Academy Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Academy Bank’s checking account options

Simple Checking

This basic-level checking account doesn’t offer much.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, unless you are signed up for direct deposit or make at least 10 debit card purchases per month.
  • ATM fee: For out-of-network ATMs you’ll pay $2 per withdrawal within the U.S., $2.50 per withdrawal outside of the U.S. and $0.50 for each transaction denied.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29 per item, up to a maximum amount of $125 per day. If you have a backup account or line of credit linked up for overdraft protection, you’ll only pay $7 per day that any overdraft transfer occurs.

Academy Bank’s Simple Checking account is best for people who don’t care about earning interest.

Even though this is the most basic checking account that Academy Bank offers, it’s still not free. You’ll need to either be signed up for direct deposit, or make at least 10 debit card purchases per month in order to waive the $10 monthly fee. Even then, that’s assuming you signed up for e-Statements. If you prefer to receive paper statements, you’ll be charged another $4.50 monthly fee.

How to get Academy Bank’s Simple Checking account

You can open an account at a local Academy Bank branch or online. You’ll need to have a valid photo ID in order to complete your application.

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Student Checking

If you’re a student under 23 years old, you qualify for this reduced-price checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5, unless you’re enrolled in online banking and signed up for e-Statements.
  • ATM fee: For out-of-network ATMs you’ll pay $2 per withdrawal within the U.S., $2.50 per withdrawal outside of the U.S., and $0.50 for each transaction denied.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29 per item, up to a maximum amount of $125 per day. If you have a backup account or line of credit linked up for overdraft protection, you’ll only pay $7 per day that any overdraft transfer occurs.

This account is specifically designed for students under age 23. “Students” here refer to people enrolled in a college, university, vocational school or high school. You must also be attending school full time, rather than part time.

Just because this is a student checking account doesn’t mean it’s free, however. You’ll still have to pay a $5 monthly fee, although you can get the fee waived. All you have to do is be enrolled in online banking and sign up to receive e-Statements (paper statements are an extra $4.50 monthly fee). As far as fee waivers go, this one’s pretty easy since all you have to do is set up these two requirements once and then you’re done. It’s not as much of a hassle as making sure you make a certain number of debit card transactions per month, for example.

When you turn 24, Academy Bank will notify you that you’ll need to close this account and open a new checking account if you want to continue banking with them.

How to get Academy Bank’s Student Checking account

If you have a valid government-issued ID and a Social Security number, you can sign up for this account online or by visiting a local branch of Academy Bank.

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Select Checking

You can earn a cash back rebate on debit card purchases, but you’ll have to make 80 transactions to make up for the monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8
  • ATM fee: For out-of-network ATMs you’ll pay $2 per withdrawal within the U.S., $2.50 per withdrawal outside of the U.S., and $0.50 for each transaction denied.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29 per item, up to a maximum amount of $125 per day. If you have a backup account or line of credit linked up for overdraft protection, you’ll only pay $7 per day that any overdraft transfers occur.

This is a strange bank account. At first glance, you’d think it is a great deal because for each debit card purchase you make, you’ll earn a $0.10 rebate, regardless of the purchase amount. These $0.10 rebates are limited to a total rebate of just $8 per month, however — which is exactly the monthly fee on this account.

In other words, you’ll need to make 80 debit card purchases per month in order to earn enough rebates to cancel out the monthly fee. That’s a tall order for anyone to fill. You’d need to make over two purchases every single day of the week in order to meet that quota. So, that rebate doesn’t really sound so good after all.

This account also doesn’t earn any interest, and there’ll be a $4.50 monthly fee if you want paper statements. It does, however, offer an expanded ATM network. You can use any ATM in the 30,000+ MoneyPass ATM network for free (except for the Elite Checking account, this expanded ATM network isn’t available with any other account). You’ll also get free money orders with the account, but since it’s 2018 and not 1998, this perk won’t likely be of much value for you.

How to get Academy Bank’s Select Checking account

You’ll need a Social Security number, a valid ID, an email address and your date of birth in order to open an account online. You may also choose to open an account at a local Academy Bank branch.

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Elite Checking

You can earn a small amount of interest with this account, but you’ll need to keep a large deposit in order to waive the monthly fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$25-$10,000
0.07%$10,000.01-$25,000
0.08%$25,000.01-$50,000
0.10%Over $50,000.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, unless you either keep at least $5,000 in the account each day, or have an average balance of $10,000 per monthly cycle.
  • ATM fee: For out-of-network ATMs you’ll pay $2 per withdrawal within the U.S., $2.50 per withdrawal outside of the U.S., and $0.50 for each transaction denied.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29 per item, up to a maximum amount of $125 per day. If you have a backup account or line of credit linked up for overdraft protection, you’ll only pay $7 per day that any overdraft transfer occurs.

If you’d prefer to earn interest on the money sitting around in your checking account, the Elite Checking account is your only option at Academy Bank. But it’ll come at a big cost: a $10 monthly fee. You can get this fee waived if you keep at least $5,000 in the account each day, or maintain an average balance of $10,000 (if you had a very large balance and a smaller balance for a portion of the month, for example). Unlike the rest of Academy Bank’s checking accounts, this one comes with free paper statements if you like.

This account also comes with a smattering of random other banking perks:

  • $250 mortgage closing cost discount
  • 0.25% auto and personal loan discount
  • Free cashier’s checks, money orders and standard paper checks
  • Free access to 30,000+ MoneyPass ATMs

How to get Academy Bank’s Elite Checking account

The fastest and easiest way to open this account is probably online. As long as you have a valid government-issued ID, Social Security number and email address, you can open this account online in just a few minutes. If you prefer to do your banking in person, you can also open an account at a local Academy Bank branch.

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on Academy Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Academy Bank’s checking accounts compare

If you’re on a quest for high interest rates, Academy Bank is definitely one to skip. The best checking accounts are currently offering 20 times the rate of Academy Bank’s highest-tier account.

Even then, Academy Bank only offers one lone interest-bearing account. Its other checking accounts don’t offer much of anything, besides the ability to write checks. Only two of its accounts come with an expanded ATM network, otherwise you’ll just be stuck to using a limited network of ATMs that Academy Bank itself owns unless you’re willing to pay an ATM fee.

Academy Bank’s savings account options

Savings account

If you like high fees and low interest rates, this is the account for you.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5, unless you keep at least $100 in the account
  • ATM fee: For out-of-network ATMs you’ll pay $2 per withdrawal within the U.S., $2.50 per withdrawal outside of the U.S., and $0.50 for each transaction denied.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29 per item, up to a maximum amount of $125 per day. If you have a backup account or line of credit linked up for overdraft protection, you’ll only pay $7 per day that any overdraft transfer occurs.

It only takes $25 to open this account and earn interest, but we suggest waiting until you’ve got at least $100 stored up. That’s because you’ll need to keep at least this much in the account in order to avoid a $5 monthly fee. If you want paper statements with that, you’ll have to pay another $4.50 monthly fee.

One thing to note is that Academy Bank does offer a Saving Cents program. With this program, purchases you make with your checking account are rounded up to the nearest dollar and the extra change is transferred into your Savings account at the end of each day in order to help boost your savings. If you’ve enrolled in the program, Academy Bank will waive the minimum opening balance of this Savings account so that you can open it as soon as you like, and they’ll waive the monthly fee for six months. After that period, you’ll need to meet the requirements (i.e., have at least $100 in your savings account) in order to keep getting that monthly fee waived.

This savings account, like all savings and money market accounts, is governed by federal Regulation D. This means you’re allowed up to six certain debits per month, not including ATM, in person or by-mail withdrawals. If you exceed these limits, the bank will charge a $7 per-withdrawal fee.

How to get Academy Bank’s Savings Account

You can open a Savings Account online as long as you have a government-issued ID, Social Security number, mailing address and email address. You can also apply for an account by visiting a local branch of Academy Bank.

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on Academy Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Student Savings

At least this Student Savings account is free.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: For out-of-network ATMs you’ll pay $2 per withdrawal within the U.S., $2.50 per withdrawal outside of the U.S., and $0.50 for each transaction denied.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29 per item, up to a maximum amount of $125 per day. If you have a backup account or line of credit linked up for overdraft protection, you’ll only pay $7 per day that any overdraft transfer occurs.

Academy Bank doesn’t offer many free accounts, but this is one exception. The only catch is you’ll need to be a student under age 23 to open this account. Teenagers aged 17 and younger will also need a parent or guardian to jointly open the account with them. This account will come with a $4.50 monthly cost if you prefer to receive paper statements.

Once you turn 23, this account will automatically convert to a regular Savings Account, complete with a minimum balance requirement and a monthly fee. One thing that won’t change, however, is the six debits per month limit. Any related transaction after that is charged a $7 fee. Withdrawals done by ATM, by mail or in person don’t count toward this limit.

How to get Academy Bank’s Student Savings account

If you’re under age 18, you’ll need a parent or guardian to open this account with you. You’ll need a Social Security number and a valid ID. You can open this account online or in person at a branch.

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on Academy Bank’s secure website

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How Academy Bank’s savings accounts compare

Again, Academy Bank falls far short of its top competitors, especially its online competitors’ savings accounts. The current interest rates being offered on these accounts are very, very poor — about what you would expect when working with a big mega-bank, rather than a small regional bank.

Academy Bank’s Savings account also charges a monthly fee if you don’t keep a certain balance in the account, which we find to be a silly practice when so many savings accounts are free. That’s why we suggest skipping Academy Bank’s savings accounts. You can do much better with other options.

Academy Bank’s CD rates

Certificate of Deposit

These CDs offer good rates for a bank, but you can still find better options elsewhere.
TermAPY
30 days0.10%
91 days0.15%
182 days0.20%
9 months0.25%
12 months (Bonus rate CD special)1.61%
13 months0.45%
15 months0.45%
18 months0.50%
19 months0.50%
24 months (Bonus rate CD special)2.78%
30 months0.65%
36 months0.65%
48 months0.70%
60 months0.70%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: This will depend on your CD’s term length:
    • If your CD is 30-91 days, you’ll pay 60 days’ worth of interest
    • If your CD is 182 days, you’ll forfeit 182 days’ worth of interest
    • If your CD is 9-48 months, you’ll pay 1 years’ worth of interest
    • If your CD is 60 months, you’ll pay 2 years’ worth of interest

If you don’t mind stashing some money away to use later, a CD might be a good option for you to earn the most interest possible at Academy Bank. It offers a wide range of term lengths ranging from just 30 days all the way out to five years. These CDs also have relatively low minimum deposit amounts, requiring a $500 deposit to get started.

Interest on these CDs is credited either quarterly (for CDs 12 months and over in length) or at maturity (for CDs under 12 months in length). According to a bank representative, when the CD matures, it’ll automatically renew for another term with a 10-day grace period. During this grace period, you can close and withdraw the money from the CD, add more money and/or change the CD’s term length without paying any penalties.

How to get Academy Bank’s CDs

You can easily open a CD account online in just a few minutes as long as you have your Social Security number and a valid ID handy. Otherwise, you can also choose to open a CD at a local branch.

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on Academy Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Academy Bank’s CD rates compare

Surprisingly, Academy Bank does offer good rates on its CDs, if not its other accounts. Still, if your goal is to earn the most money possible for your deposit, you can earn even higher rates with one of these CDs instead.

Another thing to watch out for with this account is the early withdrawal penalties. They can be quite hefty for some term lengths; for example, if you make an early withdrawal on a 60 month CD, you’ll pay two years’ worth of interest on the amount you withdraw. That fee is a lot higher than at many other banks. If you think there’s a chance you might need to make an early withdrawal, that’s yet another reason to consider a CD at a different bank.

Academy Bank’s money market account option

Premier Money Market

This account offers a special introductory rate — the highest tier level on all balance levels — for the first six months as long as you deposit at least $10,000 into the account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%$25-$9,999
0.10%$10,000-$24,999
0.10%$25,000-$49,999
0.15%$50,000-$99,999
0.30%$100,000-$249,999
0.40%Over $250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, unless you either keep at least $1,000 in your account at all times, or have an average monthly balance of $5,000 or more.
  • ATM fee: For out-of-network ATMs, you’ll pay $2 per withdrawal within the U.S., $2.50 per withdrawal outside of the U.S., and $0.50 for each transaction denied.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29 per item, up to a maximum amount of $125 per day. If you have a backup account or line of credit linked up for overdraft protection, you’ll only pay $7 per day that any overdraft transfer occurs.

Another way to earn higher rates on your savings is by depositing it in a money market account instead. But to do this, we recommend waiting until you’ve got at least $1,000 saved up. If your balance drops below that level on any given day (or if your average balance over the month drops below $5,000), you’ll be charged a $10 fee for that month. You can technically open this account with just $25, but you will owe the monthly fee until you can meet the requirements to waive it. According to a bank representative, this account does come with the ability to write checks.

Since this is a money market account, it’s also subject to federal Regulation D rules. This means certain debits are limited to just six per month, and if you go over that limit, you’ll pay an extra $7 per withdrawal. If you want paper statements each month, you’ll also pay a $4.50 fee per statement.

How to get Academy Bank’s Premier Money Market account

Academy Bank supports online applications, as well as in-person applications at a branch. You’ll need to show your government-issued ID, and disclose your Social Security number in order to open an account.

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How Academy Bank’s money market account compares

Academy Bank offers better rates on its money market account compared with its savings account, but it’s still got a long way to go before it can match its top money market account competitors.

We also want to point out that while you can earn a good interest rate for the $250,000+ tier bracket, it might be a wise idea not to deposit this much in the account if you are lucky enough to have that much. FDIC insurance only covers your deposit up until $250,000, which means that if Academy Bank ever folded, you could lose the money above that amount.

Instead, a better option is to split your deposit amount among higher-yielding money market accounts so that not one account has more than $250,000 in it.

Academy Bank’s IRA account options

IRA CD

Many of these IRA CDs earn even less than Academy Bank’s normal CDs.
TermAPY
30 days0.10%
91 days0.15%
182 days0.20%
9 months0.25%
12 months0.45%
13 months0.45%
15 months0.45%
18 months0.50%
19 months0.50%
24 months0.60%
30 months0.65%
36 months0.65%
48 months0.70%
60 months0.70%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: This will depend on your CD’s term length:
    • If your CD is 30-91 days, you’ll pay 60 days’ worth of interest
    • If your CD is 182 days, you’ll forfeit 182 days’ worth of interest
    • If your CD is 9-48 months, you’ll pay 1 years’ worth of interest
    • If your CD is 60 months, you’ll pay 2 years’ worth of interest

Saving up for retirement can be a nail-biting experience, especially if the stock and bond market keeps you up at night. If that’s the case, or if you don’t need the high returns that equity markets provide, an IRA CD might be a better option for you to save because it’s FDIC-insured. Deposits up to $250,000 are backed by the government and you’re guaranteed not to lose that money.

These IRA CDs require a relatively small amount to get started — $500. You’ll pay a penalty if you withdraw the money early, unless you’re only withdrawing interest and you’re over age 59 ½.

According to a bank representative, each time an IRA CD matures, it will automatically renew for the same term length. You can continue letting the CD roll over indefinitely, or you can withdraw the money during a brief 10-day grace period after each renewal.

How to get Academy Bank’s IRA CDs

Unlike most of Academy Bank’s accounts, you can’t open this one online. You’ll need to visit a local branch to get this IRA CD. You’ll need to have your valid ID and Social Security number handy in order to complete the account application.

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on Academy Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Academy Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

Academy Bank offers competitive rates on its IRA CDs. Still, we recommend one of these IRA CDs instead because they offer even higher interest rates. Choosing the highest-yielding IRA CD will help your money grow even more over the long term; an important consideration when saving for the ultimate long-term goal — i.e., retirement.

IRA Money Market

This IRA Money Market account offers decent rates as well.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%$1,000-$9,999
0.10%$10,000-$24,999
0.10%$25,000-$49,999
0.15%$50,000-$99,999
0.30%$100,000-$249,999
0.40%Over $250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, but only if your account balance drops below $1,000
  • Overdraft fee: $29 per item, up to a maximum amount of $125 per day. If you have a backup account or line of credit linked up for overdraft protection, you’ll only pay $7 per day that any overdraft transfer occurs.

This account is probably best if you already bank with Academy Bank and want to keep your retirement savings relatively liquid so that you can move them around later as you wish (such as to a higher-yielding account type). You can make withdrawals or IRA rollovers at any time (watch out; plain old cash withdrawals are subject to IRS penalties) without paying any Academy Bank-specific fees. However, if you make more than six debits in a month, you’ll have to pay a $7 fee for each related transaction thereafter.

This account does not come with debit cards, ATM cards or checks, meaning that the only way to move money in and out of the account easily is by an ACH transfer. Any interest you earn on the account will be tallied up and deposited into your account once per month.

How to get Academy Bank’s IRA Money Market account

If you’re interested in opening an IRA Money Market account, you’ll need to do it in person at a branch. Since there is no online application, this by definition excludes a lot of people. However, if you are lucky enough to live near a branch, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number and a valid government-issued ID to open this account in person.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Academy Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Overall review of Academy Bank’s banking products

Academy Bank does offer higher-than-average rates on its money market and CD accounts. But to be honest, saying a bank account offers higher-than-average rates is like saying a car at the dump can still drive. Most money market accounts and CDs offer laughable rates; just because Academy Bank offers decent rates doesn’t mean you should stop there. There are always better options to be had (unless you actually own one of these higher-yielding accounts, that is).

As far as its checking and savings accounts go — we’re giving these a hard pass. These accounts offer very low — or no — interest payments at all. Furthermore, every single account at Academy Bank charges a monthly fee, except for its CD, IRA CD and Student Savings accounts.

We believe you’ll be happier working with an online bank that offers more consumer-friendly policies and higher interest rates on all of their accounts. But if you prefer to bank in person and Academy Bank just happens to be near you, that’s fine, too. Just watch out for its fees and don’t expect to earn too much from your deposit on most accounts.

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