look at the best savings accounts or best money market accounts).

The Best CD Rates in July 2018

This list is updated monthly, and competition continues to intensify. Here are the accounts with some of the best CD rates:

Term

Institution

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

1 year

Goldman Sachs Bank USA

2.30%

$500

2 years

Sallie Mae

2.80%

$2,500

3 years

PurePoint Financial

3.00%

$10,000

5 years

Connexus Credit Union

3.25%

$5,000

See a full list of the best CD rates below.

  • 6 months – 6 years: Goldman Sachs Bank USA – 0.60% APY – 3.10% APY; $500 minimum deposit

Goldman Sachs Bank USA
Our advertiser Marcus by Goldman Sachs is the online consumer bank of Goldman Sachs Bank USA (the large investment bank). Your funds are FDIC insured, and Goldman offers very competitive rates. Even better: there is only a $500 minimum deposit. So, if you don’t have enough money to meet the minimum deposit of the other banks on this list, or you are looking for another bank for your savings, GS is a good option. It also doesn’t hurt that they also offer some of the best CD rates in the market today. Here are their rates:

  • 6-month: 0.60% APY
  • 9-month: 0.70% APY
  • 12-month: 2.30% APY
  • 18-month: 2.35% APY
  • 2-year: 2.45% APY
  • 3-year: 2.55% APY
  • 5-year: 3.00% APY
  • 6-year: 3.10% APY

LEARN MORE Secured

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 3 months – 5 years: Ally Bank – 0.75% APY – 2.75% APY; $0 minimum deposit (higher APY with higher deposit)

Ally Bank
Ally is one of the largest internet-only banks in the country. Ally’s former advertising campaign made it very clear: no branches = higher rates. And Ally has consistently paid some of the highest rates in the country across savings accounts, money market accounts and CDs. For savers with fewer funds, Ally is unique. There is no minimum deposit to open a CD. However, if you have more money, you can earn a higher APY. If you have more than $25,000 to deposit, you can earn between 0.75% APY and 2.75% APY. And one of our favorite features of Ally: they often (although not always) offer preferential rates on renewal. Far too often banks give the biggest bonuses to new customers, but Ally has done a good job of rewarding its existing customers. All deposits at Ally are FDIC insured up to the legal limit.

  • 3-months: 0.75% APY (less than $5k); 0.75% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 0.75% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
  • 6-months: 1.00% APY (less than $5k); 1.00% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 1.00% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
  • 9-months: 1.25% APY (less than $5k); 1.25% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 1.25% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
  • 12-months: 2.10% APY (less than $5k); 2.20% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 2.30% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
  • 18-months: 2.15% APY (less than $5k); 2.25% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 2.35% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
  • 3-year: 2.50% APY (less than $5k); 2.55% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 2.55% APY ($25k minimum deposit)
  • 5-year: 2.50% APY (less than $5k); 2.65% APY ($5k minimum deposit) and 2.75% APY ($25k minimum deposit)

LEARN MORE Secured

on Ally Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 3 months – 5 years: Synchrony Bank – 0.75% APY – 2.85% APY; $2,000 minimum deposit

Synchrony Bank
Synchrony used to be a part of GE, and now has an online bank that pays competitive rates. The online deposits are used to fund their store credit card portfolio – and the company is publicly traded. Your deposit will be insured up to the FDIC limit. In a rising rate environment, this is a great way to get a high interest rate without locking yourself into a long term.

  • 3-months: 0.75% APY
  • 6-months: 1.00% APY
  • 9-months: 1.25% APY
  • 12-months: 2.40% APY
  • 18-months: 2.40% APY
  • 24-months: 2.50% APY
  • 36-months: 2.55% APY
  • 48-months: 2.65% APY
  • 60-months: 2.85% APY

LEARN MORE Secured

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 1 year – 5 years: Barclays Bank – 2.40% – 3.00% APY, no minimum deposit

12 Month Online CD from Barclays Barclays is one of the oldest banks in the world. Although they’re based in London, they do have a U.S. presence and offer competitive rates on their CDs and savings account. Currently, they’re offering some of the highest CD rates in the market, and they have an edge over the rest of the institutions on this list: they don’t require a minimum balance to earn the APY or open an account. Deposit as little or as much as you’d like into a term of your choice and you can start earning interest as long as the account is funded within 14 days of opening the CD. Additionally, your funds are insured through the FDIC.

  • 1-year: 2.40% APY
  • 2-year: 2.50% APY
  • 3-year: 2.55% APY
  • 4-year: 2.65% APY
  • 5-year: 3.00% APY

LEARN MORE Secured

on Barclays’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 1-Year CD from a Credit Union: PenFed Credit Union – 2.35% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

12 Month Money Market Certificate from PenFed Credit UnionPenFed is a credit union that offers very competitive interest rates. You need to join the credit union in order to benefit from their products. If you have a military or government affiliation, it is free to join. Otherwise, you would need to join an organization like Voices for America’s Troops, which costs $17.00. Once you are a member, you can open PenFed products (including this certificate) online. Your deposit would be insured by the NCUA, which is the National Credit Union Administration. There is a $1,000 minimum deposit for the one-year certificate.

LEARN MORE Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

  • 12-Month CD: CIT Bank – 2.50% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

1-Year Term CD from CIT BankCIT Bank is a bank subsidiary of the publicly traded financial holding company, CIT. Established in 2009, the bank has quickly grown to procure over $42 billion in assets. They’re currently offering one of the highest CD rates available. With $1,000 minimum deposit amount, you can earn a 2.50% APY on a 12-month CD.

LEARN MORE Secured

on CIT Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 2-Year CD: Sallie Mae Bank – 2.80% APY, $2,500 minimum deposit

24 Month CD from Sallie Mae BankSallie Mae Bank is new to our list of the best CD rates, but they’re not new to our list of the best money market rates. While Sallie Mae is widely known for their student loans, the banking division – which was established in 2005 – offers pretty competitive deposit rates. The 24-month CD Sallie Mae Bank is currently offering has an APY of 2.80% with a minimum deposit amount of $2,500. Deposits made to this bank are FDIC-insured.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Sallie Mae Bank’s secure website

  • 2-Year CD from a Credit Union: Greenwood Credit Union – 2.80% APY, $1,000 minimum deposit

Greenwood Credit Union
Greenwood Credit Union is open to anyone and everyone. The only requirement to become a member with this credit union is to open their Share Savings Account with a minimum deposit amount of $5. You’ll also have to maintain that amount in the account to remain an active member. When you go to apply for membership, you can also add that you want to open their 24 month CD. You’ll need to deposit $1,000 in order to earn their outstanding 2.80% APY. This deposit will be in addition to the $5 to open the Share Savings Account. Accounts can be managed online or through their mobile app. Deposits made to Greenwood Credit Union are insured by the NCUA.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Greenwood Credit Union’s secure website

 

  • 3-Year CD: PurePoint Financial – 3.00% APY, $10,000 minimum deposit

36 Month Online CD from PurePoint Financial
Despite having a high deposit amount of $10,000, PurePoint Financial has one of the highest rates on a 36-month CD. PurePoint Financial is a division of MUFG Union Bank, N.A. Both are backed by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, which is the fifth largest financial group in the world. It is offering some of the most competitive rates, not only with their CDs, but also with their online savings account. With their CDs, they have a Best Rate Commitment, which means that if you fund the account within 10 days of submitting the application, they will make sure that you receive the best rate during that time period. In an ever-increasing rate environment, that’s a pretty good promise. While they mainly function as online-only bank, they don’t currently have a mobile app.

LEARN MORE Secured

on PurePoint Financial’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 3-Year CD from a Credit Union: CommunityWide Federal Credit Union, 3.00% APY, $2,000 minimum deposit

60 Month IRA from Communitywide Federal Credit UnionCommunityWide Federal Credit Union was established in 1967 to provide quality financial services to those residing on the west side of South Bend, IN. Today, the credit union operates similarly even though they’ve expanded their footprint in Michigan. Thanks to their online services, however, their able to service customers nationwide. Anyone can become a member of this credit union if they are a donor member of one of their partner organizations, such as the Y.M.C.A. Once you become a member, you can open a 36-month CD with a minimum of $2,000. This account earns an APY of 3.00%. CommunityWide Federal Credit Union allows you to manage your account online and is NCUA-insured.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Communitywide Federal Credit Union’s secure website

  • 5-Year CD: M.Y. Safra Bank – 3.06% APY, $5,000 minimum deposit

3 Month Online Promo (New Money) from M.Y. Safra BankM.Y. Safra Bank, located in New York, NY, was established in 2000. They currently have over $368 million in assets. Their 5-year CD has an APY of 3.06%, which is one of the highest currently available. You’ll need $5,000 to deposit to open the account and a little patience navigating their website. While they do have a mobile app, you’ll have to first apply for an account online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on M.Y. Safra Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

  • 5-Year CD from a Credit Union: Connexus Credit Union – 3.25% APY, $5,000 minimum deposit

60 Month Certificate from Connexus Credit UnionIf you’re able to deposit $5,000 into a CD, you’ll want to consider this 5-year CD with an incredible 3.25% APY. Anyone is able to join the credit union by making a donation of $5 to their organization called Connexus Association. This organization provides scholarships and assists educational institutions. They have a mobile banking app as well as an online banking platform.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Connexus Credit Union’s secure website

3 Questions To Ask Before You Open A CD

1. Should I just open an online savings account instead?

With a CD, the saver and the bank make stronger commitments. The saver promises to keep the funds in the account for a specified period of time. In exchange, the bank guarantees the interest rate during the term of the CD. The longer the term, the higher the interest rate – and the higher the penalty for closing the CD early. With a savings account, there are few promises. You can empty the account without paying a penalty and the bank can change the interest rate at any time.

If you have a high level of confidence that you do not need to touch the money for a specified period of time, a CD is a much better deal. However, if you think you might need to use the money in the next couple of months, a savings account is a much better idea.

You can earn a lot more interest with a CD. Imagine you have $10,000 and know that you do not need to touch the money for two years. In a high-yield savings account earning 1.60%, you would earn $322.56 over two years. If you put that money into a 2.51% CD, you would earn $508.30. Given the ease of switching to an online CD, the extra interest income is easy money.

2. What term should I select?

The early withdrawal penalties on CDs can be significant. On a 1-year CD, 90 days is a typical penalty. And on 2 and 3 year CDs, a 6-month penalty is common. The impact of the penalty on your return can be significant. If you opened a one-year CD with a 2.20% APY and closed it after six months, you would forfeit half of the interest and earned only 1.11%. You would have been better off with a savings account paying 1.60%.

The worst case scenario is with the longest CDs. 5-year CDs usually have a one-year penalty for taking out funds early. If you open a 5-year CD and close it quickly, you could actually end up losing money.

Given the early penalties, you need complete confidence that you will not need to withdrawal the money early. Ask yourself this question: “do I have 90% confidence that I will not need access to the cash during the CD term?” If you don’t have confidence, go for a shorter term or a savings account.

3. Should I consider my local bank or credit union?

The interest rates shown in this article are all from online banks that offer products nationally. Our product database includes traditional banks, community banks and credit unions. If traditional banks offered better rates, they would have been featured in this article. The internet-only banks have dramatically better interest rates. That should not be surprising. Because internet-only banks do not have branches, they are able to pass along their cost savings to you in the form of higher interest rates.

However, you can always visit your local bank or credit union and ask them to beat the rates listed in this article. The chance of getting a better deal is extremely low (remember that Bank of America is only paying 0.07%), but you can try.

How To Find The Best Account

If you don’t find an account that meets your needs in this article, you can use the MagnifyMoney CD tool to find the best rate for your individual needs. Input your zip code, deposit amount and term. The tool will then provide you with CD options, from the highest APY to the lowest.

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Nick Clements
Nick Clements |

Nick Clements is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Nick at nick@magnifymoney.com

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