This 27-Year-Old’s Bank Paid Him $1,038 This Year. Here’s How


This past year, Corey Brandl hasn’t paid a single bank fee. In fact, his bank is paying him, which helped him save for an engagement ring for his fiancee.

Check it out. Brandl’s pocketed:

  • $394 in cash-back rewards
  • $424 in savings interest
  • $220 in ATM reimbursements.

That’s an extra $1,038. How?! The 27-year-old New York City resident banks with Radius, a full-service virtual bank that offers way more perks than his old bank ever did.

Replacing Credit Cards With a Fee-Free Checking Account

Three years after opening a Radius Bank account, Brandl gives his experience a grade of A+. Rick Loomis for The Penny Hoarder

Before joining Radius Bank three years ago, Brandl kept the majority of his money in a Bank of America account. The first issue? Fees. The second? The rewards system, to be honest, sucked.

That’s why he started using multiple credit cards to earn cash back and travel rewards.

“I used to have three to four credit cards,” he says. “It was because they had great points — I haven’t paid for a flight in years — but that’s so taxing, to make sure you pay off your cards. I had to open all these apps and set all these reminders.”

When he heard about Radius Bank and its perks, Brandl decided to give it a try. Three years later, and he’s still happy with his experience — gives it an A+.

Here are some of the perks Brandl loves about his Radius Bank Rewards Checking Account:

  1. Earn an unlimited 1% cash back on qualified purchases.*

  2. Pay no ATM fees, monthly service fees or minimum-balance requirements (after your first $100 to open).

  3. Use the free Radius app to deposit checks, pay bills, transfer money to friends and track your spending trends so you can make smarter financial decisions.

  4. Open and connect a high-yield savings account with Radius to easily transfer money into your savings and earn 1.50% interest (on balances of $2,000 to $24,999.99, or 2.05% on balances of $25,000 or more).

  5. Apply online — even from your phone — in no time. Start with a deposit of $100, and you’re good to go.

How Radius Bank Helped This Twentysomething Afford a Ring

Brandl’s fiancee Alexa Hochstin shows the engagement ring she accepted from him. Rick Loomis for The Penny Hoarder

What is it they say? You should spend at least three months of income on an engagement ring? We find that rule a bit outdated, but it’s no secret: any engagement ring is going to be pricy.

As strange as it might sound, Brandl says his Radius Bank accounts helped him save up for the big purchase.

Not only did he earn cash back and interest, he also found he kept better tabs on his spending.

For one, since opening his accounts with Radius, Brandl now makes the majority of his purchases with his Radius debit card.

“Narrowing down my spend to mostly Radius Bank’s debit card has helped me get my finances in check and ultimately save more money,” he says. Now, he doesn’t feel like he’s jumping from account to account, app to app to keep track of his account balances and spending.

Plus, with the budgeting tools built into the Radius app, Brandl keeps his spending top of mind.

“Let’s say I spent $250 on Sweetgreen in April,” he says. “I’m like, ‘Wow, I could’ve just made salads and saved money.’ It has a good system where you can see where you’ve spent too much money and where you need to tone it back.”

Thanks to these tools, the cash back and the savings interest, Brandl saved up for an engagement ring for his fiancee. (Spoiler: She said yes!)

If you’re interested in a free cash-back checking account, it only takes a few minutes and a minimum opening deposit of $100 to sign up with Radius Bank.

“I think that people, if they’re really interested in instant cash back, this is one of the best opportunities out there — if not the best,” Brandl concludes.

* To qualify for cash back, you must maintain an average balance of $1,000 each month; set up and receive direct deposits; or have more than $5,000 in total balances across all of your Radius accounts within the month.

Carson Kohler ([email protected]) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s a big fan of online banking.

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