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Frost Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD and Money Market 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.

Frost Bank checking account options

Personal Checking

Frost Bank’s lone checking account option offers a miniscule amount of interest for a pretty high minimum balance amount.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.04%
$5,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8 ($4 for students under age 25); can be waived with a monthly direct deposit of at least $100, by maintaining a $1,000 balance, or by maintaining a combined balance of $5,000 among all Frost Bank personal accounts
  • ATM fee: None on Frost Bank ATMs; $2 on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Frost Bank occasionally refunds ATM fees for out-of-state customers; contact the bank for further details
  • Overdraft fee: $34 on amounts over $5, up to a maximum of $170 per day

This account earns a small amount of interest on balances of $5,000 or more, which is compounded monthly. And while the monthly fee is fairly easy to avoid as a working adult, it could prove to be more challenging for students — so the lowered fee for students is a nice touch for those who may not be able to afford it. The account also offers:

  • Mobile banking access via an iPhone or Android app
  • Mobile check deposit of up to $25,000 daily
  • Free overdraft protection by linking the account to another Frost Bank account to cover overdraft amounts
  • Unlimited transactions and check writing
  • Unlimited online and mobile bill pay
  • Unlimited online and mobile transfers to other financial institutions
  • Frost Bank debit card
  • Online statement delivery

How to get Frost Bank’s checking account

Texas residents can open an account either online, via the app, or in person. To do so, you’ll need a Texas state address, a government-issued ID such as a driver’s license, as well as your Social Security number.

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How Frost Bank’s checking account compares

With such a low interest rate and high minimum balance to even earn it, we give this account a big “Why bother?” Its monthly fees are fairly easy to avoid, so we’ll give Frost Bank that, but there are so many truly free accounts out there that offer the ability to earn better rates on much lower balances, along with other perks like no ATM fees from their end, and ATM fee refunds to boot. We urge you to shop around, possibly considering those on our list of the best online checking accounts.

Frost Bank’s savings account options

Personal Savings account

The bank’s savings account offers a low interest rate on all balances.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.03%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3.50; can be waived if a minimum monthly balance of $500 is maintained
  • ATM fee: None on Frost Bank ATMs; $2 on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Frost Bank occasionally refunds ATM fees for out-of-state customers; contact the bank for further details
  • Overdraft fee: $34 on amounts over $5, up to a maximum of $170 per day

This account earns a small amount of interest on all balances, which is paid quarterly. As with the checking account, its low monthly service fee is fairly easy to avoid with a small minimum monthly balance requirement. You can make online transfers into and out of the account with ease, and it can be used as overdraft protection to cover your checking account at no charge. Federal Reserve Regulation D normally limits certain transfers and withdrawals up to six per month, but make note of the fact that this account only permits you to make two free ones per month.

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Health Savings account

This savings account is intended to solely cover medical expenses.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.04%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3 without imaged checks or $5 with imaged checks; can be waived if a minimum monthly balance of $3,000 is maintained
  • ATM fee: None on Frost Bank ATMs; $2 on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

This health savings account allows you to earn a small amount of interest on all money you put in it. You may be eligible to open this account if you fit all of the following criteria:

  • You’re covered under a high-deductible health plan (minimum of $1,300 if you’re single, and $2,600 for a family)
  • You are not covered by any other health plan
  • You are not entitled to Medicare benefits
  • You are not a dependent on another person’s tax return.

While its monthly fee is fairly low, the minimum balance to be able to waive it is on the higher end. Contributions to this account could be tax deductible, though you should consult a tax advisor or the IRS to make sure. You can contribute up to $3,400 annually if you’re single, or $6,750 for a family. Although Federal Reserve Regulation D normally limits certain withdrawals and transfers up to six per month on savings account, this account permits three free check withdrawals every month, then charges $5 on each one thereafter. Unused balances on this account automatically carry over from year to year, and transfers made from your checking account are counted toward your current year contribution limits.

How to get Frost Bank’s savings accounts

To open one of Frost Bank’s savings accounts, you can call the bank at 866-376-7889 or visit a bank location in person. Be sure you’re prepared with your minimum opening deposit, proof of a Texas state address, government-issued ID and Social Security number.

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How Frost Bank’s savings accounts compare

You can look at the interest rates of these accounts alone to give them a hard pass. Their monthly fees, and the requirements to waive them, make them lose points as well. While the bank does have easy-to-navigate online and mobile banking platforms, that just isn’t enough to make these accounts stack up against better offerings out there. Consider one of the free accounts on our list of the best online savings accounts, many of which offer higher rates and no fees whatsoever.

Frost Bank’s CD rates

Personal CDs

Frost Bank’s CDs are available in fairly short term lengths with pretty mediocre rates.
TermAPY Minimum Opening Deposit
14 days0.25%
$100,000
30 days0.25%
$100,000
60 days0.25%
$100,000
90 days1.00%
$1,000
90 days1.15%
$100,000
180 days1.25%
$1,000
180 days1.35%
$100,000
12 months1.45%
$1,000
12 months1.60%
$100,000
24 months1.40%
$1,000
24 months1.55%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: Varies; see table
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For certificates issued for less than 30 days, it’s the interest that the withdrawn portion has earned, but no less than seven days of interest; for certificates with terms in length from 30 days to 1 year, it’s 30 days’ interest; for certificates issued for more than 1 year, it’s 90 days’ interest

A $1,000 minimum opening deposit is pretty standard as far as CDs go, but the jump to $100,000 is pretty drastic, especially since the rate increase doesn’t exactly match that jump. While most of these rates do beat out national averages, there are still better offerings out there offering higher rates for lower amounts on deposit.

How to get Frost Bank’s CDs

To be able to open a Frost Bank CD, you’ll need to call the bank at 866-376-7889, or visit a bank location in person. Be sure to be prepared to begin by having your opening deposit, government-issued ID, proof of Texas state address and Social Security number handy.

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How Frost Bank’s CD rates compare

While the rates on these CDs can be described as competitive, there are definitely better rates to be had out there, many of which can be applied to much lower balances than $100,000. We urge you to shop around and possibly consider one of the products on our list of the best CD rates to ensure you truly get the best bang for your buck.

Frost Bank’s money market account options

Frost Bank’s money market allows you to earn interest at several different tiers.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
0.05%
$10,000
0.05%
$25,000
0.05%
$50,000
0.40%
$100,000
0.80%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15; can be waived if minimum monthly balance of $15,000 is maintained
  • ATM fee: None on Frost Bank ATMs; $2 on out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Frost Bank occasionally refunds ATM fees for out-of-state customers; contact the bank for further details
  • Overdraft fee: $34 on amounts over $5, up to a maximum of $170 per day

Although this account offers a pretty low opening deposit requirement, the balance requirement to avoid the monthly fee is rather hefty. You can earn interest on any amount (paid monthly on this account), but the rates don’t really start to even slightly creep up until your balance reaches six figures. The account comes with free imaged checks, and it’s available to be used as overdraft protection to cover your checking account. As a savings account, it is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals and transfers up to six per month.

How to get Frost Bank’s money market account

As with the savings accounts and CDs, you’ll have to either call the bank at 866-376-7889 or visit a bank location in person to be able to open a money market account. For either method, be sure you’re ready with your opening deposit, proof of Texas state address, government-issued ID and Social Security number.

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How Frost Bank’s money market account compares

The bank boasts competitive rates on its accounts, but they really don’t even come close to the ones on our list of the best money market rates. Not only that, but the highest rates it offers only apply to balances of over $100,000, and you have to be able to maintain a large monthly balance to be able to avoid the monthly fee. Needless to say, this account isn’t worth your while; do your due diligence in shopping around, possibly considering one of the accounts on our list instead.

Overall review of Frost Bank’s banking products

Give most of Frost Bank’s personal accounts a pass. With the exception of some of its CDs, all of the accounts seem to come with some sort of catch — primarily high minimum balance requirements to avoid the monthly fees — for what are mostly mediocre rates. Not only that, but the fact that you can’t open accounts other than the checking account online is likely to be an inconvenience for people who don’t live near a branch.

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.

Emilia Benton
Emilia Benton |

Emilia Benton is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Emilia here

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Reviews

American Express Green Card 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.

The iconic American Express® Green Card has undergone a fresh makeover. Thanks to a revamp that rolled out in October 2019, the American Express® Green Card is now a compelling choice for those who want rewards and perks for travel, but aren’t ready to shell out for a premium travel card with an annual fee in the $500 range. This card does charge a $150 annual fee, but if you take full advantage of the annual credits you get for having it, you can mitigate the cost of the annual fee.

Plus, the new card is made mostly out of plastic reclaimed from beaches, islands, and coastal communities — so it can be considered “green” both in color and environmentally.

Where the American Express® Green Card stands out

American Express® Green Card

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American Express® Green Card

Annual fee
$150
Rewards Rate
Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.
Credit required
excellent-credit
Excellent/Good

Rewards. Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours. This is an inclusive travel category, which gives you the chance to earn rewards in a lot of different ways.

CLEAR annual credit. CLEAR uses your eyes and fingerprints to confirm your identity. It can be used at a variety of airports, stadiums, and other venues. When you use this card to pay for your CLEAR membership, you can get up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year. However, because a CLEAR membership costs $179 a year (or $15 a month), note that you’ll still have to pay a portion of your membership costs out of pocket each year.

LoungeBuddy annual credit. When you use this card to purchase airport lounge access via LoungeBuddy, you can get up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year.

Additional benefits

Welcome offer. Earn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. If you use your points for flights through American Express Travel (a value of 1 cent per point), that’s worth $300.

Away credit. New cardmembers who apply by Jan. 15, 2020, can earn statement credits of up to $100 after making a purchase such as a suitcase or weekender bag from Away — a company that sells its travel gear online directly to consumers and aims to offer better prices than you might be able to find when shopping big-name brands in retail stores.

Baggage insurance plan. When you buy your ticket using this card, you can get coverage of up to $1,250 for carry-on baggage and up to $500 for checked baggage. Terms apply.

Where the American Express® Green Card falls short

Annual fee. The American Express® Green Card has an annual fee of $150. This is a bit more than many mid-level travel cards, which tend to charge annual fees of around $95. However, it’s worth noting that $150 annual fee for the American Express® Green Card is less expensive than premium travel cards such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, which charges an annual fee of $550.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual fee
$550
Rewards Rate
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent

Compare it with the American Express® Gold Card

Another American Express card that serves consumers who like to travel and dine out is the American Express® Gold Card. While the annual fee of $250 is a bit more costly than the American Express® Green Card, some cardholders might find the rewards and annual credits worth the expense. Here’s how the cards compare:

 American Express® Green CardAmerican Express® Gold Card
Welcome offerEarn 30,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
RewardsEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on all eligible travel, from subway swipes and window seats to hotel stays and city tours.3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
Regular purchase APRSee Rates & FeesSee Rates & Fees
Annual fee$150$250
Foreign transaction feeNoneNone

For annual statement credits, the American Express® Gold Card offers the following:

Airline fee credit of up to $100. You can choose one qualifying airline per calendar year and receive up to $100 in statement credits to go toward incidental fees.

Dining credit of up to $120. You can earn up to $10 in statement credits each month for an annual savings of up to $120 when you pay with this card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.

American Express® Gold Card

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American Express® Gold Card

Annual fee
$250
Rewards Rate
3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Before factoring in the cards’ annual fees, you can save up to $220 each year from the American Express® Gold Card’s statement credits and up to $200 each year from the American Express® Green Card’s statement credits. Which one is better just depends whether you value credits that go toward incidental airline fees and dining purchases or credits that go toward airport security and airport lounge access. The statement credits effectively reduce the American Express® Gold Card’s annual fee to $30, while the American Express® Green Card’s statement credits can more than recoup the cost of the card’s annual fee, but leaves you to pay $79 a year to make up the yearly price of a CLEAR membership.

Read: Best Travel Credit Cards

When it comes to rewards, the American Express® Gold Card has a higher earning rate per $1 spent on dining than the American Express® Green Card. It also offers U.S. supermarkets as a rewards category, which the American Express® Green Card does not. However, the American Express® Green Card rewards a much broader category of travel purchases than the American Express® Gold Card.

The bottom line

So, is it worth having the American Express® Green Card? If you travel and dine out frequently, it’s a good choice. The annual fee is slightly more expensive than cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (with an annual fee of $95) and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card (with an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $95 after that), but it offers strong value in its ongoing rewards and in its annual credits.

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.

Glen Luke Flanagan
Glen Luke Flanagan |

Glen Luke Flanagan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Glen Luke here

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Credit Cards, Reviews

American Express Gold Card: Good Travel Rewards for a Fee

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. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

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The American Express® Gold Card is an upgraded American Express charge card without a pre-set spending limit. It’s also a card that rewards cardholders with American Express Membership Rewards® Points for airfare, dining, gas, and grocery spending.

A charge card is one that you need to pay off completely each billing cycle, so there’s no interest. However, since there’s no pre-set spending limit either, you need to keep an eagle eye on spending activity to make sure you can pay off the statement in full at month’s end. Making a late payment can cause you to forfeit Membership Reward points earned during that billing cycle.

In this post, we’ll discuss the American Express® Gold Card terms and how to redeem points. Keep reading for an overview on:

  • American Express® Gold Card basics
  • How to redeem Membership Rewards points earned
  • The fine print details
  • The benefits and protections
  • The pros and cons

The basics of the American Express® Gold Card

3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).

$100 airline fee credit.

You can get up to $100 airline fee credit on your statement each calendar year to cover incidentals charged by an airline of your choosing. Qualifying incidentals are charges separate from your airline ticket like baggage fees and not ticket upgrades.

American Express® Gold Card

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American Express® Gold Card

Annual fee
$250
Rewards Rate
3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

How to redeem Membership Rewards® Points earned

Through Membership Rewards®, cardholders can transfer points to participating travel and lodging loyalty programs or redeem points for travel bookings, gift cards, statement credits, and other rewards. The value of your points varies depending on how you choose to use them.

Flights, hotels, and vacations

You can pay with points for flights, hotels, and vacations on the American Express Travel site. Using points for flights offers excellent value.

Here’s the point value breakdown on travel and accommodations:

  • Flights: $10 per 1,000 points
  • Hotels, cruises, and vacation packages: $7 per 1,000 points

Transferring your Membership Rewards® Points

If you choose to transfer your points to another program, generally, 1,000 Membership Rewards® Points will transfer as 1,000 miles, points, or credits.

However, transfers that have a different value include (as of the publication date of this article):

  • British Airways and Iberia: 250 Membership Rewards points = 200 Avios
  • El AL Israel Airlines: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 20 Matmid points
  • Hilton: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,500 HHonors points
  • JetBlue Airways: 250 Membership Rewards points = 200 JetBlue TrueBlue points
  • Starwood Preferred Guest: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 333 Starpoints
  • Virgin America: 200 Membership Rewards points = 100 Elevate points

Occasionally, there are transfer specials for participating loyalty programs.

Statement credit and gift cards

Using points to put a dent in your credit card bill won’t be the best use of your points. 1,000 points equals just $6 in a statement credit.

Several of the gift cards through Membership Rewards® will give you more in cash value. For example, 1,000 points can get you a $10 gift card at restaurants, retail stores, and hotels including:

  • Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
  • Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
  • Maggiano’s Little Italy
  • Seasons 52
  • Banana Republic
  • Crate and Barrel

There’s an entire list of the redemption values for gift cards on the Membership Rewards® site.

Other rewards

Using points for shopping, charitable donations, and entertainment are other redemption options. But, again, these options won’t give you as much value for your points as redeeming for flights and gift cards.

The value of 1,000 points ranges from $5 to $7 when shopping at retailers through Membership Rewards® or at Ticketmaster, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, or Newegg.com.

The fine print

The American Express® Gold Card has an annual fee of $250. If you spend a lot of money on the card, the fee can be worthwhile. However, if you don’t spend a lot, you might want to consider a no fee option.

In addition – when you transfer points to a U.S. frequent flyer program, there’s a $0.0006 fee charged per point to compensate for the federal excise tax. Although this fee has a lot of zeros in it, the cost may still be impactful if you’re transferring a lot of points. For instance, 100,000 points transferred will cost you $60.

On the plus side, this card has no foreign transaction fee.

Benefits and protections

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

If you pay for a qualifying car rental with your American Express® Gold Card, the rental car is covered against damage and theft after declining the collision damage waiver. Rentals that won’t qualify for coverage are trucks, off-road vehicles, full-size sport vehicles, and exotic cars.

Purchase Protection

If an item you purchase is lost, stolen, or damaged within 90 days of purchase, you may be reimbursed for it.

Pros and cons

Pro: 3X points on travel. If you fly often for work or play, this card rewards you well each time you use it.

Con: The fee. The biggest con here is the annual fee. But, since there are several ways you can earn points in the 3X and 2X categories, you may be able to easily cover this fee throughout the year.

Pro: Membership Rewards. This card is enrolled in the Membership Rewards® Points program and gives you many options for point redemption. The Membership Rewards® site is also incredibly easy to navigate, and there’s no ambiguity in point value. The rewards portal shows examples of exactly what your points are worth for each redemption option.

Con: The fee to transfer points. The ability to transfer points to another program is a pro, but being charged for U.S. frequent flyer program transfers is a tiny gotcha in the fine print.

Pro: No foreign transaction fees. One area in the fees where you do catch a break is with foreign transaction fees. This aspect of the card is fitting since it’s one that rewards you for planning travel.

Who will benefit most from the American Express® Gold Card?

Your ability to earn enough points to surpass the fee will determine whether this is a good card for you.

And if you’re shopping around for a rewards program that will give you the most value for travel, Chase Ultimate Rewards® is an option you should compare to American Express Membership Rewards®.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card*, in particular, is part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program and allows you to transfer points to other travel partners as well. Plus, it has an offer that gives 1.25 cents per point for travel. This is slightly more value than what you get for flights with American Express Membership Rewards® since 1,000 points per $10 works out to 1 cent per point.

Before signing up for any rewards card, you should do this type of comparison shopping to figure out which offer will give you the most value for your spending habits.

*The information related to Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here