Radius Bank is a full-service bank with exactly one branch location – in Boston. But that doesn’t mean people across the country can’t go online to take advantage of this bank’s interest-paying checking account and unlimited ATM reimbursements.
In our Radius Bank review, we’ll take a look at how this bank’s services stack up and help you decide if it’s a good fit for you and your money.
Radius Bank Review
Product Name: Radius Bank
Product Description: Radius Bank is practically an online-only bank (there's only one branch, and it's in Boston). It offers savings accounts, CD accounts, and -- a real rarity -- a checking account that pays both cash back on purchases and interest. There are no monthly maintenance fees associated with accounts, and there's no balance requirement for checking and traditional savings products. However, the interest rates Radius Bank pays aren't among the highest out there.
- Products & Services
- Interest Rates
- Fees & Charges
- Website / App
- Customer Service
When it comes to Products & Services, Radius Bank is full service and offers practically all that you could need. However, Radius Bank’s Interest Rates are comparatively low for an online-only account. They’re more like what you would find from a brick-and-mortar-focused bank. On the other hand, Radius Bank rates high in the Fees & Charges department because there are no fees to open or maintain an account. In terms of Website/App accessibility, Radius Bank’s website and app seem fine and serviceable. There are many options for getting in touch with the Customer Service team, but the phone lines aren’t staffed 24/7.
Radius Bank Features
|Banking Account Types||Checking, Savings, CDs, Money Markets|
|Other Account Types||Credit Cards, Personal Loans, Student Loans, Mortgages, Yacht Loans, Insurance|
|Minimum Required Deposit to Open Account||$0 for Checking and Savings|
|Number of Branches||1|
|ATM Network Size||500,000 NYCE ATMs|
|ATM Reimbursements||Yes, Unlimited|
|App Availability||iOS, Android, Mobile-Optimized Website|
|Person to Person Money Transfers||Radius Pay a Friend|
|Money Transfers||ACH, Wire Transfers|
|Customer Service Types||Phone, Live Chat, Email|
|Customer Service Hours||M-F: 8:30 a.m.-1:00 a.m. ET; Sat.-Sun.: 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. ET|
|Member FDIC||FDIC Certificate #32551|
|Routing Number / ABA Number||#211075086|
- Cash-Back on Checking. With a Radius Rewards Checking account, you can earn 1% cash back on in-store and online purchases.
- Interest-Paying Checking. Once you have $2,500 in your Rewards Checking account, you’ll earn 0.10% APY. Balances of $100,000 or more earn 0.15% APY.
- NYCE ATM Access. You can use your Radius Bank ATM card at any NYCE ATM without fees. There are about 500,000 ATMs in this network.
- No Fees on Non-Network ATMs. If you use an out-of-network ATM, Radius won’t charge you a fee. Plus, the bank will refund any fees charged by non-network ATM owners on an unlimited basis.
- Early Direct Deposit. Get your paycheck as many as two days early.
What Is Radius Bank?
Headquartered in Boston, Radius Bank is practically an online-only bank that was founded in 1987. It started as First Trade Union Bank, the financial institution for the Massachusetts carpenters union.
In 2017, First Trade Union Bank launched an initial public offering and changed its name to Radius Bank. It’s been steadily growing ever since.
However, in February 2020, LendingClub announced that it had agreed to purchase Radius. The deal will take at least a year to finalize.
How to Get Started with Radius Bank
Opening a new savings account with Radius Bank is simple enough to do. Just be prepared to supply personal information such as your name, address, Social Security number, employment status, etc. You’ll also have to choose how to fund your new account.
Funding Your Radius Bank Account. You can deposit money in a Radius Bank account by wire transfer from another bank, authorizing a direct deposit, or by mailing in a personal or cashier’s check. You can also deposit cash at some ATMs.
Radius Bank Account Options
Radius Bank Rewards Checking
Radius previously offered two checking accounts, Rewards Checking and Hybrid Checking. However, the bank has pretty much rolled the best features of both into the newly revamped Reward Checking account.
There are two things that set Radius Bank Rewards Checking apart from many other standard checking accounts. For starters, it pays cash back. If you use your account card as a “credit” transaction (signing for a purchase, rather than entering a PIN), you’ll earn 1% cash back.
The second main feature of this checking account is that it earns interest with a minimum balance of $2,500. You’ll earn 0.10% APY, unless your account balance is over $100,000, in which case the rate becomes 0.15% APY. Interest-paying checking accounts are still something of a novelty. However, note that there are even better checking account APYs out there (for instance, from Ally Bank). Still, 0.10% beats the pants off no interest earned.
There are no monthly maintenance fees associated with the Rewards Checking account. In addition, besides the $100 you’ll need to open a new account, there are no minimum balances required.
You can use your Radius Bank debit card at any of the hundreds of thousands of NYCE ATMs. However, even if you do use a non-network ATM, Radius both will not charge you a fee and will also reimburse the other bank’s fees on an unlimited basis. That’s a great feature if you’re a frequent ATM user; many other banks cap reimbursements around $15 per month.
Another perk of the Radius Bank Rewards Checking account is its early direct deposit feature. Once you have a direct deposit paycheck set up with your account, you’ll be able to access your money as many as two days early.
Radius Bank High-Yield Savings
Radius Bank also offers its High-Yield Savings account for folks who want to let their money stay put and earn interest.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, the APYs this account pays out aren’t much higher than what you can earn with the checking account. However, you’ll still earn interest (albeit a small amount) if your account balance is below $2,500.
If you’re serious about using a savings account, check out some of the other high-yield savings accounts available online. You can find accounts that pay as much as 20 times the national average APY.
Radius Bank CDs
There are also several options for certificates of deposit. Current terms range from three months to five years.
As with Radius Bank’s other interest-paying products, there are better rates to be found out there. (Check out Discover Bank for some top-notch rates.) But these are still decent CDs and require only $500 to $1,000 to open, depending on the maturity date.
Radius Bank Pros & Cons
Radius Bank Pros
- Interest-Paying Checking. Checking accounts with APYs are still a rarity.
- Cash-Back Rewards for Checking. Radius Bank’s Rewards Checking gives you 1% cash back on purchases if you use your card like a credit card.
- Practically Free ATMs. If you’re a frequent ATM user, you’ll love the network of fee-free ATMs, plus Radius Bank’s unlimited refunds on other banks’ fees.
- Early Direct Deposit Funds. You can access the cash from your paycheck early if you have it direct deposited into your Rewards Checking Account.
- No Maintenance Fees. Radius Bank accounts don’t charge monthly maintenance fees.
Radius Bank Cons
- Interest Rates Aren’t Great. Despite being practically an online-only bank, Radius doesn’t pay the best interest rates around.
- Expensive Overdrafts. If you overdraw on your account, you’ll pay $25 for each returned item, with no cap. Plus, if you have a negative balance in your account, you’ll pay $5 in fees on every fifth day, digging you deeper into the hole.
While Radius Bank provides full-service banking, we wish it paid rates more in line with other online-only banks. After all, with only one brick-and-mortar location, the bank is cutting overhead costs.
However, perhaps this will change once the acquisition by LendingClub is finalized. There’s plenty of potential here, and we’d like to see Radius Bank become more competitive with the other online options.