Radius Bank Review: Cash Back, Low Fees, and High-Interest Savings

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How do you know if an online bank is right for you? 

As you would with a traditional bank, you need to find out details like what kinds of services and products it offers, what fees are included, what interest rates they offer on their accounts, and how easy it is to open an account. You also want to be sure you can access your money when you need it and that there’s someone you can go to with problems or issues. 

With its full suite of banking products, high interest rates, and round-the-clock customer service, Radius Bank could be a good choice if you’re looking to move to a fully online bank. 

In this review of Radius Bank, we’ll discuss what it offers and whether or not it’s a good choice for your online banking needs.

What is Radius Bank? 

Radius Bank is a full-service online bank offering high-interest savings and checking accounts to individuals, businesses, and institutions like unions and nonprofits. It also offers other personal finance products like CDs, personal loans, credit cards, mortgages, and life and home insurance. 

Bankrate named Radius Bank the best online bank of 2020, and, although it is not accredited, it has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Reviews of Radius Bank’s apps show a 4.3 of 5-star rating on the Google Play store and a 4.5 of 5-star rating in the Apple App Store.

Users report that they enjoy the cash-back feature, the ease of mobile deposit and online bill pay, and the high interest rates. Common complaints include issues with their business checking account and hidden fees. 

Signing up for a Radius Bank account is quick and can be done via the website or the app. Accounts are FDIC-insured and Radius Bank uses 256-bit encryption to protect your data. Customer service is available by phone, email, and online chat 24/7.

0.15% APY Balances $2,500 to $24,999.99
$100 Min. Opening Deposit No monthly service fee
DollarSprout Rating

Radius Bank At a Glance:

Radius Bank is a full-service online bank offering high-interest checking and savings accounts. It also offers other financial products including insurance, credit cards, loans, and options for businesses, all of which can be managed from their website or apps.

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Pros

  • Free checking and savings account options
  • Full-service online bank, so you can keep all your accounts in one place
  • No monthly account fees
  • ATM fee reimbursement policy

Cons

  • $25,000 balance required to earn the best available interest rate
  • High overdraft and other fees

Radius Bank High-Yield Savings Account

Radius Bank offers one of the best fee-free high-yield online savings accounts. You’ll need a minimum of $100 to open the account. 

There is no monthly fee to keep your account open, and even though you must have $100 to open an account, if the balance dips below that afterward, there is no penalty. The only penalty you would receive is if you make more than six withdrawals per month, in compliance with federal regulation, but there is a workaround for that. 

Radius Bank offers a free ATM card to all savings account holders, and if you use that to withdraw money from an ATM, it does not count towards the six-withdrawal limit. And, given Radius Bank’s generous ATM fee reimbursement policy, you can request to have any assessed ATM fees refunded to your account.

 

A note about interest rates

Although the Radius Bank high-yield savings account offers a higher interest rate than brick-and-mortar banks, you only earn the highest rate if you keep your account balance at $25,000 or more. If your balance falls below $25,000, you’ll earn a lower interest rate. 

While the interest rate is high, it’s often lower than other competitors, especially if you plan to maintain a lower balance. Make sure you compare Radius Bank’s interest rate to other banks like Ally and CIT before making a decision. 

Radius Bank Personal Checking Accounts

If you’re interested in opening a checking account with Radius Bank, there are a few options based on your needs. 

Rewards checking

This is the personal checking account option offered by Radius Bank. You’ll need $100 to open an account, but there’s no minimum balance requirement beyond that. It’s easy to apply for an account online and you’ll know in less than five minutes if you’ve been approved. 

With a Rewards checking account, you’ll earn 1% cash back on purchases made with your debit card, and through December 2020, customers can get an extra 0.50% on purchases in certain categories.

There are no monthly maintenance fees and a large network of fee-free ATMs you can access to withdraw cash. If you need to use an out-of-network ATM, there is a reimbursement policy for any fees incurred. There is no cap on how much you can have refunded. 

Other features of the Rewards checking account include access to your direct deposit paychecks up to two days early, 0.15% APY on balances of $2,500 to $99,999.99, free checks, and use of Radius Bank’s mobile banking apps. 

Related: Best Checking Accounts of the Month

Overdraft fees

Although there are no monthly account or maintenance fees, make sure you avoid overdrafting your account. There’s a $25 per item NSF fee, which can quickly add up if you’ve made a math error or accidentally overdraw your account. However, according to their fee schedule, individual overdrafted items of $5 or less will not be charged a fee.

You can sign up for overdraft protection by linking your checking account to other Radius bank accounts.

Superhero checking account

This free personal checking account comes with almost all of the same features as the Rewards checking account but with a few key differences. For instance, your interest rate is much lower. The Rewards checking comes with a 0.15% APY on balances over $2,500 whereas the rate on the Superhero account is only 0.05% APY.

However, if you’re looking for a simple way to donate to charity, this account is a good choice. Each month, Radius Bank will donate 1% of your total debit card purchases to the March of Dimes. Additionally, Radius Bank matches all interest earned on your account and donates it to the March of Dimes. 

Essential checking account

Getting a bank account is often difficult for those who have a less-than-stellar banking record. Radius Bank recognizes that and, as a result, offers an FDIC-insured account to those who don’t qualify for their other personal checking account. 

The Essential checking account is a second-chance banking account aimed at helping those who need to rebuild their banking history. This account comes with a $9 monthly account fee and a daily debit card limit of $500. There is also a mobile check deposit limit of $1,000 and no more than $2,000 every ten days. However, after 12 consecutive months of positive banking, users can upgrade to a Rewards checking account. 

Related: What is a Prepaid Card? The Pros and Cons of Prepaid Debit Cards

Review of Radius Bank’s Additional Services

While most people choose to use Radius Bank for their checking or savings account, there are a number of other services available. 

Certificates of Deposit

With Radius Bank, you’ll need to commit to at least a one-year CD in order to earn a higher rate than you would from a savings account. If you’re able to meet the $25,000 minimum balance to get the highest savings rate available, you’d need to commit to a five-year CD.

Related: What is a Certificate of Deposit (CD)?

Mobile money management

With Radius Bank’s apps, customers can do anything they would normally do with a traditional bank from their phone. You can sign up for direct deposit, transfer money between accounts, pay bills, send money to friends and family, and add your debit card to your mobile wallet. 

You can also take advantage of their financial management tools. Some of those tools include monitoring your net worth, analyzing your spending habits, and creating a budget. All of the tools are available via their own app, available in the Apple and Google Play app stores. 

Loans

In addition to credit cards and banking accounts, customers can obtain personal loans, student loans, and mortgages. Student loan and mortgage refinancing are also available. The loans are not offered directly through Radius Bank; rather, the offers come through its partnership with Credible. 

As with all loans, make sure you do your research and compare lenders to make sure you’re getting the best deal. 

Related: How to Get a Personal Loan (and Things to Consider Beforehand)

Insurance

Using the Radius Bank marketplace, customers can obtain both life insurance (via Ladder) anfdd home or renter’s insurance (via Lemonade). They’ve also taken steps to shorten the application process and get you instant quotes.

This might be a quicker and more efficient process for those who need these products immediately. However, as with loans, make sure you do your research about rates, premiums, and policy coverage before accepting the offer. 

Related: What Type of Life Insurance Should I Get?

Business solutions

Radius Bank offers a number of options for businesses ranging from SBA loans to PPP forgiveness to escrow services and API banking. There are even more choices for nonprofits, unions, and government agencies who opt to use Radius including business loans, disbursement services, and cash management services. 

If you’re interested in having a business checking account with Radius, you can do that with their Tailored checking account. This account offers many of the same features as the Rewards checking, but also includes features like sending invoices and wires, accepting card, ACH, and lockbox payments, and unlimited transactions. 

There’s also an app specifically for businesses that bank with Radius. With the app, businesses can send invoices, receive payments, order and deposit checks, make wire transfers, and more. It’s available for both Apple and Android users.

Radius Bank Review Summary: A Good Online-Only Option

If you prefer banking online and might need a full suite of products including loans and insurance, Radius Bank is a solid choice. The lack of account fees, generous ATM reimbursements, and other financial management tools also set it apart. And if you’re a small business owner, the business banking account offers comprehensive and easy-to-use on-the-go options.

However, the $25,000 minimum balance to net the highest available rate is not easy to reach for many people and there might be too many apps to keep track of. If you want to use Radius as your main bank, their high-yield savings account is a good choice. But if you’re just looking for an online savings account, there are better options out there.

Author
TJ Porter

TJ Porter has in-depth experience in reviewing financial products such as savings accounts, credit cards, and brokerages, writing how-tos, and answering financial questions. He has also contributed to publications and companies such as My Bank Tracker, CardCruncher, and Echo Fox. He aims to provide actionable advice that can help readers better their financial lives. In his spare time, TJ enjoys thinking up new ways to optimize my own finances, in addition to cooking, reading, playing games (of the board and video variety), soccer, ultimate frisbee, and hockey.

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