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

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Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Banner Bank’s checking account options

GoodStart

This is Banner Bank’s most basic-level checking account, but you’ll have to pay for it if you don’t use it.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3, unless you have at least one debit card transaction or deposit into the account.
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, up to four times daily, but only if your balance is overdrawn by $5 or more at the end of the day. Alternatively, you can link up a backup account for overdraft protection and only pay $9 per day that any overdraft transfers occur.

Banner Bank offers four different checking accounts to choose from, but we’re honestly not really sure why most people would want to open this account — the next account on the list (the Connected Checking account) offers all of the same features of this account, and more, without the monthly maintenance fee. Students can open this checking account, however, as long as they have a parent or guardian as a co-owner on the account.

You can use any Banner Bank ATM with this account — but given that there’s only around 200 or so Banner Bank branches, this means that the ATM network will be relatively restricted, so it’s not a great choice if you use ATMs frequently. It’s also not a good choice if you want any sort of interest payments or rewards with your checking account, since this bank account offers neither of those things.

How to get Banner Bank’s GoodStart account

Banner Bank offers two options for applying for an account. You can apply at a local branch, or apply online. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number and a government-issued ID.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Banner Bank’s secure website

Connected Checking

This is the only checking account at Banner Bank that doesn’t carry any monthly fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: Banner Bank refunds all ATM surcharge fees from out-of-network ATMs.
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, up to four times daily, but only if your balance is overdrawn by $5 or more at the end of the day. Alternatively, you can link up a backup account for overdraft protection and only pay $9 per day that any overdraft transfers occur.

This account would be better for people who use ATMs more frequently and don’t want the hassle of meeting certain requirements each month to get the monthly fee waived with the more premium-level checking accounts. That’s because this checking account is the only one at Banner Bank not to carry any monthly fee, and it refunds any ATM surcharge fees that another ATM’s owner charges for using an out-of-network ATM.

This account also doesn’t offer any interest or rewards, but if you’re over age 65, though, you can get free basic checks with this account (you’ll just have to pay shipping and handling) or half off personalized checks.

How to get Banner Bank’s Connected Checking account

You’ll need to be at least 18 years old and a resident of California, Idaho, Oregon or Washington state to qualify for this account. You can open it up online or in person as long as you also have a government-issued ID and a Social Security number.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Banner Bank’s secure website

Rewards Plus Checking

This account offers an unspecified interest rate.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7, unless you keep at least $1,500 in your account or $10,000 between your checking and savings account.
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: Banner Bank refunds all ATM surcharge fees from out-of-network ATMs.
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, up to four times daily, but only if your balance is overdrawn by $5 or more at the end of the day. Alternatively, you can link up a backup account for overdraft protection and only pay $9 per day that any overdraft transfers occur.

Banner Bank offers two checking accounts with unspecified interest rates; this account is the cheaper one of the two. You’ll have to pay $7 per month, unless you keep at least $10,000 between your Banner Bank checking and savings accounts, or $1,500 in this checking account. That means you’ll need to keep a careful eye on your balances each month to make sure you don’t go under these limits.

In order to obtain the interest rate, please contact the bank. This account also offers a rewards program. Each time you make a debit card purchase, you’ll get a flat $0.05 back. These rewards will be tallied up and deposited into your account once per month.

You can also receive free check images with your paper statements (normally another $2 monthly fee). Seniors are also eligible for free basic checks (just pay shipping and handling) or half off personalized check styles.

How to get Banner Bank’s Rewards Plus Checking account

If you’re at least 18 years old and live in California, Idaho, Oregon or Washington state, you are eligible to open this account online or in person at a branch. You’ll need to bring your government-issued ID with you, and provide your Social Security number.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Banner Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Banner’s Best Checking

This interest-bearing account also offers an unspecified amount of interest on unspecified tiers.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12, unless you meet the requirements to have the fee waived.
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: Banner Bank refunds all ATM surcharge fees from out-of-network ATMs.
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, up to four times daily, but only if your balance is overdrawn by $5 or more at the end of the day. Alternatively, you can link up a backup account for overdraft protection and only pay $9 per day that any overdraft transfers occur.

Banner Bank might not disclose the rates for this account, but we can only hope they’re better than the Rewards Plus checking account’s ones — otherwise, these accounts are quite similar, except for the higher fee that comes with this Banner’s Best Checking account. Contact the bank to obtain the current interest rate.

This account also comes with a rewards program ($0.05 back for each debit card purchase you make, deposited monthly into your account). There are also three ways in which you can get the monthly fee waived:

  • Keep a minimum daily balance of at least $5,000 in your account
  • Keep an average daily balance of at least $10,000 in your account
  • Keep at least $25,000 between your Banner Bank checking and savings accounts

There are other offhand perks with this account as well, including:

  • A 0.25% rate boost on CDs
  • A 0.25% rate reduction on Banner Bank loans (not including mortgages or credit cards)
  • Free basic checks or half off personalized checks
  • Free money orders and cashier’s checks
  • Half off safe deposit box rentals
  • Free check images with paper statements

How to get Banner Bank’s Banner’s Best Checking account

You’ll need to be at least 18 years old to apply for this account, and reside at an address within the applicable states (California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington state). You can open the account online or in person at a branch, and you’ll need to provide your Social Security number and a government-issued ID to prove your identity.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Banner Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Banner Bank’s checking accounts compare

Despite the friendly, hometown-bank image Banner Bank attempts to put out, we think these accounts just aren’t very good.

First, all the accounts, except for one, come with high monthly fees. Second, the bank isn’t transparent — it doesn’t even disclose what the interest rates are. These are key pieces of information to know when assessing whether this account is right for you or not.

If you’d rather do your business with an institution that’s more upfront with information, offers high interest rates and low fees, consider one of these online checking accounts instead. These banks and credit unions are our current top picks.

Banner Bank’s savings account options

Connected Savings

This basic-level account is best for people who aren’t able to keep a large balance in their accounts.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3, unless you meet the requirements to have the fee waived.
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, up to four times daily, but only if your balance is overdrawn by $5 or more at the end of the day. Alternatively, you can link up a backup account for overdraft protection and only pay $9 per day that any overdraft transfers occur.

If you’re just looking to get your savings started and don’t have much yet, this is probably the best account for you at Banner Bank. It has the lowest monthly fee of any of its savings or money market accounts, and it also has the easiest requirements to waive the fee. You can get the monthly fee waived in one of three ways:

  • Be under age 18
  • Keep at least $100 in the account
  • Set up a monthly automatic transfer of at least $25 from your checking account

Like all savings and money market accounts, this account is governed by federal Regulation D rules — that means that you’re allowed up to six certain withdrawals per month. Any withdrawals after that will cost you a $5 fee from the bank; however, ATM and in-person withdrawals don’t count towards this limit.

How to get Banner Bank’s Connected Savings account

You can apply for this account online or at a Banner Bank branch. You’ll need to have a California, Idaho, Oregon or Washington state address, a Social Security number, and a valid government-issued ID.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Banner Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Banner’s Best Savings

This more premium-level savings account offers tiered interest rates, but requires a much larger balance amount.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, unless you keep at least $5,000 in the account.
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, up to four times daily, but only if your balance is overdrawn by $5 or more at the end of the day. Alternatively, you can link up a backup account for overdraft protection and only pay $9 per day that any overdraft transfers occur.

If you’ve got a bit more money to save and want to earn higher interest rates, you can do so with this account. Be sure to contact the bank for up-to-date rate information. It’s a good idea to keep at least $5,000 in the account, otherwise you will end up owing a $10 monthly fee. This makes it inconvenient if you’re saving for a single purchase (or even if a big emergency comes along), because you won’t be able to liquidate the account without paying monthly fees thereafter. Rather, it’s better for non-specified savings that you just want to keep on hand while still having access to it at anytime.

Speaking of access, you only get to make up to six certain withdrawals per month from this account due to federal rules. If you make any withdrawals beyond that limit, you’ll have to pay a $5 per-withdrawal fee. You can make an unlimited number of ATM and in-person withdrawals at a branch, however.

How to get Banner Bank’s Banner’s Best Savings account

If you have a Social Security number, a valid ID, and live in California, Idaho, Oregon or Washington state, you’re eligible to open an account. You can apply for this account online or at a local branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Banner Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Banner Bank’s savings accounts compare

Since we can’t comment on the rates that Banner Bank offers, we’ll instead discuss what good rates are so that you’re prepared if you decide to contact Banner Bank directly for this information.

Generally, the best online savings accounts are offering interest rates above 2.00% APY. Most of these accounts come with low — or no — fees, unlike Banner Bank’s savings accounts. You can also apply for these savings accounts no matter where you live — something else Banner Bank doesn’t allow.

Unless this bank is currently offering stellar interest rates, we’d instead give these savings accounts a hard pass — it’s just too easy to find better (and free) savings accounts elsewhere.

Banner Bank’s CDs

CDs

These are pretty standard CDs.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500 for a three-month CD; $2,500 for all other CD term lengths.
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500 for a three-month CD; $2,500 for all other CD term lengths.
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Banner Bank does not disclose this information.

If you’re looking to max out your interest rates at Banner Bank — whatever those rates might be — this is your best option. You can open these CDs with term lengths that range from seven days all the way out to 10 years — longer than the five-year terms that most banks offer. Contact the bank for rate information.

When the CDs mature, they will automatically renew for another term. You will get a brief 10-day grace period to withdraw your money, deposit more, or change the terms of your CD without having to pay any early withdrawal penalties.

How to get Banner Bank’s CDs

You can open one of Banner Bank’s CDs by visiting a local branch, or by applying for an account online. Heads-up, though: You’ll need to show your government-issued ID and provide a Social Security number on your application, and be a resident of the applicable states (California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington state).

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Banner Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Banner Bank’s CDs compare

Banner Bank offers pretty standard rules for its CDs. You can’t withdraw money without paying a penalty unless you withdraw it after the CD matures during the 10-day grace period, for example. It also does offer term lengths up to 10 years, which is fairly generous for a bank.

We’re not sure what the rates being offered on these CDs are, since Banner Bank doesn’t publish this information online. If you’re interested in opening a CD, we recommend calling up the bank to find out what the latest rates are. But if you are looking for the best rates out there right now, these CDs are our top picks.

Banner Bank’s money market account option

Money Market

This account really isn’t much different from the Banner’s Best Savings account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, unless you keep at least $1,000 in the account.
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, up to four times daily, but only if your balance is overdrawn by $5 or more at the end of the day. Alternatively, you can link up a backup account for overdraft protection and only pay $9 per day that any overdraft transfers occur.

This account is sort of like Baby Bear’s bed in the Goldilocks fairy tale. It has a higher monthly fee and minimum opening balance requirement than Banner Bank’s Connected Savings account. But you only need to keep $1,000 in the account, rather than $5,000, to avoid the $10 monthly fee as compared to the Banner’s Best Savings account — presumably, it also offers medium-level interest rates as well. Contact the bank for up-to-date rate information. It’s sort of a middle-ground account.

You can make as many ATM and in-person withdrawals as you want with this account. However, other withdrawal types are allowed up to six per month, per federal Regulation D rules, and any withdrawals past that will cost you $5 each from the bank. This account also comes with the ability to write checks.

How to get Banner Bank’s Money Market account

Even if Banner Bank isn’t very transparent, at least they make opening an account easy. You can do it online or at a branch, as long as you have a valid ID and a Social Security number, and reside in the the applicable states (California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington state).

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Banner Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Banner Bank’s money market account compares

Given the lack of rate information that Banner Bank provides, we can’t speculate on the interest rates that the account offers — but we can tell you that these online money market accounts offer high rates, however.

Once again, we’re struck by the amount of fees that come with this account. $10 per month seems like a silly amount to pay (even if you can get it waived by keeping at least $1,000 in the account), especially when depositing money with a bank helps its bottom line (it then uses that money to make loans, and earn interest for itself). That’s another reason why we suggest avoiding this account.

Banner Bank’s IRA account options

IRA CDs

These IRA CDs are the same as its regular CDs, just opened up within a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500 for a three-month CD, and $2,500 for all other CD term lengths.
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500 for a three-month CD, and $2,500 for all other CD term lengths.
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Banner Bank does not disclose this information.

Banner Bank’s CDs are the highest-earning accounts offered at the bank. If you want to take that good mojo and use it towards your retirement savings, you can do so by opening an IRA CD instead. Banner Bank currently allows you to open an IRA CD within a Traditional IRA or a Roth IRA, depending on what’s best for your financial situation.

The IRS imposes its own set of penalties for withdrawing money early from an IRA, but you may also face Banner Bank-specific penalties as well. The good news is that you get a 10-day grace period after each CD renews — it’ll automatically renew itself after it matures — to withdraw the money or roll it over into another IRA account without having to pay any Banner Bank penalties.

How to get Banner Bank’s IRA CDs

If you’re interested in opening an IRA CD, you’ll need to visit a local branch. Banner Bank does not support online applications for its IRA CDs, unfortunately.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Banner Bank’s secure website

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How Banner Bank’s IRA CDs compare

Unfortunately, we can’t give you an assessment of how Banner Bank’s IRA CD rates stack up against its competitors, since the bank does not publish this information online. But if you are looking for the highest IRA CD rates possible, we suggest one of these IRA CD accounts instead.

One thing that we do like about Banner Bank’s IRA CDs is that it offers terms up to 10 years in length. That’s hugely beneficial for long-term investments like retirement savings, because generally the longest-term accounts are also the ones that offer the highest interest rates.

But before you go scrambling to put your retirement savings in one of these IRA CDs, we again recommend calling up the bank to find out if the rates really are better than what you can get elsewhere. After all, your future self will thank you for scoping out the highest returns possible now, while you’re younger.

Overall review of Banner Bank’s banking products

Despite the awards that Banner Bank touts for excellent customer service, we’re not impressed with this bank.

First, each of its accounts comes with high fees, even its savings accounts. You’re doing the bank a favor when you give them money, so there shouldn’t be any fee to save money with the bank. Sure, you can get around the fee by keeping a certain amount of money on deposit, but if you’re saving for something specific, like a vacation or a new car (and many of us are), this means you can’t liquidate the account when you’ve reached your goal — that defeats the entire purpose of the savings account.

Second, this is one of the least-transparent banks we’ve ever seen. We had to clarify many points about how these accounts work with the bank itself, because its website provides virtually no information in many cases. For example, its IRA webpage doesn’t even tell you what the product is. Is it an IRA savings account? An IRA CD? There was no way to know the answer to this — and many more — questions without contacting the bank itself.

If you’re interested in rates (and we assume you are, if you’re reading this article), you’ll also need to contact the bank directly for this information. We’re not a fan of this approach — aside from it being very inconvenient, it has the potential to put you in a high-pressure sales situation where you might be more likely to say yes to a sub-par banking product if a rep tries to sell you on opening an account.

Because of these two factors, we suggest passing on Banner Bank. You can find many other banks out there that are more transparent, (probably) offer better interest rates, and charge fewer fees.

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