Bank of the West Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Sunday, November 1, 2020

Bank of the West’s checking account options

Any Deposit Checking

If you make a deposit of any size during the month or if you’re younger than 25, this basic checking account waives the monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fees: None at Bank of the West ATMs; $2.50 at non-Bank of the West ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per transaction

The Bank of the West Any Deposit Checking account offers the standard services for a checking account: online banking, a free debit card and ATM access. It also waives one overdraft or returned item fee per year, upon request. But it does not pay interest.

You can open this account with a deposit of any size. Also, to avoid the $10 monthly maintenance fee, all you have to do is make a deposit of any size during the month. That’s where the name “Any Deposit” comes from. Your deposit could be a direct deposit, mobile deposit, ATM deposit or branch deposit. But transfers from an existing Bank of the West account don’t count.

If you are younger than 25, this account automatically waives the monthly fee even if you don’t make a monthly deposit.

With this account, you can make free withdrawals from any Bank of the West ATM. The bank will charge a $2.50 fee for withdrawals from other banks’ ATMs and won’t refund the ATM owner’s fees.

How to open an Any Deposit Checking account

You can open a Bank of the West Any Deposit Checking account online or by visiting a bank branch. It offers live chat and phone support as you fill out the online application.

These accounts are not available nationwide — only in the 23 states where the bank operates its 600-plus brick-and-mortar locations. At the start of the application process, you’ll be asked to enter your ZIP code to see whether you’re eligible. If you are, you will be asked for your name, address, Social Security number and government-issued ID, plus a way to make your first deposit to open the account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of The West’s secure website

Premier Checking

Comes with a nice mix of benefits, but it’s only worthwhile for those who keep at least $25,000 combined in all Bank of the West accounts.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.01%
$0.01
0.01%
$2,500
0.01%
$10,000
0.01%
$25,000
0.01%
$50,000
0.01%
$100,000
0.01%
$250,000
0.01%
$500,000
0.01%
$1,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: Unlimited rebates on ATM withdrawals worldwide
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per transaction

The Bank of the West Premier Checking account offers a nice mix of benefits. You receive free withdrawals from any ATM in the world. You can also get a once-a-year refund of an overdraft fee or returned item fee, upon request.

When you have this account, you are eligible for interest rate discounts on Bank of the West consumer loans, bonus rates on certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market accounts, and 15 zero-commission trades through BancWest Investment Services. This checking account also pays interest, though the rates are very low.

In exchange, you are required to keep a combined average monthly balance of at least $25,000 in your Bank of the West deposit and investment accounts. If you don’t, this account charges a $25 per month maintenance fee.

How to open a Premier Checking account

You can open a Bank of the West Premier Checking account online or by visiting a bank branch. These accounts are not available nationwide — only in the 23 states where the bank operates its 600-plus brick-and-mortar locations. At the start of the application process, you’ll be asked to enter your ZIP code to see whether you’re eligible.

It offers live chat and phone support as you fill out the online application. If you’re eligible, you will be asked for your name, address, Social Security number and government-issued ID, plus a way to make your first deposit to open the account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of The West’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Bank of the West’s checking accounts compare

The two Bank of the West checking accounts serve two very different markets, but they do a solid job in each. The Any Deposit Checking account is a good choice for someone who lives close to Bank of the West ATMs and wants a simple, free checking option. It’s incredibly easy to avoid the maintenance fee as the only requirement is to make a monthly deposit of any kind and any amount (or if you are younger than 25).

The Premier Checking account offers free worldwide ATM access and adds discounts and bonuses for other services at Bank of the West. It can be a helpful addition for someone who plans on using the other loans, investments or deposit accounts at Bank of the West and plans on keeping a larger amount of money with the bank — at least $25,000 to avoid the maintenance fee.

The big downside of these accounts is their interest rates: Any Deposit Checking doesn’t pay interest, while Premier Checking offers a rate that is next to nothing. If you’d like to earn interest on your money while still receiving similar benefits, these top online checking accounts could be a better alternative.

Bank of the West’s savings account option

Classic Savings

A low-cost savings account that barely pays any interest.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per transaction

While the Bank of the West Classic Savings account pays interest, the rate is incredibly low. And while you only need to make a deposit of at least $25, this account will charge a $5 monthly maintenance fee unless you meet one of the following conditions:

  • Set up Auto-Save to make monthly transfers of at least $25 from a Bank of the West personal checking account.
  • Keep an average monthly balance of at least $300 ($50 in Minnesota) in your savings account.
  • Are 18 or younger.

Since this is a savings account, Federal Reserve Regulation D limits you to six withdrawals from the account per month. Plus, Bank of the West will charge a $15 penalty for each transaction over the limit. This includes debit purchases, bank drafts and online, phone or automatic transfers. But you can make unlimited ATM withdrawals without incurring the penalty.

How to open a Classic Savings account

You can open a Bank of the West Classic Savings account online or by visiting a bank branch. Just as with the bank’s checking accounts, these savings accounts are not available nationwide — only in the 23 states where the bank operates its 600-plus brick-and-mortar locations. At the start of the application process, you’ll be asked to enter your ZIP code to see whether you’re eligible.

It offers live chat and phone support as you fill out the online application. If you’re eligible, you will be asked for your name, address, Social Security number and government-issued ID, plus a way to make your first deposit to open the account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of The West’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Bank of the West’s savings account compares

We are not big fans of the Bank of the West savings account. The interest rate is practically nonexistent and doesn’t increase, even for large deposits.

There are some positives, such as the unlimited ATM withdrawals and a small, easy-to-avoid monthly maintenance fee. But if you’re going to set up a savings account, chances are you want to earn at least some return on your money. These other savings accounts are better options because they are still very low-cost and offer much higher interest rates.

Bank of the West’s CD rates

Flexible-Term CDs

Being able to customize your CD term is an interesting touch, but the interest rates aren’t that impressive.
TermAPY ($1,000 to $9,999)APY ($10,000 to $24,999)APY ($25,000 to $49,999)APY ($50,000 to $99,999)APY ($100,000 and up)
32 to 89 days0.02%
0.02%
0.02%
0.02%
0.02%
90 to 179 days0.02%
0.02%
0.02%
0.02%
0.02%
180 to 364 days0.04%
0.04%
0.04%
0.04%
0.04%
12 to 23 months0.10%
0.10%
0.10%
0.10%
0.10%
24 to 35 months0.15%
0.15%
0.15%
0.15%
0.15%
36 to 47 months0.25%
0.25%
0.25%
0.25%
0.25%
48 to 60 months0.35%
0.35%
0.35%
0.35%
0.35%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: $25, plus 1% of the amount withdrawn for CD terms less than 12 months; $25, plus 3% of the amount withdrawn for CD terms 12 months and longer.

With Bank of the West’s Flexible-Term CDs, you can pick exactly how long you want your CD to last. Most CDs only give you specific options, such as 90 days or 12 months. But with Flexible-Term CDs, you can pick the exact length in days or months so that you can customize them to fit your schedule and needs.

Unfortunately, these CDs do not pay the highest interest rates, and they don’t increase the interest rates for larger deposits.

They also charge an early withdrawal penalty. It’s a flat $25 plus 1% of the amount taken out for terms shorter than 12 months, or 3% of the amount taken out for terms 12 months or longer.

How to open a Flexible-Term CD

You can only open a Bank of the West Flexible-Term CD by visiting a bank branch. They are only available to residents of states where Bank of the West does business. You will need to provide your Social Security number and government-issued ID, plus a way to make your first deposit to open the CD.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of The West’s secure website

Member FDIC

Premium Money Market CD

These certificates have a couple of attractive yields mixed in with mostly low interest rates.
TermAPY ($2,500 to $9,999)APY ($10,000 to $24,999)APY ($25,000 to $49,999)APY ($50,000 to $99,999)APY ($100,000 and up)
91 days0.02%
0.02%
0.02%
0.02%
0.02%
182 days0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
8 months0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
10 months0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
12 months0.08%
0.08%
0.08%
0.08%
0.08%
13 months0.15%
0.15%
1.70%
1.70%
1.70%
14 months0.12%
0.12%
2.50%
2.50%
2.50%
15 months0.12%
0.12%
0.12%
0.12%
0.12%
16 months0.12%
0.12%
0.12%
0.12%
0.12%
18 months0.15%
0.15%
0.15%
0.15%
0.15%
24 months0.20%
0.20%
0.20%
0.20%
0.20%
60 months0.35%
0.35%
0.35%
0.35%
0.35%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: $25, plus 1% of the amount withdrawn for CD terms less than 12 months; $25, plus 3% of the amount withdrawn for CD terms 12 months and longer.

If you’re looking for less flexibility in your CD term, Bank of the West also offers fixed-term Premium Money Market CDs with no customization in the number of days and months. The interest rates on these CDs are similar to the Flexible-Term CDs … and still quite low.

There are a couple of exceptions: The 14-month CD has a promotional rate that is worth considering. To qualify for the promotional rate, you must deposit at least $25,000 and the money must either be new funds to Bank of the West or from the renewal of another 14-month Bank of the West CD for at least $25,000.

The 16-month CD also offers a higher rate than what is available on the longer Bank of the West CDs, even the 60-month CD. You should check the bank’s most-recent rates before signing up. Don’t assume the longest term will have the higher interest rate.

How to open a Premium Money Market CD

You can only open a Bank of the West Premium Money Market CD by visiting a bank branch. They are only available to residents of states where Bank of the West does business. You will need to provide your Social Security number and government-issued ID, plus a way to make your first deposit to open the CD.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of The West’s secure website

Member FDIC

Relationship CD

A slightly better rate on the 12-month CD for applicants with select Bank of the West checking accounts.
TermAPY ($2,500 to $9,999)APY ($10,000 to $24,999)APY ($25,000 to $49,999)APY ($50,000 to $99,999)APY ($100,000 and up)
12 months0.08%
0.08%
0.08%
0.08%
0.08%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: $25, plus 3% of the amount withdrawn

If you have a Bank of the West Premier Checking account, you can sign up for a Relationship CD. It’s a 12-month CD with almost twice the interest rate of Bank of the West’s regular 12-month CD. Still, even with the rate bump, this 12-month CD interest rate is still low.

The Relationship CD requires a minimum deposit of $2,500. It also charges the same early withdrawal penalty as the other CDs.

How to open a Bank of the West Relationship CD

You can only open a Bank of the West Relationship CD by visiting a bank branch. They are only available to residents of states where Bank of the West does business. You will need to provide your Social Security number and a government -issued ID, plus a way to make your first deposit to open the CD.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of The West’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Bank of the West’s CDs compare

Bank of the West’s CDs simply don’t pay a high enough interest rate. Even if you use its Relationship CDs, the rate is still much lower than what you could get from the best CDs in the country.

The rate aside, there are some nice features. You can open the CDs with relatively small deposits, and we like that the early withdrawal penalty is only a percentage of what you take out. That way, withdrawing a small amount will lead to a smaller penalty. With other banks, the penalty is usually the same size regardless of how much you take out.

The ability to choose your CD length on the Flexible-Term product could also be attractive if you have a strict timeline for when you need your money and want a CD that matches exactly that.

Bank of the West’s money market account option

Choice Money Market Savings

Earns some interest and pays more for larger deposits. But still far from a top money market account.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
0.05%
$5,000
0.14%
$10,000
0.15%
$25,000
0.17%
$50,000
0.17%
$100,000
0.20%
$250,000
0.20%
$500,000
0.21%
$1,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per transaction

While a Bank of the West Choice Money Market Savings account pays interest on a balance of any amount, even a penny, the rate nearly triples when that balance is at least $10,000 and continues to increase as you deposit more. It takes a minimum deposit of $100 to open an account.

This money market account charges a $15 per month maintenance fee unless you:

  • Set up monthly deposits of at least $75 through Auto-Save from a Bank of the West checking account.
  • Keep a monthly average balance of at least $5,000 in your Choice Money Market Savings account.
  • Have a Bank of the West Premier Checking account.

Since this is a money market account, Federal Reserve Regulation D limits how often you can take out money. You can only make six transactions or withdrawals out of the account per month. Bank of the West will charge a $15 penalty for each transaction over that limit. This includes debit purchases, bank drafts and online, phone or automatic transfers from the account. But you can make unlimited ATM withdrawals without owing the penalty.

How to open a Choice Money Market Savings account

You can open a Bank of the West Choice Money Market Savings account online or by visiting a bank branch. It offers live chat and phone support as you fill out the online application. At the start of the application, it will ask you to enter your ZIP code to see whether you can open from your location. These accounts are not available nationwide. If you’re eligible, you will need to enter in your name, address, Social Security number and a government-issued ID, plus a way to make your first deposit to open the account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of The West’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Bank of the West’s money market account compares

The Bank of the West money market account is a clear upgrade over its savings account. It pays a higher interest rate, offers the same unlimited ATM withdrawals and only has slightly tougher standards to avoid the monthly maintenance fee.

But even with the upgrades, the Bank of the West money market account is still not that competitive compared to what else is out there. Its interest rate is just too low, even for larger deposits. Take a look at these top money market accounts to see how you could do better versus Bank of the West.

Bank of the West’s IRA account options

Premium Money Market IRA CD

Can be opened with a small deposit, but it unfortunately comes with a low interest rate and an annual fee.
TermAPY
91 days0.02%
182 days0.05%
8 months0.05%
12 months0.08%
18 months0.15%
24 months0.20%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty: $25, plus 1% of the amount withdrawn for CD terms below 12 months; $25, plus 3% of the amount withdrawn for CD terms 12 months and longer.

You can open a Bank of the West Premium Money Market IRA CD with a deposit as small as $100, much less than the $1,000 it takes to open a regular Bank of the West CD. These IRA CDs also pay the same interest rates as the Premium Money Market CDs. But the IRA CDs are only available in terms from 91 days to 24 months.

The IRA CDs charge a $12 per-year fee. They charge the same early withdrawal penalties as the regular CDs for taking money out before the end of the term. If you end up closing the IRA altogether, Bank of the West charges a $25 fee.

How to open a Premium Money Market IRA CD

You can open a Bank of the West Premium Money Market IRA CD by visiting a bank branch. You cannot open these CDs online or by phone, and they are only available in states where Bank of the West does business. You will need to provide your Social Security number and government ID, plus a way to make your first deposit to open the CD.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of The West’s secure website

Member FDIC

Flexible IRA CD

The “flexible” is that these IRA CDs let you pick the number of months for your term. They have low deposit requirements — but also low interest rates.
TermAPY
12 to 23 months0.10%
24 to 35 months0.15%
48 to 60 months0.35%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty: $25, plus 3% of the amount withdrawn for CD terms 12 months and longer.

The Bank of the West Flexible IRA CD lets you pick the number of months your IRA CD will last. The interest rate will fit whatever range you pick in. For example, you could pick an IRA CD that lasts anywhere from 12 months to 23 months and get the same interest rate.

You can open a Bank of the West Flexible IRA CD with a deposit as small as $100. These IRA CDs pay a low interest rate. They also charge a $12 annual fee, which can wipe out a fair amount of your earnings, especially on small balances.

The IRA CDs charge the same early withdrawal penalties as the regular CDs for taking money out before the end of the term. If you end up closing the IRA altogether, Bank of the West charges a $25 fee.

How to open a Flexible IRA CD

You can open a Bank of the West Flexible IRA CD by visiting a bank branch. You cannot open these CDs online or by phone, and they are only available in states where Bank of the West does business. You will need to provide your Social Security number and a government-issued ID, plus a way to make your first deposit to open the CD.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of The West’s secure website

Member FDIC

IRA Add-On CD

A 12-month IRA CD that lets you add more money before the end of the term.
TermAPY
12 months0.08%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty: $25, plus 3% of the amount withdrawn for CD terms 12 months and longer.

With most IRA CDs, once you make the deposit to set things up, you can’t add more money until the end of the term. The Bank of the West IRA Add-On CD lets you make additional deposits before the term ends. Each additional deposit must be at least $100. This CD is only available as a 12-month term.

The Add-On CD charges a $12 annual fee. The Add-On CDs charge the same early withdrawal penalties as the regular CDs for taking money out before the end of the term. If you end up closing the IRA altogether, Bank of the West charges a $25 fee.

How to open an Add-On IRA CD

You can open a Bank of the West Add-On IRA CD by visiting a bank branch. You cannot open these CDs online or by phone, and they are only available in states where Bank of the West does business. You will need to provide your Social Security number and a government-issued ID, plus a way to make your first deposit to open the CD.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Bank Of The West’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Bank of the West IRA CDs compare

Bank of the West’s IRA CDs have the same problem as its regular CDs: interest rates are too low. While Bank of the West offers a nice variety of terms, you won’t be earning much, no matter what level you pick. The IRA CDs don’t have the Relationship CD rates so they earn even less than the normal Bank of the West CDs.

You have to be careful with making a small deposit, too. While you can open a Bank of the West IRA CD with a deposit as low as $100, making such a small deposit doesn’t make sense because of the $12 annual fee. The interest rates are so low that whatever you’d earn would most likely get wiped out — and more — by the fee. You might think you’re building retirement savings, but chances are you’d be losing money.

Other IRA CDs found elsewhere require a larger initial deposit — of at least $500 — but will pay you a much higher return on your money. You’re better off waiting until you can open one of these rather than accepting a $100 IRA CD with Bank of the West, which would get wiped out by the annual fee.

Overall review of Bank of the West’s banking products

The Bank of the West deposit accounts are all straightforward, have reasonable deposit requirements and make it easy to avoid monthly maintenance fees. But if there’s a common issue among them all, it’s that the accounts just do not earn enough interest.

Its money market account is OK but doesn’t pay enough, while its savings account is not worth opening because of its near-zero rate. With the IRA CDs, any interest earnings are partly canceled out by the $12 annual fee. Even the Bank of the West CDs with relationship rates are not competitive with other top options on the market.

The best offerings at Bank of the West are its checking accounts, partly because with checking, the interest rate is less important versus having low fees and easy access to your money. The Bank of the West checking accounts do a good job in this area, which could make a decent option if you live close to Bank of the West ATMs.

The other Bank of the West deposit accounts could be worth a look if you plan on using the other services, such as a mortgage or investment account. That way, you handle all your banking in one place. Still, you’d be giving up a lot of earning power for the convenience. If you want the very best deposit account for your money, you should look somewhere else.