When shopping for a new bank, there are many things to consider. For example, you need to take a good look at how you bank to determine whether you need local branches or if an online bank could easily meet your needs. You should also look at your financial plans and future purchases, to decide which savings vehicles are optimal.
Your banking needs may include a mixture of checking accounts, high-yield savings, money market accounts, and certificates of deposits. However, while you can find a bank that offers all of the products you need, this doesn’t mean that you can only choose one. For many customers, splitting accounts between two different banks might be the most rewarding option.
To help you find the right bank for your personal needs, we are going to discuss two potential options today: Investors eAccess and Comenity Direct. We will discuss the account types and features offered by both banks, as well as the rates you’ll find there.
By the end of this article, you will have a good idea as to whether either (or both) of these banks is the right place for your money. So, let’s jump right in and take a look at what you’ll find.
|Checking Account||Savings Account||Money Market Account (MMA)||Certificates of Deposit (CDs)||No-Penalty CDs|
For many customers, the bank search begins whilst looking for a checking account. That’s because checking accounts are our go-to financial vehicles, offering us easy access to our daily spending and cash when we need it.
Checking accounts are important, but there are many reasons you may want to keep your daily spending money at an entirely separate bank than your savings. By putting your savings elsewhere, you can automate (and maximize) your efforts while also removing the temptation of overspending. In fact, many financial experts recommend choosing two banks for this very reason.
That’s a good thing if you’re considering either Comenity Direct or Investors eAccess banks, too — because neither of them offer checking accounts.
Investors eAccess is a division of the NY- and NJ-based Investors Bank. This bank does offer checking accounts for customers; however, the Investors eAccess branch of the company only offers MMAs and CDs.
|Checking Account Offered?||Monthly Fees||Minimum deposit||ATM debit card||Checks||Mobile deposit||Local branch access||Interest bearing?|
So, let’s move right on to the areas where both banks shine: your savings.
There are two savings vehicles that offer easy access to your money when you need it most, high-yield savings accounts and money market accounts. While these are very similar, there are a few distinct differences.
Comenity Direct and Investors eAccess banks each offer one of these savings options.
High-Yield Savings Accounts
As important as checking accounts are to your everyday spending money, the right savings account is equally important to those rainy day funds and future plan savings. You’ll have access to your money for things like emergencies, but will still earn competitive interest on the balance in the meantime.
|High-Yield Savings Offered?||Monthly Fees||Minimum deposit||ATM card||Above-average interest rate?||Mobile deposit||Local branch access|
Investors eAccess: High-Yield Savings Accounts
Unfortunately, you won’t find any savings accounts at Investors eAccess. As mentioned above, Investors eAccess is a division of Investors Bank, which does offer savings accounts to customers. In fact, they have five savings accounts to choose from there, depending on whether you’re looking to save for tuition, holidays, or whatever else your plans include.
Investors eAccess also offers customers a money market account, or MMA, for high-yield savings. We will talk more about this below — and how similar this account type is to a traditional savings account — so don’t cross Investors off of your list just yet.
Comenity Direct: High-Yield Savings Accounts
You will find an excellent high-yield savings account with Comenity Direct, however. This account brings with it plenty of perks, like:
- No monthly service fees
- A minimum deposit of only $100
- Mobile check deposit
- Your funds are FDIC insured
- Easy access to your funds via web, phone, or
The savings rate at Comenity Direct is impressive, too, offering 2.48% APY right now (rate current as of May 29, 2019). Considering that the national average savings account interest rate is about 0.08% APY right now, this account is a great way to maximize your earnings.
As this account is designed to be for saving and not regular spending, there are no checks or ATM cards offered to account holders. However, if you need to access your funds, you can easily initiate a free ACH transfer to an external account, request a bank check, or initiate an outgoing wire.
There are no local Comenity Direct branches, so all banking must be conducted online. With an impressive savings rate such as theirs, though, it is probably well-worth the trade off.
Summary: Comenity Direct is the only bank offering high-yield savings (and with a market-topping interest rate to boot), so they win this category by default.
Money Market Accounts (MMAs)
Many consumers don’t quite know what the difference is between a savings account and an MMA, or money market account. That’s alright, as they’re very similar products… and at some banks, there isn’t actually a difference at all!
Money market accounts are savings vehicles, just like your typical high-yield account. However, many banks will offer higher interest rates for MMA customers who deposit larger savings (usually $10,000 or more). Many MMAs will also offer improved funds access through bank cards or check books.
While Comenity Direct offers a high-yield saving account, as we discussed above, they don’t offer an MMA. Conversely, Investors eAccess didn’t offer high-yield savings, but they do offer a competitive MMA for your savings needs.
|Money Market Account Offered?||Monthly Fees||Minimum deposit||ATM debit card||Above-average interest rate?||Mobile deposit||Local branch access|
|Investors eAccess||Yes||None||$0||No||Yes||Yes||NY/NJ only|
Investors eAccess: Money Market Accounts
A money market account from Investors eAccess is a great savings vehicle if you want to avoid monthly fees, earn a high interest rate, ensure that your funds are safe, and open an account with no minimum deposit required.
Here, you’ll enjoy an impressive interest rate of 2.50% APY on all balances, with $0 required to start (rate current as of May 29, 2019). There’s also no limit to the number of accounts you can open, so you could set up multiple accounts for various savings goals.
There are no bank cards or checks offered with the Investors eAccess MMA, so withdrawals will need to be via external transfer or ACH debit. Deposits can be made via check, ACH transfer, incoming wire, transfer from an existing account with the bank, or mobile check deposit.
You’ll have access to your account(s) via phone, web, or mobile app for easy access. There are no monthly service fees, either, regardless of the balance you hold.
This makes the Investors eAccess MMA a very comparable — and competitive — product to Comenity Direct’s high-yield savings account.
Comenity Direct: Money Market Accounts
There are no MMAs offered by Comenity Direct at-present. However, you can easily open a high-yield savings account at the bank, which offers all of the same features as an MMA (along with a comparable interest rate).
Summary: Investors eAccess takes the win, as they are the only bank out of the two to offer a true MMA.
Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
When saving for a longer-term — or simply larger — goal, you may want to employ a certificate of deposit (CD). These savings vehicles are intended to maximize returns in exchange for agreeing to “lock away” your money for a defined period of time.
This makes them perfect for things such as money for your next car, or the future down payment on a home. You know that you’ll need to save for a while and won’t be buying for a while, so you don’t need to touch that money right now.
With that said, CDs are a poor choice for emergency funds or other savings that you may need to pull from in the near future.
|Term CD offered?||Term lengths||No-Penalty CD offered?||Early withdrawal penalties||Minimum deposit||Above- average interest rate?|
|Investors eAccess||Yes||6 or 10 months||Yes||90 days’ interest||$500||Yes|
|Comenity Direct||Yes||1 – 5 years||No||30 – 365 days’ interest||$1,500||Yes|
Investors eAccess: Certificates of Deposit
At Investors eAccess, your CD options are quite simplified: there are only two to choose from. Here, you have a choice between a 6-month, no-penalty CD and a 10-month standard term CD.
Both CDs come with interest rates that are well above the national average, and even many of their competitors. As of this writing (May 29, 2019), your money will earn:
- 2.50% APY on a 6-month CD
- 2.70% APY on a 10-month CD
As with the savings account options above, you should note that these are the products offered by Investors eAccess, a subsidiary of Investors Bank. The latter, parent institution does offer additional CD options, ranging in terms from three months to five years.
There are no monthly fees and your deposit is FDIC insured up to the legal limits. Investors eAccess does require a $500 minimum deposit in order to open a CD, though there is no limit to the number of CDs you can open at any one time.
With CD terms so short, chances are that you won’t need to touch your principal deposit before the certificate matures. However, if you do, you’ll be subject to early withdrawal penalties. The 6-month CD is a no-penalty product, so you can withdraw your deposit without consequence anytime after the 6th day. With the 10-month CD, however, you’ll be subject to 90 days’ simple interest as a fee.
Depending on your initial deposit and how long the CD had been open, this could easily eat up all of your interest earned… or dip into your principal balance!
Comenity Direct: Certificates of Deposit
You’ll also find a variety of CDs to choose from at Comenity Direct. This bank offers certificates of deposit in 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, or 5-year terms, each offering an impressive interest rate to boot.
At Comenity Direct, you’ll be able to open a CD with a minimum deposit of $1,500. All deposits are FDIC insured, and you can deposit — and earn interest on! — as much as $10 million. There are no monthly fees to worry about, and your earned interest is posted monthly.
The current rates (as of May 29, 2019) are as follows:
- 1-year CD: 2.86% APY
- 2-year CD: 2.95% APY
- 3-year CD: 3.00% APY
- 4-year CD: 3.05% APY
- 5-year CD: 3.15% APY
As you can see, even the 1-year term CD offers a rate much higher than many of the bank’s competitors. By opting for an even longer term, though — and possibly utilizing a CD ladder to ensure liquidity — you can earn a market-topping rate.
If you are concerned that you may need to touch your principal balance before the CD matures, however, think twice. Comenity Direct does impose early withdrawal penalties, and there aren’t any no-penalty CD products to choose from. The fees are as follows:
- For 1-, 2-, or 3-year CDs, the penalty is 180 days simple interest
- For 4-year CDs and higher, the penalty is 365 days simple interest
Summary: Each bank offers excellent CD options, depending on what you need and how much you want to earn. Investors eAccess may have a slight advantage, simply because they offer a low $500 minimum deposit and a no-penalty option (which still earns a great rate). However, if you’re planning to lock away your savings for a year or more, Comenity Direct is the obvious choice.
If you’re searching for a new bank, you probably have some specific criteria in mind. This might include:
- Products offered
- Competitive interest rates
- Online versus brick-and-mortar
- Mobile app with check deposit capability
- FDIC protection
- and convenient ATM access
Depending on how you prefer to bank, some of these features might carry more weight than others. That’s why it’s important to compare institutions carefully, to see which ones are the right fit for you and your money.
Here are some of the more important account features available, and how these two banks measure up on each.
When you fund a bank account, you are trusting that bank to keep your money safe. But what happens if that bank were to suddenly go under? Would your money be lost forever?
Thanks to the FDIC coverage offered by most banks, your deposits are protected against that exact scenario. The current protection limits are $250,000 per depositor, per institution, per ownership category. Both Investors eAccess and Comenity Direct deposits are FDIC insured.
Verdict: It’s a tie.
Most people bank entirely online these days, eliminating the need for a local branch. However, if having one nearby is a personal preference, neither of these two banks will fit the bill.
Neither Investors eAccess nor Comenity Direct offers brick-and-mortar bank branches. Investors Bank — the parent institution for Investors eAccess — does have a number of local banks, though they are all concentrated in New Jersey and New York state.
Verdict: Neither bank truly offers brick-and-mortar branches, as they are classified as online banks. However, Investors Bank does have NJ/NY branches, so that gives Investors eAccess a slight edge.
When you need to grab cash from your checking account, an ATM card is very convenient. With both Comenity Direct and Investors eAccess, though, you don’t have a checking account option.
In fact, neither bank offers an ATM card for any of their account products, as they are designed for saving, not spending.
Verdict: It’s a tie.
Most of us do our banking on-the-go these days, checking account balances, initiating transfers, and making mobile deposits from our smartphones. A good mobile app can make all the difference in the world, then, in managing our money.
Both of these banks offer mobile apps to make your financial management easier than ever.
You can reach your Investors eAccess through the Investors Bank app, which is available in the App Store and on Google Play. In the App Store, the mobile platform has 1,200+ reviews for an average of 4.7 stars.
The Comenity Direct app is also available on both platforms, but with considerably fewer fans. In the App Store, their platform has only four reviews, though the average is still 4.0 stars.
Verdict: Investors eAccess takes the win here, for having a well-used (and well-reviewed) mobile platform.
Mobile Check Deposit
The last time banked at your local branch, was it to deposit or cash a check? For most banking customers, this remains one of the few reasons to ever step foot in a brick-and-mortar bank. Luckily, though, most banks allow for mobile check deposit these days, making it easy to make the switch to online-only.
Both Investors eAccess and Comenity Direct offer mobile check deposit capability. There doesn’t seem to be a difference in functionality between the two banks’ service, so the competition is a wash.
Verdict: It’s a tie.
Which Bank Is Right for You?
You are the only one who can decide which bank is the right choice for your money. After all, there are so many personal factors to consider, such as:
- How you spend and save
- Your future plans
- Where you’re located
- How you bank
- The features you need most
Plus, your banking needs are also likely to change over time. As you grow your savings, your family dynamic changes, the budget shifts, etc., you’ll likely need to adjust how you handle your accounts. The bank you had five years ago might not be the bank you need today, and the bank you have today might not be the bank you need in five years.
It’s important to regularly evaluate whether you are working with the right bank: earning the highest interest rate, getting the products you need most, and finding your financial management to be made simpler by your bank’s features.
Both Comenity Direct and Investors eAccess offer competitive savings products, no matter how you plan to save or for how long. Their interest rates are some of the highest around, while still offering you great features that make saving simple.
Even still, odds are that one of them stands out as a better fit for you. We hope that this comparison of the two banks has made your process a bit clearer, and that you can easily decide where your money will be best served. That way, you can not only meet your goals faster, but feel confident in your finances throughout the journey.