Looking for eyebrow-raising interest rates? You may have just found them. While PurePoint Financial doesn’t operate like a typical bank, it can be a great place to park your money.
Are you tired of the pathetically low interest rates on savings accounts and certificates of deposit being offered by your local bank? Are you interested in earning rates on your savings that are many times higher? A new online banking platform called PurePoint is now available, and it pays interest rates that are at the very top of the online banking sector.
PurePoint won’t be your all-purpose bank, since they don’t offer many of the services commonly available through local banks. But they do offer just about the highest interest rates available anywhere. It’s the perfect online bank to hold the majority of your savings, while you handle your other banking business through a local bank or credit union.
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PurePoint Financial is an online bank offering savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs) paying some of the very highest interest rates available anywhere. And while the company currently operates primarily as an online bank, they have more than 20 financial centers open in four states, with more on the way. The company is working to bridge the gap between digital banking and brick-and-mortar banking.
Resource: Best Interest Rates
PurePoint is a new venture that began operations in February 2017, but its parent bank is well known outside the U.S. PurePoint is a division of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG). The Mitsubishi name is recognized in the U.S., but what isn’t known is that MUFG is the fifth largest financial group in the world. It has been in business for 150 years, and operates 2,200 offices in nearly 50 countries, employing over 140,000 people.
As you can see from the list below, MUFG is even larger than JP Morgan Chase, the largest financial institution in the U.S.
The PurePoint Pledge is to help Americans save more and grow the personal savings rate in the U.S. over the next five years.
They plan to uphold this pledge with the following business strategy:
- A streamlined business model that keeps costs low, passing those savings on to customers
- A commitment to consistently offer market-leading rates
- An exceptional client experience through every channel
- Financial Centers staffed by knowledgeable savings professionals
At the present time, PurePoint offers just two account types, high-yield savings and certificates of deposit (CDs). But the interest rates paid on each are among the very highest in the industry, even among online banks.
PurePoint Features and Benefits
Available accounts – Individual and joint accounts, as well as personal trusts.
Available savings products – High-yield Savings and CDs of varying terms. No checking accounts, IRAs or custodial accounts for minors are offered.
Minimum initial deposit – $10,000.
PurePoint monthly statements and communication – To minimize expenses, and keep interest rates high, PurePoint delivers all records to you electronically. For this purpose, you must agree to PurePoint’s E-Sign Consent, authorizing electronic communication.
Account access – Your PurePoint account can be accessed at any time from your computer, tablet, or mobile device.
Note on mobile access: PurePoint does not currently have a mobile app. You must access your account through the web browser of your mobile device. The online app can accommodate mobile check deposits.
U.S. branches – PurePoint has 22 financial centers operating in Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas. Plans are to expand the financial center network.
Customer service – PurePoint customer service is available by email or toll-free phone, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Eastern time. Online Banking is available on a 24/7 basis. And of course, if you live in an area served by one of their financial centers, you can experience in-person customer service.
External account linking – You can link up to 10 external accounts per customer from other financial institutions to your PurePoint account.
FDIC Insurance coverage – All funds on deposit with PurePoint are protected by FDIC Insurance for up to $250,000 per depositor. This includes both savings accounts and CDs.
PurePoint Account Security – PurePoint uses the following security measures to protect your account and online activities:
- Securing your information with industry-standard 128-bit level encryption
- Setting strict requirements for passwords
- Requiring multi-factor authentication
- Automatic logout after a period of inactivity
- Ongoing and proactive suspicious activity monitoring
Funds Availability Policy
PurePoint makes funds available on the following basis:
- Electronic direct deposits and wire transfers are available on the business day they’re received.
- U.S. Treasury checks, U.S. Postal Service money orders, and checks drawn on other MUFG institutions are available on the next business day.
- On all other check deposits, the first $200 of your deposit is available on the first business day following your deposit. The remaining amounts will be available on the second business day. Second day availability also applies to state and local government checks; cashiers, certified, and teller’s checks; Federal Reserve Bank checks and Federal Home Loan Bank checks.
- Funds from ACH debits originated by customers will be held until the fourth business day following the credit to your account.
Longer delays may apply if the bank believes a check will not be paid, you deposit checks totaling more than $5,000 on any one day, you re-deposit a check that has been returned unpaid, you have overdrawn your account repeatedly within the last six months, or there is an emergency, such as a failure of computer or communications equipment.
PurePoint Savings Products
PurePoint High-Yield Savings Accounts
PurePoint high-yield savings accounts have two interest rate tiers:
- On balances between $0.01 and $9,999.99 – 0.25% APY
- On balances between $10,000 and $3 million, the interest rate is currently 1.88%, with an APY of 1.90%.
The minimum initial deposit is $10,000, and a minimum balance of $10,000 must be maintained in order to retain the higher interest rate. Interest will be compounded on a daily basis, and credited to your account monthly.
Cash deposits into your savings account are not permitted. PurePoint can require up to seven days advance written notice before permitting the withdrawal of funds from your savings account.
Due to federal regulations, you are limited to no more than six transfers or withdrawals per statement period. PurePoint may refuse to honor excessive transactions, remove your transfer privileges, or even close your account without prior notice. They may also impose an Excess Activity Fee on each excessive transaction (see PurePoint Account Fees below for details).
PurePoint CDs require a minimum of $10,000 to both open a certificate and maintain the APY. Interest will be compounded on a daily basis, and credited monthly. You can also elect to have CD interest transferred to your savings account, or even to an externally linked account.
PurePoint has CDs in four terms, with rates as follows (as of July 8, 2018):
- 12 months: 2.57%, with 2.60% APY
- 18 months: 2.47%, with 2.70% APY
- 24 months: 2.76%, with 2.80% APY
- 36 months: 2.96%, with 3.00% APY
When you fund a new CD within 10 days of completing your application, you’ll receive their best rate offered during that 10-day period for the same product and term.
CD renewals – A 10-day grace period is provided when your CD comes up for renewal. You’ll get the best rate offered during that 10-day timeframe.
Early withdrawals from your CDs – Withdrawals taken before the end of the CD term will be subject to an early withdrawal penalty (see PurePoint Account Fees below for details). There is a 10-day grace period after your CD term expires, to either add funds to the CD, or make penalty-free withdrawals from it. However, the amount withdrawn must not lower the CD balance to less than $10,000.
PurePoint Account Fees
PurePoint charges no monthly maintenance fees for your account. There are a total of four instances in which fees will be charged:
- Account research fee: $25 per hour, one hour minimum
- Outgoing wire fee: $25 per wire
- Expedited delivery fee: $15 per package
- Excess activity fee: $10 for each transaction in excess of six (6) per statement period, to a maximum of $50 per statement period
Transactions included under the excess activity fee include preauthorized transfers to another payee or institution, including MUFG and its affiliates (ACH or wire), online bank transfers, automatic transfers to another PurePoint Financial account, or telephone transfers.
Early withdrawal penalties on CDs – The penalty assessed will equal 181 days of simple interest at the rate being paid on the amount withdrawn.
How to Open a PurePoint Account
Opening a PurePoint account can be done online, by phone, or at a PurePoint financial center if you live near one.
To complete the application, you’ll need to supply the following documentation:
- A bank account with a routing number (for account funding and linking)
- Social Security number
- U.S. home address
- Phone number
- Email address
- Date of birth of each applicant
- Driver’s license or other identifying information for each applicant
As noted in PurePoint Features and Benefits you will be required to agree to PurePoint’s E-Sign Consent, authorizing electronic communication. Due to PurePoint’s simplified business model, all correspondence–including providing monthly account statements–must be done by email. There is no provision for providing paper correspondence or statements.
You can fund your account using bank transfers, mobile deposits, wire transfers, or checks.
PurePoint Pros and Cons
- PurePoint offers some of the very highest interest rates available on savings accounts and CDs. Their rates are high even by online bank standards!
- There is no monthly maintenance fee connected to your account.
- PurePoint Online Banking is highly secure.
- Savings accounts and CDs require a minimum of $10,000, which will eliminate smaller savers.
- No checking accounts are offered, nor is there an online bill pay capability.
- PurePoint financial centers are not traditional banks, and do not accept cash deposits or provide cash withdrawals.
- Up to seven days written notice may be required on withdrawals from your savings account.
- Due to the simplified business model the company uses, no checks, debit cards or ATM access comes with any PurePoint accounts.
- Overdraft protection is not offered.
- There is currently no PurePoint mobile app, but you can access your account from your mobile device through the web browser.
Should You Sign Up with PurePoint?
As you can see from our list of pros and cons, the cons easily outnumber the pros. But that hardly means PurePoint isn’t worth investing with.
There are a lot of online banks offering very aggressive interest rates on savings accounts and CDs. But PurePoint is at the very top of the interest rate food chain, even among online banks.
In fact, most of the PurePoint cons are due to its intentional orientation toward a simplified business model. By excluding many of the services typically offered by banks, and even online banks, PurePoint is able to keep operating expenses to a minimum, enabling them to pay the highest interest rates around.
You certainly won’t want to use PurePoint as your primary bank. But it will serve as perhaps the very best place to earn high interest on your savings. You can maintain an ongoing relationship with a local bank to provide all the other services you’ve come to expect from a bank, while keeping your interest-bearing portfolio with PurePoint.
If you’d like more information, or you’d like to sign up for the service, visit the PurePoint website.
- High interest rates on savings accounts and CDs
- No monthly maintenance fee
- $10,000 minimum for savings and CDs
- No checking accounts available
- No debit cards or ATM access
- Withdrawals could take several days
- No mobile app