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Reviews

Suncoast Credit Union Review of Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Rates

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1978
Total Assets$9.3B
LEARN MORE Suncoast Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

Suncoast Credit Union is a regional credit union based in Florida. As a credit union, you have to become a Suncoast member to gain access to the bank’s accounts. Membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in any of the 21 Florida counties where Suncoast Credit Union operates.

Suncoast Credit Union offers standard account options, ranging from checking and savings to money market and IRA accounts. As a community-oriented credit union, it offers its members a wide variety of membership perks and discounts. You can also benefit from a number of freebies when you become a member and open any type of account.

Here’s a closer look at Suncoast Credit Union's product line, with information on rates and how to open various accounts.

Suncoast Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.15%

Savings

Suncoast Credit Union Regular Share Membership

2.20%

Barclays Online Savings Account

on Barclays’s secure website

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Suncoast Credit Union’s checking account options

Suncoast Smart Checking

APY

Minimum Opening Deposit

0.05%

$25

  • Minimum opening deposit:$25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: Free for Suncoast ATMs, Publix Presto ATMs, McDonald’s ATMs in select counties, and all ATMs in the CO-OP network; $1.50 at other ATMs; $3 for non-members (surcharge)
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $0; $29 with Courtesy Pay

Unlike many basic checking accounts at other banks, Suncoast Credit Union’s Smart Checking pays interest, on top of numerous other features. The Smart Checking account has a low opening deposit, no monthly service fee, and a vast network of ATMs that members can use to take free cash withdrawals.

On top of these basics, the Smart Checking account comes with numerous free benefits that apply to all Suncoast Credit Union checking accounts, including the following:

  • Free online banking, bill pay and mobile banking
  • Direct deposit and payroll deduction
  • Free images of cleared checks for 90 days
  • Free eStatements and combined account statements (also available in Spanish)
  • Visa Account Updater, which automatically updates your cardholder data with merchants when your information changes

The account also comes with the Suncoast Rewards Debit Card, which is a free debit card that provides both personal and community rewards. The card earns one point for every $3 spent that can be used to to purchase travel or merchandise. Users also get discounts at participating BP gas stations. With every purchase, the credit union also donates two cents to the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation, which provides aid to children in local communities.

All of Suncoast credit union’s checking accounts, including Smart Checking, offer overdraft protection. You’ll need to link up a Suncoast Credit Union savings or money market account to benefit from this service, but the bank will then automatically transfer enough money to cover the overdraft in your checking account. Unlike most institutions, Suncoast Credit Union doesn’t charge any fees for this service. If you don’t link a backup account to cover your overdrafts, you can still sign up for the credit union’s Courtesy Pay service, which will pay any drafts that would normally overdraw your account. For this service, you’ll pay a $29 fee for every day that you are overdrawn, but you will avoid having any of your payments declined.

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on Suncoast Credit Union’s secure website

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Smart Start Checking

APY

Minimum Opening Deposit

0.05%

$25

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:$0
  • ATM fees: Free for Suncoast ATMs, Publix Presto ATMs, McDonald’s ATMs in select counties, and all ATMs in the CO-OP network; $1.50 at other ATMs; $3 for non-members (surcharge)
  • ATM fee refund:  None
  • Overdraft fee:$0; $29 with Courtesy Pay
The Smart Start Checking account is intended for customers who may have trouble qualifying for more traditional checking accounts. Suncoast Credit Union’s Smart Start Checking account is otherwise identical to the credit union’s Smart Checking account. Smart Start comes with all the freebies associated with the Smart Checking account, from the free overdraft protection with linked Suncoast Credit Union savings or money market account to the free debit rewards card. Even the interest rate is the same for any deposited amount.

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Teen Checking

APY

Minimum Opening Deposit

0.05%

$25

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:$0
  • ATM fees: Free for Suncoast ATMs, Publix Presto ATMs, McDonald’s ATMs in select counties, and all ATMs in the CO-OP network; $1.50 at other ATMs; $3 for non-members (surcharge)
  • ATM fee refund:  None
  • Overdraft fee:$0; $29 with Courtesy Pay

The Suncoast Teen Checking account has lower minimums, but otherwise operates like the other Suncoast Credit Union checking accounts. Interest rates earned are still the same, and Teen Checking accounts come with the same benefits, such as online and mobile access, no maintenance fees and a free debit rewards card.

How to open Suncoast Credit Union’s checking accounts

To open a Suncoast Credit Union account, you must first be a member of the credit union. The overall process to apply online takes about 10 minutes. You’ll be asked to provide certain personal and financial information, including a U.S. government-issued ID, your Social Security number and a debit or credit card number to fund your account. If you’re applying for a joint account, you’ll have to provide the same information for the second applicant.

Once you begin the application process, you’ll be required to open a regular savings account, which is known as the Regular Share Membership at Suncoast Credit Union. You can also add additional accounts as you complete your application. Once you consent to various disclosures, your account will be opened.

Since Suncoast Credit Union is only based in Florida, you’ll have to be based in the region if you want to walk in and open an account in a physical branch. If you ever need assistance, you can call the Member Care Center.

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How Suncoast Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Suncoast Credit Union’s checking accounts all pay interest, but the rates are low, and none can compete with the top online checking accounts in terms of interest rates. However, all of the credit union’s checking accounts have no monthly maintenance fees, without requiring minimum balances like with many other banks. The credit union also has extensive free ATM access through the CO-OP network.

An interesting benefit offered by the credit union is access to a no-fee rewards program. That program, coupled with no-cost overdraft protection, help offset the low rates of interest paid by the checking accounts.

As a regional credit union, Suncoast doesn’t have an extensive branch network, but it is an active supporter of the local communities in which it operates.

Suncoast Credit Union’s savings account options

Suncoast Regular Share Membership

APY

Minimum Opening Deposit

0.15%

$5

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:$0
  • ATM fees: Free for Suncoast ATMs, Publix Presto ATMs, McDonald’s ATMs in select counties, and all ATMs in the CO-OP network; $1.50 at other ATMs; $3 for non-members (surcharge)
  • ATM fee refund:  None
  • Overdraft fee:$0; $29 with Courtesy Pay
This basic savings account is a good companion to a Suncoast Credit Union checking account; in fact, it is a requirement that new customers open a Regular Share account if they want to open a checking account. The savings account pays interest and can be used as a source for overdraft protection funds for a checking account, all with no fee. The minimum balance to both open an account and to earn interest is low.
As a savings account, the Regular Share Membership falls under the Regulation D restrictions put in place by the Federal Reserve. This regulation limits withdrawals from savings accounts to six per month. If you exceed this requirement, Suncoast Credit Union will assess an excess activity fee.

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Suncoast Special Share (Savings)

APY

Minimum Opening Deposit

0.15%

$5

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:$0
  • ATM fees: Free for Suncoast ATMs, Publix Presto ATMs, McDonald’s ATMs in select counties, and all ATMs in the CO-OP network; $1.50 at other ATMs; $3 for non-members (surcharge)
  • ATM fee refund:  none
  • Overdraft fee:$0; $29 with Courtesy Pay
Suncoast Credit Union’s Special Share account is essentially just a secondary savings account. Once you open your Regular Share Membership, you can have as many Special Share accounts as you’d like. Some members choose to open additional accounts for specific savings goals, such as buying a house or saving for college costs. The Special Share account has a lower opening deposit requirement than the Regular Share Membership, but beyond that, the two accounts are essentially identical. They pay the same interest rate, offer the same ATM and overdraft fee structure, and neither has a monthly maintenance fee.

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Suncoast Uniform Transfer to Minors (Custodial) Account

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.15%

$0.00 - $999.99

0.50%

$1,000.00+

Suncoast Credit Union offers a custodial account for minors that can be opened as a checking, savings, money market or certificate account for those under age 18. For the most part, rates are the same as standard offerings in those categories. However, the bank does pay an enhanced interest rate for custodial savings deposits of at least $1,000.

How to open Suncoast Credit Union’s savings accounts

You can open a Suncoast Credit Union savings account online in the same manner as if you were opening a checking account. You’ll have to be connected to one of the 21 Florida counties in which Suncoast Credit Union operates, and you’ll have to provide the same basic personal and financial information, such as your Social Security number. After agreeing to disclosures and providing funding information, you’ll be able to open your account.

If you prefer opening an account in person, you’re welcome to visit any Suncoast Credit Union branch. Remember that this credit union is only based in the 21 Florida counties, however, so this is only a realistic option for customers in those areas. For additional assistance, or if you have any questions before you apply, you can contact the Member Care Center.

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How Suncoast Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Although the Suncoast Regular Share and Special Share savings accounts pay interest, the rate is well below the national average. Rates do not vary based on size of deposit, so there’s no benefit in terms of interest to make larger deposits. The one bright spot in the credit union’s interest-rate structure is for custodial savings accounts opened with at least $1,000. However, even with the bonus interest rate paid on that account, you can find much higher savings rates at top online banks.

Suncoast Credit Union’s savings accounts do have low fees and minimums, and they can be used as backup accounts under the credit union’s no-cost overdraft protection program.

Suncoast Credit Union’s CD rates

Term

APY

Minimum Deposit

6 months

1.35%

$500

12 months

1.55%

$500

18 months

2.00%

$500

24 months

2.25%

$500

36 months

2.50%

$500

48 months

2.75%

$500

60 months

3.00%

$500

  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest on terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest on terms longer than 12 months

Suncoast Credit Union offers CDs in limited maturities known as Share Certificates. The credit union offers CDs between six and 60 months in duration. Rates increase as the term lengthens. Dividends are compounded daily and credited monthly.

If you need to withdraw money from your CD before it matures, Suncoast Credit Union will assess an early withdrawal penalty that will cost you some of your interest.

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Smart Start Certificate

Term

APY

12 months

1.55%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $50, with ongoing monthly contributions of at least $40
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $50
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest on terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest on terms longer than 12 months

Suncoast Credit Union offers a special contribution structure, with lower minimums, on a so-called “Smart Start Certificate.” With this CD, minimums are dropped significantly; however, ongoing contributions are required. Essentially, the Smart Start Certificate offers a way for investors to buy into a Suncoast Credit Union CD for the regular minimum, but with that investment spread out over 12 months. The rate is the same as on a standard 12-month CD

How to get Suncoast Credit Union’s CDs

Suncoast Credit Union offers a number of convenient ways to buy CDs. Once you’re a member, you can open a new certificate by phone simply by calling the Member Service Center.

You can also send a secure email through SunNet Online Banking. If emailing, you can buy a CD simply by indicating the term you’d like to buy and the account number which is the source of your funds. You’ll also have to indicate whether you want the dividends reinvested or simply deposited to another account.

Lastly, you can go into any Suncoast Credit Union branch, if you’re in Florida, to open a CD account.

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How Suncoast Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Across the board, Suncoast Credit Union’s CD rates are higher than the national average. Although rates aren’t among the very best CD rates you can find, they are still good rates.

Suncoast Credit Union’s CD rates are not tiered, so larger contributions won’t earn you any additional interest. There also aren’t any current promotional rates paying higher interest. As with most institutions, the best way to get the highest rates is to open CDs with the longest maturities.

Suncoast Credit Union’s money market account options

Suncoast Money Market Account

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.15%

$0.00 - $999.99

0.35%

$1,000.00 - $24,999.99

0.45%

$25,000.00 - $49,999.99

0.55%

$50,000.00 - $99.999.99

0.70%

$100,000 and greater

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01; $50,000+ for highest rates
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:. $0
  • ATM fees: Free for Suncoast ATMs, Publix Presto ATMs, McDonald’s ATMs in select counties, and all ATMs in the CO-OP network; $1.50 at other ATMs; $3 for non-members (surcharge)
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $0; $29 with Courtesy Pay

Suncoast Credit Union’s Money Market account has a modest opening deposit and no monthly account fees. Once the account is open, there’s no required minimum balance to earn interest. However, higher rates are paid on larger balances.

You can use the money market account as a source of funds for your checking account to prevent overdrafts. This service comes free of charge to Suncoast Credit Union members. If you choose not to link up your money market account, the bank will pay your overdrafts if you sign up for the Courtesy Pay service, but you’ll pay fees.

As with the credit union’s savings accounts, you’ll have to limit your withdrawals, checks or transfers out to six per month with the money market account. This is a federal restriction that applies to accounts in financial institutions nationwide. Suncoast Credit Union will assess an excess activity fee and if you exceed this maximum.

How to get Suncoast Credit Union’s money market accounts

Suncoast Credit Union considers its money market accounts to be part of its savings account family. Thus, the process for opening a Suncoast Credit Union money market account is the same as with opening a savings account.

Once you’re a member, you can open a money market account with the same basic personal and financial information you had to provide for checking or savings accounts. Click through the requisite disclosures, indicate how you’ll fund your account and you’ll have a new money market account.

As with other accounts at Suncoast Credit Union, you can visit a branch to speak with someone in person. Check the website for the closest branch. Remember that Suncoast Credit Union only operates in 21 Florida counties. The Member Care Center can also assist you.

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How Suncoast Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

Money market rates at Suncoast Credit Union run above average on deposits above $1,000. At the highest tier, rates are significantly above average. However, they still don’t approach the highest available rates that other insitutions offer on money market accounts.

With only one money market account, Suncoast Credit Union doesn’t offer higher-service or higher-rate accounts like some other institutions do. However, the account has no maintenance fee and can be used for the credit union’s free overdraft program.

Suncoast Credit Union’s IRA CD rates

Term

APY

Minimum Deposit

6 months

1.35%

$500

12 months

1.55%

$500

18 months

2.00%

$500

24 months

2.25%

$500

36 months

2.50%

$500

48 months

2.75%

$500

60 months

3.00%

$500

  • Minimum opening deposit:  $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY:  $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest on terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest on terms longer than 12 months

Suncoast Credit Union offers CDs with maturities from six months to 60 months in its IRAs. These investments are called share certificates. IRA CDs at Suncoast Credit Union come in the same maturities and pay the same rates as the credit union’s standard, non-IRA CDs. Dividends are compounded daily and credited monthly.

If you take money out of a Suncoast Credit Union IRA CD before it matures, you’ll owe an early withdrawal penalty that can cost a considerable amount of your interest.

How to get Suncoast Credit Union’s IRA CDs

You can open Suncoast Credit Union’s IRA CDs in one of three ways, just like with its non-IRA CDs. As a member, you can call the Member Service Center to open a CD, or you can send a secure email through SunNet Online Banking.

The secure email option is an unusual benefit that most other financial institutions don’t offer. Simply choose the term of the share certificate you’d like, indicate your source of funds, and let the credit union know whether you want to reinvest your dividends or have them paid out.

A final option is to visit a Suncoast Credit Union branch in person.

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How Suncoast Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Suncoast Credit Union’s IRA CD rates are the same as its standard rates, which means they are good. You won’t find Suncoast Credit Union’s IRA CD rates on the lists of the best IRA CD rates, but they are above national averages.

Nationwide, rates for the best IRA CDs are lower than the top rates for non-IRA CDs; since Suncoast Credit Union’s rates are the same for both types of accounts, the credit union improves by comparison when its IRA rates are put up against the best available IRA CD rates.

Overall review of Suncoast Credit Union’s products

Suncoast Credit Union is geographically limited to 21 counties in Florida. Potential customers must have an attachment to the region in order to become members and enjoy the credit union’s benefits.

Suncoast Credit Union offers attractive options across a wide range of accounts, from checking and savings to money market and CD accounts. Rates for checking and savings accounts are low, but the offerings improve with the credit union’s money market and CD options.

The credit union scores points for having low fees, with none of its standard accounts charging a monthly maintenance fee. Overdraft protection comes without charge across the credit union’s accounts when linked to a Suncoast Credit Union savings or money market account. Suncoast Credit Union also has a rewards program that allows customers to earn points for purchases and trigger donations to local communities.

Although Suncoast Credit Union can’t be all things to all customers, thanks to its regional focus and somewhat limited account roster, it does many things quite well.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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Reviews

Simple Bank Review — a Simple Way to Budget

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1964
Total Assets$90.1B

LEARN MORE Simple’s secure website

Like most things in the world of “adulting,” managing your finances isn’t always as simple as it should be. This is where online bank Simple stepped in seven years ago, providing customers with a mobile bank account rolled into a budgeting app.

Acquired by Spanish bank BBVA in 2014, Simple was founded in Portland, Ore. in 2009 and launched commercial operations three years later. The money in a Simple account is held by BBVA Compass, the American subsidiary of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., and FDIC-insured up to $250,000.

Though Simple offers only one type of bank account — consumer checking — it promises a simple way to save and budget while offering features found at bigger banks, such as photo check deposit, plus additional features, including Goals, Expenses, and Safe-to-Spend(R). In an effort to attract new banking customers, Simple is offering a 2.02% APY return on balances of $2,000 or greater in a Protected Goals Account. Otherwise, the APY is the normal 0.01%.

We’ll review Simple’s bank account, its pros and cons and what else you need to know to determine if it’s a good fit for you.

Simple’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

2.02%

Checking

Simple Checking Account + Protected Goals Account*

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What is Simple?

The Simple bank account is a checking account that incorporates budgeting tools into a consumer’s everyday banking.

Simple banking is provided through both desktop and mobile applications, although you will need to download the app to deposit checks using a photo. The free mobile app is available for Android and iOS-powered devices. You can complete all other necessary banking tasks on both platforms.

The Simple account

Minimum deposit amount to open

$0

Annual percentage yield

0.01% ($0 - $2,000)
2.02% ($2,000+)

Overdraft fee

$0

Monthly service fee

$0

ACH transfer fee

$0

ATM fee

$0

Out of network ATM fee

$0

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Simple Visa debit
Simple customers are issued a Simple Visa debit card for daily purchases and to use at more than 40,000 ATMs in the Allpoint network. In-network ATMs won’t charge you a fee, and are easily found using the ATM finder both online and in the app. Simple doesn’t charge you a fee for using an out-of-network ATM, but you may be charged by other banks and ATM owners.

Simple bank review
Simple

Safe-to-spend
Simple’s Safe-to-Spend(R) feature helps you resist the temptation to spend every dollar in your bank account when those funds should be reserved for more important and urgent things. The budgeting algorithm sets aside funds for spending categories in your budget and your savings goals. The app subtracts the amount of money you’ve set aside from your total account balance so you can easily see how much money you have left to spend — your safe-to-spend number.

Goals
The Simple bank account makes it easy to set aside money for long- and short-term goals. The feature also serves as a digital envelope budgeting system for your monthly budgeting needs.

A warning to chronic overspenders: Although the amount set aside for goals is subtracted from your total balance so you know what’s safe to spend, the goal money is kept in the same account as the rest of your funds, so you can spend the money if you really need to. We will address how to use goals to save and budget in the following section.

Simple bank review
Simple

Analytics
Simple provides spending reports to give you more insight on how you’re spending your money. You can use the graphs and breakdowns Simple creates to analyze trends in your spending. With that information, you can evaluate whether or not your budget is meeting your needs or if you need to make adjustments in your spending habits. You can also add hashtags, notes and images to each transaction.
You will need to go online to view reports as the feature isn’t yet available in the Simple app.

Protected Goals
You can set up separate savings goals and an emergency fund within the Protected Goals account. Unlike the money for your short-term goals, money in the “protected” account is separate from your main Simple bank account. If you need to use your money, you can make unlimited transfers from a Protected Goals account to your regular Simple checking account. That means there’s no need to worry about hitting the six withdrawals per month limit most other savings accounts have under Regulation D, and the common fees associated with making excessive withdrawals.

If you are looking for a high-yield account, the Simple bank account may be the one for you. Right now, you can earn up to 2.02% APY if you maintain a balance of $2,000 or more in the entire Protected Goals Account. If you choose to set up an Emergency Fund or Savings Goal under the Protected Goals Account and the amount combined is $2,000 or more, you’ll still qualify for the 2.02% APY. If you don’t, a Protected Goals account with Simple earns 0.01% APY, which is lower than the national average yield on checking accounts. So if you’re looking to earn a return on your savings and can’t make maintain a balance of $2,000 or more, you may want to look elsewhere.

Although they may lack the bells and whistles Simple incorporates, there are many alternative high-yield checking accounts that earn a much higher yield on your money with no minimum deposit. You can also compare rates and terms on the best savings options currently available here that also have higher rates than this account.

Simple Shared
Simple offers joint accounts it calls Simple Shared accounts. The Simple Shared account is a separate Simple bank account that you co-own with someone else. The joint Simple Shared account allows pairs to plan budgets and complete savings goals together. Couples can even save for an emergency under the Shared account. Emergency Funds are now available for Simple Shared accounts.

Both co-owners of a Simple Shared account must have individual Simple accounts, too, and they have to keep the individual accounts open in order to have a shared account. Your individual accounts stay private.

Simple Instant
Simple Instant is a peer-to-peer payments system exclusive to Simple users. It’s the quickest way to send money to other Simple account holders instantly, for free. After you add the Simple user to your Instant contacts, you can send money to them using an email address or phone number.

Simple bank accounts work with most third-party p2p payment services like Venmo and Square Cash, too, so you can still send money to your friends who don’t use Simple, although you may be required to pay for instant transfers.

Where Simple falls short

A 1% fee for foreign transactions
Simple doesn’t charge you any fees for making foreign transactions, but Visa does. Each time you swipe your Simple card overseas, you may be required to pay a 1% International Service Assessment fee to Visa. That fee may not be a deal breaker for some frequent travelers, but it’s a bummer to pay any more than you have to, ever.

Additionally. there is a $1,000 daily spending limit for international transactions, but you can have that temporarily raised to $6,000 if you let Simple know you’ll be traveling.

No checkbooks
Simple users are not issued checkbooks to write paper checks. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to send a personal check or pay a bill, you can use Simple’s free bill pay service to have Simple send a check on your behalf. The bill pay feature is found online and in the app. You may also request a treasurer’s check — similar to a cashier’s check — from Simple.

Simple mobile app

When you don’t know exactly how much you have to spend on the things you want but don’t need, you’re either constantly running out of time, money or both. When you’re running around living your life most of the time, keeping track of your money can become a chore.

The Simple mobile app incorporates features that help you keep track of how much money you have left to work with for the month while on the go. You can even get instant push notifications that will send you spending updates in real-time.

Features that stand out

The goals feature is what sets the Simple app and account apart from other mobile-first fintech startups and online banks, which we will get into in detail below.

Using Goals to save money
When you create a goal in Simple — after naming it and adding an optional memo — you’ll set the amount and date by which you would like to complete it. You can fund the goal in two ways: (1) set aside money right away, or (2) elect to save over time.

When you save over time, an algorithm will calculate how much money to move over incrementally from your safe-to-spend amount to the savings goal so it’s fully funded by your preset completion date. You can move money each day, or set a custom funding schedule so the app only moves money on predetermined days.

Using Expenses to budget
You can use the Simple Expenses feature to mimic old-fashioned envelope budgeting. Envelope budgeting is a method in which you set aside cash in physical envelopes for each budgeting category. You set aside what you think you’d need to cover categories like gas, groceries or shopping for a period and if you run out of money for that category, you stop buying in that area. Simple offers a digital version.

You would create an expense and name them for each spending category in your budget for the month and determine how much to set aside for purchases made from that category. Here’s an example budget from Simple:

Simple bank review
Simple

Ideally, you would fund the expense immediately and not over time. That’s what Simple really focuses on doing. It’s a “set it and forget it” mentality. This feature runs off of “Funding Schedules”. So, once you create an expense through this feature, Simple will recreate the expense for you so that it’s paid off again the next month. You can set this up by creating an Expense and choosing the category you want the Expense to automatically come out of. You only need to set this up once. After you’ve set up all of your expenses, the funds will be automatically debited from the appropriate Expense each month.

What if I overspend?
As mentioned earlier, you can intentionally or accidentally spend money set aside for your goals if you go over your safe-to-spend amount. Of course, dipping into your goal money may cut into your progress. If you fall behind on saving or need to edit a goal, you can always edit the target date and/or amount, or delete the goal. On the flip side, if you complete a goal and want to save more money, you can choose to automatically save more over time.

Other features that deserve an honorable mention:

  • You can deposit checks — This is the only feature exclusive to the app and may be in found in the “Move Money” tab. Simple recommends submitting the deposit before 5 p.m. EST, as it allows the bank to process the deposit on the same day. However, if you submit the deposit after 5 p.m. EST, the deposit won’t be processed until the next business day. Keep in mind that “processing” is not the same as “funding”. For example, if you make a Photo Check Deposit before 5 p.m. EST on a Monday, the deposit will be processed the same day, but won’t be posted to your account until Tuesday at 3 a.m. EST. If you make the deposit after 5 p.m. EST on a Monday, the funds won’t post to your account until Wednesday at 3 a.m. EST.

The limit on how much money you can deposit using a photo check will depend on factors such as how long you’ve been with Simple and the number of checks you’ve recently deposited, so it varies by individual user. You can find out your current check limit under “Deposit a Check.” If the check is too large, you can deposit it by mail.

  • You can block and unblock your debit card — Blocking your card is useful if you lose your card or think it’s been stolen. Go to your profile and select “Your Simple Cards” then block the Simple Visa card. If you see any unauthorized transactions made on your account, you may be covered by Visa’s Zero Liability policy if you report it in time.

How to open a Simple Bank account

Opening a Simple bank account is a quick and easy process (see how I didn’t use the word “simple” there? I saved you from a very punny sentence). Signing up takes all of about five minutes. Simple requires applicants to be U.S. citizens and 18 years or older with a Social Security number.

The company also recommends you have access to a device that can run its mobile app. The device will need to be running on either Apple iOS 10.0 or higher or Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher.

You can open an account online or on the Simple mobile app. The application requires you to create a username and password for your Simple bank account, and indicate how you plan to use the account. Then, it asks for personally identifying information like your name and Social Security number.

Simple bank review
Simple

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Who could benefit from the Simple bank account?

The Simple bank account would be most beneficial to individuals and household budgeteers who want to be able to manage their budgeting and bank account in one place, in real time.

Most household money managers are well aware how much their bills will come up to each month and what their short- and long-term monetary goals are. However, it’s naturally difficult to keep the numbers you’re juggling on the top of your head when you are busy and often on the go. Other budgeting apps may keep you organized, but you have to make an effort to keep them on track with your actual spending.

Simple makes keeping up with bills and savings goals effortless.

Simple’s safe-to-spend feature allows even the busiest among us to easily keep track of how much money you actually have available to spend freely. You can use Simple from virtually anywhere, desktop or on your phone, so there are no excuses. Just checking your bank account balance and seeing the difference between the total balance and your safe-to-spend will remind you of your budget and savings goals.

With Simple, you can create and automatically contribute to an emergency fund account, one separate from your other financial goals, so that it actually gets done this time around. The amount you want to save in your Emergency Fund is based on how much money you want to save in a certain period of time. Based on those two things, Simple will put together a daily contribution amount.

Simple’s Goals system can help you stay organized, compartmentalize your budget and keep your financial priorities straight. If you don’t immediately fund a goal, the app has your back. It calculates and makes small transfers to get you closer to your goal for you.

Alternatives

Simple is one of many fintech companies that have recently released a mobile-first or mobile-only banking option. Next, we take a look at how Simple compares with its peers: the Aspiration Summit account, Chime, Beam and Finn by Chase. Rates are as of  the date of publication.

Simple vs. Aspiration Summit account
 SimpleAspiration Summit

Overdraft fee

$0

$25

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

2.00% APY

APY on Savings

n/a

n/a

The Aspiration Summit account is the mobile-only banking option for those trying to be a bit more socially conscious. Aspiration’s standout feature is its Aspiration Impact Measurement (AIM), which measures your social impact based on where you spend your money.

You get a personal AIM score, calculated based on the businesses you choose to support, which also each get an AIM score. For businesses, the AIM score is split in two: a “people score” based on factors like employee pay and access to health care, and a “planet score” based on things like the company’s greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to knowing how the money you spend affects the world around you, you can feel confident knowing Aspiration donates $0.10 of every dollar it makes to financially-focused charities.

Like the Simple bank account, the Aspiration Summit account is a checking account. While the Simple bank account earns up to 2.02% APY, the Aspiration Summit account earns a slightly lower 2.00% APY on all balances. But, Aspiration doesn’t give you the opportunity to open a separate account to set aside savings like Simple does. Aspiration also doesn’t provide any budgeting and goal-setting features on its account, while Simple does. Aspiration requires a $10 minimum deposit to open an account, but no minimum balance to maintain the account.

Aspiration charges is a $25 overdraft fee and a $5 daily fee for each day your balance remains negative. Meanwhile, Simple charges no fees but won’t allow a transaction if it will overdraft your Simple bank account. Like Simple, Aspiration doesn’t charge its users a fee to access ATMs anywhere in the world but goes a step further by fully reimbursing you (on the 10th of each month) if you’re charged a fee by an out-of-network ATM. If you’re traveling overseas, you’ll be charged a fee equal to 1.1% of the transaction using the Aspiration Mastercard debit card.

Simple vs. Chime Bank
 SimpleChime Bank

Overdraft fee

$0

$0

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

n/a

APY on Savings

n/a

0.01% APY

Chims is a fee-free, mobile-first banking option that features automated savings, but doesn’t come with the analytics and goal-setting features that Simple has.

With Chime, you can automatically save 10% of each paycheck in a savings account and, if you’re enrolled in direct deposit, you can get access to your paycheck up to two days earlier than the money would become available with most other standard checking accounts. Once enrolled in Chime’s automatic savings program, Chime will automatically round up each purchase made with your Chime Visa Debit Card to the nearest dollar and save the difference in your savings account.

If you ever need to split a bill, Chime does the math for you and lets you send a text to a friend with a link to pay you back using Venmo, or Chime’s in-app peer to peer payments feature (Pay Friends) if the friend is a Chime Member. Money sent between two Chime members is received instantly. Simple doesn’t do the math for you, but you can send money instantly to other Simple users using its built-in p2p system, Simple Instant.

Chime offers both a checking account and a designated savings account, unlike Simple, which offers a checking account and the option to save emergency funds in a “protected goals” account.

If your savings are in a Chime savings account, you won’t be granted more than a 0.01% yield on your funds. On the other hand, if you place your savings in Simple’s Protected Goals Account, you earn up to 2.02% APY on balances of $2,000 or more. Neither Chime nor Simple charge overdraft fees. While Simple doesn’t charge you for using out-of-network ATMs, Chime charges $2.50. You can find more than 38,000 in-network ATMs using the ATM map in the Chime app.

Simple vs. Beam
 SimpleBeam

Overdraft fee

$0

n/a

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

n/a

APY on Savings

n/a

2.00% APY; up to 4.00% APY

Beam is a fee-free, mobile-only high-interest deposit account. You can earn a much higher yield on your savings than you would with Simple. Beam accounts promise a minimum 2.00% APY compared with Simple’s 0.01% APY. Beam also gives its customers the opportunity to claim rewards that can earn them up to 4.00% APY on their funds daily. Beam calls its rewards “billies” and they can be earned by engaging with the app and doing things like referring a friend to Beam. The “billies” are awarded daily between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. local time. Neither service requires a minimum balance to earn interest on funds.

Beam doesn’t issue users a debit card or give users ATM access like Simple does. Beam is intended for use alongside a primary checking account as a supplementary bank account, while Simple is intended to be used as a primary checking account. If you want to use your money in a Beam account, you must first transfer it out to a primary checking account, which can take up to two days. Beam also doesn’t have any special saving or budgeting features and doesn’t show you spending analytics like Simple does.

As of this writing, Beam is not yet available for widespread use, but Simple is. Beam is still in a “private beta” stage, so it can only accommodate a limited number of customers. If you want to use Beam, you’ll have to sign up on the waiting list, which currently has more than 126,000 names.

Simple vs. Finn by Chase
 SimpleFinn by Chase

Overdraft fee

$0

$0

APY on Checking

Up to 2.02% APY

n/a

APY on Savings

n/a

0.01% APY; up to 0.04% APY

Finn by Chase is a free mobile-first banking option from Chase Bank. Finn by Chase offers checking and savings accounts, and you are required to have both types. For comparison, Simple only offers a checking account. Simple and Finn by Chase users earn the same 0.01% APY on balances below $10,000. For balances that are $10,000-$25,000, Finn users earn 3%, then 0.04% APY on higher amounts. Simple doesn’t offer increased interest on larger balances. Finn does not offer joint accounts, but Simple does.

Both banks issue users Visa debit cards for daily purchases and to use at the ATM. Finn charges $2.50 if you use an out-of-network ATM, while Simple doesn’t charge a fee at all. Finn says its users have access to more than 29,000 in-network ATMs while Simple advertises more than 38,000 in-network ATMs.

The banks both show users’ spending analytics and offer automatic saving features but differ in how their features work.

Finn lets users rate each transaction as a “want” or “need” and how it makes the user feel. Users can choose happy, sad or indifferent faces. Finn also provides users analytics via charts and graphs that summarize their spending habits.

Finally, Simple lets you send money instantly to other users using Simple Instant, but Finn by Chase lets you send money to anyone in the Zelle network, even if they are with a different bank, instantly for free. Both services let users send money with third-party platforms like Venmo, Google Wallet and PayPal.

The bottom line

The Simple bank account is a solid one-stop shop for hassle-free banking and budgeting. Simple, the company, doesn’t charge any fees, but BBVA Compass may charge fees. Make sure you to read the Simple Deposit Account Agreement. Fortunately, it won’t cost you to use their budgeting and analytics system if budgeting and saving is what you’re really after. Additionally, the 2.02% APY on balances of $2,000 or more is a huge perk if you can meet and maintain that balance requirement.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brittney Laryea
Brittney Laryea |

Brittney Laryea is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brittney at [email protected]

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Earning Interest, Reviews

Discover Bank CD Rates Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Discover Bank
Most people know Discover as a credit card company, but it also operates an online bank and offers some of the best rates and terms on checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

Savings account bonus offer: Earn up to $200 on your first Discover savings account

As a bank, Discover offers some of the best products on the market. Currently, they’re offering a major deal on their online savings account, which currently earns 2.10% APY. If you apply for their savings account for the very first time by 06/03/19 and deposit a balance of at least $15,000 by 06/17/19, you can earn a $150 bonus. If you deposit a balance of at least $25,000 by the same date, you can earn a $200 bonus. Applying for the account is easy as you don’t need to go to a branch. The bonus will be credited to your account by 07/01/19. You can apply online or over the phone. Just be sure to enter or mention the promo code MM519 when you apply.

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If you’re looking for CDs in particular, Discover is currently considered to have some of the best CDs due to their customer service and digital tools.

Discover Bank CD rates

CD term

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3 months

0.35%

6 months

0.65%

9 months

0.70%

12 months

2.65%

18 months

2.65%

24 months

2.70%

30 months

2.70%

3 years

2.75%

4 years

2.80%

5 years

3.00%

7 years

3.05%

10 years

3.10%

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How do Discover Bank CD rates compare?

While Discover Bank CD rates aren’t always the highest available, they are consistently among the top offers across all terms. However, you may be able to find a similar or even better rate with a CD that has a lower minimum deposit than Discover’s $2,500 requirement. Currently, several nationwide banks offered a 12-month CD at a rate higher than Discover’s 12-month CD APY, while requiring a lower minimum deposit. For example, at the same time the above rates were available at Discover, there were 12-month CDs with rates as high as 2.70% APY with a lower minimum balance amount to earn the APY.

It’s always great to go for the highest interest rates possible, but keep your CD investing strategy in mind. If you’re investing in CDs using the ladder strategy, it might be easier to keep everything in one bank since you’ll be switching in and out of CDs frequently.

Discover also stands out from its competition in the CD space with its mobile app and 24/7 U.S.-based customer service. If you value such features, keep those particulars in mind when weighing Discover CD rates against others’.

What you need to know about Discover Bank’s CDs

Discover Bank is very transparent in terms of fine print. It’s not difficult to understand what’ll happen with your money after you invest it. We’ll cover the basics here about what you need to know to invest in Discover Bank’s CDs.

How to open a CD

It’s very simple to open up a CD with Discover Bank. Go to their CD webpage and click on the orange “Open an Account” button near the top right of the page. You can then choose which accounts you’d like to open. Select “CD,” choose a CD term and enter how much you’d like to deposit.

You’ll then need to complete the application by providing your name, address, date of birth, phone number, Social Security number, employment status and possibly even your driver’s license. Once your application is complete and accepted, you’ll need to fund the account.

How to fund the CD

You’ll need to fund it within 45 days of submitting your application, which you can do in one of three ways:

  • Transfer funds from another bank account over the phone. (You can only do this when you first fund your account.)
  • Transfer funds from another bank via online transfer.
  • Write a check to yourself and send it to the following address:Discover Bank
    P.O. Box 30417
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

The minimum deposit amount for each of Discover Bank’s CDs is $2,500. Once you open a CD, you can’t deposit more money later, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have all the cash you want to invest before you open the account.

Withdrawing funds from the CD

When you want to withdraw money from your CD, the biggest thing to consider is whether that CD has matured yet, or finished its term.

If your CD has not matured, you’ve got options: You can take the interest out penalty-free at any time, or you can withdraw the principal (or the money you deposited) at any time as long as you pay an early-withdrawal penalty. This penalty varies depending on the original term of your CD:

  • less than one year: three months’ worth of simple interest
  • one year to less than four years: six months’ worth of simple interest
  • four years: nine months’ worth of simple interest
  • five years to less than seven years: 18 months’ worth of simple interest
  • seven years or longer: 24 months’ worth of simple interest

If your CD has finished its term, you can withdraw your money penalty-free, allow the CD to renew or roll it into a CD of a different term length. (More on that in a bit).

Earning interest on a Discover CD

Your CD will start earning interest on the same business day that you fund the account. The interest will be added to your account once each month, however.

When it comes to what to do with your interest, you have two options: The default option is to allow it to compound within the CD (meaning you’ll earn interest on that interest), or you can have it automatically deposited each month into another Discover bank account.

What happens once the CD matures?

You’ll get a heads-up notice about a month before your CD matures so you can decide what to do with the money. You have two main options: Either reinvest it into another CD (of the same term length or a different term length), or withdraw the money from the CD and put it into another account (such as a checking or savings account, or perhaps a CD at a different institution).

If you don’t let Discover know what you want to do with the maturing CD, the CD will automatically renew into another one of the same term length. You have a nine-day grace period after your CD automatically rolls over to make any changes or withdrawals penalty-free.

The bottom line

As far as big-name banks go, Discover offers great CD products. Wells Fargo, for example, only offers interest rates as high as 1.55% APY on a $5,000 deposit for a 58-month CD. Chase Bank offers even lower maximum rates — an abysmal 1.05% APY, and only if you can commit a minimum of $100,000 for 10 years.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep your finances in one place, Discover also has great credit cards, as well as competitive online savings and checking accounts. No matter how long you’re considering putting money in a CD, Discover is worth a look. Even if it doesn’t have the best available rate, it’s usually within several basis points of the top offerings and well above the average APY.

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Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be 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 financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

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

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