Institution for Savings 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 may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Institution for Savings’ checking account options

Personal Checking

Low-cost checking with low returns.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$1
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5, though this can be waived
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $3 per transaction if you have overdraft protection; $25 per transaction if you do not

The Institution for Savings’ Personal Checking account is a cheap way to bank. There is a low minimum opening deposit requirement and an almost nonexistent minimum to earn the APY. There is a $5 monthly maintenance fee if your balance falls below $500, but you can avoid this fee by setting up direct deposit.

While this account is affordable, it’s not going to offer you the highest returns. If you’re looking for something functional, this account is great. But if you’re seeking growth, you may want to look elsewhere.

How to get Institution for Savings’ Personal Checking account

To open a Personal Checking account, you will have to visit a branch. Be sure to bring your government-issued ID and Social Security number.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

Member FDIC

No Fee Checking

No interest in exchange for no monthly maintenance fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $3 per transaction if you have overdraft protection; $25 per transaction if you do not

Don’t want to worry about meeting balance or direct deposit requirements to dodge a monthly maintenance fee? Then you may want to check out the No Fee Checking account. This account is extremely similar to Personal Checking, except that you will never have to pay a monthly account maintenance fee. As a trade-off, you won’t earn any interest.

How to get Institution for Savings’ No Fee Checking account

You can open this account online or at a branch with your government-issued ID and Social Security number.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

Bonus Checking

If you can jump through all the hoops, you’ll be rewarded with freebies and a higher APY.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%$1
0.25%$500
0.10%$50,000+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 if your balance falls below $500
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $20 a month at out-of-network, U.S.-based ATMs
  • Overdraft fee: $3 per transaction if you have overdraft protection; $25 per transaction if you do not

If you’re already using the Institution for Savings for your checking account needs, you can convert your account to a Bonus Checking account to receive added benefits. You can also open a Bonus Checking account from scratch if you don’t have an existing relationship with Institution for Savings.

The biggest benefit is an APY spike. If you keep $500 in your account, your interest rate will rise. If you don’t meet this standard, you will be charged a $10 monthly maintenance fee on top of getting a lower APY. You also receive free checks.

Aside from the monthly maintenance fee, there are other requirements to maintain your account and interest rate. You will not receive paper statements with a Bonus Checking account, and you are required to enroll in direct deposit. Besides those, you will need to make 10 non-ATM purchases with your debit card and pay at least three bills a month using bill pay. Also, if you fall below the $500 minimum, you will not receive ATM refunds at the end of your statement cycle.

How to get Institution for Savings’ Bonus Checking account

You can open this account online or at a branch with your government-issued ID and Social Security number.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

Member FDIC

Collegiate Checking

Low-fee checking for traditional college students.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $25 a month in foreign ATM fees
  • Overdraft fee: $3 per transaction if you have overdraft protection; $25 per transaction if you do not

Students ages 17 to 23 who are entered or enrolled in a college degree program can open a Collegiate Checking account. This account does bear interest, but the rate is not available on the Institution for Savings’ website, so you’ll need to contact Institution for Savings for its rates.

It comes with no monthly maintenance fee. Also, ATM fees incurred outside of the U.S. are refunded up to $25 a month, which is great for students who are studying abroad. Your first set of checks are free, and you are required to receive your statements electronically.

When you turn 24, this account will be converted to a No Fee Checking account.

How to get Institution for Savings’ Collegiate Checking account

You will need to visit a branch to open this account. Bring your government-issued ID and Social Security number to get the process started.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

18/65 Checking

Less confusing requirements to worry about for those in specific age brackets.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $3 per transaction if you have overdraft protection; $25 per transaction if you do not

If you are 18 or younger or 65 or older, you qualify for 18/65 Checking. You can also qualify if you are opening up a joint account with a spouse who meets the age requirements.

This account comes with no monthly maintenance fee and free checks. It also is an interest-bearing account, but you’ll have to contact Institution for Savings for its latest rates. You can also opt for electronic or paper statements.

How to get Institution for Savings’ 18/65 Checking account

To open this account, you will need to bring your government-issued ID and Social Security number to a branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

magnifying glass

How Institution for Savings’ checking accounts compare

The Institution for Savings’ checking accounts are not competitive. While some accounts offer you free checks, no maintenance fee and a boosted APY, this does not change that the APY is minimal when compared to the competition. Also, Institution for Savings doesn’t have the rates for some of its accounts online, so you’ll need to check with it for the latest details.

Be sure to shop around to make sure you’re getting the most out of your checking account.

Institution for Savings’ savings account options

Passbook Savings

A savings account you can’t touch without the right paperwork.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$1
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $1 if your balance falls below $10
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $3 per transaction if you have overdraft protection; $25 per transaction if you do not

When we called the Institution for Savings’ customer service line on Oct. 18, 2018, we learned that the Passbook Savings account is unique. You have to bring in your paper passbook to a branch to service the account. That means no online banking or bill pay is available for this account.

Fees are minimal, and if you know you’re the type of person that draws from your savings account as a form of financial self-sabotage, the requirement to show up in person to make a withdrawal may be to your advantage. But the APY is extremely low.

How to get Institution for Savings’ Passbook Savings account

To do anything with this account, including opening it, you will have to visit a branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

Member FDIC

Statement Savings

Similar to Passbook Savings, except you can complete transactions online and you won’t need any paperwork when you visit a branch.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$1
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $1 if your balance falls below $10
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $3 per transaction if you have overdraft protection; $25 per transaction if you do not

Statement Savings is identical to Passbook Savings on APY, fees and minimum balance requirements. That means that while fees are limited, the APY is still extremely low. It does offer the convenience of online banking, though, and does not require you to bring any paperwork with you when you go to bank at your branch.

Because this is a savings account, it falls under federal Regulation D. That means you are allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals per month. If you do, you will be charged a $5 fee for each withdrawal after the sixth one.

How to Institution for Savings’ Statement Savings account

You can open this account online or at a branch with your government-issued ID and Social Security number.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

Member FDIC

Preferred Savings

A higher APY with an incredibly high minimum balance requirement.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$1
0.40%$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 if balance falls below $50,000
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $3 per transaction if you have overdraft protection; $25 per transaction if you do not

The Institution for Savings’ Preferred Savings account offers a higher APY, but only if you hold a considerable sum in your savings account. This APY is higher than what you will find with other savings accounts at the Institution for Savings. Unfortunately, the high minimum balance requirement means most savers will be stuck with the low APY.

How to get Institution for Savings’ Preferred Savings account

You can open this account by taking your Social Security number and government-issued ID to a branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

Member FDIC

magnifying glass

How Institution for Savings’ savings accounts compare

The APY offerings on the Institution for Savings’ saving accounts are extremely low when you hold them up against the top savings accounts. This remains true even when you look at the rate boost for the Preferred Savings account. Many financial institutions offer significantly higher rates with dramatically lower minimum balance requirements.

Institution for Savings’ CD rates

Term Deposit Certificates

Reasonable minimum opening deposit with lower APYs.
TermAPY
3 months0.50%
6 months0.50%
7 months0.50%
9 months0.75%
12 months0.75%
15 months0.75%
18 months0.75%
20 months0.75%
24 months1.50%
30 months1.00%
36 months1.00%
40 months1.00%
48 months1.00%
60 months1.25%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1
  • Early withdrawal penalty: One month worth of interest on certificates with terms shorter than 12 months; three months worth of interest on certificates with terms of 12 to 15 months; six months worth of interest on certificates with terms of 16 to 24 months; nine months worth of interest on certificates with terms of 25 to 47 months; 12 months worth of interest on certificates with terms of 48 months or more

Even with a reasonable opening deposit, this product is not competitive. The APY for several terms is very low, though the 15- and 30-month certificates offer a respectable 0.75% and 1.00% rate, respectively.

If you’re going to open a CD, you’ll want to put your money where it has the most potential for growth. Unfortunately, most of the terms for this product may not be worth the investment.

How to get Institution for Savings’ Term Deposit Certificates

To open this account, prepare your government-issued ID and Social Security number before applying online or at a branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

Member FDIC

Platinum CD

Many specific requirements to secure a rate that still isn’t competitive.
TermAPY
36 months1.25%
48 months1.25%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $250,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Nine months worth of interest on the 36-month CD; 12 months worth of interest on the 48-month CD

While Platinum CD rates do improve upon Term Deposit Certificates, they are still below that of the competition when we look at identical terms. This is a very large deposit amount. At another financial institution, you may find the Platinum CD labeled as a jumbo CD. Regardless, you can get better rates with a lower deposit elsewhere.

You must open this account in conjunction with a Platinum Money Market account. If your balance on the CD falls below $250,000, you will lose the special rates on your money market account and will only be able to earn the rates given for the Traditional Money Market account. If either account falls below that $250,000 benchmark at any point, the rates on your CD will also drop. The most you can hold in this CD is $1.5 million.

How to get Institution for Savings’ Platinum CDs

To open a Platinum CD, you will need to bring your government-issued ID and Social Security number with you when you apply at a branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

Member FDIC

Penalty Free Term Deposit Certificate

Arguably the Institution for Savings’ best deposit account.
TermAPY
9 months 0.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $250,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: None as long as you wait six days after opening your account to make your withdrawal.

The Penalty Free Term Deposit Certificate is an extremely competitive offer when you take the term into account. But the minimum deposit is quite high, limiting the number of people who will have the ability to take advantage of this high APY. Another attractive feature of this certificate is the ability to withdraw your money anytime as long as you wait at least six days after you open your account.

How to get Institution for Savings’ Penalty Free Term Deposit Certificate

You will need your government-issued ID and Social Security number when you open this certificate at a branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

Member FDIC

magnifying glass

How Institution for Savings’ CD rates compare

If you have enough money on hand to open a Penalty Free Term Deposit Certificate, you can do so today with confidence that you’re getting one of the best offers around. But for all your other certificate needs, you should look elsewhere.

Institution for Savings’ money market account options

Traditional Money Market

You can find savings accounts with a higher APY.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$1
0.25%$1,000
0.25%$50,000
0.35%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 if balance falls below $1,000
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $3 per transaction if you have overdraft protection; $25 per transaction if you do not

Money market accounts tend to reward you with progressively higher interest rates as your balance increases. While this holds true with the Institution for Savings’ Traditional Money Market account, the rates are so low that even though they rise incrementally, they never reach an amount that many banks offer on high-yield savings accounts. This account also comes with a $5 account maintenance fee should your balance fall below $1,000.

It’s important to know that like savings accounts, money market accounts are subject to Regulation D. Make sure you make no more than six withdrawals a month, or you will get hit by that $5 fee each time from Institution for Savings.

How to get Institution for Savings’ Traditional Money Market account

Open this account at a branch. Be sure to bring your government-issued ID with you, as well as your Social Security number.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

Member FDIC

Titanium Money Market

Better rates at a high price point.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$1
0.55%$250,000
0.65%$500,000
0.75% $1,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 if balance falls below $250,000
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $3 per transaction if you have overdraft protection; $25 per transaction if you do not

Those with larger amounts to put into their money market accounts may want to look at the Institution for Savings’ Titanium Money Market account. These rates are competitive, but you will have to have an extremely high balance to get the best APY.

Because the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insures deposit accounts up to $250,000, the Institution for Savings also affiliates with the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF). The DIF insures Massachusetts bank accounts above $250,000.

How to get Institution for Savings’ Titanium Money Market account

Bring your photo ID and Social Security number to a branch to open this account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

Member FDIC

Platinum Money Market

High balances and a sister CD make you eligible for an APY that is still not competitive.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%$1
0.55% $250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 if balance falls below $250,000
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $3 per transaction if you have overdraft protection; $25 per transaction if you do not

As mentioned above, you can only open this account with a Platinum CD. We already know that if your CD drops below $250,000, your Platinum Money Market account will revert to a Traditional Money Market account. But it’s also important to note that if the balance in your Platinum Money Market account falls below $250,000, you will be charged a monthly maintenance fee. The max you can hold in this account is $10 million.

It may not be worth all the hassle, though. The 0.55% rate is low for a money market account, and the minimum balance requirement too high for the vast majority of savers.

How to get Institution for Savings’ Platinum Money Market account

If you have the money and feel confident that maintaining a high balance across both Platinum accounts won’t be a problem, you can open this account at a branch. Keep a photo ID and your Social Security number handy.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

Member FDIC

magnifying glass

How Institution for Savings’ money market accounts compare

Those with large amounts of cash to put into their money market accounts may want to consider the Institution for Savings’ Titanium Money Market account as it does provide relatively competitive APYs. For those who don’t have such a large sum to open up their account, you will want to shop around as many financial institutions offer far higher money market rates with comparatively nominal or, in some cases, no minimum opening deposit requirements.

Institution for Savings’ IRA account options

IRA Term Deposit Certificates

Low APY offerings on an already conservative investment.
TermAPY
3 months0.50%
6 months0.50%
7 months0.50%
9 months0.75%
12 months0.75%
15 months0.75%
18 months0.75%
20 months0.75%
24 months1.50%
30 months1.00%
36 months1.00%
40 months1.00%
48 months1.00%
60 months 1.25%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1
  • Early withdrawal penalty: One month worth of interest on certificates with terms shorter than 12 months; three months worth of interest on certificates with terms of 12 to 15 months; six months worth of interest on certificates with terms of 16 to 24 months; nine months worth of interest on certificates with terms of 25 to 47 months; 12 months worth of interest on certificates with terms of 48 or more months.

Offering the same rates as term certificates outside of an IRA, the Institution for Savings’ IRA Term Deposit Certificates are not competitive. Some financial institutions offer higher APYs when a certificate is held inside an IRA, but that is not the case here.

A certificate inside an IRA is already an extremely conservative investment. You don’t want to restrict growth even further by compromising on the APY.

How to get Institution for Savings’ IRA Term Deposit Certificates

Should you choose to open an IRA Term Deposit Certificate, you will want to schedule an appointment at a branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Institution For Savings’s secure website

Member FDIC

magnifying glass

How Institution for Savings’ IRA CD rates compare

Even the highest rates offered by the Institution for Savings’ IRA CDs pale in comparison to other offers on the market. Shop around for other IRA CDs before setting up this investment as you want to ensure you’re getting the highest returns possible.

Overall review of Institution for Savings’ banking products

The Institution for Savings does offer a couple of standout products. Rates on its Penalty Free Term Deposit Certificate are fantastic, and the rates on its Titanium Money Market account aren’t bad either. To open either of these accounts, you have to have a lot of liquid money on hand, though.

All the other deposit accounts, including the checking and savings accounts, are not competitive. It is possible to get much higher rates on these types of account, but you’re going to have to shop elsewhere to get them.

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.

Do you have a question?