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

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Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Eastern Bank checking account options

Eastern Bank’s Eastern Free Checking account

A free checking account that offers banking basics but no interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at Eastern Bank and SUM® ATMs. $2 per transaction at other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $35

The Eastern Free Checking account requires an opening deposit of at least $25. Once you open, there’s no minimum balance requirement and this account does not charge a monthly fee.

It’s a no-frills accounts that only offers the basics: online banking, a debit card and the ability to write checks. The Eastern Free Checking account does not earn interest.

With the debit card, you can make free withdrawals from any Eastern Bank ATM as well as ATMs in the SUM® network. This gives you access to thousands of ATMs nationwide. However, if you use an out-of-network ATM, the bank will charge $2 per transaction. They also will not refund any fees from the ATM owner. That could get expensive in a hurry.

You can open an Eastern Free Checking account online, by phone or at an Eastern Bank branch. The application will ask for your contact information, a form of government ID and your Social Security number. You’ll also need to make your opening deposit of at least $25.

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on Eastern Bank’s secure website

Eastern Bank’s Eastern eZ Checking account

This account will charge a maintenance fee unless you meet certain requirements each month. In exchange, it’s better for out-of-network ATM use.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (waived if you meet certain conditions, covered below.)
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: $10 per month
  • Overdraft fees: $35

If you’d like more ATM access, the Eastern eZ Checking is a better choice. With this account, Eastern Bank does not charge a fee for any withdrawal, even if you use an ATM that’s not theirs. In addition, the bank will refund up to $10 per month in fees charged by out-of-network ATM owners.

This account does not earn interest, though, and charges a $10 monthly maintenance fee. The bank will waive the fee if each month you meet the following requirements:

  1. You enroll in e-statements, not paper statements.
  2. You make 15 purchases on the debit card or you have a monthly average account balance of at least $1,500.

You need to deposit at least $50 to open an eZ Checking account. This account is available online, by phone or at Eastern Bank branches. You’ll need to provide your contact information, Social Security number and upload a form of government ID to verify your identity.

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on Eastern Bank’s secure website

Eastern Bank’s Eastern Premier Checking account

This is Eastern Bank’s high-end checking account, paying a little bit of interest and featuring all kinds of bank benefits. You’ll need a $25,000 balance, though.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.02%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: Unlimited
  • Overdraft fees: None

The Eastern Premier Checking account is loaded with all kinds of benefits. First, you can use any ATM for free. Eastern Bank will not charge a fee for out-of-network transactions and they’ll refund all fees from ATM owners.

This account also waives the fees for overdrafts, stop payments, wire transfers and automatic balance protection. It comes with a $20 per year discount on a safety deposit box. You also receive free standard checks or $12 off an order of other types of checks.

The Eastern Premier Checking account gives you higher rates or fee discounts on other Eastern Bank products like loans, CDs and money market accounts. Finally, the Eastern Premier Checking account earns interest on all balances, though the rate is very low.

To qualify for all these benefits, you need to have a minimum combined balance of at least $25,000 throughout Eastern Bank personal deposit accounts and consumer loans (excluding mortgages.) If you don’t meet the balance requirement, Eastern Bank will not charge a fee, but they will switch your account back to a Free Checking account, which doesn’t have any of the Premier benefits.

You need to deposit at least $500 to open an Eastern Premier Checking account. You can set things up online, by phone or at a branch. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number and a form of government ID — the standard requirements for a bank account.

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on Eastern Bank’s secure website

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How Eastern Bank’s checking accounts compare

Eastern Bank’s checking accounts do a respectable job of handling banking needs. They let you make free withdrawals from thousands of ATMs and two of the accounts refund out-of-network ATM fees. Eastern Bank also keeps their fees fairly low. Two of its checking accounts do not charge a monthly fee while the other one, eZ checking, makes it relatively easy to avoid the fee.

For customers with large balances, the Premier account also comes with all kinds of bells and whistles like free checks, a discounted safety deposit box and better rates on other Eastern Bank products.

However, there is one area where Eastern Bank’s checking accounts fall flat and that’s earning interest. Only the Premier account pays interest and even then, the rate is practically nothing. It’s not what you deserve for an account with a $25,000 balance requirement.

That’s why Eastern Bank’s checking accounts are functional, but not top-tier options. Consider shopping our list of the best online checking accounts, which are a whole different story. They offer the exact same services while also paying exceptional interest rates.

Eastern Bank savings account options

Eastern Bank’s Statement Savings account

Eastern Bank’s savings account earns barely any interest. Even though it’s free, we don’t recommend it.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.02%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at Eastern Bank and SUM® ATMs. $2 per transaction at other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: None

You need to deposit at least $10 to open a Statement Savings account. After that, there’s no minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee.

There’s also no minimum balance needed to qualify for interest. However, the rate is extremely low. It also always stays the same as Eastern Bank doesn’t pay more for larger deposits in Statement Savings.

You can make free withdrawals from this account at Eastern Bank and SUM® ATMs. If you use any other ATM, Eastern Bank will charge $2 per transaction and will not refund any fees from the ATM owner.

In each monthly statement period, you can only make six specified transactions like account transfers and withdrawals otherwise you may be charged a fee by the bank.

You can open a Statement Savings account online, by phone or at a branch. The application takes roughly five minutes and you’ll need to provide a form of ID and your Social Security number, along with your opening deposit.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastern Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Eastern Bank’s savings accounts compare

We do not recommend Eastern Bank’s savings account. It earns barely any interest at all. The rate it pays would be poor even for a checking account, let alone a savings account that restricts how often you can take money out.

At least Eastern Bank doesn’t charge a monthly fee for this account and only requires a $10 opening deposit. But even with these benefits, this account still pays too little to be worth using. If you’re serious about growing your money for the future, use these top-paying savings accounts instead.

Eastern Bank’s CD rates

Eastern Bank CDs

Eastern Bank has a few featured CDs that pay OK rates, but ignore the rest.
Featured CDs
TermAPY
4 months0.40%
7 months1.71%
Regular CDs
TermAPY (Regular)APY (with Premier checking)
3-5 months0.05%
0.05%
6-11 months0.05%
0.05%
12-23 months0.10%
0.20%
24-35 months0.20%
0.30%
36-47 months0.30%
0.40%
48-59 months0.40%
0.50%
60+ months0.50%
0.60%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500 for 3-5 month and 6-11 month terms. $500 for everything else, including featured CDs.
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $2,500 for 3-5 month and 6-11 month terms. $500 for everything else, including featured CDs.
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Less than 1 year, the penalty is 91 days of interest of the amount withdrawn. 1 year and longer, the penalty is 182 days of interest of the amount withdrawn.

Eastern Bank has CDs that range from 3 months to more than 60 months. Oddly, the bank sets up its CD terms in ranges. You can pick any number of months in a range and receive the same rate. For example, you can pick a term that lasts anywhere from 24 to 35 months and the rate will be the same.

The 3-5 month and 6-11 month CDs require a deposit of at least $2,500 and you need to keep this much in the account to earn the APY. Every other Eastern Bank CD only requires $500.

If you have a Premier Checking account, you qualify for slightly better rates. Eastern Bank also has two featured offers for short-term CDs, which pay by far their best rates. You need an Eastern Bank checking account to use a featured offer. In addition, the most you can deposit is $100,000 into the featured offers. The rest of the CDs do not list a maximum deposit.

At the end of the term, you have a 10-day grace period to take money out without an early withdrawal penalty. Otherwise, Eastern Bank will automatically renew you again for another CD with the same term.

You can apply for any of these CDs online, at a branch or over the phone. The application will ask for the standard information like your address, Social Security number and how much you want to deposit in the CD.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastern Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Eastern Bank Equal Exchange CD

With this CD, your money is lent to a co-op that produces fair trade coffee, tea and cocoa. It’s a nice gesture, but the return isn’t great.
TermAPY (Regular)
3 years0.40%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 182 days’ interest on the amount withdrawn.

Eastern Bank created a specialty CD by partnering with the Equal Exchange Co-op, a merchant of fair trade coffee, tea and cocoa. When you sign up for CD, your money is used to extend the line of credit for the Equal Exchange Co-op so they can buy their fair trade products.

The Equal Exchange CD is only available in a 3 year term. You need to deposit at least $500 to open the CD and keep this much in to earn the APY. The rate is about the same as the regular 36 month Eastern Bank CD, which isn’t great.

Since the Equal Exchange CD is a specialty product, it’s not available through Eastern Bank’s normal online application. They ask you to contact a staff member in charge of the program by phone or email. Contact information is listed on their website.

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on Eastern Bank’s secure website

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How Eastern Bank’s CD rates compare

None of the bank’s CDs pay a competitive return. Their best offers are on a small number of short-term CDs, which is why Eastern Bank has them labeled separately as their “featured” offers. While they pay OK short-term rates, there are other CDs out there that pay much more.

The rest of the bank’s CD rates are even lower. There’s a small rate increase for customers with a Premier Checking account, but it doesn’t help much. Finally, Eastern Bank has a specialty CD where your money supports a charitable co-op. That’s a nice idea, but once again you’re giving up a lot of return to do a good deed.

If helping others is your priority, you could accomplish more by receiving a decent return on your CD and then giving the interest to charity directly. With these excellent CD offers, you’ll earn much more for yourself and for potential donations.

Eastern Bank money market account options

Eastern Bank Premier Money Market account

A free money market account with an average rate.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.02%
$10
0.02%
$2,500
0.05%
$10,000
0.05%
$25,000
0.05%
$50,000
0.05%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at Eastern Bank and SUM® ATMs. $2 per transaction at other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: None

The Eastern Premier Money Market account does not have an opening deposit requirement, so you can launch this account for any amount or even without adding money. However, to qualify for this account, you need to have an existing Premier Checking account, which means you have at least $25,000 throughout other Eastern Bank deposit and loan accounts (excluding mortgages.)

The Premier Money Market account does not charge a monthly maintenance fee, but if your balance falls below $10, you stop earning interest. Eastern Bank’s money market rates are about average for a free account.

With this account, you can take money out through ATM withdrawals and transfers to other accounts. However, it does not allow you to write checks. You cannot make more than six certain transactions each month.

The bank gives you three ways to apply for this account: online, by phone and at a branch. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number, contact info and a form of government ID. They will also need to confirm that you have an existing Premier Checking account. However, you will not need to make a deposit to set up the Premier Money Market account unless you want to.

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on Eastern Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Eastern Bank Premier Money Market Special

For new deposits of at least $10,000, Eastern Bank offers a fantastic money market special that pays one of the best money market rates in the industry.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.02%
$10
0.02%
$2,500
0.10%
$10,000
0.10%
$25,000
0.10%
$50,000
0.02%
$5,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000 (new money only.)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at Eastern Bank and SUM® ATMs. $2.00 per transaction at other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: None

Eastern Bank is running a Premier Money Market Special to attract more business. To open this account, you need to deposit at least $10,000 and it has to be new money only, meaning funds that aren’t already on deposit with Eastern Bank. You also need to have a consumer checking account with the bank to qualify.

If you meet these requirements, the Premier Money Market Special pays a fantastic rate. Your account balance needs to be at least $10,000 to qualify for the best rate. If you fall below, there’s no monthly fee, but you’ll earn a much lower return. The most you can have in this account to qualify for the special rate is $5 million. If you have more, you also fall to a lower rate.

With the Premier Money Market Special, you can make ATM withdrawals and transfers to other accounts, but you cannot write checks. You can only make six of certain transfers per month including ones that are pre-authorized, automatic, by telephone or online.

You can only open this account at an Eastern Bank Branch. It’s not available online. You’ll need to tell the representative that you are applying for the special and making a deposit with new funds to get things set up.

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on Eastern Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Eastern Bank Prime Liquid Assets

The only Eastern Bank money market account that lets you write checks, but the rates are a serious downgrade.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.02%
$10
0.02%
$2,500
0.05%
$10,000
0.05%
$25,000
0.05%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7 (waived with a minimum balance of $2,500.)
  • ATM fees: None at Eastern Bank and SUM® ATMs. $2 per transaction at other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: None

As the name suggests, the Prime Liquid Assets account gives you more access to your money than the other Eastern Bank money market accounts. It’s the only one that lets you write checks, up to six per month. You also have the same ATM access and ability to transfer funds to your other accounts.

In exchange, the Prime Liquid Assets account pays much lower rates. The return is nearly half what you’d get with the Premier Money Market account and it’s nowhere near the fantastic return on the Money Market Special.

The Prime Liquid Assets account also charges a $7 monthly maintenance fee, though the bank will waive the fee so long as you have a minimum balance of $2,500.

You need to deposit at least $2,500 to open a Prime Liquid Assets account. It does not require you to have an existing Eastern Bank checking account though. You can apply for this account online, by phone or at a branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Eastern Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Eastern Bank’s money market accounts compare

For customers bringing in new money to the bank, Eastern Bank offers an extremely tempting money market account. It pays one of the highest rates in the country. They definitely created something that would catch the eye of new customers.

Their other money market accounts are much less attractive. The Premier Money Market rate only pays average rates and to qualify, you need a Premier Checking account to use it — which means having a combined loan/deposit account balance of at least $25,000 at Eastern Bank. Their Prime Liquid Assets account is even worse because it barely pays interest and comes with a potential monthly fee. We’d skip these two accounts.

If your money isn’t already with this bank, give their Money Market Special for new deposits a serious look because it matches up well with anyone out there. To see how they stack up against the top competition, check out our review of the very best money market accounts.

Overall review of Eastern Bank’s banking products

Out of all these products, there’s only one that caught our attention: the Premier Money Market Special. It pays a phenomenal rate and there’s no monthly fee. The catch is it’s only available for people bringing new money to Eastern Bank. They clearly pulled out the big guns to attract new customers. Outside of the Money Market Special, the bank is a lot less generous. All their other deposit accounts pay rates that are well below average.

However, Eastern Bank does a nice job keeping fees low and providing quality service. For example, their checking accounts all include solid ATM access. Still, there are plenty of other lenders out there who do a great job of handling your banking needs and still pay a respectable return.

Overall, we respect Eastern Bank’s commitment to charities and helping out their local community. They seem like an organization with strong morals. We just wish they were as generous with their interest rates as they are with their charitable donations.

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