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Raisin Review: High-Yield Accounts, but Are They Trustworthy?

Our experts answer readers’ banking questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess banking products). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own. Terms apply to offers listed on this page.Raisin is a great option if your ultimate goal is to earn the best savings account, money market account, and CD rates out there. Raisin offers APYs of up to 5.32% on savings and up to 5.55% on CDs.  It’s a marketplace that connects you with accounts you might not be able to access otherwise, including ones at community-driven and minority-owned institutions. You’ll also earn higher rates than if you opened an account directly through one of its partner banks.Popular Raisin OffersRaisin is a digital marketplace for finding high-yield accounts. It partners with banks and credit unions to offer you special interest rates if you open an account through Raisin rather than directly on the partner banks’ websites.Raisin has been providing a similar high-yield savings account marketplace in Europe. It works with over 400 banks and has more than 1 million direct customers. It started providing services in the US through SaveBetter, and SaveBetter has now officially rebranded as Raisin.Raisin is not a good choice if you want immediate access to your savings, though — it doesn’t offer checking accounts, so you’ll need to keep a checking account at another institution and make transfers between banks, which could take up to a few business days.ProsOne of the primary benefits of using Raisin is that you’ll be able to find a variety of savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs with high interest rates. Some of these accounts are exclusive options, and the rates are higher than what you would find if you open an account directly from a participating bank’s website. Raisin also stands out for its opening requirements. There’s a $1 minimum opening deposit for accounts and no fees. At traditional financial institutions, you may need to be mindful of monthly bank maintenance fees or higher minimum opening requirements.ConsRaisin offers several types of savings accounts, but it doesn’t offer any checking or business bank accounts. As a result, if you transfer money to an external account, it may take one to three business days to process. Since you’re not directly banking with a financial institution there are also a couple of unique downsides. For example, Raisin doesn’t let you receive direct deposits or make cash deposits. You also can’t connect your selected savings accounts to a third-party budgeting app like Rocket Money or You Need a Budget.Raisin also has poor mobile app ratings on both the Apple Store and Google Play Store. That said, there are fewer than 60 reviews on each mobile app. Raisin could change partner institutions over time, and the list above may not include all of the partner banks and credit unions at any given time.Many of the institutions are less well-known companies — but the good news is that your money is still safe with these less popular brands. You have FDIC insurance for banks (or NCUA insurance with credit unions) when you open accounts through Raisin. This means up to $250,000 is safe in an individual account, and $500,000 in a joint account.Credit unions require you to become a member to open an account, and membership is usually only available to employees of certain companies or residents of specific counties. But when you open a credit union account through Raisin, you simply have to sign a membership agreement, and you’ll qualify without having to pay any membership fees.Some of the partner bank accounts are available nationwide, but you’ll earn a higher rate through Raisin. Others are usually only available in certain areas, but they’re available around the US through Raisin.The marketplace gives you the chance to earn high interest rates with the added bonus of working with institutions whose values you support. For example, Ponce Bank is certified as a community development financial institution (CDFI), meaning it serves a local disadvantaged community. It’s also a Hispanic-American owned bank. When you’re searching for accounts, Raisin lets you filter by the type of institution you want, such as minority-led, family-owned, or one with a local focus.Once you deposit money into your account through Raisin, it’s held in an omnibus custodial account at the partner bank. The custodial account is managed by Lewis & Clark Bank, which is the custodian bank. When your funds are in a custodial account, the money is pooled with deposits from other Raisin customers.Custodial accounts make it possible for Raisin to deposit money to separate banks, but they do come with drawbacks. The main downside is that it’s a little difficult to access your savings. To deposit or withdraw money, you must link your Raisin account to an external account, then transfer money between the accounts. These transfers typically take one to three business days. So you’d always want to keep a checking account at a separate bank for these transfers. To contact customer service, call Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET. You can also send an email or use automated chat on the website.Some Redditor users have said they’ve experienced long wait times to receive customer support, though. Traditional banks and credit unions may offer more customer support availability. Some banks have 24/7 customer support through online chat or telephone.Raisin is rated 2.0 out of 5 stars in the Apple store, and 3.1 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store. However, there are fewer than 60 reviews on each mobile app. The Better Business Bureau grades companies based on responses to customer complaints, transparency about business practices, government actions against the businesses, and more. The BBB gives Raisin a B+ grade because there are several complaints against the company on the BBB website.Raisin does not have any public controversies.It can be good to read customer reviews or talk with friends and family who have used Raisin to get a better idea of what your experience could be like. You also may want to look into the BBB grade and customer reviews for a partner bank you’re considering using through Raisin. The average savings account APY (Annual Percentage Yield) nationwide is just 0.46%. Many savings accounts at national banks charge monthly fees if you don’t qualify to waive them. You’ll earn significantly more through Raisin’s partner savings and money market accounts, and you won’t pay monthly fees.Let’s say you leave $10,000 in a savings account untouched. At a traditional bank that pays 0.05% APY compounded daily, you’d earn $5 in one year (which might be cancelled out by how much you pay in monthly fees). Maybe you open an account with Raisin that pays 5.00% APY. In one year, you’d earn $512.67 on that $10,000.Earn 5.32% Annual Percentage Yield (APY). $1 minimum deposit. FDIC Insured.5.32%$1Raisin is a great option if your ultimate goal is to earn the best savings account, money market account, and CD rates out there. It’s a marketplace that connects you with accounts you might not be able to access otherwise, including ones at community-driven and minority-owned institutions.Savings and money market accounts have variable interest rates, so rates can fluctuate at any time. But CDs have fixed rates, meaning that if you open a 1-year CD with a 5% APY, that rate is set in stone and you’ll earn 5% for the entire year.There are other benefits to opening a fixed-rate CD through Raisin besides a higher rate. First, you may have access to a term length (say two months or nine months) that isn’t available directly through the bank. Second, you only need $1 to open a CD through Raisin, regardless of which partner bank you choose. CDs typically require hundreds or even thousands to open an account. For example, you would normally need $2,500 to open a CD with Sallie Mae, but you only need $1 to open a Sallie Mae CD with Raisin.Keep in mind that you will have to pay an early withdrawal penalty if you take out money before the term ends. When searching for fixed-rate CDs on the Raisin website, click on “product terms” next to the CD you’re considering to see what that fee would be.5.50%$1Unlike regular CDs, no-penalty CDs do not charge you for taking out money before a term ends. Most banks require you to take out all the money in one lump sum, though.No-penalty CDs aren’t super common, so it’s nice that Raisin gives you even more options than you may find elsewhere.5.40%$1If you’re searching for the highest savings rates, Raisin will likely stand out more than Ally. Raisin has savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs from a variety of banks and credit unions that pay more than any of Ally’s bank accounts. Although Raisin has partnerships with many banks, your overall banking options and services are still limited, though. Raisin doesn’t offer checking accounts, or access to other types of products like credit cards or loans.If you’re looking to do all your banking with one financial institution, Ally is a great option. Ally is one of the best online banks, and it has minimal fees and easy opening requirements for a variety of products.Ally is also faster and easier to access your money. You can simply transfer money between the bank’s checking and savings accounts and see the change almost instantly. Ally Bank ReviewRaisin and the online bank Popular Direct both offer some of the best CD rates and savings account rates overall, so deciding between the two companies may ultimately depend on the account you want and how much you plan to deposit upfront. Raisin may be a better choice if are looking for accounts with low minimum opening requirements – you only need $1 to get started. Meanwhile, Popular Direct has pretty steep opening requirements for an online bank. You’ll need $100 to open a savings account and $10,000 to open a CD.Popular Direct offers a checking account though, which Raisin doesn’t offer. Hence, you may prefer Popular Direct if you want more direct access to your savings. Popular Direct bank accounts also allow direct deposits, which you can’t accomplish with Raisin.Popular Direct ReviewYes, Raisin is a legitimate company. It connects you to bank accounts that are federally insured by the FDIC or NCUA.Yes, Raisin is safe. Your money is federally insured for up to $250,000 for an individual account and $500,000 for a joint account. Federal insurance guarantees that you’ll still receive your money should an institution shut down. The American Institute of CPAs has given Raisin an SOC 2 certification, which means the AICPA has audited Raisin and found that the company has a high level of online security.No, Raisin is not a bank. It is an online marketplace that connects you to accounts at federally insured banks and credit unions.Raisin doesn’t charge customers any fees to make money. Instead, it receives money from its partner banks and credit unions for marketing their accounts nationally.No, there is no limit on the number of times you can withdraw from your savings and money market accounts each month. Regardless of the partner bank’s stance on the monthly transaction limit, you have unlimited transactions by opening the account through Raisin. CDs work differently. A regular CD charges an early withdrawal penalty if you take out money before the term ends, even if you open it through Raisin. A no-penalty CD doesn’t charge a fee, but it does usually require you to withdraw all the money from your CD in one lump sum.At Personal Finance Insider, we rate products on a scale from zero to five stars. We use a bank account rating methodology that compares and contrasts the features and fine print of various products to help determine if the account may be right for you.For example, we’ll look at the minimum opening deposit, interest rate,  monthly service fees, customer support availability, mobile app ratings, and ethics of a company to determine the rate for a savings account. For CDs, we’ll look at similar criteria. However, we’ll factor in early withdrawal penalties and CD variety, and we won’t consider monthly service fees since that isn’t applicable.