Harvest Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Harvest Bank’s checking account options

Free Kasasa Cash® Checking account

Earns a spectacular checking account interest rate on balances up to $10,000. The only catch is you need to make a dozen debit card purchases a month to qualify.
APYMinimum Balance Amount
2.00%$0.01 (qualifying transactions met)
0.20%Balance over $10,000 (qualifying transactions met)
*A lower APY will be applied if you don’t meet the qualifications for the rates above.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: $25 per month (maximum of $3 per transaction)
  • Overdraft fees: $20

Harvest Bank’s Free Kasasa Cash Checking account pays an excellent interest rate on balances up to $10,000. If you have more than $10,000 in your account, it pays a much lower rate on the amount over $10,000. For example, if you have a $15,000 balance, $10,000 will earn the high rate and the remaining $5,000 will earn the lower rate.

To qualify for the Harvest Bank Free Kasasa Cash Checking account’s best rates, every month you must make at least 12 debit card purchases and also log into your online banking account. If you do not make the qualifying transactions, you will earn a much lower interest rate for the month.

This account refunds out-of-network ATM fees, but only if you meet the monthly qualifying transactions. If so, Harvest Bank refunds $3 per withdrawal, up to $25 per month in total fees charged by the ATM owners. You can also make unlimited free withdrawals from Harvest Bank ATMs and ATMs in the Shazam, In Balance™ and Presto! networks.

You must deposit at least $100 to open this account. After that, there is no balance requirement or monthly fee.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Harvest Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Free Kasasa Cash Back® Checking

This account doesn’t pay interest, but instead earns a terrific 3% cash back rate on debit purchases. You can receive up to $9 per month in cash back.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: $25 per month (maximum of $3 per transaction.)
  • Overdraft fees: $20

If you’d rather earn cash back on your debit card purchases instead of interest on your savings, then Harvest Bank’s Free Kasasa Cash Back Checking account could be a nice fit. This account earns 3% in cash back whenever you buy something using the debit card. There are no category restrictions for the cash back rate; it applies to all your purchases. You can earn up to $9 per month, so that’s $300 of spending per month to earn the full $9.

To qualify for the cash back, you must make at least 12 debit card purchases per month and log into your online banking account at least once in the period. If you don’t, you will not receive any cash back that month.

This account refunds out-of-network ATM fees, but only if you meet the monthly qualifying transactions. If so, this account refunds $3 per withdrawal, up to $25 per month in total fees charged by the ATM owners. You can also make unlimited free withdrawals from Harvest Bank ATMs and ATMs that are part of the Shazam, In Balance and Presto! networks.

You must deposit at least $100 to open this account. After that, there is no balance requirement or monthly fee.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Harvest Bank’s secure website

Free Checking

A free checking account which offers only basic banking services — no interest and no cash back. There’s not much appeal since the Kasasa accounts are also free and actually earn you money.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $20

Harvest Bank also offers a no-frills Free Checking account. You must deposit $100 to open the account, but after that there is no balance requirement or monthly fee. This account doesn’t earn interest or give cash back. It only comes with a debit card, online banking and the ability to write checks.

You can also make unlimited free withdrawals from Harvest Bank ATMs and ATMs that are part of the Shazam, In Balance and Presto! networks. However, this account does not refund fees from out-of-network ATMs.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Harvest Bank’s secure website

Investors NOW Checking

This is the only Harvest Bank checking account that charges a monthly fee. It also has a high balance requirement and low interest rates. Focus on the other options instead.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to earn APY
0.40%$1,000 - $9,999.99
0.50%$10,000 - $49,999.99
0.60%$50,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7 (can be waived)
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $20

Harvest Bank’s Investors NOW Checking account requires an opening deposit of at least $1,000. If your minimum daily ever balance falls below $1,000, this account charges a $7 monthly fee. It’s free so long as your balance stays above this limit.

To earn interest, you must also keep a balance of at least $1,000. The rates are better than what you’d earn at a large national bank, but not that great.

You can make unlimited free withdrawals from Harvest Bank ATMs and ATMs that are part of the Shazam, In Balance and Presto! Networks, but any fees charged by those networks won’t be refunded.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Harvest Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Harvest Bank’s checking accounts compare

At Harvest Bank, the two best checking options by far are the Kasasa accounts. Kasasa Cash earns one of the best interest rates you will find for a checking account, better even than most CDs and money market accounts. Kasasa Cash Back earns a fantastic rate on debit card purchases, better than most cash-back credit cards.

The right fit depends whether you prefer earning interest or cash back. The only downside is you must make at least 12 debit purchases per month and certain daily balances to qualify for the high rates, which can be annoying if you don’t regularly spend on your card.

We would stay away from the two other Harvest Bank checking accounts. There’s no real need for the Free Checking account since the higher-quality Kasasa accounts are also free. The Investors NOW account has a high balance requirement, earns a low rate and could charge a monthly fee. Not a great combo.

If you go with Harvest Bank, stick with the Kasasa accounts. Or if you want an excellent checking account that won’t force you to spend on the debit card, these are the other top checking account options on the market today.

Harvest Bank’s saving account options

Kasasa Saver®

This savings account is meant to be combined with one of the Kasasa checking accounts. It earns an okay interest rate, but only if you make at least 12 debit card purchases through the Kasasa checking account.
APYMinimum Balance Amount
1.00%$0.01 (qualifying transactions met)
0.50%Balance over $25,000 (qualifying transactions met)
*A lower APY will be applied if you don’t meet the qualifications for the rates above.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $20

You can only open a Harvest Bank Kasasa Saver account if you already have one of the bank’s Kasasa checking accounts. The two accounts are designed to go together.

To qualify for the best savings account rates, you must make at least 12 purchases per month using the checking account debit card, and also log into your online bank account. Any month where you don’t meet these requirements, you’ll earn a much lower rate on your balance in Kasasa Saver.

If you qualify, this account pays a decent rate on balances up to $25,000, but pays a lower rate for any amount over that threshold. For example, if you have $30,000 in the account, you will earn the high rate on the first $25,000 and the lower rate on the other $5,000.

Harvest Bank only lets you make three free withdrawals per month. If you make more than three, it will charge $1 for each extra withdrawal. In addition, Federal Reserve Regulation D limits you to six withdrawals or transfers out of a savings account per statement cycle. This includes debit purchases, checks, account transfers and bill payments. If you go over the limit, Harvest Bank charges a $25 fee per excess transaction.

The Harvest Bank Kasasa Saver account does not have a minimum opening deposit. You can start the account without adding money. It also never charges a monthly fee and does not have a minimum balance requirement.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Harvest Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Investors Savings account

Earns a half-decent interest rate, but limits you to just three free withdrawals per month, a low limit even for savings accounts. We don’t think it earns enough to be worth this lack of access.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to earn APY
0.10%$50 - $4,999.99
0.20%$5,000 - $49,999.99
0.30%$50,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $1 (can be waived)
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $20

Harvest Bank also offers an Investors Savings account which isn’t connected to the Kasasa program. You must deposit at least $100 to open this account. After that, you need to keep a balance of at least $50 or else this account charges a $1 monthly fee.

The Investors Savings account pays interest so long as you have at least $50 in the account. The rate increases as you deposit more before maxing out at a balance of $50,000. The interest rates are all right, and you do not have to make any debit purchases to earn the top rates.

With this account, the bank expects you’ll only make a maximum of three withdrawals per month. If you make more than three, Harvest Bank charges a $1 fee on excess withdrawals. That is stricter than Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits you to six withdrawals or transfers out of a savings account per statement cycle. This includes debit purchases, checks, account transfers and bill payments. If you go over the government limit, Harvest Bank charges a $25 fee per excess transaction.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Harvest Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Harvest Bank’s savings accounts compare

Harvest Banks two savings accounts have some quality features. They both earn above-average interest rates and will be free for most account holders. Kasasa Saver is always free, while the Investors Savings account monthly fee can be avoided with a balance of $50.

They are roughly equal. Kasasa Saver earns a bit more interest, but requires you to make 12 debit card purchases a month through one of the Kasasa Checking accounts. The Investors Savings account is easier to manage because you don’t need to make debit card purchases, but the rates are slightly lower.

If we had to decide, we’d actually recommend looking elsewhere for a savings account. These savings accounts earn even higher rates while also keeping their fees low. They are a better choice than the two Harvest Bank savings accounts.

Harvest Bank’s CD rates

Certificates of Deposit

Not the worst CD rates we’ve seen, but still far from the best. Watch out for the early withdrawal penalty, especially on the mid-range CD terms.
TermAPY($1,000)APY($25,000)
6 months0.70%0.80%
12 months0.80%0.90%
24 months0.85%0.95%
36 months0.90%1.00%
48 months1.00%1.10%
60 months1.10%1.20%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest for maturities of one year or less, 12 months of interest for maturities of over one year.

Harvest Bank offers CDs which range from six months up to 60 months (5 years). You must deposit at least $1,000 to open a CD and earn the APY. The bank also offers a rate increase if you deposit and keep at least $25,000 in a certificate of deposit.

If you take money out before the maturity date, Harvest Bank will charge an early withdrawal penalty. It charges six months’ interest for early withdrawals from CDs with terms of one year or less, and 12 months’ interest for more than one year.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Harvest Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Harvest Bank’s CD rates compare

The Harvest Bank CD rates are not as generous as they could be. You can earn a significantly higher CD rate at other financial institutions. You could even earn more interest with Harvest Bank’s Kasasa Cash Checking account than you would on any of its CDs.

The bank’s CD early withdrawal penalty also caught our eye. Harvest Bank charges the same early withdrawal penalty on all CDs with maturities of more than a year, from 24 months up to 60 months. Lenders typically adjust the penalty based on a CD’s length, but Harvest Bank does not. Keep this penalty in mind as you compare the rates because losing 12 months of interest hurts your return a lot more on a 24 month CD than on a 60 month certificate.

To be fair, Harvest Bank CDs are an improvement over the dismal options at large national banks. But if you’re trying to earn the highest rate on your savings, there are much better alternatives. We’ve covered the very best CD options here.

Harvest Bank’s money market account option

Money Market account

This money market has a high balance requirement, strict withdrawal limits and mediocre interest rates. But at least it doesn’t charge a monthly fee. All told, this seems like the weakest deposit account at Harvest Bank.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to earn APY
0.30%$5,000 - $49,999.99
0.35%$50,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $20

You must deposit at least $5,000 to open a Harvest Bank Money Market Account. While this account does not charge a monthly fee, you stop earning interest if your balance falls below $5,000. That interest rate is just average. You receive a small increase once your balance goes over $50,000, but it’s not much.

Since this account falls under Federal Reserve Regulation D, you’re limited to six withdrawals or transfers out of your balance per month. This includes checks, debit card purchases, account transfers and drafts. However, you can make unlimited withdrawals by mail or in person at a bank branch. If you go over the withdrawal limit, Harvest Bank charges a $25 fee for each excess transaction.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Harvest Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Harvest Bank’s money market account compares

We are not that impressed by the Harvest Bank Money Market account. It requires a massive opening deposit of $5,000 and if your balance falls below that, you stop earning interest. The interest rates are also low for a money market account. You actually earn more with some of the Harvest Bank checking and savings accounts.

While it’s nice that this money market account is completely free, it’s not enough to make up for the lackluster interest rates. Stick with the other Harvest Bank deposit accounts, or consider this list of top contenders for quality money market accounts.

Harvest Bank’s IRA CD rates

Variable Rate IRAs

With these IRAs, your interest rate can go up or down depending on market rates. It doesn’t stay the same like on an IRA CD.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to earn APY
1.05%$250 - $9,999.99
1.30%$10,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

Harvest Bank also offers a Variable Rate IRA as an alternative to its IRA CDs. When you sign up for an IRA CD, you keep the same interest rate for the entire term. With a Variable Rate IRA, your interest rate can go up or down over time depending on market rates.

This account requires a minimum opening deposit of at least $250 and you must keep at least this much in your Variable IRA to earn interest. If you have $10,000 or more in your account, you receive a rate increase.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Harvest Bank’s secure website

IRA CDs

While you could do worse for your retirement plan, you could also do a lot better.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months of interest for maturities of one year or less, 12 months of interest for maturities of over one year.

All of Harvest Bank’s CDs can be used in an IRA to save for retirement. You can open IRA CDs with terms that range from six months up to 60 months (5 years). You must deposit at least $1,000 to open an IRA CD and to earn the APY.

If you take money out before the maturity date of your IRA CD, Harvest Bank will charge an early withdrawal penalty. It charges six months’ worth of interest for early withdrawals from IRA CDs with terms one year or less, and 12 months’ worth of interest for early withdrawals from IRA CDs that last more than one year. Be sure to call Harvest Bank for the current rates.

How to get Harvest Bank’s deposit accounts

You can start the application for any of the aforementioned Harvest Bank accounts online, by phone or by visiting one of the bank’s branches. When you sign up online, you just submit your name, address and contact information to schedule an appointment with a bank representative. Harvest Bank prefers that you come into a branch to finalize the paperwork, but if you live out-of-state, you can request an exception to handle this from home.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Harvest Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Harvest Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

Harvest Bank’s IRA CDs are just okay. We do like that you can set up Harvest Bank IRAs for small amounts. It only takes $1,000 to open an IRA CD and $250 to open a Variable IRA.

The Variable Rate IRA is also an interesting alternative that you don’t see everywhere. If you’re worried about rates jumping up in the future, this account lets you start saving now and you will earn more if rates do go up.

But despite these benefits, Harvest Bank IRAs overall just don’t earn enough interest. If you want the highest return for your retirement savings, we recommend using something from our list of the best IRA CDs rather than the options at Harvest Bank.

Overall review of Harvest Bank’s deposit accounts

The best accounts by far at Harvest Bank are its two Kasasa checking accounts. The accounts are completely free, they refund out-of-network ATM fees and they earn terrific rates for either interest or cash back, depending on which account you use.

The only downside of the Kasasa program is you need to make 12 debit card purchases per month to unlock the top rates. That’s a reasonable tradeoff to unlock two of the best checking accounts on the market today.

The rest of Harvest Bank’s accounts are pretty forgettable. That’s not to say they are bad accounts. They all keep fees low and earn more than the horrible rates at national banks. But none of them stand out in a way that would motivate us to open one since there are much more competitive options out there.

We would recommend only using Harvest Bank for its two superstar checking accounts. If you use any of its other accounts, know that while you aren’t making a bad choice, you are also missing out on better deals elsewhere.

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