Porte Banking App Review: 3% APY on up to $15,000

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Update October 2021: On 10/1/2021, Porte announced that starting on 1/1/2022 they will be adding some significant new requirements to obtain the 3% APY on balances up to $15,000. You must have each of the following during each calendar quarter:

  • Receive at least $3,000 in Qualifying Direct Deposits of payroll, pension, or government benefits payments from an employer or government agency into your Porte Spending Account.
  • Make at least 15 Qualifying Debit Card Purchase Transactions with a merchant for goods or services (excludes transfers and/or cash withdrawals) from your Porte Spending Account.

Again, this goes into effect on January 1st, 2022, so I am not updating my review below. If you meet these qualifications during a quarter in 2022, you’ll get 3% APY for that same quarter (they only pay out interest quarterly). The new requirements aren’t horrible (works out to $1,000 direct deposit and 5 debit purchases per month on average), but definitely makes their offering more hassle and less competitive. If you don’t meet these new requirements, then you’ll only get 0.20% APY on balances under $15,000. All balances over $15,000 will also earn 0.20% APY as of 1/1/2022.

Original full review:

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 (follow the direction if not on a mobile browser) 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. There is special sign-up bonus via referral link (see above).

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

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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.

      • You said, “When I transferred +$15k, they froze the account and asked me proof from source.”

        Please help to understand as I plan to transfer $14k from my account at Marcus, and not sure why Porte would freeze fund ..

        • Some of these Fintech companies are very shy. Aside from Porte, T-Mobile Money, OnJuno and ZYNLO have deposit limits. ZYNLO was happy to increase this simply by asking, but the others were not.

    • 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!

    • Michael L Codanti says

      So what is their schedule for paying interest? I just received my first statement and their was no interest paid for the money in the savings account… I’d ask them, but I don’t really want to call them, I would prefer to be able to send an email for non-urgent things like this.

  6. How do you get your money back out once it’s in? It appears the ONLY way to access your money is via their debit card…

    • I found a Reddit post that talks about this – it looks easy enough if you can link another account to it and then PULL the money out. Such as Ally Bank.

    • Yes, Porte provides you the routing and account numbers, so you can link it up to any other bank or financial app that uses them.

  7. Thanks Jonathan. Has anybody been able to connect their Porte account to Mint?

  8. Has anyone seen interest show up in their Savings account?
    Now, my account has been open for about 40 days. I haven’t seen any interest added.

  9. The referral bonus is now $100 for you and $100 for your friend.

  10. Roger Bayramian says

    I’ve been using Porte for about six months along with my wife. Today I logged into the app and my savings and my wife both had our accounts disappear. They are not providing any info over the phone. The 3% is good but I’m a bit concerned about this fintech company.

  11. BRIAN SMITH says

    Porte getting negative reviews online regarding deposits not be returned and routing number change. Any customer’s here experiencing the same?

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