Radius Bank Review

Radius Bank

Overall Rating

9

Bottom Line

From a tech-forward online banking experience to the account options and customer service of a traditional bank, there's plenty to feel good about with Radius Bank.

Pros

  • Limited Fees
  • High-Earning Checking Account
  • Solid Mobile App
  • Unlimited ATM reimbursements

Cons

  • Just one physical location
  • Relatively limited account options

Radius Bank is an online bank that offers deposit accounts, business accounts, personal loans, and other financial services.

Radius was founded in 1987 by the Massachusetts carpenters union and has since become one of the fastest-growing banks in the state.

In February of 2020, Radius was acquired by the non-bank consumer lender LendingClub, one of the largest personal lenders in the US.

With a full suite of financial products, Radius aims to provide the modern experience of an online bank combined with the account options and personal support of traditional banking.

In this post, you’ll learn about everything that Radius has to offer. Let’s start with an overview of Radius’ most impressive banking features.

In This Article

Radius Bank Checking Accounts

Rewards Checking

Rewards Checking is an interest-bearing, cash back rewards checking account. There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, and the account has a tiered annual percentage yield (APY) based on your account balance.

The minimum opening deposit amount is $100. Right now, you can earn 0.10% APY on balances between $2,500 and $99,999,99 and 0.15% on anything higher. This is a rare feature for a checking account.

On top of interest earnings, the account also pays cash back on debit card purchases. When you make online and signature-based “credit” transactions, you’ll earn an unlimited 1% cash back.

Furthermore, from now through June of 2021, any transactions that fall under dining, health, or subscription categories earn 1.5% cash back.

Essential Checking

Essential Checking is available on a select basis to those who need a fresh start financially.

For example, if you have a less than perfect credit score and are not able to attain a traditional bank account, Essential Checking might be a good choice.

This account comes with some limitations and features that can help keep your spending and budgeting in check.

For example, you’ll have a daily limit on your debit card spending of $500, and mobile check deposits are limited to $1,000 per day and $2,000 every ten days.

Essential Checking comes with a $9 monthly service fee and a $10 initial deposit requirement. The good news is that if you establish a positive banking history with Radius during your first year, you could be eligible to upgrade to Rewards Checking.

Rewards Checking is definitely where you want to be because the account has no fees and much better perks.

Radius Bank Savings Accounts

Radius High-Yield Savings

The Radius High-Yield Savings is a fee-free, high-yield savings account that currently earns interest at 0.25% on balances of $25,000 or more. Balances from $2,500 to $24,999 earn at 0.15%.

There’s no monthly maintenance fee with this account, and aside from a $100 minimum initial deposit, there are no minimum balance requirements.

Another cool feature is that you can request a free ATM card, which is typically not possible with other savings accounts.

Radius Bank Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Radius offers CDs at higher rates than any other Radius account option. Term lengths range from three months to five years.

Shorter CD terms of 3, 6, or 9 months require at least a $1,000 initial deposit and earn interest at 0.25%.

If you can commit your funds to a one-year CD or longer, you’ll only need a deposit of $500 and can earn an APY of 0.50%.

Radius Bank Business Accounts

Tailored Checking

Tailored Checking is Radius’ option for small business banking and operates in much the same way as Rewards Checking.

You’ll earn 1% cash back on qualifying debit card purchases and 0.10% interest on balances of $5,000 or more.

The account comes with unlimited transactions and ATM rebates and easily syncs with Mint, QuickBooks, and Quicken.

There’s a $100 minimum deposit required when you open your account, and the $10 monthly fee is waived if for account balances of $5,000 or higher.

Radius Bank Personal Credit Cards

Radius Bank offers four different personal credit cards. Let’s take a look at what you’ll get out of each one.

Radius Bank Platinum Card

The Platinum card comes with a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles and has no annual fee.

Unfortunately, there are no rewards to earn, so this card is only recommended for balance transfers.

Radius Bank Max Cash Preferred Card

Max Cash Preferred earns 5% cash back on the first $2,000 spent in two categories of your choice. You can also earn an unlimited 2% on an additional category and an unlimited 1% on everything else.

There’s no annual fee, and you’ll get a $150 bonus if you spend $500 or more in the first 90 days after account opening.

Radius Bank Real Rewards Card

Real Rewards is a points-based card that earns 1.5x points for every dollar that you spend on eligible purchases. You can redeem points for cash back, travel, merchandise, or gift cards.

When you sign up, there are 2,500 up for grabs just for making your first purchase, and you’ll also get an intro APR of 0% for the first six billing cycles.

Radius Bank Secured Card

The Secured Card is an option for those that want to improve or establish their credit. You’ll need a linked savings account to open, which serves as the security deposit for your credit card.

There are no points or perks other than having the chance to rebuild your credit.

Radius Bank Business Credit Cards

Radius Bank Business Card

The Business Card is an entry-level, standard business credit card with no annual fee and a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers.

This card is a good option for those that have a high-interest balance elsewhere, or who need access to a 0% APR during the introductory period.

Just remember that you have to pay off your purchases and transfers within the first 20 billing cycles because, after that, you’re looking at an 11.99% to 20.99% APR fee on outstanding amounts.

Radius Bank Smart Business Rewards Card

The Smart Rewards Card pays 2x points on your top spending categories and 1x points on all other eligible purchases.

New cardmembers can earn 20,000 bonus points (worth about $200) if you spend $500 within the first 90 days of account opening. The annual fee of $95 is waived for the first year. There is also no limit to how many points you can earn.

Radius Bank Business Cash Card

The Business Cash Card is the bank’s best option for cash back earnings.

The card has no annual fee and pays 3% cash back on eligible purchases at office supply stores, and on phone, internet, and cable TV services.

You can also earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants and 1% back on all other purchases.

New card members can get a $25 cash back reward just for opening an account and making the first purchase.

Radius Bank Business Real Rewards Card

The Business Real Rewards Card pays 1.5 points for every dollar spent on purchases across the board (which is worth about 1.5% cash back).

This card comes with no annual fee and there are 2,500 bonus points up for grabs for new cardmembers.

All you have to do is open your account and make a purchase, and the bonus will be applied within six to eight weeks.

Overall, this card seems to be the best option for those who don’t want to deal with variable points and cash back earning amounts based on different spending categories.

Radius Bank Features

One Physical Location

As an almost entirely online bank, Radius has just one physical location, located in Boston’s Seaport District. If you live in Boston, you can make an appointment and take advantage of financial services in person. Otherwise, think of Radius as an online-only banking option.

Online Banking

Radius’ online platform allows for 24/7 account access from your phone, tablet, or desktop. You can manage your money, make payments and transfers, set alerts or travel notifications, or chat with a customer service representative.

Mobile App

The Radius mobile banking app allows you to check your balance, deposit checks, and use financial tools from your smartphone. You can also easily add your debit card to your digital wallet to utilize services like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay.

The app is pretty well-liked, with a 4.5-star (out of 5) rating in the App Store and 4 stars (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.

Early Direct Deposit

With Radius, you can get access to your paycheck up to two days early if you enroll in direct deposit.

Whether or not you can take advantage of this perk completely depends on whether the payer supports it, but if they do, you’ll be able to get ahead of any bills or payments.

Free ATMs

Radius is part of two nationwide ATM networks — MoneyPass and SUM. You can use ATMs within either network for free, but even if you need to use an out-of-network ATM, Radius won’t charge a fee.

On top of that, if you pay a fee from an external ATM provider, Radius will reimburse you for it at the end of the month.

Radius Bank Fees

Radius, like most online banks, steers away from a lot of the monthly service, minimum balance, and ATM fees that you’ll see with traditional banks. But there aren’t still some fees to be aware of.

Here’s what you can expect for fees when you’re banking with Radius.

Monthly Maintenance Fees

Most Radius accounts do not come with any monthly fee, but a couple of them do.

Essential Checking has an unavoidable $9 monthly fee, and Tailored Checking has a $10 monthly fee that you can avoid by maintaining an account balance of $5,000 or more.

Otherwise, you should be in the clear — just be sure to understand the monthly fee and how to get around it when signing up for any new account.

Overdraft Fees

If you overdraft your account, you’ll get hit with a $25 non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee. Fortunately, Radius allows you to sign up for overdraft protection and link up to three accounts to cover your negative balance.

Wire Transfer Fees

Incoming domestic wire transfers come with a fee of $10, while outgoing domestic wires cost $20. For international wires, you’ll be charged $10 for incoming and $40 for outgoing.

If your business frequently receives wire transfer payments, these fees are going to add up quickly.

Getting Started

Signing up for Radius can take as little as three minutes online.

Apply directly from the website by choosing your account type, entering your personal information, and funding your account.

All you’ll need is a Social Security Number, current address, email address, and an account number or debit card for your initial deposit.

Once your application is complete, the bank will notify you if you are approved. If for any reason you aren’t, you’ll get an email.

Radius does run a soft credit check for all new account applications, but not to worry — this won’t affect your credit score.

Radius Bank Promotions

If you have a friend or family member that already banks with Radius, you can both take advantage of a $50 referral bonus when you sign up for Rewards Checking.

All you have to do is sign up with their unique referral code and maintain a balance of $500 or more during your first two months.

I’m not seeing any other bank account promotions at this time, but that is likely to change, so keep checking back.

Security

Like most online banks, Radius takes online security seriously and has measures in place to keep your money and data safe.

256-bit encryption is used to protect all of your personal information, as well as anti-virus protection software, firewalls, and a dedicated information security team.

You’ll also have multi-factor authentication and automatic logouts to prevent unauthorized access.

On top of online security, Radius is backed by the FDIC, so any of the funds you deposit into your account are protected up to $250,000.

Customer Service

If you live in Boston, you can always pop into Radius’ lone brick-and-mortar bank.

Outside of Beantown, you can contact the customer service team over the phone, by email, or live chat.

The phone line (800-242-0272) and live chat are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 12:00 am Eastern time, and from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm on weekends.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Limited Fees
  • High-Earning Checking Account
  • Solid Mobile App
  • Unlimited ATM reimbursements
  • Accessible customer support

Cons:

  • Just one physical location
  • Lower interest rates than other online banks
  • Relatively limited account options

Alternatives to Radius Bank

Radius has a lot to offer as an online bank.

However, if you’re looking for a high-yield savings option that earns a bit more on interest, some of the top alternatives include:

All of these options similar account features and higher APYs.

FAQs

Is Radius Bank a real bank?

Yes, Radius is absolutely a real financial institution. It has a physical location in Boston but mainly operates in the online space with deposit accounts, loans, credit cards, and other services.

Is Radius Bank FDIC insured?

Yes. Radius is owned by Lending Club, which operates LendingClub Bank, which is FDIC-insured and backs all Radius accounts.

What’s the best online bank?

It all depends on what you need from your bank. There are a ton of online banks out there, and some things like low fees and higher APYs are pretty consistent across the board. But each bank brings something different to the table.

The best bank, online or otherwise, will always be the one that allows you to move your financial life forward.

The tools to do that will be different for everyone, so the first step is identifying what you need in a banking partner.

Is Radius Bank Right For You?

As you can see, Radius Bank offers a little bit of everything.

From a tech-forward online banking experience to the account options and customer service of a traditional bank, there’s plenty to feel good about.

On the flip side, Radius has just one physical location, so you’re mostly out of luck if you prefer to bank in person.

Also, while the bank’s HYSA APY is still well ahead of bigger national banks, it doesn’t earn at quite the same rate as its online competitors.

The bottom line is that Radius is an up-and-coming online bank that should serve most of your needs. If you’re still unsure, take a look at some of our other reviews and weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Whichever way you go, make sure to keep your financial goals at the forefront. Here’s to reaching them.