Brio Direct Review 2022

Brio Direct offers checking accounts, high-yield savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs. Compare Brio Direct with other banks to see if it's right for you.
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By Rebecca Lake

Hands type on a laptop computer while doing online banking

Online banks have gone mainstream. What’s more, switching to an online bank could help save money on checking account fees and unlock higher interest rates for savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts.

Brio Direct is an online banking option you might consider if you’re looking for a secure place to keep your money while earning a great rate on savings. Brio Direct offers checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs so you can do all of your banking in one place.

This Brio Direct review highlights the most important things to know about what you can expect if you decide to open an account here.

Brio Direct At-a-Glance

  • Account types offered: Checking, savings, money market, certificate of deposit
  • FDIC-insured: Brio Direct accounts are FDIC-insured through Webster Bank
  • Fees: No monthly maintenance fees for checking, savings, and money market accounts
  • Minimum deposit: $25 for checking and savings; $100 for money market accounts; $500 for CDs
  • Access: Manage accounts online or through the Brio Direct mobile banking app

Compare to Others

Brio Direct is a popular online banking option, but there are other banks you might consider as well. Looking at other banks can help you decide whether Brio Direct is a good fit, based on your needs and goals. Here are three other possibilities you might consider.

Salem Five Direct

Salem Five Direct offers online savings accounts, checking accounts, and CD accounts with competitive rates and no monthly fees. Deposits are FDIC-insured. At this time, the bank does not offer loans or money market accounts, though you can earn interest on checking account balances.

First Internet Bank

First Internet Bank offers a full range of banking products, including checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, CDs, and loans. Interest rates for savings, money market, and CD accounts are above the national average, though savers may pay monthly fees, depending on which type of account they open.

CIT Bank

At CIT Bank, you can open checking, savings, money market, and CD accounts. CIT Bank offers some of the most competitive rates among online banks for savers and when you open an interest-bearing checking account. Minimum deposit requirements vary based on the account type.

Who Is Brio Direct For?

Brio Direct could be a good fit for anyone who’s ready to make a move away from traditional banking and enjoy the benefits of banking online.

You might consider opening an account with Brio Direct if you:

  • Are tired of paying steep checking account fees
  • Want to get a better rate on savings
  • Need to open a money market account
  • Would like to build a CD ladder to maximize interest earnings

You also need to be comfortable managing money online, since Brio Direct doesn’t have branches. But if you’re already used to using online banking and mobile banking, that may not be a huge hurdle to overcome.

There are some things Brio Direct doesn’t offer, including personal loans and credit cards. But you can still get access to those products through Webster Bank. Brio Direct is a sub-brand of Webster, which is an FDIC-insured bank headquartered in Connecticut. Webster Bank offers credit cards, student loans, and mortgages to eligible borrowers.

Top Features of Brio Direct

When researching online banks, it’s important to consider the features and benefits each one offers. Here’s a closer look at what makes Brio Direct unique and sets it apart from other banks.

Account Types

Some online banks limit your options when opening an account. For example, you might be able to open a high-yield savings account or a CD account, but not a checking account. Brio Direct makes it possible to do all of your banking in one place by offering checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs online.

Competitive Rates

Like other online banks, Brio Direct offers competitive rates across its deposit accounts. You can even earn interest on checking account deposits, which is something not all banks offer. And you’re not limited as to how many accounts you can open so you can build a CD ladder, set up checking and savings, or choose a checking/money market combo to maximize interest earnings.

Low Minimums

Brio Direct accounts have low minimum deposit requirements and no minimum balance needed to avoid a monthly maintenance fee. If you have $25, you can open a checking or high-yield savings account. Money market accounts require $100 to open while you can get started with CDs with a $500 deposit. At other banks, you might need $100 or more to open a checking or savings account and $500 to $1,000 to open money market or CD accounts.

Convenient Access

Once you open accounts at Brio Direct, you can manage them on the go via online and mobile banking. You can also make withdrawals and complete other transactions fee-free at more than 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs and at any Webster Bank ATM. So even though Brio Direct doesn’t have branches, you’re never cut off from your money.

FDIC Coverage

When opening online bank accounts, one concern is whether your money is safe and protected. As a sub-brand of Webster Bank, Brio Direct is able to extend FDIC protection to its customers. The current FDIC coverage limit is $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership type, and per financial institution.

How to Get Started

If you’d like to open an account with Brio Direct, you can do so online. The entire process takes just a few minutes. You’ll need to choose which account you want to open, then provide Brio Direct with your:

  • Name
  • Address and phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number

You’ll need a copy of your driver’s license, passport, or state-issued ID to complete the account opening. And you’ll also need to tell Brio Direct how you want to make your first deposit.

Brio Direct gives you the option of depositing funds through an ACH transfer. You can link an external bank account for that. Or you can deposit money by mailing in a check or scheduling a wire transfer if you prefer. Your current bank may charge a fee to complete a wire transfer or to issue an official cashier’s check or certified check.

Rating the Features

Finding the right place to bank ultimately comes down to choosing a bank that offers the right combination of features, cost, and a great user experience. Here’s how Brio Direct measures up.

User Experience

Overall, Brio Direct is user-friendly. The website isn’t clunky or difficult to navigate. Information about each account, including rates and fees, is clearly laid out. Account opening is simple and the mobile app has all the features you’d expect to see in a mobile banking application. There’s an extensive FAQ section if you have questions and customer service is also available to help by phone six days a week.

Fees

Brio Direct does not charge monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance fees for its deposit accounts. There are, however, some fees to be aware of. For example, Brio Direct charges a $35 overdraft fee if you overdraft your checking account. There’s also a $5 fee for paper statements. Taking money out of your CD early can also trigger an early withdrawal fee. Brio Direct does refund up to $20 in foreign ATM surcharges per month for checking customers.

Rates

Getting a great rate on your money can be a strong incentive to switch banks since you can grow your savings faster. Brio Direct’s rates are significantly higher than what you’d typically see at a brick-and-mortar bank for savings, CD, and money market accounts. But when compared to some online banks, Brio’s rates are not quite as competitive. You can, however, take advantage of higher rates with special promotional offers for certain Brio Direct CD accounts.

Variety

As mentioned, you can open different types of accounts with Brio Direct. You can set up a checking account to pay bills, open a high-yield savings account to hold your emergency fund, and use money market or CD accounts to save for short- and long-term goals. That’s a plus if you’re looking for an online bank that gives you options for managing your money.

Customer Support

Brio Direct does offer online and mobile banking for convenient money management. If you need help, you can call Brio at 1-877-369-BRIO. Customer service is available weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm ET and Saturday from 8:30 am to 3 pm. There is no live chat support available at this time and no email support option either.

Access

Brio Direct does not specify any states in which you can’t open an account online. There are no branches for Brio Direct but again, you can manage your accounts online or with the mobile banking app. You can also withdraw money at more than 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide. Those transactions are fee-free, though fees may apply when you withdraw cash at non-MoneyPass ATMs. You can also use any Webster Bank ATM fee-free.

Pros and Cons of Brio Direct

When choosing where to bank, it’s easy to focus on the benefits or advantages. But it’s also important to consider any potential downsides before opening an account.

When deciding whether Brio Direct makes sense for you, consider what matters most. Do you want to get the best rates on savings, for example? If so, then you might want to compare rates at other banks. But if you want a safe, secure place to keep your money while avoiding fees and earning interest on deposits then Brio Direct can check off all of those boxes.

Bottom Line

Deciding where to bank is an important decision and if you’re ready to leave traditional banking behind, Brio Direct is one option you might consider. Brio Direct offers a solid combination of minimal fees and high-interest rates for deposits. And between the mobile banking app and large MoneyPass ATM network, you’re always connected to your money. If you’re ready to make a move to Brio Direct, take the next step and open an account online today.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Brio Direct legitimate?

Brio Direct is a legitimate online banking operation. It’s actually a sub-brand of Webster Bank, an FDIC-insured bank headquartered in Connecticut.

Who is Brio Direct?

Brio Direct is an online bank that offers a variety of deposit accounts to customers. The types of accounts you can open include checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and CD accounts. Brio Direct is suited to people who want convenience, low fees, and competitive rates.

Is Brio Direct FDIC insured?

Brio Direct is FDIC-insured through Webster Bank. The current FDIC coverage limit that applies to Brio Direct accounts is $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership type, and per financial institution. This coverage exists to protect customers in the rare event of a bank failure.

Is Brio Direct safe?

Brio Direct is a safe place to bank and keep your money. Deposits are FDIC-insured and the bank uses standard security measures to encrypt and protect customer data. You can also use secure passwords to protect your online and mobile banking information.

About Author
Rebecca Lake joins MoneyRates as a contributor writing about banking, credit and debt, home-buying, investing, small business, and other personal finance topics. Rebecca brings her expertise as a personal-finance journalist to MoneyRates.com, having written about money for over five years. Her work has appeared online at U.S. News and World Report and many other publications.