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Affirm Savings Account Review

Ashlyn Brooks

August 27, 2021

Affirm isn’t your average bank; in fact, it’s not a bank at all. It’s a fintech company known primarily for its “buy now, pay later” lending service (similar to Afterpay). But it also offers a high-yield savings account via a third party, Cross River Bank. The Affirm savings account interest rate is higher than what most traditional and nontraditional banks offer these days. Just don’t expect any extra features at Affirm; it’s a no-fee place to park some of your money, and not much more.

Top Takeaways for 2021

After spending seven months testing 19 high-yield accounts for our inaugural review of the best savings accounts, here are our top findings on Affirm:

  1. Affirm’s whopping 0.65% annual percentage yield (that’s “whopping” in terms of today’s rates) is primarily what earned it a high rank on our list of Best Savings Accounts for 2021.

  2. Even though Affirm is not technically a bank, that doesn’t mean your funds aren’t safe. Deposits are protected by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., or FDIC, up to the standard limit of $250,000 per depositor through Affirm’s partner bank, Cross River Bank.

  3. Functionality is limited in terms of transfers, account sign-up, ways to access your account, and most everything else.

Overall Summary

Affirm logo

Feature Affirm
Overall
APY
Fees
User experience
Features and tools
Additional banking services

Pros:

  • Offers a high interest rate relative to competitors
  • No minimum deposit requirement
  • No fees

Cons:

  • No physical branches, in-app application process only
  • Limited deposit and withdrawal options
  • Minimal financial tools
  • No debit card

User experience

It's clear that Affirm gears its efforts primarily toward its “buy now, pay later” lending service rather than its savings account business. Affirm’s savings account offers the bare minimum when it comes to ways to access your cash and interact with customer service. The one bright spot is the easy account sign-up.

Account setup: Of the nearly 20 accounts we opened for our testing, the setup process at Affirm was by far the most straightforward. With only five steps that included entering our personal information and an email to verify, we were done in just a few minutes. For perspective, at other banks, we went through anywhere from five to 20 signup steps, several lengthy phone calls (we’re looking at you, Discover), and waited days to receive approval.

Account setup and money transfers are streamlined because Affirm uses a third-party financial service provider, Plaid, that automatically links bank accounts and verifies your data. That means you don’t have to manually enter your bank information. And it’s loads better than waiting two to three business days for a test deposit to hit your account, another common setup scenario. Of the 19 banks reviewed, only eight used this service, and they were rewarded for it during our scoring process.

While easy use of an app is great, we found it odd that account signup (and overall access to our test savings account) was limited to Affirm’s app. We were unable to access our savings account — see it, add funds or manage our settings — via Affirm’s desktop site.

Deposit/withdrawal options: Deposits and withdrawals must be initiated in-app. Affirm offers no ATM access and there are no physical bank branches. The only way to get money out is via Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfer to an external bank account. Deposits can be made via ACH transfer (free) or wire transfer initiated from the funding account. Just keep in mind that even though Affirm doesn’t charge for an outgoing wire transfer, your funding bank might, and that can run you upwards of $30.

Customer support: Though we didn’t have to contact customer service directly, we suspect it’s a pretty painful process: There are few ways to get help, and none include a phone number or email address. You’re stuck either chatting with an online bot, pinging the bank on Twitter (@affirm), or hoping your question is answered in Affirm’s library of Q&As.

We did track down the contact info for Cross River Bank (which technically services Affirm savings accounts): You can call 855-423-3729 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern time, seven days a week.

Deposit and transaction limitations: Affirm abides by the federal rules that limit the number of times you can withdraw/transfer money from a savings account to six times per calendar month. Transfers into your Affirm savings account have no limits in terms of the number you can make or the amount you can deposit. Just note that it may take one to five business days for the money to become available.

Fees

You don’t have to worry about surprise fees with Affirm. Since it doesn’t offer much, it doesn't charge for much either.


Affirm account fees
Outgoing wire transfer N/A
Monthly maintenance fee N/A
Official check fee $0
Paper statement request fee N/A

Of the 19 banks we analyzed, only one (Citi Accelerate Savings) charged a monthly fee of $4.50 for account maintenance. However, even if a bank has no monthly maintenance fee, savers should keep an eye out for other costs. The most minor fee can have a corrosive effect on the interest you earn. For example, one $5 fee immediately wipes out two months’ worth of the interest you’d earn on a $5,000 balance at a 0.60% APY.

Features and tools

We weren’t impressed when it came to Affirm savings account tools, simply because there’s just one. The only “tool” (if you can call it that) is the ability to set up recurring deposits. Basically, it’s an autosave feature that allows you to choose how much to transfer from your external bank account into your Affirm savings account either weekly or monthly.

Mobile app/website: Plain and simple are the two words we would use to describe Affirm’s website and it is what it is — there’s just not much to look at. There’s something to be said for simplicity, however, and Affirm’s website offers a one-page hub where everything is available.

​​We did our testing on the Affirm app for iOS. It’s also available for Android. Again, the app is a must for setting up an Affirm savings account. There’s no way to sign up for the savings account through the desktop. The app itself isn’t terrible; you just won’t find any tools or features to enhance your experience.

Educational content: Affirm is the only savings account provider we reviewed that offers no educational content and was scored accordingly in the “Features and tools” category. We like to see banks offer at least some content that helps customers on their savings journey. A blog, a couple calculators, some words of encouragement — any of those would have been nice.

Banking services

Affirm partners with Cross River Bank to offer two services: short-term payment plans and the high-yield savings account. If you shop online you may have come across a retailer that offers Affirm’s short-term lending service. It allows customers to choose a payment schedule to pay off purchases at interest rates ranging from 0% to 30% based on your credit score, purchase amount and down payment. If a retailer doesn’t offer Affirm, you can apply for a one-time-use virtual card to pay off over time.

With just the one banking account available, Affirm ranked last in our analysis in the banking services category; but access to additional banking services carries a low weight in our overall scoring. If your focus is on finding the best high-yield savings account, further services are more of a convenience than a necessity.


Affirm banking services
Checking account No
High-yield savings account Yes
Money market No
CDs No
Loans No
Credit cards No
Retirement savings accounts (IRAs) No


Final thoughts

Affirm keeps it ultra-simple by offering only two banking services: a high-yield savings account and short-term lending (similar to Afterpay). Although the Affirm savings account is mostly a side perk, it comes with an eye-catching interest rate and FDIC insurance. What’s missing are some now-standard savings account bells and whistles: an ATM card, goal tracking, tools, and other banking products if you want to consolidate your finances.

If the only goal you have is finding a safe place to put your money to let it accrue interest, Affirm is a decent solution.

About Affirm

Affirm Holdings Inc. is a San Francisco-based financial technology company founded in 2012. It offers consumers buy-now, pay-later installment loans, as well as a savings account managed through a third party, Cross River Bank. Affirm is publicly traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AFRM.

If the only goal you have is finding a safe place to put your money to let it accrue interest, Affirm is a decent solution.

2021 Savings Account Review Methodology

Our mission at investor.com is simple: provide thorough and unbiased reviews of financial services products and providers.

For investor.com's annual Best Savings Accounts Review published in August 2021, we collected a total of 532 data points over seven months to score and rank high-yield savings accounts. We assessed 19 banks across 70 variables spanning five core categories, including APY (annual percentage yield), monthly fees, user experience, account features and banking services.

All 19 institutions passed our initial screening criteria of having FDIC (for banks) or NCUA (for credit unions) insurance, online accessibility, and an interest rate above the 0.06% national average for savings accounts. To test quality and usability, we opened, funded and used each bank’s high-yield savings account for a minimum of three statement cycles. We performed basic account functions (deposits, withdrawals, transfers) on both the desktop and app versions (where applicable), scoured all fine print and disclosures, and had some lengthy phone calls with bank service reps.

FAQs

How do I access my money at Affirm?

Accessing money in Affirm’s savings account is done entirely in-app; there are no ATMs and no physical locations. You’re limited to ACH transfers for withdrawals and can use wire transfers for deposits. Both require linking to an external bank account.

How do I reach customer service?

Though we didn’t have to contact customer service directly, we suspect it’s a pretty painful process: There are few ways to get help, and none include a phone number or email address. You’re stuck either chatting with an online bot, pinging the bank on Twitter (@affirm), or hoping your question is answered in Affirm’s library of Q&As.

However, we were able to find the contact info for Cross River bank, which technically services your account.

  • 855-423-3729 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern time, seven days a week.

Is Affirm high-yield savings safe?

Yes. Affirm sweeps customers’ funds to a partner, Cross River Bank, which carries the standard $250,000 FDIC insurance per depositor.

About the author:

Ashlyn Brooks is a financial writer and former civil engineer. She's on a mission to show others how to save and spend smarter through purposeful money habits. Her work has been featured on Her Money.com, MoneyGeek, and Top 10.com.

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