Mercantil Bank Review: Checking, Savings, Money Market and CD Accounts

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Mercantil Bank’s checking account options

Value Checking

A checking account that bears no interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5, though this fee can be waived
  • ATM fee: None, unless you use an out-of-network ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item

Not only does Mercantil Bank’s Value Checking account not offer interest, but it can end up costing you money if you have to pay the monthly maintenance fee. You can avoid this fee by signing up for e-statements or direct deposit, or by making at least four debit transactions per month with your card.

None of Mercantil Bank’s checking options are overly desirable, but Value Checking arguably offers the least bang for your buck.

How to get Mercantil Bank’s Value Checking account

To open a Value Checking account, you will have to visit one of Mercantil Bank’s branches. You cannot open this account online.

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Interest Checking

A checking account with high minimum balance requirements.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15, though this fee can be waived
  • ATM fee: None, unless you use an out-of-network ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item

Mercantil Bank’s Interest Checking account does offer more in the way of returns than the Value Checking account. It offers interest, but the rates are not available on Mercantil Bank’s website. You’ll need to contact the bank for the current rates.

The account uses a tiered system for APY. If you have the minimum balance required for the highest APY, you’re better off stashing that money in a money market account.

You should also keep an eye out for the monthly account maintenance fee. To avoid this fee, you must keep an average daily balance of $2,500 in your Interest Checking account, which may be an unrealistic goal for many working Americans.

How to get Mercantil Bank’s Interest Checking account

To open an Interest Checking account, you will have to visit one of Mercantil Bank’s branches. You cannot open this account online.

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Relationship Interest Checking

A checking account requiring an extremely high balance to avoid the monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $35, though this fee can be waived
  • ATM fee: None, unless you use an out-of-network ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item

If you don’t have an average daily balance of $50,000 in your Relationship Interest Checking account — or if you don’t have a combined monthly balance of at least $50,000 and have direct deposit set up or make at least 10 transactions a month — you’ll get hit with a whopping $35 account maintenance fee.

Mercantil Bank does not publish the rates for this account on its website, so you’ll need to check with it for further details. Having a Relationship Interest Checking account allows you to get the advertised APY with the Relationship Money Market account, which we will detail later in this review.

How to get Mercantil Bank’s Relationship Interest Checking account

To open a Relationship Interest Checking account, you will have to visit one of Mercantil Bank’s branches. You cannot open this account online.

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How Mercantil Bank’s checking accounts compare

Mercantil Bank’s checking account options are not competitive. It starts with the Value Checking account, where your money won’t bear any interest, and culminates in the potentially expensive Relationship Interest Checking account.

With this account, if you fall short on your daily account balance or monthly account balance (and extras), you’ll get hit with a massive maintenance fee, eating away at the APY.

But having a Relationship Interest Checking account could benefit you if you also plan to have a Relationship Money Market account.

There are higher-interest checking accounts on the market, and they come with lower or no maintenance fees and lower minimum balance requirements.

Mercantil Bank’s savings account option

Savings

Mercantil Bank offers only one savings account option.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5, though this fee can be waived
  • ATM fee: None, unless you use an out-of-network ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item

After the Great Recession, interest rates on deposit accounts plummeted. But, right around that time, online banking started becoming popular and more widely used. These online banks can afford to offer higher interest rates because they do not have the same overhead costs as banks with physical branches.

The bank has branches in Florida and Texas, and that’s where you will need to check for the interest rate on its Savings account because it’s not published online. There is also a monthly maintenance fee, though this can be avoided if you have at least $1 in a Mercantil Bank checking or money market account.

Savings accounts are federally regulated. One such regulation — Regulation D — mandates that savings account holders can make up to six certain withdrawals a month. Keep this in mind as you manage your money. Otherwise, you could be charged a $10 fee from the bank each time you make an extraneous transaction.

How to get Mercantil Bank’s Savings account

To open a Savings account, you will have to visit one of Mercantil Bank’s physical locations. You cannot open this account online.

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How Mercantil Bank’s savings account compares

Eliminating the monthly fee on Mercantil Bank’s Savings account is incredibly easy. But be sure to shop other savings account options to get the most return on your money.

Mercantil Bank’s money market account options

Money Market

This account is characterized by low APY offerings.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%$100
0.25%$5,000
0.65%$10,000
1.45%$25,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25, though this fee can be waived
  • ATM fee: You cannot access this account through an ATM
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item

Mercantil Bank’s Money Market account offers low APY, especially for its minimum balance requirements. While it is not expensive to open, you will have to keep in mind that on top of low interest rates, you’re also subject to a relatively high monthly account maintenance fee. This fee can be avoided, though, if you have a $5,000 daily balance in your Money Market account or at least $25,000 across all your Mercantil Bank deposit accounts.

Money market accounts are technically savings accounts and therefore fall under Regulation D. Be sure to avoid making more than six withdrawals per month or you could get hit with a $10 fee for each subsequent withdrawal from the bank.

How to get Mercantil Bank’s Money Market account

To open a Money Market account, you will have to visit one of Mercantil Bank’s physical locations. You cannot open this account online.

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Relationship Money Market

A money market account with a high minimum balance requirement, available only through a branch.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
2.30% $25,000
    • Minimum opening deposit: $100
    • Minimum balance to earn APY: $25,000
    • Monthly account maintenance fee: $150, though this fee can be waived
    • ATM fee: You cannot access this account through an ATM
    • ATM fee refund: N/A
    • Overdraft fee: None

    Mercantil Bank’s Relationship Money Market account is not nearly as strong as its CD option. The amount you will need to keep in your account to earn interest is large.

    You can get the advertised interest rate on this account if you open a Relationship Interest Checking account with Mercantil Bank. You will also have to hold $50,000 in combined deposit accounts, investment accounts or loans with Mercantil Bank to qualify for this rate. This does bump up the rate to be more competitive, but the minimum required to earn interest is quite high.

    If you have a Relationship Interest Checking account, the $150 monthly maintenance fee will be waived. If you do not have a Relationship Interest Checking account and do not hold at least $50,000 with Mercantil Bank, interest rates will be the same as the regular Money Market account.

    Since money market accounts are savings accounts, they fall under Regulation D — a Federal Reserve rule that allows up to six certain withdrawals per billing cycle. If you make more than six withdrawals during this period, each transaction will trigger a $10 fee from the bank. Because this account does not come with an ATM card, you will have to complete all your transactions — including withdrawals — online. One advantage of the Mercantil Bank Relationship Money Market option is the absence of an overdraft fee, though if you are overdrawing your money market account, you’re likely not reaping the account benefits.

    As with all of Mercantil Bank’s accounts, you need to live in Florida or Texas to open this one.

    How to get Mercantil Bank’s Relationship Money Market account

    To open a money market account with Mercantil Bank, you will have to visit a physical location. You cannot open an account online, but you can make an appointment to visit one of Mercantil Bank’s branches.

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How Mercantil Bank’s money market accounts compare

Even if you have the Relationship Interest Checking account to get the rate with the Relationship Money Market account, the minimum balance amount is quite a barrier to entry. If you have this large sum available to throw into savings, the money market and checking account combination may be a good match. But if you don’t, you can find slightly lower interest rates with a far lower minimum balance requirement. Some of the best money market accounts have no minimum balance requirements at all.

Mercantil Bank’s CD rates

Certificates of Deposit

Phenomenal rates with limited availability.
TermAPY
12 months2.55%
18 months2.60%
24 months2.55%
36 months 2.85%
48 months2.75%
60 months2.80%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: On 12- to 36-month CDs, the early withdrawal penalty is three months’ interest; on 48- and 60-month CDs, the early withdrawal penalty is 12 months’ interest

To open an online CD with Mercantil Bank, you must have a permanent residence in Florida or Texas. On top of that, you can only open one of these CDs online if you live in an area without a physical branch. For example, if you live in Miami, where the bank does have physical locations, you would have to go to your branch to open up a CD. You will be offered another product called the Smart CD, but the rates may be lower and the account offers no advantage over the online CD. But if you ask the staff to honor the online rates, they most likely will. You will just have to come into a branch to open up your online CD since you are local.

If you meet the state residency requirement, the benefits are phenomenal. The minimum to open a Mercantil Bank CD is very low, and the interest rates are some of the best on the market. If you can open a CD here, you’re getting one of the best products available. There are very few financial institutions in the country that offer anything better.

How to get Mercantil Bank’s CDs

If you live in an area of Florida or Texas without a local branch, you can apply to open your CD online. If there is a branch in your area, you will have to go in and request that the online rates be honored. You can see if there’s a location near you by using this handy tool.

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How Mercantil Bank’s CD rates compare

While Mercantil Bank does have some stiff competition, it’s very rare that its rates don’t come out on top. Even among the best CD offers in the nation, Mercantil Bank offers similar or higher interest rates with a lower minimum deposit requirement than some. If you manage to find a financial institution that offers a higher rate with the same minimum deposit, you’ll have found one of the best rates you can get. They do exist, but CDs that outperform Mercantil Bank with such a low barrier to entry are extremely rare.

Overall review of Mercantil Bank’s banking products

Whether Mercantil Bank is a good fit for you depends on several factors. To begin with, you have to live in one of the two states in which the bank operates — Florida or Texas. From there, Mercantil Bank’s competitive advantage depends entirely on which product you are considering. You can skip checking and savings accounts as these products on their own will offer you very little value.

If you’re looking at opening a money market account, you will need to maintain a high balance to earn the best interest rates. If you want rates that are on par with the competition, you will need to go with the Relationship Money Market account. Because you can only open this account in person, the convenience of doing so depends entirely on your proximity to a branch.

But if you’re looking at CDs and you meet the residency requirements, Mercantil Bank is one of the best options around. A high APY combined with the ability to open a CD regardless of which part of Florida or Texas you live in makes this product more than enviable for those of us who live in the other 48 states.

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Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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