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

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Updated on Sunday, November 1, 2020

Kearny Bank’s checking account options

High Yield Checking

Frequent use of this checking account could earn more interest for you.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%
$1-$25,000 (if you meet qualifications)
0.25%
Over $25,000 (if you meet qualifications)
*A lower APY will be applied if you don’t meet the qualifications for the rates above.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Kearny Bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees. But you may still owe a surcharge fee if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: All ATM surcharge fees are reimbursed
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, or $10 a day for each day that overdraft transfers are made from a linked overdraft protection account

This account does earn a high interest rate, but that doesn’t mean it’s designed for you to stuff money into and forget about for a long period. To earn that premium interest rate, you’ll need to meet certain qualifications each month, including:

  • Be signed up to receive eStatements
  • Have at least one direct deposit or automatic payment
  • Clear at least 10 debit card transactions from the account

If you can do those things, you’ll earn a hefty interest rate on the first $25,000 in your account. If you don’t meet those requirements for a given month, no worries. You’ll just earn a much lower interest rate, rather than being slapped with a monthly fee.

This account also offers unlimited ATM surcharge fee reimbursements. Kearny Bank will also throw in your first order of checks for free.

How to get Kearny Bank’s High Yield Checking account

You can open an account at any local branch. Bring your driver’s license with you. If your address is incorrect on the license, you’ll also need to bring a utility bill showing the correct one.

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StarBanking Plus

Get free access to GenGold Advantage, Kearny Bank’s program of fluffy discounts.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$20,000 in combined balances between this account and your other Kearny Bank savings accounts (only $10,000 if you’re 55 or older)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25 if you don’t meet account requirements
  • ATM fee: Kearny Bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees. But you may still owe a surcharge fee if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, or $10 a day for each day that overdraft transfers are made from a linked overdraft protection account

Kearny Bank offers an “enhanced lifestyle rewards” program called GenGold Advantage, available to any money market or checking account user for $4 a month. But this account is the only one to come with the program for free.

What do you get with the GenGold Advantage plan? Well, it’s not really clear — the program promises discounts on travel, prescription medicines and restaurants — but Kearny Bank doesn’t specify what exactly these discounts are for each category. So, there’s no way to judge whether the program would make financial sense for you or not. For example, the program can help you “save up to 60% on prescriptions,” but are they the prescriptions you take? There’s no way to know until you commit to the program.

That aside, it’s tough to even qualify for this checking account. To earn any interest at all, you’ll need to have a monthly direct deposit into the account and keep at least $20,000 in combined balances between this account and any Kearny Bank savings accounts (if you’re 55 or older, you’ll only need $10,000). If that doesn’t happen in a given month, you’ll be slapped with a very high $25 maintenance fee.

On the bright side, you do get free checks with this account.

How to get Kearny Bank’s StarBanking Plus account

If you’re interested in opening this account, you’ll need to visit your closest branch since there is no way to open an account online, by mail or over the phone.

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N.O.W. Checking

Lower-balance account holders can still earn some interest with this checking account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 if your account balance drops below $100
  • ATM fee: Kearny Bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees. But you may still owe a surcharge fee if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, or $10 a day for each day that overdraft transfers are made from a linked overdraft protection account

Not everyone has a spare $20,000 lying around or makes tons of transactions per month (the requirements for Kearny Bank’s other two interest-bearing checking accounts). If that’s you, and you still want to earn interest, Kearny Bank’s N.O.W. Checking account could be the right one. It does offer a smaller interest rate, but, hey, it still does pay interest.

How to do that? Keep at least $100 in the account. If your balance drops below that level, you’ll pay a $5 monthly fee. Like most of Kearny Bank’s other checking accounts, you’ll also get a free starter box of checks after you open the account.

How to get Kearny Bank’s N.O.W. Checking account

Bring your driver’s license with you to a local branch, as well as a utility bill if the correct address is not on the driver’s license. These accounts cannot be opened online or over the phone.

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E-Z Checking

Kearny Bank’s most basic checking account, designed for those who only need to write checks.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Kearny Bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees. But you may still owe a surcharge fee if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, or $10 a day for each day that overdraft transfers are made from a linked overdraft protection account

If all you want is a basic checking account that allows you to write checks for free, this is your best option at Kearny Bank. There are no monthly requirements to meet, because there aren’t any monthly fees and the account doesn’t offer any interest.

The only perk that comes with this account is a free starter box of checks. If you’re 55 or older, Kearny Bank will do you one better and supply you with free checks for life.

How to get Kearny Bank’s E-Z Checking account

To get the E-Z Checking account, you’ll need to walk into a local branch with your driver’s license. Unfortunately, there is no option for opening your account in any other way.

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How Kearny Bank’s checking accounts compare

Kearny Bank’s checking accounts are a bit yin and yang. On the one hand, the High Yield Checking account does offer an exceptional rate — but with lots of strings attached. Its other checking accounts offer mediocre interest rates, or none at all.

These accounts also come with a lot of fees — monthly maintenance fees, high overdraft fees and ATM fees. If you go longer than 12 months without making any transactions in your account, you’ll also pay a $3 monthly inactivity fee. If you’re interested in finding a better checking account with a good interest rate and low fees, we also recommend these online checking accounts.

Kearny Bank’s savings account options

Statement Savings

This basic savings account isn’t really worth your time.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Kearny Bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees. But you may still owe a surcharge fee if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, or $10 a day for each day that overdraft transfers are made from a linked overdraft protection account

Entry-level savers just getting started can choose from a few different accounts at Kearny Bank, including this Statement Savings account. You only need a $100 deposit to open the account, after which you can add as much money or take out as much of your balance as you want.

You will be limited to six certain withdrawals a month from your account due to restrictions imposed by federal Regulation D. If you need to exceed that limit for some reason, the bank will charge a $10 per-withdrawal fee starting with your seventh transaction each month.

This account (or any savings or money market account) would be a great backup account for overdraft protection on your Kearny Bank checking account. If you have any overdrafts at all, you’ll only face a single $10 charge per day for an overdraft transfer if you have a linked account, rather than shelling out a whopping $35 fee for each individual overdraft.

How to get Kearny Bank’s Statement Savings account

Kearny Bank’s Statement Savings account can be opened in a local branch. You’ll need to bring your driver’s license, as well as a utility bill if the address on the driver’s license is incorrect.

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Kid’s Club

This kids’ savings account will actually pay your child for getting A’s on their report card.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$1
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Kearny Bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees. But you may still owe a surcharge fee if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, or $10 a day for each day that overdraft transfers are made from a linked overdraft protection account

If you have a child in kindergarten through 12th grade in a private, public or charter school, you are eligible to open this account for them. You’ll need $10 to open the account, and Kearny Bank will even throw in an extra $10 so that your child sees a 100% return on the investment right away (…if only real life worked out that well, too).

After the account is open, it’ll earn a much better interest rate than the rest of Kearny Bank’s savings accounts (again, if only we could all go back and be kids one more time…). Your child can make up to six certain withdrawals a month due to federal Regulation D guidelines, after which they’ll pay a $10 fee per withdrawal.

Your child also has other opportunities to earn money with this account. Each time they get a report card (not just a progress report), you have four weeks to take it into a local Kearny Bank branch. Present it to the teller at the bank, and they’ll deposit an extra $1 in the account for each “A” grade your child has.

How to get Kearny Bank’s Kid’s Club account

You and your child will have to visit a local Kearny Bank branch to open the Kid’s Club account. Unlike many banks, you can’t open an account online.

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Holiday Club

Save up for the holidays in $5 minimum increments at a time
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

Kearny Bank’s Holiday Club savings account functions a bit differently from normal savings accounts. Here’s how it works: You declare upfront how much money you want to be able to save each week. You can choose from $5 increments. So, for example, you could choose $10, $15, $20 or more.

Each week, you’re allowed to make deposit amounts in a multiple for which you’ve selected. For example, if you selected the $10 increment, you can only make additional deposits each month in $10 increments ($20, $30, $40, etc.).

The Holiday Club starts in the first week of October for the following year (so, if you started it in October 2018, it would be to prepare for the holidays in 2019), although you can open it at any time.

Each September, the account will mature (just like a certificate of deposit, or CD), and the money will either be deposited into another Kearny Bank account (such as a checking account) or mailed to you so that you can spend it.

Be careful, though: Any early withdrawals from the account will cost you a $5 penalty until the automatically triggered (and free) final withdrawal in September. It also doesn’t come with ATM access.

How to get Kearny Bank’s Holiday Club account

You cannot open this account online. Instead, you’ll have to open it in person at a local branch of Kearny Bank. Remember to bring your driver’s license with you. Also bring a utility bill to prove your address if it’s not correct on your driver’s license.

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How Kearny Bank’s savings accounts compare

We only really see one standout winner in this category, and that’s Kearny Bank’s Kid’s Club savings account. This account offers tons of nifty little money-making opportunities for young savers to see their account balances grow quickly for good behaviors.

As far as the other savings accounts go, we’re not impressed. The rates offered on these accounts are very poor. You can find interest rates up to 20 times higher with these online savings accounts instead.

Furthermore, while the Holiday Club account does have a lot of potential for helping people out, it seems unnecessarily complicated, especially when compared with holiday club accounts at other banks. If this is important to you, it’d be well worth your time searching for a simpler — and higher-earning — Holiday Club account, or just DIYing it with a separate savings account of your own.

Kearny Bank’s CD rates

CDs

These CDs come with a wide range of options and minimum opening deposit requirements.
TermAPY
30 days0.05%
91 days0.15%
6 months0.25%
1 year0.35%
1-year StarBanking Plus1.65%
13 months2.57%
15 months2.00%
15-month StarBanking Plus2.41%
17-month Step-Up1.25%
19 months2.00%
19-month StarBanking Plus2.52%
2 years0.40%
2-year StarBanking Plus1.69%
27 months2.93%
27-month StarBanking Plus3.09%
29-month Step-Up1.35%
3 years0.40%
3-year StarBanking Plus1.70%
4 years0.45%
4-year StarBanking Plus1.70%
54 months1.65%
54-month StarBanking Plus1.80%
5 years0.45%
5-year StarBanking Plus1.70%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25,000 for the 30-day CD; $1,000 for the 91-day, six-month and Step-Up CDs; $500 for all other CDs
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $25,000 for the 30-day CD; $1,000 for the 91-day, six-month and Step-Up CDs; $500 for all other CDs
  • Early withdrawal penalty: This will depend on your CD’s term length:
    • For the 91-day and 30-day CDs, you’ll pay one month worth of interest
    • For the six-month CD, you’ll pay three months’ worth of interest
    • For all other CDs, you’ll pay six months’ worth of interest

One thing you can’t fault Kearny Bank on is having too few options for CD term lengths. The bank offers 24 different CDs from which to choose. Still, that doesn’t mean you can open any ol’ CD at any time. To qualify for the premium StarBanking Plus CDs — with their higher interest rates — you’ll also need to also hold a StarBanking Plus checking account, and you can only put a maximum $200,000 in these special CDs.

Anyone can open the other CDs. The Step-Up CDs are unique because they allow you one chance to bump up your interest rate to a higher level, should interest rates rise.

Kearny Bank will send out a notice three months before the CD matures (except for the one-month and three-month CDs, since those mature in three months or less). Once one of these CDs mature, they’ll automatically renew for another term length. If you want to withdraw your money, you get a seven-day grace period to take out the cash.

How to get Kearny Bank’s CDs

Kearny Bank’s CDs must be opened in a branch. Folks who don’t live near a branch are out of luck, since there is no telephone, mail or online option to open an account at Kearny Bank.

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How Kearny Bank’s CD rates compare

Kearny Bank doesn’t offer bad rates on its CDs. They’re not the greatest, though — far from it. In fact, they’re currently about half of what you can get with one of these top high-yielding CDs. Even the special higher-earning StarBanking Plus CDs don’t come close to the top contenders in each term length category. If CDs are a part of your savings plan, you’d earn far more money by researching and finding a higher-earning bank or credit union.

Kearny Bank’s money market account options

Money Market Advantage

You can only open this account if you bring “new money” to the bank.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$0.01-$10,000
1.51%
Over $10,000.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100 (new money only)
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Kearny Bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees. But you may still owe a surcharge fee if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, or $10 a day for each day that overdraft transfers are made from a linked overdraft protection account

This money market account is geared toward new savers at Kearny Bank — both in the literal and figurative sense. That’s because you’ll need to deposit “new money” to open the account, meaning that it’ll have to come from an outside source and not from another Kearny Bank account. It also has a low opening deposit requirement ($100), and you’ll earn interest on your entire deposit as long as you keep at least $1 in the account to keep it open, so it’s perfect for new savers just starting out.

You can also write checks from this account (Kearny Bank will even give you your first box of starter checks for free), but you’ll be limited to just six certain withdrawals per month (including by check) due to federal regulations on savings and money market accounts. If you exceed this limit, you’ll pay a $10 fee for each additional withdrawal.

How to get Kearny Bank’s Money Market Advantage account

You can only open an account in person, unfortunately. You’ll need a driver’s license to open an account here. Bring a utility bill if the address on your license is wrong.

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Money Market Savings

This is an old remnant account from bygone days when it offered better interest rates.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01-$2,500
0.10%
Over $2,500.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Kearny Bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees. But you may still owe a surcharge fee if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, or $10 a day for each day that overdraft transfers are made from a linked overdraft protection account

This is another account to skip unless you really have some compelling reason to open it (we don’t know what that would be, though). This account offers a terrible interest rate, right on par with the Statement Savings account. It offers no special advantages or disadvantages. It’s the white bread of money market accounts.

Just like with the rest of Kearny Bank’s money market accounts, federal Regulation D limits you to making six certain withdrawals out of this account per month. If you exceed that, you’ll pay a $10 per-withdrawal fee.

How to get Kearny Bank’s Money Market Savings account

If you’re interested in opening a Money Market Savings account, you’ll need to head over to your local Kearny Bank branch (if you do live near one). If not, you’re out of luck, since the bank doesn’t support online, telephone or by-mail applications.

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Tiered Money Market

Earn a higher interest rate than the Money Market Savings account at higher balance levels.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$2,500-$9,999
0.10%
$10,000-$24,999
0.25%
$25,000-$49,999
0.25%
Over $50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Kearny Bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees. But you may still owe a surcharge fee if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, or $10 a day for each day that overdraft transfers are made from a linked overdraft protection account

This money market account does seem a bit redundant, especially given all of Kearny Bank’s other money market account options. Still, this option could be beneficial to those who don’t qualify for Kearny Bank’s other money market account offers, but still want to earn an interest rate higher than the Money Market Savings account.

You can make up to six certain withdrawals (including by check) per month, due to federal Regulation D. If you exceed that amount, you’ll pay a $10 fee for each subsequent transaction.

How to get Kearny Bank’s Tiered Money Market account

You can open this bank account in person. Unlike a lot of other banks, there is no online account application option. Remember to bring your driver’s license.

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Tiered Money Market Plus

This account pays a lot of interest — if you deposit more than the insured limit.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.10%
$100,000-$199,999
1.50%
$200,000-$999,999
1.86%
$1,000,000-$5,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25 if your account balance falls below $100,000
  • ATM fee: Kearny Bank doesn’t charge any ATM fees. But you may still owe a surcharge fee if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item, or $10 a day for any day that overdraft transfers are made from a linked overdraft protection account

In a bid to entice new high rollers to the bank, Kearny Bank offers this account. To qualify, you’ll need big pockets: at least a $100,000 minimum opening deposit. This money can’t come from within the bank itself either, which means you’ll have to transfer it from another financial institution.

One important thing to note with this account is that your first $100,000 is basically dead weight, because Kearny Bank won’t pay you interest on this amount. You’ll only earn interest on money above this threshold, which means if you have $100,001 deposited in the account, you’ll only earn interest on $1.

It’s also important to note that the bank offers the highest interest rate tiers to those who deposit at least $1 million in the bank. This isn’t generally recommended, because if the bank should ever go (a rare occurrence, but it is possible), you’ll only be covered for up to $250,000 by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., or FDIC, insurance. If you have a larger deposit than this, experts generally advise you to spread that cash out among different banks so that you’re fully insured.

How to get Kearny Bank’s Tiered Money Market Plus account

This account must be opened in person at a Kearny Bank branch. Bring your driver’s license to prove your identity. You’ll also need a utility bill if the address on the license is incorrect.

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How Kearny Bank’s money market accounts compare

Kearny Bank certainly does offer a higher interest rate on most of its money market accounts as compared to its savings accounts. Unfortunately, those higher interest rates are usually reserved for customers new to the bank and/or those with deep pockets, and that’s not a category that everyone fits into.

It’s possible to find better interest rates for less fuss and hassle at many other banks. If you’d rather earn the highest rates possible on your money market account, we recommend these top money market accounts instead.

Kearny Bank’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

These IRA CDs offer the same interest rate as Kearny Bank’s regular CDs.
TermAPY
1 year0.35%
1-year StarBanking Plus1.65%
13 months2.57%
15 months2.00%
15-month StarBanking Plus2.41%
17-month Step-Up1.25%
19 months2.00%
19-month StarBanking Plus2.52%
2 years0.40%
2-year StarBanking Plus1.69%
27 months2.93%
27-month StarBanking Plus3.09%
29-month Step-Up1.35%
3 years0.40%
3-year StarBanking Plus1.70%
4 years0.45%
4-year StarBanking Plus1.70%
54 months1.65%
54-month StarBanking Plus1.80%
5 years0.45%
5-year StarBanking Plus1.70%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 for the Step-Up IRA CDs; $500 for all other CDs
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000 for the Step-Up IRA CDs; $500 for all other CDs
  • Early withdrawal penalty: This will depend on your IRA CD’s term length:
    • For the 91-day and 30-day IRA CDs, you’ll pay one month worth of interest
    • For six-month IRA CDs, you’ll pay three months’ worth of interest
    • For all other IRA CDs, you’ll pay you’ll pay six months’ worth of interest

If you’re interested in saving for retirement within an FDIC-insured framework, an IRA CD is probably your best bet. You can open nearly all of Kearny Bank’s regular CDs as IRA CDs, too. In fact, the interest rates are the same for both products (banks will often offer higher interest rates on IRA CDs, but not this bank).

Kearny Bank allows you to open these IRA CDs within either a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA. When the CDs mature, they’ll automatically roll over into a new IRA CD. If you’d rather withdraw the money at that point, you will get a seven-day grace period.

How to get Kearny Bank’s IRA CDs

You’ll need to head over to a local Kearny Bank branch to open this account.

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How Kearny Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

Unless you really have a compelling reason to stick with Kearny Bank, we recommend skipping these IRA CDs. That’s because there are tons of higher-yielding IRA CDs you can find at other banks and credit unions.

Like we mentioned above, many financial institutions offer higher interest rates on their IRA CDs as compared to their regular CDs. Kearny Bank’s regular CD rates were already pretty mediocre, meaning that they’re all but left behind by its competitors.

When it comes to your retirement, every dollar saved counts, and every dollar lost in earned interest will compound over time. That’s why we recommend avoiding low-yielding IRA CDs such as those at Kearny Bank more than other account types.

IRA Statement Savings

This account allows you to transfer your money out at any time, which is handy because this is a very poor interest rate for your retirement savings.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$25
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item

If you don’t yet have the minimum opening deposit saved up for other higher-yielding retirement investments, you can get started today with this IRA Statement Savings account. All you need is $25 to get started.

It’s curious that this IRA Statement Savings account offers a higher interest rate than the regular Statement Savings account, especially since the IRA CDs do not offer rates higher than the standard CDs. In any case, all these rates are very poor for retirement accounts.

You’ll need to coordinate any transfers with the bank, because these accounts do not come with ATM access.

How to get Kearny Bank’s IRA Statement Savings account

If you want to open an IRA Statement Savings account, stop in at a local Kearny Bank branch. It might be inconvenient, but because the bank doesn’t support applications by any other route than in-person, this is your only choice if you want this account.

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Overall review of Kearny Bank’s banking products

The biggest problem we have with Kearny Bank is its lack of transparency. Nearly half of the details we’ve described above are not even available on its website — rather, we had to contact the bank to verify the minute details. As of this writing, the bank’s website doesn’t even clearly tell you how you can open an account at the institution, leaving you to guess whether it even really wants your business at all (you have to walk into a branch, by the way — which we only learned after contacting the bank).

The interest rates offered on almost all of its accounts are pretty terrible. There are a few accounts we like, such as the Kid’s Club account and the High Yield Checking account. But these accounts in and of themselves don’t make up for the poor quality of the other accounts.

Instead, our recommendation is to find a bank that offers good rates and terms on all of its accounts, not just the checking account. That way you’ll be happy all around.