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Auto Loan, Reviews

Review: Bank of America Auto Loan

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.

Bank of America Auto Loan

Shopping for a new or used car has become a complicated experience. There are so many makes and models to choose from, so many dealers to purchase from, and a range of prices that makes it hard to see if whether or not you’re getting the best deal.

It can be overwhelming, to say the least.

That overwhelming feeling can lead so questionable financial decisions, such as spending more than you can afford, paying too much for the car you choose, and spending hundreds or thousands more in interest than necessary because you didn’t shop around for the best rate.

The Offer

A Bank of America auto loan will provide 12 to 60 months with APRs starting at 3.29%. There is no origination fee, but Bank of America does not provide online pre-approval for new or used auto loans. You can, however, be pre-approved for a new dealer purchase by applying at a Bank of America branch.

APR discounts

Bank of America provides several APR discounts to its existing customers as well as Preferred Rewards Customers.

Current Bank of America personal checking account holders receive a 0.15% APR discount on their auto loans or auto refinances.

Bank of America also offers an APR discount of 0.25% to 0.50% on auto loans when you enroll in Preferred Rewards at the time of application. There are no fees to participate in Preferred Rewards, but you must have a Bank of America personal checking account and a 3-month average combined balance of $20,000 in your Bank of America accounts and/or Merrill Lynch investment accounts.

Car Buying Basics

The first thing you should do when considering a new or used car purchase is to take hard look at your budget. Consider all of your current debt payments - these should not exceed 50% of your income. Factor in the payment for your new car, and make sure that it will not stretch your budget too thin.

Then, shop around online for your best rate on an auto loan during a 30-day period. Doing all of your rate shopping within 30 days will result in minimal impact because all inquiries within a 30-day period are treated as a single inquiry.

Once you have secured financing and determined the budget for your vehicle, use a site like TrueCar or Kelly Blue Book to help you determine the best price for the car you want to buy by comparing what other people actually paid for the same model.

How To Apply

In order to apply for an auto loan from Bank of America, you must be at least 18 years of age (19 in Alabama or Nebraska). You should also be prepared with the following:

  • Your address, phone number, email address, and Social Security number
  • Employment and income verification
  • Information on the vehicle you wish to purchase, such as the make, model, mileage, and the VIN

In most cases, you will receive approval or denial within 60 seconds of submitting your application with all of the required information online. However, some applicants will require a more detailed review. If you do not receive a decision within 60 seconds you will be contacted by email when the decision regarding your loan is ready.

In some cases, you could receive your funds in as little as 24 hours.

After you apply and are approved for the loan, you have 30 days from the date of the original loan request to use it without being required to re-apply.

The Fine Print

The 3.29% starting APR is only valid in certain states. Go here to check yours. The 3.29% APR assumes an excellent credit history and that you are purchasing a new vehicle from a dealership. Other types of purchases have the following minimum APRs:

  • Dealer New: 3.29% APR
  • Dealer Used: 3.59% APR
  • Refinance: 3.59% APR

Your actual APR may be higher depending upon your creditworthiness, as well as the state in which you reside.

In order to finance a used vehicle through Bank of America, it must be not be older than 10 calendar years, have no more than 125,000 miles, and not be used for commercial purposes. It also cannot have a salvage title.

Bank of America does not finance auto purchases from independent dealers that carry several different brands of vehicles. The general exceptions to this rule are CarMax, Hertz Car Sales, Enterprise Car Sales and other found using this dealer locator tool.

In same cases, if the applicant is not deemed creditworthy enough, Bank of America will require a down payment or minimum loan to value ratio. These are determined on case-by-case basis and will not be known until you apply.

Pros

  • Rates starting at 3.29% APR
  • Terms of 12 to 60 months
  • 60 second online approval, in some cases
  • Funds in as little as 24 hours
  • Will finance private party sales and lease buyouts
  • No origination fee
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Up to 0.50% APR discount when you enroll in Preferred Rewards
  • 15% discount for having a Bank of America Checking account

Cons

  • Exact APR is not known until you apply
  • Down payment may be required for certain applicants
  • Will not finance purchases from independent dealers
  • Used cars must be less than 10 years old and have less than 125,000 miles
  • No online pre-approval

How It Stacks Up

LendingTree

If you want to explore your options, there are hundreds of lenders on LendingTree ready to compete for your business. LendingTree is the parent company of MagnifyMoney. You simply have to fill out a short online form and upon completion, you may see real interest rates and approval information instantly. While the online form is only a soft pull on your credit, meaning your score won't be impacted, if you choose to move forward with a lender, lenders will likely do a hard pull on your credit.  Note that since multiple hard pulls only count as one pull, it is smart to have all your hard pulls done at once.

LightStream

LightStream can beat Bank of America’s starting APR and is far less complex. Its APRs start at 2.19%, it will finance vehicles up to $100,000, and it does allow you to receive pre-approval online before shopping. Its terms vary from 24 to 84 months, which allows for longer terms than Bank of America.

PenFed

If you like great rates, but a more personalized experience than a big bank provides, then consider PenFed. PenFed is a credit union, but anyone can join with a one-time donation to an eligible charitable donation. It has APRs ranging from 1.49% to 3.84%, terms of 12 to 84 months, and will finance up to $100,000. It has no origination fee, but does not provide online pre approval.

Shop Around First

When purchasing a new or used car, the two most important factors are making sure you don’t spend more on a vehicle than you can afford, and getting the best rate possible. Before setting foot on a dealership, shop around for your best auto loan rate so you can have one aspect of car shopping taken care of up front.

Compare Auto Loan Offers Here.

Gretchen Lindow
Gretchen Lindow |

Gretchen Lindow is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Gretchen at gretchen@magnifymoney.com

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Earning Interest, Reviews, Strategies to Save

Review of Live Oak Bank’s Deposit 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.

Review of Live Oak Bank
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Chances are you haven’t heard of Live Oak Bank. After all, this lender, based mostly on the web, has only been around since 2008, and it mostly focuses on giving out small business loans to businesses in specific industries, such as veterinary practices or craft breweries.

That’s no reason to pass it up for your personal banking needs, however. In fact, this little gem of a bank has one of the best-kept secrets in the personal banking world: it has one of the highest savings account interest rates you’ll find from an online bank. (More on that below.) And, most of its other personal deposit accounts offer relatively high rates as well.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at its deposit accounts to see if they’re right for you.

How do Live Oak Bank’s savings accounts compare?

APY

Minimum Deposit

1.60%

Up to $5 million

(but only up to $250,000 is FDIC-insured)

Rates current as of Jan. 17, 2018.

When it comes to the best savings accounts with high interest rates, Live Oak Bank currently has the highest rate. This means that Live Oak Bank is lowering the bar and allowing anyone to take advantage of these high interest rates, no matter how much is in his or her pocket right now.

What else do I need to know about Live Oak Bank’s savings account?

Live Oak Bank wants you to use your savings account, and use it often, which is one reason why it has no monthly maintenance fee. If there is no activity on your account for 24 months and your balance is less than $10.01, Live Oak Bank will take the remainder of your balance as a Dormant Account Fee and close your account.

Getting money into a Live Oak Bank savings account from an external bank account can take a little bit of time depending on how you do it. If you request the money through Live Oak Bank’s online portal, the funds won’t be available for up to five or six business days. But if you opt instead to send the money to Live Oak Bank from your current bank, the money will be available as soon as it’s received. Your Live Oak Bank savings account will start earning interest as soon as the money posts to your account.

You can easily withdraw your money at any time via ACH transfer. Simply log into your Live Oak Bank savings account and electronically transfer it to whichever bank account you wish. It’ll be available in two to three business days.

You are limited to making just six transactions (deposits or withdrawals) per month with this savings account. That’s not a Live Oak Bank thing; that’s a federal regulation imposed upon savings accounts in the U.S. If you absolutely can’t wait until next month to make another deposit or withdrawal past your allotted six per month, you’ll be charged a $10 transaction fee for each additional action.

How Live Oak Bank CD rates compare?

Live Oak Bank currently offers the highest CD rates.

This bank’s minimum deposit requirements also seem to be right on par with other bank’s minimum deposit requirements. The current best CDs out there have minimum deposit requirements both above and below Live Oak Bank’s $2,500 benchmark.

Term

APY

Minimum Deposit

6-month CD

1.55%

$2,500

1-year CD

2.10%

$2,500

18-month CD

2.20%

$2,500

2-year CD

2.30%

$2,500

3-year CD

2.35%

$2,500

4-year CD

2.40%

$2,500

5-year CD

2.55%

$2,500

Rates current as of Jan. 17, 2018

What else do I need to know about Live Oak Bank’s CDs?

Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to open these accounts. It’s a relatively straightforward process to open a CD: Simply complete the forms online, provide any needed documentation (such as your current bank account details), and wait for an account approval. Once your account is open, you can transfer over your deposit, where it will be held for five days before officially launching your CD.

If you need to take out your deposit early, bad news: As with many CDs, you’ll face an early-withdrawal penalty at Live Oak Bank. If your original CD term was for six months, one year or 18 months, you’ll be charged 90 days’ worth of interest. If your original CD term was for longer than that, you’ll be charged a higher rate of 180 days’ worth of interest.

If you are able to resist the urge to withdraw your money early, congratulations! Your CD will automatically renew into a second CD with the same term length. However, don’t panic if that’s not what you want: You have up to 10 days after the CD has matured to withdraw your money penalty-free and park it in your own bank account (whether it’s with Live Oak Bank or not).

Overall review of Live Oak Bank

It’s easy to overlook Live Oak Bank for other larger, more established consumer banks like Ally or Discover Bank. But Live Oak has some of the best CD rates around, and the best savings account available on the market today.

Lest you be scared away by its smaller name, consider this: This tiny-but-growing bank is getting rave reviews from customers and employees alike. It carries an “A” health rating, and has a top-notch online banking portal. About the only thing missing is a checking account to let you seamlessly do all of your daily banking with this great company.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

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

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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 Jan. 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%

1.55%

APY with Platinum Plus Checking

0.20%

1.40%

1.70%

  • 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.

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 1/8/2017

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 1/8/2017

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 1/8/2017

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

1.34%

36 Month CD

1.49%

58 Month CD

1.98%

Rates as of 1/8/2017

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 1/8/2017

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 0.27%. 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 1/8/2017

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.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

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

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Reviews, Student Loan ReFi

3 Best Parent PLUS Loan Refinance Options

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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Updated January 10, 2018

Are you a parent who is still repaying student loans taken out to help your children finance their education? While rising student loan debt totals are concerning for graduates, Parent PLUS loans can be troubling for those in their 40s and 50s trying to plan for retirement.

If you’re in this situation, you should consider refinancing your PLUS loans to lower your interest rate and make the loan more affordable. Direct PLUS loans have had interest rates ranging from 6 - 8% over the last few years, and many refinance programs have rates as low as 2% - 4%. Refinancing can save you hundreds of dollars per month.

Below are the best Parent PLUS refinance programs currently available. We encourage you to check each one out to see which suit your needs the most. You should shop around with each lender with whom you think you can qualify. All credit inquiries made within a 30-day period count as one inquiry in the eyes of the credit bureaus.

A Word of Warning on Refinancing

Thankfully, most student loan refinance programs and Parent PLUS refinance programs don’t have fees associated with the loan, so you don’t need to worry about paying origination or application fees. However, you should do the math to make sure refinancing is worth the paperwork.

If you extend your repayment term, you’ll have a lower monthly payment, but you’ll pay more over the life of the loan due to the amount of interest that will accrue. Additionally, if you’re trying to retire sooner rather than later, extending your term might not be in your best interest.

Ideally, you should find a lender willing to refinance your loan on similar terms with a lower interest rate. If your current loan balance is $10,000 and you have an 8% APR with 5 years remaining, and you refinance to a 5.99% APR with 5 years, you’ll save $568.95 on interest.

Beyond interest rates, you should also be aware that refinancing your Federal Direct PLUS loan means giving up several benefits specific to Federal student loans. Private lenders don’t offer the same repayment assistance, though some lenders are more flexible than others.

For example, you’ll no longer have access to different repayment plans, such as the Graduated, Extended Repayment Plan or Income-Contingent Repayment. Your loans won’t be eligible for forgiveness under the various Federal student loan forgiveness programs. You’ll also lose out on the benefit of forbearance and deferment, which temporarily allows you to pause payments in the event you experience financial hardship.

If you haven’t been struggling with paying back your PLUS loans, then losing these benefits might not concern you, but it’s a factor you should consider. Otherwise, if you experience difficulty making payments, you should reach out to your lender to see if any other payment arrangements can be made.

SoFi Parent PLUS Refinance Program

SoFi is one of the leaders in the student loan refinance industry, and it offers refinancing specifically for Parent PLUS loans.

  • You can refinance a minimum of $5,000 up to the cost of attendance
  • Fixed APRs range from 3.25% - 6.78% (with autopay)
  • Variable APRs range from 2.58% - 6.82% (with autopay)
  • No application or origination fees, and no prepayment penalties
  • Soft credit inquiry with pre-approval; hard inquiry once you apply for the loan
  • Should have good credit, but it also takes your employment and credit history into account

SoFi

Laurel Road (formerly known as DRB) Parent PLUS Refinance Program

Laurel Road also offers a Parent PLUS refinance program with low interest rates.

  • A minimum of $5,000 is required to refinance and there’s no maximum amount
  • Fixed rates: 3.50% – 6.99% (with autopay)
  • Variable rates: 2.99% – 6.42% (with autopay)
  • Terms of 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 years are available, though you can request a specific term under 20 years
  • Also offers a hybrid loan (mix of fixed and variable rates), but you must inquire about it
  • Child needs to have graduated college and be professionally employed
  • No origination fee or prepayment penalty
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Soft credit check first and then hard inquiry when you apply for the loan

Laurel Road

CommonBond Parent PLUS Refinance Program

CommonBond is dedicated to making the refinance process as simple as possible for students, and has recently introduced a refinance program specifically for Parent PLUS loans.

  • The maximum amount you can refinance is $500,000
  • Fixed APRs range from 3.18% to 7.25% (with autopay)
  • Variable APRs from 2.57% to 7.07% (with autopay)
  • Hybrid APRs (5 years at fixed, then 5 years at variable) are offered
  • No application or origination fees, and no prepayment penalties
  • 5, 7, 10, 15, and 20 year terms available (hybrid loans offered on a 10 year term)
  • Temporary loan forbearance is available if certain requirements are met
  • Soft credit inquiry first, then hard credit inquiry if you apply for the loan

CommonBond

Keep in mind some lenders, such as SoFi, CommonBond, and Laurel Road, offer the option to transfer your PLUS loans to your child. The Direct PLUS loan doesn’t offer this choice. It’s a great option to have if your child can handle making the payments.

There are many Parent PLUS loan refinance programs being created in wake of the success private lenders have had with refinancing regular student loans. Keep an eye out for them in case you’re not eligible for these. You can also check with your local credit union to see if they have any options available, but be sure the math works out in your favor, as some aren’t offering the best rates. Don’t forget - it’s worth shopping around for the most savings!

Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at erinm@magnifymoney.com

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Reviews

Citibank Review: Savings, Checking, CD, and IRA CD and Money Market 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.

Citibank Reviews
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You might think of credit cards when you hear the name “Citi,” and you wouldn’t be wrong. This bank — one of the largest banks in the entire world — is well-known for its line of credit cards. But Citibank offers a variety of financial products, including several deposit accounts where you can safely store your cash. But are they any good? And how do their rates and rules compare to other banks?

We’re going to dive into Citibank’s deposit accounts in this review so that you can decide whether it’s right for you or not.

One important note: The rates for each of these accounts vary depending on where you live. To compare consistent numbers, we decided to report rates from South Dakota, because Citibank is headquartered there, in Sioux Falls. Rates are accurate as of Jan. 03, 2018. To see rates for your area, go to Citibank’s website and enter your state.

How Citibank’s checking and savings accounts work

You can’t really get an individual checking or savings account at Citibank. Instead, you have to apply for one of five account packages. That means that when you open a checking account, you’ll also get a linked savings account, and vice versa.

Some account packages come with a monthly maintenance fee, which applies to the account package as a whole. For example, if there is a $30 monthly fee and you don’t meet the requirements to waive it using either your checking or savings account, the fee will be taken out once that month from your checking account.

To make things less confusing, we’ll go through all of the account packages first describing the checking accounts, because these accounts differ the most between account packages. Then, we’ll describe how the savings account works within each of these packages.

Citibank checking accounts

Checking account offer

Citibank is currently offering a great sign-up bonus when you open a new qualifying checking account before March 31, 2018.

To get a sign-up bonus of $300, you’ll have to do three things. First, open a new checking account within a Citibank® Account Package. Second, you’ll have to fund it with at least $15,000 within 30 days of opening the account and keep the money there for at least 60 days. Third, you’ll have to set up a direct deposit into your new account for at least two consecutive months.

When applying for a Citibank deposit account, you’ll need to provide basic information about yourself (including your Social Security number) and a valid form of ID. Both offers require you to be a “New-to-Citibank” customer.

Citigold® Package

Myriad of exclusive deals and perks for people with a lot of cash

Checking account details:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Interest rate: 0.03% APY
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM refunds: All ATM surcharges from non-Citibank ATMs are refunded for any statement period you are eligible for Citigold®.
  • Overdraft fees: None

The Citigold® account package is more than just a checking account. To qualify for this account package you’ll need to bring a lot of cash to the table: You’ll need at least $200,000 in all linked Citi accounts, whether they be in your deposit, retirement or investment accounts. If your balances dip below that amount, Citi will automatically convert your account to the Citi Priority account package.

But, if you can meet that high bar, you’ll be eligible for numerous perks, even if the interest rate on this savings account is admittedly quite low. You’ll get a personal team to help you navigate the intricacies of all this account package has to offer — and it offers a lot more than just free checks. You’ll get a personal financial adviser, a concierge service and numerous travel perks, as well as discounts and waived fees on various loans, lines of credit and investments. Plus, you can enroll your checking account in Citi’s ThankYou Rewards® program.

You can apply for a Citigold® account online, over the phone, or by visiting a local branch.

Citi Priority Account Package

Nice perks for people with less — but still a lot — of money

Checking account details:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Interest rate: 0.03% APY
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $30
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: Keep at least $50,000 in linked Citibank accounts, including deposit accounts, retirement accounts and investment accounts.
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM refunds: Not available
  • Overdraft fees: None

Unlike the Citigold® account, which has no fees, you’ll pay a high monthly fee of $30 with this account unless you can keep at least $50,000 in other linked Citi accounts. If you’re able to do that, though, you can still take advantage of many of the same perks offered to the premium Citigold® members.

You’re eligible to link your checking account with the Citi ThankYou® Rewards program. This account still waives all banking fees, and offers you discounts and waived fees off of investment products, loans, and lines of credit. And while you may not have an entire team waiting at your fingertips, you still have exclusive access to financial advisors to help you make investment decisions.

You can apply for a Citi Priority account online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

The Citibank® Account Package

Average account with above-average requirements

Checking account details:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Interest rate: 0.01% APY
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: Keep at least $10,000 in linked Citibank deposit, retirement or investment accounts.
  • ATM fees: $2.50 for each non-Citibank ATM use, unless you have at least $10,000 in linked Citibank accounts.
  • ATM refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $10 per day when funds are transferred to cover an overdraft.

If you can’t meet the high minimum balance requirements of the Citigold® or Citi Priority account packages, you might consider the Citibank Account. You can enroll your account in Citi ThankYou® Rewards, and your first order of checks is free.

But, you’ll still need to keep a high account balance of $10,000 in linked Citibank accounts to avoid paying the high monthly fee. In return, you earn interest on this account, but it’s a miniscule 0.01% APY.

You can apply for a the Citibank Account in online, over the phone or at a local branch.

Basic Banking Package

A no-frills account—but watch out for high fees.

Checking account details:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $12
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: You can get out of the maintenance fee if you
        1. are 62 years or older
        2. make one bill payment from your account and one qualifying direct deposit into your account each month
        3. keep at least $1,500 in your checking and/or savings account
  • ATM fees: $2.50 for each withdrawal at a non-Citi ATM.
  • ATM refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $10 per day when funds are transferred to cover an overdraft.

This account is truly a no-frills version of Citi’s premium checking accounts. Not only does it not pay any interest or earn any Citi ThankYou® Rewards points, but you’ll have to watch out for high fees, as well. If you can’t meet the minimum deposit or age requirements, you’ll also be shelling out $12 per month for this austere account.

You can apply for the Basic Banking account online, over the phone or at a local branch.

Access Account Package

A high-fee checking account—that doesn’t let you write physical checks

Checking account details:

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $10
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: There are three options:
        1. Keep at least $1,500 in your account
        2. Make a bill payment from your account
        3. Have at least one qualifying direct deposit into your account each month
  • ATM fees: $2.50 for each withdrawal at a non-Citi ATM.
  • ATM refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: None

This is a bit of a bizarre account. In exchange for a slightly lower fee ($2 less), you can get basically the same thing as the Basic Banking account but without the ability to write physical checks. If all you need to do is pay bills online, this account might work for you — but as soon as you need to write a physical check, you’re out of luck with this account.

Besides, the requirements to waive the monthly fee are almost the same, though the Access Account lets you slide by with one fewer bill payment/direct deposit per month. If you meet the requirements to have the Access Account maintenance fee waived, why not at least upgrade to the Basic Account and the ability to write physical checks?

If you do decide that this account is right for you, you for a Citi Access account online, over the phone or at a branch.

How Citibank’s checking accounts compare

Citibank’s premium account packages (Citigold® and Citi Priority) offer a lot of perks by way of waived fees and free services. However, unless you have deep pockets, you’ll likely be limited to considering The Citibank Account, Basic Banking or Access Account. These accounts come with high monthly account maintenance fees unless you can qualify for one of the ways to waive these pesky fees.

All of Citi’s checking accounts — even the ones with the nice premium perks — offer very low yields, especially compared to high-interest checking accounts available elsewhere.

Citi® Savings

Generally lackluster interest rates on savings account packages

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly maintenance fee: For Basic and Access savings accounts, an additional $4.50 monthly maintenance fee applies if they are not linked to checking accounts. For account packages with linked checking and savings accounts, the fee may be charged to the checking account (see above account package descriptions for details).
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: For Basic and Access savings accounts, maintain a $500 minimum balance in your savings account or open the savings account with a linked checking account. Requirements for getting maintenance fees waived on other account packages are listed above.

Citi Savings Account (for Citigold®, Citi Priority and The Citibank Account)

 

Annual Percentage Yield (APY) by Account Balance

<$10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000-
$499,999.99

$500,000-
$999,999.99

$1,000,000+

Promotional Interest Rate

0.10%

0.10%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

Standard Interest Rate

0.04%

0.04%

0.08%

0.08%

0.10%

0.13%

0.13%

*As of 1/3/2018

Basic Banking Package

APY by Account Balance

<$10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000-
$499,999.99

$500,000-
$999,999.99

$1,000,000+

Standard Interest Rate

0.04%

0.04%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

*As of 1/3/2018

Access Account Package

APY by Account Balance

<$10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000-
$499,999.99

$500,000-
$999,999.99

$1,000,000+

Standard Interest Rate

0.04%

0.04%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

0.06%

*As of 1/3/2018

To qualify for the promotional interest rates offered with some of the packages, you’ll need to meet a few requirements. You’ll need to open a new savings account (within an account package) and fund it with at least $25,000. You’ll also need to be 18 years or older, and provide Citibank with a W-9 or W-8BEN. Unfortunately, these promotional interest rates only last for 90 days after you open your account, after which they revert to the much lower standard interest rates.

You can apply for a Citi Savings account online, over the phone or at al branch.

How Citibank’s savings accounts compare

Although Citibank offers good rates as high as 1.00% APY, it’s for a very short period of time and only if you bring a large amount of cash to the table and still meet other requirements.

Once the promotional period has passed, you’ll be left with piddly interest rates in account packages that may not meet your needs and potentially carry high fees to boot. If you’re looking for a low-fee and high-interest-rate savings account, you can do much better with other banks and credit unions like those in the roundup of the best online savings accounts.

Citibank CD Rates

Small earnings, but small early withdrawal penalties as well.

  • Minimum deposit amount: $1,000
  • How interest is calculated: Interest is calculated and paid monthly for CDs with terms longer than one year. For CDs with terms of one year or less, interest may be calculated and paid at maturity.
  • Early withdrawal penalties: For CDs with terms of one year or less, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest. For CDs with terms of over one year, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest. However, you can withdraw the interest at any time without paying a penalty.
  • When the CD matures: It’ll automatically renew for another CD of the same term length but with the current interest rate.
  • Grace period: After your CD matures and renews to another of the same term, you have seven calendar days to add or withdraw the funds penalty-free or change the CD to a different term length.

Citibank says that it offers different rates depending on which account package you open up a CD with. (That’s right — you can’t just go to the bank and open a CD. You need to have an existing account with them first.) But, as you’ll see below, the rates actually are the same for each type of account package.

CD Rates for Citigold® account holders

CD Term

APY by Deposit Amount

Below $10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000+

3 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

4 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

5 month

0.05%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

6 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

7 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

8 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

9 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

10 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

12 month

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

13 month

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

18 month

0.25%

1.01%

1.01%

1.01%

1.01%

2 year

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

30 month

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

3 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

4 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

5 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

*As of 1/3/2018

CD Rates for Citi Priority account holders

CD Term

APY by Deposit Amount

Below $10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000+

3 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

4 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

5 month

0.05%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

6 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

7 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

8 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

9 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

10 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

12 month

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

13 month

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

18 month

0.25%

1.01%

1.01%

1.01%

1.01%

2 year

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

30 month

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

3 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

4 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

5 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

*As of 1/3/2018

CD Rates for The Citibank Account, Basic Banking, and Access Account packages

CD Term

APY by Deposit Amount

Below $10,000

$10,000-
$24,999.99

$25,000-
$49,999.99

$50,000-
$99,999.99

$100,000+

3 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

4 month

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

5 month

0.05%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

0.75%

6 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

7 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

8 month

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

0.07%

9 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

10 month

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

12 month

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

13 month

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

0.20%

18 month

0.25%

1.01%

1.01%

1.01%

1.01%

2 year

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

30 month

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

3 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

4 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

5 year

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

*As of 1/3/2018

If you already have an account package with Citi and you’d like to apply for a CD, you can do so online, over the phone or at a branch. All you’ll need to provide is basic information about yourself (including your Social Security number), have a physical address in the United States, and have a valid form of ID.

If you have “issues with your credit history” or are depositing more than $100,000 into your CD, you cannot do so online or over the phone — you’ll have to go and visit a Citibank branch in person.

How Citibank’s CDs compare

Citibank offers very low rates on its CDs, especially compared to high yield CDs you can get elsewhere without having to mess around with account packages.

One clear advantage of Citibank CDs is that the early withdrawal penalties are relatively low. For example, the early withdrawal penalty on a five-year Citibank CD is 180 days’ worth of interest. Discover Bank — which offers much better CD rates — charges a whopping 18 months’ worth of interest if you withdraw the cash early from Discover’s five-year CD. However, Citi’s CD rates are so low, you’d be better off putting money in a high-yield savings account — the best ones offer rates higher than Citi’s CDs — and not worrying about early withdrawal fees. That wouldn’t necessarily be a good strategy in a falling-rates market, but since rates hit a historic low after the financial crisis, we’ve been in a rising-rates market.

Unless you a) already have an existing account with Citibank, b) don’t want to go through the hassle of opening a CD at another institution (it’s not hard, we promise), and c) think that there’s a high likelihood that you’ll withdraw the money early and don’t want to open accounts elsewhere, we wouldn’t recommend a Citibank CD.

Citibank banking IRA

Guaranteed low returns, especially when compared to equity investments

Citibank offers banking IRAs in two flavors: as CDs (with the rates listed in the section above), or as a money market account at an interest rate of 0.20% APY*. These rates are extremely low, especially when compared to higher-yielding IRA CDs.

In general, the returns on IRA CDs and money market accounts don't even come close to the kind of gains you need to be making while growing your retirement accounts, and Citibank's banking IRAs are no exception. For example, equities (i.e., stocks and bonds) earn average returns of around 7% per year — far higher than the piddly 0.50% APY that you can get in a best-case scenario with a Citibank CD.

In fact, the rates that Citi offers for banking IRAs are far lower than typical inflation levels (around 3% per year). This means that even if you opt for the highest rates that Citi offers, your money won’t even keep pace with inflation over time and you’ll be left with less and less each year (albeit at a guaranteed rate).

Overall review of Citibank

Although Citibank offers some great credit cards (such as the Citi® Double Cash Card and Citi® Simplicity Card), they fall short in the deposits department.

Citibank does offer some nice perks, such as some accounts being eligible for Citi’s ThankYou® Rewards program. The Citigold® and Citi Priority account packages come with features that can save you money and make your life easier, if you have the deep pockets required for these account packages.

All-in-all, while there are some bright spots to Citibank’s accounts, you can earn higher rates and pay lower fees at other banks and credit unions.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

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

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Review of Wells Fargo 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.

Review of Wells Fargo CD Rates
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Wells Fargo offers numerous products and services, including savings and checking accounts, insurance and investment products. They also offer certificates of deposit (CDs), though their rates are significantly lower compared to other big name competitors. Keep in mind that their rates will differ depending on where you live. The rates you’ll see in this article are based on their headquarters in San Francisco. If you want an accurate list of Wells Fargo CD rates based on your location, head over to their rates page and type in your ZIP code.

Wells Fargo’s fixed-rate CDs

Wells Fargo’s Standard CD Rates

CD Term

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

Minimum Deposit Amount

3 months

0.01%

$2,500

6 months

0.01%

$2,500

1 year

0.05%

$2,500

As of 1/3/2018

The Wells Fargo Standard CD ensures that you get a guaranteed return for the entire CD term. Your rate is locked in once you make an opening deposit into your account. Anyone can open an account online or in person as long as they have a minimum of $2,500 to deposit into an account.

Wells Fargo’s Standard CD Bonus Rates

CD Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

3 months

0.06%

$2,500

6 months

0.06%

$2,500

1 year

0.10%

$2,500

As of 1/3/2018

You can get the Wells Fargo Standard CD bonus rates if you link your CD to a Portfolio by Wells Fargo® account and make a $2,500 minimum deposit. This product is their upgraded checking account which offers better interest rates across many Wells Fargo products. You also get certain fees waived from your account, discounts on loans, as well as additional credit card benefits. This includes avoiding the $30 maintenance fees if you have $25,000 in qualifying linked bank deposits or more than $50,000 in qualifying linked bank, brokerage and credit accounts. All you need to open this checking account is a minimum opening deposit of $25.

If your CD is no longer linked to your Portfolio by Wells Fargo® account, the bonus CD rate will revert back to the standard rate.

Wells Fargo’s Special CD Rates

CD Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

9 months

0.40%

$5,000

19 months

0.90%

$5,000

39 months

1.01%

$5,000

58 months

1.50%

$5,000

As of 1/3/2018

To open a Wells Fargo’s Special CD, you’ll need a minimum opening deposit of $5,000. Additionally, these rates only apply to the initial agreed term. Once your CD matures, it’ll automatically renew to the standard rates.

Wells Fargo’s Special CD Bonus Rates

CD Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

9 months

0.45%

$5,000

19 months

0.95%

$5,000

39 months

1.06%

$5,000

58 months

1.55%

$5,000

As of 1/3/2018

To be eligible for the special bonus CD rates, you’ll need to meet the same requirements as the regular Special CD, plus link your account to a Portfolio by Wells Fargo® and make a $5,000 minimum deposit. This will revert back to standard rates once it matures and you decide to renew your CD. You may be eligible for the bonus Standard CD rate upon renewal.

How to get one of Wells Fargo’s fixed-rate CDs

To open a fixed rate CD, you can apply online using their secure online application form. During the application process, you’ll be asked to choose the term you want and submit details such as your Social Security number, funding account information and a valid ID. You can fund your CD using any bank account, credit card or by mailing a check or money order after you submit your application. (Note: Using a credit card to fund a CD only makes sense if you’re paying off the credit card balance in full. Otherwise, credit card finance charges could significantly outweigh CD interest earnings.) Once you complete the application, you’ll get instant notification of your application status and possible next steps.

Wells Fargo Step Rate CDs

CD Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

24 months

0.16%

$2,500

As of 1/3/2018

The Step Rate CD offers multiple rate increases and a penalty-free withdrawal every six months as long as you are able to maintain the minimum opening balance. You’re guaranteed automatic rate increases at seven, 13 and 19 months into your CD term. At these times, the interest rate (not APY) goes up in increments of 0.10%:

  • 1 to 6 months: 0.01%
  • 7 to 12 months: 0.11%
  • 13 to 18 months: 0.21%
  • 19 to 24 months: 0.31%

To make your penalty-free withdrawals, you’ll need to do it within five business days at the start of the days when your interest rate goes up. If the rate increase happens to fall on a weekend or on a holiday, the withdrawal period will begin on the next business day. Once your account matures, the CD will be automatically renewed and reverted to a standard 24-month fixed rate CD.

Wells Fargo Step Rate Bonus CD

CD Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

24 months

0.21%

$2,500

As of 1/3/2018

To be eligible for the bonus rate, you’ll need to link your Step Rate CD to a Portfolio by Wells Fargo® account. Keep in mind that there is a monthly maintenance fee of $30 for the checking account unless you have at least $25,000 in qualifying bank deposits or $50,000 in qualifying brokerage, bank and credit balances.

You’ll also get rate increases and penalty-free withdrawals every six months as long as you keep the minimum opening balance. You are subjected to the same interest rate increases and requirements as the regular Step Rate CD.

Upon account maturity, your CD will automatically renew into a standard fixed rate bonus CD. If you don’t have a Portfolio by Wells Fargo® account, your rate will revert back to the standard rate.

How to Get a Wells Fargo Step Rate CD

You can only open a Step Rate CD in person at any Wells Fargo branch. You can show up at any one of their physical locations. You can also make an appointment online or by calling 1-800-869-3557.

Here’s how Wells Fargo CD rates compare to other banks

Wells Fargo rates don’t even come close to the top competitors’ offers, even with the bonus rates. Those better CD rates often also come with a lower minimum deposit than what Wells Fargo requires. However, competitors with the highest rates tend to be online-only banks, which is only a disadvantage if you prefer to bank in person. If it’s important to you to keep all your banking products in one place, then Wells Fargo may be worth considering, though that strategy isn’t a financial advantage, as far as CDs go.

Additional information about Wells Fargo CDs

Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo is considered the third largest bank in the U.S. This FDIC insured bank provides retail, commercial and corporate banking services through its branches and online in the U.S. and internationally. Wells Fargo has over 13,000 ATMs and 6,000 branch locations across the country.

All rates earned are compounded daily and interest starts to accrue as soon as you make your deposit, as long as it’s on a business day. Otherwise it’ll begin on the next available business day. Any interest earned is paid out monthly and deposited into a checking account, savings account or via check. You could also opt to leave it your CD until maturity. You can also choose to have your interest payments paid out annually, semi-annually or when your CD matures. The only exception is for CD terms 12 months or more, where you can’t choose to have your interest paid out at maturity.

There are penalties if you make early withdrawals on fixed-rate CDs. You either have to pay the early withdrawal fee or be subjected to the Regulation D penalty.

Those who may need to pay the Regulation D penalty include those who make withdrawals within seven days of account opening. This penalty also applies if you make withdrawals during the grace period and the withdrawal is more than any additional deposits during that time. Regulation D penalty means you’ll need to pay seven days’ simple interest.

Any withdrawals after the first seven days are subjected to the following early withdrawal fee:

  • 90 days or less: one month’s interest
  • 90 days to a year: three months’ interest
  • 12 to 24 months: six months’ interest
  • 24 months and over: 12 months’ interest.

If you make a withdrawal on a Step Rate CD or the Step Rate Bonus CD, the early withdrawal fee will apply if the money you take out will cause the balance to be under the minimum opening deposit. The penalty will be based on the whole amount taken out. You’ll also be subject to early withdrawal penalties if you make a withdrawal on days other than the five day withdrawal period when interest rates increase.

There are some exceptions where you may be able to get early withdrawal penalties waived. Common ones include death of the account owner, but you’ll need to contact Wells Fargo customer service to chat about your exact situation and circumstances. (This exception isn’t unique to Wells Fargo.)

Wells Fargo will send you a notice to remind you of the CD maturity date about a month before it happens. When your CD actually matures, you have a seven day grace period. You can either renew the CD or choose to change the terms (such as linking your Portfolio by Wells Fargo® account). Other options include closing the CD, making another deposit or withdrawing money as long as the remaining balance can meet minimum balance requirements.

If you choose not to do anything, the CDs renew automatically. However, no interest will be paid during the seven day grace period if you don’t choose to reinvest your CD or you take money out of the account.

Overall review on Wells Fargo CD rates

Although Wells Fargo offers a myriad of services, including the ability to link your checking account to your CD, their rates fall short compared to other financial institutions as well as national averages. There are online banks that offer much better rates and with lower minimum deposits.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

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

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Dollar Savings Direct 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.

dollar savings direct review

Everyone wants to earn more interest on their savings. After all, it’s basically free money just for maintaining your account balance. If you already have money saved up for emergencies or future planned expenses, it makes sense to try and earn some interest while your money sits there.

However, many banks only offer interest rates of 0.01%, which isn’t going to add up any time soon, no matter how much money you have socked away. This is why it’s a good idea to shop around for an online bank that offers higher interest rates on savings accounts.

If you’ve done your research, you might have heard of DollarSavingsDirect, an online division of Emigrant Bank located in New York. But, before you agree to open a savings account with its current high interest rate of 1.60% APY, make sure you understand what you’d be getting into.

Opening an account

You can open a Dollar Savings Account™ online by providing your basic information, like your tax identification number and your address. Customers have to be age 18 or older, and you have to have a personal checking account with a U.S. bank that you can link to your new Dollar Savings Account™.

If your online application is approved, you will be able to login and see your information immediately. However, if more information is needed, Dollar Savings Direct will contact you in two to three business days, according to its website.

Funding your account

Your linked checking account can be used to fund your new Dollar Savings Account™; however, you can also choose to fund your account with a physical check by mail.

When you apply, you must select this option and then you will receive instructions about where to mail your check. Your check must be written from the same linked checking account. Checks are only accepted for your initial deposit. You must make any future deposits or withdrawals via electronic transfer.

There is no minimum deposit required to start your Dollar Savings Account™, nor is there a minimum balance required after the account has been established.

Accessing your money

After you’ve opened and funded your Dollar Savings Account™, you can transfer funds electronically in or out of your account by logging in online. Online access is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

However, you may feel disappointed by the digital experience offered by Emigrant Bank and its subsidiaries, including Dollar Savings Direct. There is no mobile app you can use to access your account easily while on-the-go, and the website itself has a dated look and feel.

Keep in mind that your Dollar Savings Account™ is subject to the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation D, which allows a maximum of six transfers or withdrawals per statement period. If you make more than six transfers or withdrawals per statement period, your bank can charge you a fee, convert your account to a checking account or close it. This is not unique to your Dollar Savings Account™. It applies to all savings accounts and money market accounts at any bank.

If you funded your account with a check, there is a 10-business-day hold before you may withdraw your funds. All electronic transfers, or ACH deposits, have a five-business-day hold, no matter if it’s your initial deposit or a future deposit.

After you initiate your withdrawal online, it can take between two and four business days to appear in your connected external checking account. It will also take the same amount of time to transfer money into your Dollar Savings Account™.

Why Dollar Savings Direct may not be the best choice for your savings

Dollar Savings Direct offers the Dollar Savings Account™ with no minimum deposit required and no fees or service charges. This, combined with “America’s Highest Rate” at 1.60% APY (annual percentage yield) makes it seem like an attractive option to new customers.

However, even though a 1.60% APY on your savings account is hard to beat, Emigrant Bank, the parent of Dollar Savings Direct, has a habit of using high interest rates to attract new customers and deposits to its sub-brands before lowering the rates significantly once they’ve achieved their goals.

Source: DepositAccounts.com (DepositAccounts.com, like MagnifyMoney, is owned by LendingTree)

Dollar Savings Direct and Emigrant Bank, along with any other bank, are fully within their legal right to change the APY on savings accounts at any time. But, this bait-and-switch tactic is not in the best interest of their customers.

In general, a more stable APY will generate more interest on savings over time.

If you do decide to open a Dollar Savings Account™ to take advantage of their 1.60% APY, keep an eye on the rate over time. You may want to withdraw your funds and store them elsewhere if rates drop significantly, as they have done historically.

Competitors to consider

Luckily, there are plenty of other high yield online savings accounts to consider that tend to have more stable interest rates over time. Here are a couple to consider.

Synchrony Bank, a direct competitor to Dollar Savings Direct, has a savings account interest rate of 1.45% APY and also offers their account without a minimum balance or monthly fees. Plus, you can also get an ATM card to access your funds. Synchrony Bank also has a mobile app.

Another top competitor is Ally Bank. Ally offers a 1.25% APY with no minimum balance. It also offers a free checking account (also with no minimum balance required), which makes it even easier to manage your money all in one place.

Bottom line

Again, it’s tough to beat a 1.60% APY on a savings account. However, sticking with an account that offers a slightly lower APY but is more consistent with their rate would make it easier to manage getting the best return on the money you store in a savings account.

If you open a Dollar Savings Account™, you’ll want to keep a constant eye on the rate, knowing that it may drop significantly in a few months, based on Emigrant Bank’s past practices. If you don’t transfer your funds out of your Dollar Savings Account™ when the rate drops, the advantages of opening a high yield savings account will be lost.

Kayla Sloan
Kayla Sloan |

Kayla Sloan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Kayla at Kayla@magnifymoney.com

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3 Reasons Emigrant Bank Might Not Be the Best Place to Save

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.

Emigrant Bank Review

Emigrant Bank, through its internet bank subsidiaries (DollarSavingsDirect, MySavingsDirect and EmigrantDirect), offers highly competitive interest rates. However, before deciding to open an account with Emigrant, here are three concerns that every potential customer should consider:

1. Emigrant Bank has a regular history of introducing “America’s Highest Rate” to attract customers, only to decrease the rate later. Emigrant Bank is fully within its legal right to do so (because savings account rates can change at any time). But other leading internet banks pay much more consistent rates, and so the pattern starts to feel a bit like bait-and-switch.

2. Emigrant Bank has a B health rating from DepositAccounts.com (which, like MagnifyMoney, is owned by LendingTree). All deposits at Emigrant are insured by way of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). However, if you want to deposit more than the FDIC-insured limit, the health of your chosen bank is an important consideration. Emigrant was hit hard during the 2008 financial crisis, and although its performance has been improving, it is still a small bank with a health rating below A.

3. The digital experience of Emigrant Bank is lacking. There is no mobile banking app. The website has a look and feel better suited to the 1990s than to 2017. If digital experience is important to you, Emigrant will disappoint.

I will review each of these concerns in more detail below, while including a brief background of the bank.

What is Emigrant Bank?

Emigrant Bank was founded in 1850 by Irish immigrants to New York. Very quickly, the bank became one of the largest in the country and helped finance iconic buildings like St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Fast-forward, and today Emigrant Bank (which is technically owned by its holding company, New York Private Bank & Trust Corporation) is the largest privately held bank in the country. Howard Milstein owns the bank, which now has $6.4 billion in assets. Emigrant is not tiny, but it is far from the 7th largest bank (which today has more than $300 billion in assets).

Although the bank’s physical footprint remains in New York, it has a nationwide internet deposit business to fund its operations. Emigrant’s internet-only savings brands include the aforementioned DollarSavingsDirect, MySavingsDirect and EmigrantDirect. These brands are part of Emigrant (and your FDIC insurance limit is for your total relationship balance, not each individual brand).

Beware of the bait-and-switch (a high rate to attract, and then a rapid dropoff)

Leading internet-only banks, like Ally and Synchrony, consistently pay very high rates. Emigrant has a different strategy. It has created different sub-brands. These brands will come out with the highest rate in the country to attract deposits, and then the rates will be decreased. This occurs consistently, across brands.

With a savings account, the interest rate can change at any time. But although it’s perfectly legal, this feels a bit like a bait and switch. Here are some examples:

EmigrantDirect: It once paid 1.10% APY. Now it’s 0.50% APY

When 1.10% was America’s Highest Rate in 2010, EmigrantDirect was paying it to depositors. However, the rate has consistently and dramatically dropped, and the rate is only 0.50% APY now. If you opened your account in 2010, you would have seen your rate fall by more than 50%, even though the market interest rates have been increasing, and it is now easy to get at least 1.30% APY. Here is a chart of the deposit history, from DepositAccounts:

MySavingsDirect: It once paid 1.25% APY – now 1.00% APY

In 2015, MySavingsDirect had America’s Highest Rate. In fact, it was featured prominently on MagnifyMoney because of the healthy interest rate. However, the rate started to drop dramatically and swooned as low as 0.85% APY in less than a year. We can only guess that people started leaving in droves — because the rate bounced up a bit to 1.00% APY. This rate is far from America’s Highest, however, and MagnifyMoney readers who signed up in 2015 probably feel a bit sore about the rapid drop in rates.

Look at the chart below to see the bumpy road depositors have been on:

DollarSavingsDirect: Now America’s Highest Rate

DollarSavingsDirect now has America’s Highest Rate, and is paying 1.60% APY. We can’t argue with the rate. But when you look at DollarSavingsDirect’s rate history (below), and considering what Emigrant Bank has done with the other brands, you would be safe in betting that this rate will probably come down soon:

Source: Depositaccounts.com

Health warning: Emigrant’s risks

Emigrant was hit particularly hard during the 2008 financial crisis and required a financial bailout. The bank is now very well capitalized and has a 18.77% Tier 1 capital ratio (as of September 2017). The Tier 1 capital ratio is one of the highest in the banking universe, and it received an A+ from DepositAccounts for capitalization.

However, there are two reasons to be cautious. First, the bank continues to struggle with profitability. According to the FDIC, Emigrant’s Return on Assets (ROA) for the first nine months of 2017 was only 0.81%. For banks, 2017 has been an excellent year for profitability. FDIC-insured institutions achieved an average ROA above 1%, which is the highest in 10 years. In a period of record earnings and low losses, Emigrant Bank is only able to achieve its much lower figure — which means a future downturn or recession will be more difficult.

In addition, the Texas Ratio of the bank is 18.58%. The Texas Ratio looks at the book value of all nonperforming assets as a percentage of the equity capital and loan-loss reserves. This ratio measures a bank’s likelihood of failure by comparing bad assets to available capital. If the ratio is above 100%, a bank is highly likely to fail. At 18.58%, Emigrant Bank’s Texas Ratio is flashing yellow (and received a B from DepositAccounts).

If all of this sounds confusing, let’s offer a simple recap:

  • Emigrant Bank was hit hard in 2008.
  • To repair itself, the bank raised lot of capital (to buffer against future losses).
  • Unfortunately, the bank still struggles to generate earnings. In a period of record bank earnings, it lags industry averages.
  • There are still a relatively high number of bad loans on the books, given the high Texas Ratio

In fairness, the bank has been around since the 1800s and has made it through every crisis, including the Great Depression and the recent Great Recession. However, Emigrant is not the strongest bank in the market, and you should think long and hard before depositing more money than the FDIC limit.

A poor digital experience

If you open an account with a bank that does not have branches, your expectation for a strong digital experience should be high. Sadly, Emigrant Bank does not deliver. Its website has a very dated look and feel, and there is no mobile banking app. If digital experience is important to you, Emigrant will not deliver.

Bottom line

If you want to open a savings account with a bank that consistently pays a market-leading rate, Emigrant Bank (along with its various internet brands) is probably not the bank for you.

If you want a bank where you plan on depositing significantly more than the FDIC maximum, you should do some extensive homework before entrusting your funds to Emigrant.

And if digital experience and mobile banking apps are important to you, you should avoid Emigrant.

However, if you are willing to do work, and don’t mind regularly moving your money around, you will probably be able to find America’s Highest Rate at one of Emigrant Bank’s brands at any given point in time. Just watch that rate carefully, because it will likely go down.

Nick Clements
Nick Clements |

Nick Clements is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Nick at nick@magnifymoney.com

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TD Bank Review: Savings, Checking, 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.

td bank review
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TD Bank got an early start in the 1850s. Today, it’s one of the largest banks in the nation. Even though it’s a nationwide bank, you can really go into a physical branch only if you live along the East Coast. If you are that lucky, you can take your pick from over 1,200 branches, many of which have convenient extended hours during the week and on weekends.

People living in the Midwest and on the West coast will have to suffice with online-only banking. But, rest assured, they still make it easy: they maintain a 24/7 customer service line if you do need to chat with a real person.

We’ll go over everything you need to know about TD Bank’s deposit accounts in this article. One important note: TD Bank’s rates vary depending on where you live. To compare apples to apples, we’ll look at the rates from Cherry Hill, N.J., which is where TD Bank is headquartered. However, we recommend checking your local rates when deciding whether these accounts are right for you. All rates are current as of Jan. 3, 2018.

TD Bank Savings Accounts

TD Simple Savings account

Simply low savings for a fee-heavy savings account.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0 ($300 to waive monthly maintenance fee)

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 ($4 if you’re signed up for online statements)
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee:
    1. Keep at least $300 in your account
    2. Have a linked TD student checking account
    3. Be under age 18 or over age 62
    4. Transfer at least $25 per month from a TD Bank account and have a linked TD Bank personal checking account (but this will only waive the fee for 12 months)
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM; $3 for non-TD ATMs (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

You’ll need to keep an eye out for fees with this account. It’s not hard to waive the monthly account fee if you keep it stocked full of savings (which is how you should use a savings account, after all), but if you decide to empty the account, you’ll have to pay this steep monthly fee. Furthermore, the rates offered are very low, especially when compared with savings accounts at other banks.

Opening a Simple Savings account with TD Bank takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Preferred Savings account

Moderate interest rates for high-balance savers.

 

$0.01 - $19,999.99

$20k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k - $249,999.99

$250k - $499,999.99

$500k - $999,999.99

$1M – $9,999,999.99

$10M+

APY with standard rate

0.05%

0.20%

0.35%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.45%

APY with bump rate

0.10%

0.50%

0.75%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

0.95%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 ($14 if you’re signed up for online statements)
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $20,000 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None. However, you may be charged a surcharge fee (i.e., the fee that the ATM’s owner tacks on) unless you keep at least $2,500 in your account.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

TD Bank does offer semi-OK returns for their Preferred Savings account, with a catch: You’ll need to keep a lot of money in it. Otherwise, you’ll face a hefty monthly account fee that will wipe away your earnings.

For example, let’s say that you have $15,000 in your account. That’s $5,000 under the $20,000 threshold needed to waive the $15 monthly fee. If you receive the rate bump for having another eligible TD Bank account, you’ll earn $1.25 in interest that month — meaning you’ll lose $13.75 after paying the monthly account maintenance fee.

You can qualify for the higher bump rates by also having one of the following types of accounts with TD Bank and making three transactions per month with it: a mortgage, a home equity loan, a credit card, or a personal or small business checking account.

Opening a Preferred Savings account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone, or by visiting a local branch.

How TD Bank’s savings accounts compare

TD Bank’s savings accounts are pretty lackluster. They carry the potential for a lot of fees and for very little return.

Their Preferred Savings account in particular does offer high earning potential with interest rates up to five times greater than the national average. But you’ll need to have heavy pockets to be able to reach those levels, in addition to meeting a list of other requirements to waive the monthly fee and be eligible for these high interest rates.

Most people probably won’t be able to reach these high interest rates. But there’s good news: There are many other high-interest savings accounts that offer better rates without so much fine print holding you back.

TD Bank Checking Accounts

TD Premier Checking account

Earn low interest rates for keeping a high balance in your checking account.

Minimum Balance Amount

$0.01 - $2,499.99

$2,500 - $49,999.99

$50k - $249,999.99

$250k+

APY

0.00%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $2,500 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None. However, you may be charged a surcharge fee (i.e., the fee that the ATM’s owner tacks on) unless you keep at least $2,500 in your account.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

If you’re looking to earn interest on the money held within your checking account, you might consider this account. Just be careful: you’ll need to keep a pretty high balance to a) earn any interest at all, and b) avoid the high monthly account fee.

A few minor side benefits of having this account also include things like free bank checks and money orders, and no service charge for more obscure things like stop payments on checks, incoming wire transfers and paper statements. You’ll also get a 0.25% interest rate reduction if you decide to apply for a home equity line of credit.

If high interest rates on your checking account with less fees are what you’re after, there are actually many other better online checking accounts to choose from.

Opening a Premier Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Convenience Checking account

A standard-level checking account — but stay vigilant for high fees.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $100 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

If you can’t keep the required $2,500 in your checking account to waive the monthly fee for the TD Premier Checking account, consider this one. You still need to keep some cash in this account to waive the $15 monthly fee, but at $100, it’s much more manageable.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to sacrifice earning any return on your funds with this account, since it pays no interest. But there still are some minor perks that come with this account. You’ll get a discount on your first order of checks, and discounts on TD Bank home loans and home equity lines of credit.

Opening a Convenience Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Simple Checking account

Simply high fees for a basic-level checking account.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5.99
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

As far as checking accounts go, this isn’t really a good one. It charges a high monthly account fee and there’s no way to waive the fee. That’s a bit ridiculous with so many free checking accounts.

The only reason you might choose this checking account is if you can’t afford to keep the minimum $100 deposit in the TD convenience checking account to waive that monthly account fee. But if you’re not able to do that, you’ll pay out $100 in fees in a little over a year with this account anyway, so what’s the point?

You do get minor perks as with the other accounts — a discount on your first order of checks, and a discount on a home loan or home equity line of credit — but let’s be honest: That’s probably not going to save you a whole lot of money.

Opening a Simple Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Relationship Checking account

Small earnings for big account requirements.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Interest rate: 0.03% APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $20,000 in all of your TD Bank accounts combined (including checking, savings, loans, etc — but not credit cards).
  • ATM fees: None.
  • ATM fee refunds: You can be refunded for any ATM surcharges (the money the ATM’s owner charges) if you keep at least $2,500 in your account.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to 5 items per day.

If you have existing deposit (savings, checking, or CDs) or loan accounts with TD Bank, you can actually leverage them to earn at least something on the money in your checking account. It’s not much — 0.03% APY — but it’s still better than nothing.

This account also comes with a discount on home loans and home equity lines of credit, You’ll also get a few more perks than with their other checking accounts, such as free checks (not just a discount), free services that normally come with high fees (such as a stop payment order, overdraft transfers or money orders), and a fee waiver for another checking account and a savings account.

In return, just keep a close eye on your accounts to make sure you are meeting the requirements to waive the monthly fee. $25 per month is not a fee you want to pay.

Opening a Relationship Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD 60 Plus Checking account

A great checking account for seniors, but keep an eye on the account balance.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Interest rate: 0.05% APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $250 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

If you’re over age 60, you are eligible for this account. TD Bank has generously waived many of its high fees for some account services. You’ll get free money orders, free checks and free paper statements. This account also comes with the standard rate discounts on home loans and home equity lines of credit.

Plus you’ll earn interest on your balance. Not a lot of interest, but 0.05% APY is better than 0.00% APY.

We recommend this account only if you can keep at least $250 in your account to waive the monthly fee. Otherwise, the $10 monthly fee will wipe out any interest you’ll earn.

Opening a 60 Plus Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Student Checking account

A no-frills student checking account with no monthly fee.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

This is perhaps one of TD Bank’s best checking accounts, but only because it’s the only one not to come with a monthly account maintenance fee. Full-time students under age 24 are eligible to open this account. (You’ll need a joint checking account with a parent if you’re under age 18). This account will automatically transfer over to a Convenience Checking account after your 24th birthday or five years from the account opening, whichever occurs first.

You won’t earn any interest on this account, but you will get some other benefits. If you link a TD Simple Savings account alongside this checking account, you won’t have to pay the $5 monthly fee for the savings account. You’ll also get a discount on your first box of checks. You can even get a discount on a home loan or a home equity line of credit, but as a student, are you really likely to use that?

Opening a Student Checking account with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch. You’ll also need to provide either your student ID or a student loan bill or receipt to prove you’re actually a student.

How TD Bank’s checking accounts compare

TD Bank does offer a lot of different types of checking accounts. This is nice because it offers you a wider range of ways to avoid their notorious account fees — and there are many to watch out for.

Plus, many of these accounts don’t even earn any interest, and when they do, the minimum balance requirements are often far above what you’d likely be keeping in a checking account anyway. If you’re looking for the best checking account possible, you’d be better off looking elsewhere unless you really are attached the TD Bank.

TD Bank CD Rates

TD Choice CDs

Moderate returns if you have a TD Bank Checking account.

Standard rate

 

$250 - $9,999.99

$10k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k+

3 months

0.10%

0.15%

0.15%

0.20%

6 months

0.15%

0.20%

0.20%

0.25%

9 months

0.20%

0.25%

0.25%

0.30%

12 months

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

0.50%

18 months

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

0.50%

24 months

0.35%

0.40%

0.45%

0.55%

3 years

0.40%

0.45%

0.50%

0.65%

5 years

0.45%

0.50%

0.60%

0.70%

Bump Rate

 

$250 - $9,999.99

$10k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k+

3 months

0.15%

0.20%

0.20%

0.25%

6 months

0.20%

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

9 months

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

12 months

0.65%

0.80%

0.90%

1.10%

18 months

0.40%

0.45%

0.50%

0.60%

24 months

0.45%

0.50%

0.55%

0.65%

3 years

0.80%

1.00%

1.10%

1.30%

5 years

0.75%

0.90%

1.00%

1.10%

TD Bank’s Choice CDs are their standard line of CDs. You’ll need at least $250 to invest in them, which is a pretty low requirement and makes saving accessible for most people. Of course, you’ll earn higher rates if you put in much larger amounts of cash. You can also earn higher “bump rates” if you hold a checking account with TD Bank. You’ll also earn higher rates for larger deposits and longer terms.

Just be aware when you’re choosing longer terms, however, that you’ll pay an early withdrawal penalty if you do need to take that cash out early. You also can’t take out your cash at all for the first seven days after you initially open your CD. Early withdrawal penalties depend on the original term of the CD and are as follows:

  • < 3 months: All interest
  • 3 months < 1 year: 3 months’ worth of interest
  • 1 year < 2 years: 6 months’ worth of interest
  • 2 years < 3 years: 9 months’ worth of interest
  • 3 years < 4 years: 12 months’ worth of interest
  • 4 years < 5 years: 18 months’ worth of interest
  • 5 years: 24 months’ worth of interest

Once you open your account, you can’t add any more funds until the CD’s term is over. When that happens, your CD will automatically renew to another one of the same length with whatever the current interest rate is. But you have 10 days after this happens to decide what to do with it — withdraw the cash penalty-free, add in more funds or just let the CD continue.

Opening a Choice CD with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD No-Catch CDs

Moderate returns that give you the flexibility of making a free withdrawal once per term.

CD Term

APY

6 months

0.15%

12 months

0.20%

If the idea of having your money locked away makes you a little queasy, the No-Catch CD might be a good choice for you. It’s currently only offered in two term lengths — six and 12 months. Once per term, you’re allowed to make one withdrawal without paying an early withdrawal penalty if you need the cash. But remember, you can only make a withdrawal after the account has been open for at least seven days. If you need to make more than one withdrawal, you’ll pay a penalty for each additional transaction.

This will save you from paying a penalty of three months’ worth of interest (for the six-month CD) or six months’ worth of interest (for the 12-month CD). In return for this advantage, you’ll get a slightly lower return on the 12-month CD than the normal TD Choice CD (without the higher bump rates, that is). The interest rate is currently the same for the six-month Choice CD.

Just as with the TD Choice CD, you can open a TD No-Catch CD with at least $250. After the CD matures, it’ll roll over into another CD of the same term length (but with the current interest rate), and you’ll get 10 days to withdraw the money, add funds or let it continue in the current CD.

Opening a No-Catch CD with TD Bank is simple and takes only a few minutes. You’ll need basic personal information about yourself, a photo ID, and a way to fund your new account. You can apply online, over the phone or by visiting a local branch.

TD Step Rate CDs

Higher rates over time with more frequent penalty-free access to your cash.

CD Term

APY

3 years

Year 1: 0.25%
Year 2: 0.30%
Year 3: 0.45%
Composite: 0.33%

5 years

Year 1: 0.35%
Year 2: 0.40%
Year 3: 0.55%
Year 4: 0.70%
Year 5: 1.19%
Composite: 0.64%

If you really want frequent penalty-free access to your cash but want higher rates than the No-Catch CDs offer, consider the Step Rate CDs. You can open them with as little as $250.

These CDs will allow you to make one penalty-free withdrawal per year during a 10-day window around your account’s anniversary. If you make a withdrawal outside of these windows, you’ll face an early-withdrawal penalty of 12 months’ worth of interest (for a three-year CD), or 24 months’ worth of interest (for a five-year CD).

If you leave some or all of your money in the account on each anniversary, you’ll be rewarded with sequentially higher interest rates until the term of the CD ends. When that happens, it’ll automatically roll over into a 12-month Step Rate CD with the current interest rate of the day. But you’ll still have another 10-day window where you can add or withdraw funds or let the CD investment continue.

How TD Bank’s CDs compare

TD Bank does offer a nice suite of CDs that allow you more frequent access to your money. This is especially helpful for folks who want to earn higher rates than their paltry savings and checking accounts (when interest is even earned at all), but still want to be able to get their money on a more frequent basis if needed.

Compared with other banks, however, the interest rates offered on these CDs are fairly low. If higher interest rates are what you’re after, consider these CD accounts with higher rates.

TD Bank IRA Accounts

TD Simple Savings IRA

Guaranteed low rates on your retirement savings.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$0.01

The TD Simple Savings IRA account is the mirror image of its regular TD Simple Savings account, but in an IRA form. And, just like the regular TD Simple Savings account, it earns peanuts for interest.

Its saving grace is that the monthly maintenance fee is waived for the IRA version of this account (which would normally cost you up to $5 per month). You’ll also need at least $300 to open this account, making it more accessible if you’re just starting to save for retirement and don’t have a lot of cash yet.

Another disadvantage of this account is that you can only open them in a local branch — so, if you’re not near any branches, this account will be unavailable to you.

TD Preferred Savings IRA

Higher (but still low) rates for having larger balances and linked TD accounts.

 

$0.01 - $19,999.99

$20k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k - $249,999.99

$250k - $499,999.99

$500k - $999,999.99

$1M - $9,999,999.99

$10M +

APY with Standard Rate

0.05%

0.20%

0.35%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

0.45%

APY with Bump Rates

0.10%

0.50%

0.75%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

1.00%

0.95%

If you’d still like to save for your retirement using a plain-vanilla savings account but want to earn slightly higher rates, the TD Preferred Savings IRA might be for you. You’ll need at least $20,000 to open an account, but there are no monthly maintenance fees.

You can also earn higher interest rates in two ways. First, you’ll earn more by keeping larger balances in your account (the highest rates are offered on balances between $100,000 and $9,999,999). Second, you can earn higher “bump rates” if you have a another linked TD Bank account, such as a checking account, or even a mortgage or a credit card.

As with the rest of their retirement savings account, you can only open this account by going to a local branch in-person. You cannot open this account online or over the phone, so you’re out of luck if you don’t have a local branch near you.

TD Choice IRA CDs

Getting warmer… but still pretty low rates on an IRA CD.

Standard rate

 

$250 - $9,999.99

$10k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k+

3 months

0.10%

0.15%

0.15%

0.20%

6 months

0.15%

0.20%

0.20%

0.25%

9 months

0.20%

0.25%

0.25%

0.30%

12 months

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

0.50%

18 months

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

0.50%

24 months

0.35%

0.40%

0.45%

0.55%

3 years

0.40%

0.45%

0.50%

0.65%

5 years

0.45%

0.50%

0.60%

0.70%

Bump Rate

 

$250 - $9,999.99

$10k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k+

3 months

0.15%

0.20%

0.20%

0.25%

6 months

0.20%

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

9 months

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

0.40%

12 months

0.65%

0.80%

0.90%

1.10%

18 months

0.40%

0.45%

0.50%

0.60%

24 months

0.45%

0.50%

0.55%

0.65%

3 years

0.80%

1.00%

1.10%

1.30%

5 years

0.75%

0.90%

1.00%

1.10%

These CDs are also the mirror image of their regular TD Choice CD accounts, but in an IRA form. You can also open these CDs with a minimum $250 deposit, but of course you’ll earn higher rates if you put more money in. Still, if you’re just starting out and you really want a TD Bank IRA, this is one of your lowest-barrier options. You can also earn higher rates if you own another TD Bank checking account.

If you need to withdraw the money before the term is up, you’ll face the following early withdrawal penalties depending on the original term length of the IRA CD:

  • < 3 months: All interest
  • 3 months < 1 year: 3 months’ worth of interest
  • 1 year < 2 years: 6 months’ worth of interest
  • 2 years < 3 years: 9 months’ worth of interest
  • 3 years < 4 years: 12 months’ worth of interest
  • 4 years < 5 years: 18 months’ worth of interest
  • 5 years: 24 months’ worth of interest

To open this IRA CD you’ll need to go into a local TD Bank branch in person. No phone or online options exist for those away from a local branch, unfortunately.

TD IRA Add-Vantage CD

Term

APY

12 months

0.25%

One of the disadvantages of CDs is that you generally can’t add more money to them once they get started. That’s a real pain if you do come into some more money and want to take advantage of the higher rates that CDs offer. This is especially true if you’re relying on CDs as a part of your retirement savings strategy.

The TD IRA Add-Vantage CD adds a neat little feature to get around this. You can deposit more money into the account at any time, as long as you follow these two rules:

  1. You can only add money in $500 increments
  2. You can’t make more than $250,000 in deposits during the CD’s term

Thus, this IRA CD functions generally like a savings account, except you can’t withdraw your money but once per year due to the sole 12-month CD term offered. If you do withdraw the money, you’ll face an early withdrawal penalty of six months’ worth of interest.

This CD is also only available to people who can visit a local branch to open an account. You’re out of luck if you don’t live near a TD Bank branch, unfortunately.

How TD Bank’s IRA CDs Compare

The trend in low rates for TD Bank’s accounts continues. These rates are all-around low compared with the best IRA CD rates out there.

CDs already offer notoriously low returns compared with more mainstream IRA investments like mutual funds and stocks (which in general offer nonguaranteed average returns of 7.0% per year), and that’s especially the case here. If you’re relying on TD Bank’s IRAs as your primary retirement strategy, you won’t get very far.

TD Bank Money Market Accounts

TD Growth Money Market account

Earn similar rates to TD’s Preferred Savings account, but with a lower minimum balance.

 

$0.01 - $999.99

$1k - $1,999.99

$2k - $4,999.99

$5k - $9,999.99

$10k - $24,999.99

$25k - $49,999.99

$50k - $99,999.99

$100k - $249,999.99

$250k+

APY with Qualified Amount

0.05%

0.05%

0.10%

0.15%

0.20%

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

0.35%

APY without Qualified Amount

0.03%

0.03%

0.05%

0.10%

0.15%

0.20%

0.25%

0.30%

0.30%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12 (or $11 if you sign up for online statements only).
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $2,000 in your account, or be age 62 or older.
  • ATM fees: None if using a TD ATM. $3 for non-TD ATMS (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on).
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 for each item, up to five items per day.

This account offers a nice balance between the lower balance requirements of the TD Simple Savings account and the higher rates of the TD Preferred Savings account. You only need a $2,000 minimum balance to waive the monthly fee (compared to the Preferred Savings’ $20,000 minimum balance to waive that account’s fee).

You’re also eligible to receive a higher rate if

  1. You have a linked TD Bank account
  2. You use it to make at least a $50 recurring monthly deposit into this account

How TD Bank’s Money Market account compares

Again, TD Bank comes up well short when compared with the best money market account rates available today. Plus, you need a fairly high opening deposit to even get access to this account.

This leaves savers who are just getting started high and dry, since all TD Bank offers for these folks is their Simple Savings account that offers a miniscule interest rate (and a minimum $300 deposit to avoid the monthly fee, to boot).

Overall review

We do like TD Bank’s ease of access if you’re looking to visit an in-person branch. Their local branches generally offer good hours and are open seven days per week. But for folks who don’t live near a local branch — and that’s most of the country — you’re kind of out of luck aside from the 24-hour customer service line. And if you want to open an IRA, you’re again out of luck since this must be done in person.

Furthermore, you’ll need to keep large balances in most of TD Bank’s accounts to waive high monthly fees. In return for this, you get rock-bottom interest rates. If you want to use TD Bank, we recommend you come with a hefty amount of cash.

In general, we’re left feeling rather unimpressed with these products. You can get much better rates and terms on every single one of these accounts elsewhere, without being tricked into paying out a boatload of banking fees.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

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

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