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

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Updated on Sunday, November 1, 2020

Brookline Bank’s checking account options

AccessOne Checking

AccessOne Checking is Brookline Bank’s entry-level checking account, with few requirements and a handful of basic amenities.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $2 at non-Brookline Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to six times per day; $7.50 with overdraft protection transfer from a savings or money market

Those looking to just get a foot in the door at Brookline Bank might want to start with the AccessOne Checking account. It has no minimum balance requirements and no monthly account fees. Standard features with the account include the following:

  • Unlimited check writing
  • Free online and mobile banking
  • Free bill pay
  • Free MasterCard debit card
  • An Access Savings account
  • Free eStatements

AccessOne Checking also offers free ATM withdrawals, although non-Brookline withdrawals incur a fee. The overdraft fee on this account is high, but it can be reduced dramatically by signing up for overdraft protection transfers from a savings or money market account. No interest is paid on this account.

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AccessPlus Checking

AccessPlus Checking is the middle tier checking account at Brookline Bank, offering additional services but charging a (waivable) monthly maintenance fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $16.50; $0 with a $5,000 balance or direct deposit
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to six times per day; $0 with overdraft protection transfer from savings or money market

AccessPlus Checking, as the name implies, offers a little bit more than the basic AccessOne Checking account at Brookline Bank. The major negative of the account is the high monthly maintenance fee. However, this can be waived by meeting minimum balance or direct deposit requirements.

In exchange for this potential fee, account holders benefit in two primary ways. First, there are no ATM fees with this account when you use an in-network ATM. Second, overdraft transfer fees from a backup account are free of charge.

Unfortunately, this account does not pay interest.

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PremierAccess Checking

Brookline Bank’s PremierAccess Checking is the bank’s top-of-the-line checking account, and the only one that pays interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $35; $0 for Signature Business Banking customers or combined balances of at least $50,000
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM refund: Unlimited
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to six times per day; $0 with overdraft protection transfer from savings or money market

PremierAccess Checking is a fantastic, feature-packed checking account. However, it costs a pretty penny unless you’ve got tens of thousands of dollars you can keep as a maintaining balance. Those willing to pay the enormous monthly fee, or who meet the requirements to have that fee waived, will enjoy the following perks:

  • Unlimited free use of any ATM across the U.S., including rebates on fees charged by other banks
  • A waiver of most service fees, including those for stop payments and wire transfers
  • Free standard checks and reorders
  • Interest on balance above $100
  • Free overdraft transfers

These features are added to those already offered by other checking accounts at Brookline, including a free Access Savings account and free online and mobile banking. Customers that regularly trigger overdrafts or send wire transfers may find the account saves them money even if they have to pay the monthly fee, due to the generous waivers of service charges that come with the account. Contact the bank for up-to-date rate information.

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18/65 Checking

Brookline Bank’s 18/65 Checking account is simply the basic AccessOne account packaged for younger or older customers.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $5; $0 with overdraft protection transfer from savings or money market

Customers who are 18 and younger or 65 and older can open a special version of the bank’s AccessOne Checking account with reduced or waived fees. Like the AccessOne Checking account, the 18/65 Checking account does not a monthly maintenance fee.One difference is the overdraft fee — it’s significantly lower. Otherwise, the 18/65 account is the same as the standard AccessOne Checking account.

How to get Brookline Bank’s checking accounts

As mentioned above, Brookline Bank doesn’t allow customers to open accounts online. To get any of the bank’s checking accounts, you’ll need to visit a branch and bring alone two forms of ID, such as your driver’s license and passport.

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How Brookline Bank’s checking accounts compare

Brookline Bank’s checking accounts are a mixed bag. Those looking for a simple, entry-level checking account can find it in the AccessOne Checking account. But they are likely to be deterred by the high monthly fee, or the high required deposit to avoid the fee. Those 18 or younger or 65 and older, however, can access the similar 18/65 Checking account.

Customers searching for premium checking account services may consider the PremierAccess Checking account. However, because the fee on that account is astronomical, and it requires a massive balance or a Signature Banking relationship to waive, we’d suggest consulting MagnifyMoney’s list of the best rates for checking accounts available nationally.

Brookline Bank’s savings account options

Statement Savings

Statement Savings is Brookline Bank’s basic, stand-alone savings account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3; $0 with $250 daily minimum balance
  • ATM fee: $0; $2 at non-Brookline Bank ATMs (waived with PremierAccess or AccessPlus Checking account)
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to six times per day; $7.50 with overdraft protection transfer from savings or money market

Statement Savings is a traditional savings account that doesn’t require any additional banking relationship at Brookline Bank. The small monthly maintenance fee can be waived with a small maintaining balance. The high overdraft fee can be minimized with a backup account for transfers.Your funds can be accessed online, by phone, or by ATM. As a savings account, you are limited up to six certain transactions per month, per federal Regulation D. Transactions in excess of this limit will be assessed a $15 per-item fee by Brookline Bank.

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Access Savings

Access Savings doesn’t carry a monthly fee, but it does require a complementary checking account at Brookline Bank.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $2 at non-Brookline Bank ATMs (waived with PremierAccess or AccessPlus Checking account)
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to six times per day; $7.50 with overdraft protection transfer from savings or money market
Access Savings is essentially the same as Brookline’s Statement Savings account, but with a few tweaks. This account requires a tie-up with a PremierAccess Checking or an AccessPlus Checking account; in exchange, there is no monthly fee for this account. These accounts carry the same ATM and overdraft fee structure.

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18/65 Savings

The 18/65 Savings option is a variation of the Statement Savings account for those 18 or younger or 65 or older.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $2 at non-Brookline Bank ATMs (waived with PremierAccess or AccessPlus Checking account)
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5; $0 with overdraft protection from savings or money market account

As with the 18/65 Checking account, the 18/65 Savings accounts are for customers who are 18 or younger or 65 or older. The accounts are essentially special versions of the bank’s Statement Savings account, but with reduced or waived fees. The 18/65 Savings accounts charge no monthly maintenance fee, and the overdraft fee is significantly lower. Otherwise, the 18/65 accounts are the same as standard Statement Savings accounts.

How to get Brookline Bank’s savings accounts

As mentioned above, Brookline Bank doesn’t allow customers to open accounts online. To get a Brookline Savings account, you’ll have to visit a branch with two forms of identification, such as a passport, state ID, or driver’s license.

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How Brookline Bank’s savings account compares

Brookline Bank offers a fairly pedestrian roster of savings account options, and the top tier savings account, Access Savings, requires a tie-up with a fee-based checking account at the bank. You may find a more suitable option on MagnifyMoney’s list of the best available savings rates nationwide.

Brookline Bank’s CD account options

Regular CDs

Brookline Bank doesn’t publish its regular CD rates on its website — consult the bank for more information.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest for terms of one year or less; 180 days’ interest for terms of longer than one year

Brookline Bank has a limited number of CD terms available. Minimums are fairly low, and the early withdrawal penalty is standard compared with other banks. Brookline Bank CDs auto-renew at maturity into the same term CD at then-current rates. Customers have a 10-day grace period in which to withdraw funds penalty-free before the CD auto-renews.

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CD Specials

Brookline’s CD Specials pay the bank’s highest rates.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
13 months1.80%$5,000
18 months1.85%$5,000
24 months1.85%$5,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 180 days’ interest

Brookline Bank offers a limited run of special CDs, with maturities of 13 months, 18 months, and 24 months. Minimums are much higher than with the bank’s regular CDs, but so are the rates — though they are subject to change at any time. Since the CD Specials are the highest rates the bank pays, they are published on the Brookline website. CD Specials auto-renew, but only into regular CDs; there is no auto-renewal into a new CD Special. As with regular CDs, Special CDs carry a 10-day grace period before auto-renewal.

How to get Brookline Bank’s CDs

As mentioned above, Brookline Bank doesn’t allow customers to open accounts online. To get any of the bank’s CDs, you’ll need to visit a branch and bring along two forms of identification, such as a driver’s license, state ID, or passport.

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How Brookline Bank’s CD rates compare

Those looking for high CD yields should check out Brookline Bank’s CD Specials. For each maturity, rates are about double the national average, and within spitting distance of the best national CD rates.

Brookline Bank’s money market account options

Access Money Market

The Access Money Market account is Brookline Bank’s stand-alone, traditional money market account — however, the rates are not available on their website, so you’ll need to consult the bank for more information.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8; $0 with $2,500 deposit
  • ATM fee: $0; $2 at non-Brookline Bank ATMs (waived with PremierAccess or AccessPlus Checking account)
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to six times per day; $7.50 with overdraft protection transfer from savings or money market

Brookline’s Access Money Market account has a moderate fee, but a daily average balance that is equal to most other banks’ minimum required balance is enough to waive the fee. There is no relationship requirement to open this money market account, unlike Brookline’s PremierAccess Money Market account.

The account offers fee-free access to Brookline Bank ATMs, but out-of-network ATM withdrawals incur a fee. Certain withdrawals are limited to six per month; additional withdrawals trigger a $15 fee per occurrence.

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PremierAccess Money Market

Brookline Bank’s top-of-the-line money market account requires a complementary PremierAccess or AccessPlus Checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to six times per day; $7.50 with overdraft protection transfer from savings or money market

The PremierAccess Money Market has a higher minimum opening deposit than the Access Money Market account, but it carries no monthly fee. The fee is waived because you must have to open a PremierAccess Checking or AccessPlus Checking account to open the PremierAcess Money Market account.

Brookline Bank doesn’t charge for withdrawals made at non-network ATMs with this account, but it doesn’t refund fees that might be charged by other banks. As with all of the bank’s savings and money market accounts, certain withdrawals, such as pre-authorized, check, or telephone transfers, are limited to six per month. Brookline Bank will charge a $15 fee for each additional transactions.

How to get Brookline Bank’s money market accounts

As mentioned above, all Brookline Bank accounts must be opened in a branch. You cannot open a Brookline money market account online. You’ll need to bring two forms of identification to open an account, such as a passport and a driver’s license or a state ID.

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How Brookline Bank’s money market accounts compare

Brookline Bank offers two distinct money market accounts, which is not that common among its competitors. The basic Access Money Market account provides standard features, but those looking for more of everything from a money market account might prefer the PremierAccess Money Market account, with no monthly maintenance fee or ATM fees — however, you’ll need a complementary checking account to qualify. You can access rate information by contacting the bank and comparing current yields with the best available money market rates nationwide.

Brookline Bank’s IRA account options

IRA CDs

Brookline Bank’s IRA CD rates do not appear on the bank’s website. You’ll have to call or visit a branch to get current rates.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 ($2,500 for 6 months)
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000 ($2,500 for 6 months)
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest for terms of one year or less; 180 days’ interest for terms of longer than one year

Brookline Bank’s IRA CDs offer a limited number of maturities. As with the bank’s non-IRA CDs, minimums are fairly low, and the early withdrawal penalty is standard compared with other banks.

The auto-renewal policy is the same as with the bank’s non-IRA CDs as well: Brookline Bank IRA CDs auto-renew at maturity into the same term CD at then-current rates. Customers have a grace period of 10 days in which to withdraw funds penalty-free before the IRA CD auto-renews.

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IRA CD Specials

Those looking for the best CD rates in their IRA will want to check out Brookline Bank’s IRA CD Specials.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
13 months1.80%$5,000
18 months1.85%$5,000
24 months1.85%$5,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 180 days’ interest

Brookline Bank’s IRA CD specials are the same as the bank’s non-IRA versions. Maturities are limited to 13 months, 18 months, and 24 months, although terms and rates are subject to change at any time. Minimums are five times the minimums with the bank’s regular IRA CDs, but the rates are much higher. Unlike the bank’s regular IRA CDs, you can find Brookline Bank’s IRA CD Specials on the bank’s website.

How to get Brookline Bank’s IRA accounts

As mentioned above, all Brookline Bank accounts must be opened in a branch with two forms of identification, such as a state ID, passport, or driver’s license. You cannot open a Brookline Bank money market account online.

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How Brookline Bank’s IRA accounts compare

Brookline Bank’s IRA CD Specials are competitive, paying roughly double the national average. Although options are limited, the special rates are competitive with the best available national IRA CD rates, with only slightly better rates available elsewhere.

Overall review of Brookline Bank’s products

Brookline Bank has a wide range of products designed to suit the needs of nearly any type of customer. With such a diverse product line, it’s inevitable that some accounts are better than others.In the checking account arena, Brookline Bank offers everything from a standard no-fee account to a top-of-the-line account that pays among the best interest rates in the nation. However, a significant banking relationship is required to overcome the correspondingly high monthly fee.

The bank’s best money market account, the PremierAccess Money Market, requires a banking relationship but pays rates well-above average.

Savings accounts overall are a bit lackluster, as are the bank’s regular CDs, but the CD specials offer some fantastic rates. Customers willing to pick and choose their accounts at Brookline Bank can find some gems among the more common offerings.