First Republic Bank Review of Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRAs

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Updated on Sunday, November 1, 2020

First Republic Bank’s checking accounts

Basic Checking

Basic Checking is First Republic Bank’s basic, no-frills checking account, although it’s not a free account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, with a maximum of $120 per day; can be reduced to $3 per transfer with Overdraft Protection to linked account

Many banks offer a completely free basic checking account, but First Republic Bank’s Basic Checking does charge a nominal fee. However, the account doesn’t pay any interest.

The account is designed for First Republic Bank customers who don’t make a large number of transactions, as only eight checks are allowed to clear for free each month. After that, the bank charges $1 per transaction. However, First Republic Bank’s ATM transactions are fee-free.

The account does provide customers with certain basic services — not all free, however — that are available with all accounts, including:

  • ATM card and ATM/debit card
  • Student loan refinancing
  • Wire transfers
  • Online and mobile banking
  • Personal banking services

For example, the bank charges $30 for outgoing wire transfers. Overdraft fees are also extremely high.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Republic Bank’s secure website

Classic Checking

  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25; waived with minimum average balance of $2,500
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, with a maximum of $120 per day; can be reduced to $3 per transfer with Overdraft Protection to linked account

The most striking feature of the Classic Checking account is its monthly fee. At $25, that translates to $300 per year just in basic checking account fees. The fee can be waived, but the $2,500 balance requirement is substantial. The account does offer unlimited access to First Republic Bank ATMs, along with the other basic services afforded to the Basic Checking account. However, the account doesn’t pay any interest, and it carries the same high overdraft fee as the Basic Checking account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Republic Bank’s secure website

ATM Rebate Checking

ATM Rebate Checking is First Republic Bank’s flagship checking account product.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.00%
$3,500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25; waived with minimum average balance of $3,500
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited worldwide
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, with a maximum of $120 per day; can be reduced to $3 per transfer with Overdraft Protection to linked account

ATM Rebate Checking is the only checking account at First Republic Bank that pays interest, but the low rate means that this is a distinction in name only. Although rates are subject to change, at the current level, the highest-rate tier would earn only $5 annually on a balance of $100,000.

The true benefit of the ATM Rebate Checking account can be found in its name. Customers enjoy worldwide, unlimited rebates of ATM fees, in addition to no-fee withdrawals at all First Republic Bank ATMs. This can be particularly valuable to customers who travel overseas. Accounts that dip below the minimum balance threshold, however, get slapped with a substantial monthly fee. As with the bank’s other checking accounts, overdraft fees are also high, particularly for multiple transactions.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Republic Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Senior/Minor Checking (Massachusetts only)

This account is designed for seniors or minors who have basic needs and who do not maintain a high balance.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 per item

First Republic Bank’s Senior/Minor Checking account is only available to Massachusetts residents under age 18 or over 65. Minors need a parent or guardian to sign on as a joint account holder. Although there is no monthly fee, traditional charges are still levied for services such as issuing cashier’s checks, or violations such as processing insufficient funds. The account does have a significantly reduced overdraft fee when compared with the bank’s other checking and savings offerings.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Republic Bank’s secure website

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How First Republic Bank’s checking accounts compare

First Republic Bank’s checking accounts suffer from some significant limitations, both in terms of fees and interest rates. Although fees on the bank’s other checking accounts can be waived with minimum balance deposits, the bank’s Basic Checking account has no such waiver provision. For the other accounts, a dip below the required minimum balance results in a significant monthly fee assessment.

Overdraft fees are also extremely high across the board. Interest is only paid on a single First Republic Bank checking account, and the rate paid is essentially nonexistent, particularly when compared with national average checking account rates and the best checking account rates available nationwide.

First Republic Bank savings account

Passbook Savings

The Passbook Savings account is so traditional, it lacks ATM access.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0
0.05%
$20,000
0.10%
$250,000
0.20%
$500,000
0.30%
$1,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, with a maximum of $120 per day; can be reduced to $3 per transfer with Overdraft Protection to linked account

First Republic Bank’s Passbook Savings account offers many of the desirable features for banking customers, including no monthly maintenance fee, access to free online banking, FDIC insurance and a competitive interest rate that compounds daily.

What the account lacks is ATM access. Customers must bring their passbook (remember those?) to a First Republic Bank branch to make both deposits and withdrawals. The account also carries an excess activity fee of $10 for transactions over the Federal Reserve Regulation D-mandated six monthly limit.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Republic Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How First Republic Bank’s savings account compares

First Republic Bank’s Passbook Savings account has significant limitations for those who need flexibility with their deposits and withdrawals, as no ATM or mobile access means that such transactions need to take place in a branch. However, for those seeking high interest rates in a savings account, the bank offers rates far above the national average for savings accounts. Rates aren’t in the same competitive arena as the best available savings rates nationally, but they are still respectable for a basic savings account. The $0 monthly maintenance fee is attractive, but the account is plagued with the same high overdraft fees that exist across the bank’s line of products.

First Republic Bank’s CD rates

Certificates of Deposit

First Republic Bank’s CDs offer a wide range of maturities, including two special terms with enhanced yields.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
30 days0.05%
$25,000
3 months0.25%
$10,000
6 months0.30%
$10,000
11 month special2.40%
$10,000
12 months0.35%
$10,000
18 months0.40%
$10,000
2 years0.40%
$10,000
3 years0.45%
$10,000
4 years0.45%
$10,000
5 years0.55%
$10,000
6 years0.55%
$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000 to $25,000, depending on maturity
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10,000 to $25,000, depending on maturity
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest for terms of one year or less; 15 months’ interest for terms of more than one year

First Republic Bank’s certificates of deposit offer a nice range of maturities to choose from but carry high minimums. When we contacted the bank on Oct. 15, the 14 and 20 month Special CD’s had the best rates — be sure to contact the bank for the most current rates. Early withdrawal penalties apply if money is taken out before a CD matures.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Republic Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Liquid Certificates of Deposit

The bank’s Liquid CDs may appeal to investors who could need access to their cash before maturity.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
0.25%
$10,00015 months
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest for terms of one year or less; 15 months’ interest for terms of more than one year

Liquid Certificates of Deposit at First Republic Bank get their name from their limited liquidity. Compared with traditional CDs, which don’t allow penalty-free withdrawals before maturity, First Republic Bank’s Liquid CDs allow penalty-free withdrawals every seven days. The trade-off for that liquidity, however, is that the interest rate paid on these CDs falls significantly below the rates available with the bank’s traditional CDs.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Republic Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How First Republic Bank’s CD rates compare

For the most part, First Republic Bank’s CD rates are at or above the national average for CD rates, in some cases significantly higher. The liquid CD option is an unusual offering not available at many other banks, but the trade-off is a significant reduction in APY. Minimum deposit requirements are fairly high, and there are no tiered rates, meaning larger deposits don’t earn higher yields.

First Republic Bank’s money market accounts

Money Market Savings

First Republic Bank’s Money Market Savings account offers an alternative to the bank’s old-school savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0
0.05%
$20,000
0.10%
$250,000
0.10%
$500,000
0.15%
$2,000,000
0.25%
$5,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25; waived with minimum average daily balance of $5,000
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, with a maximum of $120 per day; can be reduced to $3 per transfer with Overdraft Protection to linked account

First Republic’s Money Market Savings account offers unlimited deposits, and ATM and in-person withdrawals, but it doesn’t offer check writing. Debits from point-of-sale transactions to online and telephone transfers are limited to six per month. Otherwise, an excess activity fee of $10 per transaction applies. Rates are tiered, with the highest tier paying an APY slightly above the best available rate with the bank’s Money Market Checking account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Republic Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Money Market Checking

First Republic Bank’s Money Market Checking account is similar to the bank’s Money Market Savings account, but with the addition of check-writing capabilities.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0
0.05%
$20,000
0.05%
$250,000
0.10%
$500,000
0.10%
$2,000,000
0.20%
$5,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25; waived with minimum average daily balance of $5,000
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, with a maximum of $120 per day; can be reduced to $3 per transfer with Overdraft Protection to linked account

First Republic Bank’s Money Market Checking account offers unlimited deposits, and ATM and in-person withdrawals, in addition to check writing. Online and telephone transfers, along with debits, such as point-of-sale or check transactions, are limited to six per month. Otherwise, an excess activity fee of $10 per transaction applies. Rates are tiered, with the highest tier paying an APY above the best available rate with the bank’s Passbook Savings account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Republic Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How First Republic Bank’s money market accounts compare

First Republic Bank’s money market rates straddle the national average, with half of the tiers falling below the national average for money market accounts and the upper tiers exceeding that average. The best available money market accounts pay about double the best rates on First Republic Bank’s money market accounts. The accounts’ features are straightforward, with no particularly notable bells or whistles. Minimum deposit amounts are fairly high, as are the overdraft fees.

First Republic Bank’s IRAs

Certificates of Deposit

First Republic Bank offers the same range of CDs in its IRAs as in its non-IRA accounts, with the exception of the Liquid CD, which is not available in IRA format.
  • Minimum opening balance: $10,000 to $25,000, depending on maturity
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10,000 to $25,000, depending on maturity
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest for terms of one year or less; 15 months’ interest for terms of more than one year

First Republic Bank’s IRA CDs carry the same wide range of maturities and high minimums as the bank’s non-IRA CDs. Early withdrawal penalties apply and vary depending on the length of the original IRA CD maturity. First Republic Bank doesn’t publish its IRA CD rates on its website, so you’ll have to call the bank for current rates.

IRS regulations limit contributions to First Republic Bank IRAs. For 2018, for example, annual contribution limits to traditional and Roth IRAs are $5,500, plus an additional $1,000 for account holders over age 50. SEP-IRAs are available for taxpayers who run their own businesses.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Republic Bank’s secure website

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How First Republic Bank’s IRAs compare

First Republic Bank’s IRA CDs are similar to the bank’s regular CDs. One difference between the IRA CDs and the regular CDs is that the Liquid CD option is not available in IRA format. The minimum deposit requirements are fairly high compared to other IRA CDs. The bank doesn’t share its IRA CD rates online, so you may want to call the bank and do a comparison against these IRA CDs before making your decision.

How to get First Republic Bank’s products

As noted above, First Republic Bank does not have an online application for any products. CD customers must visit a branch, call the bank’s customer service line at (888) 408-0288 or fill out an online form and have the bank contact them directly. To open a First Republic Bank IRA, you’ll have to contact a Relationship Manager at (888) 408-0288, or visit a First Republic Bank branch.

Overall review of First Republic Bank’s banking products

First Republic Bank requires high minimum deposits, pays below-average interest rates and charges above-average fees. Prospective customers cannot open accounts online and must instead either contact the bank or visit a branch.

Compared with more customer-friendly bank options available in the marketplace, First Republic Bank falls short. The one bright spot is in the bank’s CD rates, which are above average, but even in that category, higher-paying options are available elsewhere. Unless First Republic Bank has a nearby branch to help minimize the inconvenience factor, customers can likely find better options elsewhere.