Comenity Direct Review: Competitive Interest Rates from a Known Retail Store Card Provider

GOBankingRates Score

4.8
Our Take: Comenity Capital Bank is best known for the retail store credit cards it issues for retailers such as Victoria's Secret, Wayfair and Williams Sonoma. But you can access more than credit from the financial institution through its Comenity Direct banking arm. This in-depth Comenity Direct review will highlight how the banking side works and if it's the right choice for you.
  • Customer Service
    5.0
  • Fees
    5.0
  • Interest Rates
    5.0
  • Opening Deposit Requirements
    4.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • High-yield savings account pays 0.60% APY
  • Two-year CD rate is 0.75% APY
  • Winner of Purdue University's BenchmarkPortal for excellence 15 times in a row for customer service
  • The savings account has very few fees and a low opening balance of $100
  • Direct deposit available

Cons

  • No checking account available
  • Customer service is only available by phone
  • No debit cards offered

About Comenity Direct

Comenity issued its first credit card in 1986. Today, it partners with 160 of the top retailers to issue co-branded and private label store cards. In 2018, Comenity added banking services, known as Comenity Direct, to provide low-fee, high-yield savings and CD accounts that are FDIC-insured. There are no physical branch locations, but customers can handle their banking needs through the website, mobile banking app or by calling customer care. Notably, GOBankingRates has ranked Comenity Direct as one of the Best Online Banks of 2021, as well as one of the Best Savings Accounts and Best CD Accounts of 2021, in its yearly rankings.

Comenity Direct Products

Comenity Direct focuses on savings products. Here’s a list of banking services that are available at this time.

Type Product Details
Savings
Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
  • Earn 0.60% to 0.90% APY
  • Annual terms of one, two, three, four or five years
  • $1,500 minimum opening deposit

What makes the savings account and CDs at Comenity Direct worth considering? Interest rates that are higher than what some of the top brick-and-mortar banks are offering might be the top feature. But there’s more.

Comenity Direct Savings Account

Comenity Direct has only one high-yield savings account option, but the simplicity of the product should suffice for most account holders. Since there are no branch locations, you’ll need to feel comfortable doing your banking online or using a mobile app. If so, you’ll be able to deposit checks, transfer funds and manage your money at any time — day or night. Additionally, GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best Savings Accounts of 2021.

Features

  • Fees limited to those for wire transfers, paper statements and official checks
  • Mobile check deposit available
  • Direct deposit available

Pros:

Cons:

  • Limited to six withdrawals per month
  • The only types of withdrawals available are transfers to another bank account.

Comenity Direct CD Accounts

A certificate of deposit can be useful when you need a guaranteed interest rate for your funds and you won’t need to access the balance for a set period of time. Comenity Direct provides a few term lengths to make accelerated savings growth possible. The longer you leave your money in a CD, the more interest you’re likely to earn. GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best CD Accounts of 2021.

Features

  • Earn 0.60% to 0.90% APY
  • Five term lengths available: one, two, three, four and five years

Pros

  • No fees, except for wire transfer, paper statements and official checks
  • Automatic renewal is available
  • Interest compounds daily

Cons

  • $1,500 minimum opening balance is required
  • Penalties of 180 to 365 days of simple interest apply if you withdraw early

Before you apply, compare how Comenity Direct’s rates compare with the best CD rates from other banks.

Banking Experience

A typical Comenity Direct review from customers explains that you’re getting a no-frills experience. You won’t have access to perks, rewards or bank branches, but you’ll be earning higher interest on your savings accounts.

Customer Service

Comenity prides itself on top-shelf customer care. Although the only way to access customer service is by phone, representatives provide a good experience — Comenity Direct has won Purdue University’s BenchmarkPortal for customer service excellence 15 times in a row.

Accessibility and Branch Availability

There are no branches available, so you’ll need to get comfortable handling your savings accounts via the website or mobile app. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Making it less convenient to access your savings account means you might be tempted to spend less, helping you to grow your money faster.

Mobile and Digital Experience

Online banking is available through the Comenity Direct website, or you can use Comenity Direct’s mobile app, which is available for both iOS and Android. The Comenity Direct review at the Google Play Store for the app is average, with just less than 3 out of 5 stars. iPhone and iOS users seem happier with the app, awarding it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Some of the banking functions you can complete using the Comenity Direct app include:

  • Managing your account
  • Viewing balances and history
  • Making money transfers
  • Setting up account alerts
  • Depositing checks

Your personal information is safe, thanks to encryption, authentication and round-the-clock monitoring of your account activity for the website. Touch ID and PIN code sign-in using your fingerprint or passcode are available through the mobile app.

How To Open an Account

According to Comenity Direct, opening an account online takes minutes. You’ll need to be at least 18 years of age, have a valid U.S. Social Security Number and provide a physical U.S. residential address.

Follow these steps:

  1. Click on “Open an Account.”
  2. Set up a login and password.
  3. Provide an email address.
  4. Upload a government-issued photo ID.
  5. Enter your Social Security number.
  6. Provide a U.S. residential address.
  7. Answer some questions to verify your identity.
  8. Fund your account by setting up a transfer using a current bank account and routing number.

Key Information

Customer Service Number: 1-833-755-4354, weekdays 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. CST and weekends 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST

Routing Number: 124085325

Comenity Direct Fees

You won’t have to worry about many bank charges, such as overdraft fees when you bank with Comenity Direct. There are no monthly maintenance, ACH or incoming wire transfer fees. The bank promises no surprise fees. The only charges from Comenity Direct are for:

  • Outgoing wire transfer: $25
  • Official check request: $15
  • Paper statement: $5

Comenity Direct vs. Competitors

Comenity Direct is a good option when need to establish an emergency savings fund or want to save for a reason, such as a down payment on a home. But how do its highly focused banking services compare to similar banks?

Bank Best For
Comenity Direct Higher-earning CDs
Ally Bank Interest-earning checking and savings accounts
Vio Bank Higher-yield savings account
Marcus by Goldman Sachs The flexibility of savings and loans in one place

Comenity Direct vs. Ally Bank

Comenity Direct is a solid low-fee savings account contender but falls short in the breadth of products. If you’re in search of a bank that offers both low-fee, interest-bearing checking and savings, Ally Bank is the better option.

Comenity Direct vs. Vio Bank

Vio Bank provides similar products to Comenity. Vio Bank’s savings rate is higher at 0.51% APY compared to Comenity’s 0.60% APY. For CDs, Comenity Direct pays you more.

Comenity Direct vs. Marcus by Goldman Sachs

Comenity’s high-yield savings account pays higher interest than Marcus’ current 0.50%. One advantage Marcus has over Comenity is its loan offerings. Marcus offers no-fee unsecured personal loans of $3,500 to $40,000. Depending on your credit score, fixed rates are between 6.99% and 19.99% APR for three- to six-year terms.

Final Take

There are plenty of good reasons to separate your checking and savings accounts. One of the main reasons may be simply to avoid spending the funds by taking away the easiest access. Comenity Direct’s savings and CDs are high-yield and only allow for limited transfers each month. There are no monthly maintenance fees — open more than one account to save for different goals. And best of all, opening an account is simple and can be done in just a few minutes to start saving right away.

More Banks With Competitive Rates

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    Editor’s Favorite

    Interest rates are at historically low levels, making it hard to earn anything significant on your cash. Comenity Direct pays APY on the high yield savings account, regardless of your balance.

    Comenity Direct FAQ

    Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Comenity Direct.
    • Are Comenity Direct and Comenity Capital Bank the same?
      • Savings accounts and CDs are available through Comenity Direct, a brand of Comenity Capital Bank.
    • Is Comenity Direct FDIC insured?
    • Does Comenity Direct offer free money for signing up for an account?
      • Many banks provide enticing cash bonuses to earn your business. Comenity does not offer any cash signup bonuses at this time.

    Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 16, 2020.

    This content is not provided by Comenity 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 Comenity Direct.

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    About the Author

    Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with degrees from American University in international business and journalism. Besides writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design and architecture. Her work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates’ Open Skies magazine and more.

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