BrioDirect Review

Is BrioDirect a good bank?

A young woman look at her bank account.
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BrioDirect is the online banking brand of Sterling National Bank. This FDIC-insured bank offers high-rate CDs and high-yield savings accounts to help you grow your money. If you're looking for a new bank to save and earn interest, our in-depth BrioDirect review can help you decide if it's the right fit. 

What We Like

  • BrioDirect features competitive rates for savings accounts.

  • Savings accounts feature a low minimum deposit and no monthly fee.

  • Online account opening is simple and fast.

What We Don't Like

  • No CD options longer than 12 months.

  • No ATM access to your money.

Who Is BrioDirect Best For?

BrioDirect might appeal to savers who are looking for a safe and secure place to keep their money while earning interest. In addition to savers, this bank might be right for people who:

  • Have at least $25 to open a savings account or $500 to open a CD
  • Don't require ATM access to their savings 
  • Are interested in creating a CD ladder 
  • Hope to sidestep monthly maintenance fees 

What Does BrioDirect Offer?

As is common with online banks, BrioDirect offers online deposit accounts and basic customer service options:

Accounts

Services

  • Mobile and online banking
  • Customer service

BrioDirect High Yield Savings Accounts

The BrioDirect High Yield Savings Account is an FDIC-insured online savings account. Here are the features and benefits you get:

  • As of May 27, 2020, earn a competitive APY of 1.25% on all balances of at least $25. 
  • Low $25 minimum deposit required to open. 
  • No monthly maintenance fees. 
  • Manage your savings account from anywhere with mobile and online banking.

This account is similar to other high-yield savings accounts from online banks because it offers a generous APY and no monthly maintenance fee.

It's easy to open an account online and it takes just a few minutes to complete. You can link your account to a checking or savings account at another bank to easily move money back and forth. 

Federal Reserve regulations limit you to six “convenient” transfers or withdrawals per month from savings accounts. 

In terms of downsides, there are a few associated with the BrioDirect high-yield savings account. First, you don't have ATM or debit card access with this account, which makes it challenging to deposit or withdraw cash. 

Also, BrioDirect limits you to transferring money in or out of your account three ways: 

  • ACH transactions
  • Mailing a check
  • Wire transfer

Additionally, BrioDirect could charge you a pair of fees for using their savings account. First, you’ll pay $10 for every transaction beyond the six-transaction limit. Also, you’ll pay $35 each time you overdraft your account or don’t have sufficient funds to complete a transaction.

BrioDirect Certificate of Deposit Accounts

BrioDirect offers certificates of deposit with terms ranging from 30 days to 12 months. 

Here are the key highlights of BrioDirect CD accounts: 

  • $500 minimum balance required to open. 
  • Open multiple CDs to create a ladder. 

Here are the rates you can earn for each CD option, as of April 15, 2020:

BrioDirect CD Rates
Term APY Withdrawal Penalty
30 days 0.05% 30 days of interest
3 months 1.00% 90 days of interest
5 months 1.15% 90 days of interest
9 months 0.80% 90 days of interest
12 months 1.00% 90 days of interest
18 months 1.00% 9 months of interest
24 months 1.00% 9 months of interest
30 months 1.00% 9 months of interest
36 months 1.00% 9 months of interest
48 months 1.00% 9 months of interest
60 months 1.00% 12 months of interest


As you can see, the best rate option is the 12-month CD. And at $500, the minimum opening deposit required isn't as steep as what some banks require. 

If you want to take advantage of all the rates BrioDirect has to offer, you could set up a CD ladder. This means purchasing multiple CDs with varying terms and rates. When one matures, you can cash it out and collect the interest or roll it into a new CD.

If you withdraw all your money from your CD or have a balance below $500 for more than 20 days, BrioDirect may close your account.

BrioDirect Customer Service

BrioDirect allows you to manage your savings account and CD accounts online or through mobile banking. You can also get help with your accounts by phone Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time, and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at 877-369-BRIO. BrioDirect does not offer live chat help or email support. 

How to Bank With BrioDirect

You can open an account with BrioDirect online Remember, you'll need to provide your contact information, driver’s license, U.S. passport/state I.D., and your social security number when opening a bank account with BrioDirect—or any U.S. bank. 

The Bottom Line

BENEFITS

Our review found BrioDirect to be a good fit for people who are comfortable saving with an online bank and want to earn competitive savings rates with no monthly fees. The savings accounts and CDs are straightforward and easy to understand, and you have access to your account via online and mobile banking. 

DRAWBACKS

The main drawbacks of banking with BrioDirect include limited savings options and a lack of transparency with regard to fees. If you're trying to grow your money, reducing banking fees is important. You may also want to look elsewhere if you'd prefer an all-in-one banking solution that offers savings accounts and CDs as well as checking accounts, loans or credit cards. 

Article Sources

  1. BrioDirect. "High-yield Savings." Accessed April 15, 2020.

  2. BrioDirect. "Sterling National Bank Savings Account Disclosure." Accessed April 15, 2020.

  3. BrioDirect. "High-rate CDs." Accessed April 15, 2020.