Late last year I heard about a checking account that paid a 1% interest rate via a sponsorship of the Afford Anything Podcast. I was intrigued as I had not been particularly happy with my current brick and mortar bank. This post is a review of the product that was advertised, the Hybrid Checking account from Radius Bank.
Full Disclosure: These are my thoughts as a customer of the bank for the past four months. Radius Bank has not provided any input or compensation related to this post.
Why Radius Bank?
Below are the reasons why I was willing to give Radius Bank a try. Some are tied to our existing bank and others are reasons why Radius specifically appealed to me.
- Sometimes we (my family) have more than a few months of expenses in our checking account. That balance was earning nothing at our brick and mortar bank.
- The mobile deposit limits on our existing checking account were sometimes less than what I needed to deposit. My wife still receives a paper paycheck and when I hit the mobile deposit limit, that necessitated a trip to the ATM. I would like to avoid that trip if I can.
- Our big bank was the one constantly in the news for unethical behavior. The constant barrage of news about this behavior caused me to second guess my relationship with them.
- Radius pays 1% interest on balances with a relatively low balance requirement compared to other banks with a similar interest rate.
- Radius’s mobile deposit limits met the needs of my family.
- Your first order of checks is free.
- Unlimited ATM fee rebates.
Opening And Using My Account
Opening my account was easy enough as was initially funding the account. My debit Mastercard showed up within a week or two after my account was opened. During the account opening process it wasn’t entirely clear that I was opening a joint account. A few days after opening the account I contacted customer service and enquired about the status of my joint account. Customer service had to send a form to my wife via DocuSign in order to make the account a joint account.
After the joint status was squared away I deposited my first check via mobile deposit. Well, I tried to deposit it. After having the deposit rejected three times I contacted customer service. I don’t know exactly why, but because the check was payable to my wife, there was a problem. Customer service had to contact someone else in the bank, but my issue was resolved the following day.
Despite those two early hiccups, it’s been smooth sailing since. While it was a hassle to get those issues squared away, customer service was responsive and did solve both problems in a timely manner.
- Online bill pay
- High interest rate with a relatively low balance requirement
- High mobile deposit limits
- Unlimited ATM fee refunds
- Good Customer Service interactions
- FDIC Insured
- Depending on your banking needs, you may brush up against a few transaction limits. I needed to deposit one check in my old brick and mortar due to the mobile deposit limit and the age of my account. Also, the ACH limits may be an issue if you’re moving large amounts of money for a large purchase. Some of these limits won’t be an issue depending on the age and balance of your account, but it’s something to be aware of. You can find a list of the limits here.
- The website has a few bugs that don’t hinder functionality but are annoying:
- An Issue with viewing banking statements inline in Safari. You can get around it by downloading the statement.
- A field on the Dashboard screen has a continual spinner over it. Clearing your cache/cookies resolves it for the next use but it always comes back. You can access the data by clicking elsewhere in the website but it’s annoying seeing that spinner all the time.
- If you send a check via bill pay, that payment is not reflected in your account until the check is cashed. I prefer how my brick and mortar bank handles this; which is when the check is sent. My mental model of how much is in my account prefers the latter. This is just my personal preference though.
- I haven’t activated my debit card but I’m assuming that would work fine.
- I live a mostly cashless lifestyle so I haven’t tried to withdraw cash from my account. Of course I would need to activate my debit card first.
- Since I haven’t activated my debit card, I also haven’t tried to deposit a check via ATM either. You can find a list of Deposit ATMs here.
I’ve been using my Hybrid Checking account at Radius Bank for the past four months alongside my existing brick and mortar bank checking account. I’m slowly pulling transactions and scheduled withdrawals from my old bank to Radius with the most likely scenario being all but my mortgage payment being handled through Radius Bank. I need to confirm if my ACH limits are raised however as I do sometimes (maybe a few times a year) exceed my current limits when making large purchases or doing larger home projects. Overall I have been pretty happy with Radius Bank and if you are considering a checking account change, I would recommend taking a look at their offerings.