Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

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Stillwater1971
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Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by Stillwater1971 »

Has anyone heard of and/or use HM Bradley? It's Tier 1 3% APY is way higher than nearly every bank. Three-percent!

Is there a catch? Is it legit?
Craig2020
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by Craig2020 »

I have had an account for about 9 months. It seems to be working for me. I treat it more like a CD than a savings account. No complaints from me so far.
aristotelian
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by aristotelian »

So far so good for me as well.
SnowBog
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by SnowBog »

I'm still tier 1, waiting for next month to get to tier S (tier 3 + 0.5% bonus for credit card).

I'm on my way to have all but 2-3 months of expenses in HM Bradley. I keep the current months expenses in checking, and a buffer of 1-2 months in a non-HMB account (I try not to withdraw from HMB).

Couple of learnings:
  • The tier is determined in the current quarter for the next quarter (ending March, June, October, December)
  • So if you don't have a referral code, it's best to open and have first direct deposit land before the end of the quarter (or wait up to 3 months for a new quarter)
  • The "catch" if you will is the 20% "savings" required, if your employer can't split out your direct deposit that may be hard for some people to sustain.
  • An additional "catch" if you end up with their credit card, my understanding is starting next quarter (July - October), you need to maintain a "minimum" direct deposit or $2500/month to qualify for the extra 0.5% boost. (You can still withdraw 79.99% of that to stay in the top tier.) This made me do more account gymnastics than I'd like, and I may not maintain it - time will tell...
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nisiprius
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by nisiprius »

It's been extensively discussed:

HM Bradley Savings Plan 3% APY
HM Bradley: Is It Safe? FDIC Response
  • HM Bradley isn't a bank.
  • It's a fintech company that sits in between you and a bank, Hatch Bank.
  • They promise that your money is actually held at Hatch Bank.
  • Forum members with accounts say that they know their personal account numbers at Hatch Bank and, if I understand correctly, have been able to withdraw funds directly without the intervention of HM Bradley. In short, HM Bradley is doing what they say.
  • The bad experiences depositors--nobody in the forum--have had with another fintech, Beam, shows that you can't just assume that these non-bank firms are safe just because they tell you that they are. As with banks before FDIC, you have to do due diligence on the particular firm and you have to keep an eye on them.
As for the 3%, I would say this. I've personally experienced the phenomenon of really good deals for a year or so, subject to jumping through hoops and various restrictions, and they are a little like sign-up bonuses. They tend to fade with time and they tend to do it in a subtle way. It really is possible to score some "free money" here and there but it's unlikely to keep going permanently.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
SnowBog
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by SnowBog »

nisiprius wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 2:56 pm
  • HM Bradley isn't a bank.
  • It's a fintech company that sits in between you and a bank, Hatch Bank.
  • They promise that your money is actually held at Hatch Bank.
  • Forum members with accounts say that they know their personal account numbers at Hatch Bank and, if I understand correctly, have been able to withdraw funds directly without the intervention of HM Bradley. In short, HM Bradley is doing what they say.
  • The bad experiences depositors--nobody in the forum--have had with another fintech, Beam, shows that you can't just assume that these non-bank firms are safe just because they tell you that they are. As with banks before FDIC, you have to do due diligence on the particular firm and you have to keep an eye on them.
I disagree with the assertion that somehow HM Bradley is "between" me and my money. As noted in the other threads, I have a bank account at Hatch Bank which is FDIC insured. My direct deposit shows as Hatch bank. My "external bank" links to the account show as Hatch. So from everything I see, HMBradley is not between me and my money. Now that my account is setup, I don't need to use their app at all... I can just do an ACH push/pull using the account numbers.
nisiprius wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 2:56 pm As for the 3%, I would say this. I've personally experienced the phenomenon of really good deals for a year or so, subject to jumping through hoops and various restrictions, and they are a little like sign-up bonuses. They tend to fade with time and they tend to do it in a subtle way. It really is possible to score some "free money" here and there but it's unlikely to keep going permanently.
On this point, I agree. I have no idea if HMBradley will be able to sustain this model. So the "extra" interest my be short lived. It's too early to know...

However, I think this requires almost zero "hoops" (assuming your direct deposit can be setup to direct only the money you want to "save" going into HMBradley). Far less than my former Credit Union required (# of ATM/debit transactions) for a fraction of the interest. So for the extra effort of setting up an account, I can earn 3x interest I can get else where.
Last edited by SnowBog on Sat Jun 19, 2021 3:46 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Escapevelocity
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by Escapevelocity »

I am keeping just shy of 100k in my HM Bradley account and getting 3.5% with the credit card kicker.

I agree that this deal will ultimately get watered down considerably. However, 3.5k per year in interest on 100k is way too good of a deal to pass up while it lasts considering the best alternatives are paying way below 1%.
vbdoug
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by vbdoug »

So far so good. I keep about 90K there. To qualify you have to follow their rules. For me [and to maintain my liquidity] I need to withdraw a certain amount at the end of the quarter and put most of it back in at the beginning of the next quarter. They pay zero interest on amounts over 100K. I am told that to get the extra bump of .5% you need to get their credit card and to qualify for that your direct deposit needs to be at least $2500 a month.
SnowBog
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by SnowBog »

vbdoug wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:47 pm So far so good. I keep about 90K there. To qualify you have to follow their rules. For me [and to maintain my liquidity] I need to withdraw a certain amount at the end of the quarter and put most of it back in at the beginning of the next quarter. They pay zero interest on amounts over 100K. I am told that to get the extra bump of .5% you need to get their credit card and to qualify for that your direct deposit needs to be at least $2500 a month.
That's what it was for me - I changed my DD amount to be $2500/month - and got approved the first of the next month... And as I put in another post, my understanding is you need to maintain $2500/month in DD to keep the 0.5% bonus [starting in July].

One other "nicety" with the CC - is how the cash back works. The "top" spend category earns 3%, second earns 2%, everything else earns 1%. My "normal" CC (Fidelity) is a 2% card. So its nice to be able to figure out my expected highest spend category and put that on the HMBradley card - getting an extra 1% cash back.

One downside with the card - currently they don't have an "autopay" option. So you need to manually schedule a payment each month.
My understanding is they will be adding autopay options at some point... But until then - just don't forget to pay off the credit card...
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nisiprius
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by nisiprius »

SnowBog wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 3:13 pm...Now that my account is setup, I don't need to use their app at all... I can just do an ACH push/pull using the account numbers...
Is that, in fact, how you do it? Is that how you access your money normally? I agree that it is convincing verification that your money is really being held at Hatch Bank.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
SnowBog
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by SnowBog »

nisiprius wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:51 pm
SnowBog wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 3:13 pm...Now that my account is setup, I don't need to use their app at all... I can just do an ACH push/pull using the account numbers...
Is that, in fact, how you do it? Is that how you access your money normally? I agree that it is convincing verification that your money is really being held at Hatch Bank.
Yes. The only thing I use the app for is to see my balance (or make a credit card payment). Otherwise, it's a direct deposit from my employer to Hatch bank account. And if I need to deposit/withdraw money, I typically make the request directly from my Fidelity [CMA] account. (HMBradley app limits the amount of daily transfers, but no such limits when originated from outside HM Bradley. I've had the same limit and do the same thing with other banks/CUs.)

In many ways, the HMBradley/Hatch account is similar to the Fidelity CMA/UMB. Fidelity isn't the bank, and isn't FDIC insured. But they give me an account number and a routing number, the routing number resolves to UMB. But I don't login to UMB to view my account - I login in Fidelity. Basically exactly how HMBradley/Hatch are working...

Now admittedly, HMBradley/Hatch are small, and clearly are still new/growing (no auto pay on CC?). And nothing in life is "risk less". But from what I can tell, this is no more risky than money sitting at any other bank... (Any of which could have a disruption limiting my access to funds, but all of which should eventually get worked out.)

For clarity on this last point, I keep 1-3 months "cash" in a "checking/saving" account outside of HMBradley. And I generally think of my HMBradley account more like a "CD" where I deposit to the account but ideally don't withdraw from it. (With some exceptions, as the new policy requiring DD of $2500/month is more than I want to add per month, so I withdraw up to 80% of DD to stay in the top tier of interest.) But I've decided that keeping any "cash" beyond that in HMBradley is an acceptable option for us.
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Stillwater1971
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by Stillwater1971 »

Can you ONLY do direct deposit from your paycheck/employer. I read somewhere that people have at some point transferred a large chunk into the HM Bradley account from somewhere else?
I guess my main question is, Can I also transfer some of my Savings from a different bank account into HM Bradley/ Hatch to reap the benefits?
ChiKid24
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by ChiKid24 »

They'll take money from wherever you have it. Payroll direct deposit is just a requirement to qualify for a high rate. But once you get that, the rate applies to all deposits.
aschafer1984
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by aschafer1984 »

nisiprius wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:51 pm
SnowBog wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 3:13 pm...Now that my account is setup, I don't need to use their app at all... I can just do an ACH push/pull using the account numbers...
Is that, in fact, how you do it? Is that how you access your money normally? I agree that it is convincing verification that your money is really being held at Hatch Bank.
I'll chime in as a new customer that opened an account in May. I'm also a Marcus bank customer; I added my HMBradley account to my Marcus online profile which verified that HMBradley info as Hatch bank. Went through an account verification process where Marcus push two small transactions to my HMBradley account. Once verified I've been able to initiate push and pulls through Marcus without accessing the HMBradley app at all. In fact all of my activity other than my direct deposits has been conducted using this method.
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Craig2020
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by Craig2020 »

My spouse has a part-time W2 job. She also happens to do payroll at that job. She set up her monthly pay to go into HM Bradley. That is all I did initially in the first quarter when the savings tier was low, though it was already at that point at or slightly above all the online high yield savings banks. Once we had a quarter completed that allowed entry into the 3.0% tier, I began transferring money from Ally over whenever one of my Ally CDs mature. I don't plan on removing money until 1. Need to buy a new car (my 2009 corolla has 142k miles OR 2. I hit 100k ceiling where no further balance above earns interest OR 3. They drop the savings rate below other online savings banks or there are other banks with higher CD rates. -- I doubt I will go through with the credit card to get 3.5%, though the card has a 3% unlimited reward on the highest spending category each month. So, might change my mind on that someday but don't want the complexity right now.
ChiKid24
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by ChiKid24 »

I don't have the CC either but am at the 3% savings tier. Just looked at the language for the CC to see how it works. It looks like you don't have to pre declare your 3% rewards tier like some other cards (BofA cash rewards for example). They automatically apply it to your highest spent tier that month. The second highest spending tier automatically gets 2%. It also looks like they don't cap the rewards you can get, which the BofA card does.

I'm also a Fidelity CC holder and get 2% on everything. So I think this is a pretty nice offer. Every month I'll only use the card for large purchses. Like grocery stores or vacation lodging or airfare. If I only use it for one category each month, I'm guaranteed 3% back on all those purchases.

Anyone with the card have any bad experiences?
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by nisiprius »

SnowBog wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:34 pm
nisiprius wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:51 pm
SnowBog wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 3:13 pm...Now that my account is setup, I don't need to use their app at all... I can just do an ACH push/pull using the account numbers...
Is that, in fact, how you do it? Is that how you access your money normally? I agree that it is convincing verification that your money is really being held at Hatch Bank.
Yes. The only thing I use the app for is to see my balance (or make a credit card payment). Otherwise, it's a direct deposit from my employer to Hatch bank account. And if I need to deposit/withdraw money, I typically make the request directly from my Fidelity [CMA] account....
So, my understanding is: you established an account with HM Bradley. From then on, you have made all deposits and withdrawals directly with Hatch Bank, member FDIC. HM Bradley's only involvement is that you have authorized them to see your account balance so that they can calculate interest according to the tier rules, and you have authorized them to access your Hatch Bank Account for the purpose of paying interest into it. Correct?
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
SnowBog
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Re: Is using HM Bradley for savings legit?

Post by SnowBog »

nisiprius wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 9:42 am
SnowBog wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 8:34 pm
nisiprius wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 7:51 pm
SnowBog wrote: Sat Jun 19, 2021 3:13 pm...Now that my account is setup, I don't need to use their app at all... I can just do an ACH push/pull using the account numbers...
Is that, in fact, how you do it? Is that how you access your money normally? I agree that it is convincing verification that your money is really being held at Hatch Bank.
Yes. The only thing I use the app for is to see my balance (or make a credit card payment). Otherwise, it's a direct deposit from my employer to Hatch bank account. And if I need to deposit/withdraw money, I typically make the request directly from my Fidelity [CMA] account....
So, my understanding is: you established an account with HM Bradley. From then on, you have made all deposits and withdrawals directly with Hatch Bank, member FDIC. HM Bradley's only involvement is that you have authorized them to see your account balance so that they can calculate interest according to the tier rules, and you have authorized them to access your Hatch Bank Account for the purpose of paying interest into it. Correct?
And I use the app/service to see my balance (same as Fidelity CMA using UMB).

But otherwise, sounds right at I understand it.
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