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College Students and Recent Grads, Reviews

Discover it® Student Cash Back: Earn Cash Back and Build Credit

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

If you are a student, a credit card can be a great way to build your credit score. It can also be a useful tool when shopping online or renting a car. But credit cards also come with a temptation — to spend too much. We recommend getting a student credit card as long as: (a) there is no annual fee, and (b) you have the self-discipline to pay your statement balance in full every month and use the card wisely.

Discover it is one of our favorite credit cards for students — largely because it charges no annual fee, offers generous cash back and rewards the right behavior. There are some other nice perks — like a free FICO® score. The Discover it® Student Cash Back card is featured as one of our recommendations for best student credit cards of November 2018.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

APPLY NOW Secured

on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Annual fee
$0
Regular APR
14.99% - 23.99% Variable
Credit required
fair-credit
Fair Credit

What We Like About the Discover it® Student Cash Back

You can easily build your credit history and score.

This credit card reports to all three credit bureaus, which will help you establish credit and improve your score with wise use over time. Our tip: never use more than 10%-20% of the available credit, so you keep your utilization low. Pay your bill on time every month (ideally, automate the payment). By the time you graduate, you should have an excellent score.

 $0 annual fee.

We believe that you should be able to build your credit score without paying an annual fee. Fortunately, Discover does not charge an annual fee on its student cards. Discover does not charge an annual fee on any of its cards.

You will be able to see your FICO® score for free.

It is getting much easier to get your credit score for free — you do not need to take out a credit card to have access. However, we do like that you will be able to see your FICO® score on your statement and online. This will help you keep tabs on your credit as you learn about it and (hopefully) see it increase over time. Having a good credit score when you graduate can be very helpful – especially if you want an auto loan, mortgage or apartment.

Monitor Your Social Security Number for free.

Discover will monitor your Social Security Number and alert you if they find your Social Security Number on any of thousands of risky websites when you sing up. This is a great feature that will help alert you of possible fraud and add an extra layer of protection to your account.

Interesting feature: rewards for good grades.

This credit card also has a sweet bonus: you can get a $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years. This is a nice feature to reward what really matters in college — getting good grades and graduating.

And, yes — there is cash back.

Discover invented the concept of cash back in the 1980s, and they are regularly generous with the rewards that they offer. On this card, you can earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like Amazon.com, restaurants, ground transportation and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

There is another bonus.

At the end of your first year as a cardholder, you will get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned – automatically. That will be a really nice one year anniversary gift.

Watch Out for These Pitfalls

Interest rates are not low.

This is not unique to Discover — but most student cards charge higher interest rates because students are higher risk. Your goal with a student card is to build your credit history — not to go deeper into debt. So long as you pay your statement balance in full and on time every month, you should not have to worry about the interest rate.

Limited acceptance overseas — especially in Europe.

If you plan on studying abroad or backpacking across Europe, you might find it difficult to use your Discover card. In Asia, you get better coverage with JCB (Japan) and China UnionPay. However, in Europe you will be relying upon the Diners Club International network, which is limited.

Who the Card is Best For

If you are a responsible student looking to build your credit while earning rewards along this way, this card could be appropriate for you. With no annual fee and up to 5% cash back, this is a great first card.

Alternatives

While the $0 card is a great choice, there may be better options depending on your situation.

Spend a lot at Gas Stations and Restaurants?

If you’re a commuter student, the Discover it® Student chrome card may make more sense. This card offers many of the same perks as the Discover it® Student Cash Back, like the Good Grades Rewards program, no annual fee, and a cash back match at the end of your first year. But the Discover it® Student chrome offers a higher 2% cash back rewards rate on gas and restaurant purchases, up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter. After that, you’ll earn 1% cash back — and you don’t need to activate these rewards categories like with the Discover it® Student Cash Back card.

If You Want to Travel Abroad

If you plan on traveling abroad, consider the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®. Because the card is a Visa, it will have more acceptance overseas. And Capital One does not charge foreign transaction fees – making this a great travel companion. In addition, you can earn 1% Cash Back on all purchases; 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time.

Student Credit Cards: FAQs

A student card is a credit card specially designed by a lender to get college students started with credit. It helps them build a relationship with customers early on and helps you build your credit score.

The major difference between a student credit card and a regular credit card is that the student card will likely have a higher interest rate. That’s because the bank has no way to prove you are a reliable borrower yet since you have little to no credit history. Regular cards tend to average about 15% annual interest. In a recent MagnifyMoney study, we found the average student credit card carries an interest rate of 21.4%.

Your goal with your student credit card is to build your credit so that by the time you graduate, you have a healthy credit score in the high 600s to mid 700s. That way, when you graduate, you’ll be in a great position to make larger purchases like a new car or your first home. At that point you may actually want to earn rewards, and you’ll qualify for the best cards because you have a great score.

You should really only get a credit card if you want to build your credit score, not because you need extra money to make ends meet. If you can’t afford your monthly expenses as it is, a credit card might only make things worse.

Let’s say you charged $300 to your student card for books at the start of the semester. If you made a minimum monthly payment of $9, it would take four years and four months to pay off a card with a 21.4% annual percentage rate (APR). At that point you would have paid a total of $460, assuming your books were your first and only charge on the card.

The easiest strategy is this: set up one recurring bill (like your Netflix or Spotify account) on your card. And pay it off in full each month. Follow that advice while you’re in school and you will absolutely graduate with a great credit score.

You can still build up your credit without having to open a card on your own. Ask your parents if you can become an authorized user on their account. All of their good credit behavior will be reported on your credit report as well. Also, consider opening a secured credit card. It’s a tool that’s meant precisely to help build credit but doesn’t have the same risks as a regular credit card. Read more about secured cards here.

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.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

Delta Community Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1940
Total Assets$5.8B
LEARN MORE on Delta Community Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

Delta Community Credit Union started in 1940 when eight employees from Delta Airlines combined $45 to start a financial co-op. From this humble beginning, they expanded into the largest credit union in all of Georgia. Delta Community’s headquarters are in Atlanta and most of its branches in the state of Georgia, though they also have locations in Kentucky, Texas and Utah.

Delta Community Credit Union is also part of the CO-OP network. This national network of credit unions shares branches and ATMs so you can take care of your banking needs at these partners when you aren’t close to a Delta Community branch.

Since Delta Community is a credit union, you must qualify for membership to use their accounts. You could qualify if:

  • You live or work in a Georgia county served by Delta Community.
  • You work or used to work for a list of companies, including Delta Airlines, Chick-fil-A and other Georgia-based employers.
  • You are part of an organization that partners with Delta Community.
  • You have a family member who is an existing Delta Community customer.

If you can qualify for Delta Community Credit Union, is it worth the effort? We’ve reviewed all their personal deposit accounts to find out. For this review, we used the latest rates and product information on their website. Since Delta Community is a regional organization, they only have one set of rates that don’t change based on your location.

Delta Community Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.35%

Savings

Delta Community Credit Union Savings Account

1.90%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.95%

CD Rates

Delta Community Credit Union 12 Month CD

2.55%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.75%

CD Rates

Delta Community Credit Union 36 Month CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.15%

CD Rates

Delta Community Credit Union 60 Month CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Delta Community Credit Union checking account options

Delta Community Credit Union Personal Checking Account

A basic, free checking account. Though it earns interest, the rate is so low and balance requirement is so high it may as well be a non-interest account.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.03%$5,000
0.05%$25,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $35 each

Delta Community Credit Union’s Personal Checking account does not have a minimum opening deposit requirement. This account is also completely free and does not have a monthly maintenance charge, regardless of your balance.

The Personal Checking account earns interest, but only if you have a balance of  $5,000 or more. The rate is also very low, even if you earning the highest rate with a balance of $25,000. If you make purchases using the account debit card, you’ll earn reward points which you can redeem for travel, merchandise, gift cards and cash back. The account earns one point for every $3 made in eligible purchases. Terms apply.

You can make free withdrawals from any Delta Community ATMs, as well as any ATMs in the CO-OP network. If you use another ATM, Delta Community doesn’t charge anything, but they will not refund any fees from the ATM owner.

Before you can open a Personal Checking account, you’ll first need to join Delta Community Credit Union; you can apply online or by visiting one of their branches.

The application asks how you qualify for membership, and requires you to provide your address, Social Security number and a form of government ID. As part of the application, you’ll also need to open a Delta Community Savings account with a deposit of at least $5. Every member is required to have this account.

You can open a Delta Community Personal Checking account at the same time using this information — there’s no initial deposit requirement, so you can set up an account without adding money.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Delta Community Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Delta Community Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Delta Community Credit Union only offers one checking account, which does a respectable job delivering banking basics. The account has no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee, and you can also access thousands of free ATMs through the CO-OP network. At a time when large banks are increasing fees and balance requirements, a free checking account with decent ATM access isn’t bad.

But if you want more than the basics, Delta Community account doesn’t deliver. Though their checking account claims to pay interest, the rate is extremely low. Even worse, you need a minimum balance of $5,000 or more to earn interest. We also don’t like that Delta Community doesn’t refund out-of-network ATM fees. While the CO-OP network gives you access to large network of free ATMs, chances are you’ll still make the occasional out-of-network withdrawal — which means fees.

That’s why you can do better than Delta Community’s checking account. If you want to actually earn interest, these are the best online checking accounts on the market. They pay much more than Delta Community and include generous ATM refund programs.

Delta Community Credit Union savings account options

Delta Community Credit Union Personal Savings Account

Every member of Delta Community Credit Union is required to open this savings account. The rate is decent enough that we could see people using this account even if it wasn’t required.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.35%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $35 each

To join Delta Community Credit Union, you need to open their Personal Savings account as part of your application. You must deposit at least $5 when you open and keep at least $5 in the account to maintain your membership. However, this account does not charge a monthly maintenance fee regardless of your balance.

Delta Community’s Personal Savings account earns interest on all deposits and the rate is respectable. It always stays the same so you won’t earn more for a larger balance.

Since this is a savings account, there are limits on how often you can take money out because of a government rule, Reg. D. Each statement cycle, you are allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals/transfers including debit card purchases, checks, bill payments and transfers to other accounts. If you try to make more than six, Delta Community will deny the transaction. This rule does not apply to ATM withdrawals, so you’re able make as many of those as you need without any problems.

Before you can open a Personal Savings account, you’ll first need to join Delta Community Credit Union; you can apply online or by visiting one of their branches.

The application asks how you qualify for membership, and requires you to provide your address, Social Security number and a form of government ID. You will also need to make your deposit of at least $5. As you apply for the Personal Savings account for your membership, you can also open other Delta Community deposit accounts at the same time.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Delta Community Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Delta Community Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

You can’t join Delta Community Credit Union without opening their savings account — fortunately, they offer decent terms for this mandatory account. First, it offers a respectable savings account interest rate. Even though you just need a $5 minimum balance, the savings rate is high enough that we could see people depositing more.

We also like that the account never charges a monthly fee. It also caught our attention that Delta Community does not charge a fee when you make too many transactions mandated by Regulation D — they just deny the transaction. Other lenders charge a costly fee when this happens, but Delta Community lets you off the hook; it’s convenient if you ever lose track.

Though this is a good savings account, if you put in your due diligence you can find others which are even better. We’ve reviewed the very best savings accounts here if you’d like to earn the highest possible rate for your money.

Delta Community Credit Union’s CD rates

Delta Community Credit Union Certificates of Deposit

Delta Community Credit Union’s CD rates are just average. They’re not the worst deals out there, but there are other lenders paying much more.
Term
APY
6 months1.05%
12 months1.95%
24 months1.45%
36 months1.75%
60 months2.15%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For a 6-month term, the penalty is 60 days of interest. For a 12-month term, the penalty is 90 days of interest. For 24 or 36-month terms, the penalty is 180 days interest. For a 60-month term, the penalty is 270 days interest.

Delta Community Credit Union offers five different CD terms, ranging from six months up to 60 months (five years). You need to deposit at least $1,000 to open a Delta Community CD and keep this much in the account to earn the APY.

Delta Community’s CD rates are average and straightforward: you earn more by committing to a longer amount of time.

If you take money out of your CD before the maturity data, Delta Community charges an early withdrawal penalty. The penalty depends on your CD term:

  • For a 6-month term, the penalty is 60 days of interest.
  • For a 12-month term, the penalty is 90 days of interest.
  • For 24 or 36-month terms, the penalty is 180 days interest.
  • For a 60-month term, the penalty is 270 days interest.

These CDs automatically renew after the maturity date unless you tell Delta Community not to continue. If your CD renews, you have a 10-day grace period to cancel without an early withdrawal penalty.

Before you can open a CD, you’ll first need to join Delta Community Credit Union; you can apply online or by visiting one of their branches.

The application asks how you qualify for membership, and requires you to provide your address, Social Security number and a form of government ID. As part of the application, you’ll also need to open a Delta Community Savings account with a deposit of at least $5. Every member is required to have this account.

You can open a Delta Community Certificate of Deposit at the same time using this information. You will need to provide your deposit along with the application.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Delta Community Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Delta Community Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Delta Community Credit Union’s CDs don’t leave much of an impression, good or bad. Their rates definitely aren’t the worst. They pay much more than some of the large national banks, but at the same time, there are other CDs which earn a whole lot more.

There also isn’t much variety with Delta Community’s CDs. They only have five options and they are all the standard, fixed-rate CDs. There’s no way to customize the length of your CD or include other features, like the ability to adjust your rate partway through the term.

Now, a boring CD isn’t necessarily a bad thing if it comes with an exciting interest rate. But Delta Community doesn’t offer that. For a CD rate you can actually get excited about, check out these CD options instead.

Delta Community Credit Union money market account options

Delta Community Credit Union Personal Money Market Account

Money market accounts typically comes with high monthly fees, but not at Delta Community Credit Union. Their account is completely free. It would be an attractive choice if only the rates were higher.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.53%$1,000
0.63%$10,000
0.73%$25,000
0.78%$50,000
0.85%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $35 each

Delta Community Credit Union’s Personal Money Market account does not have a minimum opening deposit requirement. You can set one up for any amount or even with no deposit at all.

This account does not charge a monthly maintenance fee. It stays free no matter how low your balance drops. However, you will need a balance of $1,000 or more before you start earning interest. The interest rates gradually increase as you deposit more, before maxing out at a balance of $100,000. Still, Delta Community’s Money Market rates are just OK.

Since this is a money market account, there are limits on how often you can take money out because of a government rule, Reg. D. Each statement cycle, you are allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals/transfers including debit card purchases, checks, bill payments and transfers to other accounts. If you try to make more than six, Delta Community will charge a $20 excess transfer fee on the extra transactions.

While Regulation D does not apply to ATM and bank withdrawals, Delta Community also puts a monthly limit on these. You are allowed up to 10 free withdrawals per month, and if you make more, Delta Community charges a $20 fee on the additional withdrawals.

Before you can open a Personal Money Market account, you first need to join Delta Community Credit Union; you can apply online or by visiting one of their branches.

The application asks how you qualify for membership, and requires you to provide your address, Social Security number and a form of government ID. As part of the application, you’ll also need to open a Delta Community Savings account with a deposit of at least $5. Every member is required to have this account.

You can open a Delta Community Credit Union Personal Money Market account at the same time using this information. There’s no initial deposit requirement, so you can set up an account without adding money.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Delta Community Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Delta Community Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

Money market accounts typically come with large balance requirements and high monthly fees, so we respect that Delta Community Credit Union offers a completely free account. If your balance falls below $1,000, all that happens is you stop earning interest, but there’s never a fee — even this $1,000 cutoff to earn interest is low by money market account standards.

It’s just too bad Delta Community doesn’t pay more interest. The rates aren’t bad, but they don’t quite match the truly top-tier money market accounts available today. Even at the highest rate, for a deposit of $100,000, you still won’t earn what we would consider a quality rate.

For more generous rates, you could use something on this list of the best money market accounts in the country. While Delta Community’s money market account isn’t bad, with these other options you could earn more — and you won’t have to deposit $100,000 to make it happen.

Delta Community Credit Union IRA account options

Delta Community Credit Union IRA CD Rates

Most of Delta Community Credit Union’s CDs can be used through an IRA. Once again, the rates are just average.
TermAPY
12 months1.95%
24 months1.45%
36 months1.75%
60 months2.15%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For a 12-month term, the penalty is 90 days of interest. For 24 or 36-month terms, the penalty is 180 days interest. For a 60-month term, the penalty is 270 days interest.

Nearly all of Delta Community Credit Union’s CDs can be set up as part of an IRA; the only one that isn’t available is the 6-month CD. Everything else can be used as an IRA CD and the rates are the same.

You must deposit at least $1,000 to open a Delta Community IRA CD and keep at least this much in your account to earn the APY.

If you take money out of your IRA CD before the maturity data, Delta Community Credit Union charges an early withdrawal penalty. The penalty depends on your IRA CD term:

  • For a 12-month term, the penalty is 90 days of interest.
  • For 24 or 36-month terms, the penalty is 180 days interest.
  • For a 60-month term, the penalty is 270 days interest.

Before you can open an IRA CD, you’ll first need to join Delta Community Credit Union; you can apply online or by visiting one of their branches.

The application asks how you qualify for membership, and requires you to provide your address, Social Security number and a form of government ID. As part of the application, you’ll also need to open a Delta Community Savings account with a deposit of at least $5. Every member is required to have this account.

Once you’re a member, you can apply for a Delta Community IRA CD. However, these accounts are not available through their online portal; instead, they ask you to download the IRA application form through their website. You can either complete the application at home and mail/fax to Delta Community’s IRA department or you can visit a branch to complete everything in-person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Delta Community Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Delta Community Credit Union IRA Savings Account

If you want the flexibility to take money out of your retirement plan, Delta Community Credit Union offers an IRA Savings account. The rates are respectable for this type of account, but lower than an IRA CD.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.50%$0.01
0.60%$10,000
0.70%$25,000
0.75%$50,000
0.83%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

Delta Community Credit Union also offers an IRA Savings account to go along with their IRA CDs. There is no minimum opening deposit requirement so you can set one up for any amount. In addition, this account does not charge a monthly fee.

Delta Community’s IRA Savings account earns interest on all balances. You earn more for larger deposits before the rate maxes out at balances of $100,000+.

The IRA Savings account rates are lower than their IRA CDs. In exchange, this account gives you more flexibility to take money out. There is no early withdrawal penalty and you can move money out when you want.

Before you can open an IRA Savings account, you first need to join Delta Community Credit Union; you can apply online or by visiting one of their branches.

The application asks how you qualify for membership, and requires you to provide your address, Social Security number and a form of government ID. As part of the application, you’ll also need to open a Delta Community Savings account with a deposit of at least $5. Every member is required to have this account.

Once you’re a member, you can apply for a Delta Community IRA CD. However, these accounts are not available through their online portal; instead, they ask you to download the IRA application form through their website. You can either complete the application at home and mail/fax to Delta Community’s IRA department or you can visit a branch to complete everything in-person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Delta Community Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Delta Community Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Delta Community Credit Union’s IRA CDs are middle of the pack. Their rates are much better than what’s available at the large national banks, yet nowhere near the top options out there. Another potential downside is that Delta Community doesn’t offer much variety. There are only four IRA CD terms to choose from, so it’s hard to customize your retirement plan.

Their IRA Savings account is decent. There’s no minimum deposit or balance requirement and the rates are above average for this type of account. However, these accounts pay a lot less than IRA CDs and limit how much your retirement savings will grow. It’s usually a better move to use an IRA CD, unless you can’t meet the deposit requirements or really might need your money in the short-term.

In the end, Delta Community’s IRA CDs just don’t provide enough earning power for your retirement goals. Want a more respectable return? We’ve tracked down the very best offers for every IRA CD term so you can find a great match for any savings timeline.

Overall review of Delta Community Credit Union’s banking products

When a lender designs their deposit accounts, it’s always a tradeoff. Do they create a few exceptional offers while sacrificing the quality of the others, or do they keep everything at a solid, but not spectacular, level? Delta Community Credit Union has gone with the second approach.

All their accounts are good. They keep the fees low, pay mostly fair interest rates and have low deposit and balance requirements. The downside is that none of Delta Community’s accounts are great. Their rates just do not compete with the best offers in the country.

Since they’re a regional bank, we guess they created accounts to impress at a statewide level. They aren’t trying to reach the hyper-competitive, national market online. This makes sense since Delta Community’s membership requirements mean most of their customers either live or work in Georgia.

If you live in Georgia and want a credit union where all the accounts are decent, Delta Community Credit Union makes sense. But if you’re on the hunt for the truly best deposit account rates, you should look elsewhere.

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.

David Rodeck
David Rodeck |

David Rodeck is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email David here

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Reviews

First National Bank of America Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1955
Total Assets$1.6B
LEARN MORE on First National Bank Of America’s secure websiteMember FDIC

What started as First National Bank of East Lansing in 1955 has become what is known as First National Bank of America. Headquartered in East Lansing, Mich., the bank opened branches in 2011 in Grand Rapids and Traverse City. Customers can also access their accounts at more than 43,000 fee-free ATMs through the Allpoint network.

Since this is primarily a brick-and-mortar bank, not all products can be opened online. For this review, we’ll cover First National Bank of America’s checking, savings, CD, money market and IRA accounts.

First National Bank of America’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.25%

Savings

First National Bank of America Statement Savings

1.90%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.60%

CD Rates

First National Bank of America 12-23 Month Time CD

2.55%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.80%

CD Rates

First National Bank of America 36-47 Month Time CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

3.25%

CD Rates

First National Bank of America 60 Month Time CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

First National Bank of America’s checking account options

Personal Checking

A basic checking account that doesn’t earn you any interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Unfortunately, there’s not much that stands out about the Personal Checking account. You get free online and mobile banking, an ATM or debit card and unlimited check-writing capabilities. If you’re looking for a no-frills checking account, it could be a good choice to cover your basic needs.

To waive the monthly maintenance fee, you’ll need to maintain at least a $350 average daily balance or a $100 minimum daily balance.

How to get First National Bank of America’s Personal Checking account

You’ll need to visit a branch to open an account. You’ll be asked to provide the bank with your address, Social Security number and state-issued ID. You can call customer service at 800-968-3626 to find out more.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of America’s secure website

Member FDIC

Simple Checking

You’ll need a higher minimum balance than the Personal Checking account to waive the monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

There isn’t much of a difference between the Personal Checking and Simple Checking accounts, except that you can earn a little bit of interest with this one.

The monthly maintenance fee is slightly higher at $6, but you can get that waived if you maintain a $500 minimum daily balance or a $750 average daily balance each month.

Like with the Personal Checking account, you get free online and mobile banking and an ATM or debit card. Keep in mind that the rate for the Simple Checking account isn’t advertised on the bank’s website, so it’s best to call to find out the current one.

How to get First National Bank of America’s Simple Checking account

To open a Simple Checking account, visit a branch. The bank could require information such as your address and Social Security number. You can call customer service at 800-968-3626 for more details.

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How First National Bank of America’s checking accounts compare

Many of First Bank of America’s competitors offer no monthly fees and ATM refunds. Plus, First National Bank of America doesn’t advertise its Simple Checking account APY for you to compare it to our list of the best checking accounts.

You’re probably better off looking elsewhere.

First National Bank of America’s savings account option

Statement Savings

We’re not impressed with the APY, but you do get ATM access.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25% $200
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $200
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $2 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

With the only savings account offered at First Bank of America, you get ATM access, but the APY rate is still pretty low.

Account holders do get online and mobile banking access, as well as itemized monthly statements. You’re allowed up to six certain withdrawals a month because of the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D, and you’ll need to pay a $5 excess transaction fee each time you go over.

To waive the monthly maintenance fee, you’ll have to maintain an average balance of $199.

How to get First National Bank of America’s Statement Savings account

Visit a branch to open a Statement Savings account. Customer service may ask you for personal information such as your address and state-issued ID. To find out more, call customer service at 800-968-3626.

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How First National Bank of America’s savings account compares

It’s great that First National Bank of America doesn’t charge you any ATM fees, but its APY is less than impressive. Other institutions offer higher rates than what First National Bank of America offers, alongside no monthly maintenance fees — some of them even provide ATM access. You could be better off going with one of the competitors found on our list of the best online savings accounts.

First National Bank of America’s CD rates

Certificate of Deposit

These rates aren’t half-bad.
TermAPY
1 to 5 months0.75%
6 to 11 months1.25%
12 to 23 months2.60%
24 to 35 months2.70%
36 to 47 months2.80%
48 to 59 months3.00%
60 months3.25%
84 months3.45%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on the term:
    • Less than 12 months: 90 days’ interest
    • 12 to 23 months: 180 days’ interest
    • 24 to 47 months: 360 days’ interest
    • 48 to 84 months: 540 days’ interest

These CDs offer a guaranteed rate of return — assuming you leave all funds in the account until maturity — so it’s best for those who want to ensure a steady return on their investment. It appears as though First National Bank of America is trying to be more competitive, as this is one of the few deposit accounts you can open online.

Any interest you earn is compounded and credited quarterly to your account. When your account matures, you have a 10-day grace period in which you can make changes such as an additional deposit or withdrawal, as well as renew for another term. Otherwise, the CD will automatically be renewed.

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Flex CD

It’s a lower rate than the fixed-rate CD, but you may be able to get a rate increase.
TermAPY
3 years2.75%
4 years2.90%
5 years3.15%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on the term:
    • 3 years: 360 days’ interest
    • 4 or 5 years: 540 days’ interest

The Flex CD offers you the opportunity to increase your rate once during your CD term. If you see that the rate for your current term has increased, you can request a rate increase for the remainder of your CD. Like with the fixed-rate CD, interest is compounded and credited to your account quarterly.

Upon maturity, your CD will be renewed automatically unless you make changes — such as additional deposits and withdrawals or renewing for another term — during the 10-day grace period.

How to get First National Bank of America’s CDs

To open either type of CD, go to First National Bank of America’s website and fill out an online form. You’ll need to agree to the online disclosures and pick the CD term you want. You can then complete the rest of the application by entering your personal details such as your name, employment information and Social Security number before funding the account.

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How First National Bank of America’s CD rates compare

We’re fairly impressed with the rates we’re seeing, as some of them are pretty much equal to online competitors. Other places have lower opening minimum deposit requirements, but not by much.

Considering you can open an account online — much like the banks on our list of the best CD rates — these CDs are worth a look.

First National Bank of America’s money market account option

HomeTowne Money Market Checking

It’s a pretty unique product in that it’s a savings account that acts like a checking account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.65%Less than $1,000
0.75%$1,000
0.80%$20,000
0.90%$100,000
1.16%$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Although this is a money market account, it operates like a regular checking account in that you get ATM and check-writing capabilities, plus you can get unlimited transactions. That means you’re not limited to six withdrawals a month like with other savings accounts, and you’re not subject to a excess transaction fee. You also get a free ATM or debit card, bill pay and online banking.

First National Bank of America also guarantees that it’ll have the best money market rate in the area. If you can find a better money market rate from a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-insured bank in East Lansing, Grand Rapids or Traverse City, Mich., the bank will beat or match it. But promo rates that are offered for less than six months or rates that require loan or additional deposit requirements are excluded.

You’ll be able to waive the monthly maintenance fee if you maintain a $1,000 minimum daily balance.

How to get First National Bank of America’s HomeTowne Money Market Checking account

To open the HomeTowne Money Market Checking account, you’ll need to head to a branch. You may be asked to provide your Social Security number and state-issued ID. If you choose, call customer service at 800-968-3626 to find out more.

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How First National Bank of America’s money market account compares

It’s pretty neat that this money market account gives you unlimited withdrawals, ATM access and check-writing capabilities, but the rates aren’t stellar.

Although the highest tier does offer a fairly competitive rate, it requires a much higher minimum deposit amount compared to the ones on our list of the best money market rates. If you don’t have that much cash lying around, you may be better off looking elsewhere.

First National Bank of America’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

IRA CD

These rates are on par with what’s currently being offered by competitors.
TermAPY
12 to 23 months2.60%
24 to 35 months2.70%
36 to 47 months2.75%
48 to 59 months2.80%
60 months3.25%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $,1000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on the term:
    • Less than 12 months: 90 days’ interest
    • 12 to 23 months: 180 days’ interest
    • 24 to 47 months: 360 days’ interest
    • 48 to 72 months: 540 days’ interest

The IRA CDs are a fixed-rate account that could be best for those who are interested in a more conservative investment vehicle. Interest is compounded and credited quarterly, but the APY assumes you’ll keep all funds earned in the account until it matures. When it does, your account will automatically be renewed unless you make changes within the 10-day grace period. This can include making additional deposits or a withdrawal, as well as renewing for another term.

How to get First National Bank of America’s IRA CDs

You need to open an IRA CD account in person. It’s a good idea to call customer service at 800-968-3626 to confirm, but you’ll most likely need to bring your Social Security card and state-issued ID.

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How First National Bank of America’s IRA CD rates compare

We’re happy to say that these are on par with some of the best offerings on our list of the best IRA CD rates. Unfortunately, it won’t be as convenient to open an account if you don’t live near one of its branches, so an online option may be a better choice for you.

Overall review of First National Bank of America’s banking products

Most of the rates that First National Bank of America offers are quite low compared to other online banks and credit unions. But where the bank shines is its CD and IRA CD accounts. They offer pretty competitive rates and have a wide range of terms from which to choose.

For now, you can only open the CD account online, so you may have no choice but to go elsewhere if you’re not close to one of the bank’s branches.

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.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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Reviews

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

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1874
Total Assets$89.6B
LEARN MORE on Bank Of The West’s secure websiteMember FDIC

Bank of the West started in 1874 as Farmers National Gold Bank, issuing paper currency backed by its gold reserves.

Organic growth and acquisitions have created a large institution with more than 600 locations in 23 states on the West Coast, as well as across the Rocky Mountains, Southwest and Midwest. In 1979, it changed its name to Bank of the West. In 1980, it became affiliated with BNP Paribas, a French bank and one of the largest in the world.

With that rich history, just how good are its banking products?

In this review, we cover Bank of the West’s range of deposit accounts to see what it does well and what it doesn’t. To keep the Bank of the West reviews consistent, we used the rate and product information for its San Francisco headquarters. Rates and product terms could be different in your area, so you should double-check before signing up.

Bank of the West’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.04%

Savings

Bank of the West Online Savings

1.90%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

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0.12%

CD Rates

Bank of the West 12 - 23 Month Flexible Term CD

2.55%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

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0.55%

CD Rates

Bank of the West 36 - 47 Month Flexible Term CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

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0.65%

CD Rates

Bank of the West 48 - 60 Month Flexible Term CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

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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.

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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
0.02%
$25,000
0.02%
$50,000
0.02%
$100,000
0.02%
$250,000
0.02%
$500,000
0.02%
$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.

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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
0.01%
$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.

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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 days0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
0.05%
90 to 179 days0.03%
0.03%
0.03%
0.03%
0.03%
180 to 364 days0.09%
0.09%
0.09%
0.09%
0.09%
12 to 23 months0.12%
0.12%
0.12%
0.12%
0.12%
24 to 35 months0.45%
0.45%
0.45%
0.45%
0.45%
36 to 47 months0.55%
0.55%
0.55%
0.55%
0.55%
48 to 60 months0.65%
0.65%
0.65%
0.65%
0.65%
  • 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.

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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 days0.03%
0.03%
0.03%
0.03%
0.03%
182 days0.09%
0.09%
0.09%
0.09%
0.09%
8 months0.11%
0.11%
0.11%
0.11%
0.11%
10 months0.11%
0.11%
0.11%
0.11%
0.11%
12 months0.12%
0.12%
0.12%
0.12%
0.12%
13 months0.15%
0.15%
0.15%
0.15%
0.15%
14 months0.15%
0.15%
2.36%
2.36%
2.36%
15 months0.20%
0.20%
0.20%
0.20%
0.20%
16 months1.85%
1.85%
1.85%
1.85%
1.85%
18 months0.27%
0.27%
0.27%
0.27%
0.27%
24 months0.45%
0.45%
0.45%
0.45%
0.45%
60 months0.80%
0.80%
0.80%
0.80%
0.80%
  • 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.

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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 months0.20%
0.20%
0.20%
0.20%
0.20%
  • 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.

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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.

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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 days0.03%
182 days0.09%
8 months0.11%
12 months0.12%
18 months0.27%
24 months0.45%
  • 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.

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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 months0.12%
24 to 35 months0.45%
48 to 60 months0.65%
  • 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.

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IRA Add-On CD

A 12-month IRA CD that lets you add more money before the end of the term.
TermAPY
12 months0.12%
  • 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.

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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.

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.

David Rodeck
David Rodeck |

David Rodeck is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email David here

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Reviews

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1934
Total Assets$15.0B
LEARN MORE on SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union serves the educational community in Southern California. Specifically, you can open an account if you are an employee of public or private K-12 schools, your county’s Superintendents of Schools, community colleges, authorized colleges or universities or certain authorized educational foundations in one of the following counties: Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara or Ventura. You can also qualify for membership as a member of the Board of Trustees at select schools or as a pension-collecting retiree of the school system.

If you are a member, your siblings, parents, spouse, domestic partner, children, grandparents and grandchildren also qualify for membership.

But just because you’re an educator in the Southern California area doesn’t necessarily mean this bank is the right one for your needs.

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.10%

Savings

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union Share Savings

1.90%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.00%

CD Rates

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union 12 - 17 Month Share Certificate

2.55%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.60%

CD Rates

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union 36 - 47 Month Share Certificate

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.85%

CD Rates

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union 60 Month Share Certificate

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

Free Checking

This account comes with no monthly maintenance fee — and no dividends.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25, waived for school employees
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $1 for non-SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union or non-CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: If you qualify for membership as a school employee, the ATM fee will be waived
  • Overdraft fee: $22

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s Free Checking account has limited fees and balance requirements, but it also earns no dividends — which is the equivalent of interest for credit unions. This account, along with many others from this credit union, will benefit you most if you are a current school employee since the minimum opening deposit and ATM fees will be waived for you. If you’d like to earn dividends on your checking account, be sure to check out other available options below.

If you’re between the ages of 16 and 18, the Free Checking account may interest you even though it doesn’t pay dividends. This is because SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s other checking account option (its Investment Checking account) is only available to those 18 and older.

How to get SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s Free Checking account

You can only open a Free Checking account over the phone or in person. Fortunately, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union has nearly 50 locations across Southern California, and can easily be reached at 800-462-8328. This toll-free number operates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific time Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific time Saturday.

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Investment Checking

While this checking account does come with fees and minimum balance requirements, there are several ways to dodge them.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.05%

$0-$24,999

0.08%

$25,000-$99,999

0.10%

$100,000+

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25; waived for school employees if you set up direct deposit
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3 if you do not meet the minimum balance requirement, which is $1,000 if you have a direct deposit of $1 or more every month, or $2,500 if you do not have direct deposit set up. If you’re 62 or older, you’re exempt from this fee.
  • ATM fee: All transactions at SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union or CO-OP network ATMs are free. Your first six transactions per month at other ATMs are free. After that, you will be charged $1 per transaction at these outside ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: The $1 ATM fee is waived if you qualify for membership as a school employee
  • Overdraft fee: $22

Unlike Free Checking, the credit union’s Investment Checking account does earn dividends based on a tiered model. While rates do pale in comparison to some of the best checking accounts around, it is fairly typical for financial institutions with brick-and-mortar locations.

While this account does come with a maintenance fee, there are several ways to avoid it.

Your ATM fees will be waived if you are a school employee, though they aren’t very high to begin with. Your first six transactions per month at non-SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union or non-CO-OP network ATMs are free regardless of your profession. Starting with your seventh transaction, you’ll be charged $1 each time you use one of these outside ATMs.

Keep in mind that you must be 18 or older to qualify for the Investment Checking account.

How to Get SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s Investment Checking account

Besides opening an Investment Checking account in person or over the phone, you can also do so online. First, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. From there, you simply log in to your account, click “Open New Share” and then select ”Share Draft Checking.” This will get you set up to open your Investment Checking account online.

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How SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s checking account options aren’t anything to write home about with no or low dividends and a monthly maintenance fee on the one checking account that does offer dividends at all. There are checking accounts with higher rates and lower fees out there — especially if you go with an online-only bank.

Instead, the biggest reason to join this credit union is for its unique financial products for educators, some of which we’ll get to in the next section.

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Share Savings

This account is unlikely to be the reason why you join the credit union, but it is mandatory to establish membership.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.10%

$5

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 for non-SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union or non-CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: The $1 ATM fee is waived if you qualify for membership as a school employee
  • Overdraft fee: $22

The Share Savings account isn’t there to earn you a ton of money in dividends. Instead, its primary function is to establish and maintain your membership with the credit union. When you join the credit union, you will be required to deposit $5 into your Share Savings account. You will need to maintain a balance of at least $5 in this account to keep both your savings account and credit union membership active.

Bear in mind that all savings accounts are federally regulated by Regulation D. Because of this rule, you are allowed up to six “convenient” withdrawals or outbound transfers per month from your SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union savings account. The only type of withdrawal or transfer that counts as “inconvenient” at this financial institution — and is therefore allowed past six transactions — is coming into a branch office of the credit union.

If you complete more than six convenient withdrawals or outbound transfers in a month, the credit union will be forced to shut your account or convert it into a checking account.

How to get SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s Share Savings account

You will set up this account as part of your credit union membership application. You can complete this application online, at a branch or by submitting via mail. If you choose the latter option, you will need to print out your membership application and mail your paperwork to:

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union
ATTN: Membership Services
P.O. Box 11957
Santa Ana, CA 92711-1957

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Junior Varsity Club Account

The Junior Varsity Club Account is a fairly restrictive savings account for children through the age of 12.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.10%

$5

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 for non-SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union and non-CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $22

The Junior Varsity Club Account is a savings account for children through ages 12. It is relatively low in fees, with no monthly maintenance fee, and gives you a decent amount of oversight as a parent. While your child will not be issued an ATM card to make withdrawals, you as the parent will be.

Keep in mind that this account is also subject to Regulation D, so you won’t be able to make more than six withdrawals or outbound transfers per month unless you do so in a branch.

How to get SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s Junior Varsity Club Account

You can set up this account by calling 800-462-8328 or visiting any SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union branch.

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Varsity Club Account

The Varsity Club Account is very similar to the Junior Varsity Club Account, save for the fact that it gives your child a bit more autonomy.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.10%

$5

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 for non-SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union and non-CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $22

The Varsity Club Account, built for children ages 13 to 17, gives your child a bit more freedom than the Junior Varsity Club Account. Your child will be issued a debit card in his or her own name. Children ages 13 to 15 can withdraw up to $40 a day. Children ages 16 to 17 can withdraw up to $100 a day.

Again, because this is a savings account, you and your child both need to remember that you will only be able to make six outbound transfers or withdrawals per month unless you visit a branch to complete the transaction.

How to get SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s Varsity Club Account

Visit a branch with your child or call 800-462-8328.

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Summer Saver

One of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s premier products, Summer Saver accounts come with high interest rates, high accessibility to your money and the goal of making educators’ financial lives easier throughout the summer months.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

4.00%

$0

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 for non-SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union and non-CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: ATM fee is waived if you qualify for membership as a school employee
  • Overdraft fee: $22

The Summer Saver account is one of the credit union’s most attractive products. Built specifically for educators, it allows you to stow away part of your paycheck every pay period to build a cushion for those summer months. This is especially helpful to staff who are paid hourly, as they’re less likely than salaried faculty to get paid on a 12-month schedule.

You must fund this account with at least $1 but no more than $2,000 every month in which you get paid. It has an extremely high interest rate, helping your money grow until school’s out. You get to pick the date when your savings will be transferred to your Share Savings account — anytime between June 1 and Aug. 31. You can withdraw your money anytime, bearing in mind that you can only make six withdrawals per month unless you make the transaction at a credit union branch office.

How to get SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s Summer Saver account

To open a Summer Saver account, you must visit a branch  or call 800-462-8328.

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How SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Share Savings isn’t going to build very quickly — it’s just there to maintain your membership. The Junior Varsity and Varsity Club Accounts exist primarily to give your child a hands-on opportunity with their own money. As such, dividends are not competitive.

But the Summer Saver account shines. While it’s a great tool for educators paid on a 10-month or 11-month schedule, it also offers dividends that blow even the most competitive online-only savings accounts out of the water.

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

Share Certificates

Share Certificates work like Certificates of Deposit, and the credit union gives you plenty of options for minimum deposits and corresponding dividends.

$500 Minimum Opening Deposit

Term

APY

30 days

0.40%

3-5 months

0.95%

6-11 months

1.70%

12-17 months

2.00%

18-23 months

2.10%

24-35 months

2.45%

36-47 months

2.60%

48-59 months

2.70%

60 months

2.85%

$20,000 Minimum Opening Deposit

Term

APY

30 days

0.45%

3-5 months

1.01%

6-11 months

1.75%

12-17 months

2.05%

18-23 months

2.15%

24-35 months

2.50%

36-47 months

2.65%

48-59 months

2.75%

60 months

2.90%

$50,000 Minimum Opening Deposit

Term

APY

30 days

0.50%

3-5 months

1.05%

6-11 months

1.80%

12-17 months

2.10%

18-23 months

2.20%

24-35 months

2.55%

36-47 months

2.70%

48-59 months

2.80%

60 months

2.95%

$100,000 Minimum Opening Deposit

Term

APY

30 days

0.55%

3-5 months

1.10%

6-11 months

1.85%

12-17 months

2.15%

18-23 months

2.25%

24-35 months

2.60%

36-47 months

2.75%

48-59 months

2.85%

60 months

3.00%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Varies
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 30-day certificates: 30 days’ worth of dividends; certificates for more than than 30 days or less than 18 months: 90 days’ worth of dividends; 18 months or longer: 180 days’ worth of dividends

You may have heard of CDs at banks. Share Certificates are SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s equivalent. If you want to save money without being tempted to touch it, investing in a Share Certificate can be a good option. This product is a general catch-all certificate (we will cover more specific products below).

The only time you can withdraw your money from your Share Certificate without incurring penalties is during the 10 days after its maturity. If you do not withdraw the money during this time period, it will automatically be reinvested in a new Share Certificate with the same term.

How to get SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s Share Certificates

You can open a Share Certificate online by logging in to your account. Alternatively, you can open a certificate by visiting a branch location or calling 800-462-8328.

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College Saver Share Certificate

The College Saver Share Certificate is most commonly used as a laddered CD that will count heavily against your child when they go to apply for financial aid.

Term

APY

12 months

2.10%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $200
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $200
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ worth of dividends

The College Saver Share Certificate is for children younger than 18. It has a term of 12 months. Unless you withdraw the money during the 10-day grace period after maturation, it will be automatically invested into another 12-month College Saver Share Certificate every year until your child turns 18.

You should take note that this certificate is a custodial account in your child’s name. That means that any money saved will be weighted against them heavily when they fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. If you open a share certificate for their benefit in your own name outside of the College Saver program, it will not be weighted as heavily.

How to get SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s College Saver Share Certificate

College Saver Share Certificates can only be opened at a branch or over the phone at 800-462-8328.

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My Club Custom Savings Account

Despite its name, the My Club Custom Savings Account is actually a share certificate that has no minimum opening deposit requirements.

Term

APY

6-18 months

0.55%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Early withdrawal penalty: None

You get to customize your My Club share certificate terms and initial deposit amount. You can pick a term anywhere between six and 18 months. After its initial maturation, it will be automatically reinvested in a 12-month share certificate should you decide not to withdraw your money during the 10 days after maturation.

This certificate is of note for its flexibility and nonexistent initial deposit requirement. If you only have a small amount to put into a CD, this account is the option for you.

How to get SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s My Club Custom Savings Account

You cannot open this account online. Instead, you’ll have to visit a branch or call 800-462-8328.

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Paycheck Planner

Paycheck Planner is another unique financial product for school employees on 10- or 11-month pay schedules.

Term

APY

10 or 11 months

4.00%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Early withdrawal penalty: $50 and closure of account

Like the Summer Saver account, Paycheck Planner is built for those who work in education and received their pay on a 10- or 11-month schedule. As a certificate, this plan comes with more restrictions — but also higher odds that you’ll have enough money to get you through summer. It’s essentially forced savings.

If you get paid on a 10-month schedule, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union will automatically transfer 16.70% of your paycheck to your Paycheck Planner account every pay period. If you get paid on an 11-month schedule, that percentage is 8.30%. You also have the option of making one additional deposit during the maturation period, which cannot exceed $3,000.

When summer comes, 10-month employees will be able to choose any two consecutive months between June and September to receive their Paycheck Planner savings in two equal payments. Eleven-month employees will choose one month for their singular payment: June, July or August.

How to get SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s Paycheck Planner

To open a Paycheck Planner account, you must visit a branch or call 800-426-8328.

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How SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Unless you work in education with a pay cycle that aligns with a Paycheck Planner account, the credit union’s rates are lacking. You can find CD rates out there that will beat SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union by entire percentage points. The College Saver rate gets closest to being competitive for a CD of its term length and required minimum initial deposit, but it is a potentially dangerous way to save for college if you plan on relying on any type of financial aid for your child’s education.

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s money market account option

Liquid Advantage Money Market Account

A money market account with rates higher than the credit union’s Share Savings account, but far lower rates than those offered by other lenders.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.30%

$2,000

0.40%

$10,000

0.55%

$25,000

0.65%

$50,000

0.75%

$100,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 at all non-SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union or non-CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $22

Money market accounts are similar to savings accounts, save for the fact that they tend to require higher monthly balances and offer higher interest rates. The Liquid Advantage Money Market Account is no exception, at times offering rates up to six times that of a Share Savings account.

Remember that as a savings account, you will only be able to make six withdrawals per month without incurring additional fees, having your account shut down or having it turned into a checking account.

How to get SchoolFirst Federal Credit Union’s Liquid Advantage Money Market Account

To open this type of account, you will have to visit a branch or set it up over the phone by calling 800-462-8328.

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How SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s money market account compares

While the Liquid Advantage Money Market Account certainly has an edge over the credit union’s Share Savings option, it doesn’t do so well when you compare it to competitor’s money market offerings. If a higher APY is your goal, you’ll be able to find it elsewhere.

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s IRA options

IRA CD rates

IRA Share Certificate

A conservative investment option for your individual retirement account with average dividend rates.

$500 Minimum Opening Deposit

Term

APY

30 days

0.45%

3-5 months

1.01%

6-11 months

1.75%

12-17 months

2.05%

18-23 months

2.15%

24-35 months

2.50%

36-47 months

2.65%

48-59 months

2.75%

60 months

2.90%

$20,000 Minimum Opening Deposit

Term

APY

30 days

0.50%

3-5 months

1.05%

6-11 months

1.80%

12-17 months

2.10%

18-23 months

2.20%

24-35 months

2.55%

36-47 months

2.70%

48-59 months

2.80%

60 months

2.95%

$50,000 Minimum Opening Deposit

Term

APY

30 days

0.55%

3-5 months

1.10%

6-11 months

1.85%

12-17 months

2.15%

18-23 months

2.25%

24-35 months

2.60%

36-47 months

2.75%

48-59 months

2.85%

60 months

3.00%

$100,000 Minimum Opening Deposit

Term

APY

30 days

0.60%

3-5 months

1.15%

6-11 months

1.90%

12-17 months

2.20%

18-23 months

2.30%

24-35 months

2.65%

36-47 months

2.80%

48-59 months

2.90%

60 months

3.05%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Varies
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 30-day certificates: 30 days’ worth of dividends; certificates for more than than 30 days or less than 18 months: 90 days’ worth of dividends; 18 months or longer: 180 days’ worth of dividends. These penalties are in addition to IRS penalties. Penalties will be waived if you’re older than 59½ and making automatic, regular or required minimum distributions.

SchoolFirst Federal Credit Union’s IRA Share Certificates are the credit union’s equivalent to IRA CDs. IRA CDs are CDs that you hold in your IRA. They are a conservative investment, gaining a set percentage of dividends over the CD’s term. The dividend APY will vary based on when you open your certificate, as opening rates can change from month to month.

How to get SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s IRA Share Certificate

There are four different ways you can open an IRA share certificate. You can do so online, at one of the credit union’s physical locations, by calling 800-462-8328 or by emailing investments@schoolsfirstfcu.org.

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on SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Both minimum deposits and interest rates for the credit union’s IRA Share Certificates are about average for an IRA CD. You can find higher IRA CD rates out there, though, so keep looking.

Accumulation IRA Savings Account

The Accumulation IRA Savings Account is a savings account inside your IRA that requires a lot more paperwork.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.55%

$10

  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: You cannot make an ATM withdrawal from this account
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: Because you have to fill out paperwork to make a withdrawal from this account at SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, you will not be able to overdraw.

The credit union’s IRA Savings Account is another conservative option to put inside your IRA portfolio. It operates just like a savings account outside of an IRA, but withdrawals are more complicated with this type of account at SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union and require more paperwork. Withdrawals also may incur IRS or state tax penalties.

How to get SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s Accumulation IRA Savings Account

To open this type of account, you can log in online, visit a branch, email investments@schoolsfirstfcu.org or call 800-462-8328.

LEARN MORE Secured

on SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Overall review of SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s banking products

Generally speaking, the dividend rates on SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union’s banking products aren’t anything to write home about. They’re not terrible, but there are far better options out there. We do appreciate how almost all of the accounts are no- or low-fee, but depending on how you manage your money, that may not be enough to make up for these low rates.

But if you are a school employee, you’ll appreciate the institution waiving outside ATM fees, and have access to their most competitive products: Summer Saver and Payroll Planner accounts. You will have to weigh whether the benefits of these products are worth losing out on the higher rates you can find at other financial institutions. After all, with enough self-discipline, you can budget your 10- or 11-month pay yourself to last you the entire year.

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.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Reviews, Strategies to Save

BB&T CD Rates and Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Trying to find BB&T CD rates
Source: iStock

As you may know if you’ve done a search for BB&T CD rates, their website is not a helpful place to turn for information. Beyond a basic overview of their CDs on their website stating that they have CDs with terms ranging from seven days to five years, they do not give details on their current rates. BB&T did not respond to email and phone inquiries from MagnifyMoney asking why the bank does not publish its CD rates online. When we called their customer service number, a representative said BB&T’s CD rates change on a daily basis and said the best way to learn about CD rates is to call or visit a local branch.

So that’s what we did.

We reached out to BB&T branches on November 9th. After conducting this research, it’s not surprising BB&T makes their CD rates hard to find — they’re terrible.

BB&T CD rates and products

BB&T offers CD terms ranging from as short as seven days to as long as five years. They have eight CD options, each with different investment goals.

7-day to 60-month

For short-term investments, BB&T offers CDs ranging from seven days to 60 months. These personal CDs offer a fixed rate of return along with the flexibility to focus on developing either a short- or long-term investment.

BB&T CD Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

6 Months

0.05%

$1,000

1 Year

0.10%

$1,000

18 Months

0.15%

$1,000

2 years

0.20%

$1,000

3 Years

0.30%

$1,000

4 Years

0.30%

$1,000

5 Years

0.30%

$1,000

Not only can you find better CD rates at other banks and credit unions for each of the terms BB&T offers, you can get those better rates with smaller minimum deposits. BB&T’s offerings are far from the best in every term length above — you can see some of the top options in our monthly roundup of the best CD rates.

With the seven-day to 60-month BB&T CDs, there are no penalty-free options for withdrawing your funds prior to the CD reaching maturity. The early withdrawal penalty is the lesser of $25 or 12 months of interest for longer-term CDs. So with smaller initial deposits, early withdrawal penalties will negate any interest you may have earned.

Can’t Lose

As the name of this CD implies, whether rates go up or down, you can’t lose. Well, actually, you can: The APY is so low, you’re almost certainly going to lose money to inflation.

At the 12-month mark of the CD’s term, you may make one withdrawal without paying any fees. So if the market rate is higher than what you’re currently getting, simply withdraw the money and reinvest at the higher rate.

If, however, the interest rate you’re receiving is better than what’s currently available, you also have the option of making a second deposit into the Can’t Lose CD, up to $10,000. This locks in the rate for the new investment amount for the remainder of the term. So whether rates go up or down, you’ll lock in the higher rate.

CD Term

APY

Minimum
Deposit Amount

Withdrawal
Penalties

30-month "Can't Lose"

0.25%

$1,000

No penalty for one
withdrawal after 12 months

Still, you can find many CDs with better APYs than BB&T’s Can’t Lose, whether you’re looking for a 12-month investment or longer.

Stepped Rate

Laddering is a way to stagger your CD investments so you’re able to take advantage of increasing rates. With the Stepped Rate option from BB&T, laddering is built into the CD product. The initial CD starts out at a lower rate and increases each year. For example:

Months

APY

12

0.30%

24

0.40%

36

0.55%

48

0.75%

As of November 9, 2018

This product also allows you to make an additional deposit each year (up to $10,000). So if the interest rate you’re receiving is better than the market, you can invest more money into your existing CD to make a higher return. But if the current CD market is offering better rates than your existing CD, you can simply take advantage of that offer and still make a higher return.

In addition, you may make a withdrawal from what you initially deposited into your Stepped Rate CD after two years. So, again, if the market changes dramatically, you may withdraw your money with no penalty and reinvest in a better option.

Or you could create a CD ladder on your own, choosing CDs with better rates than BB&T’s — higher rates are certainly available.

Add-on

The Add-on CD option from BB&T offers a 12-month CD at 0.10% and an opening deposit of $100. You’ll need a BB&T checking account and a $50/month automatic deposit from your checking account into the CD. To get a personal account, you’ll just need to set up direct deposit or maintain a $1,500 balance.

CD Term

APY

Minimum
Deposit Amount

Withdrawal
Penalties

12-month Add-on

0.10%

$100

Greater of $25 or
6 months’ interest

As of November 9, 2018

Home Saver

If you’re in the market for a new home, and you want to earn a little more interest on the money you’re saving, consider the Home Saver CD. Starting with as little as $100, you’ll be able to deposit money earmarked for your new home every month and earn 0.40% APY. With this CD, as long as you’re withdrawing the money for use toward the purchase of your new home, you won’t pay any penalties for the withdrawal. But you will need a BB&T checking account set up for a monthly deposit of $50 into your Home Saver CD.

CD Term

APY

Minimum
Deposit Amount

Withdrawal
Penalties

36-month Home Saver

0.40%

$100

No penalty for
home purchase

As of November 9, 2018

College Saver

Similar to the Home Saver CD, the College Saver CD is meant for parents or students saving for college. It offers the benefit of starting at a higher APY (0.40%) with the flexibility of withdrawing the money up to four times per year to pay for the cost of attending school. As with the Home Saver, you’ll need to have a BB&T checking account with an automatic monthly deposit of $50. The College Saver offers terms of 36, 48, and 60 months.

CD Term

APY

Minimum
Deposit Amount

Withdrawal
Penalties

36-month College Saver

0.40%

$100

No penalty for
school costs

48-month College Saver

0.45%

$100

No penalty for
school costs

60-month College Saver

0.50%

$100

No penalty for
school costs

As of November 9, 2018

Treasury

This CD offers the ability to make additional deposits of at least $100 into your CD at any time and one monthly withdrawal without penalty. The CD has a six-month term with a variable interest rate tied to the U.S. Treasury Bill — if the rate goes up, you’ll make more money, but if the rate declines, you’ll make less. Right now, rates start at 1.96% and adjust quarterly. Throughout 2017, Treasury Bill rates increased almost every month and have continued to rise in 2018, reaching 1.969% in July. So this is a great option if you have the $5,000 minimum deposit amount and want a short-term investment with the option to add or remove funds from the CD.

CDARS

CDARS stands for Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service and protects your principal and interest by making sure your money is placed into multiple CDs across a network of banks to keep your CDs insured by the FDIC (maximum limit for each CD is $250,000).

Other things to know about BB&T CDs

Does BB&T allow customers to take advantage of rising rates once they’ve opened a CD?

BB&T has two CD options that allow you to take advantage of rising rates: the 30-month Can’t Lose CD and the 48-month Stepped Rate CD. Both allow you to make a withdrawal before the CD comes to maturity in case rates increase (terms apply). They also allow additional deposits in case rates drop and you want to invest more at the existing rate of your CD. However, the current rates on those products are very low, negating the value of their flexibility.

About BB&T

BB&T (Branch Banking and Trust Co.) is a North Carolina-based bank with locations in 16 states and the District of Columbia, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

BB&T offers a mobile app for both iOS and Android. While their website is easy enough to use, finding specific information, particularly about rates, is impossible. Their customer service number isn’t much help in that regard either, with most questions answered with a suggestion to visit a branch location. As a result, if you don’t live in an area with a branch, we don’t recommend using BB&T’s CDs. To find the BB&T branch closest to you, use their branch locator.

Pros and cons of CDs

A certificate of deposit (CD) may offer a higher return than you’ll get with your savings accounts, without the risk of loss that accompanies other investment options with higher return rates. The drawbacks associated with CDs are the inability to access your funds during the term of the investment without suffering a penalty and the risk of interest rates increasing while your money is locked into a CD for a specified term.

The bottom line: Are BB&T CDs right for you?

BB&T does offer some flexible deals to its customers, but in general, better CD rates can be found at both banks and credit unions with comparable terms. You can find them on our list of the best CD rates, which we update every month.

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.

Ralph Miller
Ralph Miller |

Ralph Miller is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Ralph here

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Reviews

Latino Community Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CDs and Money Market Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established2000
Total Assets$0.3B
LEARN MORE on Latino Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

Latino Community Credit Union was founded in 2000 in Durham, N.C., as a grassroots organization after a series of robberies and muggings of local Latino immigrants.

The credit union is closely affiliated with the Latino Community Development Center, a nonprofit organization created in 2002 as a grassroots response to address the financial literacy needs of recent Latino immigrants throughout North Carolina. The credit union today supports unbanked individuals and immigrant communities with financial education programs, encouraging community-relevant, socially responsible investments. Personal products include checking, savings, money market, retirement and personal loans. Its commercial banking efforts including services to microbusinesses and nonprofit organizations.

Brick-and-mortar locations for the credit union are in North Carolina. For this review, we used the credit union’s corporate headquarters location of Durham — 22702 — for consistency when showing rates.

The credit union prioritizes account transactions to the advantage of the customer, beginning with deposits and other credits, and then processing debits.

To open any account at the credit union, an individual must first become a member of the nonprofit. Members need not be Latino. For those living in North Carolina, accounts can be opened either in person at a branch or via an online application. Those living outside of the state can apply online. All account applications require:

  • Your full legal name and physical address
  • Your Social Security number
  • A valid U.S.-issued photo ID
  • Information on how you will fund your new accounts (you can mail a check or use a credit or debit card)

Those with a foreign ID must visit a branch in person.

Latino Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.20%

Savings

Latino Credit Union Regular Savings Account

1.90%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.75%

CD Rates

Latino Credit Union 12 Month CD

2.55%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.30%

CD Rates

Latino Credit Union 36 Month CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.60%

CD Rates

Latino Credit Union 60 Month CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Latino Community Credit Union’s checking account options

Regular Checking

This is Latino Community Credit Union’s basic checking account, which requires no minimum opening deposit.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.10%
$250
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0 when minimum balance of $250 is maintained; if not maintained, monthly fee is $2
  • ATM fee: No fee within CashPoints ATMs network. For all other completed ATM inquiries or transactions, 75 cents each. For all other incomplete ATM inquiries or transactions, 35 cents each. Foreign transactions involving multicurrency, 1% fee. Foreign transactions involving single currency, 0.80% fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 overdraft protection, up to six transactions per month; transactions beyond this amount will be charged a $30 fee

Anyone who is looking for a low-cost checking account and can maintain the minimum balance requirement may enjoy this account. The $250 balance requirement is pretty low compared to other banks. If the balance is not met, a $2 monthly fee is charged. This account earns interest, which is an added benefit.

This account comes with a Visa debit card for ATM access and purchases. There is an option to receive e-statements for this account, which comes with online banking access. Consumers can clear 50 checks for free each month on this account. After that, a $1 fee applies per check.

How to get Latino Community Credit Union’s Regular Checking

Apply to become a credit union member. Once a member, the account can be opened online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Latino Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

CashPoints Global

This checking account is designed for those who send money abroad or travel frequently.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $2
  • ATM fee: No fee within CashPoints ATMs network. For all other completed ATM inquiries or transactions, 75 cents each. For all other incomplete ATM inquiries or transactions, 35 cents each. Foreign multicurrency transactions, 1% fee. Single currency transactions, 0.80% fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: Debit transactions are limited to the amount in the account, so overdraft fees cannot be incurred.

Individuals who travel frequently or need to send money abroad will be best suited for the CashPoints Global checking account. This account is also marketed by Latino Community Credit Union as suitable for anyone who shops online.

This account requires no minimum balance, which is nice, but it’s noninterest-bearing. It comes with a Visa debit card and ATM access. There is an unavoidable $2 monthly maintenance fee.

This account comes with an option to receive e-statements. Account holders may designate authorized users on the account such as a student or family member in another country through the CashPoints Global feature.

How to get Latino Community Credit Union’s CashPoints Global

Apply to become a credit union member. Once a member, the account can be opened online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Latino Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Youth Checking

The Youth Checking account is a starter checking account targeted toward teens ages 13 to 19.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.10%
None
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: No fee
  • ATM fee: No fee within CashPoints ATMs network. For all other completed ATM inquiries or transactions, 75 cents each. For all other incomplete ATM inquiries or transactions, 35 cents each. Foreign transactions involving multicurrency, 1% fee. Foreign transactions involving single currency, 0.80% fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 overdraft protection, up to six transactions per month. Transactions beyond this amount will be charged a $30 fee.

The Youth Checking account is intended as an account to help teens “get a head start on life.”

Teens will earn interest on their account balance, which offers a nice incentive. They can receive e-statements on the account, access the account via online banking, access ATMs via a Visa debit card and basically have all the same privileges that come with the Regular Checking account for adults.

This account is best for teens who want to start learning about money and earn some interest on their checking account balance.

How to get Latino Community Credit Union’s Youth Checking

Apply to become a credit union member. You must be ages 13 to 19. Once a member, the account can be opened online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Latino Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Latino Community Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

While the institution advertises its checking account interest rates as being above average, they are not the best available when compared to the best online checking accounts.

Better checking account interest rates can be found elsewhere. The CashPoints Global and Youth Checking accounts do not require a minimum balance, which is on par with some of the best accounts available. They are enticing for consumers who want an account with no balance requirement.

Latino Community Credit Union’s savings account options

Regular Savings

Regular Savings is Latino Community Credit Union’s basic deposit account. It comes with a low initial deposit requirement, allowing almost anyone to begin saving.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.20%
$10
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0 if minimum balance is maintained; otherwise, $2 a month
  • ATM fee: No fee within CashPoints ATMs network. For all other completed ATM inquiries or transactions, 75 cents each. For all other incomplete ATM inquiries or transactions, 35 cents each. Foreign transactions involving multicurrency, 1% fee. Foreign transactions involving single currency, 0.80% fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 overdraft protection, up to six transactions per month; transactions beyond this amount will be charged a $30 fee

The Regular Savings account at Latino Community Credit Union allows individuals to open a savings account and begin saving with a very low opening deposit. This account would be good for anyone who wants to start saving but is intimidated by opening and minimum balance requirements.

There is a $2 monthly maintenance fee on this account, but only if balance drops below the $10 opening balance requirement. This account does earn interest — twice the rate on Latino Community Credit Union’s Regular Checking account.

Account holders can opt to receive e-statements and can access their account via ATMs. This account is opened as part of the new credit union membership process.

Per Federal Reserve Regulation D, which regulates reserve requirements for banking institutions and limits the number of preauthorized withdrawals and transfers that consumers can make from a savings account or money market account, banks may charge a fee, close the account or convert the account to a checking account as a result of excess withdrawals.

How to get Latino Community Credit Union’s Regular Savings

This account is automatically opened for new credit union members.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Latino Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Holiday Savings

This unique account offers a savings vehicle with one caveat: You cannot access your money until the end of October.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.20%
$10
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0 if minimum balance is maintained; otherwise, $2 a month
  • ATM fee: N/A (withdrawals are not permitted from this account)
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is best for someone who wants to save but may lack the necessary discipline. This account is touted as a Holiday Savings account to help consumers save money for holiday expenses. While deposits can be made into this account throughout the year, none of the money is available until the end of October, when the entire account balance is transferred to an account chosen by the member.

While this account is intended for holiday saving, it could be used for any savings milestone.

This account would not be good for anyone who plans to make withdrawals from their savings account or needs access to their money prior to Oct. 31 of each year.

This account earns interest and comes with other basics, such as e-statements, access to ATMs and online banking.

Per Federal Reserve Regulation D, which regulates reserve requirements for banking institutions and limits the number of preauthorized withdrawals and transfers that consumers can make from a savings account or money market account, banks may charge a fee, close the account or convert the account to a checking account as a result of excess withdrawals.

How to get Latino Community Credit Union’s Holiday Savings

Apply to become a credit union member. Once a member, the account can be opened online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Latino Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Youth Savings

The Youth Savings account is a starter savings account for teens that requires a minimal opening deposit.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.20%
$10
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0 if minimum balance is maintained; otherwise, $2 a month
  • ATM fee: No fee within CashPoints ATMs network. For all other completed ATM inquiries or transactions, 75 cents each. For all other incomplete ATM inquiries or transactions, 35 cents each. Foreign transactions involving multicurrency, 1% fee. Foreign transactions involving single currency, 0.80% fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is best for anyone ages 13 to 19 who wants to open a savings account with specific goals — a car, college or something else.

The $10 minimum initial deposit requirement is low, which could help encourage teens to begin saving. If that balance is maintained, there is no monthly maintenance fee. This account does earn interest.

It also comes with the basics such as the option to receive e-statements, online banking and ATM access. There is no overdraft protection on this account. To be a member of Latino Community Credit Union, this account must be opened if you’re ages 13 to 19.

Per Federal Reserve Regulation D, which regulates reserve requirements for banking institutions and limits the number of preauthorized withdrawals and transfers that consumers can make from a savings account or money market account, banks may charge a fee, close the account or convert the account to a checking account as a result of excess withdrawals.

How to get Latino Community Credit Union’s Youth Savings

Visit a local branch to open this account. All account holders must be credit union members first — and must be ages 13 to 19.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Latino Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Children Savings

The Children Savings account is for those 12 and younger, and is intended to help them learn about money and begin saving.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.20%
$10
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

According to Latino Community Credit Union, this account will help teach children about the value of money and encourage saving. The account requires a low opening deposit amount and a low minimum balance. The Children Savings account comes with membership to Tita’s Savings Club, a savings program for youth.

The account must be jointly opened and held with a parent, grandparent or other adult. There is no monthly maintenance fee on this account, which is nice. This account earns interest.

Once the account holder reaches age 13, their account will be converted to a Youth Savings account. All account holders for this account must first be a member of Latino Community Credit Union. Checks cannot be written on this account, and Automated Clearing House debits are not allowed on the account.

Per Federal Reserve Regulation D, which regulates reserve requirements for banking institutions and limits the number of preauthorized withdrawals and transfers that consumers can make from a savings account or money market account, banks may charge a fee, close the account or convert the account to a checking account as a result of excess withdrawals.

How to get Latino Community Credit Union’s Children Savings

Visit a local branch to open this account. All account holders must be credit union members first and must be 12 or younger.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Latino Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Latino Community Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Each account offers different features or is geared toward a specific age group.

But when compared to the best online savings accounts, the APY on the accounts that provide interest are nowhere near the highest rate available. Consumers looking for a high interest rate on savings accounts should look elsewhere.

Latino Community Credit Union’s CD rates

Regular Certificates of Deposit

These are the bank’s regular CD products, available in varying terms. Rates may change at any time.
TermAPY
6 months1.55%
12 months1.75%
18 months1.85%
24 months2.15%
36 months2.30%
48 months2.40%
60 months2.60%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days of interest or all interest accrued or earned, whichever is less, for certificates of six, 12 or 18 months; 180 days of interest or all interest accrued or earned, whichever is less, for certificates of 24 months

These CDs would be best for anyone who does not need access to their money for six to 60 months and would like to earn interest.

The CDs require a $500 minimum initial deposit, with rates fixed by duration.

Latino Community Credit Union’s CDs come with an option to receive e-statements and online access to the account. Interest on these CDs accrues daily but is not compounded.

How to get Latino Community Credit Union’s Regular CDs

Apply to become a credit union member. Once a member, the account can be opened online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Latino Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Cash Back Certificates of Deposit

These CDs provide cash back when they’re opened.
TermAPY
6 months Fixed rates depending on term
12 months Fixed rates depending on term
18 months Fixed rates depending on term
24 months Fixed rates depending on term
36 months Fixed rates depending on term
48 months Fixed rates depending on term
60 months Fixed rates depending on term
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days of interest or all interest accrued or earned, whichever is less, for certificates of 12 or 18 months; 180 days of interest or all interest accrued or earned, whichever is less, for certificates of 24 months or more

This CD would be good for anyone who can meet the $5,000 opening balance requirement and would like to receive a little extra incentive for their investment via the cashback perk.

The bonus is 1% of the total deposit amount rounded to the nearest cent. This bonus comes in addition to interest earned on the CD. The CD must be kept for at least one year from the date of opening; otherwise, the bonus amount will be forfeited.

These CDs come with online banking and an option to receive e-statements. Organizational members cannot open these CDs. Interest is accrued daily but does not compound.

How to get Latino Community Credit Union’s Cash Back CDs

Apply to become a credit union member. Once a member, the account can be opened online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Latino Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Good Homes Vibrant Communities CD

These CDs are intended to support the goal of first-time homeownership.
TermAPY
6 months Fixed rates depending on term
12 months Fixed rates depending on term
18 months Fixed rates depending on term
24 months Fixed rates depending on term
36 months Fixed rates depending on term
48 months Fixed rates depending on term
60 months Fixed rates depending on term
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days of interest or all interest accrued or earned, whichever is less, for certificates of six, 12 or 18 months; 180 days of interest or all interest accrued or earned, whichever is less, for certificates of 24 months or more

This account would be best for a first-time homebuyer with the minimum $500 opening deposit amount who can agree to the reasonable terms.

Latino Community Credit Union sees homeownership as a key way for families to build and transfer wealth across generations.

These CDs come with online banking and an option to receive e-statements. Interest is accrued daily but does not compound.

How to get Latino Community Credit Union’s Good Homes Vibrant Communities CDs

Apply to become a credit union member. Once a member, the account can be opened online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Latino Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Next Generation CD

These CDs are intended to support an investment in the future by supporting children.
TermAPY
6 months Fixed rates depending on term
12 months Fixed rates depending on term
18 months Fixed rates depending on term
24 months Fixed rates depending on term
36 months Fixed rates depending on term
48 months Fixed rates depending on term
60 months Fixed rates depending on term
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days of interest or all interest accrued or earned, whichever is less, for certificates of six, 12 or 18 month duration; 180 days of interest or all interest accrued or earned, whichever is less, for certificates of 24 months or more

This account would be best for anyone who can meet the $500 minimum opening deposit amount, can agree to the minimum terms and would like to support their family’s next generation.

According to Latino Community Credit Union, money invested in this CD will “circulate in” and “benefit your community,” namely in the form of helping local families who want to invest in their children’s future. Basically, the bank will use this money to offer loans to families with children.

These CDs come with online banking and an option to receive e-statements. Interest is accrued daily but does not compound.

How to get Latino Community Credit Union’s Next Generation CDs

Apply to become a credit union member. Once a member, the account can be opened online.

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How Latino Community Credit Union’s CD rates compare

The rates for the Regular CDs are OK, but not the best available when compared to the best CD rates. A careful examination of the duration of a CD product — along with the interest rate — would be best before investing. The higher-term CDs offered by Latino Community Credit Union come close but may have a higher term than other CDs with the same interest rate.

Latino Community Credit Union’s money market account option

Money Market

Latino Community Credit Union says its Money Market account will offer a “better” return on a “bigger” balance.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
1.01%
$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: No fee if minimum balance is maintained; otherwise, $5 a month
  • ATM fee: No fee within CashPoints ATMs network. For all other completed ATM inquiries or transactions, 75 cents each. For all other incomplete ATM inquiries or transactions, 35 cents each. Foreign transactions involving multicurrency, 1% fee. Foreign transactions involving single currency, 0.80% fee.
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $5 overdraft protection, up to six transactions per month; transactions beyond this amount will be charged a $30 fee

This Money Market account would be best for someone looking for more interest than the standard savings accounts offered by Latino Community Credit Union. This account does require a $500 minimum balance amount to earn APY and to avoid monthly fees.

This account earns interest and comes with the basics: an option for e-statements, online banking and ATM access.

The Money Market account would not be well-suited for anyone who wouldn’t be able to keep the minimum balance in the account.

Per Federal Reserve Regulation D, which regulates reserve requirements for banking institutions and limits the number of preauthorized withdrawals and transfers that consumers can make from a savings account or money market account, banks may charge a fee, close the account or convert the account to a checking account as a result of excess withdrawals.

How to get Latino Community Credit Union’s Money Market account

Apply to become a credit union member. Once a member, the account can be opened online.

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on Latino Credit Union’s secure website

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How Latino Community Credit Union’s money market account compares

When compared on an interest rate basis, this account just barely is on par with the best money market rates available. But many of the accounts with the best rates do not require much of a minimum balance, which the Latino Community Credit Union Money Market account does.

Overall review of Latino Community Credit Union’s banking products

Latino Community Credit Union offers some nice niche products. It has products to encourage saving for those younger than 18, and for teens to learn how to use a checking account. This is better than most institutions, which either offer nothing or just one youth savings account — and forget about checking.

For those who want to invest in a “cause,” the CD products that are closely connected to Latino Community Credit Union’s loan products are worth a look.

The adult checking, savings and money market accounts cover the basics and are nothing special. They do not offer the best interest rates available.

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.

Holly Hammersmith
Holly Hammersmith |

Holly Hammersmith is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Holly here

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Reviews

Amegy Bank Reviews: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1873
Total Assets$66.3B
LEARN MORE on Amegy Bank’s secure websiteMember FDIC

You might have heard of Amegy Bank if you live in Texas — but that’s only the most recent incarnation of this bank. It adopted the name in 2005 shortly before being acquired by Zions Bancorporation, a $65 billion company that owns a portfolio of community banks around the country. Before that, the bank has gone through numerous mergers and name changes since its start as the Southwest Bank of Texas in 1990.

Amegy Bank operates over 75 branches throughout Texas. One thing to be aware of is that the ATM network with Amegy Bank is much more restrictive than with, say, a credit union. You can only use Amegy Bank ATMs for free, and with only 142 ATMs in its network, that’s not a whole lot to choose from. This may be one to skip if you use ATMs frequently while traveling outside of Texas (and even then, 142 ATMs across the entire Lone Star state isn’t that many).

Even though Amegy Bank specializes in working with businesses (and especially real estate and energy businesses), they do offer a full suite of personal deposit accounts — these will be the focus of our review here. Read on to find out all the details you need to know if you’re interested in banking with Amegy Bank.

Amegy Bank’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.05%

Savings

Amegy Bank Savings

1.90%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.20%

CD Rates

Amegy Bank 12 Month Personal CD

2.55%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.70%

CD Rates

Amegy Bank 36 Month Personal CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.00%

CD Rates

Amegy Bank 60 Month Personal CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

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Amegy Bank’s checking account options

OnBudget Banking

This checking account doesn’t actually let you write checks or earn interest, but it does come with zero overdraft fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 if you’re 26 or older. $4 if you’re 25 or younger. If you want paper statements, there’ll be another $2 monthly fee.
  • ATM fee: $2.50 per transaction, and $2 per balance inquiry at non-Amegy-Bank ATMs. If you use your card abroad, there’ll be a 3% foreign transaction fee for ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases.
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: none, although all charges will be declined if they will overdraw your account. Alternatively, you can set up an overdraft line of credit or a backup overdraft account to pay overdraft charges. This will cost you $7.50 per transfer, but only if your account is overdrawn by $10 or more.

This account is probably best for folks who have a hard time qualifying for a normal checking account and/or who overdraft their account frequently.

To see why, consider this: you’ll have to pay a $4 to $7 monthly fee with this account, and there is no way to avoid it like with all of Amegy Bank’s other checking accounts. Once open, you can’t even use the account to write paper checks, or the online Bill Pay feature, either — meaning you’re left with just using your debit card, ACH transfers, or the Zelle payment system.

All of those things sound like bad consumer banking policies (and they are), but on the flipside, this account doesn’t charge any overdraft fees. That sounds nice, but the bank also won’t pay overdraft charges, meaning you could find yourself in an embarrassing situation with a declined purchase. You’ll still have the ability to link up an overdraft account or a backup savings or money market account to pay for these charges (only if they overdraw your account by $10 or more), but there will be a charge for this as well: $7.50 per transfer.

How to get Amegy Bank’s OnBudget Banking account

If you’re at least 18 years old and have a Social Security Number, you can open this account. You’ll also need to visit the bank in person to open an account, since there isn’t an option to apply for this account online (you can apply for others online; just not this one).

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Anytime Checking

Amegy Bank’s standard non-interest-bearing checking account comes with a monthly fee, but it is possible to get it waived.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6, unless you meet the requirements to have the fee waived. If you want paper statements, that’ll be another $2 per month.
  • ATM fee: $2.50 per transaction, and $2 per balance inquiry at non-Amegy-Bank ATMs. If you use your card abroad, there’ll be a 3% foreign transaction fee for ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases.
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item (up to five items per day) if it overdraws your account by $5 or more. If it stays overdrawn for five days or more, you’ll owe another $5 per day for up to 30 days. If you link up a line of credit or a backup account, you’ll pay $7.50 per transfer if your account is overdrawn by $10 or more.

If you’d rather be able to write checks, use Online Bill Pay, and be able to waive the monthly fee, this Amegy Bank account might be better for you. The monthly fee is higher — $6 — but you can get it waived if you meet one of the following criteria each month:

  • A direct deposit of at least $250
  • 10 Amegy Bank credit or debit card purchases
  • Be age 25 or younger

This account also does not come with interest, and you will have to pay the full suite of overdraft fees with this account when you overdraft your account.

How to get Amegy Bank’s Anytime Checking account

You can apply for this account online as long as you have a Social Security Number and are at least 18 years old. You’ll need to provide your current bank account number to fund the account, and sign and return a signature card to officially open the account.

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Anytime Interest Checking

You can earn interest and one ATM fee waiver per month with this checking account, but watch out for the monthly fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.01%
$0.01
0.01%
$1,000
0.01%
$2,500
0.01%
$5,000
0.05%
$25,000
0.10%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 if you don’t meet the monthly requirements to waive the fee.
  • ATM fee: $2.50 per transaction, and $2 per balance inquiry at non-Amegy-Bank ATMs. If you use your card abroad, there’ll be a 3% foreign transaction fee for ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases.
  • ATM fee refund: One Amegy Bank ATM fee refund per month (not including the surcharge fee from the ATM’s owner).
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item (up to five items per day) if it overdraws your account by $5 or more. If it stays overdrawn for five days or more, you’ll owe another $5 per day for up to 30 days. If you link up a line of credit or a backup account, you’ll pay $7.50 per transfer if your account is overdrawn by $10 or more.

Amegy Bank offers two different interest-bearing accounts, each of which charge a monthly fee (but also come with ways to waive that fee). By far, this account is the easiest one for most people to keep, since there are two relatively simple ways to get the monthly fee waived:

  • Keep at least $1,500 in the account
  • Keep at least $10,000 across all of your Amegy Bank deposit and personal loan accounts

You’ll still earn interest even if you do end up paying the monthly fee. You’ll also get one Amegy Bank ATM fee refund per month. They won’t refund any ATM surcharge fees, however. The bank also will toss in a free first order of checks (as long as they’re basic checks). If you want designer checks, you’ll get 30% off your first order.

How to get Amegy Bank’s Anytime Interest checking account

You can apply for this account at a local Amegy Bank branch, or by applying online. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old, have a Social Security Number, and your current bank’s routing information to transfer money into your new account. If you open the account online, you’ll also need to sign and return a signature card to finish opening your account.

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Premium Interest Checking

Even though this account has steep monthly requirements, it still doesn’t offer that great of interest.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.01%
$0.01
0.01%
$1,000
0.01%
$2,500
0.10%
$5,000
0.10%
$25,000
0.15%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25 unless you meet the requirements to waive the fee, plus another $2 if you want monthly paper statements
  • ATM fee: $2.50 per transaction, and $2 per balance inquiry at non-Amegy-Bank ATMs. If you use your card abroad, there’ll be a 3% foreign transaction fee for ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases.
  • ATM fee refund: Three Amegy Bank ATM fee refunds per month (even including ATM surcharge fees).
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item (up to five items per day) if it overdraws your account by $5 or more. If it stays overdrawn for five days or more, you’ll owe another $5 per day for up to 30 days. If you link up a line of credit or a backup overdraft protection account, there won’t be any overdraft transfer fees with this particular account.

This account still doesn’t earn very good interest rates, but they are the highest interest rates out of any checking accounts that Amegy Bank offers. In order to get the most from this account though, you’ll have to navigate past a very high $25 monthly fee. You can get the fee waived if you meet at least one of these criteria each month:

  • Keep at least $10,000 in your account
  • Keep at least $25,000 across all of your Amegy Bank deposit and personal loan accounts

This account also comes with a smattering of random banking perks. You’ll get three out-of-network ATM fee refunds (including the ATM surcharge fee) per month. Amegy Bank will give you free basic checks for life (or 30% off designer checks).

You’ll also get free cashier’s checks, one free incoming wire transfer per month, and you won’t pay any overdraft transfer fees. Finally, any monthly fees will also be waived on linked money market and savings accounts you have, and you’ll earn premium rates on other deposit accounts. Amegy Bank doesn’t disclose what these “premium rates” are, so you’ll have to contact the bank to get the most current rate information if you have this account.

How to get Amegy Bank’s Premium Interest Checking account

You have two options for opening this account: you can do it online, or at a local branch. If doing it online, you’ll need to fill out and return a signature card to finish the application process. You’ll also need to provide Amegy Bank with a few details on your application, such as your name, Social Security Number, and your current bank account’s routing information.

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Advantage Checking

This is Amegy Bank’s only monthly-fee-free checking account, and only available to seniors, military members, and WorkLife Banking clients.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: none
  • ATM fee: $2.50 per transaction, and $2 per balance inquiry at non-Amegy-Bank ATMs. If you use your card abroad, there’ll be a 3% foreign transaction fee for ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases.
  • ATM fee refund: Three Amegy Bank ATM fee refunds per month (even including ATM surcharge fees).
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item (up to five items per day) if it overdraws your account by $5 or more. If it stays overdrawn for five days or more, you’ll owe another $5 per day for up to 30 days. If you link up a line of credit or a backup account, you’ll pay $7.50 per transfer if your account is overdrawn by $10 or more.

If you’re a senior aged 62 years or older, an active military member or a veteran, or you’re enrolled in Amegy Bank’s WorkLife Banking business banking account, you’re eligible for this free checking account. If you’re a WorkLife Banking customer and you want monthly paper statements, however, you’ll need to pay a $2 monthly fee.

This account also doesn’t offer any interest, but it does give you a few other things. You’ll get three ATM fee refunds per month if you use an out-of-network ATM (Amegy Bank will even refund the ATM surcharge fee charged by the ATM’s owner). You’ll also get free basic-style checks for the life of the account, or a 30% discount on designer checks.

How to get Amegy Bank’s Advantage Checking account

Here’s another account that you must open at a branch, since an online application doesn’t exist for this particular account. You’ll need to have a Social Security Number and be at least 18 years old to open this account.

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How Amegy Bank’s checking accounts compare

Regional banks like Amegy Bank like to tout how consumer-friendly and fair they are compared to the big nationwide banks. But in reality, most of these banks have fee structures that are just as pricey and confusing as their larger counterparts — Amegy Bank is no exception to that rule.

Four out of five of Amegy Bank’s checking accounts come with high monthly fees. The overdraft policies on these accounts can quickly drain you of any money you might have left elsewhere, if you’re not careful. Unless you avoid ATMs entirely, it’ll be hard to avoid paying a lot of ATM fees too, since the bank charges high fees for out-of-network ATM use, and frankly doesn’t have that many in-network ATMs.

Only two of these accounts offer any interest at all, and they’re pretty poor rates at that. Instead, we recommend skipping Amegy Bank’s checking accounts for these top online checking accounts. They offer a much better fee structure, and come with high interest rates to match.

Amegy Bank’s savings account options

Savings

Features of this account include a very low interest rate and a monthly fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
0.05%
$1,000
0.05%
$5,000
0.05%
$25,000
0.10%
$50,000
0.15%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4, unless you meet the requirements to waive the fee
  • ATM fee: $2.50 per transaction, and $2 per balance inquiry at non-Amegy-Bank ATMs. If you use your card abroad, there’ll be a 3% foreign transaction fee for ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases.
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item (up to five items per day) if it overdraws your account by $5 or more. If it stays overdrawn for five days or more, you’ll owe another $5 per day for up to 30 days. If you link up a line of credit or a backup overdraft protection account, there won’t be any overdraft transfer fees with this particular account.

There’s only one Savings account for adults to choose at Amegy Bank, and this is it. Like its interest-bearing checking accounts, this one offers a six-tier schedule of rates (even though the first four tiers are currently the same rate — ultra low).

This savings account also comes with a monthly fee (yep, you read that right — a fee to store your savings). There are two ways you can qualify each month to have it waived:

  • Keep at least $200 in the account
  • Set up recurring monthly transfers of at least $25 from your checking account into this savings account

Federal Regulation D limits all savings and money market accounts up to six certain withdrawals per month. A few withdrawal types don’t count, including withdrawals made by ATM, by mail, or in person at a branch. If you exceed the six-withdrawal limit by the other methods, you’ll owe a $5 excessive withdrawal fee. If you do this more than three times in a year, Amegy Bank will close or restructure your account.

How to get Amegy Bank’s Savings account

You can easily apply for this account online or at a local Amegy Bank branch, if you live in Texas. You’ll need to provide a few details about yourself on the application, such as your Social Security Number, your current bank routing information (to make an opening deposit), an email address, etc… If you’re opening the account remotely, you’ll also need to sign and send in a signature card.

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Young Savers

This monthly-fee-free account is available to young adults aged 25 and under.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$0.01
0.15%
$100
0.15%
$500
0.15%
$1,000
0.15%
$10,000
0.15%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: none
  • ATM fee: $2.50 per transaction, and $2 per balance inquiry at non-Amegy-Bank ATMs. If you use your card abroad, there’ll be a 3% foreign transaction fee for ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases.
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item (up to five items per day) if it overdraws your account by $5 or more. If it stays overdrawn for five days or more, you’ll owe another $5 per day for up to 30 days. If you link up a line of credit or a backup overdraft protection account, there won’t be any overdraft transfer fees with this particular account.

This young adults’ savings account offers some of the most consumer-friendly policies you’ll see at Amegy Bank. It only takes a small $5 deposit to get started, and there are no monthly maintenance fees to worry about.

Young adults also receive the highest tier-level interest rate offered on savings accounts, but across their entire balance (even if they have just a penny in the account). To qualify for this account, you’ll need to be under 25 years of age. Once you hit age 26, this account will automatically turn into a regular Savings account (complete with monthly fees and everything).

Since this is a savings account, you’re allowed up to six certain withdrawals per month according to federal Regulation D. If you exceed that, you’ll be hit with a $5 per-withdrawal penalty, and if you go over that more than three times in a year, the account will be closed or converted into a different type. Withdrawals made by mail, in person, or via ATM don’t count towards this six-withdrawal limit.

How to get Amegy Bank’s Young Savers account

Even though this is an account for young people, you’ll still need to be at least 18 years old to open this account — in other words, it’s not a kids’ or teens’ savings account. If you fit that bill, you can apply for this account online or at a local branch.

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How Amegy Bank’s savings accounts compare

There’s no bones about it: the rates offered on Amegy Bank’s savings accounts are ultra-low. In fact, you can earn interest rates at least ten times higher with one of these online savings accounts instead.

We also don’t like that there’s no good option for a kids’ or teens’ savings account. “Young Saver” is a bit misleading if it only applies to people aged 18-25. That’s still young (at least for people over age 26), but not quite what you think of when you hear the words “young saver.”

We also don’t like that the regular Savings account charges a monthly fee. Saving money with a bank helps its bottom line; that’s why most banks encourage deposits by not charging you a fee to store your money there. Amegy Bank apparently feels differently.

Amegy Bank’s CD rates

Personal CD

These CDs don’t offer very good rates compared to Amegy Bank’s top competitors.
TermAPY
7 days0.15%
1 month0.15%
3 months0.15%
6 months0.20%
9 months0.25%
12 months2.20%
18 months0.40%
24 months2.20%
36 months0.70%
48 months0.75%
60 months1.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: This will depend on your CD’s term length:
    • For the 7-day and 1-month CDs, you’ll forfeit all interest earned
    • For CDs from 3 months to 12 months, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest
    • For CDs over 12 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest

If you don’t mind locking up your money for a potentially long period of time, these CDs offer some the highest rates you can get at Amegy Bank. Oddly enough, Amegy Bank allows you to choose when your interest payments are credited to the CD: you can choose to have it credited monthly or annually (if your CD lasts 12 months or longer). By default, however, interest will be credited when the CD matures for CDs 12 months and under, or quarterly for CDs longer than 12 months.

You can withdraw interest at any time as well without having to pay a penalty. However, this may reduce your earnings, though, since Amegy Bank assumes you’ll be leaving interest in the account to accrue even more interest when calculating your APY.

Amegy Bank will send you a notice before your CD matures to give you a heads-up. CDs will automatically renew for another term length, and you’ll have a 10-day grace period (3 days for the 7-day and 1-month CDs) where you can withdraw the money or make any other changes to the account without paying any penalties. After that, the CD will be locked in again for another term.

How to get Amegy Bank’s Personal CD

You can apply for this CD at an Amegy Bank branch or online. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old and have a valid Social Security Number. If you open the account online, Amegy Bank will also provide you with a signature card that you’ll need to return to open your account.

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Personal Jumbo CD

If you’ve got a spare $100,000 sitting around, you can earn rates that are just a smidge higher with one of these Personal Jumbo CDs.
TermAPY
7 days0.20%
1 month0.20%
3 months0.20%
6 months0.25%
9 months0.30%
12 months2.20%
18 months0.45%
24 months2.20%
36 months0.75%
48 months0.80%
60 months1.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: This will depend on your CD’s term length:
    • For the 7-day and 1-month CDs, you’ll forfeit all interest earned
    • For CDs from 3 months and 12 months, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest
    • For CDs over 12 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest

Amegy Bank’s Personal Jumbo CDs require a much larger deposit amount (at least $100,000) and earn rates that are slightly higher than the normal Personal CDs. But other than that, these CDs really aren’t all that different.

Interest on these CDs can be withdrawn early without paying a penalty, though this might lower your actual APY. You’ll receive a notice in the mail before your CD matures so that you can get ready to withdraw the money during the 10-day grace period (three days for CDs one month and under) after maturity, if you want. If you opt to do nothing, the CD will renew for another term length.

How to get Amegy Bank’s Personal Jumbo CDs

If you’ve got the cash to open this account (and the routing number for a bank account to provide the opening deposit), you can open the account online. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old and provide a Social Security Number. Alternatively, you can always open this CD at an Amegy Bank branch.

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How Amegy Bank’s CD rates compare

First, the good news: Amegy Bank has comparatively cheap early withdrawal penalties. The maximum you’ll pay is 180 days’ worth of interest on the amount of principal (i.e., your starting deposit amount) you withdraw. Many other banks charge 365 days’ worth of interest or more for the longest-term CDs. So if you think that there’s a good likelihood that you’ll need to withdraw some money early, these might be good CDs to choose. Alternatively, you could just pick a more liquid account type, such as a money market account, or a high-yield savings account at another bank.

But as far as interest rates go, sadly, Amegy Bank isn’t that great. Its current rate for a five-year CD is very, very low — less than a third of what the top CDs are offering nowadays. If earning the highest interest rates on your CD is your priority, Amegy Bank isn’t the right one for you.

Amegy Bank’s money market account option

Money Market

This is the highest-earning liquid account at Amegy Bank.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1,000
0.05%
$5,000
0.30%
$25,000
0.35%
$100,000
0.40%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12 if your account balance falls below $1,000
  • ATM fee: $2.50 per transaction, and $2 per balance inquiry at non-Amegy-Bank ATMs. If you use your card abroad, there’ll be a 3% foreign transaction fee for ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases.
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item (up to five items per day) if it overdraws your account by $5 or more. If it stays overdrawn for five days or more, you’ll owe another $5 per day for up to 30 days. If you link up a line of credit or a backup overdraft protection account, there won’t be any overdraft transfer fees with this particular account.

Amegy Bank’s Money Market account is best for people who have larger-size deposits available and want to earn higher interest rates, but also want to be able to access their money without paying any early withdrawal fees associated with CD accounts. You’ll need a larger deposit amount to start compared to the Savings account — $500 vs $50 — but you’ll start to earn slightly better rates once you reach the $25,000 threshold.

You can write checks with this account, but because it’s a money market account, you’re still allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals per month due to federal Regulation D rules. Withdrawals made in person, by mail, or at an ATM don’t count towards this limit. Amegy Bank will charge you a whopping $20 per withdrawal if you go over the six-withdrawal monthly limit, and if you do it enough (three times in a year, specifically), they may close or restructure your account.

How to get Amegy Bank’s Money Market account

You’ll need to be at least 18 years of age and possess a Social Security Number to open this account. You can open the account either online or in person. If opening it online, Amegy Bank will provide you with a form for your signature that you’ll need to return to the bank.

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How Amegy Bank’s Money Market account compares

Amegy Bank does offer a tiered interest rate scheme, but even at the highest tiers, the bank still can’t compare to the rates that the best money market accounts are currently offering.

Furthermore, the bank only offers the highest-tier rate on balances above $250,000 — that’s above the limits for FDIC insurance. It would be wise to consider whether depositing more than that would be worth the trouble, especially since you could lose that money if Amegy Bank were ever to go under.

Amegy Bank’s IRA account options

Personal IRA CD

Amegy Bank’s IRA CDs are carbon copies of its regular Personal CDs.
TermAPY
7 days0.15%
1 month0.15%
3 months0.15%
6 months0.20%
9 months0.25%
12 months2.20%
18 months0.40%
24 months2.20%
36 months0.70%
48 months0.75%
60 months1.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: This will depend on your CD’s term length:
    • For the 7-day and 1-month CDs, you’ll forfeit all interest earned
    • For CDs from 3 months and 12 months, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest
    • For CDs over 12 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest

You can save for your retirement at Amegy Bank with one of its IRA CDs. They’re basically the same thing as the Personal CDs, even right down to the same interest rates.

When your IRA CD finishes its term, Amegy Bank will automatically renew it. Since it’s a retirement investment you’ll probably want to just leave it in there to keep renewing until you need it. But should you want to withdraw the money or roll it over into another IRA account, you will get a brief 10-day grace period (or three days for CDs one month and under) after each auto-renewal to do so penalty-free. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay the early withdrawal penalty.

How to get Amegy Bank’s Personal IRA CDs

As long as you’re at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security Number, and a bank account that can provide the opening deposit, you can open this account. There are two ways you can do so: online, or in person at a branch. Amegy Bank will send you a signature form if you opt to open the account online, which you’ll need to return to open your account.

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Personal Jumbo IRA CD

Again, these rates really aren’t all that impressive, especially for a retirement savings account.
TermAPY
7 days0.20%
1 month0.20%
3 months0.20%
6 months0.25%
9 months0.30%
12 months2.20%
18 months0.45%
24 months2.20%
36 months0.75%
48 months0.80%
60 months1.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: This will depend on your CD’s term length:
    • For the 7-day and 1-month CDs, you’ll forfeit all interest earned
    • For CDs from 3 months and 12 months, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest
    • For CDs over 12 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest

Hopefully you’ll be saving up quite a bit of money for retirement. If that’s the case, you may well have over $100,000, the minimum deposit size needed to open this IRA CD. You can earn slightly higher interest rates with this Jumbo IRA CD as opposed to a Personal IRA CD, but it’s not much more.

Like the rest of Amegy Bank’s CDs and IRA CDs, your Jumbo IRA CD will automatically renew once its term ends. The bank will send you a notice before this happens so you can get ready to take action, if you wish. After the IRA CD renews, there will be a brief 10-day period where you can withdraw the money or make any other changes to the IRA CD. If you have a 7-day or 1-month IRA CD, this window is cut a bit shorter, to just three days.

How to get Amegy Bank’s Jumbo IRA CD

This IRA CD can be opened at a local branch. You can also choose to open it online. If you do it online, you’ll need to send Amegy Bank back a signature form, which they’ll provide when you apply for an account.

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How Amegy Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

IRA CDs offer an advantage over more traditional retirement investments like stocks and bonds because your savings are guaranteed by the FDIC for up to $250,000. The tradeoff, however, is you’ll potentially earn less money — and that’s especially true with this bank, given the rates that these IRA CDs offer.

Since most people aren’t saving enough as it is for retirement, it’s especially important to earn the highest interest rates to make the most of what money you do have saved. That’s why we recommend these IRA CD options instead.

Overall review of Amegy Bank’s banking products

If you happen to live near an Amegy Bank branch and prefer to do your banking in person, Amegy Bank might work for you. But for most other people, we recommend looking to other banks, and here’s why.

Amegy Bank has very complicated banking policies. The overdraft and ATM fee policies alone require an entire paragraph to write out. This makes it easier to confuse consumers like you, which means less money in your pocket and more in the bank’s.

All of this hassle might be worth it if Amegy Bank had good (or even decent) interest rates on its products — but, sadly, it doesn’t. You can find much better options for each account type, especially if you’re willing to do your banking online. That’s why we recommend skipping this bank for one that offers better rates and more consumer-friendly policies.

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.

Lindsay VanSomeren
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Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

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

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1873
Total Assets$66.3B
LEARN MORE on California Bank & Trust’s secure websiteMember FDIC

California Bank and Trust has a long history of serving the financial needs of Californians. The bank has grown to more than $66 billion in assets across nearly 100 branch offices throughout California. CB&T is part of the larger Zions Bancorporation, which is a member of the S&P 500 stock index and consists of eight individual banks across 11 western states.

California Bank and Trust has a full roster of consumer-oriented products, ranging from a wide variety of checking accounts to savings accounts, CDs, money market accounts, and IRA products. However, the bank currently doesn’t offer an online application. To open a CB&T account, you’ll have to visit a branch with two forms of ID, such as a passport, government ID, or driver’s license.

Here’s a look at all of the types of personal accounts you can open at California Bank and Trust, including critical information such as account minimums, fees, interest rates, and features and benefits.

California Bank & Trust’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.06%

Savings

California Bank & Trust Savings Account

1.90%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

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California Bank and Trust’s checking account options

Anytime Checking

Anytime Checking is California Bank and Trust’s entry-level checking account that pays no interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6; $0 with a $250 monthly direct deposit, 10 debit or credit card transactions or for account holders ages 25 and younger
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2 for withdrawals from an ATM not owned or operated by Zions Bancorporation, N.A.
  • ATM refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $36 each (insufficient funds fee), maximum five per day; $12 with overdraft protection

Customers looking for a basic checking account with a modest opening deposit requirement might look at Anytime Checking. The account carries a monthly fee, but it can be waived with qualifying activities, such as direct deposits or debit/credit card transactions. Those under age 26 can also score a fee waiver, although you must be at least 18 to open this account. Also, note that if you’re escaping the monthly maintenance fee due to your age, that benefit will automatically expire once you turn 26.

Here are some of the other basic services included with the account:

  • online banking, including online bill pay
  • mobile check deposit
  • eStatements, eNotices, and eTax Documents
  • support for Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and Samsung® Pay
  • a U.S.-based customer service, available seven days a week
  • easy check reordering process

Those opting for paper statements instead of eStatements will be assessed a $2 monthly fee.

The account also has varying mobile deposit limits based on the age of the banking relationship. For accounts opened for zero to 59 days, the daily mobile deposit limit is $1,000, with a 30-day rolling cumulative total of $2,500. These limits jump to up $2,500 per day and $5,000 per 30 days with a relationship age of 60 to 179 days, and $5,000 and $10,000 for 180 days or longer.

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Anytime Interest Checking

Anytime Interest Checking is essentially the interest-bearing version of the Anytime Checking account, with a few added perks.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.02%
$0.01
0.02%
$1,000
0.04%
$2,500
0.04%
$5,000
0.06%
$25,000
0.06%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $11; $0 with a minimum daily balance of $1,500 or a combined personal deposit and personal loan/credit card balance of at least $10,000
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2 for withdrawals from an ATM not owned or operated by Zions Bancorporation, N.A.
  • ATM refund: Use any ATM in the U.S. and California Bank & Trust will waive the first withdrawal fee at other banks’ ATMs each month
  • Overdraft fee: $36 each (insufficient funds fee), maximum five per day; $12 with overdraft protection

Anytime Interest Checking has the same opening deposit requirement as the entry-level Anytime Checking account, and it has many of the same features, including the following:

  • online banking and bill pay
  • mobile check deposit
  • completely paperless account option
  • support for Google Pay™, Samsung® Pay, and Apple Pay®
  • a U.S.-based customer service team available seven days a week
  • an easy check reordering process

One of the additional benefits of the account, in addition to the interest payments, is the refund of one non-network ATM fee per month. The account has a much higher monthly fee that can only be waived with a maintaining balance, not on the basis of the account holder’s age or traditional qualifying activities such as direct deposits or credit/debit card usage. Mobile deposit limits are the same as with Anytime Checking, as is the $2 paper statement fee.

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Premium Interest Checking

Premium Interest Checking is California Bank & Trust’s top-of-the-line checking account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.02%
$0.01
0.02%
$1,000
0.05%
$2,500
0.05%
$5,000
0.07%
$25,000
0.07%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25; $0 with a combined personal deposit balance of $10,000 or a combined personal deposit and personal loan/credit card balance of $25,000
  • ATM fee: $0; $0 California Bank & Trust withdrawal charge on up to three transactions at other banks’ ATMs per month, $2 thereafter
  • ATM refund: up to three ATM fees charged by other banks each month
  • Overdraft fee: $36 each (insufficient funds fees), maximum five per day; $0 with overdraft protection

California Bank & Trust’s Premium Interest Checking account has the same low minimum opening deposit requirement as all of the bank’s checking accounts. However, the monthly fee is quite high on this account, and it can only be waived with a large personal deposit balance and/or a personal loan/credit card balance at the bank.

Standard features of the account are the same as with the bank’s other checking accounts, including mobile/online access and support for Google Pay™, Samsung® Pay, and Apple Pay®. However, the account does provide additional benefits to help justify the higher fee and waiver requirements.

For starters, the account pays a higher level of interest than the Anytime Interest Checking account. Customers also enjoy no-charge overdraft protection, no monthly fee on additional savings or money market accounts, and free CB&T cashier’s checks. Mobile deposit limits and the $2 fee for paper statements also apply to this account.

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Senior Advantage Checking

Senior Advantage Checking is a lower-fee checking account for customers aged 62 and older.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5; $0 with minimum daily balance of $500 or direct deposits of at least $250 per month
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2 for withdrawals at an ATM not owned or operated by Zions Bancorporation, N.A.
  • ATM refund: Use any ATM in the U.S. and California Bank & Trust will waive the first withdrawal fee at other banks’ ATMs each month
  • Overdraft fee: $36 each (insufficient funds fees), up to five times per day; $12 with overdraft protection

Senior Advantage Checking is similar to California Bank & Trust’s Anytime Checking account, but in a lower-fee wrapper. Account minimums, ATM fees, and overdraft fees remain the same, but the monthly fee is dropped, and that fee can be avoided with direct deposits or a modest minimum daily balance. One other difference is that there is no paper statement fee with this account. The account maintains all of the basic services as the bank’s other checking accounts, including mobile and online access, U.S.-based customer service seven days a week, and support for Google Pay™, Samsung® Pay, and Apple Pay®. Like the Anytime Checking account, this account does not pay interest.

How to get California Bank and Trust’s checking accounts

As noted above, you’ll need to contact a banker over the phone or visit a branch to open a checking account at California Bank and Trust, as the bank offers no option for opening accounts online.

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How California Bank and Trust’s checking accounts compare

California Bank and Trust offers a decent line of checking accounts, from those that benefit younger or older account holders to those looking for interest on their checking deposits. Unfortunately, the rates paid at CB&T are less than half of the national average and are not competitive with the best rates for checking accounts available nationally.

California Bank and Trust’s savings account options

Savings Account

This simply named account is California Bank and Trust’s only traditional savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.06%
$0.01
0.06%
$1,000
0.06%
$5,000
0.06%/0.07%*$25,000
0.06%/0.07%*$50,000
0.06%/0.08%*$100,000
*with Premium Interest Checking
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3; $0 with minimum daily balance of $200 or by receiving at least $25 in automatic transfers from a linked checking account
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2 for withdrawals from an ATM not owned or operated by Zions Bancorporation, N.A.
  • ATM refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $36 each (insufficient funds fee), up to five times per day; $12 with overdraft protection

This traditional savings account has a small minimum opening deposit. The low monthly fee can be easily avoided with a small daily balance or with automated transfers from a checking account. Interest is paid on all deposits, with the rate divided into six tiers. Deposits of $100,000 or more are required to hit the top tier, although currently all tiers pay the same APY.

A small bonus percentage is paid on certain tiers if customers also have a Premium Interest Checking account. Paper statements come with a $2 fee.

Certain withdrawals, including those by check, debit card, telephone, or computer transfer, are limited by federal regulations up to six per month, per Federal Reserve Regulation D; transactions in excess of six are hit with a $15 fee. Customers who exceed this limit three times in a 12-month period may see their savings account closed or transferred to a different type of account.

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Young Savers Account

The Young Savers account is a fee-free savings vehicle for those 25 years or younger.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.06%
$0.01
0.06%
$100
0.06%
$500
0.07%
$1,000
0.07%
$10,000
0.07%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2 for withdrawals from an ATM not owned or operated by Zions Bancorporation, N.A.
  • ATM refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $36 each (insufficient funds fee), up to five times per day; $12 with overdraft protection

Customers under age 26 get their own savings account at California Bank and Trust, with a small minimum required opening deposit and no monthly maintenance fee. As with the regular savings account, interest is divided into six tiers, but the top tier starts at $50,000 instead of $100,000; rates are also higher on the Young Savers account once deposits reach at least $1,000.

Minors are allowed to open this account as well, but a parent or legal guardian must be an additional signer. Transaction limits also apply to this account (per Federal Reserve Regulation D), with certain withdrawals in excess of six per month assessed a $15 fee. Customers exceeding this limit three times in a 12-month period may have their account closed or changed to a different type of account. Paper statements trigger a $2 monthly fee.

How to get California Bank and Trust’s savings accounts

You’ll need to contact a banker in person or over the phone to open a savings account at California Bank and Trust. Currently, the bank does not have an online application.

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How California Bank and Trust’s savings account compares

California Bank and Trust has a limited savings account roster, with just one traditional savings account and an option for younger savers as well. Although both accounts pay interest, you’ll earn a fraction of the national average for bank savings rates nationwide, even with the savings boost from a Premium Interest Checking relationship.

At every level, the best available savings rates pay much more than the interest you can get at CB&T, at every level.

California Bank and Trust’s CD account options

Regular CDs

California Bank and Trust offers a modest range of shorter-term CDs, all with $1,000 minimum balances.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: all interest for terms of 31 days or less; 90 days’ interest for terms of 32 days to one year; 180 days’ interest for terms over one year

California Bank and Trust’s CD line is fairly standard, with a $1,000 minimum, a range of maturities from one month to five years, and an early withdrawal penalty based on the original term. CB&T’s CDs renew automatically at maturity for a similar period, unless the bank sends a notice of nonrenewal. Grace periods run from two to 11 days, depending on the length of maturity. The rates aren’t currently advertised on the website, so you’ll need to call the bank to find out their most current ones.

How to get California Bank and Trust’s CDs

As with other accounts at California Bank and Trust, you must speak with a banker if you wish to open a CD account, as there is no online application available.

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How California Bank and Trust’s CD rates compare

California Bank and Trust offers a fairly middle-of-the-road line of CDs. Account minimums and maturity dates are somewhat standard across the industry. The grace period is generous for longer-term CDs before they auto-renew. Rates can vary. Customers seeking top rates may want to consider another option with the best national CD rates.

California Bank and Trust’s money market account options

Money Market Account

California Bank and Trust offers a single money market account, with traditional features.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.21%
$1,000
0.21%/0.22%*$5,000
0.24%/0.25%*$25,000
0.24%/0.25%*$100,000
0.24%/0.25%*$250,000
*with Premium Interest Checking
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10; $0 with a minimum daily balance of $1,000
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2 for withdrawals at an ATM not owned or operated by Zions Bancorporation, N.A.
  • ATM refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $36 each (insufficient funds fee), up to five times per day; $12 with overdraft protection

Customers looking for a higher yield than California Bank and Trust’s savings account might be better served with the bank’s money market account. Although deposits below $1,000 don’t earn anything, deposits above $1,000 all earn about triple the rate on the savings account. This account has check writing privileges, up to the six-item-per-month limit, with excess transactions triggering a $15 fee and possible account closure. ATM access is provided just as with the bank’s savings accounts — free for in-network ATMs, and with a $2 fee for non-network withdrawals. The money market account has online and mobile access, and there’s a $2 fee for those who choose paper statements. The moderately high monthly fee can be waived with a minimum daily balance.

How to get California Bank and Trust’s money market account

As mentioned above, California Bank and Trust has no online account application. You must speak with a banker to open a money market account.

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How California Bank and Trust’s money market account compares

There’s only one money market account option at California Bank and Trust, so all comparisons must be done with national competitors. Although the money market account pays more than the bank’s savings accounts, even at the highest tiers, the rate paid is less than the national average rate. Shopping around for the best money market rates nationwide will reveal much higher rates available elsewhere.

California Bank and Trust’s IRA account options

Regular IRA CDs

California Bank and Trust offers the same line of CDs in its IRA as it does in its taxable accounts, with $1,000 minimum balances.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: all interest for terms of 31 days or less; 90 days’ interest for terms of 32 days to one year; 180 days’ interest for terms over one year

California Bank and Trust’s IRA CD line is the same as in its non-IRA accounts, with a $1,000 minimum, a range of maturities from one month to five years, and an early withdrawal penalty based on the original term. CB&T’s CDs renew automatically at maturity for a similar period, unless the bank sends a notice of nonrenewal. As with the bank’s non-IRA CDs, the grace period before renewal runs from two to 11 days, depending on maturity length. The rates aren’t currently advertised on the website, so you’ll need to call the bank to find out their most current ones.

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IRA Money Market Account

This account allows IRA holders at California Bank and Trust to earn interest on an investment with more flexibility than a CD.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%/0.21%*$0.01
0.20%/0.21%*$2,000
0.21%/0.22%*$10,000
0.24%/0.25%*$25,000
0.24%/0.25%*$50,000
0.24%/0.25%*$100,000
*with Premium Interest Checking
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0 for this specific account; however, there is an annual maintenance fee of $15 per plan holder account
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

The IRA version of California Bank and Trust’s money market account has a smaller opening deposit requirement than the regular Money Market account and begins paying interest on the first dollar deposited. Rates can be enhanced slightly with a complementary Premium Interest Checking account. Interest is compounded daily and paid monthly, and additional deposits are allowed at any time. There’s no monthly fee for this account, other than the standard fee that applies to all IRA accounts, and there’s also no ATM access. Online and mobile access is included.

How to get California Bank and Trust’s IRA accounts

As mentioned above, California Bank and Trust has no online account application. To open an IRA account of any kind, you’ll have to talk to a CB&T banker.

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How California Bank and Trust’s IRA accounts compare

California Bank and Trust’s IRA CD line offers the same overall features as the bank’s taxable accounts — meaning, maturities and account minimums are fairly standard. Some branches may offer a promotional CD, but you’ll have to contact your local office. The best available national IRA CD rates can be found elsewhere.

The IRA Money Market is a nice option for those looking to park money at rates better than you could get in a savings account; however, when compared with other money market accounts, these rates also come up short.

Overall review of California Bank and Trust’s products

California Bank and Trust has a full roster of consumer accounts, but no particular option stands out as being a must-have. Although the bank’s top-tier checking accounts comes with additional features, it has a high fee that must be overcome with a large account balance, and it still pays a below-average interest rate. The lowest-cost checking account, for seniors, doesn’t pay interest at all.

California Bank and Trust only offers one traditional savings account and one (non-IRA) money market, and these also pay below-average rates. Its CD lineup offers a number of options, but again, the rates paid are low across-the-board. The highlighted rate is the 15-month promotional CD, which tops national averages but still can’t compete with higher rates available elsewhere; that CD also has a high minimum balance requirement.

Net-net, California Bank and Trust’s product line may appeal to Californian’s looking for a regional bank to meet their basic financial service needs. However, those looking for feature-packed accounts or high yields can find better options somewhere else.

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.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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Reviews

First Citizens Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD and Money Market Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1898
Total Assets$34.9B
LEARN MORE on First Citizens Bank (NC)’s secure websiteMember FDIC

Founded in 1898 in Johnston County, N.C., First Citizens Bank now has more than 500 branches in 19 states. It is headquartered in Raleigh, N.C.

The bank serves customers residing in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

First Citizens Bank offers a wide range of products, including investment and insurance products, but this review will cover its personal checking, savings, CD and money market accounts. Rates may differ depending on location, so the ones you see below are based in North Carolina, the bank’s home state.

First Citizens Bank (NC)’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.05%

Savings

First Citizens Bank (NC) e.Savings

1.90%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.15%

CD Rates

First Citizens Bank (NC) 12 Month CD

2.55%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.25%

CD Rates

First Citizens Bank (NC) 24 Month CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.30%

CD Rates

First Citizens Bank (NC) 36 Month CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

First Citizens Bank’s checking account options

Free Checking

It’s a noninterest-bearing account, but you don’t need to pay any monthly fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for out-of-network ATMs (exceptions apply)
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $36 per item

The Free Checking account is a simple one that requires a low minimum opening deposit and has no monthly maintenance fees. You can link it to a savings account or line of credit for overdraft. The account also comes with a free Visa debit card, bill pay, online and mobile banking. To make sure you’re eligible for this account, you need to elect to receive e-statements within 60 days of opening the account. Otherwise, it’ll automatically be converted to a Select Checking account.

Although there are no ATM refunds, you can opt to receive a Together Card. This is a prepaid reloadable Visa debit card in which you can track its usage and balance via online or mobile banking. You’ll need to pay $3 a month. In return, you’ll receive up to five free withdrawals a month at non-First Citizens Bank ATMs.

How to get the Free Checking account

You can open the Free Checking account by filling out an online form. After indicating your state of residence, you’ll need to provide information such as your address, Social Security number and driver’s license. Then you’ll provide information to fund your account such as a debit card or another First Citizens Bank account.

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Select Checking

It’s not that much different from the Free Checking account, except you can get paper statements.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for out-of-network ATMs (exceptions apply)
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $36 per item

The only noticeable difference between the Select Checking and Free Checking accounts is that you have the option to receive paper statements with this one. But there is a $12 monthly maintenance fee that you can get waived if you have $250 or more in monthly direct deposits or you maintain an average daily balance of at least $1,500.

Other features of this account include free mobile and online banking, bill pay and a Visa debit card. You can also opt to receive a Together Card — a reloadable prepaid debit card — for $3 a month, which gives you up to five free withdrawals from an out-of-network ATM.

How to get the Select Checking account

You can open an account by filling out an application on First Citizens Bank’s website. You’ll first need to indicate your state of residence, then you’ll provide personal details such as your address, driver’s license and Social Security number. Then you can fund the account.

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Premier Checking

You get a free Together Card with this account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $18 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for out-of-network ATMs (up to five waived per month)
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $36 per item

The Premier Checking account is an interest-bearing account, but the rate is not available on First Citizens Bank’s website, so you’ll need to check with the bank for its current rates.

But there are some perks not offered with the noninterest-bearing accounts: A free Together Card account, cashier’s and traveler’s checks, money orders and better rates for select CDs and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).

To waive the $18 monthly maintenance fee, you’ll need to either:

  • Make at least $4,000 in direct deposits each month
  • Have a minimum of $5,000 in combined daily balances across your First Citizens Bank deposit and investment accounts
  • Have a HELOC with at least $25,000
  • Have a First Citizens Bank consumer loan that originated at more than $10,000

How to get the Premier Checking account

You can open an account by filling out an online application. You’ll be asked to provide information such as your state of residence, address, Social Security number and driver’s license. Afterward, you’ll fund your account.

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Prestige Checking

This account offers a few more benefits than Premier Checking.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $36 per item

The Prestige Checking account offers interest, but you’ll have to check with First Citizens Bank for its current rates because it does not publish them on its website. But the account does come with some free stuff for account holders.

You don’t pay any fees for using out-of-network ATMs, though other financial institutions may have a surcharge. You’ll also get free cashier’s and traveler’s checks, money orders, a 3-inch by 5-inch safe deposit box and unlimited specialty checks. There are no overdraft protection transfer fees.

You also can take part in the Your Family First program, which provides a free Together Card account — a prepaid debit card. As well, you may qualify for preferred rates on select CDs and HELOCs.

There are a few ways you can get the $25 monthly maintenance fee waived:

  • Have at least $100,000 in a HELOC
  • Have an original loan amount of at least $25,000 on a consumer loan
  • Make at least $6,500 in direct deposits
  • Have a minimum of $25,000 in combined daily balances across your deposit or investments accounts

How to get the Prestige Checking account

You can head to First Citizens Bank’s online form to open an account. First, choose your state of residence, then enter personal information such as your name, address and Social Security number. Afterward, indicate how you’ll be funding your account.

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Premier Executive Checking

You can get way more benefits.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $50 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited
  • Overdraft fee: $36 per item

The Premier Executive Checking account offers quite a few benefits, so it’s best for those who intend to keep a lot of cash with First Citizens Bank. The monthly maintenance fee seems a bit steep, but you can get it waived if you can maintain a minimum of $100,000 across your deposit or investment accounts.

The account earns interest on a tiered structure. The rates are not listed on First Citizens Bank’s website, so check with the bank for its latest rates.

With this account you get perks such as a free Premier Executive Visa debit card (which gives you higher ATM and purchase limits), free Together Card accounts, unlimited ATM usage and refunds, a free 3-inch by 5-inch safe deposit box, cashier’s and traveler’s checks, money orders, free paper checks and no overdraft protection transfer fees.

How to get the Premier Executive Checking account

You’ll need to head to a branch or call customer service at 888-323-4732 to apply for this account.

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How First Citizens Bank’s checking accounts compare

There may be a benefit to having a prepaid debit card depending on your needs. The fees are quite high compared to some of the best checking accounts out there. Many of First Citizens Bank’s competitors don’t charge any fees and offer benefits such as free checks, ATM refunds and no overdraft fees.

Here’s what we’re getting at: You may be better off opening an account elsewhere.

First Citizens Bank’s savings account options

Regular Savings

An option if you’re looking for a simple, no-frills account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Regular Savings account is best for those who want a simple, no-frills savings account. You don’t need a high minimum opening deposit to get this account. You do get a free Visa debit or ATM card, text alerts, online and mobile banking.

The account does offer interest, but First Citizens Bank does not put its rates on its website. You’ll need to check with the bank for its current rates.

Yes, there’s a $5 monthly maintenance fee, but you can get that waived if you maintain a $300 minimum daily balance. If you’re opening this account for a minor, then the fee is automatically waived.

Here’s where this account can get expensive: You may be required to pay $3 for each withdrawal or transfer you make over two each month — that is, if you can’t maintain a $2,500 minimum daily balance. Because of Regulation D, you’re still allowed up to six certain withdrawals a month, or else you’ll face a $15 excess withdrawal fee regardless of your account balance.

How to get the Regular Savings account

You can call customer service at 888-323-4732 or head to a branch to open an account. You’ll be asked to provide personal details such as your full name, address, Social Security number and driver’s license.

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E.savings

You can open this account online, although you may not be able to waive as many fees as with the Regular Savings account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

It’s great you have the option to open this account online and that there are no monthly maintenance fees, but it can come with a cost.

First, you can get an ATM card to make deposits only, unless you link it to a checking account. Secondly, there isn’t an option to waive the withdrawal or transfer fee — you’ll need to pay $3 for each one once you exceed two per month. If you go over six withdrawals a month because of Regulation D, you’re subject to a $15 excess transaction fee from the bank — no matter your deposit amount.

Some of the positives do include a lower opening deposit amount, online banking and e-statements.

Contact the bank for its latest rates with the e.savings account.

How to get the e.savings account

You can fill out an online form to open the e.savings account. First, select your state of residence, then enter in details such as your name, address and Social Security number. Then you’ll need to indicate how you’ll fund the account.

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How First Citizens Bank’s savings accounts compare

We don’t believe much stands out about these accounts when looking at what competitors are offering. We can’t compare First Citizens Bank’s rates against our list of the best savings account offerings because the bank doesn’t publish these rates online. Many of its competitors don’t require a minimum deposit amount and only charge an excess transaction fee instead of extra ones such as this bank does.

First Citizens Bank’s CD rates

Fixed-rate CDs

The promo rates aren’t half-bad.
TermAPY
12 months0.15%
15 months (promo)2.53%
24 months0.25%
36 months0.30%
39 months (promo)3.10%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500 ($5,000 for Premier or Prestige checking account holders or if you’re opening a CD with a promo rate)
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500 ($5,000 for promo rates)
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on the length of the term:
    • 12 months: 3 months’ interest
    • More than 12 months: 6 months’ interest

The fixed-rate CDs are best for those who want a higher APY that what some of First Citizens Bank’s other accounts offer. There may be more terms available and rate bonuses for Premier or Prestige checking account holders that aren’t listed on the site. But it’s best to call the bank to find out if it offers any other terms. As for its promo rates, you’ll only be able to qualify for them if you deposit new money, which First Citizens Bank defines as money not on deposit with its bank.

Any interest you earn is compounded daily and credited either monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually. If you qualify for the bonus rates for Premier and Prestige checking account holders, you will earn that rate as long as you maintain a $5,000 minimum balance. If for some reason it falls below that, you’ll earn the rate for a regular CD. There may not be a massive difference between the bonus and regular rates for the same term, so it doesn’t hurt to find out with the bank.

Upon maturity, your account will automatically renew unless you make changes within the 10-day grace period.

How to get First Citizens Bank’s CDs

First Citizens Bank requires you to either head to a branch or call customer service at 888-323-4732 to open an account. You may be asked to provide documents such as your Social Security number and driver’s license.

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How First Citizens Bank’s CD rates compare

You may want to consider these CDs as some of the promo rates have comparable rates to other competitors — many also don’t require a minimum deposit unlike the ones at First Citizens Bank. We can’t say for certain what the rates for other terms are. It’s not a bad idea to check our list of the best CD rates to see your options.

First Citizens Bank’s money market account option

Money Market Savings

This account could get expensive if you don’t maintain the daily balance amount.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$0.01
0.10%$50,000
0.15%$100,000
0.20%$500,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, and 30 cents for each PIN-based transaction (these can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2.50 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Yes, the money market account offers an APY, but it’s low. Other benefits of this account include a free Visa debit card, online and mobile banking. You are limited to six withdrawals per month, except for ones you make at a First Citizens Bank ATM or at a branch. If you go over that amount, you’ll be facing a $15 excess transaction fee for each one beyond six.

This account can get pricey: If you don’t keep a minimum balance amount, you’ll not only face a monthly maintenance fee, but you’ll need to pay 30 cents for each PIN-based transaction. To waive these fees, you need to keep a daily collected balance of at least $1,000.

How to get the Money Market Savings account

To open a Money Market Savings account, head to a branch or call customer service at 888-323-4732. Documents you may need to bring include your driver’s license and Social Security number card.

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How First Citizens Bank’s money market account compares

Sure, there is no minimum balance requirement to earn the lowest advertised APY, but the rates are still low compared to the ones found on our list of the best money market rates. Most of these competitors also offer low minimum opening deposit amounts and no monthly maintenance fees.

Overall review of First Citizens Bank’s banking products

The rates for almost all the personal deposit accounts that are advertised are pretty abysmal when you look at what else is out there. First Citizens Bank doesn’t seem that transparent about its rates — you need to call to find out what they are — and there are a bunch of fees that can add up real fast. If you want to maximize your savings, you may have better luck looking elsewhere.

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.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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