UFB Direct boasts a 5.02% APY on its savings account

It’s been a busy week for the banking world, but it’s not all bad news for consumers. On the heels of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank’s recent failures, some banks have taken this opportunity to boost their savings rates in an effort to draw in more customers. 

Even if recent bank failures have you on edge, a lucrative APY might make you think twice about doing business with a new financial institution. 

One of the highest savings account APYs available right now: UFB Direct’s savings account

UFB Direct’s current high-yield savings APY: 5.02%

San Diego-based UFB Direct, a branchless bank and division of Axos Bank offers a limited selection of products that currently include a high-yield savings account, money market account, and mortgages. UFB also offers a suite of convenient mobile banking options including mobile deposits, transfers, bill paying, and account balance review. Customers can also access UFB accounts for free via a network of 91,000 ATMs across the country.

What caught our eye this week? UFB Direct’s Preferred Savings Account. The account is currently offering up to a 5.02% APY on all balances (as of Mar. 14, 2023), that’s more than 14 times the national average. What’s more—account holders won’t be charged any maintenance or service fees and there’s no minimum deposit requirement to get started. 

Other key benefits associated with this savings account include free transfers between direct deposit accounts, online banking access, and the ability to use SMS messaging to access account features.

For any account-related questions or support, the bank’s customer service representatives can be reached via a chatbot available through UFB’s online banking platform and 24 hours a day via the customer service line. Secure messages can also be sent directly to bank representatives through the online banking platform.

Should you open a savings account with UFB?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to capitalize on a high APY to supercharge your savings, but you should also make sure that the account you choose will meet your long-term savings needs, even when the APY inevitably fluctuates.  

UFB Direct’s high APY is certainly lucrative. This rate, paired with no fees and several customer service avenues make it a competitive online savings account. However, for savers who are looking to do all of their banking under one (virtual) roof, this account may not be for them. UFB does not have any physical branches and offers limited account options, which could be an issue for certain consumers who have needs outside of a basic savings account.

Ultimately, a high APY can translate to major savings over time, but this isn’t a guarantee. Tread carefully and consider how the account will grow with you over time. 

Key considerations to make when shopping for a high-yield savings account 

If you’re shopping for a high-yield savings account, there are a few key factors–apart from the account APY–that you’ll want to consider when choosing any one account. This includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Opening requirements: Some high-yield savings accounts require a minimum deposit to open your account. This may be as little as $1, although there are accounts on the market that require minimum deposits in the thousands. Consider how much you have available to deposit to help you narrow down your list of potential savings accounts. 
  • Account fees: Read the fine print to see if there are any fees associated with your account. This may include account maintenance fees, transfer fees, ATM fees, and more. 
  • Account access: Ask yourself how easy it is to access your funds. What does the bank or credit union’s ATM network look like? Does it have a branch near you? If in-person banking is non-negotiable, you’ll want to prioritize savings accounts offered by banks that have physical branches in your area. 
  • Customer service options: When you have questions related to your account, you’ll want to know that you can easily reach a customer service representative. Take a look at the options available for reaching the bank or credit union’s customer service department, as well as the hours of operation. 

The takeaway 

High-yield savings account rates are changing frequently these days as the greater financial system is impacted by rising rates, bank failures, and a struggling economy. It’s important to carefully vet your accounts and financial institutions to ensure that your money is safe and that your account aligns with your overall financial goals.

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