FSNB Review: Checking, Savings, CD and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

FSNB’s checking account options

Advanced Checking

This checking account comes with premium Online Banking features, but for a price.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5. If you open an account by mail, you’ll instead need at least $200.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10.95, and it can’t be waived
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for each out-of-network withdrawal, plus an ATM surcharge fee from the ATM’s owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $19.75 per item, on up to seven items per day ($138.25 maximum daily total).

This is FSNB’s highest-price checking account, and there is no way to get the monthly fee waived. You’ll simply have to be OK with paying $10.95 each month for your checking account.

In return for that pricey fee, you really only get three things. You’ll get access to the premium 5-Star Online Banking (this service normally costs $6/month and allows you to see check images and make unlimited payments through Bill Pay). If your account balance is $200 or more, you can also qualify for one free box of checks per quarter. You’ll also be able to receive direct deposit payments one day earlier.

If you’re worried about earning interest, don’t be. All of FSNB’s checking accounts offer interest. But since not all accounts come with a monthly fee as high as with this one, you’ll likely be better served by another, low or no-fee checking account unless the specific perks of this account really thrill you for some reason.

How to get FSNB’s Advanced Checking account

FSNB does not support online applications. Instead, your only options to get this account are to apply in person at a branch, or have an application mailed to you.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on FSNB’s secure website

Member FDIC

Secure Rewards Checking

This account offers a random collection of perks that may be more trouble than they’re worth.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.08%
$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $7.50. If you open an account by mail, you’ll need at least $200.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8.50, with no option to waive
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for each out-of-network withdrawal, plus an ATM surcharge fee from the ATM’s owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $19.75 per item, on up to seven items per day ($138.25 maximum total).

You know how credit cards often come with a random collection of perks that no one ever really uses, like price protection or insurance? Well, with this account, you can get all those useless perks and more for the high price of $8.50 per month. And no, you can’t get this fee waived either.

Here’s what you get with this account:

  • Unspecified cash back rewards (but only if you register and do your shopping through a specific online portal)
  • Extended warranty and price protection (but only if you complete copious amounts of paperwork)
  • Coupons for local businesses
  • Unspecified travel rewards
  • $5,000 worth of identity theft insurance

There are also a couple of other fees associated with this account. If you want paper statements, you’ll have to pay $1.50 per month extra. If you want check images with your statement, you’ll owe another $5 per month.

How to get FSNB’s Secure Rewards Checking account

If for whatever reason you decide you do want this account, you’ll need to visit a local branch to open it or submit an application by mail.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on FSNB’s secure website

Member FDIC

Career Checking

Unless you’re age 50 or older, this is your only real chance at a truly free checking account at FSNB.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5. If you open an account by mail, you’ll need at least $200.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for each out-of-network withdrawal, plus an ATM surcharge fee from the ATM’s owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $19.75 per item, on up to seven items per day ($138.25 maximum total).

If you don’t care about any weird rewards schemes or offhand perks but do receive regular direct deposits, this might be the best account for you at FSNB. To qualify, you’ll need to receive at least one direct deposit per month of $300 or more.

Even though this account doesn’t come with any flashy perks, it does still come with the ability to earn interest on your account. As long as you have at least $500 in the account, you’ll earn interest on your entire balance.

The best part about this account is that there is no monthly fee — if you opt for electronic statements. If you want images of your checks with your statement, however, you’ll owe a $5 monthly fee, and if you want a paper statement instead, that’ll be an extra $3 per month.

How to get FSNB’s Career Checking account

If you live near a local branch, it might be best to head there to open this account. The only other alternative is to open an account by mail.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on FSNB’s secure website

Member FDIC

50+ Checking

One of the advantages of being at least age 50 is that you can open a free (yet mediocre) account at this bank.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5 if you open the account in person. $200 if you open the account by mail.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for each out-of-network withdrawal, plus an ATM surcharge fee from the ATM’s owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $19.75 per item, on up to seven items per day ($138.25 maximum total).

Compared with FSNB’s other checking accounts, this one has some more definite pros. First, there is no monthly fee with this account. You’ll also get free cashier’s checks, money orders and even free regular checks, as long as you have at least $200 in the account. You can even earn interest on this free checking account.

Now, the cons: To earn interest, you’ll need to keep a larger-than-normal balance in your checking account. Most FSNB checking accounts require a minimum $500 balance before interest is paid out; but if you’re 50 or older, FSNB requires you to have a minimum $1,000 balance before you earn any interest. You’ll also pay a $1.00 monthly fee if you want paper statements with your account. You can also add the Secure Rewards benefit package to this account (honestly, they’re not that great) for a high $8.50 monthly fee.

How to get FSNB’s 50+ Checking account

If you don’t live near a branch, the only way to get this account is to mail in an application.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on FSNB’s secure website

Member FDIC

Basic Checking

This is basically the same thing as the Career Checking account, except you’ll be charged if you don’t keep a certain balance in your account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5 if you open the account in person, $200 if you open the account by mail.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5.50, unless your account balance is above $75.
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for each out-of-network withdrawal, plus an ATM surcharge fee from the ATM’s owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $19.75 per item, on up to seven items per day ($138.25 maximum total).

If all you want is a no-frills checking account at FSNB, you have few options. You can go for the Career Checking account because it has no monthly fees, but in order to qualify, you’ll need a monthly direct deposit of at least $300. But what if you can’t meet that requirement? The self-employed, for example, might still earn a decent income but it’s not direct-deposited by an employer.

In that case, this account is probably your best option. Unlike most of FSNB’s checking accounts, this one will waive the monthly fee, but only if you have at least $75 in the account. It’s a hassle, yes, but it is one way to get a “free” checking account, with strings attached.

There are a couple of other fees that might bump up the true monthly cost of this account, however. If you want paper statements, FSNB will charge you $3 per month. Check images with your statement will set you back a further at $5 per month.

How to get FSNB’s Basic Checking account

The easiest way to get this checking account is by visiting a local FSNB branch. However, if you can’t do that because you don’t live near one (and that’s most people, we’d bet), you can still open an account by mail.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on FSNB’s secure website

Member FDIC

NOW Checking

This “variable-rate” account actually offers the same interest rate as all the other FSNB checking accounts.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.08% Variable
$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5 if you open an account in person, $200 if you open an account by mail.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7.50, but only if your balance falls below $400.
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for each out-of-network withdrawal, plus an ATM surcharge fee from the ATM’s owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $19.75 per item, on up to seven items per day ($138.25 maximum total).

FSNB’s NOW checking account is very similar to its other accounts. The only thing we can tell that’s different is that you get images of the checks you’ve written included with your statements. Many banks offer that for free, but FSNB normally charges you $5 per month for this perk with its other accounts.

This checking account also offers interest, and like its other accounts, you’ll need to keep at least $500 in the account during the cycle in order to earn it. If you don’t have at least $500 in the account, you won’t earn interest on anything.

How to get FSNB’s NOW Checking account

There are two ways to open an account at FSNB: in person at a branch or by mail.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on FSNB’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How FSNB’s checking accounts compare

We have three quick descriptions to sum up all of FSNB’s checking accounts: redundant, high fees and low interest rates.

Each checking account is much the same as the next, with the exception of accounts like the Secure Rewards Checking, which offers a lot of (mostly unhelpful) rewards. Most of the accounts also come with high fees. Typically, even the consumer-unfriendly megabanks will offer ways to skirt some of these fees. But with FSNB’s Advanced Checking and Secure Checking accounts, these monthly fees are unavoidable.

The bank also charges you for different online banking features which mostly come free with other banks. Viewing transactions and transferring money is free, but if you want to see check images, you’ll need to pay $6/month for the Extended Basic Online Banking package. If you’re going to pay that much, you might as well sign up for the 5-Star Online Banking package because it also costs $6/month but you’ll also get to see check images and make payments with online Bill Pay.

Still, there are some things to like about these checking accounts. Each account offers an optional Savings Round Up program, which rounds up your debit card purchases to the nearest dollar and deposits the difference into your savings account. Each account also offers interest, which is unusual for banks. Unfortunately, that interest rate isn’t really all that great, especially compared with its competitors’ checking accounts.

FSNB’s savings account option

Savings Account

This account comes with a lot of fees, but offers little in the way of good interest rates.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$25-$4,999.99
0.25%
Over $5,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5, or $200 if opening the account by mail
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5.50 per quarter, but only if your balance falls below $75
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for each out-of-network withdrawal, plus an ATM surcharge fee from the ATM’s owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $19.75 per item, on up to seven items per day ($138.25 maximum total).

FSNB only offers one savings account, the aptly-titled “Savings Account.” It has two tier levels. Although you only need $5 to open the account if you open it at a branch, you’ll need to have at least $25 in there to earn any interest.

This account has unusual rules for how many withdrawals you’re allowed to make. If you have more than $500 in the account, you can make as many withdrawals as you want, as long as you stay under the six-debit monthly limit imposed by federal Regulation D. If you have less than $500 in the account, you can only make a scant three withdrawals per quarter. If you go over your allotted number of withdrawals, each extra withdrawal will cost you $1.50.

Finally, this isn’t an account that you can open and then forget about. You’ll need to make at least one transaction every three months, otherwise the bank will charge you a hefty $15 “inactivity fee” every quarter. That’s up to $60 per year that you could be bleeding money if you aren’t on top of this account. The bank will also charge you a $1 fee for each paper statement, if you’d rather receive your statements this way.

How to get FSNB’s Savings Account

FSNB does not support online account applications. If you don’t live near a branch, you’ll have to contact the bank instead and request an application be sent to you by mail.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on FSNB’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How FSNB’s savings account compares

Many banks are currently boosting their interest rates due to federal changes. That’s great news for you, unless you have a savings account at FSNB. In that case, you’ll be stuck with subpar interest rates. If you’d rather take advantage of the great interest rates being offered at other banks, these are our top savings account recommendations.

This bank account also comes with more red tape than a classified government document. Not only does it make this account confusing to keep up with, but it’s also likely that you’ll end up shelling out more money in fees than what you actually earn in interest payments. That’s why we recommend choosing another bank for your savings.

FSNB’s CD rates

CDs

Don’t waste your time. These rates are too low.
TermAPY
30 day0.15%
91 day0.15%
182 day0.20%
12 months0.30%
18 months0.35%
30 months0.35%
60 months0.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 91 days’ worth of interest for CDs 12 months or less; 182 days’ worth of interest for CDs longer than 12 months.

FSNB offers an unusual schedule of CD term lengths. Most banks offer CDs in 12 month increments, however FSNB doesn’t offer 24, 36 or 48 month CDs. This means that it may be more difficult than normal to set up a CD ladder, for example, since one of the standard CD ladder setups relies on opening a series of CDs set to mature once every 12 months.

The APY quoted above assumes that you’ll keep your interest earnings in the CD while you earn it so that it compounds. If you don’t mind earning a slightly lower rate, you do have the option of withdrawing your interest earnings on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis. You can opt to have the interest payments automatically deposited into an FSNB checking or savings account, mailed out to you or held separately for you to pick up from a branch.

Once your CD matures, FSNB will automatically renew it. You will get a 10-day grace period after this happens when you can withdraw the money penalty-free, if you wish.

How to get FSNB’s CDs

You can open these accounts by mail or through a local branch. FSNB does not support online applications, unfortunately, which we confirmed with a customer service representative.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on FSNB’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How FSNB’s CD rates compare

Frankly, these rates are pretty terrible. They’re much lower than even the national averages tracked by DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree-owned site. Generally, when you’re talking about locking away your money for a long period of time, it’s best to get your best interest rate possible. If that’s a bigger priority for you than staying loyal to FSNB, then we’d recommend these top-yielding CDs instead.

FSNB does offer a low early withdrawal penalty, however. Many banks charge 365 days’ worth of interest or more for withdrawing money from a 5 year CD early. That’s twice as much as FSNB charges. Still, it’s probably better to chase the highest interest rate possible than the lowest early withdrawal fee. If you think there’s a good likelihood that you’ll need to withdraw money early, a more liquid account like a savings or money market account may be better for you.

FSNB’s money market account option

Money Market Account

This account doesn’t offer any advantages over the Savings Account besides the ability to write checks.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$25
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5, unless you keep at least $2,500 in the account.
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for each out-of-network withdrawal, plus an ATM surcharge fee from the ATM’s owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $19.75 per item, on up to seven items per day ($138.25 maximum total).

As of early November 2018, this account is listed on the bank’s rates page, but there is no other information at all about this account on the remainder of the website. We contacted the bank directly to find out what’s going on with this account — and yes, you can still open one, a customer representative told us.

It’s a good idea to wait to open this account until you can commit to keeping at least $2,500 in it however. You’ll need at least that much to open the account anyway, but once open, you’ll be charged a $5 monthly fee if your balance drops below that level for a given month.

You can write checks from this account, but you can only make a certain number of withdrawals. You’ll also be limited up to six certain debits per month due to the rules established by federal Regulation D. If you need to make more withdrawals than that in a given month, FSNB will charge you a $1.50 per-withdrawal fee.

How to get FSNB’s Money Market Account

You can open this account in person at a local branch or by requesting an application kit.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on FSNB’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How FSNB’s money market account compares

Generally money market accounts offer higher interest rates than on savings accounts, but that’s not the case here. Just like all of its other accounts, FSNB’s money market account offers very poor rates. In fact, FSNB’s savings account offers an even higher rate on balances over $5,000. Still, it’s not really worth making that much hullabaloo over since both of these accounts offer very small rates.

Instead, if you’d still like to be able to write checks from your savings-type account but prefer to earn much higher interest rates, we’d recommend one of these top online money market accounts instead.

FSNB’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

FSNB only offers two IRA CD term lengths for you to choose from.
TermAPY
18 months0.35%
30 months0.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 182 days’ worth of interest.

IRA CDs can be a great way to save for retirement. FSNB offers IRA CDs that you can open either inside of a traditional or Roth IRA. But as always, there are some catches.

The first catch is that you can only choose from two term lengths of FSNB’s regular CDs: 18 months or 30 months. That means it’ll be difficult to get an IRA CD ladder started unless you manually open a new one every 18 or 30 months to keep the chain going.

The second catch is that these IRA CDs will automatically renew when they mature. You can still access your money during a short 10-day grace period window after each maturity date, if you wish. That’s an excellent time to roll over these IRA CDs into a higher-yielding investment outside of FSNB.

How to get FSNB’s IRA CDs

You’ll need a valid ID to apply for an account, which you can do either at a local branch or by mail. FSNB does not support online applications, unfortunately.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on FSNB’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How FSNB’s IRA CD rates compare

You can easily find higher-yielding IRA CDs than FSNB’s options. Here are the best IRA CD rates that we’ve recently found.

FSNB also only offers a mere two term lengths: 18 and 30 months. Most people opening IRA CDs are investing for the long haul, and so 5 year IRA CDs would be more appropriate. Still, it doesn’t really matter much since FSNB’s regular 5 year CDs don’t earn much either.

Overall review of FSNB’s banking products

FSNB originally started with a mission to help military families reach further toward their financial goals. If that’s the case, we think it’s a shame that this bank offers such poor interest rates and policies. Most of the rules surrounding each account seem designed to ensure that the bank collects more money from you, rather than the other way around.

Case in point: FSNB only lets you access your money for free from ATMs owned directly by FSNB itself, or its sister bank, City National Bank (CNB). Most of these ATMs are located at the branches themselves, but since FSNB itself operates less than 100 branches nationwide, that means there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself far from an in-network ATM when you need it. There is also no ATM locator option on the website, so you’ll just need to figure out which bank branch is closest to you. This boosts the likelihood that you’ll have to use out-of-network ATMs frequently, which means more ATM fees coming out of your wallet.

Instead, we recommend looking for local banks or banks with branches in your area if you’d still prefer to do your banking in person. If you don’t mind heading online for your banking needs, a whole new world of better, higher-yielding accounts awaits you.