BrioDirect is an online brand of Sterling National Bank, a brick-and-mortar bank based out of New York. By being online-only, BrioDirect is able to reduce its costs and potentially offer better deals for its customers. BrioDirect does not offer all the Sterling bank account types though, and only has two products: a high-yield savings account and CDs. Both accounts pay out respectable interest rates â€” especially compared with the returns at large national banks.
Our BrioDirect bank review covers the product details, along with the pros and cons, so you can decide if BrioDirect is the right place for your money.
Minimum opening deposit
Between a competitive interest rate, a low opening deposit requirement and minimal fees, the BrioDirect savings account is an excellent choice. However, itâ€™s not the most accessible account, as it doesnâ€™t come with a debit card and you can only take out money through bank transfers.
The Brio Direct savings account pays an excellent interest rate, competitive with the best online savings accounts on the market today. This high rate applies to all balances, large and small. You wonâ€™t earn more by depositing more but the upside is that even small accounts can earn a high rate. The only requirement is that you need to keep a balance of at least $25 in your account to earn interest.
The minimum opening deposit requirement for a Brio Direct high yield savings account is just $25. This account does not charge a monthly maintenance fee. If your balance falls below $25, you stop earning interest but there is no charge.
If you overdraft the account, BrioDirect charges $35 per overdraft/insufficient funds transaction. Since this is a savings account, you are limited to six withdrawals per statement cycle under the rules of Federal Regulation D. If you make more than six transactions, you will be charged $10 per excess transaction.
To deposit money into a BrioDirect Savings account, you can set up an ACH transfer from another bank account, send a check or make a wire transfer. Once your account is open, you can withdraw funds to another bank account by using the Sterling National Bank online banking portal or by calling the bankâ€™s customer service hotline.
Since this is a savings account, you will face a $10 charge per excess transaction beyond the six withdrawals allowed per statement cycle mentioned above.
Considering BrioDirect is part of Sterling National Bank, you may be wondering whether Sterling Bank is FDIC-insured and if that applies to BrioDirect. The answer is yes, accounts at both organizations are insured by the FDIC to protect your deposits.
One point to keep in mind is that the FDIC maximum insurance limit applies to your combined account balances from both organizations. Now, since the FDIC limit is $250,000 per individual at an institution, this wonâ€™t be a problem unless you plan on having a six-figure balance. But if you do, make sure that your account balance combined at both organizations does not go over the FDIC limit.
BrioDirectâ€™s saving account offers online access through its website and mobile app. With these tools, you can check your balance and transfer funds to other accounts, like to a Sterling Bank savings account. However, Brio Direct Bank does not offer a debit card for ATM access. If you want to make a cash withdrawal, youâ€™ll need to transfer money to another account first.
You also cannot service your account in person at a Sterling National Bank branch. For help, you need to either handle things online or by calling the customer service line.
BrioDirect has a solid variety of short- and long-term CDs. The Brio CD rates are mostly competitive, especially compared with those at national banks, but they donâ€™t quite match the very best online offers.
The BrioDirect CDs come in terms ranging as short as 30 days to as long as five years. They are all traditional, fixed-rate CDs. They do not offer specialty products, like a bump-up CD that lets you increase the interest rate partway through the term.
The Brio Bank CD rates are mostly decent, except for their 30-day term, which is very low. However, while the Brio CD rates are respectable, you could potentially find even better rates with some of the best online CDs on the market today.
You must deposit at least $500 to open one of the BrioDirect CDs. Itâ€™s the same minimum opening deposit for any of the CD terms. If you make an early withdrawal and your balance falls below $500 for more than 20 days, the bank could close your account.
You can withdraw your interest out of a BrioDirect CD before the end of the term without owing a penalty, though it will reduce your total earnings below the quoted APY. If you try to withdraw any of your deposit before your CD matures, BrioDirect will charge an early withdrawal penalty. The penalty depends on your CD term:
|Terms of 30 days or less||30 daysâ€™ interest|
|Terms of 12 months or less||90 daysâ€™ interest|
|Terms of 18 months or more but less than 60 months||9 monthsâ€™ interest|
|Terms of 60 months or more||12 monthsâ€™ interest|
BrioDirect will charge the interest penalty even if itâ€™s more than what youâ€™ve earned. In other words, the bank could deduct the penalty from your initial deposit.
The BrioDirect CDs are also covered by FDIC insurance. However, since BrioDirect is part of Sterling National Bank, the limit applies to your deposit accounts at both institutions. FDIC insurance goes up to $250,000 per individual per bank. So long as your total balance in CDs and other deposit accounts at both organizations is below $250,000, youâ€™re fully covered by FDIC insurance.
To open a BrioDirect Bank account, you apply through the bankâ€™s website. Youâ€™ll need to provide your name, contact information, Social Security number and a form of ID like your passport, driverâ€™s license or State ID. Since this is an online account, you can apply from anywhere in the United States.
Youâ€™ll need to make your opening deposit to complete the process of opening your account. BrioDirect suggests that you make the initial deposit by ACH transfer from an existing checking or savings account, but you can also deposit funds through wire transfer or by check. The bankâ€™s website states it should only take a few minutes. Then, BrioDirect reviews the information to finish setting up your account.
If you are comfortable with an online-only bank, BrioDirect could be an excellent choice. The bankâ€™s high yield savings account is particularly impressive since thereâ€™s no monthly fee and the interest rate is competitive with nearly any account out there.
BrioDirect could also be a good fit for existing Sterling National Bank customers as they could manage both accounts through the same organization. If youâ€™re on the fence about being a joint customer, this Sterling National Bank review can explain what the bank offers along with BrioDirect.
On the other hand, BrioDirect is not suitable for someone who needs fast and regular access to their money. Its savings account does not come with a debit card so to take money out, you need to make a transfer to another bank account, which takes time.
BrioDirect is also not a top choice for CDs. While its offers are decent, someone researching online could likely find a better offer. Finally, as an online-only bank, BrioDirect is not a good choice for someone who wants face-to-face customer service.