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

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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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.

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on First National Bank Of America’s secure website

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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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on First National Bank Of America’s secure website

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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
0.20% $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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on First National Bank Of America’s secure website

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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 months0.35%
6 to 11 months0.35%
12 to 23 months1.05%
24 to 35 months1.10%
36 to 47 months1.20%
48 to 59 months1.30%
60 months1.40%
84 months1.50%
  • 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 years1.15%
4 years1.25%
5 years1.35%
  • 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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on First National Bank Of America’s secure website

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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
0.95%$20,000
1.10%$100,000
1.35%$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.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First National Bank Of America’s secure website

Member FDIC

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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 months1.05%
24 to 35 months1.10%
36 to 47 months1.20%
48 to 59 months1.30%
60 months3.35%
  • 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.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First National Bank Of America’s secure website

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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.

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Auto Loan, Reviews

LightStream Auto Loan Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Reviewed By

If you’re in the market for a quick, affordable and hassle-free way to finance your next car, a LightStream auto loan should definitely be on your radar. It’s particularly well-suited for deal-seekers with good credit who don’t mind working with an online company when it comes to financing their cars. If you’d rather work with a local company that can offer in-person support, however, you might want to skip this lender.

How LightStream auto loans work

LightStream offers a wide range of options for financing your next ride, including:

  • Purchase of a new or used car, either from a dealer or an individual
  • Auto loan refinance (except it does not refinance its own loans)
  • Auto lease buyouts
  • Loans for motorcycles, as well as boats and RVs
  • Classic car loans

Auto loans at a glance:

  • Starting APR range: 3.49%–9.49%
  • Fees: None
  • Loan amounts: $5,000–$100,000
  • Terms: 24–84 months
  • Credit requirements: Minimum 660 credit score
  • Mileage or vehicle restrictions: None

LightStream offers the same starting rate whether you’re buying a new or used car from a dealer, something you don’t see at other lenders. But keep in mind that the lowest rates go to those with the best credit who opt for the shortest loan terms possible and use autopay to make their car payments.

Satisfaction guarantee

If you see a lower rate elsewhere, LightStream will beat any verified offer with a rate that is .10 percentage points lower. It also promises a $100 guarantee within 30 days if you aren’t satisfied with your loan experience.

How to apply for a LightStream auto loan

The only way you can apply for a LightStream auto loan is through its online form. It is an online lender, after all, so you should be comfortable with handling your business details — including the loan application — online. You’ll need to:

  1. Acknowledge receipt of LightStream’s statement on the use of electronic records.
  2. Agree to receive electronic records.
  3. Agree to use electronic signatures to sign your loan documents.

You’ll also need to have a Visa or Mastercard credit card to apply, which LightStream uses during the verification process.

You will be asked to provide:

  • The purpose, term and amount of desired loan
  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Phone number
  • Social Security number
  • Employment information
  • Annual income
  • Total amount of assets and equity in your home

From there, LightStream may contact you for more details and documentation. If approved, you’ll need to sign your loan documents electronically and provide LightStream with your bank account details. The money will then be deposited into your bank account, which means you’ll need to pass it along to the seller, whether that’s a dealer or private seller. LightStream will not send the money to the seller directly.

It’s important to note that LightStream doesn’t offer any preapproval options, but if you apply and are approved for a loan, you are under no obligation to accept the loan.

How to qualify for the best rates

LightStream requires good credit at a minimum, but looks for excellent credit when giving the best rates. It defines excellent credit as:

  • Five or more years of significant credit history.
  • A credit history with a variety of account types such as major credit cards (for example, Visa, MasterCard, Amex), installment debt (vehicle loans) and mortgage debt if applicable.
  • An excellent payment history with no delinquencies or other problems repaying debt obligations.
  • A proven ability to save as shown by some or all of the following: liquid assets (stocks, bonds, bank deposits, etc.), cash down payments on real estate, retirement savings and little, if any, revolving credit card debt.
  • Stable and sufficient income and assets to easily repay current debt obligations and any new loan with LightStream.

Pros and cons of LightStream auto loans

LightStream offers the convenience of an online lender with the backing of a brick-and-mortar bank as the online arm of Truist, the bank created by the merger of  SunTrust Bank and BB&T. But it’s important to weigh all of your options carefully when choosing an auto loan. It’s one of the biggest purchases you’ll make, after all.

Pros

  • Wide variety of loans: New, used, refinance and lease buyouts loans are available on a wide range of vehicles. Unlike other lenders, LightStream doesn’t place restrictions on your vehicle’s age, make, model or mileage.
  • Decent rates: We’ve seen lower starting rates at credit unions, but you’ll have to meet membership requirements. LightStream has no membership requirements and provides the same starting rates for new and used vehicles as well as refinance loans.
  • No down payment required: LightStream finances up to 100% of the car’s cost. Of course, it’s always best to put down as much as you can afford on an auto loan. This will help you save money over the life of your loan and avoid becoming underwater on that loan.
  • Quick funding: If you complete the application process and are approved by 2:30 p.m. EST, you could receive funds the same day.
  • Good reviews: LightStream auto loan reviews are generally positive.

Cons

  • Good credit required: To qualify for a LightStream auto loan you’ll need a credit score of at least 660 or better.
  • No preapproval process: Unlike many lenders, you’ll have to complete a full application in order to see your rates and terms. Still, the process is fast, and if you complete your rate shopping within a certain time period, multiple applications should not impact your credit any more than a single application.
  • No face-to-face service: If you’re the type of person who likes to seal the deal with a handshake after signing the documents, you’ll want to stick with some place local.

LightStream vs. Capital One

If you’d like a bit more of a guided approach to the car-buying process,  Capital One’s Auto Navigator loan options might be better for you. Rather than sending you cash directly that you can use on whatever car you want to buy, Capital One’s Auto Navigator service lets you first get prequalified for financing, and then shows you which dealers in your area may offer based on the type of car you want to buy and the financing you can afford.

If any of the offerings pique your interest, you can then finish the application and buy the car. It’s still a good idea to compare the offer with other new and used car loan rates.

LightStream vs. Carvana

Carvana works similarly to Capital One Auto Navigator in that you can prequalify for financing and browse real cars in your area that you may then be able to buy. It’s important to remember that Carvana only sells used cars and its financing is only available on Carvana cars. But it is possible to finance here with poor credit — Carvana requires borrowers to be 18 years old, have no active bankruptcies on their credit report and earn at least $4,000 per 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.

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Credit Cards, Reviews

CreditStacks Mastercard Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Written By

The CreditStacks Mastercard offers a unique opportunity for individuals with little or no U.S. credit history – such as recent college graduates or professionals relocating to the U.S. for employment – to be approved for a credit card.

That’s because instead of requiring a Social Security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) as most traditional credit cards do, the CreditStacks Mastercard allows applicants to apply using a valid passport or U.S. government-issued ID, a U.S. visa or a permanent resident “green” card (if applicable), as well as proof of income. The CreditStacks Mastercard also allows you to apply up to 60 days prior to starting your new job in the U.S.

We break down the pros and cons of the CreditStacks Mastercard, and show how it compares to the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, which is also designed to help individuals establish or rebuild credit.

CreditStacks Mastercard pros

No credit history required. With the CreditStacks Mastercard, you can apply without a Social Security number and with little or no U.S. credit history. Once you obtain your Social Security number, you must provide it within 60 days of account opening. At that point, CreditStacks will begin reporting your credit activity to the Equifax and TransUnion credit bureaus.

Note, if you have been living in the U.S. for more than one year, you will be required to provide a Social Security number when applying for the card. A credit check may also be performed.

Decent credit limit. The CreditStacks Mastercard offers a credit line of up to $5,000 – which is a generous amount for an unsecured credit card that doesn’t require credit history.

Your credit limit will be determined by the proprietary underwriting procedures of CreditStacks, which will consider your current employment situation and additional factors, instead of your credit score.

No annual fee. The CreditStacks Mastercard comes with a $0 annual fee.

Additional CreditStacks Mastercard benefits:

  • Mastercard ID Theft Protection(™). Access free identity theft resolution services, as well as Mastercard ID Theft Alerts(™).
  • Extended warranty. Receive an extended warranty of up to one year past a manufacturer’s warranty of 12 months or less.
  • Purchase protection. If you are dissatisfied with a purchase, you may be eligible to receive a full refund for up to 60 days from the date of purchase.
  • Price protection. Get reimbursed for the difference if you find a lower price for an eligible new item within 60 days of purchase using your CreditStacks Mastercard.
  • Purchase assurance. Cardholders receive coverage if an item is lost, damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase.
  • Travel protections. The CreditStacks Mastercard offers a MasterRental(R) collision damage waiver, lost or damaged luggage insurance, travel accident insurance, baggage delay insurance and trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance. Plus, receive access to exclusive experiences and offers through Priceless Cities and special travel offers through Mastercard’s online booking tool.
  • Cellphone insurance. If you use your CreditStacks Mastercard to pay your monthly cellphone bill, you can receive coverage against theft or damage of up to $600 per claim and up to $1,000 per 12-month period.

CreditStacks Mastercard cons

No rewards program. The CreditStacks Mastercard does not offer a sign-up bonus or rewards on the purchases you make using the credit card. That said, when trying to build or rebuild credit, it’s best to focus on paying your bill on time and in full (when possible) each month, rather than racking up rewards.

No intro APR on purchases. The CreditStacks Mastercard does not offer a 0% intro APR on purchases – meaning, if you don’t pay your balance in full each month, you will be subject to interest charges at a rate of 15.49% Variable APR.

That said, the card’s ongoing APR for purchases is reasonable – considering that some cards designed for individuals with little or no credit come with APRs upwards of 26.99% (variable).

Compare it to the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Similar to the CreditStacks Mastercard, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is designed for individuals with little or no credit. However, because it is a secured credit card, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® requires a refundable security deposit of $49, $99 or $200, for an initial credit line of $200.

If you deposit more money before your account opens, you may be eligible for a higher credit line, up to $1,000. Additionally, you can be given access to a higher credit line after demonstrating responsible card usage by making your first five monthly payments on time.

While the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® does not require U.S. citizenship to apply, it does require a valid SSN or ITIN, as well as a residential address in the U.S. or a U.S. military location.

See how the cards compare side-by-side in the table below.

CreditStacks Mastercard vs. Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

 CreditStacks MastercardCapital One® Secured Mastercard®
Annual fee$0$0
Rewards rateN/AN/A
Credit lineUp to $5,000$200-$1,000
Deposit requiredNone$49, $99 or $200
Regular purchase APR15.49% Variable26.99% (Variable)

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® also comes with a number of benefits, including auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, extended warranty and 24-hour travel assistance services. As a Capital One member, you will also have access to virtual card numbers and account alerts from Eno, as well as access to your credit score and fraud monitoring through CreditWise.

But if you plan to carry a balance on your card, you’ll be better off with the CreditStacks Mastercard, since the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® comes with a substantially higher APR of 26.99% (Variable).

Read our: Capital One Secured Mastercard review

Which credit card is best for me?

If you haven’t yet established credit in the U.S., the CreditStacks Mastercard could be a good fit. In addition to not requiring a Social Security number for approval, the card helps build your credit by reporting to two major credit bureaus.

But if you’re in the market for a secured credit card and already have a SSN or ITIN, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is a good alternative. While the card offers a much lower credit line than the CreditStacks Mastercard, it does offer a variety of useful benefits that aren’t common for a secured credit card.

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.