Salem Five Direct Bank Review

Is Salem Five Direct Bank a good bank?

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Salem Five is a Massachusetts-based financial institution founded in 1855. While the bank offers a modest branch footprint with 36 locations in the Northeastern U.S., Salem Five Direct is a great choice for online-only banking no matter where you live. They're best known for no monthly fee checking and savings accounts.

What We Like
  • No monthly fees

  • Competitive interest rates

  • Out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements

What We Don't Like
  • Branches only in Massachusetts and New Hampshire

  • Mediocre customer service

  • Limited account options

Who Is Salem Five Direct Best For?

Salem Five Direct should appeal to customers in the Massachusetts area, as well as those who:

  • Want low fees and good interest rates
  • Like easy online self-service
  • Get paid via direct deposit and use little cash
  • Want reimbursement on out-of-network ATM fees

What Does Salem Five Direct Offer?

Salem Five Direct offers a solid selection of financial products, including:

  • Checking Account
  • Savings Account
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)

Checking Account

Salem Five Direct's eOne Checking is a nationally competitive account that offers interest and features that go head-to-head with some of the top checking accounts nationwide. The minimum balance to open the account is $100, and features include:

  • 0.10% APY on balances up to $1 million
  • No minimum balance requirement after opening
  • No monthly fees
  • Cash back on all non-PIN debit card purchases
  • Up to $15 in reimbursements for non-Salem Five bank ATM fees

One unique feature of eOne Checking is overdraft protection. If you don’t opt-in for the overdraft protection plan, you’ll pay $35 per overdraft. Alternatively, you can pay $25 per year for overdraft protection from a linked line of credit. If you opt-in, you’ll pay $3 each time that protection kicks in.

Applications for the Overdraft Protection Account are subject to credit approval.

Savings Account

Salem Five Direct's eOne Savings account offers an industry-leading 1.00% APY on balances up to $1 million. There is a $100 minimum deposit to open the account, and account features include:

  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance after opening an account
  • FDIC & DIF Insurance

Salem Five reserves the right to transfer any balances over $1 million to their Statement Savings Account, which currently only offers an APY of 0.02%. You also have the option to use your eOne Savings account to provide overdraft protection for your eOne Checking account.

The Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) is a state-level insurance that offers additional protection above and beyond what you get from the FDIC.

Certificates of Deposit

Salem Five Direct offers online CD accounts, which it calls eCDs. These special rate CD accounts come in a range of durations for balances from $10,000 to $500,000. 

eCD Rates
Term APY
12-Month 0.50%
18-Month 0.50%
36-Month 0.75%

If you withdraw funds from a CD before its maturity date, you'll pay an interest penalty.

Salem Five Direct's Customer Service

Salem Five Direct offers an online chat feature for customer support. There is also an option to submit a contact form and have a Salem Five Representative contact you via email. If you would like to call, they can be reached at (800) 850-5000. The mobile app is mediocre compared to larger banks, but it covers most of the necessities people could need.

How to Bank With Salem Five Direct

If you live in Massachusetts or near the one branch in New Hampshire, you can bank at Salem Five Direct as either a traditional in-person customer or use your account primarily online. For most people, however, this is an online-only bank. To open an account, simply go to Salem Five Direct's website. Note that you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a green card
  • Have a state-issued photo ID
  • Provide employment information
  • Have updated internet browsers

The Bottom Line

BENEFITS

Salem Five Direct is a great online bank with low fees and good interest rates. If you like the idea of banking online and handling most of your transfers and other needs yourself, this bank's online checking and savings accounts are a competitive option. If you live in Massachusetts, the appeal is even bigger. In that area, you can use the bank online or in-person. The ATM fee reimbursement also eases the inconvenience of not being near a branch.

DRAWBACKS

Unless you live near Massachusetts's 36 branches, you can only bank with Salem Five Direct online. That smaller footprint means you may have a more boutique banking experience than you would get with a larger, nationwide bank.

Article Sources

  1. Salem Five. "About Us." Accessed May 17, 2020.

  2. Salem Five Direct. "eOne Checking." Accessed May 17, 2020.

  3. Salem Five. "Overdraft Protection." Accessed May 17, 2020.

  4. Salem Five Direct. "eOne Savings." Accessed May 17, 2020.

  5. Salem Five Direct. "eCDs Specials." Accessed May 17, 2020.

  6. Salem Five Direct. "Contact Us." Accessed May 17, 2020.