Amboy Direct Bank Review: High-Yield Savings for New Jersey Residents

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Quick Take: It's hard to go wrong with Amboy Direct Bank, especially if you're a New Jersey resident. Rates are competitive, fees nonexistent, and it's easy to transfer money between Amber Direct and your existing checking account. They're part of the reasons the institution makes the top 20 list in the GOBankingRates Best Online Banks of 2022 ranking. Check out this Amboy Direct review for all the details. 
  • Rates
    4.5
  • Fees
    5.0
  • Opening Deposit Requirements
    4.5
  • Digital Experience
    4.0
How did we calculate this?

Amboy Direct does a terrific job in its areas of focus, but that narrow focus also has some downsides.

Pros

  • Competitive rates
  • No required minimum balances or associated fees
  • 24/7 withdrawals and deposits to/from your checking account

Cons

  • Products limited to savings accounts and certificates of deposit
  • Best rates and money market account available to New Jersey residents only

Amboy Direct Overview

Amboy Bank, headquartered in Old Bridge, New Jersey, was founded in 1888. It established Amboy Direct for customers who preferred not to bank in person at a branch. Although remote banking meant banking by mail initially, Amboy Bank made Amboy Direct an online savings service in 2003.

Eliminating the need for physical branches keeps Amboy Direct’s overhead low, which allows the online bank to pay competitive rates even without charging any fees. It guarantees that its rates will always be competitive. It’s one of the reasons GOBankingRates named Amboy Direct as a top performer in several studies: Best CD Accounts, Best Money Market Accounts and Best Online Banks of 2022.

Amboy Direct Product Details

It’s all about saving at Amboy Direct — literally. The bank gives you several ways to do it.

Amboy Direct Savings Accounts

Amboy Direct’s eSavings account is its only regular savings account available to non-New Jersey residents, but it guarantees high rates and gives you easy, if not quick, access your money when you link the account to your others. There’s a $100 minimum deposit to open an eSavings account with a yield of 0.40% APY on balances over $300.

The residents-only version, Jersey First eSavings, is far more lucrative, paying higher yields of 1.01% APY and requires just $1 to open.

Amboy Direct Money Market Account

Competitive rates and the absence of fees and minimum balance requirements earned Amboy Direct a place on GOBankingRates’ list of Best Money Market Accounts. The Max More money market account is reserved especially for New Jersey residents and earns 0.45% on balances of $30,000 or more. You can open the account online, by phone or via mail with just $100. 

Amboy Direct CD Accounts

As much as Amboy Direct excels in terms of its savings accounts for residents, it falters when it comes to certificates of deposit for non-residents. Its version is a Treasury Index CD with a yield of 0.55% APY which earns Amboy Direct a place in the GOBankingRates Best CD Accounts of 2022

Although the required opening deposit is only $100, you’ll need a whopping $25,000 balance before the CD earns interest. New Jersey residents have a better option: the eSavings CD with a 12-month term and a yield of 0.50% on every dollar you save — plus the ability to add funds for six months.

Best Features of Amboy Direct

Amboy Direct scores high in four categories:

Rates

Although the best interest rates are saved for New Jersey residents, they’re competitive, with yields of 0.45% to 1.01% APY.

Fees

There are no account service fees and no minimums required to open an account. 

Opening Deposit Requirements

Opening balance requirements are low at just $100.

Digital Experience

 As for the digital experience, the app is fairly new. The online platform integrates with Quicken, QuickBooks and Mint for seamless management of your finances. 

Editor’s Favorite

Amboy Direct’s strength is in taking care of its local customers. Rates on the accounts available only to New Jersey residents are hard to beat.

Banking Experience

For customers comfortable with banking online, the overall experience of banking with Amboy Direct is apt to be a positive one. The primary frustration you’re likely to experience is in the length of time it takes for deposits to clear and transfers out of your account to complete — five business days and up to three business days, respectively.

Customer Service

Customers can get help with their accounts or assistance opening an account by phone, email or postal mail. You can access account information or set up transfers by phone 24/7 via Amboy 24 telephone banking.

Branch Availability

Amboy Direct is an online-only bank, so there are no branches.

Mobile and Digital Experience

Amboy Direct customers can access the bank’s new digital banking platform to check balances and transfer money between linked accounts. The platform integrates with Quicken, QuickBooks and Mint to help you manage all your finances, not just your Amboy Direct accounts.

The mobile app is also new, and it’s available on Google Play and in the App Store. The app lets you check your balances, transfer money and contact customer service securely. It has a 3.7 rating after three reviews in the App Store. The app hasn’t been reviewed yet in Google Play.

Convenience

In terms of access to your accounts, Amboy Direct earns high marks for convenience because of its online, phone and mobile platforms. But when it comes to accessing your money, having to initiate a transfer and then wait several days to access the funds could be a deal-breaker.

How To Open an Account

You can open an account by phone, by mail or online at AmboyDirectBank.com. Applying online takes just five minutes, but you’ll need to have the following on hand before you start:

  • Valid government ID, such as a driver’s license or passport
  • Social Security number
  • Copy of a personal check from the account you’re using to fund your new Amboy Direct account

You’ll find a button to “Open” an account on each of the product descriptions on the Amboy Direct Bank homepage. Select the one for the account you wish to open, and then follow the prompts to complete the form.

Fees

You won’t pay any account fees at Amber Direct unless you withdraw money from your CD before it matures. Contact Amboy Direct for more specific information about early withdrawal penalties.

Amboy Direct Bank vs. Competitors

Every bank is different, so it’s helpful to look at a few before you open a new account. Here’s how Amboy Direct and some similar banks compare.

Bank Best For
Amboy Direct Bank High-yield savings and money market accounts for New Jersey residents
Synchrony Bank IRA CDs and money market accounts
Discover Breadth of products from a respected national brand
Axos Bank High-interest rewards checking

Amboy Direct Bank vs. Synchrony Bank

Synchrony Bank offers excellent rates on savings products, and you can open an individual retirement savings account or CD. Amboy Direct doesn’t have those products, but it does give New Jersey residents the option to bank in person as well as online.

Amboy Direct Bank vs. Discover

Discover is known nationwide, whereas Amboy Direct takes pride in being a New Jersey community bank. But being smaller doesn’t prevent Amboy Direct from offering better savings rates on balances over $3,000, even for the account without a residency requirement.

Amboy Direct Bank vs. Axos Bank

With an interest rate of up to 1.00% APY, it’s hard to beat Axos Bank‘s Rewards Checking, and it has free checking options as well. Perhaps that’s a good account from which to fund an Amboy Direct CD, which offers rates that are several times higher than rates on Axos Bank CDs.

Final Take

You won’t find a large selection of accounts at Amboy Direct. What you will find is a no-frills, no-fuss banking experience, and rates that rival those of the better-known online banks. But because adding to or withdrawing from your account is a slow process, the bank is best for those who can schedule regular automatic deposits and leave their savings to grow.

Amboy Direct FAQ

Here are answers to some of Amboy Direct’s more commonly asked questions.
  • Where are Amboy Direct bank locations?
    • Amboy Direct doesn't have physical branches, but Amboy Bank does. You can search for the nearest one here.
  • How do I know when my new Amboy Direct account is open?
    • You'll receive immediate notification if you open the account online, followed by a separate email with your Access ID and instructions for accessing your account. If you open your account by mail, you'll receive a communication with your ID and instructions for accessing your account.
  • Are Amboy Direct accounts FDIC insured?
    • Yes; deposits are insured up to $250,000 per depositor by the FDIC.
  • Does Amboy Direct offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • Amboy Direct frequently runs promotions, which it features on the Overview page for each product offering a bonus. Currently, you can earn a $250 bonus for opening a new Max More account and maintaining a $30,000 balance. New eSavings customers can earn $50.

Cynthia Bowman contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 7, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Amboy Direct. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Amboy Direct.

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About the Author

Daria Uhlig is a personal finance, real estate and travel writer and editor with over 25 years of editorial experience. Her work has been featured on The Motley Fool, MSN, AOL, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC and USA Today. Daria studied journalism at the County College of Morris and earned a degree in communications at Centenary University, both in New Jersey.

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