City National Bank has gone through a series of mergers and acquisitions throughout its ~70 year history in Florida, but its most recent M&A activity stems from the financial crisis of 2008.
In 2008 Caja Madrid purchased City National Bank, giving it international reach. In 2012, the Spanish bank then had to sell off its assets due to financial hardships. After a short period of uncertainty, Banco de Credito e Inversiones acquired City National Bank for $946.9 million in 2015. That transaction laid the groundwork for the move to direct banking.
On December 1, 2017, City National Bank, infused with new capital from the Banco de Credito acquisition, purchased TotalBank for $528 million. The merger of the two Florida powerhouses made them the third largest bank in the state and paved the way for the launch of Total Direct Bank a year later.
Total Direct Bank has become a solid play in the online banking space, regularly featuring respectable yields on their deposit products that handily beat the current national average(s).
Like many online-only banks, Total Direct Bank, has a simple set of FDIC-insured products. They have a variable rate high yield money market account as well fixed-rate, standard term CDs. We will cover their deposit products in this review.
TotalDirectBank Money Market Rate + Account Details
Total Direct Bank has a competitive money market account that currently features a good rate if you can deposit and maintain an average monthly balance of $2,500.
Total Direct Bank allows for unlimited deposits and transfers from an external bank, but only six withdrawals per month per Federal Regulation D.
There are no maintenance fees but you will need to maintain an average daily balance of $2,500 to earn the advertised APY.
There are some geographical limitations. TDB does not do business in Florida, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands. Valid state issued ID or US passport is required for account opening.
TotalDirectBank CD Rates + Account Details
Total Direct Bank’s certificate of deposit suite offers less enticing rates than their money market account, with an extremely steep minimum deposit requirement of $25,000.
In general, online-only banks tend to have lower minimum deposit requirements on their FDIC-insured deposit products. For example, banks like Marcus by Goldman Sachs or Vio Bank only require $500 to open any of their CDs.
TotalDirectBank CD Rates
To put the offers above in perspective the current national average for a 12 month and 60 month CD sit at roughly 0.22% APY and 0.47% APY, respectively. That said, more competitive offers can be found online or through a handful of credit unions.
All accounts at Total Direct Bank are FDIC insured up to the maximum deposit amount of $250,000 per depositor or $500,000 for joint accounts.
Upon the maturity date of your CD you will have a 10 day grace period in which you may withdraw (or add) funds. If nothing is done, the money will auto renew into the same product at the current rate. Total Direct Bank will mail you a “Maturity Notice” prior to the maturity date, but you’ll want to set up reminders and alerts for yourself as well.
TotalDirectBank Review and Customer Sentiment
Reviews of Total Direct Bank are mixed with aggregate numbers sitting between 2.5 and 3 stars out of 5 on popular third party review sites.
They have no native apps to download on either IOS or android which is unusual for a digital bank.
Total Direct Bank does appear to have good phone support, but only during business hours. If you call outside the 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM window, you won’t get anyone on the phone. That should be fine for most customers and it’s clearly stated on TDB’s “contact us” page.
Data aggregation and problems setting up ACH seem to be limited to 2019 Q4 and early 2020 Q1. Outside of that window, I’m seeing a lot of happy customers, so Total Direct Bank may have fixed some issues in their back end.
Total Direct Bank’s CDs and money market account are fairly mediocre on rates and fall behind on both range of account offerings and minimum deposit requirements.
A $25,000 minimum deposit requirement on a CD is about as steep as they come for accounts like these. Online banks generally stay in the $0 – $2,500 range.
Their lack of apps for both IOS and android is also unusual for an online bank, but their online banking interface and phone support seem to meet the bar.