Beam is not technically a bank but rather a San Francisco-based fintech app. The account offers savings rates of up to 4% annual percentage yield, with even higher rates temporarily available. The Beam experience is completely app-based, so it’s not for everyone. But its unique structure could be just the savings vehicle you’re looking for. To help you make that decision, here’s a closer look at how Beam works.
- Who Is Beam Best For?
- Types of Accounts Available
- How To Bank With Beam
- Availability of Funds
- Beam: For Actively Engaged Savers Only
Beam is only available via a mobile app, and it offers a single savings product, so it’s not for everyone. The pros and cons of Beam spell out pretty clearly who might be interested in using Beam.
- No fees
- Unlimited transfers in and out
- Permanent APY as high as 4%, with temporary boosts to 7% available
- Available via app only
- Only a single savings account available
- Basic 0.20% APY only increased through daily activity
- Maximum account opening size currently limited to $15,000
Beam offers a single account with a sole purpose: to pay as high of an APY as possible, with no fees. Delivered in a mobile app format, the account is best for those without the need for branches or in-person customer support.
To gain the highest available APY, customers must engage with the app daily. Those with time and determination to consistently interact with the mobile app will enjoy all of the benefits that Beam has to offer.
As Beam only offers a single savings account, it’s not a great choice for those who want a comprehensive banking experience, including checking, CD, investment and loan accounts. It’s also not appropriate for those in need of full-service branch banking or ATM access, as Beam doesn’t offer either.
Beam requires customers to interact with the app at least daily to earn higher yields, so it’s also not a good choice for those who just want to set money aside and have it grow on its own.
Beam offers a single, mobile-only savings account, with no web or ATM access.
|Beam Account Types|
|Beam Savings Account||0.20%-7%||$0|
The Beam Savings account has no fees and offers the potential to earn a high APY. The standard APY on the account is just 0.20%. By sending referrals to the company, however, you can increase that rate dramatically. Beam breaks down these rate increases into temporary and permanent tiers.
To temporarily increase your APY, Beam will ask you to participate in daily activities on the app. For example, if you collect free Daily Rate Rewards in the app, known as “Billies,” you can potentially increase your rate up to 7% daily. Inviting friends to subscribe to the app’s mailing list is another example of how you can increase your daily rate.
By participating in certain activities, you can also permanently increase your APY on the account in various tiers. Available rate tiers are 0.50%, 1.00%, 1.50%, 2.00%, 2.50%, 3.00%, 3.50% and 4.00%. The promotions to earn these permanent interest rate bumps are disclosed in the app and can vary from day to day.
Beam calculates your interest daily based on your qualifying rate. Accounts are insured for up to $500,000 by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. through the company’s bank partners.
Essentially, the Beam app is a savings account with a modest APY that offers incentives to generate additional interest. If you want to keep up your earnings rate, you’ll have to be constantly involved with the app. Between sending out referrals and checking the account daily, you’ll have to actively participate to earn a high rate of interest. Otherwise, your APY will dwindle to the lowest tier level that you’ve previously attained.
Beyond the APY games in the app, there isn’t much else to the Beam account. There is no ATM access or check writing available with the account, and there are no other account types available.
- Temporary rates of up to 7% APY
- Permanent rates of up to 4% APY
- Starting interest rate of 0.20% APY
- No physical locations
- No website for account servicing
- Maximum opening deposit of $15,000
To open an account, you’ll have to join the mailing list on the Beam website. The company will then email you a download link for the app. When you sign up, you’ll have to verify your identity with information such as your Social Security number and address. You’ll also need to link an existing bank account to Beam for funding purposes. Once your account is open, you can begin earning your Billies by following the instructions the app provides, including sending out referral links to your friends.
Unlike nearly any other bank or financial institution, there’s no online banking available with Beam. The Beam account is only accessible via a mobile device. To get the app, you’ll have to provide Beam with your email address. From there, you’ll be asked for your phone number, so Beam can text you a link to download the app.
Beam’s fee structure is simple: It has none. There are no monthly maintenance fees, overdraft fees, account closure or ATM fees, all of which are common with other checking and savings accounts.
Beam doesn’t offer an ATM card or physical branches, so funds transfer is the only way to get money into or out of the account. Transfers out of your Beam account are typically available in the destination account within three to five business days.
Beam advertises a no-fee savings account with an ongoing 4% APY that can temporarily spike to as much as 7%. However, the starting rate only amounts to 0.20% APY. To earn the 7% rate, or even the 4% rate, the app requires you to enroll other customers and collect daily tokens known as Billies from the app.
For customers willing to round up referrals and engage with the app daily, Beam can be a good deal. However, for those who just want a no-fee, high-yield savings account, it might be much easier to find one of Beam’s online savings account competitors. Those banks can’t generally top Beam’s headline yields, but they can trounce the ongoing 0.20% APY that inactive customers receive from Beam.
Up Next: Best New Bank Promotions and Bonuses
More Bank Reviews
- Alliant Credit Union Review
- Altabank (Bank of American Fork) Review
- Amarillo National Bank Review
- America First Credit Union Review
- American Airlines Credit Union Review
- American Express Review
- American National Bank Fox Cities Review
- Ameris Bank Review
- Amplify Credit Union Review
- Apple Bank Review
- Applied Bank Review
- Associated Bank Review
- Banesco Review
- Bank of America Review
- BB&T Review
- BBVA Review
- Betterment Review
- Campus Federal Review
- Capital One Review
- Century National Bank Review
- Charles Schwab Review
- Chase Bank Review
- Chime Bank Review
- CIT Bank Review
- Citibank Review
- Citizens Bank Review
- Colony Bank Review
- Discover Bank Review
- Fidelity Review
- Fifth Third Bank Review
- FNBO Direct Review
- HSBC Review
- Huntington Bank Review
- Keybank Review
- Kinecta Federal Credit Union Review
- Lake Michigan Credit Union Review
- M&T Bank Review
- Marcus by Goldman Sachs Review
- Merrill Edge Review
- Navy Federal Review
- Penfed Review
- Peoples Bank Review
- PNC Bank Review
- Popular Direct Review
- Regions Bank Review
- Santander Review
- Signature Bank Review
- Simple Review
- Sofi Review
- Southside Bank Review
- State Bank Cross Plains Review
- Suntrust Review
- Synchrony Review
- TD Bank Review
- TIAA Bank Review
- Umpqua Review
- Union Bank Review
- United Bank of Iowa Review
- US Bank Review
- USAA Review
- Valley National Bank Review
- Vio Bank Review
- Wells Fargo Review
- Wright Patt Review
- Zions Bank Review
Rates and fees are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of April 27, 2020.
This content is not provided by Beam. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Beam.