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Associated Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD and Money Market Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Associated Bank’s checking account options

Associated Checking

The bank’s basic, non-interest bearing checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $11; can be waived (see below)
  • ATM fee: None on Associated Bank and MoneyPass ATMs; various fees for withdrawals and balance inquiries on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

This account does not have the ability to earn interest. It is, however, fairly easy to avoid its monthly fee; you can do so by having direct deposits of at least $500 total per statement cycle, maintaining a $1,000 minimum daily balance, maintaining a combined balance of at least $2,500 in your deposit accounts within the same statement cycle (or have an HSA or investment account) or if you’re under the age of 24 and opt for eStatements instead of paper. This account also offers cash back rewards with certain purchases, mobile and online banking and bill pay services and a free debit Mastercard. Lastly, since the bank charges account holders various fees for using out-of-network ATMs, you may want to contact customer service to clarify what they are if this is a concern.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Associated Bank, NA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Elite Checking

This account allows you to earn interest on high balances.
Minimum Balance to Earn APYAPY (Standard)APY (Preferred)
$0.01N/A0.01%
$25,000N/A0.06%
$250,000N/A0.10%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25; can be waived if you maintain a combined balance of $10,000 in deposit accounts within the same statement cycle, or have either an HSA or investment account
  • ATM fee: None on Associated Bank and MoneyPass ATMs; various fees for withdrawals and balance inquiries on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

This account allows holders to earn interest on balances of at least $10,000 — however, you’ll have to contact the bank to find out what standard rates are available in your area. This account also comes with mobile and online banking and bill pay services, a free debit Mastercard, free personal and traveler’s checks and cash back rewards on certain purchases.

How to get Associated Bank’s checking accounts

Both of Associated Bank’s checking accounts can be opened online or in person. To do so, you’ll need to be prepared to provide your Social Security number and a government-issued I.D. (e.g. a driver’s license, state I.D. or passport). Account holders under age 18 must have a parent open the account with them as a joint owner.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Associated Bank, NA’s secure website

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How Associated Bank’s checking accounts compare

At first glance, these two accounts don’t beat out those on our list of the best online checking accounts. For starters, one doesn’t earn interest, while the other doesn’t even have its rate readily available — and both have pretty high monthly fees. Neither of these accounts make it particularly easy to avoid the fees, as even $1,000 might be challenging for some people to maintain on the basic checking account. It’s difficult to compare the Elite Checking account to those on our list without knowing the rate you’ll be getting, but the high balance needed to earn it might be a drawback to some.

Associated Bank’s savings account options

Associated Savings

A basic savings account earning a small amount of interest.
Minimum Balance to Earn APYAPY (Standard)APY (Preferred)
$0.010.03%0.05%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5; can be waived (see below)
  • ATM fee: None on Associated Bank and MoneyPass ATMs; various fees for withdrawals and balance inquiries on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

The monthly fee on this account can be waived with a $300 minimum daily balance or at least $25 per month in recurring direct deposits or online banking transfers, or if you are under age 18. This account also comes with free online banking services. Additionally, since the bank charges various fees for using out-of-network ATMs, you may want to contact customer service to clarify what they are if this could be an issue. As a savings account, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain types of withdrawals and transfers to six per month.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Associated Bank, NA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Zero Interest Savings

As the name suggests, this account earns absolutely no interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5; can be waived (see below)
  • ATM fee: None on Associated Bank and MoneyPass ATMs; various fees for withdrawals and balance inquiries on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

This account has a lot of the same requirements as the bank’s other savings account, though it earns absolutely no interest. Its monthly fee can be waived with a minimum daily balance of $300 or at least $25 per month in recurring direct deposits or online banking transfers, or if you are under age 18. As with the bank’s other accounts, Associated Bank charges various ATM fees when you use an out-of-network ATM, so you may want to contact the bank to clarify what they are before using one. As with all savings accounts, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which allows certain types of limits withdrawals and transfers to six per month.

How to get Associated Bank’s savings accounts

Both of the bank’s savings accounts can be opened online or in person. To do so, you’ll need to provide your government-issued ID and Social Security number. Account holders under age 18 must have a parent open the account with them as a joint owner.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Associated Bank, NA’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Associated Bank’s savings accounts compare

Based on interest rates alone, Associated Bank’s savings accounts lose hard to those on our list of the best online savings accounts. Not only that, but these two bare-bones accounts don’t offer anything in the way of perks and additional services. Plus, the only difference between the two accounts appears to be the fact that you can earn interest (albeit a very small amount) on the Associated Savings account, so we don’t know why anyone would opt for the Zero Interest Savings, given the choice. Do yourself a favor and shop around, or consider one of the accounts on our list instead.

Associated Bank’s CD rates

Regular Term CDs

The bank’s standard CDs, requiring a $1,000 opening deposit in exchange for pretty dismal rates.
TermAPY (Standard)APY (Preferred)
3 months0.10%0.10%
6 months0.10%0.10%
9 months0.10%0.10%
12 months0.10%0.15%
18 months0.10%0.26%
24 months0.10%0.28%
30 months0.10%0.30%
36 months0.10%0.35%
48 months0.15%0.40%
60 months0.35%0.60%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms less than 12 months, it’s 90 days’ worth of interest; for terms greater than or equal to 12 months but less than 24 months, it’s 181 days’ worth of interest; for terms greater than or equal to 24 months but less than 36 months, it’s 270 days’ worth of interest; for terms 36 months and longer, it’s 365 days’ worth of interest
The bank’s regular CDs are available in a wide range of terms with a relatively low deposit requirement. Interest is compounded at maturity quarterly, and you can choose to have it transferred to another Associated Bank account or issued by check if your CD balance is $5,000 or more. CD holders have 10 calendar days after maturity to withdraw their funds without penalty; otherwise, the CD term will be automatically renewed.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Associated Bank, NA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Fixed-Rate Add-On CDs

This CD is meant to give you a bit more flexibility.
TermAPY (Standard)APY (Preferred)
12 months0.10%0.15%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 181 days’ worth of interest
This fixed-rate CD requires a lower minimum deposit compared to the bank’s other offerings, and comes with the flexibility of making additional deposits throughout your term. Interest is compounded at maturity quarterly, and you can choose to have it transferred to another Associated Bank account or issued by check if your CD balance is $5,000 or more. CD holders have 10 calendar days after maturity to withdraw their funds without penalty. Otherwise, the CD term will be automatically renewed.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Associated Bank, NA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Special Term CDs

Promotional CDs with a $5,000 minimum opening deposit.
TermAPY (Standard)APY (Preferred)
7 monthsN/A1.55%
13 monthsN/A1.65%
26 monthsN/A1.45%
42 monthsN/A1.45%
61 monthsN/A1.45%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms less than 12 months, it’s 90 days’ worth of interest; for terms greater than or equal to 12 months but less than 24 months, it’s 181 days’ worth of interest; for terms greater than or equal to 24 months but less than 36 months, it’s 270 days’ worth of interest; for terms 36 months and longer, it’s 365 days’ worth of interest

These CDs are available in term lengths of 7, 13, 26, 42 or 61 months; however, you’ll need to contact the bank to find out the rates for these promotional CDs. Interest is compounded at maturity quarterly, and you can choose to have it transferred to another Associated Bank account or issued by check if your CD balance is $5,000 or more. CD holders have 10 calendar days after maturity to withdraw their funds without penalty; otherwise, the CD term will be renewed as follows:

  • the 7 month CD will renew to a 6 month CD
  • the 13 month CD will renew to a 12 month CD
  • the 26 month will renew to a 24 month CD
  • the 42 month will renew to a 36 month CD
  • the 61 month will renew to a 60 month CD

How to get Associated Bank’s CDs

All of Associated Bank’s available CD accounts can be opened in person or online. To do so, you’ll need to be ready to provide your Social Security number and a government-issued ID.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Associated Bank, NA’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Associated Bank’s CD rates compare

Although Associated Bank’s CDs come with a good range of terms and deposit requirements, the rates just don’t stack up against those on our list of the best CD rates. Do your due diligence and shop around for the best product to get the biggest bang for your buck.

Associated Bank’s money market account option

Money Market account

The bank’s money market account offers a less-than-impressive rate.
Minimum Balance to Earn APYAPY (Preffered)APY (Standard)
$0.010.03%0.03%
$10,0000.05%0.05%
$25,0000.05%0.05%
$50,0000.05%0.05%
$150,0000.15%0.05%
$250,0000.35%0.05%
$1,000,0000.10%0.05%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $16; can be waived if minimum balance of $1,000 is maintained
  • ATM fee: None on Associated Bank and MoneyPass ATMs; various fees for withdrawals and balance inquiries on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

This money market account has a pretty high monthly fee, but it can be avoided if you keep the balance at or above the minimum opening deposit. The account also comes with free online banking services, and interest is compounded monthly. Additionally, you may also have the chance to earn a higher rate if you combine this account with an Associated Bank checking account; you’ll have to talk to a bank representative to find out more information.

Since Associated Bank charges various fees for out-of-network ATM usage, you may want to contact customer service to find out what they are before using one. Plus, as a savings account, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D — allows certain types of withdrawals and transfers up to six per month.

How to get Associated Bank’s money market account

Customers can open Associated Bank’s money market account in person or online. You’ll need to have your Social Security number and government-issued ID on hand to do so.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Associated Bank, NA’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Associated Bank’s money market account compares

There are many money market accounts that offer pretty mediocre rates when compared to the competition — and this one is no exception. Not only that, but it doesn’t really come with any perks or features. Consider one of the accounts on our list of the best money market rates instead.

Overall review of Associated Bank’s banking products

Not surprisingly, between sub-par rates and fees aplenty, we wouldn’t rate any of Associated Bank’s personal accounts as must-have products. Take the time to shop around for an account that will earn you a decent interest rate, will let you easily avoid fees, and possibly offer other perks.

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

Emilia Benton
Emilia Benton |

Emilia Benton is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Emilia here

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Reviews

Apple Card Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

The information related to Apple Card and Uber Visa Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Apple aims to redefine credit card usage with the launch of the Apple Card, which debuted in March 2019. In addition to providing a simplified application process and not charging any fees, the Apple Card encourages members to pay less interest and provides special privacy and security features. Customers also receive a percentage of every Apple Card purchase amount in the form of Daily Cash.

Cardholders earn 2% Daily Cash every time they use Apple Card with Apple Pay. 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store and for Apple services, and using Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats and 1% daily cash on store, website or app that doesn't take apple pay.

Daily Cash, which is automatically added to your Apple Cash card in the Wallet app on your iPhone, can be used like cash to make purchases, send money to your bank account, pay down your Apple Card balance and more.

If you have an iPhone 6 or later, you may be eligible for the Apple Card. To apply, simply update your iPhone to iOS 12.4, open the Wallet app and tap the plus (+) sign. Once approved, you can begin using your Apple Card instantly via Apple Pay.

You will also be issued a physical, titanium card to use at locations where Apple Pay is not yet accepted. Purchases made using the titanium Apple Card will earn 1% Daily Cash.

In this review, we’ll break down the pros and cons of the Apple Card as well as show how it compares to the Uber Visa Card.

Where the Apple Card stands out

Rewards rate. The Apple Card offers 2% Daily Cash every time they use Apple Card with Apple Pay. 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store and for Apple services, and using Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats and 1% daily cash on store, website or app that doesn't take apple pay.

No fees. You will not be charged additional fees to use the Apple Card. In addition to a $0 annual fee, the Apple Card comes with a $0 returned payment fee, a $0 late penalty fee (although you will incur interest charges) and no foreign transaction fees.

Smart payment suggestions. To help you make informed decisions when paying your card bill, the Apple Card will estimate the interest charges you will incur (in real time), based on the amount you decide to pay.

Also, the Apple Card offers smart payment suggestions to encourage you to pay down your balance more quickly.

Privacy and security. A unique card number is created on your iPhone for your Apple Card. This means that each purchase made using your iPhone is protected by Face ID or Touch ID authorization, as well as a one-time unique dynamic security code.

Additionally, the issuer of the Apple Card, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, does not share or sell your data to third parties for marketing and advertising purposes.

Additional Apple Card benefits

  • Titanium card for places that don’t accept Apple Pay
  • Ability to contact Apple Card support 24/7 by sending a text from Messages
  • Real-time views of your latest transactions and balance via the Wallet app
  • Weekly and monthly spending summaries

Where the Apple Card falls short

No sign-up bonus. The Apple Card does not come with a sign-up bonus.

Application restrictions. If you’re an Android cellphone user, you’re out of luck. The Apple Card is only available if you have an iPhone 6 or later that runs the latest version of iOS.

How it compares with the Uber Visa Card

If you want to earn bonus cash back in popular spend categories without paying an annual fee, there are other credit cards to consider. The Uber Visa Card, for example, offers 4% back on dining, including UberEats, 3% back on hotel and airfare, 2% back for online purchases, Uber and music streaming services, and 1% on everything else.
Additionally, the card also comes with a $0 annual fee and doesn’t require an iPhone to apply.

See how the Uber Visa Card compares to the Apple Card in the table below.

 Apple CardUber Visa Card
Annual fee$0$0
Sign-up bonusN/AEarn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days.
Rewards
  • 2% Daily Cash every time they use Apple Card with Apple Pay. 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store and for Apple services, and using Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats and 1% daily cash on store, website or app that doesn't take apple pay.

  • 4% back on dining, including UberEats, 3% back on hotel and airfare, 2% back for online purchases, Uber and music streaming services, and 1% on everything else.

Intro APR on purchasesN/AN/A
Regular purchase APR12.99%-23.99% Variable17.74% - 28.49% Variable
Foreign transaction feesNone0% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

Unlike the Apple Card, the Uber Visa Card allows you to earn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days. Additionally, the Uber Visa Card offers a higher cashback rate on dining, hotels and airfare.

That said, the Uber Visa Card offers a slightly lower cashback rate on Uber purchases than the Apple Card: The Uber Visa Card offers 2% back on Uber purchases, compared with 3% with the Apple Card. The caveat is you must pay for your Uber purchases via Apple Pay to earn the 3% rate with the Apple Card.

The bottom line

If you’re an iPhone user who wants to earn cash back on every purchase and take advantage of tools that encourage responsible card usage, the Apple Card is a solid option. However, if prefer a card that comes with a sign-up bonus and a higher rewards rate on dining and travel purchases, the Uber Visa Card is the better choice.

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

Tracy Brackman
Tracy Brackman |

Tracy Brackman is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Tracy here

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Best of, Reviews

The Top 7 Second Chance Bank Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Some banks don’t like giving second chances to customers who have less-than-stellar financial histories, especially since it could expose them to expensive risks. A record of bounced checks or debit card overdrafts could easily lock you out of the conveniences of modern banking.

Fortunately, banks also like making money, and some offer special “second chance” accounts that minimize their risk while allowing consumers to stay in the banking system. A second chance bank account gives customers with troubled records a fresh opportunity to demonstrate they can bank responsibly.

When it comes to a second chance account, fees are an unfortunate reality. But some accounts offer customers a better deal than others, and we’ve researched our database to find the second chance accounts with the most reasonable fee structures, while also factoring in whether they provide online and mobile banking, and how accessible accounts are throughout the country.

Account Name

Monthly Fee

Minimum to open

Availability

Chime$0$0Nationwide
Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking$4.95 $30Nationwide
Radius Essential Checking$0$10Nationwide
Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts$10, can be waived if you meet requirements$25All 39 states (plus Washington D.C.) that has a Wells Fargo location.
BBVA Easy Checking$13.95$25Nationwide, with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii
Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking$9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit; $11.95 without a direct deposit$25Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia
First National Bank and Trust Company Renew Checking $9.95; $7.95 with direct deposit$25Select areas of Wisconsin and Illinois

Second chance account basics

With a second chance bank account, customers shut out of traditional bank accounts get the opportunity to win their way back into a bank’s good graces. Similar to credit bureaus, financial services company ChexSystems maintains records of consumers’ banking histories. Bounced checks, overdrawn accounts or instances of fraud can all end up on your ChexSystems record; if you accumulate enough black marks on ChexSystems, banks could deny your application to open a new account.

Because second chance accounts are meant for customers who have demonstrated bad banking behavior, some lack features of traditional accounts, such as overdraft protection. In the eyes of the bank, you represent too much of a risk for them to extend you such courtesies.

Nobody likes paying fees, and we generally advise consumers to avoid needless banking fees due to the many fee-free banking options available. But fees are the price you pay for access to banking when you have a poor record. Plus, the second chance accounts listed below give you access to online and mobile banking, which is always a plus.

The 7 best second chance bank accounts

1. Chime

Chime

Fintech app developer Chime is not a bank, however their online checking account product is open to everybody no matter how bad your record is with ChexSystems. Chime does not check on applicants with ChexSystems, plus they offer lots of non-traditional features to help you get your financial life back on track. Best of all is the fact that they charge no fees at all, and require neither a minimum opening deposit or a minimum balance.

Chime account features:

  • No opening balance or minimum balance requirements.
  • Set up direct deposit for your paycheck, and the funds from each pay period will be deposited as soon as the transaction is initiated, giving you access to your pay up to two days earlier than conventional checking accounts.
  • Automatic savings features to help you save in your connected Chime Savings account.
  • The app sends you daily bank account balance notifications, and sends transaction alerts every time you use your debit card.
  • You can disable the debit card from the app.
  • Send 15 fee-free “friend transfers” P2P payments each month.
  • Nominal 0.01% APY on all deposits.

Fees to watch out for:

  • Chime’s service is almost entirely fee-free: No monthly charges, no ACH transfer fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM fees if you withdraw funds from MoneyPass or Visa Plus Alliance network ATMs.
  • If you make an ATM withdrawal outside of these networks, there is a $2.50 fee.
  • Overdrafts are not permitted, so there is never an overdraft fee.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Chime’s secure website

Member FDIC

2. Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking

Peoples Bank Cash Solutions

This Texas-based bank offers a second chance bank account that is available nationwide, and so long as you don’t have a record of bank or checking fraud on your record, you should be approved for this account. You’ll need to deposit at least $30 before the bank activates your account and provides you with checks and a debit card.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $4.95 monthly maintenance fee
  • $27.50 overdraft fee
  • $27.50 nonsufficient funds fee
  • $3.95 printed statement fee (which can be avoided with electronic statements)
  • $2.00 ATM withdrawal fee at machines not owned by Peoples Bank
  • $25 stop payment fee
  • $20 account closure fee (if within 90 days of opening account)

LEARN MORE Secured

on Peoples Bank Cash Solutions’s secure website

Member FDIC

3. Radius Essential Checking

Radius Bank

Products from online bank Radius are available to customers nationwide, and accessibility is a strong point in its favor. This second chance bank account only requires customers to deposit $10 to open an Essential Checking account, which is lower than some other accounts on this list.

Account Features:

  • A free debit card
  • 24/7 mobile and online banking
  • Access to Radius’s budgeting and personal finance tracking apps
  • Eligibility to upgrade to Radius’s Reward Checking account after 12 months of positive banking history

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9 monthly maintenance fee
  • $25 per item non-sufficient funds fee (waived on all overdraft items $5 or less)
  • $5 daily overdraft fee

LEARN MORE Secured

on Radius Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

4. Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts

Wells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo’s Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts are tailor-made for folks with a lackluster credit or banking history. With a $25 opening deposit, you’ll get access to a second chance bank account that offers most of the bells and whistles of a traditional bank account. The account does come with a monthly fee, although it’s possible to waive it if you meet a few requirements (see below).

Account features:

  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free transfers are available between Opportunity Checking and Savings accounts
  • You can choose to opt into overdraft protection
  • Free access to bill pay
  • “My Spending Report with Budget Watch” is available if you want to pay extra attention to where your money is going
  • Free debit card with access to more than 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs throughout the country

Fees to watch out for:

  • $10 monthly service fee, waived if any of the following are true:
    • You make 10 posted debit card purchases or payments
    • You keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 in the account
    • You receive $500 total in direct deposits each statement cycle
  • $35 overdraft and returned item fee
  • $12.50 overdraft protection transfer fee
  • $15 fee for excess activity (exceeding withdrawals from your savings account)
  • 3% foreign transaction fee with your debit card
  • $5 for money orders
  • $31 for stop payments

LEARN MORE Secured

on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

5. BBVA Easy Checking

BBVA
BBVA’s Easy Checking product is available as a second chance account to customers in the Lower 48 (sorry, residents of Alaska and Hawaii, you’ll have to look elsewhere). Note that you must open the account at one of the bank’s branch locations, or by phone outside of the branch network footprint; you cannot open this account via their website. There is a $13.95 monthly service charge to maintain the account. You can request that BBVA upgrade your account one of their regular checking products after 12 months — and ditch that high monthly fee — so long as the Easy Checking account remains active and has a positive balance.

BBVA Easy Checking features::

  • Online and mobile banking, customized alerts, and a free debit card (with option to personalize)
  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free BBVA ATM withdrawals

Fees to watch out for:

  • $3 fee for out-of-network ATM withdrawals
  • $38 insufficient funds fee ($32 in California)
  • $15 deposit item returned fee
  • $32 stop payment fee made over the phone or in person ($30 in California); $25 if made online
  • No fee for closing your account within 180 days of opening

LEARN MORE Secured

on BBVA’s secure website

Member FDIC

6. Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking

Woodforest National Bank

This regional bank has a checking account aptly named Second Chance Checking, to help people rejected by other banks access — provided they live in one of the 17 states where a physical branch exists and can meet the $25 minimum opening deposit requirement. Those states are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit (or $11.95 without a direct deposit), $3.00 monthly paper statement fee (which can be avoided if you sign up for electronic statements)
  • $9 one-time account set-up fee
  • $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee when used at a non-Woodforest network ATM
  • $15 debit card set-up fee
  • $29 overdraft fee (for each charge)

LEARN MORE Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

7. First National Bank and Trust Company Renew Checking

First National Bank and Trust Company (WI)

First National Bank and Trust Company’s second chance bank account offering is called Renew Checking. You’re eligible for a new account if you live near the bank’s Beloit, Wisc. headquarters, in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Account Features:

  • No monthly minimum balance
  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free online and mobile banking, bill pay, and e-statements
  • Access to 70,000 no-fee ATMs worldwide through Allpoint and MoneyPass
  • Eligible to upgrade account after twelve months in good standing

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9.95 monthly service fee, or $7.95 with direct deposit
  • $30 early account closure fee (if closed within 90 days of opening)
  • $34.50 overdraft fee
  • $34.50 insufficient funds fee
  • $34.50 stop payment fee

The fee schedule for personal accounts at First National Bank and Trust Company is here.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank And Trust Company (WI)’s secure website

Member FDIC

Alternatives to a second chance bank account

Get a prepaid debit card

Tired of the traditional banking experience? You could opt for a prepaid debit card instead. With a prepaid card, you can load money onto it and spend at merchants that accept major credit and debit cards. But if you try and spend more money than what’s on the card, the transaction is declined — although this prevents you from accruing any overdraft or insufficient funds fees. This is useful if you feel you may still have trouble managing your spending and need an extra layer of security to prevent you from getting into trouble.

Some prepaid cards offer extra perks like advance direct deposit and free ATMs so long as you stay in their network.

Open a secured credit card

You may also have better luck applying for a secured credit card if your credit score is in good enough shape. Usually, this requires depositing cash with the lender, who then gives you the credit card for the same amount. Each month that you make on-time payments, the bank will report that good behavior to the credit bureaus, helping you boost your credit score. At the end of the payment period (generally 12 months, though it varies by banks), you’ll get the full deposit back.

Secured cards can come with high interest rates and many don’t feature the enticing rewards other high-end cards do, but they get the basic job done for consumers who don’t need a card with a high credit limit.

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Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at [email protected]

James Ellis
James Ellis |

James Ellis is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email James here