Porte Banking App Review: 3% APY on up to $15,000 (+$50 Bonus)

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Porte is another banking fintech app, this time with the notable feature of 3.00% APY on up to $15,000 on their attached high-yield savings account. To enable access to this account, you must have a one-time occurrence of $1,000+ of direct deposits within one month. There doesn’t appear to be any ongoing requirements after that.* This makes it a more simple setup than the 3% APY accounts of HM Bradley and One Finance, albeit with a lower balance limit. Thanks to reader Matt for the tip.

Referral bonus. New sign-ups can also earn an additional $50 bonus if you open a new account via referral link (now working with in both regular and mobile browsers) and establish a direct deposit of at least $500. That’s my link and I will also get the same bonus, so thanks if you use it! If you have issues with the bonus posting, please let me know.

Quick 3% APY math. If you were to max out the $15,000 at 3% APY and this interest rate holds for a year (a big if), you would get $450 of interest over that year. Compare with a 0.50% APY savings account that would earn $75 in interest on $15,000 in a year, for a difference of $375 a year. As long as that gap stays wide enough, that could be an ongoing $20 to $30 a month in extra interest income.

Additional features.

  • No monthly fees, no minimum balances.
  • Fee-free access to Moneypass ATM network (32,000+ locations).
  • Free debit Visa card.
  • Mobile check deposit via app.

They have “real human” (their words) customer service available at 800-267-7080. FDIC insurance is provided by their partner bank, MetaBank. This is the same bank behind Netspend, which used to have a more interesting 5% APY prepaid card. Note that interest also posts quarterly.

An important missing feature is that you can’t use their app to link an external bank account to make ACH deposits/withdrawals. You can make one-time deposits via a debit card from one of your other accounts (they use Plaid). You will have to link this account using another online bank as the hub (Ally, CapOne 360, Marcus, etc) to make ACH transfers. Otherwise, you’ll have to use their debit card and use Venmo/Apple Cash or similar. Little things like this show that it is a small start-up.

* Fine print. The wording on the site is a little ambiguous, but if you look through the fine print you’ll see that you only need one direct deposit to open the savings account, and once it is open, everybody gets the higher interest rate (3% APY as of this writing). There are no ongoing hoops listed.

No minimum balance to open Savings Account or obtain the yield(s). However, you must receive direct deposit(s) totaling at least $1,000 within one (1) calendar month to be eligible to open a Savings Account.

If the Average Daily Balance is $15,000.00 or less, the interest rate paid on the entire balance will be 2.97% with an annual percentage yield (APY) of 3.00%.

My experience. I opened the checking account and was allowed to open the savings account immediately after making $1,000 in qualifying direct deposits. (They don’t seem to be highly discerning as to what constitutes a direct deposit, but no guarantees.) You must manually transfer your funds from the checking to savings in order to get the 3% APY, which makes the funds inaccessible to your debit card. Even so, I declined their “Overdraft Service”, as I’d rather they just reject any transaction that would send me into negative territory. It doesn’t appear that the savings can be used as an overdraft source. My routing number is 073972181, which matches MetaBank, NA. I was able to make deposits and withdrawals to this account.

Bottom line. Porte is a new fintech app that offers a notable 3% APY on balances up to $15,000 once you complete a one-time direct deposit of $1,000 within a month. This is currently a much higher interest rate than the competition. The rest of the app is similar to other fintech offerings, but the high-yield savings account may be attractive for savers.

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Comments

  1. Eugene Novikov says

    Hi Jonathan?

    I guess in general my question is how do you able to do so many different direct deposits? Do you constantly sell your employer to change where the direct deposit is going to? I would love to do that but my employer simply will not go for it. I guess I can see if you work for a larger company where you go onto some internet based HR portal and update that information. My employer it’s all done manually you have to fill out and either fax or bring over a piece of paper and there’s a single HR/accounting clerk who processes these.

    This brings me to a more pointed question. You said :They don’t seem to be highly discerning as to what constitutes a direct deposit, but no guarantees.
    Will an ACH transfer from let’s say Marcus count?

    I always wonder about this in a lot of your posts about these various savings and checking account promotions with either attractive interest rate or a sign up bonus.

    • Yes, many larger employers have a nice little website where you can split your direct deposit however you like (up to some reasonable limit). I could put $500 here, $500 here, and the rest there, etc. If you own a small business, you can also pay yourself however you like.

      In any case, there isn’t much of a difference between a “direct deposit” and an ACH push from a bank. Both use the same routing and account numbers. Some banks just don’t care, some choose to manually review each direct deposit, others might code anything that says “PayPal” marked as not qualifying. Therefore, it is quite possible that a Marcus transfer might count as a direct deposit. You might also try other lesser-known banks and cash transfer services. But it could work one month, and not work the next month, so I don’t like to make any guarantees.

  2. STEVE SWINEHART says

    Referral link does not work.. is there aother?

  3. Do I need to unfreeze my credit reports in order to open Fintech accounts?

  4. Are we sure this is just a 1-time requirement to direct deposit the $1,000?

    The website says:

    Set up Direct Deposit
    $1,000 or more per month with Direct Deposit

    • Iy allowed to enable savings account with 3% rate immediately after we deposit $1k from direct deposit (i used Marcos).

      When I transferred +$15k, they froze the account and asked me proof from source.

      Hoping they won’t suddenly freeze the account as it doesn’t get $1k in direct deposit every month.

    • I was going to ask the same question. In one place it says $1k per month, but the savings account information seems to say that is only necessary to open it…

      Jonathan,

      Can you provide any clarification of what you have seen?

  5. I have updated the post to include my reasons for believing that the savings account only required a one-time $1,000 direct deposit to open, and after that everyone with an open savings account gets the same APY.

    • They took my $1,000 ACH to qualify for the savings account and the $50 referral bonus. Thanks for the information!

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