Radius Bank Review – High Rate Savings
Online banks seem to be popping up left and right nowadays.
However, Radius Bank is a veteran in the online banking space.
Founded in 1987, they have been around for a while.
But first, should you even go with an online bank?
Why Choose An Online Bank?
Online banks are a much newer concept than traditional banks for very obvious reasons.
But they’ve become more prevalent as mobile technology has made great leaps and bounds in recent years.
Due to their completely digital nature, your banking experience will be different from a traditional banking situation.
Why should you go with an online bank?
Online banks have some of the best interest rates simply because they can afford to pay you those interest rate.
But why is that?
Well, they don’t have to maintain hundreds of physical branches.
Not to mention they have a drastically smaller payroll.
And so, they pass their cost savings on to your in the form of great interest rates.
But that’s not the only way a bank with no branches works in your favor…
Since online banks have lower costs, they also have less incentive to nickel and dime you with fees.
Better Mobile And Online Banking
Online banks are, well, online.
They won’t get very far if their website doesn’t work, nor will they survive very long if they don’t have an intuitive mobile app.
While some traditional banks have more money to pour in to their online and mobile banking functions, these are areas of expertise for online banks.
Therefore, you can expect fast and intuitive mobile and online banking experience with online banks such as Radius.
Are Online Banks Safe?
With reports of data breaches on a seemingly daily basis, it’s completely fair to question the safety of moving to an online only bank for both your money and your data.
The short answer to your question would be yes, with a few precautions.
First of all, let’s talk about your money.
As long as the online bank is FDIC insured, then your money would have the same level of protection that a it would at a traditional bank.
But what about your data?
Legitimate banks of all kinds pour tons of resources into security for both regulation and customer retention purposes.
Still, you should take a few precautions just to maximize protection of your data:
- Don’t bank on public wifi – To malevolent hackers, public wifi hotspots are a goldmine. Save your banking tasks for your home wifi network.
- Bulletproof your password – The stronger the password, the less likely someone will guess their way into your bank account.
Radius Bank High-Yield Savings Pros
Radius’s high-yield savings account’s advantages are plentiful, so let’s dive right into why you should consider opening one.
Amazing Interest Rates
First and foremost, we need to talk about their interest rate.
The high-yield APY tops out at 2.05%, which is an amazing interest rate for a savings account.
Radius bank splits their interest rates into a couple of tiers:
So yes, you do need to have a large chunk of change to get the best interest rate possible
But after all, $25000 is a decent number for an emergency fund so you should probably have that amount saved anyway.
And even if you can barely put $2500 into your account, 1.50% is still a pretty good rate.
Ultra-Low Minimum Balance
Ok, you’re right.
Most online banks have no minimum balance.
However, Radius does.
So how is that a positive, you ask?
Well, the minimum balance is only $100.
One Benjamin Franklin is all it takes to maintain their minimum balance.
Still much, much better than traditional banks that may require large amounts to avoid minimum balance fees.
Of course, you won’t get to take advantage of their highest interest rate if you maintain no more than the $100 minimum.
But hey, you won’t be charged a small fortune in fees!
Super Fast And Simple To Open
Partly due to it’s online-only status, Radius bank accounts are very easy to open.
In fact, Radius claims it takes no more than 3 minutes to open your very own high-yield savings account.
All you need is your Social Security/Individual Tax ID Number and your opening deposit of at least $100.
Oh, and that $100 can either be transferred from an existing bank account of yours (from elsewhere) or you can take it straight of a debit card you own.
Once you “Apply now” on their site, you’re taken through a couple short screens that have you fill out your basic personal information as well as your identification information.
Then you send off your application and BOOM!
You have a Radius high-yield savings account.
No Monthly Fees
Again, Radius has much lower costs than traditional banks; they don’t feel pressured to “rob” you of your money through monthly fees.
Barring any actions that are clearly financially irresponsible, you won’t be paying any monthly fees on your Radius high-yield savings account.
Excellent Customer Service
Considering that Radius has no branches, they better have some amazing customer service to make up for the lower customer service accessibility.
Luckily, they do.
First of all, they have quite the helpful FAQ page that separates commonly asked questions into different categories for your convenience.
But if your question is too specific or unique for the FAQs, they have a few avenues through which you can have your customer service needs met:
- Online live chat
- Social media
Both their phone support and online live chat are available Monday-Friday, 8:30AM – 1AM ET and Saturday-Sunday, 8AM – 8PM; basically any hours you might be awake.
As for social media, you can get a response Monday-Friday, 8:30AM – 8PM.
And then of course, you can always shoot them an email if you don’t have an urgent request or you need to contact them outside of their customer service hours.
Radius Bank High-Yield Savings Cons
No bank account is perfect, so let’s not forget to review a few disadvantages of owning one of these accounts.
Low Interest Rate With A Low Balance
Yeah, Radius has a great interest rate if you have sufficient funds in your account.
But that’s a big IF.
See, if you have below $2,500 in the account, your interest rate is only 0.05%.
That’s not really an interest rate worthy of an online bank.
So Radius’s high-yield savings account might not be the best if you’re a college student or someone with low income due to the amount of money required for a high interest rate.
Slight Credit Damage
Most banks will do a soft inquiry on your credit just to be sure you’re not terrible with money.
If you don’t know what a soft inquiry is, it basically means that the bank is checking your credit as a background check before giving you an account.
This is in contrast to a hard inquiry, which is done usually before a creditor makes a lending decision.
Some banks do hard inquiries instead of soft inquiries.
Unfortunately, Radius is one of the few banks that does a hard inquiry when you apply for an account.
Now, if you have a long credit history, this won’t do much at all.
But if you’re brand new to credit, this could do some damage.
No Signup Bonus
Many banks like to lure you in with free money in the form of signup bonuses.
Some of these are quite nice.
For example, Chase will give you a free $200 when you open one of there Chase Total Checking accounts.
But for some reason, Radius doesn’t do this at all.
That’s unfortunate considering the great interest rate you could earn on that free money.
But then again, that high interest rate may be the reason they don’t give you a signup bonus.
Do Your Due Diligence
Banking is complicated.
Sometimes, you just want to go with the very first bank your find.
But that’s not a good idea.
There’s a seemingly endless number of factors to base your decision on, like
- Types of accounts/products offered
- Interest rates
- Customer service
- ATM access
- Branch availablity
- Mobile/online banking capabilities
And that’s not an exhaustive list.
As with any as critical as your finances, it’s important to do an extensive amount of shopping around to find the bank that best suits your needs.
Radius might not be that bank; if it isn’t, then you don’t have to open an account with them.
However, their high-yield savings account is an overall great choice for those with less complicated finances due to their great interest rates, intuitive mobile and online banking, and fantastic customer service.
If that’s what you’re looking for, we at least recommend Radius to be the bank to house your savings.