EmigrantDirect Review: No Fees and Competitive Rates on Savings and CDs

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Our Take: EmigrantDirect is an online-only bank that offers high-yield savings and certificates of deposit. It's best for customers who are comfortable with online banking and are looking for a no-frills savings account.
  • Rates
    5.0
  • Fees
    4.5
  • Customer Service
    4.5
  • Banking Experience
    4.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Competitive rates on savings and CDs
  • No monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements
  • Online application process
  • FDIC-insured accounts
  • Gold bullion bars and coins available for purchase

Cons

  • No branch locations available
  • No mobile app

About EmigrantDirect

EmigrantDirect is the online banking division of Emigrant Bank. The bank was founded by Irish emigrants in 1850. By the 1920s, Emigrant Bank had grown to one of the largest savings banks in the country.

EmigrantDirect is for consumer accounts only, and it only offers savings accounts and CDs. The financial institution is known for its easy online application process and competitive rates. Additionally, GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best Savings Accounts as well as one of the Best CD Accounts of 2021.

One other unique offering is that customers can buy and sell precious metals through EmigrantDirect. You can purchase gold coins and bars, and the bank will either store them for you or deliver them directly to your home.

Sponsors of

EmigrantDirect Products

Here’s a look at the banking products EmigrantDirect offers.

Type Best For
Savings Account Anyone who wants a basic savings account with a competitive rate
CD Customers who want a choice of CD terms and have a minimum $1,000 deposit available

EmigrantDirect Savings Account

EmigrantDirect’s star product is its AmericanDream Savings Account. This high-yield savings account comes with a generous 0.45% annual percentage yield. There are no fees and no minimum balance requirements to earn preferred rates. That means you’ll earn 0.45% whether you deposit $5 or $5,000. In fact, GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best Savings Accounts of 2021.

However, if you want easy access to your money and plan to make frequent withdrawals, this is probably not the savings account for you. EmigrantDirect doesn’t have any branch locations, and there’s no mobile app, so this account is designed to be a long-term savings plan.

If you have a checking account at another bank, you can link it to your AmericanDream Savings Account. That way, you can transfer funds and set up recurring deposits.

Sponsors of

Features

  • No minimum deposit required
  • No monthly fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • 0.45% APY
  • Easy online application process
  • FDIC-insured

Pros

  • Competitive rate
  • No monthly fee or minimum balance requirement
  • Customer support available 8 a.m. till 11:30 p.m. ET daily

Cons

  • No mobile app
  • No branch locations

EmigrantDirect CD Accounts

EmigrantDirect also offers CDs with competitive rates, with the caveat that you must be an account holder to open one. There’s a minimum deposit of $1,000 to get started, and the interest is compounded daily and credited monthly. Additionally, GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best CD Accounts of 2021.

CDs are only a good option for customers who plan to leave the funds for the full term of the CD. Otherwise, you will get hit with an early withdrawal penalty. So if you think you may want to access the money early, you should probably look at the savings account instead.

Features

  • 0.50% APY for six-month terms
  • 0.60% APY for 16- to 59-month terms
  • 0.70% APY for 60- to 120-month terms
  • Minimum $1,000 deposit
  • FDIC-insured

Pros

  • Competitive rates
  • Interest compounded daily
  • Automatic notification prior to the account maturing
Sponsors of

Cons

  • Early withdrawal penalty
  • Only available for EmigrantDirect account holders

Banking Experience

EmigrantDirect is a strictly online bank, so there are no branch locations. Although it’s easy to open an account online, the bank is lacking when it comes to its overall digital experience. There’s no mobile app, which is something most customers would expect with an online-only financial institution. So managing your money will not be as easy or convenient as it would be with an app.

Customer Service

EmigrantDirect provides live customer service to all its banking customers from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. EST, seven days a week. If you have a problem with your account, you can contact the bank by phone or email customerservice@emigrantdirect.com.

The bank has no chat app that would allow customers to talk to a representative in real time.

How To Open an Account

Opening a savings account with EmigrantDirect is pretty straightforward. You’ll visit the bank’s website and click the “Open Now” button on the homepage.

From there, you can enter your personal information and get your account set up. You will need to provide EmigrantDirect with the following information:

Sponsors of
  • Birthdate (customers must be at least 18 years old)
  • Driver’s license number
  • Social Security number
  • Mailing address
  • Personal checking account information

If you have any trouble opening the account, you can contact customer service and a representative will walk you through it. Once the account is set up, you can fund it with a one-time check deposit.

Key Information

Customer Service Number: 800-836-1997

Customer Service Email: customerservice@emigrantdirect.com

Routing Number: 226070319

EmigrantDirect Fees

One of the advantages of opening an account with EmigrantDirect is the lack of banking fees. There is no minimum balance or monthly maintenance fee. The only fee you might encounter is a $30 fee for outgoing wire transfers.

Type Amount
Monthly maintenance fee $0
Non-sufficient funds $0
Domestic wire transfer (outgoing) $30
Domestic wire transfer (incoming) $0
Non-EmigrantDirect ATM fee N/A

EmigrantDirect vs. Competitors

It’s a good idea to look at more than one bank before deciding where to keep your money. Here’s how EmigrantDirect compares to several other banks.

Bank Key Feature
EmigrantDirect Competitive rates and easy online application process
Ally Bank Wide range of banking accounts, including high-yield savings and CDs
MySavingsDirect High-interest savings account with zero fees
Capital One 360 Good variety of online banking products and a robust digital banking experience
Sponsors of

EmigrantDirect vs. Ally Bank

One of the advantages of banking with Ally is that you’ll have access to a wide variety of accounts, and the rates are slightly higher than what EmigrantDirect offers. However, EmigrantDirect gives customers the option to purchase gold bars and coins, which is something Ally doesn’t offer.

EmigrantDirect vs. MySavingsDirect

MySavingsDirect is a division of Emigrant Bank, and like EmigrantDirect, it offers a high-interest savings account and CDs. Both banks offer online-only services with competitive interest rates and zero fees.

EmigrantDirect vs. Capital One 360

Capital One 360 offers flexible checking and savings accounts, plus access to over 40,000 ATMs across the country. But EmigrantDirect offers a higher rate on its savings account.

Final Take

If you’re looking for an online bank for your savings, EmigrantDirect could be a good choice for you if you won’t need quick access to your money. The savings account comes with a 0.45% APY, and there are a number of CD terms to choose from.

Another noteworthy feature is that you can use EmigrantDirect to buy gold bullion bars and coins to either store in the bank’s vault or have shipped directly to your home. This is a service that you won’t find at many other banks, and it could be a unique selling point for some people. That said, it’s important to note that although gold bullion stored by EmigrantDirect is insured against loss up to replacement value, the insurance doesn’t cover loss of value due to market fluctuations.

Editor’s Favorite

EmigrantDirect is a straightforward savings option that doesn’t charge any monthly fees. You’ll earn a competitive rate on your savings account and CDs so the money you save works harder for you. It’s a good choice for anyone who isn’t looking for an in-person banking experience.

EmigrantDirect FAQ

Here are answers to some of EmigrantDirect's more commonly asked questions.
  • What is the difference between EmigrantDirect and Emigrant Bank?
    • EmigrantDirect is the online banking division of Emigrant Bank.
  • Is EmigrantDirect safe?
    • Yes, the bank uses two-step verification to ensure against fraudulent access to your accounts.
  • Is EmigrantDirect FDIC-insured?
    • Yes, your account is FDIC-insured for up to $250,000.
  • How do I make deposits into EmigrantDirect?
    • Your initial deposit is made by check. From there, you can link your current checking account to your EmigrantDirect savings account. This allows you to schedule transfers or set up automatic transfers between the two accounts.
  • Does EmigrantDirect offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • No, not at this time, but customers appreciate the bank's competitive rates and lack of fees.

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 19, 2020.

This content is not provided by EmigrantDirect. 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 EmigrantDirect.

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About the Author

Jamie Johnson is a freelance writer who covers a variety of personal finance topics, including investing, loans, and building credit. In addition to writing for GOBankingWrites, she currently writes for clients like Quicken Loans, Credit Karma, and the US Chamber of Commerce. 

EmigrantDirect Review: No Fees and Competitive Rates on Savings and CDs
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