Up to 0.20% APY – With the UFB Direct high-yield savings account, you’ll earn up to 0.20% APY on your savings. Learn more here.
UFB Direct Bank is an online-only, FDIC-insured division of Axos Bank offering high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, and mortgage loans. With little overhead, UFB Direct offers exceptionally competitive rates to customers keeping larger balances.
Only two bank accounts are available through UFB Direct currently — a high-yield savings account and a money market account. Both accounts offer competitive interest rates, but with different balance requirements.
Although UFB Direct can be a great option for your savings, it is not a full-service bank. It has no checking account or CD options, so customers can only open savings accounts. Mortgage lending is available through a partnership with its parent company, Axos Bank.
Here’s a more detailed look at their offerings so you can see if it’s a good banking fit for your needs.
UFB Direct Bank at a Glance
- A Division of Axos Bank, formerly known as Bank of Internet USA
- Online banking available throughout the U.S.
- UFB High Yield Savings — Up to 0.20% APY
- UFB Premium Money Market — Up to 0.20% APY
- Home loans available through parent company, Axos Bank
UFB Direct Bank Pros & Cons
|UFB Direct: Things We Like||UFB Direct: Things We Don’t Like|
|Competitive interest rates on savings and money market accounts||Money market account requires $5,000 balance to waive monthly fees|
|No monthly fees for high-yield savings account||Large account balances required to get the highest APY|
|Free debit cards with savings and money market accounts||No CD or checking account options|
|Money market account has check-writing privileges||No physical branch locations|
What Is UFB Direct Bank?
As a division of Axos Bank, UFB Direct Bank has the backing of an established, publicly traded digital bank (“AX” on the New York Stock Exchange). The operate online banking services throughout the United States, and are FDIC insured under the umbrella of Axos Bank (FDIC #35546).
Note that because Axos Bank uses one FDIC certificate for all of its divisions’ deposit accounts, they are insured by the FDIC up to $250,000 total, not per separate account.
This UFB Direct Bank review focuses primarily on the company’s online personal banking options, including its two savings accounts and home loan options. The bank is also known for its customer service and digital tools for account access on the go.
UFB Direct Bank Review: Personal Banking Products
Could UFB Direct be the bank for you? Here’s a closer look at its two personal banking products — its high-yield savings account and its money market account.
High Yield Savings Account
High Yield Savings from UFB Direct delivers one of the highest rates on the market.
This tiered interest-earning account offers 0.20% APY on account balances of $10,000 and higher. While it has no minimum deposit requirement, you’ll need to keep a balance of at least $10,000 to earn any interest, which could limit some customers in building up their savings.
The high-yield savings account doesn’t have any maintenance or service fees, and it also comes with a complimentary ATM card. You also get online account access and remote deposit.
A high-yield savings account is an excellent place to set aside money for all types of short-term savings goals, such as a vacation fund, emergency fund, vacation, or a new car. Having a separate savings account from your other money keeps you from accidentally using it on something else.
Plus, the excellent interest rate helps build up savings quickly.
Premium Money Market
UFB Direct Bank has one of the most competitive money market accounts you will find anywhere.
This money market account earns interest regardless of your balance, but the highest rate of 0.20% APY is reserved for accounts with balances of $25,000 or higher. Balances under that level still earn 0.50%, which is higher than the national average, but not competitive with the best MMA accounts.
We like that this money market account comes with check-writing privileges and a complimentary ATM card. It does require a minimum opening deposit of $5,000. Average daily balances that fall below that amount are subject to a $10 monthly maintenance fee.
Keep in mind that, like all money market accounts, customers are limited to six transfers or withdrawals per month. It’s not the kind of account you want for everyday banking. But if you have considerable funds that you want to set aside and earn interest on, a UFB Direct money market account is a great spot.
Through Axos Bank, UFB Direct offers a variety of home loans to fit customer needs. Home loan options include:
- Conforming loans
- Non-conforming loans
- FHA loans
- Portfolio loans
- VA loans
- Jumbo and super jumbo loans
- Home-ready loans
- Interest-only mortgages
- Home equity loans
- Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
- Investment property loans
- Mortgage refinance
UFB Direct and Axos Bank make it easy to check rates and quickly prequalify for a loan. Loan applications are all online, eliminating trips to the bank.
If you’re in the market for a new home loan or want to refinance, take time to check the rates available through UFB Direct. In many cases, home loans are eligible for $0 lender fees and 3% annualized cash back.
How to Use a UFB Direct Savings Account or MMA
Wondering why you might want to open a savings or money market account through UFB Direct Bank? Here are a few ideas on how to use these accounts:
Short-Term Savings Goals: Hitting your savings goals is much easier when you keep your savings separate from your everyday spending account. Whether you’re saving for a new car, a home renovation, or a summer vacation, a high-yield savings account or money market account can accelerate your savings.
Emergency Fund: We always seem to be talking about emergency funds, and for good reason. Emergency funds are one of the main pillars of financial health. Having three to six months’ worth of expenses protects you when a financial crisis strikes. Keeping your emergency fund separate from the rest of your money keeps it safe for when you need it.
Savings Protection: Even if you use another bank for most of your money, having another option can protect your money even further, especially if you have more than $250,000 in savings. More of your money is insured by the FDIC in the event that one or more of the banks closes its doors.
Earn More on Your Savings — Save for that vacation or home improvement project faster with a money market account from UFB Direct Bank. Learn more here.
Benefits of Using UFB Direct Bank
- Competitive Rates: The main draw with UFB Direct is the high interest rate on its savings products. Earning the best rates requires setting aside considerable cash, but both the high yield savings and money market accounts deliver the goods in terms of earnings.
- Customer Service: You also can’t overlook UFB Direct’s excellent customer service. Customers can reach them by phone for personal banking needs and send secure messages through online account access.
- Digital Tools: Customers can also access their bank accounts through a mobile app, available on iOS and Android. There’s even an option to access some account features through SMS text messaging.
- ATM Card: Both the high-yield savings account and the money market account come with free ATM cards. Not many savings accounts and only some money market accounts allow ATM access, which gives customers an additional way to make deposits and withdrawals.
- FDIC Insured: All deposits are FDIC insured up to $250,000.
Where They Fall Short
While UFB Direct Bank offers high-yield interest on its savings and money market accounts, it’s not a full-service bank. With no options for checking accounts or CDs, customers looking for an all-in-one banking solution need to keep searching.
Plus, it’s a good idea to avoid monthly maintenance fees whenever possible. Unfortunately, the money market account requires a balance of $5,000 to waive the $10 monthly fee. If you don’t plan to keep that much in the account, there’s no sense in going with an MMA from UFB Direct.
We love the great rates offered by UFB Direct, but we can see many potential customers being turned off by the high balance requirements needed to earn those rates. UFB Direct isn’t the only online bank with great rates (CIT Bank we’re looking at you), so it’s possible to find a similar rate that requires less of a financial commitment.
Is UFB Direct Bank Right for You?
UFB Direct is perfect for people who are looking for an online bank with high-interest accounts who plan on keeping a high balance. If you plan to keep a lot of cash in the bank long-term, their high interest rates can build up your savings rapidly.
However, if you don’t think you’ll meet the balance requirements needed to earn the highest interest rates, other online high yield savings accounts and MMAs with competitive rates might be a better fit. As a completely online bank, they are not a good fit for anyone looking for access to in-person banking services found at traditional brick and mortar banks.
How to Open a UFB Direct Bank Account
You can open a UFB Direct savings or money market account online. You’ll want to have your photo ID, social security number, and personal information such as your address and phone number.
To open an account, you’ll need to be at least 18 years or older and a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
One thing to note is that this bank also performs a credit check before approving account applications, which could negatively affect your credit score. However, almost every bank does this, so you’d go through this step no matter who you decide to bank with.
UFB Direct FAQs
Is UFB Direct FDIC Insured?
Yes. Deposits at UFB Direct Bank are insured by the FDIC. Because UFB Direct falls under Axos Bank, all Axos Bank-related deposit accounts are insured for $250,000 total.
What Services and Account Options Does UFB Direct Offer?
UFB Direct offers a few personal banking options, including high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, and various home loans.
Are There Any Fees to Open an Account With UFB Direct?
UFB Direct does not charge account opening fees on any of its accounts. There are no monthly fees on the high-yield savings accounts and a waivable $10 monthly fee on money market accounts.
UFB Direct Bank: The Bottom Line
Overall, UFB Direct Bank is a solid online bank that offers a high-yield savings account and money market account worth checking out.
UFB Direct could be the bank for you if you have a large sum of money you want to set aside. The high-yield savings account is perfect for people who plan to keep a balance of at least $10,000 and like having ATM access and no monthly fees. The money market account is also a solid choice, but only for people planning to keep a balance of at least $25,000. It’s also a good choice for those looking for check-writing privileges from a money market account.
In the end, UFB Direct Bank might not be the best option for everyone, but its competitive rates are at least worth a look.
Earn More on Your Savings – Get up to 0.20% APY when you open a new High-Yield Savings account at UFB Direct Bank. That’s higher than you’ll find at many competitors. Follow the link to get started!