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Personal Capital Wealth Management Review

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Personal Capital Wealth Management Review

Personal Capital is an online wealth management platform with 800,000 registered users. The product has two main offerings: the robust free management dashboard, which includes several useful wealth planning tools and asset management for an additional fee.

The portfolio management team, which works under the Financial Advisory umbrella, manages over $1.5 billion in client assets and is available to Personal Capital users who have over $100,000 to invest. But even if you’re a newbie investor the main free platform is a worthwhile tool that you should consider using.

The Personal Capital Financial Tools Dashboard

The dashboard gives you access to a ton of information for financial planning. To get started you sink each of your asset and credit accounts to the dashboard. Then you get an entire breakdown of your net worth, cash flow, portfolio balances and asset allocation in colorful graphs and spreadsheets.

Within the free dashboard there are a few useful tools including:

Cash Flow Monitoring - A highly detailed report of your income vs. spending. You can review each account, drill down to isolated dates and search for transactions.

Asset Allocation & Portfolio Performance - In the investment portfolio tab you can view account holdings, balances and performance. And the nifty Asset Allocation section gives you a breakdown of exactly where you money is going.

personal capital 1

Fee Analysis - The Fee Analyzer calculates your total fee percentage and how the fees you pay compare to a fee benchmark. According to Personal Capital you should pay about 0.50% or less in fees.

Personal Capital 2

Investment Checkup - Check how your portfolio stacks up to a Target Portfolio suggested to you based on your account data and retirement goals. To generate your target portfolio Personal Capital asks you questions like your age, how much income you want to make in retirement and your risk profile. Then it makes an investment recommendation and future projections using Monte Carlo analysis.

personal capital 3

Retirement Planner - This tool calculates how on track (or off track) you are for retirement using your retirement spending goals and your current savings.

Personal Capital Financial Advising

If you choose to have your assets managed by Personal Capital advisors use a “big picture” strategy. They take into account your current and future cash flow along with your investment portfolio to develop a plan.

The strategy includes tactics like daily account monitoring, “Smart Indexing” for better performance, diversification to reduce risk and tax optimization. According to Personal Capital tax harvesting and other tax techniques like avoiding mutual funds can increase investor return by 1%.

Personal Capital charges by assets managed with this fee schedule:

  • $100,000 up to the first $1 million: 0.89%

For clients that invest $1 million or more:

  • First $3 million: 0.79%
  • Next $2 million: 0.69%
  • Next $5 million: 0.59%
  • Over $10 million: 0.49%

Clients who invest over $1 million are considered Private Clients and gain access to benefits like a concierge service and a dedicated Certified Financial Planner in addition to a team of licensed advisors. Each quarter Private Clients also receive a full financial review with analysis of accounts and access to extra products and services from Bank of New York Mellon (where funds are held).

Fees and Fine Print Details

Fees only come into play if you decide to sign up for asset management. So yes, that means all dashboard perks are completely free.

If you invest with Personal Capital accounts are opened for you at Pershing Advisor Solutions, a Bank of New York Mellon. You can fund your account with cash or transfer securities. If you need access to your money, cash can be available to you within a one to three day settlement period. Personal Capital is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The Pros and Cons

Of course the pro of Personal Capital is all the tools you can get for free and it only takes a few minutes to sign up to get started. Just input your online username and passwords for your financial accounts and answer a few questions

Personal Capital takes security seriously, which is another big plus. It uses bank-level, military-grade encryption, performs third-party security audits and requires you to authenticate each device you use.

The only small dashboard limitation is the cash flow section. You can analyze your spending habits but you can’t create a budget or set budget goals. Still Personal Capital is excellent to view your overall financial health.

As far as asset management, Personal Capital does charge more than a few other automated advising online services like Betterment and Wealthfront. However the service is geared towards people with a large sum to invest and that type of client may value the extra perks that come with Private Client status.

Alternatives to Personal Capital

Betterment is an automated investment service that has a far lower investment minimum. First it gives you an investment recommendation after you input basic details about your financial goals. You can choose to run with the recommendation or personalize your own plan.

Then you fund your account and money is invested in low-cost ETFs. Everything else including rebalancing and deposits is automated. Like Personal Capital there are tax optimization tools available to help lower your tax costs and increase your return.

Here’s the fee breakdown of Betterment:

  • $0 - $10,000 - 0.35% (with a minimum $100 auto-deposit) or $3 per month without auto-deposit
  • $10,000 - $100,000 - 0.25%
  • $100,000+ - 0.15%

Wealthfront is another automated investment service that creates a custom asset allocation plan for users. It can manage both non-retirement and retirement accounts. The minimum amount you can invest with Wealthfront is $500. Wealthfront will manage the first $10,000 you invest for free. The rest is charged a monthly fee based on an annual 0.25% rate.

Who Will Benefit From Personal Capital

The Personal Capital dashboard is a convenient and visually attractive way to view net worth that anyone can benefit from. But it’s not a platform for newbie investors seeking help managing their assets. Even if you have the required $100,000 to invest you may find coupling the Personal Capital dashboard with a lower costing automated investment alternative gives you the best of both worlds.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor at taylor@magnifymoney.com

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Earning Cashback, Reviews

Review: The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card now with a standout balance transfer offer

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is a new offer that not only has a longer intro APR period but also a rare $0 balance transfer fee for transfers requested within 60 days of account opening. This feature provides additional value to this card and makes it our top pick for people looking to complete a balance transfer. The other features of the card remain consistent like the rewards program — favoring those who shop at U.S. supermarkets, as well as the offering of Amex exclusive perks like entertainment access and Global Assist® Hotline.

 

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The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express

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Rates & Fees

Annual Fee

$0

Intro Purchase APR

0% for 15 months

Intro BT APR

0% for 15 months

BT Fee

$0 balance transfer fee.

Regular Purchase APR

14.24% – 25.24% Variable

Rewards

2x points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x), 1x points on other purchases.

How the card works

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is a rewards card that doubles as a balance transfer card. Beginning with the rewards program, you can earn 2x points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x) and 1x points on other purchases. If you spend $500 a month at U.S. supermarkets, you can maximize rewards at the higher rate. Otherwise, this is an OK program considering this is a $0 annual fee card, but you can find a better rewards rate with the $0 annual fee Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

What is unique about this card is the balance transfer offer. You can benefit from an intro 0% APR for 15 months on balance transfers with a $0 balance transfer fee (for transfers requested within 60 days of account opening). This can save you the typical 3% fee that most cards charge on balance transfers. Once the intro period ends, a 14.24%-25.24% Variable APR applies.

There is also an intro 0% for 15 months on purchases (after, 14.24%-25.24% Variable APR), allowing you to make a large purchase and pay it off during the intro period. This intro period, combined with the balance transfer intro period and rewards program make The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express a unique offering where cardholders have the option to transfer a balance, pay off a large purchase, and earn rewards on new purchases — all with one card.

How to qualify

American Express products are best for people with good or excellent credit.

What we like about the card

Intro BT fee: This card offers a $0 balance transfer fee for transfers requested within 60 days of account opening. Completing a transfer is a great way to save on the typical 3% BT fee most cards charge.

20% More points: When you make 20 or more transactions in a billing period, you earn 20% more points on those purchases. This effectively increases the value of 1 point to 1.2 points.

Transfer points to frequent traveler programs: You can transfer your points to participating frequent traveler programs mostly on a 1:1 basis (some transfers require more or less points).

2x Points on travel booked with amextravel.com: When you book travel at amextravel.com, eligible travel purchases (prepaid hotel stays, vacation packages, cruises, and more) receive double points.

What we don’t like about the card

Low everyday rewards rate: Purchases in categories other than U.S. supermarkets or in excess of the quarterly cap will earn a low rewards rate that can be beat by other cards. We consider 2 points per dollar spent to be the average, so anything below that is subpar.

What are Membership Rewards® points worth?

Membership Rewards® points can be redeemed in many ways. For each option, point’s worth varies, so some redemption options may be better than others. Here are the ways you can redeem your rewards and how much one point is worth for each option:

  • Frequent flyer programs: Points are often worth $0.01 each, with some worth more or less. For example; 1,000 Membership Rewards® points = 2,000 Hilton Honors Points or 1,000 SkyMiles®.
  • Gift cards: Points are worth $0.01 each.
  • Merchandise: Points are worth $0.005 each.
  • Travel: The value of points vary.
  • Pay with points at checkout or via statement credit: The value of points vary and are often less than $0.01.

Alternatives

Chase Slate<sup>®</sup>

Intro BT APR

0%

Introductory rate

Balance Transfer Fee

$0 intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open. After 5% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $5.

Regular Purchase APR

16.24%-24.99%

Variable

Duration

15 months

The Chase Slate® offers the same balance transfer offer as The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, but is a more basic card. There are no rewards or standout perks, so this card is better suited for people only looking for a no-frills balance transfer card, or those who don’t want to be distracted by rewards while they pay down debt.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Annual fee

$0

Cashback Rate

3% at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 2% at U.S. gas stations & select U.S. department stores, 1% on other purchases

Regular Purchase APR

14.24%-25.24%

Variable

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express has a rewards program that is also geared towards U.S. supermarket shopping, but offers higher rates (it also includes U.S. gas stations in the higher rate). Similar to The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express, you can increase your points worth, but at a greater rate — earn 50% extra points when you make 30 or more transactions in a billing period.

Bottom Line

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express is a well-rounded card with a rewards program favoring U.S. supermarket purchases, a standout intro offer, and signature Amex additional perks. Terms apply. If you’re looking to transfer a balance and make a large purchase, this card has the best offer on the market allowing you to benefit from 0% intro periods as well as rewards on new purchases.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at alexandria@magnifymoney.com

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Featured, Personal Loans, Reviews

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Review: GS Bank Takes on Online Savings, CDs, and Personal Loans

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs
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Most Americans probably think of fancy white-collar stock traders on Wall Street when they think of Goldman Sachs, a global investment firm that’s been around since the late 19th century.

In recent years, Goldman made a major pivot, launching a new arm of the company called GS Bank, which would provide internet-only savings accounts to the masses.

They also launched Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, a line of personal loans. Eventually, they decided to rebrand their savings account business, putting it under the Marcus umbrella as well.

Today, through Marcus, you’ll find three product offerings: personal loans, savings accounts, and CDs.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into all three products. We’ll tell you what you need to know before opening an account, including what rates they are offering.

All rates are current as of February 14, 2018.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs savings account

A very high interest rate and no fees make this one of the best savings accounts out there.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

1.50%

None

  • Minimum opening deposit: None. However, you’ll need to deposit at least $1.00 if you want to earn any interest.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None.
  • Overdraft fee: None.

This is a great account for almost anyone. However, before you click that “Learn More” button below, there are a couple of things to know.

No ATMs. First, Marcus by Goldman Sachs doesn’t offer ATM access to your savings account. You’ll either need to deposit or withdraw money by sending in a physical check, setting up direct deposits, or by moving the money to and from your other bank accounts via ACH or wire transfer.

No checking account. Second, Marcus does't offer a corresponding checking account. That means you can only use this account as an external place to park your cash from your everyday money flow.

Keeping a separate savings account does have its benefits. For example, it’s harder to tempt yourself to withdraw the cash if you’re a chronic over-spender. But, it also means that there might be a delay of a few days if you need to transfer the money out of your Goldman Sachs online savings account and into your other checking account.

How to open a Goldman Sachs online savings account

It’s really easy to open an online savings account with Marcus by Goldman Sachs. You can do it online or over the phone as long as you’re 18 years or older, have a physical street address, and a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

You’ll be required to sign a form which you can do online, or by mail if you’re opening the account over the phone.

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

How their online savings account compares

Marcus’ online savings account can easily be described with one word: outstanding.

You’ll get a relatively high interest rate with this account, which is among the best online savings account rates you’ll find today. In fact, these rates are currently over seven times higher than the average savings account interest rate.

Even better, this account won’t charge you any fees for the privilege of keeping your money stashed there. It’s a tall order to find another bank that offers these high interest rates with terms this good.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs CD rates

Sky-high CD rates, but watch out for early withdrawal limitations.

Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

6 months

0.60%

$500

9 months

0.70%

$500

12 months

2.05%

$500

18 months

2.10%

$500

24 months

2.15%

$500

3 years

2.25%

$500

4 years

2.30%

$500

5 years

2.60%

$500

6 years

2.65%

$500

  • Minimum amount to open account: $500
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For CDs under 12 months, 90 days’ worth of interest. For CDs of 12 months to 5 years, 270 days’ worth of interest. For CDs of 5 years or over, 365 days’ worth of interest.

Marcus’ CDs work a little differently from other CDs. Rather than having to set up and fund your account all at once, Goldman Sachs will give you 30 days to fully fund your account.

Once open, your interest will be tallied up and credited to your CD account each month. You can withdraw the interest earned at any time without paying an early withdrawal penalty, but heads up: If you withdraw the interest, your returns will be lower than the stated APY when you opened your account.

If you need to withdraw the money from your CD, you can only do so by pulling out the entire CD balance and paying the required early withdrawal penalty. There is no option for partial withdrawals of your cash.

Finally, once your CD has fully matured, you’ll have a 10-day grace period to withdraw the money, add more funds, and/or switch to a different CD term. If you don’t do anything, Marcus will automatically roll over your CD into another one of the same type, but with the current interest rate of the day.

How to open a Goldman Sachs CD

Marcus has made it super simple to open up a CD. First, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, and have either a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

You can open an account easily online, or call them up by phone. You’ll need to sign an account opening form, which you can do online or via a hard-copy mailed form. Then, simply fund your CD account within 30 days, and you’re all set.

Member FDIC

How their CDs compare

The interest rates that Marcus offers on their CDs are top-notch. In fact, a few of their CD terms are among the current contenders for the best CD rates.

If you’re interested in pursuing a CD ladder approach, Marcus is one of our top picks because each of their CD terms offer above-average rates. This means you can rest easy that you’ll get the best rates for your CD ladder without having to complicate things by spreading out all of your CDs among a handful of different banks.

The only downside to these CDs compared with many other banks is that you can’t withdraw a portion of your cash if you need it. It’s either all-in, or all-out. However, once out, you’re still free to open a new CD with the surplus cash, as long as it’s at least the $500 minimum deposit size.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loan

Personal loans offered by Marcus have low APRs, flexible terms, and no fees.

Terms

APR

Credit Required

Fees

Max Loan Amount

36-72 months

6.99%-24.99%

Varies

None

$40,000

Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loans can be used for just about anything, from consolidating debt to financing a large home improvement project. They offer some of the best rates available, with APRs as low as 6.99%, and you’ll not only be able to choose between a range of loan terms, but you can also choose the specific day of the month when you want to make your loan payments.

While there are no specific credit requirements to get a loan through Marcus, the company does try to target those that have “prime” credit, which is usually those with a FICO score higher than 660. Even with a less than excellent credit score, you may be able to qualify for a personal loan from Marcus, though, those that have recent, negative marks on their credit report, such as missed payments, will likely be rejected.

Applicants must be over 18 (19 in Alabama and Nebraska, 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico) and have a valid U.S. bank account. You are also required to have a Social Security or Individual Tax I.D. Number.

No fees. Marcus charges no extra fees for their personal loans. There are no origination fees associated with getting a loan, but there are also no late fees associated with missing payments. Those missed payments simply accrue more interest and your loan will be extended.

Defer payments. Once you have made on-time payments for a full year, you will have the ability to defer a payment. This means that if an unexpected expense or lost job hurts your budget one month, you can push that payment back by a month without negatively impacting your credit report.

How to apply for a Marcus personal loan

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers a process that is completely online, allowing you to apply, choose the loan you want, submit all of your documents, and get approved without having to leave home. Here are the steps that you will complete to get a personal loan from Marcus:

  1. Fill out the information that is required in the online application, including your basic personal and financial information, as well as how much you would like to borrow and what you will use the money for.
  2. After a soft pull on your credit, and if you qualify, you will be presented a list of different loan options that may include different rates and terms.
  3. Once you have chosen the loan you want, you will need to provide additional information to verify your identity. You may also be asked for information that can be used to verify your income and you will need to provide your bank account information so that the money can be distributed.
  4. You will receive your funds 1 – 4 business days after your loan has been approved.

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How their personal loans compare

Marcus offers low APRs and flexible terms with their personal loans, but their main feature is that they have no fees. If you are looking for a straightforward lending experience with no hidden fees or costs, Marcus will be perfect for you since you won’t even have to worry about late fees if you happen to miss a payment.

While Marcus offers some great perks, you may be able to get a lower rate if you choose to go with another lender, such as LightStream or SoFi. Both of these lenders offer lower APR ranges and they don’t charge origination fees, though, LightStreamwill do a hard pull on your credit to preapprove you.

LendingClub and Peerform both have lower credit requirements than Marcus, but they also charge origination fees and, being P2P lending platforms, you will need to wait for your loan to be funded and you run the risk that other users might not fund your loan.

Overall review of Marcus by Goldman Sachs' products

Marcus has really hit it out of the park with their personal loans, online savings, and CD accounts. Each of these accounts offers some of the best features available on the market, while shrinking the fees down to a minuscule, or even nonexistent, amount. Their website is also slick and easy to use for online-savvy people.

The only thing we can find to complain about with Marcus is that they don’t offer an equally-awesome checking account to accompany their other deposit products. Indeed, it seems like Marcus has turned their former hoity-toity image around: Today, they’re a bank that we’d recommend to anyone, even blue-collar folks.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

PenFed Credit Union CD Rates, Checking, Savings, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

penfed credit union review
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PenFed Credit Union—also known as Pentagon Federal Credit Union—got its start in 1935. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest credit unions in the country, with over 1.6 million members and $24 billion in assets. While it does offer in-person branches, anyone can also access their accounts online.

Like most credit unions, PenFed Credit Union restricts their membership. Luckily, most can get in with the right credentials or by making a small one-time donation to a good cause.

If you’re a government employee (including members of the military), work on a military base or for a qualifying organization, or a relative of someone who does meet these qualifications, you’re immediately eligible for membership.

For the rest of us, we can join simply by becoming a member of the Voices for America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time fee of $17.

In this review we’ll look at the rates and terms offered for each of their financial products. This will help you make an informed decision about whether PenFed is the right credit union for your banking needs.

All rates are current as of Feb. 6, 2018.

PenFed CD Rates

PenFed Money Market Certificates

High rates, great dividend payment, and renewal flexibility make this a great choice.

Term

APY

6 months

1.30%

12 months

1.87%

15 months

1.92%

18 months

1.97%

2 years

2.02%

3 years

2.07%

4 years

2.17%

5 years

2.43%

7 years

2.48%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $1,000
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For a six-month CD, you’ll forfeit any dividends earned (if you withdraw the amount before 90 days), or a full 90 days’ worth of dividends (if you withdraw it after 90 days, but before the CD matures). For a longer-term CD, you’ll forfeit all dividends earned (if you withdraw the amount within the first year), or 30% of what you would have earned if you kept the CD to maturity (if you withdraw the amount after one year, but before the CD matures).
  • One of the nice things about PenFed’s CDs is that they are very flexible in terms of how your dividends are paid out and what happens to the CD upon maturity.You can choose to have dividends reinvested into your CD or paid out each month by direct deposit into another PenFed Credit Union account, or mailed to you as a check. Of course, it’s always best to leave the dividends to pile up in your CD. If you choose to have dividends paid out, your APY may be lower than the stated rate.When you set up your CD, you’ll choose what happens at maturity. You can choose from three options: Renew the CD for the same term, deposit the funds into another PenFed account, or have a check mailed to you. There is no grace period for you to choose what happens after it matures as with most banks; rather, you choose upfront. However, you can change your mind at any time.The only down side of this CD is that you cannot make a partial withdrawal. If you need to withdraw the cash early, you can only remove the full amount. If you do need to withdraw the money, you can also only do so after giving written notice.

How to get a PenFed Money Market Certificate

To get a PenFed Money Market Certificate, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your CD with a minimum deposit of at least $1,000.

PenFed Credit Union will mail you a signature form to complete your account application, but you can still open new accounts online before completing this final check mark.

LEARN MORE 

NCUA Insured

How PenFed’s CDs compare

PenFed offers very competitive rates on their CDs. Each of their CDs carry a higher-than-average interest rate. These high rates, combined with flexibility on how you earn dividend payments and how the CD is renewed, make this a great choice for people looking for a well-rounded CD option from a credit union.

Still, if earning the top rates are your priority, there are currently higher CD rates out there with certain banks.

PenFed’s Coverdell Education Savings Certificates

Lower minimum deposit requirements make this account more accessible for parents.

Term

APY

1 year

1.82%

2 year

1.97%

3 year

2.02%

4 year

2.12%

5 year

2.38%

7 year

2.43%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $500
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: If you withdraw the CD before one year has passed, you’ll forfeit any dividends earned. If you withdraw the CD after one year has passed, you’ll pay a penalty equal to 30% of what you would have earned if you had kept the CD to maturity.

PenFed’s Coverdell Education Savings Certificates are a great tool to save for college. These CDs have a lower (i.e., more accessible) minimum account opening requirement than their regular Money Market CDs—just $500. You can contribute up to the maximum yearly amount set by the IRS—currently $2,000 for 2018—to this Coverdell account.

When you set up your account you can choose what happens when the CD matures: either renew the CD for a similar term, or deposit it into a new Coverdell Education Share account. Unlike PenFed’s regular CDs, you do have the option to make a partial withdrawal during the term of the CD if needed, provided that it doesn’t drop the amount in your CD below $500 (if that happens, the entire CD will be closed and deposited into a Coverdell Education Share account). If you do make a partial withdrawal, that amount will also be subject to the early withdrawal penalties described above.

How to get PenFed’s Coverdell Education Savings Certificates

To get a PenFed Coverdell Education Savings Certificate, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your Coverdell account with a minimum deposit of at least $500.

Once your application is complete, or if you’re already a member, you can open any new financial product directly in your online account. PenFed Credit Union will mail you a signature form. However, you can still open new accounts before completing this final check mark.

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NCUA Insured

PenFed checking account

Great interest rates, but make sure you can meet the requirements to waive the monthly fee.

APY

Account Balance

0.20%

Up to $19,999.99

0.50%

$20,000 - $50,000

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10
  • How to avoid the account maintenance fee: Keep $500 or more in your account, or have at least $500 direct deposited into your account each month
  • ATM fee: None for using either a PenFed ATM or a non-PenFed ATM; however, if using a non-PenFed ATM, the ATM’s owner may charge you a surcharge fee.
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Unfortunately, this checking account does charge a monthly fee, but if you have a job with a direct deposit paycheck or at least a little bit of cash, it’s not a hard fee to skirt around.

What we really like about this account is that it charges zero ATM fees, except for any surcharge fees an out-of-network ATM owner would charge (but that’s out of PenFed’s control). If you’re looking for a high-interest-earning checking account and use the ATM a lot to get cash, this would be a great checking account for you.

How to get PenFed’s checking account

To get a PenFed Checking Account, you’ll need to be a member. Simply complete the application, deposit a Share savings account with at least $5 and join either the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee (if you don’t qualify based on your employment).

Once your application is complete, or if you’re already a member, you can open any new financial product directly in your online account. They will mail you a signature form, however you can still open new accounts before completing this final check mark.

How PenFed’s checking account compares

We really love PenFed’s checking account for several reasons. It has a great interest rate, especially considering that many banks still don’t pay anything at all. PenFed Credit Union also does not charge any ATM fees with this account (although again, the other bank’s owner may charge you a surcharge fee), making this a cheaper option for folks who frequently use cash.

While this is a great checking account, it is possible to find better online checking accounts out there that offer higher interest rates, no monthly fees and ATM surcharge fee reimbursements.

PenFed Money Market Savings Account

PenFed offers very low rates for this account, even with a high balance amount—you can do much better elsewhere.

APY

Account Balance

0.05%

Up to $9,999.99

0.10%

$10,000 - $99,999.99

0.15%

Over $100,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for a withdrawal and $1.00 for a balance inquiry (including at in-network PenFed ATMs).
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30
  • Excessive transaction fee: $10 if you exceed 6 certain transactions per month.

PenFed’s money market account is designed to earn higher rates than their regular savings account, and that’s exactly what this account does — but only if you bring at least $10,000 of cash to the table to earn the second-tier or third-tier interest rates.

Although this account doesn’t have a monthly account maintenance fee, there are other fees to watch out for. You don’t typically use ATMs with a money market account as with a checking account, but if you do need to use an ATM, you’ll pay a $1.50 fee to make a withdrawal, even at an in-network PenFed ATM.

A better way to get your cash out of this account is with an account transfer (just don’t make over six in one month to avoid the excessive transaction fee), or with the free checks that they offer with this account.

How to get PenFed’s Money Market Savings Account

To get a PenFed Money Market savings account, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your Money Market savings account with a minimum deposit of at least $25.

They will mail you a signature form to complete your account application, however you can still open new accounts online before completing this final check mark.

LEARN MORE 

NCUA Insured

How PenFed’s money market account compares

As far as interest rates go, PenFed’s money market account is very low. In fact, you can earn even higher interest rates by keeping your money in PenFed’s checking account, which is strange.

Furthermore, we find it odd that they charge you to make an ATM withdrawal from this account — even from their own ATMs. At least they offer free checks, but that won’t help you much if you need cold, hard cash pronto.

If you’re looking for better rates and terms on a money market account, you can find better money market accounts elsewhere.

PenFed Savings Account

An overall lackluster savings account that offers a low rate and charges for ATM withdrawals.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$5

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for a withdrawal and $1.00 for a balance inquiry (including at in-network PenFed ATMs).
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $30
  • Excessive transaction fee: $10 if you exceed six certain transactions per month.

This is the basic account that you need to become a PenFed member and open any other account. It’s designed as a free savings account and does pay a small amount of interest, but don’t expect much more from it than that.

Furthermore, if you ever need to take out cash from this account, you’ll pay a $1.50 per ATM withdrawal, even if you use a PenFed ATM. And unlike with their money market checking account, you don’t get free checks with this account. That means the only way you can make a free transaction into or out of this account is either online or by visiting a branch in-person.

How to Get PenFed’s Savings Account

To get a PenFed savings account, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your savings account with a minimum deposit of at least $5.

The credit union will mail you a signature form to complete your account application, however you can still open new accounts online before completing this final check mark.

LEARN MORE 

NCUA Insured

How PenFed’s Savings Account compares

We’ll be honest here. The interest rate on PenFed’s savings account is awfully low compared with its competitors. You likely won’t earn much with this account, especially compared with other online high-interest savings accounts.

Furthermore, we don’t like the fact that you need to pay to use an ATM with this account, even for in-network PenFed ATMs. Most banks at least let you use their own in-network ATMs for free, so the fact that you need to pay to do so with this account seems silly.

However, even though all members are required to open this account when establishing their membership with PenFed, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. It’s perfectly fine to let it sit idle with the $5 minimum deposit since there are no monthly account maintenance fees. We instead view this account as a pesky requirement for working with the credit union if you’d like to use one of their other financial products.

PenFed IRA CD accounts

No fees on partial withdrawals for those ages 59 ½ and over make this a great account choice for mature consumers.

Term

APY

1 year

1.82%

2 years

1.97%

3 years

2.02%

4 years

2.12%

5 years

2.38%

7 years

2.43%

  • Minimum amount to open an account:$1,000
  • Minimum amount to earn APY:$1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: If you withdraw the money in the first year, you’ll forfeit all dividends earned. If you withdraw the money after one year but before the CD matures, you’ll pay 30% of what you would have earned if you kept the CD to maturity.

At first glance, PenFed’s IRA CDs look pretty run-of-the-mill. The minimum opening deposit is fairly high, especially if you’re a young saver just looking to start out. In fact, IRA CDs are fairly conservative investments anyway, and the people who can get the most benefits from them are mature folks nearing — or already at — retirement.

But what makes these IRA CDs really stand out as better options for more mature savers is that you can make partial early withdrawals from your CD completely penalty-free, assuming that you’re 59 ½ and over. If you need to take out the cash in retirement early, rest assured it won’t cost you anything to withdraw, as long as you leave at least $1,000 in the CD for it to stay open.

How to get a PenFed IRA CD

To get a PenFed IRA CD, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your IRA CD with a minimum deposit of at least $1,000.

They will mail you a signature form to complete your account application, however you can still open new accounts online before completing this final check mark.

LEARN MORE 

NCUA Insured

How PenFed’s IRA CDs compare

While PenFed doesn’t exactly offer the highest interest rates on their IRA CDs, they’re pretty darn close. If you’re looking to get as high in returns as possible it’s tough to go wrong with them, but you may be able to earn more with other IRA CDs.

The thing that stands out the most with PenFed’s IRA CDs is that people who are over age 59 ½ can make partial withdrawals from these CDs without paying any early withdrawal penalties (assuming they keep at least a $1,000 balance in the CD to keep it open). This is a really unique feature, and it’s why we would recommend PenFed’s IRA CDs to older adults looking to keep their options flexible.

PenFed IRA Savings account

Low interest rates make this an OK place to store your retirement funds, but not to grow them.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$25

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

Remember how everyone is required to open up a PenFed savings account and fund it with at least $5 if they want to become a member? This account is the IRA version of that. Specifically, if you want to open up an IRA product — such as one of PenFed’s IRA CDs — you’ll need to open up one of these accounts as well.

This will be the default account that your IRA CD money is deposited into if you elect not to have the IRA CD auto-renew when it matures. It’s a great place to store your money in the short term until you withdraw it for retirement or move it to another IRA investment, however, it’s not a great place to grow your money due to the lackluster interest rate.

How to get PenFed’s IRA Savings account

To get a PenFed IRA savings account, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your IRA savings account with a minimum deposit of at least $25.

They will mail you a signature form to complete your account application, however you can still open new accounts online before completing this final check mark.

LEARN MORE 

NCUA Insured

PenFed IRA Premier Account

The exact same account as PenFed’s regular IRA Savings account, just with a higher minimum balance requirement.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$10,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

If you have at least $10,000 to keep in your retirement savings account, you can choose to open PenFed’s Premier IRA Savings account. There is no real benefit of using this account over PenFed’s regular IRA Savings account, because the exact interest rates are currently being offered for both accounts.

Typically, the more money you bring to the table, the higher the interest rate you can earn (as with PenFed’s Money Market Savings account), however that is not the case with this account. That could change in the future, however, if the credit union does decide to increase their interest rates for this account. But right now, we can’t really see any reason why you’d specifically choose this account over their regular IRA Savings account.

How to get PenFed’s IRA Premier account

To get a PenFed IRA Premier account, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your IRA Premier account with a minimum deposit of at least $10,000.

The credit union will mail you a signature form to complete your account application, however you can still open new accounts online before completing this final check mark.

LEARN MORE 

NCUA Insured

Overall review of PenFed’s banking products

When it comes to bank accounts, PenFed really shines in some areas and offers somewhat lackluster products in others. Specifically, we really like the high rates offered on their checking accounts and CD products, which are currently running near the top of the pack. The added advantage for people who are over age 59 ½ to withdraw money from the IRA CDs without paying a penalty as long as they keep at least $1,000 in the CD is also a great option.

However, other products — such as their savings and money market accounts — fall a bit short. We find it odd that they charge ATM fees for some of their accounts, even if you use a bona fide PenFed network ATM. Furthermore, each of PenFed’s savings accounts offers such low rates that we can’t really recommend them as a place to grow your money.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Advertiser Disclosure

Reviews

CIT Bank Review: Savings and CD Rates

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

CIT Bank review
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CIT Bank originally started as a business banking system. That’s where the acronym CIT—Commercial Investment Trust—came from. But lest that lead you to believe they aren’t for the average person, take heart: they’ve broadened their services to include several personal banking products.

Still, this is an online-only bank. That’s good news if you’re an internet-savvy consumer looking for great rates, since online-only banks typically don’t have a lot of overhead and can pass the savings along to you in the form of higher rates.

But, how good are these rates, really? And are the terms that CIT bank offers any good?  With one of the highest interest rates currently on the market and zero fees, which we highlight in our review,  it's certainly a great option for savers looking for low-fee, high-yield accounts.

We’ll look at their two main personal banking products — CDs and savings accounts — in this article to help you make an informed decision about whether CIT Bank is right for you.

Note: All rates are current as of February 2, 2018.

CIT Bank CD rates

Term CDs

CIT Bank Term CDs provide decent returns for your investment and flexibility in determining how interest payments are handled.

Term

APY

6 months

0.72%

1 year

1.32%

13 months

1.70%

18 months

1.75%

2 years

1.40%

3 years

1.30%

4 years

1.50%

5 years

1.70%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $1,000
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For CD terms that are one year or less, three months’ worth of interest is the penalty. For CD terms that are over one year up to three years, the penalty is six months’ worth of interest. For CD terms over three years, the penalty equals 12 months’ worth of interest.

One neat thing about CIT Bank’s Term CDs (and all of their CDs, actually) is how they let you manage the interest you’ve earned on your CDs.

You can choose from three options:

  1. Invest the interest back into the CD
  2. Have the interest you earned taken out and deposited into a CIT Bank savings account
  3. Or, you can have it transferred into another account (such as your checking account at a different bank).

Be warned, though: you won’t earn as much interest over the life of the CD if you choose to withdraw the monthly interest payments.

CIT Bank will give you a heads-up 30 days before your CD matures. Once it does mature, it’ll automatically roll over into another CD with the exact same term length. However, you have a 10-day grace period to withdraw your money, add more cash, or transfer it to a different type of CD.

How to get a CIT Bank term CD

It’s an easy process to open up a CIT Bank Term CD online. You’ll need to apply for an account by providing personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, and a valid form of government-issued ID.

Once you have an account set up, you can fund it by sending in a check or setting up an electronic transfer from another bank.

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

No-Penalty CD

A high-earning option for folks who might need their money before the CD matures — but it’s only available in one-term length.

Term

APY

11 months

1.55%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $1,000
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: None for this CD.

If you think you might need to withdraw your CD before the term is up, CIT Bank’s No-Penalty CD might be right for you. You’re allowed to withdraw everything — principal and interest — once per term without paying an early withdrawal penalty.

The only catch is that you can only do so after a week or so has passed from the time you open your account—meaning your money is locked away for the first six days. Still, a six-day period under lock and key is way better than an 11-month period. Even better, you don’t really sacrifice any potential earnings for choosing this option — currently, the APY on this 11-month No-Penalty CD is even higher than CIT Bank’s 1-year Term CD.

You also get the option to have interest payments deposited right back into your CD account, another CIT Bank savings account, or an external account. CD maturity for this No-Penalty CD works the same as with a regular Term CD. Your 11-month No-Penalty CD will automatically roll over into another 11-month No-Penalty CD once matured, with a 10-day grace period to withdraw the cash or make any changes to the CD itself.

How to get a CIT Bank no-penalty CD

It’s an easy process to open up a CIT Bank No-Penalty CD online. You’ll need to apply for an account by providing personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, and a valid form of government-issued ID.

Once you have an account set up, you can fund it by sending in a check or setting up an electronic transfer from another bank.

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

RampUp™ Plus CD

This CD gives you the option to raise your interest rate and/or add more money — but only once per term.

Term

APY

1 year

1.26%

2 years

1.27%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $25,000
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $25,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For the 1-year CD, you’ll pay three months’ worth of interest. For the 2-year CD, you’ll pay six months’ worth of interest.

One of the downsides of being locked into CDs is that if interest rates go up or you come across a sudden windfall of cash, you’re out of luck. You can’t take advantage of those fortuitous events unless you open a new CD (assuming you have enough cash on hand to meet the CD’s minimum deposit requirement, if there is one).

CIT Bank’s RampUp™ Plus CD changes that. You'll have the option to adjust your rate once if our rates go up, plus you can add to your deposit once during the term of your CD.

There are some limits, however; you can’t deposit more than $250,000 into your CD account (a wise decision, since this is the limit of FDIC insurance anyway), and the maximum interest rate rise they’ll honor is twice your current APY minus 0.05%. The original length of your term also stays the same — i.e., adding more money or boosting the APY does not increase the length of your term.

Your CD is handled similarly to other CIT Bank CDs once matured. It will roll over into another CD of the same type and term, but you’ll get a 10-day grace period to withdraw the cash, add more money, or change the CD to a different term or type.

How to get a CIT Bank RampUp™ Plus CD

It’s an easy process to open up a CIT RampUp™ Plus CD online. You’ll need to apply for an account by providing personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, and a valid form of government-issued ID.

Once you have an account set up, you can fund it by sending in a check or setting up an electronic transfer from another bank.

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

RampUp™ CDs

This CD account is similar to the RampUp™ Plus, however you aren’t able to add more money during the CD’s term.

Term

APY

3 years

1.20%

4 years

1.38%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $25,000 for the 3-year CD. $50,000 for the 4-year CD.
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $25,000 for the 3-year CD. $50,000 for the 4-year CD.
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months’ worth of interest for the 3-year CD. 12 months’ worth of interest for the 4-year CD.

If you like the idea of being able to raise your rates upward, but want to invest on a slightly longer term, consider a RampUp™ CD. These CDs are offered in three- and four-year terms instead, and also allow you to boost your rates once during each term (again, with a cap of twice your current rate, minus 0.05%).

There are two important differences between these RampUp™ CDs and the shorter-term RampUp™ Plus CDs. The four-year RampUp™ CD has a much higher minimum deposit size — $50,000, versus $25,000 if you’re investing a smaller amount. Additionally, you cannot add more money into these CDs. You only have the option to raise your rates, and that’s it.

Once mature, these CDs will also automatically roll over into another RampUp™ CD of the same type. You’ll have a 10-day grace period to withdraw the money, make any changes to the CD term or type, or add more money.

How to get a CIT Bank RampUp™ CD

It’s an easy process to open up a CIT RampUp™ CD online. You’ll need to apply for an account by providing personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, and a valid form of government-issued ID.

Once you have an account set up, you can fund it by sending in a check or setting up an electronic transfer from another bank.

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

Jumbo CDs

CIT Bank’s Jumbo CDs allow you to earn a slightly higher interest rate for a much larger deposit size.

Term

APY

2 years

1.45%

3 years

1.40%

4 years

1.60%

5 years

1.75%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $100,000
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months’ worth of interest for the 2- and 3-year CDs. 12 months’ worth of interest for the 4- and 5-year CDs.

If you can come to the table with deep pockets — at least $100,000 to be exact — you can open one of CIT Bank’s Jumbo CDs. These big accounts work exactly like the normal term CDs, with one exception: You can earn a slightly higher interest rate.

As with the other CDs, you can also choose to withdraw your interest payments at any time penalty-free to a CIT Bank savings accounts, an external bank account, or just let the interest payments pile up in your CD account so you earn even more.

Once your Jumbo CD matures, it’ll automatically roll over into another Jumbo CD with the same term length. Again, you’ll have a 10-day grace period if you want to withdraw the money, add more funds, or change the CD to a different type or term length.

How to Get a CIT Bank Jumbo CD

It’s an easy process to open up a CIT Jumbo CD online. You’ll need to apply for an account by providing personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, and a valid form of government-issued ID.

Once you have an account set up, you can fund it by sending in a check or setting up an electronic transfer from another bank.

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

How CIT Bank’s CDs compare

We like the diversity of CD products that CIT Bank offers. Rather than just having a one-size-fits-all term CD, you can also choose from jumbo CDs and bump-rate CDs. The interest rates offered on these CDs aren’t the highest CD rates out there, but they’re pretty darn close.

CIT Bank high-yield savings account

This high-yield savings account offers one of the highest interest rates available in the U.S.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

1.55%

$100

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

CIT Bank currently holds one of the top spots for highest interest rate in the nation. While they technically have two interest rate tiers, the interest rate is currently the same for both tiers. However, it is possible that CIT Bank may change it in the future so there are higher interest rates for different deposit sizes.

This bank account is very accessible for anyone who wants to bank online. With a minimum deposit size of $100, nearly anyone can meet the minimum deposit requirements for this account.

The only downside of this account is that it doesn’t come with ATM access. The only way to get money in and out of your account is by electronic transfer, by requesting or sending in a physical check, or by wire transfer.

How to get CIT Bank’s high-yield savings account

It’s an easy process to open up a CIT high-yield savings account online. You’ll need to apply for an account by providing personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, and a valid form of government-issued ID.

Once you have an account set up, you can fund it by sending in a check or setting up an electronic transfer from another bank.

How CIT Bank’s savings account compares

We really love CIT Bank’s savings account for three reasons. This account has:

  • One of the highest interest rates currently on the market
  • Zero fees
  • A low, easily-achieved minimum deposit size

However, there are a couple of reasons why you may want to consider another one of our top savings account choices. Firstly, this account doesn’t come with an ATM card — leaving you out in the cold if you really need access to your money via this route. Secondly, CIT Bank doesn’t offer a matching checking account, meaning that you’ll still need to rely on another bank for your daily banking needs.

Still, if the lack of an ATM card and having your savings in an external (and very high-earning) savings account don’t bother you, then you really can’t go wrong with this account.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

TAGS: ,

Advertiser Disclosure

Reviews

Citizens Bank Review: CDs, Checking, Savings, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Citizens Bank
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Although Citizens Bank is one of the largest banks in the nation, it only got its start relatively recently, in 2005. Since then, it has become the largest bank in Rhode Island (where it’s headquartered) and opened over 1,200 local branches along the East Coast and in the Midwest.

We wanted to know: How do the deposit accounts at Citizens Bank stack up with the competition? What are the hidden “gotchas” and what do you need to know before opening an account?

The interest rates that Citizens Bank offers on its deposit accounts vary according to where you live. So, to make things simple, we’ll compare their rates across accounts in the 02903 zip code (Providence, R.I.) where its headquarters is located. To find out the rates in your area, click on the link “Specify Your Location” on their homepage.

All rates are current as of Feb. 2, 2018.

Citizens Bank CD Rates

Citizens Bank offers limited options for CDs and very low rates unless you also have an existing premium account with them.

 

12-Month Breakable CD

14-Month CD

48-Month CD

Standard APY

0.05%

0.10%

0.10%

APY with Platinum Checking

0.10%

1.15%

1.35%

APY with Platinum Plus Checking

0.20%

1.40%

1.55%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 for the 14 and 48 month CDs and $10,000 for the 12 month CD
  • How interest is compounded: Interest is calculated based off of your daily balance, then tallied up and deposited into your account monthly.
  • Early withdrawal penalties: $50 plus whichever of the following two options is less:
        1. 180 days’ worth of interest on the withdrawn amount
        2. Half of the remaining interest you would have earned
  • Grace period: Your CD will automatically roll over to another CD with the same term. However, you have a 10-day grace period to withdraw or add funds without paying an early withdrawal penalty.

12-Month Breakable CD

The bar for opening this CD is set very high: You’ll need to come to the table with at least $10,000. In return, you will earn interest, but at very low rates even if you qualify for a higher rate by also holding a platinum-level checking account.

One of the benefits of this account is that you’re allowed to make one full or partial withdrawal of your cash during its 12-month term without paying an early-withdrawal penalty. If you think you might need to withdraw the cash before the term ends, this may be a wise choice.

14-Month CD

This CD is much more accessible for people with smaller amounts of cash because it only requires one tenth of the money as the 12-month breakable CD. The rate for this CD is also a lot better — but only if you have an existing Platinum or Platinum Plus Checking Account.

48-Month CD

This CD is interesting. It’s also fairly accessible for people with smaller opening deposits. However, unless you have one of the Platinum checking accounts, there’s no real incentive to open a 48-month CD over a 14-month CD because the rates are exactly the same.

In fact, if these two CDs pay the same interest rate for non-Platinum checking account members, it’s probably better to stick with the 14-month CD because you’ll earn exactly the same interest rate and you’ll get more frequent access to your money if you need it.

How Citizens Bank CD rates compare

Citizens Bank clearly wants you to be a Platinum Checking Account member, and these CDs only make sense if you are one. The rates offered for Platinum Checking Account holders on their 14-month and 48-month CDs are actually slightly better than national averages.

Otherwise, if you’re just walking into this bank off the street (or logging in), pass this one up. You can earn much better CD rates elsewhere without the checking account requirements.

How to get a Citizens Bank CD

If you decide a Citizens Bank CD is right for you, good news: It only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check, or a credit or debit card, but heads up: If you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

Citizens Bank Checking Account Options

The checking accounts at Citizens Bank offer few benefits in exchange for high fees and requirements — however, they may be useful if earning higher rates on another product is your endgame.

One Deposit Checking from Citizens Bank®

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: None.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $9.99
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: Citizens Bank will waive the fee if you’re a minor, or if you have at least one deposit into your account each statement period.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item (up to seven per day).

Even though this is Citizens Bank’s most basic-level checking account, it isn’t one you can walk away from and leave on autopilot. You’ll need to make at least one deposit into the account each statement period in order to avoid the exorbitant $9.99 monthly fee.

Not only that, but it will cost you to use this account anyway — at least indirectly. Checks do not come free with this account. You’ll need to pay at least $9.99 for an order of checks if you want to, you know, write checks from your checking account.

Citizens Bank Platinum Checking™

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.02% APY for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: Keep at least $25,000 across all of your Citizens Bank investment and deposit accounts.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (but not the ATM surcharge).
  • Overdraft fee: No fee for overdraft transfers or overdraft lines of credit.

This is Citizens Bank’s lowest premium-level checking account. If you have this account, you can qualify for higher rates on CDs, savings accounts, and money market accounts, a 0.125% discount on a mortgage, and waived fees for things like paper statements or stop check orders. Plus, you’ll get free checks. You can also earn interest with this account, albeit at a very low level.

In return, Citizens Bank wants you to keep a fairly high amount of cash with them in deposit and investment accounts. Make sure you can commit to this so you don’t have to face the high $25 monthly fee.

Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking™

Amount

$0-$24,999

$25,000-$249,999

$250,000+

APY

0.03%

0.05%

0.07%

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: You’ll need to keep at least $25,000 in linked deposit or investment accounts, plus one of the following two requirements: either deposit at least $5,000 per month into your account, or keep at least $10,000 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (but not the ATM surcharge).
  • Overdraft fee: No fee for overdraft transfers or overdraft lines of credit.

This is basically the same account as the lower-level Citizens Bank Platinum Checking account with one extra bonus: a slightly higher, but still overall lackluster, interest rate.

In return for this higher interest rate you’ll need to jump through a few extra hoops (in addition to having at least $25,000 in linked deposit or investment accounts): keep an average of at least $10,000 in your checking account, or deposit at least $5,000 into your checking account each statement period.

How Citizens Bank checking accounts compare

Most checking accounts at large national banks set the bar fairly high to waive their outrageous monthly fees in return for low interest rates. Citizens Bank is no exception. Rather than using this account for its low interest rate, however, think outside the box: You actually can earn some decent rates on CDs if you hold one of the Platinum checking accounts.

If you can meet the requirements on these Platinum checking accounts, want to earn higher rates on CDs, and if Citizens Bank is convenient for you to work with, then this bank might make sense for you.

However, it’s still possible to find higher interest rates with fewer pesky requirements by opening a checking account with one of these online banks.

How to get a Citizens Bank checking account

If you decide a Citizens Bank Checking Account is right for you, good news: it only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check or a credit or debit card, but again, if you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

Citizens Bank Savings Account Options

Citizens Bank does offer savings accounts with some neat features, but they’re still plagued with low interest rates and potentially high fees.

GoalTrack Savings®

GoalTrack Savings is a savings reward program that you can enroll in with any savings account, except for the CollegeSaver and Citizens Bank HomeBuyer Savings accounts. If you enroll in this program, you have to make a pledge: I will save X dollars each month for X months.

If you reach your goal, Citizens Bank will reward you with a gift card to certain merchants such as Best Buy, Lowe’s, Hyatt, or Pizza Hut. The amount of the gift card may be as follows:

Months

$25-$49

$50-$99

$100-$199

$200-$399

$400+

8-11

Discount at a merchant

$5

$5

$10

$20

12-17

$5

$5

$10

$20

$40

18-23

$5

$10

$20

$40

$75

24-35

$10

$20

$40

$75

$100

36+

$20

$40

$75

$100

$250

Green Savings®

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.01% APY for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $4.99
  • How to waive the monthly maintenance fee: Fee is waived for the first four months of account opening. After that, the fee is waived if you keep an average of at least $200 in your account every day.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

Citizens Bank’s Green Savings account is their most basic savings account. It’s also their only savings account to charge a fee, which you can avoid as long as you keep a small amount of cash ($200) in this account.

That means that this account isn’t meant to ever be drained completely lest you face the pesky monthly fee. Make sure you take that into account — i.e., if you’re saving for a specific goal, you’ll need to bump up your savings target by $200 to leave enough in this account after you withdraw the cash.

Citizens Bank Platinum Savings™

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.02% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

This account comes standard with Citizens Bank’s Platinum Checking account. Although this account doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee, the checking account does: $25, unless you qualify to have the fee waived.

The benefits of this savings account aren’t much greater than Green Savings, which you can open without a demanding checking account. Thus, we only recommend this account if you’re interested in the Platinum Checking account anyway.

Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Savings

Amount

$0-$24,999

$25,000-$249,000

$250,000+

APY

0.03%

0.05%

0.07%

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

This is Citizens Bank’s most premium-level savings account. It also comes standard with a Platinum Checking account, meaning that you’ll have to pay a $25 monthly fee for that account as well unless you qualify to have the fee waived.

In return, you get slightly higher savings account rates, as well as higher rates on things like CDs and money market accounts.

CollegeSaver®

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25 if your child is under 6 years old. $500 if your child is 6-12 years old.
  • Interest rate: 0.05% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • Minimum monthly deposit: If your child is under 6 years old, you’ll need to deposit $25 per month until his or her 18th birthday. If your child is between 6 to 12 years old, you’ll need to deposit $50 per month until his or her 18th birthday.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

If you’re looking to save up some extra cash for your kid’s college bill, the CollegeSaver account might be able to help. Be warned, though: it does have some steep requirements. You’ll have to commit to depositing at least $25 into the account ($50 if your child is between ages 6-12) every single month until their 18th birthday. If you can do this, you’ll get a nice bonus: When your child turns 18, Citizens Bank will throw an extra $1,000 into your savings account.

This is a nice idea, but unfortunately this account still doesn’t earn much interest — just 0.05% APY. If saving for your kid’s college is a priority, you may be better off investing that money in a tax-advantaged savings account such as a 529 plan or a Coverdell account.

Citizens Bank HomeBuyer Savings®

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Interest rate: 0.05% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • Minimum monthly deposit: $100
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

If you’re saving for a house, you might want to consider the Citizens Bank HomeBuyer program. If you can commit to saving $100 per month for 36 months straight, you can get a $1,000 credit toward the closing costs on a Citizens Bank mortgage (assuming you qualify). You also get a free pass to skip one monthly deposit per year without losing eligibility for the $1,000 credit.

If you do earn the credit, be prepared to use it fairly soon: You have another 36 months after you earn the credit to complete the purchase of a home, or lose it.

This sounds like a good plan (and it very well may be), but remember: Just because you get a $1,000 credit at the start of your mortgage doesn’t mean it’ll be cheaper in the long run.

Who knows what mortgage interest rates Citizens Bank will be charging three years from now and whether they’ll be competitive or not. You might end up saving $1,000 now only to shell out thousands more later.

How Citizens Bank savings accounts compare

While we do like some of the unique savings accounts that Citizens Bank offers (specifically the savings accounts for college and home down payments), we think that the interest rates offered are still very low.

Furthermore, their savings accounts either come with unnecessarily high fees, or are linked to checking accounts that do have high fees.

Unless there’s something really tying you to Citizens Bank, we think that you can earn a lot more and pay a lot less with other online savings accounts.

How to get a Citizens Bank Savings account

If you decide a Citizens Bank savings account is right for you, good news: It only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check or a credit or debit card, but once again, if you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

Citizens Bank Money Market Account Options

The rates you can earn on these money market accounts are generally rock-bottom, unless you can qualify for the promotional rates offered on the premium-level accounts.

Personal Money Market

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.01% APY for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $10
  • How to waive the monthly maintenance fee: Keep a minimum of $2,500 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

This account also comes with checks, however watch out: You can only use the checks up to three times per month without incurring an excessive transaction fee. Like savings accounts, you’ll also be limited to just six certain transactions per month according to Federal Regulation D rules. If you go over, you’ll have to pay a $15 transaction fee.

If you end up paying this fee more than three times in a year (or “significantly exceed these transaction limits in any one statement cycle,” as stated in Citizens Bank's Fees and Features Guide), your account may be automatically downgraded into a non-interest-bearing checking account.

Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market™

Promotional offer: If you deposit at least $25,000 of new-to-Citizens-Bank money in a new Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market account, you’ll earn the following interest rates until November 30, 2018:

Amount

$0-$24,999

$25,000-$2,999,999

$3,000,000+

APY

0.03%

1.10%

0.03%

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.03% APY for any amount in your account (unless you qualify for the promotional rates above).
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • How to waive the monthly maintenance fee: Keep a minimum of $2,500 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (but not the ATM surcharge, however).
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month (including three checks) as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction or check.

You are eligible to open this account if you have a Platinum Checking account. Like the other premium-level savings accounts, this account has no monthly maintenance fee of its own, but its linked Platinum Checking account does.

Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market™

Promotional offer: If you deposit at least $25,000 of new-to-Citizens-Bank money in a new Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market account, you’ll earn the following interest rates until November 30, 2018:

Amount

$0-$24,999

$25,000-$2,999,999

$3,000,000+

APY

0.05%

1.35%

0.25%

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.10% APY for any amount in your account (unless you qualify for the promotional rates above).
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (but not the ATM surcharge, however).
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month (including three checks) as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction or check.

If you have a Citizens Bank Platinum Plus checking account, you’re eligible to open this corresponding money market account as well. Normally, the rates are very low (0.10% APY), however, if you have enough cash to take advantage of the promotional offer (meaning you have $25,000 stashed somewhere outside of Citizens Bank that you bring in to open a new account), you can earn much more interest.

How Citizens Bank’s Money Market accounts compare

If you can qualify for the promotional rates offered on the Platinum or Platinum Plus Money Market accounts, you can actually earn pretty decent rates. Unfortunately, most people may have a difficult time earning them because you need to deposit at least $25,000 from another non-Citizens Bank account, and the rates only last until November 30th.

If you’re looking to maximize the interest rates you receive on a money market account, you can find better rates with money market accounts from other institutions.

How to get a Citizens Bank Money Market account

If you decide a Citizens Bank money market account is right for you, good news: It only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check or a credit or debit card, but if you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

Citizens Bank IRA Options

These retirement savings vessels are light on information—make sure you do your research before choosing to open an account.

IRA CDs

Citizens Bank offers some less-touted IRA CD options, including terms ranging from one to 120 months. You can get started with one of their IRA CDs with a deposit as small as $250. There is no monthly account maintenance fee.

The interest rates on these IRA CDs are not advertised on their website, however, so you’ll need to contact the bank directly if you’d like to open an IRA CD.

How to get a Citizens Bank IRA CD

If you’re interested in getting a Citizens Bank IRA CD, make sure you do your homework first by calling the bank or visiting them in person to verify the rates and term options for their different CDs.

If you’re looking for a good benchmark to compare the rates, check out other IRA CD options.

IRA Savings

Citizens Bank also offers an IRA Savings account, however they offer just about as much information on it as with their IRA CDs (that is to say, very little).

You can open an IRA Savings account with any amount you wish. Your first four months with this account are free, but after that you’ll need to pay a $4.99 monthly maintenance fee if you don’t keep at least $200 in your account.

How to get a Citizens Bank IRA savings account

Again, if you’re interested in this account you’ll need to either call Citizens Bank or visit a branch to get the information you need to make an informed decision. Specifically, you’ll need to inquire about the interest rate being offered and whether there are any fees associated with the account.

Overall review of Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank does offer some niceties with their accounts. In particular, we like the monetary bonuses they throw in for the CollegeSaver and HomeBuyer Savings accounts, in addition to their GoalTrack gift card bonuses. These rewards may provide just enough incentive if you’re looking to stick to your savings goals.

However, we are not excited about the rates that they offer and the amount of fee baggage that these accounts come with. In this day and age, it’s very easy to find a bank that doesn’t hang you high and dry with fees.

The only reason we can see recommending Citizens Bank is if you want to use an in-person branch exclusively and if Citizens Bank is the closest bank to you. Otherwise, we’d skip past this one in favor of something better.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

SunTrust Bank Reviews — Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Since opening its doors in Atlanta, Georgia in 1890, SunTrust Bank has grown considerably, operating some 1,400 branches and 2,160 ATMs in states such as North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, and Virginia. Along with banking products, they also offer investment, mortgage, and asset management services.

Rates for SunTrust Bank’s checking and savings accounts are lower compared to its competitors, but many of these are online banks, meaning you may not get access to in-person customer service. Their money market, CD, and IRA accounts aren’t as low - though depending on the term, their rates are comparable to other banks.

This SunTrust Bank review will look at all available savings accounts, including account types, features, and interest rates. Keep in mind that rates vary based on region, so the rates listed are ones closest to the bank’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

SunTrust Checking Account Options

Get free checks and cash deposit bonuses, but at the expense of low rates and possible monthly maintenance fees.

Balanced Banking

The Balanced Banking checking account is designed as a basic account which can also help you save on fees by preventing overdrafts. SunTrust automatically provides account holders with overdraft coverage. It’s designed so that your account will decline any ATM or debit card transactions which would cause an overdraft on your account. If an item (such as a check) is returned because of insufficient finds, you’ll pay a reduced fee of $20 instead of the standard $36.

Account holders can also opt into the overdraft protection plan, which is an upgrade option that links your checking to another SunTrust deposit account or credit card. You’ll be charged a $12.50 transfer fee for each day you’ll need to transfer money between accounts. If you choose to link an Overdraft Assurance line of credit, you’ll be charged a $7 monthly fee.

You do not earn any interest with a Balanced Checking Account, but you do get a debit card, a free starter pack of 25 checks (or 50% off personalized ones), and a 10% cash deposit bonus if you redeem the cash back into your checking account when using a SunTrust Cash Rewards credit card. There are no ATM fees at any SunTrust machines, but you do not get reimbursed for using out of network ones.

Essential Checking

The Essential checking account is designed for those who prefer to keep a lower minimum balance and may not need overdraft protection. All you need is a minimum of $100 to open the account. However, your card may still be declined for insufficient funds like the Balanced Banking account. If you get any item returned (such as a bounced check), you’ll have to pay the standard $36 fee. You can also choose overdraft protection which has the same features as the balanced checking account.

There is no interest earned with this SunTrust checking account, but you get a free starter pack of 25 checks (or 50% off personalized ones), a debit card, and a 10% cash deposit bonus if you redeem the cash back into your checking account when using a SunTrust Cash Rewards credit card. You can avoid the $7 monthly maintenance fee if you keep a $500 minimum daily balance or in qualifying monthly direct deposits per statement cycle.

Essential Checking for Students

This account is meant to help students manage their money easily as well as the ability to save on monthly fees. You won’t be charged monthly maintenance fees for up to five years as long as you’re opening a new checking account and can provide proof of active enrollment at any qualifying school. This includes high school or colleges.

Other than the differences mentioned above, the Essential Checking Account for students has the same features as the standard Essential Checking Account.

Select Checking

APY

Minimum Amount to Open

0.01%

$100

Rates as of 2/2/2018

The Select Checking Account is for those who want to earn interest on their deposits and intend on making more transactions. Upon account opening, you’ll receive a free starter pack of 100 checks or 50% off personalized ones. You’ll earn only 0.01% interest on qualifying deposits which is significantly lower than other banks.

In addition to not paying any fees at SunTrust ATMs, you’ll get reimbursed for two out of network ATM transactions every statement cycle.

There is a $15 monthly maintenance fee, but you can get that waived if you keep a $2,000 minimum daily balance, have at least $2,000 in qualifying direct deposits, maintain $10,000 across linked SunTrust accounts, or if you have a linked small business checking account. You can also get the monthly maintenance fees waived for up to three essential checking accounts.

Signature Advantage

APY

Minimum Amount to Open

0.01%

$100

Rates as of 2/2/2018

The Signature Advantage checking account is meant for those who intend on making large and frequent transactions. After a $100 minimum opening amount, you’ll need to keep at least $25,000 in balances across your SunTrust accounts to avoid the $25 monthly maintenance fee.

This includes your balance in your checking accounts plus IRA or brokerage accounts through SunTrust and any linked accounts such as money market, CDs, savings, checking, and trust accounts.

You get unlimited free personalized checks and earn interest at 0.01%, which is very low compared to other banks. Account users get a debit card and unlimited transactions. You’ll also get all ATM fees reimbursed and waive the monthly maintenance fees for up to four essential checking accounts.

How SunTrust Bank’s checking accounts compare

Even though SunTrust offers services like in-person customer service and digital payments like Apple Pay®, their rates fall way short when stacked against other competitors' checking accounts rates. Other places offer the ability to earn interest no matter what type of checking account you choose. They also have no monthly maintenance fees whereas SunTrust only waives them if you maintain a minimum amount. While SunTrust has no ATM fees on some of their accounts, other major competitors offer unlimited domestic ATM reimbursement for all their accounts.

If you have existing accounts with SunTrust or enjoy in-person customer service and a wide variety of products with one bank, this bank can be a good choice. However, if you want to earn more than 0.01% APY, then you’re better off going elsewhere.

How to get a SunTrust Bank checking account

To open a SunTrust checking account, go to their website and fill out an online application. You’ll need to provide personal details including your phone number, address, Social Security number and a government-issued ID. You can also do so at your local branch. You can only open a Student Essential Checking Account in person.

SunTrust Savings Account Options

Low opening minimum deposit amounts and the ability to earn interest, but rates are lower than competitors.

Essential Savings

The Essential Savings account is a basic savings account for those who don’t need a lot of bells and whistles. There is no minimum opening deposit or monthly maintenance fees, though you need to have at least a balance of $0.01 to prevent account closure. To avoid a $3 monthly statement fee, opt for electronic instead of paper statements.

Your money is insured up to the FDIC limit ($250,000) and you can link this account for overdraft protection with your other accounts. There is access to in-person, online, and telephone banking, but you do not have the ability to write checks. The Essential Savings Account does not earn you any interest.

Since this is a savings account, federal banking regulations only allow you up to six withdrawals per month. Otherwise, you’ll be charged $6 per withdrawal with a maximum of six every month.

Select Savings

APY

Minimum Amount to Open

0.01%


*Earn an annual 1% bonus, up to $25,
if you link your account to a Select Checking or
Signature Advantage Checking account.

None

Rates as of 2/2/2018

The Select Savings Account gives you a bonus for customer loyalty. You’ll need a minimum opening deposit of $100 and your money is insured up the maximum amount set by the FDIC. You also have the same access as the Essential Savings Account, including the withdrawal limits set by federal banking regulations.

However, there is a $7 monthly maintenance fee. You can get that waived if you maintain a $1,000 daily collected balance or set up an automatic transfer of $25 from a SunTrust personal checking account. All deposit amounts earn 0.01% APY.

How SunTrust Bank’s savings accounts compare

If you’re looking to open an account to link other SunTrust products, a savings account is a great way to get overdraft protection. However, if you’re only looking at the rates, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

Many online banking options provide at least 10 times what SunTrust is offering with no account minimums or monthly maintenance fees. You do earn a bonus if you opt for the Select Savings account, but it may not negate the higher rates competitors are offering on savings accounts.

How to get a SunTrust Bank savings account

You can open a SunTrust savings account by filling out an application on their website. To complete an application you’ll need to provide personal details including your phone number, address, Social Security number, and a government-issued ID. You can also complete an application at your local branch.

SunTrust CD Rates

Offers competitive rates and a lower minimum deposit amount compared to other banks.

Term

APY

6 Month CD

0.35%

12 Month CD

1.25%

18 Month CD

1.35%

36 Month CD

1.50%

58 Month CD

2.00%

Rates as of 2/2/2018

SunTrust’s CDs are FDIC insured and features terms from 6 months to 10 years. You’ll need a minimum of $2,000 to open an account and your rate is guaranteed based on your opening deposit amount. You’ll start earning interest from the date you make your deposit and is compounded daily. You can keep interest earned in your CD account or withdraw it into another account.

SunTrust’s CDs are automatically renewed. You’ll be sent a reminder a minimum of 10 days before your account matures. During this grace period, you can either choose to renew the CD, withdraw it, or transfer it to another type of account.

Early withdrawal penalties are based on the amount of time that is left until the maturity date. Keep in mind that you may have to pay the penalty using the principal amount if the interest earned is not enough to cover it.

The early withdrawal penalties are as follows:

  • 1 to 30 days remaining: 7 day’s interest
  • 32 to 90 days remaining: 1 month’s interest
  • 91 days to 11 months remaining: 3 month’s interest
  • 1 to 3 years remaining: 8 month’s interest
  • 3 years to 7 years remaining: 12 month’s interest
  • 7 years and over: 24 month’s interest

How SunTrust Bank CD rates compare

SunTrust Bank’s CD rates are pretty comparable to its major competitors. Their 6-month and 18-month CD rates are slightly lower than other banks, but other terms fall significantly lower. In addition, their minimum opening deposit amount is higher for shorter terms. Other places also offer a wider variety of CD accounts, including those that have the potential for rate increases.

How to get a SunTrust Bank CD

You can fill out an online application to open a CD account. To complete the application, you’ll need to provide your personal information such as your address, Social Security number, and a federal issued ID. If you have a co-applicant, they’ll also need to provide their details. Once the application is complete, you can then find your CD at your local branch or online using an external bank account.

Otherwise, you can head to your local branch to open an account.

SunTrust Money Market Rates

Rates are comparable to other major banks, but only for its introductory rate.

Signature Money Market

APY

Minimum Amount to Open

0.01%

$100

Special intro rate of 1.01% for the first three months

$10,000

Rates as of 2/2/2018

The SunTrust Signature Money Market Account only requires a $100 minimum opening deposit, but you’re not earning any significant interest at 0.01% APY. However, SunTrust offers an introductory rate of 1.01% for the first three months if you make a $10,000 opening deposit. After this period, you will be reverted to their standard APY of 0.01%. Interest is compounded daily and is credited to your account every month. For balances below $10,000, you’ll need to contact SunTrust customer service to ask as they differ depending on if you’re opening a new account or not.

There is a monthly maintenance fee of $15 for this account. However, you can get that waived if you have at least a daily collected balance of $5,000 or make one automated transfer from a SunTrust checking account of $100. You are also limited to six withdrawals as per federal banking regulations. If you make more than six withdrawals during a statement cycle, you’ll be charged a $15 excessive withdrawal fee with a maximum of six.

How SunTrust Bank’s money market account compares

While the introductory rate for balances of $10,000 and above is pretty high compared to other banks, this account falls short in amounts less than that.

Their minimum opening is lower, but that’s not necessarily an advantage since you’ll need to pay a monthly maintenance fee for balances below $5,000 or if choose not to make monthly automatic transfers. Other competitors don’t charge fees on their money market accounts.

Some even give you a free debit card as well as the ability to link multiple accounts and write checks.

How to get a SunTrust Bank money market account

Opening a SunTrust Bank money market account is the same process as any checking or savings account. The fastest way to do it is online. Once you provide all necessary details including those of your co-applicants, you’ll then need to find your account online or at your local branch.

SunTrust IRA Rates

IRA CDs

Term

APY

12 Month CD

1.25%

18 Month CD

1.35%

36 Month CD

1.50%

58 Month CD

2.00%

Rates as of 2/2/2018

SunTrust Bank’s IRA CDs require a $2,000 minimum opening deposit and your rate will be based on how much you initially deposit. You can earn tax-deferred earnings and your account is insured up to the FDIC limit. You’ll earn interest from the date you make a deposit and it’ll be compounded daily. Depending on your status, you may be subject to contribution limits so it’s best to check with a SunTrust advisor.

Any interest earned can be rolled into the principal or withdrawn. You’ll earn only 0.01% interest on qualifying deposits which is significantly lower than other banks.ther account. You can see how your investment is doing anytime by logging into SummitView®, which is SunTrust’s wealth management software. Also, your IRA CD will be automatically renewed once the 10 day grace period (including non-business days) is over. You will be sent a reminder when the IRA CD reaches maturity, but there will not be a confirmation of renewal.

Like their regular CDs, there are early withdrawal penalties or if you decide to transfer ownership of your CD before the maturity date. These penalties are based on how much time is left until your maturity date.

The early withdrawal penalties are as follows:

  • 1 to 30 days remaining: 7 day’s interest
  • 32 to 90 days remaining: 1 month’s interest
  • 91 days to 11 months remaining: 3 month’s interest
  • 1 to 3 years remaining: 8 month’s interest
  • 3 years to 7 years remaining: 12 month’s interest
  • 7 years and over: 24 month’s interest

If you haven’t earned enough interest to cover the early withdrawal penalty, SunTrust will use some of the principal amount to cover it. In addition, you may be subject to an additional tax penalty by the IRS if you’re less than 59 ½ years old.

How SunTrust Bank IRA CD rates compare

SunTrust Bank’s CD rates are higher than the national averages. Their 12-month CD IRA, however, falls short, as other institutions offer IRA CD rates that are much higher. SunTrust also doesn’t offer shorter terms and their minimum opening deposit is higher compared to competitors.

How to get a SunTrust Bank IRA CD

To open a SunTrust Bank IRA CD, you’ll need to call the SITS client advisory center at 1-877-962-9032 to speak to a representative.

Overall review of SunTrust Bank

SunTrust Bank’s CD and IRA rates have competitive rates and the bank offers a wide variety of terms. However, their checkings and savings accounts fall short, with many of them not earning you any interest. If this is important to you, then you’re better off looking elsewhere. Many alternative online banks offer much higher rates with no monthly maintenance fees.

However, SunTrust does provide a wide variety of banking and investment products. You can choose anywhere from the most basic of accounts to products intended for frequent use. SunTrust also gives you the ability to link multiple accounts and offers financial incentives to do so.

If you like brick and mortar banks as well as keeping all your finances in one place, SunTrust is a good option. Even if their savings and checking accounts don’t have the best rates, you may be able to make up for it with their CDs and IRAs.

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Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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