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Featured, Personal Loans, Reviews

Marcus by Goldman Sachs Review: GS Bank Takes on Online Savings, CDs, and Personal Loans

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs
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Most Americans probably think of fancy white-collar stock traders on Wall Street when they think of Goldman Sachs, a global investment firm that’s been around since the late 19th century.

In recent years, Goldman made a major pivot, launching a new arm of the company called GS Bank, which would provide internet-only savings accounts to the masses.

They also launched Marcus by Goldman Sachs®, a line of personal loans. Eventually, they decided to rebrand their savings account business, putting it under the Marcus umbrella as well.

Today, through Marcus, you’ll find three product offerings: personal loans, savings accounts, and CDs.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into all three products. We’ll tell you what you need to know before opening an account, including what rates they are offering.

All rates are current as of May 15, 2018.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs savings account

A very high interest rate and no fees make this one of the best savings accounts out there.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

1.70%

None

  • Minimum opening deposit: None. However, you’ll need to deposit at least $1.00 if you want to earn any interest.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None.
  • Overdraft fee: None.

This is a great account for almost anyone. However, before you click that “Learn More” button below, there are a couple of things to know.

No ATMs. First, Marcus by Goldman Sachs doesn’t offer ATM access to your savings account. You’ll either need to deposit or withdraw money by sending in a physical check, setting up direct deposits, or by moving the money to and from your other bank accounts via ACH or wire transfer.

No checking account. Second, Marcus does’t offer a corresponding checking account. That means you can only use this account as an external place to park your cash from your everyday money flow.

Keeping a separate savings account does have its benefits. For example, it’s harder to tempt yourself to withdraw the cash if you’re a chronic over-spender. But, it also means that there might be a delay of a few days if you need to transfer the money out of your Goldman Sachs online savings account and into your other checking account.

How to open a Goldman Sachs online savings account

It’s really easy to open an online savings account with Marcus by Goldman Sachs. You can do it online or over the phone as long as you’re 18 years or older, have a physical street address, and a Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

You’ll be required to sign a form which you can do online, or by mail if you’re opening the account over the phone.

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How their online savings account compares

Marcus’ online savings account can easily be described with one word: outstanding.

You’ll get a relatively high interest rate with this account, which is among the best online savings account rates you’ll find today. In fact, these rates are currently over seven times higher than the average savings account interest rate.

Even better, this account won’t charge you any fees for the privilege of keeping your money stashed there. It’s a tall order to find another bank that offers these high interest rates with terms this good.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs CD rates

Sky-high CD rates, but watch out for early withdrawal limitations.

Term

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

6 months

0.60%

$500

9 months

0.70%

$500

12 months

2.20%

$500

18 months

2.25%

$500

24 months

2.30%

$500

3 years

2.35%

$500

4 years

2.40%

$500

5 years

2.80%

$500

6 years

2.85%

$500

  • Minimum amount to open account: $500
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For CDs under 12 months, 90 days’ worth of interest. For CDs of 12 months to 5 years, 270 days’ worth of interest. For CDs of 5 years or over, 365 days’ worth of interest.

Marcus’ CDs work a little differently from other CDs. Rather than having to set up and fund your account all at once, Goldman Sachs will give you 30 days to fully fund your account.

Once open, your interest will be tallied up and credited to your CD account each month. You can withdraw the interest earned at any time without paying an early withdrawal penalty, but heads up: If you withdraw the interest, your returns will be lower than the stated APY when you opened your account.

If you need to withdraw the money from your CD, you can only do so by pulling out the entire CD balance and paying the required early withdrawal penalty. There is no option for partial withdrawals of your cash.

Finally, once your CD has fully matured, you’ll have a 10-day grace period to withdraw the money, add more funds, and/or switch to a different CD term. If you don’t do anything, Marcus will automatically roll over your CD into another one of the same type, but with the current interest rate of the day.

How to open a Goldman Sachs CD

Marcus has made it super simple to open up a CD. First, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, and have either a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.

You can open an account easily online, or call them up by phone. You’ll need to sign an account opening form, which you can do online or via a hard-copy mailed form. Then, simply fund your CD account within 30 days, and you’re all set.

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How their CDs compare

The interest rates that Marcus offers on their CDs are top-notch. In fact, a few of their CD terms are among the current contenders for the best CD rates.

If you’re interested in pursuing a CD ladder approach, Marcus is one of our top picks because each of their CD terms offer above-average rates. This means you can rest easy that you’ll get the best rates for your CD ladder without having to complicate things by spreading out all of your CDs among a handful of different banks.

The only downside to these CDs compared with many other banks is that you can’t withdraw a portion of your cash if you need it. It’s either all-in, or all-out. However, once out, you’re still free to open a new CD with the surplus cash, as long as it’s at least the $500 minimum deposit size.

Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loan

Personal loans offered by Marcus have low APRs, flexible terms, and no fees.

Terms

APR

Credit Required

Fees

Max Loan Amount

36-72 months

6.99%-24.99%

Varies

None

$40,000

Marcus by Goldman Sachs personal loans can be used for just about anything, from consolidating debt to financing a large home improvement project. They offer some of the best rates available, with APRs as low as 6.99%, and you’ll not only be able to choose between a range of loan terms, but you can also choose the specific day of the month when you want to make your loan payments.

While there are no specific credit requirements to get a loan through Marcus, the company does try to target those that have “prime” credit, which is usually those with a FICO score higher than 660. Even with a less than excellent credit score, you may be able to qualify for a personal loan from Marcus, though, those that have recent, negative marks on their credit report, such as missed payments, will likely be rejected.

Applicants must be over 18 (19 in Alabama and Nebraska, 21 in Mississippi and Puerto Rico) and have a valid U.S. bank account. You are also required to have a Social Security or Individual Tax I.D. Number.

No fees. Marcus charges no extra fees for their personal loans. There are no origination fees associated with getting a loan, but there are also no late fees associated with missing payments. Those missed payments simply accrue more interest and your loan will be extended.

Defer payments. Once you have made on-time payments for a full year, you will have the ability to defer a payment. This means that if an unexpected expense or lost job hurts your budget one month, you can push that payment back by a month without negatively impacting your credit report.

How to apply for a Marcus personal loan

Marcus by Goldman Sachs offers a process that is completely online, allowing you to apply, choose the loan you want, submit all of your documents, and get approved without having to leave home. Here are the steps that you will complete to get a personal loan from Marcus:

  1. Fill out the information that is required in the online application, including your basic personal and financial information, as well as how much you would like to borrow and what you will use the money for.
  2. After a soft pull on your credit, and if you qualify, you will be presented a list of different loan options that may include different rates and terms.
  3. Once you have chosen the loan you want, you will need to provide additional information to verify your identity. You may also be asked for information that can be used to verify your income and you will need to provide your bank account information so that the money can be distributed.
  4. You will receive your funds 1 – 4 business days after your loan has been approved.

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How their personal loans compare

Marcus offers low APRs and flexible terms with their personal loans, but their main feature is that they have no fees. If you are looking for a straightforward lending experience with no hidden fees or costs, Marcus will be perfect for you since you won’t even have to worry about late fees if you happen to miss a payment.

While Marcus offers some great perks, you may be able to get a lower rate if you choose to go with another lender, such as LightStream or SoFi. Both of these lenders offer lower APR ranges and they don’t charge origination fees, though, LightStreamwill do a hard pull on your credit to preapprove you.

LendingClub and Peerform both have lower credit requirements than Marcus, but they also charge origination fees and, being P2P lending platforms, you will need to wait for your loan to be funded and you run the risk that other users might not fund your loan.

Overall review of Marcus by Goldman Sachs‘ products

Marcus has really hit it out of the park with their personal loans, online savings, and CD accounts. Each of these accounts offers some of the best features available on the market, while shrinking the fees down to a minuscule, or even nonexistent, amount. Their website is also slick and easy to use for online-savvy people.

The only thing we can find to complain about with Marcus is that they don’t offer an equally-awesome checking account to accompany their other deposit products. Indeed, it seems like Marcus has turned their former hoity-toity image around: Today, they’re a bank that we’d recommend to anyone, even blue-collar folks.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Earning Interest, Reviews, Strategies to Save

Review of Live Oak Bank’s Deposit Rates

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established2008
Total Assets$2.7B
LEARN MORE on Live Oak Bank’s secure website
Chances are you haven’t heard of Live Oak Bank. After all, this lender, based mostly on the web, has only been around since 2008, and it mostly focuses on giving out small business loans to businesses in specific industries, such as veterinary practices or craft breweries.That’s no reason to pass it up for your personal banking needs, however. In fact, this little gem of a bank has one of the best-kept secrets in the personal banking world: it has one of the highest savings account interest rates you’ll find from an online bank. (More on that below.) And, most of its other personal deposit accounts offer relatively high rates as well.Let’s take a more in-depth look at its deposit accounts to see if they’re right for you.
Live Oak Bank’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

1.70%

Savings

Live Oak Bank Savings Account

2.20%

CD Rates

Live Oak Bank 1 Year CD

2.60%

CD Rates

Live Oak Bank 3 Year CD

2.70%

CD Rates

Live Oak Bank 5 Year CD

Live Oak Bank’s savings account

When it comes to the best savings accounts with high interest rates, Live Oak Bank currently has one of the highest rates.

APY

Minimum Deposit

1.70%

Up to $5 million

(but only up to $250,000 is FDIC-insured)

Rate current as of 5/1/2018

  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: None
  • ATM fee refunds: None

Live Oak Bank currently has one of the best savings account rates available. This means that Live Oak Bank is lowering the bar and allowing anyone to take advantage of these high interest rates, no matter how much is in his or her pocket right now.

Live Oak Bank wants you to use your savings account, and use it often, which is one reason why it has no monthly maintenance fee. If there is no activity on your account for 24 months and your balance is less than $10.01, Live Oak Bank will take the remainder of your balance as a Dormant Account Fee and close your account.

Getting money into a Live Oak Bank savings account from an external bank account can take a little bit of time depending on how you do it. If you request the money through Live Oak Bank’s online portal, the funds won’t be available for up to five or six business days. But if you opt instead to send the money to Live Oak Bank from your current bank, the money will be available as soon as it’s received. Your Live Oak Bank savings account will start earning interest as soon as the money posts to your account.

You can easily withdraw your money at any time via ACH transfer. Simply log into your Live Oak Bank savings account and electronically transfer it to whichever bank account you wish. It’ll be available in two to three business days.

You are limited to making just six withdrawals per month with this savings account. That’s not a Live Oak Bank thing; that’s a federal regulation imposed upon savings accounts in the U.S. If you absolutely can’t wait until next month to make another withdrawal past your allotted six per month, you’ll be charged a $10 transaction fee for each additional action.

Live Oak Bank CD rates

Live Oak Bank also has some of the best CD rates with a decent deposit amount.

Term

APY

Minimum Deposit

6-month CD

1.85%

$2,500

1-year CD

2.20%

$2,500

18-month CD

2.35%

$2,500

2-year CD

2.45%

$2,500

3-year CD

2.60%

$2,500

4-year CD

2.65%

$2,500

5-year CD

2.70%

$2,500

Rates current as of 5/9/2018

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • CD terms that are less than 24 months — 90 days’ interest penalty
    • CD terms that are more than 24 months — 180 days’ interest penalty

Live Oak Bank currently offers the highest CD rates. This bank’s minimum deposit requirements also seem to be right on par with other bank’s minimum deposit requirements. Currently, the best CDs out there have minimum deposit requirements both above and below Live Oak Bank’s $2,500 benchmark.

Only U.S. citizens and permanent residents are eligible to open these accounts. It’s a relatively straightforward process to open a CD: Simply complete the forms online, provide any needed documentation (such as your current bank account details), and wait for an account approval. Once your account is open, you can transfer over your deposit, where it will be held for five days before officially launching your CD.

If you need to take out your deposit early, bad news: As with many CDs, you’ll face an early-withdrawal penalty at Live Oak Bank. If your original CD term was for six months, one year or 18 months, you’ll be charged 90 days’ worth of interest. If your original CD term was for longer than that, you’ll be charged a higher rate of 180 days’ worth of interest.

If you are able to resist the urge to withdraw your money early, congratulations! Your CD will automatically renew into a second CD with the same term length. However, don’t panic if that’s not what you want: You have up to 10 days after the CD has matured to withdraw your money penalty-free and park it in your own bank account (whether it’s with Live Oak Bank or not).

It’s easy to overlook Live Oak Bank for other larger, more established consumer banks like Ally or Discover Bank. But Live Oak has some of the best CD rates around, and the best savings account available on the market today.

Lest you be scared away by its smaller name, consider this: This tiny-but-growing bank is getting rave reviews from customers and employees alike. It carries an “A” health rating, and has a top-notch online banking portal. About the only thing missing is a checking account to let you seamlessly do all of your daily banking with this great company.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

Bank of Internet Reviews: Checking, CDs Rates, Money Market, and Savings Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established2000
Total Assets$8.9B
LEARN MORE on Bank Of Internet USA’s secure website
San Diego, Calif.-based Bank of Internet USA is a newer bank, having started up in the year 2000 while many traditional banks have been around for decades. It was also one of the first banks to exclusively operate online. Even though it’s a new kid on the block, it’s still a solid performer, and has received an “A” health rating from DepositAccounts.com, another LendingTree company, which indicates it’s a solid choice for consumers looking for a new bank account.

U.S. citizens and resident aliens 18 years or older are welcome to apply for an account with Bank of Internet. To apply online, you’ll need at least three pieces of information: a social security number, a U.S. driver’s license or state ID, and a physical mailing address (P.O. boxes aren’t allowed), along with other basic information about yourself like your name and phone number.

In this review we’ll cover Bank of Internet’s checking, CD, money market, savings, and IRA accounts. We’ll discuss the interest rates, fees, and rules that come along with each account so you can decide whether Bank of Internet will be the best bank for you.
Bank of Internet USA’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

1.30%

Savings

Bank of Internet USA Smart Savings Account

1.00%

CD Rates

Bank of Internet USA 12 Month CD

1.30%

CD Rates

Bank of Internet USA 36 Month CD

2.25%

CD Rates

Bank of Internet USA 60 Month CD

Bank of Internet CD rates

While Bank of Internet’s CDs are pretty standard, they do offer a unique feature: interest is paid out every year for CD terms over one year in length.

Term

APY

3 months

0.55%

6 months

0.75%

12 months

1.00%

24 months

1.20%

36 months

1.30%

48 months

1.40%

60 months

2.25%

As of 5/8/2018

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For the 3-month CD, you’ll pay 1.5 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 6-month CD, you’ll pay 3 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 12-month CD, you’ll pay 6 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 24-month CD, you’ll pay 12 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 36-month CD, you’ll pay 18 months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 48-month and 60-month CD, you’ll pay 24 months’ worth of interest.

Bank of Internet offers a pretty standard CD with this account. You can choose from a range of terms, and you must bring a moderately-sized deposit to the table to open an account. You’ll also face a penalty for withdrawing your cash early, and if you do withdraw money, Bank of Internet will first remove it from the interest you’ve earned. Since the APY you’ll earn is calculated based on the assumption that you leave the interest in the account to earn even more interest, withdrawing any money early can reduce the actual APY you get.

One important heads-up: if you choose a CD term longer than a year, you’ll receive a payout of the interest you’ve earned from the prior year, rather than having it sit in your CD account until maturity. Additionally, the CD will auto-renew to another CD of the same term length when it matures. You’ll still have a 10-day grace period to withdraw the money or make any changes to the CD, however.

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How Bank of Internet’s CD rates compare

When it comes to CD rates, Bank of Internet is a bit like Goldilocks. It doesn’t offer the best CD rates out there, but it also don’t offer the worst. In addition, its minimum deposit size to open a CD is relatively standard among banks, however it will be a bit cost-prohibitive to many people, especially those just starting out their savings.

One option to get around this is to find another bank with a lower minimum deposit size for CDs, or to simply open a savings account until you have enough cash saved up to open a higher-interest-earning CD.

Bank of Internet checking account options

Rewards Checking

This fee-free account offers a great opportunity to earn high interest rates on your checking account money.

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

0.4166% - 1.25%

$0

As of 5/8/2018

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Unlimited ATM fee refunds for any domestic ATMs
  • Overdraft fees: Free, if you link a savings or money market account to cover any overdrafts.

If you’re looking for a high-interest-earning checking account, this is a great one to consider. You can earn three different tiers of interest rates, depending on how you use the account. To earn the base rate of 0.4166% APY, you’ll need to receive at least $1,000 worth of monthly direct deposits into this account. To earn an additional 0.4166% APY, you’ll need to also make at least 10 purchases of at least $3 per month with your Bank of Internet Visa® debit card. Finally, if you also make another five purchases (for a total of 15) of at least $3 per month, in addition to the direct deposit requirements, you can earn yet another 0.4166% APY — totalling a whopping 1.25% APY.

This account also comes with a cashback rewards program. To enroll, you’ll need to log in to your account and navigate to the Purchase Rewards section, where you can see what cashback offers are available at local and online stores. You’ll need to manually activate the offers in order for it to work; otherwise, you won’t earn anything. If you do earn any cash back, it’ll be deposited into your account at the end of the next month.

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Platinum Checking

The only string attached with the Platinum Checking account is that you need a high balance to earn any interest.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0%

$1 - $4,999

0.71%

Over $5,000

As of 5/8/2018

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $8 per month from domestic ATM surcharge fees
  • Overdraft fees: $0

If you tend to keep a large balance in your checking account and don’t use it a whole lot, this could be a good rewards checking account to consider. You won’t earn anything on the first $4,999 in the account, but once you hit the $5,000 mark, you’ll earn a decent interest rate for a checking account, and with no strings attached like with Bank of Internet’s Rewards Checking account.

There aren’t any fees for using any domestic ATMs; however, you still might owe ATM surcharge fees from the ATM’s owner. Bank of Internet will reimburse you up to $8 for these surcharge fees, but unlike the Rewards Checking account, it’s not an unlimited amount — so this account may be better for folks who don’t use ATMs frequently either.

The Platinum Checking account also comes with the same cashback rewards program as the Rewards Checking account. Simply log into your online account, select which offers you’re interested in, and shop at that store. Your cash rewards will be deposited into your bank account at the end of the next month.

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CashBack Checking

You can earn up to 1.00% cash back when you use your Bank of Internet USA debit card to make purchases with this account.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Unlimited ATM fee refunds for any domestic ATMs.
  • Overdraft fees: $25

Bank of Internet’s CashBack Checking account may be an option to consider if earning cash back if more your style. You’ll earn 1.00% cash back on any signature-based purchases made with your Bank of Internet USA debit card if you keep an average daily balance of $1,500 in your account. (A “signature-based purchase” is one where you don’t use the PIN pad.) If you have less than the $1,500 average daily balance in your account, you’ll still earn cash back, but at a slightly lower rate (0.50%).

You can earn up to $2,000 in cash back per month. Also, heads-up: this cash back is counted as income, so you’ll owe taxes on this money when you file your taxes at the end of the year (the bank will send you a 1099-MISC form to record on your taxes).

In addition to this cashback program, you’re also eligible for the regular cashback rewards program offered with the other checking accounts. All you have to do is log in to your online account, select which offers you’re interested in purchasing, make the purchase, and earn a set amount of cash back on top of what you’re already earning. The money from this cashback program and your normal daily spending will be deposited into your checking account.

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Essential Checking

Bank of Internet’s Essential Checking account doesn’t earn any interest or come with any inherent rewards, but it won’t cost you anything either.
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Unlimited ATM fee refunds for any domestic ATMs.
  • Overdraft fees: $0

This fee-free account also does not offer any interest, nor does it come with its own cashback rewards program like the CashBack Checking account.

However, this account is still eligible for Bank of Internet’s own cashback rewards program. To earn cashback rewards with this program, you need to log into your account online and select the cashback offers that you’re interested in. Then, simply use your Bank of Internet USA Visa® Debit Card to make a purchase with these merchants, and your cash rewards will be deposited into your bank account in the next month.

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Golden Checking

The Golden Checking account allows you to earn a small amount of interest and free checks if you’re 55 or older.

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

0.20%

$0

As of 5/8/2018

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $8 per month from domestic ATM surcharge fees.
  • Overdraft fees: $0

If you’re over age 55, you’re eligible to open Bank of Internet’s Golden Checking account. It offers a few extra perks on top of its regular accounts — you’ll earn a small amount of interest on any money you keep in the account (with no stipulations for minimum balances or transactions), and you’ll get a free box of checks as often as every six months.

In addition, you’re eligible for Bank of Internet’s cashback program. If you log into your online account, you’ll be able to select from certain retailers offering cashback rewards. Simply activate these rewards, spend money with your Bank of Internet USA Visa® Debit Card at these retailers, and the money you earn will be deposited back into your account the following month.

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First Checking

This checking account is a great option to wean your teen into managing their own money.

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

0.25%

$0

As of 5/8/2018

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $12 per month from domestic ATM surcharge fees.
  • Overdraft fees: $0

Bank of Internet’s First Checking account is designed to be exactly that… your teen’s first checking account. It’s jointly owned by you and your teen (ages 13 to 17, or 18 in Alabama), so you also have complete control over the account, including being able to deposit an allowance into the account and monitor spending.

There are also a few other nice safeguards that come with the account. In order to prevent totally reckless spending, your teen is limited to withdrawing just $100 cash per day, or making just $500 in point-of-sale transactions. Even though it’s a checking account, this account doesn’t allow any check-writing capabilities, though it does come with a Visa® debit card. Finally, your teen won’t be allowed to make certain purchases or use their card at certain kinds of establishments, like bars, liquor stores, or casinos.

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How Bank of Internet’s checking accounts compare

We really like all of Bank of Internet’s checking accounts because they each come with low fees — or even no fees. You can use any domestic ATM you want without paying any Bank of Internet fees, and each of its checking accounts even offers at least some, if not an unlimited amount, of ATM surcharge fee reimbursements. This makes these accounts great for people who use ATMs frequently.

In addition, many of its accounts offers great interest rates. Some of these accounts — like the Rewards Checking account — are even currently rated as some of our best online checking accounts.

Bank of Internet’s Money Market account

You can write checks from this money market account, but you won’t earn as much interest as with a regular Bank of Internet Smart Savings account.

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

1.05%

$0

As of 5/8/2018

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $25

Bank of Internet’s Money Market account earns slightly less than its regular Smart Savings account, but in return, you get the option to write checks from this account. You can also pay your bills online for free with this account.

But, just like other money market or savings accounts, you’re limited to making just six transactions per month from this account, per Federal Regulation D. If you go over that number, you’ll pay a $10 excessive transaction fee per each new transaction.

Heads-up: if you also have a checking account and have opted into overdraft protection with this account, any overdraft transfers made on your behalf will also count against the six transaction limit. Finally, any checks you write will be counted against the six-transaction limit in the month that they’re posted to your account, not in the month that you write them.

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How Bank of Internet’s Money Market account compares

Unfortunately, Bank of Internet’s Money Market account offers a lackluster interest rate, especially compared to the best money market account rates out there — but we do like that it has no monthly account maintenance fee and no minimum balance requirement. This will make the account accessible to anyone, but if a high interest rate is what you’re after, you can still find higher-yielding accounts with no fees from other banks and credit unions.

Bank of Internet’s Savings account

This account offers a fairly high interest rate, but remember to request an ATM card if you plan on making ATM withdrawals from this account.

APY

Minimum Deposit Amount

1.30%

$0

As of 5/8/2018

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fees: $0
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $25

The Smart Savings account from Bank of Internet is a pretty standard savings account. Like all savings and money market accounts, you can only make up to six transactions per month from this account as per Federal Regulation D. If you exceed that amount, you’ll pay a $10 excessive transaction charge.

One thing to note with this account is that you’ll need to request a free ATM card with this account if you plan on making ATM withdrawals from it — it doesn’t come with one automatically. It’s not a big deal, but just something to be aware of if you ever plan on making an ATM withdrawal from your savings account.

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How Bank of Internet’s savings account compares

Bank of Internet does offers a higher rate than most banks, but still, it’s not the top contender out there. For that, you’ll need to instead turn to our recent rankings of the best online savings accounts.

Its terms, however, are quite fair. There are very few fees that come with this account, and if most people use it as intended, it’s possible that they never will pay any fees for having a savings account with Bank of Internet. In addition, there is no minimum balance, so it’s easy to get your savings started with this bank.

Bank of Internet’s IRA accounts

IRA CD rates

These CDs earn a much lower rate than Bank of Internet’s normal CDs, but in return you do get the tax benefits of an IRA account.

Term

APY

12 months

0.60%

18 months

0.70%

36 months

0.75%

As of 5/8/2018

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For the 12-month and 18-month CD, you’ll pay six months’ worth of interest.
    • For the 36-month CD, you’ll pay 18 months’ worth of interest.

Although Bank of Internet’s IRA CDs offer a paltry rate compared to its regular CDs, you do still get the tax benefits from opening these accounts within an IRA. Specifically, you can open a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA through these CDs.

This CD comes with a $1,000 minimum deposit, which may be a hard pill to swallow for savers just starting out on their retirement savings journey. There are other signs this account is geared towards older savers, too: if you need to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from your IRA, you can do so from these CDs without paying an early withdrawal penalty — this is a nice feature.

When your IRA CD matures, it’ll automatically roll over into another IRA CD of the same terms, but with the new interest rate of the day. You’ll still have a 10-day grace period to make any changes to the CD without paying any early withdrawal penalties.

There are a few fees to be aware of with this account: If you close the account and/or transfer your money out, you’ll face a $35 fee. If you’d like an annual paper statement, that’ll also set you back $10.

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How Bank of Internet’s IRA CD rates compare

We’ll be honest — Bank of Internet doesn’t offer very high interest rates on its IRA CDs. It may be convenient for you to open an IRA CD here if you already have an account, but if earning the best returns on your money is your primary concern, you will be better off choosing one of these IRA CDs with much higher rates.

IRA Savings account

You can earn a low rate on your retirement savings but have more flexibility for moving your retirement cash around with this IRA Savings account.

APY

Balance Requirement

0.15%

$250 - $1,000

0.70%

Over $1,000

As of 5/8/2018

  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • Overdraft fees: $25

If you think you might want to move your retirement savings to a new institution before your CD term is up and you don’t want to pay early withdrawal fees, then you may want to consider an IRA savings account. You can get started with your retirement savings with as little as $250 with this account, making it much more accessible to those just getting started. You can also choose from a Roth IRA or a traditional IRA.

You won’t get an ATM card with this account (if you’re saving for retirement, you probably don’t need one anyway). If you decide to roll over or close your IRA, you’ll face a $35 IRA transfer fee or a $35 IRA closing fee as well. Finally, you’ll pay a $10 fee if you’d like an annual paper statement from your account.

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Overall review of Bank of Internet’s products

Bank of Internet is a bit hit-or miss. They have many different types of checking accounts, and most of them offer fantastic rates and perks, such as a cashback rewards program. Additionally, these accounts don’t come with any maintenance fees. However, the interest rates offered on its money market, savings, and CD products aren’t really that great, especially compared with its competitors.

It may be worth keeping a checking account with Bank of Internet if you’re looking for a low-fee, high-earning account. But at the same time, it’s also possible to find great rates on the whole package — checking and savings accounts — at other banks as well.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

Review of VirtualBank CD Rates and Money Market Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

VirtualBank review
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VirtualBank has been a division of IBERIABANK since July 31, 2017 when it was sold by Banco de Sabadell. IBERIABANK was founded in 1887 in New Iberia, La., and has a presence across the southeastern U.S. VirtualBank is an online-only bank. Internet banks are growing in popularity as their low overhead costs allow them to offer higher rates and lower fees to consumers than traditional brick-and-mortar institutions.

Although VirtualBank’s rates are higher than those offered by traditional brick-and-mortar banks, we found they don’t stack up against better offerings from other online banks. Not only are their rates lackluster but they they also make it harder to get the best deals by requiring higher minimum opening deposits and average daily balances in order to obtain their highest rates.

This VirtualBank review will cover their eCD, eMoney Market and Jumbo eMoney Market accounts, including features, interest rates, and which accounts may be the best option for you.

VirtualBank CD rates

VirtualBank offers guaranteed returns on their CDs, but you’ll need at least a $10,000 minimum deposit in order to open one.

VirtualBank offers CDs with flexible terms and guaranteed returns that allow investors to earn competitive interest rates. All eCDs require a minimum opening deposit of $10,000. The APYs currently range from 0.15% to 2.65% depending on the term length.

VirtualBank’s rates are very competitive, but the minimum opening deposit is higher than many competitors. It’s possible to find a 12-month CD with around 2.00% APY that only requires a $1,000 minimum. You can also easily find a 3-year, 2.30% APY CD with a $5,000 minimum. Other banks offer high APY CDs with different terms that usually require less than the $10,000 minimum that VirtualBank does.

Term

APY

1 Month

0.15%

2 Month

0.15%

3 Month

0.82%

6 Month

1.56%

9 Month

1.30%

12 Month

2.27%

18 Month

1.57%

24 Month

2.55%

36 Month

1.66%

48 Month

1.79%

60 Month

2.65%

As of 5/8/2018

VirtualBank’s eCD is a more traditional CD that features a fixed term and interest rate until maturity. The CD term can be as short as one month or as long as 60 months, with varying APYs. To get the highest rate, you’ll need a minimum opening deposit of $10,000.

The eCD has an early withdrawal penalty, which is typical of CDs. The penalty depends on the terms of your CD, but usually longer terms have higher penalty interest rates. If you withdraw money from your eCD before the CD matures, you will lose the interest earned for the amount withdrawn.

CDs are similar to a savings account, but offer higher, fixed rates of return in exchange for a fixed investment term. These are generally a good option for investors who are looking for a relatively short-term way to grow their money with a guaranteed rate of return over a specified time period, and VirtualBank eCDs are no different.

How to get VirtualBank’s CDs

If you want to open a CD with VirtualBank, you will need to apply through the VirtualBank site or download the PDF application. You will need to provide basic details about yourself (name, address, phone number etc.) as well as details about the CD you would like to open, including the term and the minimum deposit.

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How VirtualBank’s CD rates compare

VirtualBank offers relatively high CD rates compared with other best CD options.

The biggest downside to VirtualBank’s eCDs is the $10,000 minimum deposit to open. Many other banks offer CDs with competitive interest rates and lower minimum opening deposits. If you have less than $10,000 to invest in a CD, it makes sense to look into these other CD options instead.

VirtualBank’s money market account options

VirtualBank offers two different money market accounts: the eMoney Market and the Jumbo eMoney Market. Each account has different requirements and benefits. Read on the find out more.

eMoney Market account

VirtualBank’s eMoney Market account offers a decent APY, but you can only withdraw or transfer from the account a maximum of six times per month.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.80%

Any

As of 5/8/2018

VirtualBank’s money market account rate isn’t as high as you can get — there are other money market accounts that offer rates as high as 3% APY.

Even so, this account isn’t the worst option and could still be a good fit depending on your needs. It offers a constant APY regardless of how much money you deposited in the account, however, you will need to deposit a minimum of $100 to open. You will also need to have a minimum daily balance of $100 in order for the eMoney Market’s $5 account maintenance fee to be waived.

A money market account is a good option for someone who doesn’t need to withdraw from the account more than six times per month. That’s because you’ll be charged an excessive withdrawal fee of $15 after six transactions per month. If you regularly withdraw from your account or transfer more than six times per month, your account could be converted to a checking account or closed.

While VirtualBank doesn’t offer the highest rates available for their eMoney Market account, they don’t require a high minimum deposit to earn the highest available rate for this account. In fact, no matter how much you have deposited, you’ll earn the same APY. You do have to keep a minimum daily balance to avoid the monthly fee, but it’s a pretty low requirement.

This account does not come with an ATM card, so if you want ATM access you will need to first transfer money from your eMoney Market account to an account that does have ATM access (and remember, you are limited to six transactions per month). Also, be careful when withdrawing from your this account because you will be charged a $35 overdraft fee if your balance goes below zero.

How to get VirtualBank’s eMoney Market account

If you want to apply for VirtualBank’s eMoney Market account, you’ll need to head over to the website. The application will require your personal information, minimum opening deposit and funding source.

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Jumbo eMoney Market account

VirtualBank’s Jumbo eMoney Market account offers a higher APY than their eMoney Market account, but you’ll need to deposit a lot of cash to get that rate.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.25%

$.01 - $249,999.99

0.90%

$250,000 or more

As of 5/8/2018

If you’re going to park a big chunk of cash into a money market account, you can probably do better than VirtualBank’s Jumbo eMoney Market account. There are other accounts that offer higher APYs without such a high minimum balance requirement. VirtualBank only requires a minimum opening balance of $100 for their Jumbo eMoney Market account, but you’ll need to have at least $250,000 in the account in order to qualify for the higher 0.90% APY.

If you plan to have less than $250,000 in your money market account, the eMoney Market will give you a higher APY than their Jumbo eMoney Market account.

Additionally, VirtualBank has a $5 monthly account maintenance fee, which is waived if you have a $100 minimum daily balance.

Remember that a money market account is a good option only if you won’t need frequent access to your funds. You’re only allowed to withdraw or transfer from a money market account six times per month.  Anything over that and you’ll be charged an excessive withdrawal fee of $15 per additional transaction. If you regularly withdraw from your account more than six times per month, your account could be converted to a checking account or closed.

This account also does not come with an ATM card, so if you want ATM access you will need to first transfer money from your Jumbo eMoney Market account to an account that does have ATM access (and remember, you are limited to six transactions per month). Also, be careful when withdrawing from your the account because you will be charged a $35 overdraft fee if your balance goes below zero.

How to get VirtualBank’s Jumbo eMoney Market account

If you want to apply for this account, you’ll need to head over to the website. The application will require your personal information, minimum opening deposit, and funding source.

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How VirtualBank’s money market accounts compare

VirtualBank’s money market accounts are okay, but they’re not stellar. There are other money market accounts out there offering higher rates with lower requirements to meet. Even if you have enough to qualify for the Jumbo eMoney Market account’s highest rate, you can still find higher APYs elsewhere.

Overall review of VirtualBank’s banking products

Overall, VirtualBank offers okay banking products. Regardless of the product, there are better options offered by other banks that offer higher APYs for less requirements.

That’s not to say you should rush to close your VirtualBank account if you already have one open, but it’s definitely worth shopping around to see if there are options that will work better for you.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Caroline Lupini
Caroline Lupini |

Caroline Lupini is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Caroline here

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Reviews

PenFed Credit Union CD Rates, Checking, Savings, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

penfed credit union review
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PenFed Credit Union—also known as Pentagon Federal Credit Union—got its start in 1935. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest credit unions in the country, with over 1.6 million members and $24 billion in assets. While it does offer in-person branches, anyone can also access their accounts online.

Like most credit unions, PenFed Credit Union restricts their membership. Luckily, most can get in with the right credentials or by making a small one-time donation to a good cause.

If you’re a government employee (including members of the military), work on a military base or for a qualifying organization, or a relative of someone who does meet these qualifications, you’re immediately eligible for membership.

For the rest of us, we can join simply by becoming a member of the Voices for America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time fee of $17.

In this review we’ll look at the rates and terms offered for each of their financial products. This will help you make an informed decision about whether PenFed is the right credit union for your banking needs.

All rates are current as of May 8, 2018.

PenFed CD Rates

PenFed Money Market Certificates

High rates, great dividend payment, and renewal flexibility make this a great choice.

Term

APY

6 months

1.75%

12 months

2.12%

15 months

2.17%

18 months

2.22%

2 years

2.33%

3 years

2.43%

4 years

2.48%

5 years

2.74%

7 years

2.84%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $1,000
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For a six-month CD, you’ll forfeit any dividends earned (if you withdraw the amount before 90 days), or a full 90 days’ worth of dividends (if you withdraw it after 90 days, but before the CD matures). For a longer-term CD, you’ll forfeit all dividends earned (if you withdraw the amount within the first year), or 30% of what you would have earned if you kept the CD to maturity (if you withdraw the amount after one year, but before the CD matures).
  • One of the nice things about PenFed’s CDs is that they are very flexible in terms of how your dividends are paid out and what happens to the CD upon maturity.You can choose to have dividends reinvested into your CD or paid out each month by direct deposit into another PenFed Credit Union account, or mailed to you as a check. Of course, it’s always best to leave the dividends to pile up in your CD. If you choose to have dividends paid out, your APY may be lower than the stated rate.When you set up your CD, you’ll choose what happens at maturity. You can choose from three options: Renew the CD for the same term, deposit the funds into another PenFed account, or have a check mailed to you. There is no grace period for you to choose what happens after it matures as with most banks; rather, you choose upfront. However, you can change your mind at any time.The only down side of this CD is that you cannot make a partial withdrawal. If you need to withdraw the cash early, you can only remove the full amount. If you do need to withdraw the money, you can also only do so after giving written notice.

How to get a PenFed Money Market Certificate

To get a PenFed Money Market Certificate, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your CD with a minimum deposit of at least $1,000.

PenFed Credit Union will mail you a signature form to complete your account application, but you can still open new accounts online before completing this final check mark.

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How PenFed’s CDs compare

PenFed offers very competitive rates on their CDs. Each of their CDs carry a higher-than-average interest rate. These high rates, combined with flexibility on how you earn dividend payments and how the CD is renewed, make this a great choice for people looking for a well-rounded CD option from a credit union.

Still, if earning the top rates are your priority, there are currently higher CD rates out there with certain banks.

PenFed’s Coverdell Education Savings Certificates

Lower minimum deposit requirements make this account more accessible for parents.

Term

APY

1 year

2.07%

2 year

2.27%

3 year

2.38%

4 year

2.43%

5 year

2.68%

7 year

2.79%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $500
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: If you withdraw the CD before one year has passed, you’ll forfeit any dividends earned. If you withdraw the CD after one year has passed, you’ll pay a penalty equal to 30% of what you would have earned if you had kept the CD to maturity.

PenFed’s Coverdell Education Savings Certificates are a great tool to save for college. These CDs have a lower (i.e., more accessible) minimum account opening requirement than their regular Money Market CDs—just $500. You can contribute up to the maximum yearly amount set by the IRS—currently $2,000 for 2018—to this Coverdell account.

When you set up your account you can choose what happens when the CD matures: either renew the CD for a similar term, or deposit it into a new Coverdell Education Share account. Unlike PenFed’s regular CDs, you do have the option to make a partial withdrawal during the term of the CD if needed, provided that it doesn’t drop the amount in your CD below $500 (if that happens, the entire CD will be closed and deposited into a Coverdell Education Share account). If you do make a partial withdrawal, that amount will also be subject to the early withdrawal penalties described above.

How to get PenFed’s Coverdell Education Savings Certificates

To get a PenFed Coverdell Education Savings Certificate, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your Coverdell account with a minimum deposit of at least $500.

Once your application is complete, or if you’re already a member, you can open any new financial product directly in your online account. PenFed Credit Union will mail you a signature form. However, you can still open new accounts before completing this final check mark.

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PenFed checking account

Great interest rates, but make sure you can meet the requirements to waive the monthly fee.

APY

Account Balance

0.20%

Up to $19,999.99

0.50%

$20,000 - $50,000

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10
  • How to avoid the account maintenance fee: Keep $500 or more in your account, or have at least $500 direct deposited into your account each month
  • ATM fee: None for using either a PenFed ATM or a non-PenFed ATM; however, if using a non-PenFed ATM, the ATM’s owner may charge you a surcharge fee.
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Unfortunately, this checking account does charge a monthly fee, but if you have a job with a direct deposit paycheck or at least a little bit of cash, it’s not a hard fee to skirt around.

What we really like about this account is that it charges zero ATM fees, except for any surcharge fees an out-of-network ATM owner would charge (but that’s out of PenFed’s control). If you’re looking for a high-interest-earning checking account and use the ATM a lot to get cash, this would be a great checking account for you.

How to get PenFed’s checking account

To get a PenFed Checking Account, you’ll need to be a member. Simply complete the application, deposit a Share savings account with at least $5 and join either the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee (if you don’t qualify based on your employment).

Once your application is complete, or if you’re already a member, you can open any new financial product directly in your online account. They will mail you a signature form, however you can still open new accounts before completing this final check mark.

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How PenFed’s checking account compares

We really love PenFed’s checking account for several reasons. It has a great interest rate, especially considering that many banks still don’t pay anything at all. PenFed Credit Union also does not charge any ATM fees with this account (although again, the other bank’s owner may charge you a surcharge fee), making this a cheaper option for folks who frequently use cash.

While this is a great checking account, it is possible to find better online checking accounts out there that offer higher interest rates, no monthly fees and ATM surcharge fee reimbursements.

PenFed Money Market Savings Account

PenFed offers very low rates for this account, even with a high balance amount—you can do much better elsewhere.

APY

Account Balance

0.05%

Up to $9,999.99

0.10%

$10,000 - $99,999.99

0.15%

Over $100,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for a withdrawal and $1.00 for a balance inquiry (including at in-network PenFed ATMs).
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30
  • Excessive transaction fee: $10 if you exceed 6 certain transactions per month.

PenFed’s money market account is designed to earn higher rates than their regular savings account, and that’s exactly what this account does — but only if you bring at least $10,000 of cash to the table to earn the second-tier or third-tier interest rates.

Although this account doesn’t have a monthly account maintenance fee, there are other fees to watch out for. You don’t typically use ATMs with a money market account as with a checking account, but if you do need to use an ATM, you’ll pay a $1.50 fee to make a withdrawal, even at an in-network PenFed ATM.

A better way to get your cash out of this account is with an account transfer (just don’t make over six in one month to avoid the excessive transaction fee), or with the free checks that they offer with this account.

How to get PenFed’s Money Market Savings Account

To get a PenFed Money Market savings account, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your Money Market savings account with a minimum deposit of at least $25.

They will mail you a signature form to complete your account application, however you can still open new accounts online before completing this final check mark.

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How PenFed’s money market account compares

As far as interest rates go, PenFed’s money market account is very low. In fact, you can earn even higher interest rates by keeping your money in PenFed’s checking account, which is strange.

Furthermore, we find it odd that they charge you to make an ATM withdrawal from this account — even from their own ATMs. At least they offer free checks, but that won’t help you much if you need cold, hard cash pronto.

If you’re looking for better rates and terms on a money market account, you can find better money market accounts elsewhere.

PenFed Savings Account

An overall lackluster savings account that offers a low rate and charges for ATM withdrawals.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$5

  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for a withdrawal and $1.00 for a balance inquiry (including at in-network PenFed ATMs).
  • ATM fee refund: None.
  • Overdraft fee: $30
  • Excessive transaction fee: $10 if you exceed six certain transactions per month.

This is the basic account that you need to become a PenFed member and open any other account. It’s designed as a free savings account and does pay a small amount of interest, but don’t expect much more from it than that.

Furthermore, if you ever need to take out cash from this account, you’ll pay a $1.50 per ATM withdrawal, even if you use a PenFed ATM. And unlike with their money market checking account, you don’t get free checks with this account. That means the only way you can make a free transaction into or out of this account is either online or by visiting a branch in-person.

How to Get PenFed’s Savings Account

To get a PenFed savings account, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your savings account with a minimum deposit of at least $5.

The credit union will mail you a signature form to complete your account application, however you can still open new accounts online before completing this final check mark.

LEARN MORE Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

How PenFed’s Savings Account compares

We’ll be honest here. The interest rate on PenFed’s savings account is awfully low compared with its competitors. You likely won’t earn much with this account, especially compared with other online high-interest savings accounts.

Furthermore, we don’t like the fact that you need to pay to use an ATM with this account, even for in-network PenFed ATMs. Most banks at least let you use their own in-network ATMs for free, so the fact that you need to pay to do so with this account seems silly.

However, even though all members are required to open this account when establishing their membership with PenFed, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. It’s perfectly fine to let it sit idle with the $5 minimum deposit since there are no monthly account maintenance fees. We instead view this account as a pesky requirement for working with the credit union if you’d like to use one of their other financial products.

PenFed IRA CD accounts

No fees on partial withdrawals for those ages 59 ½ and over make this a great account choice for mature consumers.

Term

APY

1 year

2.07%

2 years

2.27%

3 years

2.38%

4 years

2.43%

5 years

2.68%

7 years

2.79%

  • Minimum amount to open an account:$1,000
  • Minimum amount to earn APY:$1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: If you withdraw the money in the first year, you’ll forfeit all dividends earned. If you withdraw the money after one year but before the CD matures, you’ll pay 30% of what you would have earned if you kept the CD to maturity.

At first glance, PenFed’s IRA CDs look pretty run-of-the-mill. The minimum opening deposit is fairly high, especially if you’re a young saver just looking to start out. In fact, IRA CDs are fairly conservative investments anyway, and the people who can get the most benefits from them are mature folks nearing — or already at — retirement.

But what makes these IRA CDs really stand out as better options for more mature savers is that you can make partial early withdrawals from your CD completely penalty-free, assuming that you’re 59 ½ and over. If you need to take out the cash in retirement early, rest assured it won’t cost you anything to withdraw, as long as you leave at least $1,000 in the CD for it to stay open.

How to get a PenFed IRA CD

To get a PenFed IRA CD, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your IRA CD with a minimum deposit of at least $1,000.

They will mail you a signature form to complete your account application, however you can still open new accounts online before completing this final check mark.

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How PenFed’s IRA CDs compare

While PenFed doesn’t exactly offer the highest interest rates on their IRA CDs, they’re pretty darn close. If you’re looking to get as high in returns as possible it’s tough to go wrong with them, but you may be able to earn more with other IRA CDs.

The thing that stands out the most with PenFed’s IRA CDs is that people who are over age 59 ½ can make partial withdrawals from these CDs without paying any early withdrawal penalties (assuming they keep at least a $1,000 balance in the CD to keep it open). This is a really unique feature, and it’s why we would recommend PenFed’s IRA CDs to older adults looking to keep their options flexible.

PenFed IRA Savings account

Low interest rates make this an OK place to store your retirement funds, but not to grow them.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$25

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

Remember how everyone is required to open up a PenFed savings account and fund it with at least $5 if they want to become a member? This account is the IRA version of that. Specifically, if you want to open up an IRA product — such as one of PenFed’s IRA CDs — you’ll need to open up one of these accounts as well.

This will be the default account that your IRA CD money is deposited into if you elect not to have the IRA CD auto-renew when it matures. It’s a great place to store your money in the short term until you withdraw it for retirement or move it to another IRA investment, however, it’s not a great place to grow your money due to the lackluster interest rate.

How to get PenFed’s IRA Savings account

To get a PenFed IRA savings account, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your IRA savings account with a minimum deposit of at least $25.

They will mail you a signature form to complete your account application, however you can still open new accounts online before completing this final check mark.

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PenFed IRA Premier Account

The exact same account as PenFed’s regular IRA Savings account, just with a higher minimum balance requirement.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.05%

$10,000

  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

If you have at least $10,000 to keep in your retirement savings account, you can choose to open PenFed’s Premier IRA Savings account. There is no real benefit of using this account over PenFed’s regular IRA Savings account, because the exact interest rates are currently being offered for both accounts.

Typically, the more money you bring to the table, the higher the interest rate you can earn (as with PenFed’s Money Market Savings account), however that is not the case with this account. That could change in the future, however, if the credit union does decide to increase their interest rates for this account. But right now, we can’t really see any reason why you’d specifically choose this account over their regular IRA Savings account.

How to get PenFed’s IRA Premier account

To get a PenFed IRA Premier account, you’ll need to be a member of the credit union. Joining is easy and only takes a few minutes. You may be eligible for membership based on your employer (such as the military) or by joining the Voices For America’s Troops or National Military Family Association for a one-time $17 fee.

As a part of the application process you’ll need to deposit at least $5 into a Share savings account. Once this is done, you can open up your IRA Premier account with a minimum deposit of at least $10,000.

The credit union will mail you a signature form to complete your account application, however you can still open new accounts online before completing this final check mark.

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Overall review of PenFed’s banking products

When it comes to bank accounts, PenFed really shines in some areas and offers somewhat lackluster products in others. Specifically, we really like the high rates offered on their checking accounts and CD products, which are currently running near the top of the pack. The added advantage for people who are over age 59 ½ to withdraw money from the IRA CDs without paying a penalty as long as they keep at least $1,000 in the CD is also a great option.

However, other products — such as their savings and money market accounts — fall a bit short. We find it odd that they charge ATM fees for some of their accounts, even if you use a bona fide PenFed network ATM. Furthermore, each of PenFed’s savings accounts offers such low rates that we can’t really recommend them as a place to grow your money.

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Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

Bank of America Checking, Savings, CD, and IRA Account Reviews

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1904
Total Assets$1,751.5B
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Chances are you’ve heard of Bank of America. It’s one of the biggest banks in the country, after all. This bank carries a wide range of financial products, such as credit cards, auto loans, home loans, investment accounts and yes — checking, savings, CD and IRA accounts as well. We’ll be focusing on these specific accounts in this review.

We put Bank of America’s banking accounts to the test. Perhaps not surprisingly, we found that they offer much lower rates and higher fees than many of the best banks out there. Bank of America may also offer different rates depending on what part of the country you’re in. To keep things consistent, we always looked at rates in the 28255 zip code (in Charlotte, N.C.), because this is where Bank of America is headquartered.
Bank of America’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.03%

Savings

Bank of America Regular Savings

0.07%

CD Rates

Bank of America 12 Month Featured CD

0.05%

CD Rates

Bank of America 12 - 17 Month CD

0.04%

CD Rates

Bank of America Risk Free CD

Bank of America checking account options

Bank of America Interest Checking® Account

Bank of America’s Interest Checking® Account offers a minuscule amount of interest and a few extra perks in exchange for a higher monthly fee.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.01%

$0 - $50,000

0.02%

$50,000+

As of 5/8/2018

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25 (waived if you meet certain requirements, detailed below)
  • ATM fees: No fee for using Bank of America ATMs. If you use an out-of-network ATM in the United States, you’ll pay $2.50 per transaction (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on). If you use a foreign ATM, you’ll pay $5 per transaction, plus a 3% foreign transaction fee and any surcharge fees.
  • ATM fee refunds: If you’re a Preferred Rewards Platinum or Platinum Honors client, you won’t be charged the out-of-network ATM fees in the United States. Preferred Rewards Platinum clients will receive one surcharge fee refund per month, and Platinum Honors clients will receive unlimited surcharge fee refunds.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per item

This checking account earns a minuscule amount of interest while charging a higher monthly fee than their Core Checking account. But, you can also get the monthly fee waived by doing one of the following:

  1. Keeping a combined balance of at least $10,000 in all of your Bank of America accounts.
  2. Enrolling in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program and earn at least a Gold, Platinum or Platinum Honors tier.

The Interest Checking account also has a few other perks. If you do opt-in to the overdraft protection and have a linked savings account set up, any transfers to cover overdrafts are done free of charge (with the Core Checking account, this normally costs $12 per transfer). You’ll also get free checks, and you can choose to enroll in the BankAmeriDeals cashback rewards program and the Keep The Change savings program.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Interest Checking® Account. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. A credit check may be performed during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

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Bank of America Core Checking® Account

This fee-heavy, no-interest-earning account isn’t one our favorites.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12 (unless you meet requirements, detailed below)
  • ATM fees: No fee for using Bank of America ATMs. If you use an out-of-network ATM in the United States, you’ll pay $2.50 per transaction (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on). If you use a foreign ATM, you’ll pay $5 per transaction, plus a 3% foreign transaction fee and any surcharge fees.
  • ATM fee refunds: If you’re a Preferred Rewards Platinum or Platinum Honors client, you won’t be charged the out-of-network ATM fees in the United States. Preferred Rewards Platinum clients will receive one surcharge fee refund per month, and Platinum Honors clients will receive unlimited surcharge fee refunds.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per item

This is Bank of America’s go-to checking account for most people. Sadly, it doesn’t earn any interest and charges a monthly fee to boot. Check out our roundup of other great low-fee checking accounts. Still, it’s fairly easy to get this fee waived in one of four ways:

  1. Have at least one monthly direct deposit of $250
  2. Keep a daily balance of $1,500 in your account
  3. Enroll in their Preferred Rewards program and reach a Gold, Platinum or Platinum Honors tier
  4. Be a high school, college or vocational program student under age 24

When you opened a bank account before the 2008 financial crisis, it was common to be automatically enrolled in an overdraft program. Bank of America’s overdraft program works like this: If you don’t have a linked savings account and you overdraw your account, you’ll face a $35 overdraft fee per item, up to four times per day. If you do have a linked savings account, they’ll charge you a $12 transfer fee to cover the cost. Now, due to new federal regulations, you need to manually opt into this program when you open an account. If you don’t, you’ll instead face a $35 non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee for each item, which is basically the same as the overdraft fee anyway.

Although this is a fee-heavy account, it does come with a couple nice features. Their Keep The Change program automatically rounds up your purchases and deposits the difference into your savings account. You can also earn cashback rewards by shopping at certain retailers through the BankAmeriDeals program.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Core Checking® account. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. Bank of America may perform a credit check during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

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How Bank of America’s checking accounts compare

This bank’s checking accounts, like accounts at most big banks, offer low interest rates and high fees, especially compared with the best online checking accounts out there. Only one of their checking accounts does offer interest, and it’s such a low rate that you’ll probably even forget it does offer interest. The monthly maintenance fees for these accounts are quite high, and while it is possible to skirt them rather easily, that still means you need to be on your toes to make sure you meet the requirements each month.

The one thing that we actually do like with these accounts is Bank of America’s Keep The Change feature, which rounds up your purchases and deposits the difference into your savings account. This is a unique feature for bank accounts and can really help you save more cash, but it’s also possible to find apps that do the same thing that don’t come with these restrictive accounts.

Bank of America’s savings account options

Rewards Savings

This savings account rewards you with a monthly fee and a super low interest rate.

Tier

APY

Standard

0.03%

Gold

0.04%

Platinum

0.05%

Platinum Honors

0.06%

As of 5/8/2018

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8 (waived if you meet certain requirements, detailed below)
  • ATM fees: No fee for using Bank of America ATMs. If you use an out-of-network ATM in the United States, you’ll pay $2.50 per transaction (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on). If you use a foreign ATM, you’ll pay $5 per transaction, plus a 3% foreign transaction fee and any surcharge fees.
  • ATM fee refunds: If you’re a Preferred Rewards Platinum or Platinum Honors client, you won’t be charged the out-of-network ATM fees in the United States. Preferred Rewards Platinum clients will receive one surcharge fee refund per month, and Platinum Honors clients will receive unlimited surcharge fee refunds.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per item

This is Bank of America’s basic savings account, and an option if you’re just looking for a basic, no-frills place to store your cash. Once again, this account comes with a monthly fee that you should be able to skirt around in one of three ways:

  1. Keep at least $500 in this account
  2. Link up your Bank of America Interest Checking® account
  3. Enroll in the Preferred Rewards program and earn at least a Gold, Platinum or Platinum honors tier.

It shouldn’t be too difficult, but remember to keep these rules in mind should you want to drain your savings account and use the cash.

In addition to the monthly maintenance fee, you’re also limited to six transfers and withdrawals per month, as per Federal Regulation D. If you go over that amount, Bank of America will charge you $10 per transaction, up to $60 per month (however, if you’re enrolled in the Preferred Rewards program or keep at least $20,000 in your account, this fee will be waived).

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Rewards Savings account. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. A credit check may be performed during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

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Minor Savings Account

A low-fee alternative to teach your children how to save.

Tier

APY

Standard

0.03%

Gold

0.04%

Platinum

0.05%

Platinum Honors

0.06%

As of 5/8/2018

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: No fee for using Bank of America ATMs. If you use an out-of-network ATM in the United States, you’ll pay $2.50 per transaction (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on). If you use a foreign ATM, you’ll pay $5 per transaction, plus a 3% foreign transaction fee and any surcharge fees.
  • ATM fee refunds: If you’re a Preferred Rewards Platinum or Platinum Honors client, you won’t be charged the out-of-network ATM fees in the United States. Preferred Rewards Platinum clients will receive one surcharge fee refund per month, and Platinum Honors clients will receive unlimited surcharge fee refunds.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per item

If you’re looking to teach your kids about savings, this account is one option. Thankfully, Bank of America waives or lowers many of the fees associated with this account. For example, while you’d normally be charged a $10 fee for going over six withdrawals or transfers per month, the bank will only charge kids and teens $1 per occurrence, up to $6 per month, and only if they have less than $300 in their account. Another nice perk is that you, as a parent, can make automatic transfers into your child’s account.

Once the child reaches age 18, the account automatically converts into a regular Rewards Savings account with higher fees and requirements, so be prepared.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Minor Savings account. The account will be jointly owned by your and your child, and so you will both need to provide some basic personal information, such as your names, social security numbers, and addresses. A credit check may be performed during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

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Custodial (UTMA) Savings Account

This custodial account operates under the rules of the Rewards Savings account.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.03%

$0

As of 5/8/2018

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8
  • ATM fees: No fee for using Bank of America ATMs. If you use an out-of-network ATM in the United States, you’ll pay $2.50 per transaction (plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner tacks on). If you use a foreign ATM, you’ll pay $5 per transaction, plus a 3% foreign transaction fee and any surcharge fees.
  • ATM fee refunds: If you’re a Preferred Rewards Platinum or Platinum Honors client, you won’t be charged the out-of-network ATM fees in the United States. Preferred Rewards Platinum clients will receive one surcharge fee refund per month, and Platinum Honors clients will receive unlimited surcharge fee refunds.
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per item

This savings account is meant for parents to save for their children’s expenses after they become adults, such as college, living expenses or a home down payment. Bank of America’s UTMA savings account works exactly like their Rewards Savings account, with one twist: it falls under UTMA regulations.

This means that the account is technically owned by the child, but the parent acts as a custodian and manages the account for them until they’re 18 or 21 (depending on the rules of the state you live in). After this point, the now-adult can access the money and do whatever they want with it, and you’re no longer in charge of the account.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Custodial Savings account. Both you and your child will be listed on the account, and so you will both need to provide some basic personal information, such as your names, Social Security numbers and addresses. Bank of America may perform a credit check during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

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How Bank of America’s savings accounts compare

There’s no two ways about it: these savings accounts, on the whole, offer high fees and very low interest rates. If you’re banking on these savings accounts for your next vacation, it’ll be quite some time before you find yourself sipping mai tais on a Hawaiian beach. If you’re looking to earn more money with your savings account, a better option would be one of these top online savings accounts.

Bank of America’s CD rates

Featured CD account

Earn a slightly higher interest rate on a short-term CD by bringing 10x the cash to the table.

Term

APY

12 Months

0.07%

As of 5/8/2018

  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $0.01
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 180 days’ worth of interest on the amount that you withdraw.

If you’re looking for a shorter-term commitment and want to earn a slightly higher rate, you might consider Bank of America’s Featured CD. Still, you won’t earn much more; the interest rate on this featured CD barely edges out their regular 12-month CD, which itself pays out a very small amount of interest.

You also need to pony up a higher amount of cash for this minuscule interest rate increase: You’ll need at least $10,000 to open this CD, whereas you can open a normal CD with as little as $1,000.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for the Featured CD. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. Bank of America may perform a credit check during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

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Standard Term CD account

The ability to choose your own CD term with a low opening deposit requirement makes this a great choice for people looking for flexibility.

Term

APY

1-11 Months

0.03%

12-17 Months

0.05%

18-23 Months

0.07%

24-35 Months

0.10%

36-47 Months

0.55%

48-59 Months

0.65%

60-120 Months

0.75%

As of 5/8/2018

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $0.01
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs under 90 days, you’ll pay either all interest earned on the amount withdrawn, or 7 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn (whichever is more).
    • For CDs between 90 days up to 12 months, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs between 12 months up to 60 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs over 60 months, you’ll pay 365 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.

We like Bank of America’s CDs because they offer a ton of flexibility. You can choose any term length you want, from one month to 120 months. You only need $1,000 to open a CD, which is much lower than many other CDs at other banks. You’ll be able to choose how you get paid interest: you can have it reinvested back into the CD, deposited into your linked checking or savings account or have a check mailed to you every so often.

However, it’s not all roses and sunshine. The biggest thing that counts — the interest rate — is actually quite low with this account.

When your CD matures, it’ll be automatically rolled over into a new CD account with the same term length. Don’t worry, though: you have a short seven-day grace period where you can make any changes to the CD, including adding more money, changing the term length or withdrawing the cash.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Standard Term CD. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. A credit check may be performed during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

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How Bank of America’s CD rates compare

While Bank of America does offer some pretty nifty features for their CDs (such as flexible term lengths and low minimum deposit amounts), we still can’t get over the fact that the interest rates offered on these CDs are much, much lower than the CDs that you can get elsewhere. These low rates could be worth it if you’re trying to pull off a creative CD ladder structure with odd term lengths, but if you’re looking for the highest interest rates out there, we suggest giving these CDs a pass.

Bank of America’s IRA rates

Featured CD IRA

This account is basically a copycat of Bank of America’s Featured CD, but within an IRA framework.

Term

APY

12 Months

0.07%

As of 5/8/2018

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $0.01
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs under 90 days, you’ll pay either all interest earned on the amount withdrawn, or 7 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn (whichever is more).
    • For CDs between 90 days up to 12 months, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs between 12 months up to 60 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs over 60 months, you’ll pay 365 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.

Bank of America’s Featured IRA CD works exactly like their regular Featured CD, except that it operates within the framework of an IRA. Strangely, it requires a slightly smaller minimum opening deposit ($2,000) compared with the regular Featured CD, which requires at least $10,000 to open.

But, assuming you can manage that hurdle, you’ll still have the same options for dealing with interest payments and CD renewals. You can choose to have interest added onto your CD balance, or paid out to you via deposit into a linked Bank of America account or a check. When your CD matures, it’ll automatically roll over into another Featured CD, and you’ll still have a seven-day period where you can make any changes to your account, including withdrawing the cash.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for a Bank of America’s Featured CD IRA. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. A credit check may be performed during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

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Standard Term IRA CD

Bank of America also offers their regular Standard Term CDs in IRA form.

Term

APY

1-11 Months

0.03%

12-17 Months

0.05%

18-23 Months

0.07%

24-35 Months

0.10%

36-47 Months

0.55%

48-59 Months

0.65%

60-120 Months

0.75%

As of 5/8/2018

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $0.01
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs under 90 days, you’ll pay either all interest earned on the amount withdrawn, or 7 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn (whichever is more).
    • For CDs between 90 days up to 12 months, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs between 12 months up to 60 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs over 60 months, you’ll pay 365 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.

This account is also another copycat of Bank of America’s regular Standard Term CDs, but within an IRA account. If you open up one of these accounts, you’ll also get a seven-day grace period where you can make any changes to the CD after it matures. Otherwise, it’ll continue on as a rollover CD, with the same term length as before. You can also choose to have interest deposited back into the CD account, or paid out to you via check or electronic deposit into a linked Bank of America account.

Because these CDs are so flexible, it’s easy to choose a term that might fit better with your retirement savings plan. For example, if you just need a place to store your retirement funds for, say, 30 months (not 24 months or 36 months — two common CD terms), these Standard CD IRA accounts allow you to choose that term length. It’s an odd situation for sure, but if you do find yourself in this spot, these CD IRAs allow you that degree of flexibility.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for Bank of America’s Standard Term CD IRAs. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. Bank of America may perform a credit check during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

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Variable Rate CD IRA

This CD IRA may — or may not — offer higher rates than their regular Standard Term CD IRAs.

Term

APY

18-23 Months

0.03%

As of 5/8/2018

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $0.01
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • For CDs under 90 days, you’ll pay either all interest earned on the amount withdrawn, or 7 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn (whichever is more).
    • For CDs between 90 days up to 12 months, you’ll pay 90 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs between 12 months up to 60 months, you’ll pay 180 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.
    • For CDs over 60 months, you’ll pay 365 days’ worth of interest on the amount withdrawn.

Theoretically, you should be able to earn a slightly higher interest rate by choosing a variable rate. However, sometimes it doesn’t always work out that way. As of the time of this writing, the interest rates offered on regular 18-23-month Standard Term CD IRAs is double that of these Variable Rate CD IRAs.

If interest rates should rise, it may be beneficial to open one of these CDs, which also automatically roll over, disperse interest and have the same policies toward a grace period as regular CDs. But, keep in mind that this bank can change — or not change — the interest rate on this CD at any time, making it a bit of a gamble. Right now, it looks like their Standard Term CD IRA is winning in the rate department.

It only takes a few minutes to apply for a Bank of America Variable Rate CD IRA. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. The bank may perform a credit check during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

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How Bank of America’s CD IRA rates compare

Just like with their other accounts, Bank of America offers very low rates. If you’re hoping to grow your money as much as possible within an FDIC-insured environment, you might be better off choosing one of the current top IRA CDs. But, just as with their regular non-IRA CDs, we can still see how someone could find these CDs useful, especially if you need an IRA CD with a weird term length. But, fortunately, those cases are probably very rare, and you’re likely better off choosing a higher-interest-earning IRA CD.

Money Market IRA

Bank of America’s Money Market IRA lets you add more money at any time.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100

Even though Bank of America offers a wide range of CD terms, you still might prefer to keep your retirement savings in something a little more liquid in case you need to access it on short notice. If that’s the case, you might consider their Money Market IRA, which works similarly to a savings account. However, unlike their savings account, you can’t use this account to make withdrawals by check, debit card or draft.

You’ll have to call the bank to hear the rates associated with this account as well as to open this account. Fortunately, it only takes a few minutes to apply for a Bank of America Money Market IRA. You’ll need to provide some basic personal information, such as your name, Social Security number and address. Bank of America may perform a credit check during the application process, which should take 1-2 days. If approved, you’ll need to send in a signature form, and then you can fund your account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Bank Of America’s secure website

Overall review of Bank of America’s products

Bank of America does offer some truly neat features that we like, such as their many options for different CD term lengths. If you’re looking for weird CD term lengths, Bank of America is right for you. We also like their Keep The Change feature, which rounds up purchases to the nearest dollar and deposits the difference in your savings account.

But for most people (probably including yourself), you want to earn the best rates and pay the lowest fees possible. If that’s the case, we recommend another bank, because Bank of America’s products are consistently outperformed by other banks that offer higher rates and lower fees.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

Citizens Bank Review: CDs, Checking, Savings, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Citizens Bank
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Although Citizens Bank is one of the largest banks in the nation, it only got its start relatively recently, in 2005. Since then, it has become the largest bank in Rhode Island (where it’s headquartered) and opened over 1,200 local branches along the East Coast and in the Midwest.

We wanted to know: How do the deposit accounts at Citizens Bank stack up with the competition? What are the hidden “gotchas” and what do you need to know before opening an account?

The interest rates that Citizens Bank offers on its deposit accounts vary according to where you live. So, to make things simple, we’ll compare their rates across accounts in the 02903 zip code (Providence, R.I.) where its headquarters is located. To find out the rates in your area, click on the link “Specify Your Location” on their homepage.

All rates are current as of May 8, 2018.

Citizens Bank CD Rates

Citizens Bank offers limited options for CDs and very low rates unless you also have an existing premium account with them.

 

12-Month Breakable CD

14-Month CD

48-Month CD

Standard APY

0.05%

0.10%

0.10%

APY with Platinum Checking

1.30%

1.15%

1.35%

APY with Platinum Plus Checking

1.65%

1.40%

1.55%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 for the 14 and 48 month CDs and $10,000 for the 12 month CD
  • How interest is compounded: Interest is calculated based off of your daily balance, then tallied up and deposited into your account monthly.
  • Early withdrawal penalties: $50 plus whichever of the following two options is less:
        1. 180 days’ worth of interest on the withdrawn amount
        2. Half of the remaining interest you would have earned
  • Grace period: Your CD will automatically roll over to another CD with the same term. However, you have a 10-day grace period to withdraw or add funds without paying an early withdrawal penalty.

12-Month Breakable CD

The bar for opening this CD is set very high: You’ll need to come to the table with at least $10,000. In return, you will earn interest, but at very low rates even if you qualify for a higher rate by also holding a platinum-level checking account.

One of the benefits of this account is that you’re allowed to make one full or partial withdrawal of your cash during its 12-month term without paying an early-withdrawal penalty. If you think you might need to withdraw the cash before the term ends, this may be a wise choice.

14-Month CD

This CD is much more accessible for people with smaller amounts of cash because it only requires one tenth of the money as the 12-month breakable CD. The rate for this CD is also a lot better — but only if you have an existing Platinum or Platinum Plus Checking Account.

48-Month CD

This CD is interesting. It’s also fairly accessible for people with smaller opening deposits. However, unless you have one of the Platinum checking accounts, there’s no real incentive to open a 48-month CD over a 14-month CD because the rates are exactly the same.

In fact, if these two CDs pay the same interest rate for non-Platinum checking account members, it’s probably better to stick with the 14-month CD because you’ll earn exactly the same interest rate and you’ll get more frequent access to your money if you need it.

How Citizens Bank CD rates compare

Citizens Bank clearly wants you to be a Platinum Checking Account member, and these CDs only make sense if you are one. The rates offered for Platinum Checking Account holders on their 14-month and 48-month CDs are actually slightly better than national averages.

Otherwise, if you’re just walking into this bank off the street (or logging in), pass this one up. You can earn much better CD rates elsewhere without the checking account requirements.

How to get a Citizens Bank CD

If you decide a Citizens Bank CD is right for you, good news: It only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check, or a credit or debit card, but heads up: If you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

Citizens Bank Checking Account Options

The checking accounts at Citizens Bank offer few benefits in exchange for high fees and requirements — however, they may be useful if earning higher rates on another product is your endgame.

One Deposit Checking from Citizens Bank®

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: None.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $9.99
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: Citizens Bank will waive the fee if you’re a minor, or if you have at least one deposit into your account each statement period.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item (up to seven per day).

Even though this is Citizens Bank’s most basic-level checking account, it isn’t one you can walk away from and leave on autopilot. You’ll need to make at least one deposit into the account each statement period in order to avoid the exorbitant $9.99 monthly fee.

Not only that, but it will cost you to use this account anyway — at least indirectly. Checks do not come free with this account. You’ll need to pay at least $9.99 for an order of checks if you want to, you know, write checks from your checking account.

Citizens Bank Platinum Checking™

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.02% APY for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: Keep at least $25,000 across all of your Citizens Bank investment and deposit accounts.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (but not the ATM surcharge).
  • Overdraft fee: No fee for overdraft transfers or overdraft lines of credit.

This is Citizens Bank’s lowest premium-level checking account. If you have this account, you can qualify for higher rates on CDs, savings accounts, and money market accounts, a 0.125% discount on a mortgage, and waived fees for things like paper statements or stop check orders. Plus, you’ll get free checks. You can also earn interest with this account, albeit at a very low level.

In return, Citizens Bank wants you to keep a fairly high amount of cash with them in deposit and investment accounts. Make sure you can commit to this so you don’t have to face the high $25 monthly fee.

Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Checking™

Amount

$0-$24,999

$25,000-$249,999

$250,000+

APY

0.03%

0.05%

0.07%

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive monthly maintenance fee: You’ll need to keep at least $25,000 in linked deposit or investment accounts, plus one of the following two requirements: either deposit at least $5,000 per month into your account, or keep at least $10,000 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (but not the ATM surcharge).
  • Overdraft fee: No fee for overdraft transfers or overdraft lines of credit.

This is basically the same account as the lower-level Citizens Bank Platinum Checking account with one extra bonus: a slightly higher, but still overall lackluster, interest rate.

In return for this higher interest rate you’ll need to jump through a few extra hoops (in addition to having at least $25,000 in linked deposit or investment accounts): keep an average of at least $10,000 in your checking account, or deposit at least $5,000 into your checking account each statement period.

How Citizens Bank checking accounts compare

Most checking accounts at large national banks set the bar fairly high to waive their outrageous monthly fees in return for low interest rates. Citizens Bank is no exception. Rather than using this account for its low interest rate, however, think outside the box: You actually can earn some decent rates on CDs if you hold one of the Platinum checking accounts.

If you can meet the requirements on these Platinum checking accounts, want to earn higher rates on CDs, and if Citizens Bank is convenient for you to work with, then this bank might make sense for you.

However, it’s still possible to find higher interest rates with fewer pesky requirements by opening a checking account with one of these online banks.

How to get a Citizens Bank checking account

If you decide a Citizens Bank Checking Account is right for you, good news: it only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check or a credit or debit card, but again, if you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

Citizens Bank Savings Account Options

Citizens Bank does offer savings accounts with some neat features, but they’re still plagued with low interest rates and potentially high fees.

GoalTrack Savings®

GoalTrack Savings is a savings reward program that you can enroll in with any savings account, except for the CollegeSaver and Citizens Bank HomeBuyer Savings accounts. If you enroll in this program, you have to make a pledge: I will save X dollars each month for X months.

If you reach your goal, Citizens Bank will reward you with a gift card to certain merchants such as Best Buy, Lowe’s, Hyatt, or Pizza Hut. The amount of the gift card may be as follows:

Months

$25-$49

$50-$99

$100-$199

$200-$399

$400+

8-11

Discount at a merchant

$5

$5

$10

$20

12-17

$5

$5

$10

$20

$40

18-23

$5

$10

$20

$40

$75

24-35

$10

$20

$40

$75

$100

36+

$20

$40

$75

$100

$250

Green Savings®

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.01% APY for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $4.99
  • How to waive the monthly maintenance fee: Fee is waived for the first four months of account opening. After that, the fee is waived if you keep an average of at least $200 in your account every day.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

Citizens Bank’s Green Savings account is their most basic savings account. It’s also their only savings account to charge a fee, which you can avoid as long as you keep a small amount of cash ($200) in this account.

That means that this account isn’t meant to ever be drained completely lest you face the pesky monthly fee. Make sure you take that into account — i.e., if you’re saving for a specific goal, you’ll need to bump up your savings target by $200 to leave enough in this account after you withdraw the cash.

Citizens Bank Platinum Savings™

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.02% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

This account comes standard with Citizens Bank’s Platinum Checking account. Although this account doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee, the checking account does: $25, unless you qualify to have the fee waived.

The benefits of this savings account aren’t much greater than Green Savings, which you can open without a demanding checking account. Thus, we only recommend this account if you’re interested in the Platinum Checking account anyway.

Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Savings

Amount

$0-$24,999

$25,000-$249,000

$250,000+

APY

0.03%

0.05%

0.07%

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

This is Citizens Bank’s most premium-level savings account. It also comes standard with a Platinum Checking account, meaning that you’ll have to pay a $25 monthly fee for that account as well unless you qualify to have the fee waived.

In return, you get slightly higher savings account rates, as well as higher rates on things like CDs and money market accounts.

CollegeSaver®

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25 if your child is under 6 years old. $500 if your child is 6-12 years old.
  • Interest rate: 0.05% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • Minimum monthly deposit: If your child is under 6 years old, you’ll need to deposit $25 per month until his or her 18th birthday. If your child is between 6 to 12 years old, you’ll need to deposit $50 per month until his or her 18th birthday.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

If you’re looking to save up some extra cash for your kid’s college bill, the CollegeSaver account might be able to help. Be warned, though: it does have some steep requirements. You’ll have to commit to depositing at least $25 into the account ($50 if your child is between ages 6-12) every single month until their 18th birthday. If you can do this, you’ll get a nice bonus: When your child turns 18, Citizens Bank will throw an extra $1,000 into your savings account.

This is a nice idea, but unfortunately this account still doesn’t earn much interest — just 0.05% APY. If saving for your kid’s college is a priority, you may be better off investing that money in a tax-advantaged savings account such as a 529 plan or a Coverdell account.

Citizens Bank HomeBuyer Savings®

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Interest rate: 0.05% for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • Minimum monthly deposit: $100
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

If you’re saving for a house, you might want to consider the Citizens Bank HomeBuyer program. If you can commit to saving $100 per month for 36 months straight, you can get a $1,000 credit toward the closing costs on a Citizens Bank mortgage (assuming you qualify). You also get a free pass to skip one monthly deposit per year without losing eligibility for the $1,000 credit.

If you do earn the credit, be prepared to use it fairly soon: You have another 36 months after you earn the credit to complete the purchase of a home, or lose it.

This sounds like a good plan (and it very well may be), but remember: Just because you get a $1,000 credit at the start of your mortgage doesn’t mean it’ll be cheaper in the long run.

Who knows what mortgage interest rates Citizens Bank will be charging three years from now and whether they’ll be competitive or not. You might end up saving $1,000 now only to shell out thousands more later.

How Citizens Bank savings accounts compare

While we do like some of the unique savings accounts that Citizens Bank offers (specifically the savings accounts for college and home down payments), we think that the interest rates offered are still very low.

Furthermore, their savings accounts either come with unnecessarily high fees, or are linked to checking accounts that do have high fees.

Unless there’s something really tying you to Citizens Bank, we think that you can earn a lot more and pay a lot less with other online savings accounts.

How to get a Citizens Bank Savings account

If you decide a Citizens Bank savings account is right for you, good news: It only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check or a credit or debit card, but once again, if you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

Citizens Bank Money Market Account Options

The rates you can earn on these money market accounts are generally rock-bottom, unless you can qualify for the promotional rates offered on the premium-level accounts.

Personal Money Market

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.01% APY for any amount in your account.
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $10
  • How to waive the monthly maintenance fee: Keep a minimum of $2,500 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? None.
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction.

This account also comes with checks, however watch out: You can only use the checks up to three times per month without incurring an excessive transaction fee. Like savings accounts, you’ll also be limited to just six certain transactions per month according to Federal Regulation D rules. If you go over, you’ll have to pay a $15 transaction fee.

If you end up paying this fee more than three times in a year (or “significantly exceed these transaction limits in any one statement cycle,” as stated in Citizens Bank’s Fees and Features Guide), your account may be automatically downgraded into a non-interest-bearing checking account.

Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market™

Promotional offer: If you deposit at least $25,000 of new-to-Citizens-Bank money in a new Citizens Bank Platinum Money Market account, you’ll earn the following interest rates until November 30, 2018:

Amount

$0-$24,999

$25,000-$2,999,999

$3,000,000+

APY

0.03%

1.00%

0.03%

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.03% APY for any amount in your account (unless you qualify for the promotional rates above).
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • How to waive the monthly maintenance fee: Keep a minimum of $2,500 in your account.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (but not the ATM surcharge, however).
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month (including three checks) as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction or check.

You are eligible to open this account if you have a Platinum Checking account. Like the other premium-level savings accounts, this account has no monthly maintenance fee of its own, but its linked Platinum Checking account does.

Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market™

Promotional offer: If you deposit at least $25,000 of new-to-Citizens-Bank money in a new Citizens Bank Platinum Plus Money Market account, you’ll earn the following interest rates until November 30, 2018:

Amount

$0-$24,999

$25,000-$2,999,999

$3,000,000+

APY

0.05%

1.25%

0.25%

  • Minimum opening deposit: Any amount.
  • Interest rate: 0.10% APY for any amount in your account (unless you qualify for the promotional rates above).
  • Monthly maintenance fee: None.
  • ATM fees: None for Citizens Bank ATMs. $3 for using non-Citizens Bank ATMs, plus whatever surcharge fees the ATM’s owner charges.
  • ATM fee refunds? Your first four non-Citizens Bank ATM charges will be waived each statement period (but not the ATM surcharge, however).
  • Excessive transaction fee: You’re allowed six certain transactions per month (including three checks) as per Federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll be charged $15 per transaction or check.

If you have a Citizens Bank Platinum Plus checking account, you’re eligible to open this corresponding money market account as well. Normally, the rates are very low (0.10% APY), however, if you have enough cash to take advantage of the promotional offer (meaning you have $25,000 stashed somewhere outside of Citizens Bank that you bring in to open a new account), you can earn much more interest.

How Citizens Bank’s Money Market accounts compare

If you can qualify for the promotional rates offered on the Platinum or Platinum Plus Money Market accounts, you can actually earn pretty decent rates. Unfortunately, most people may have a difficult time earning them because you need to deposit at least $25,000 from another non-Citizens Bank account, and the rates only last until November 30th.

If you’re looking to maximize the interest rates you receive on a money market account, you can find better rates with money market accounts from other institutions.

How to get a Citizens Bank Money Market account

If you decide a Citizens Bank money market account is right for you, good news: It only takes about 10 minutes to apply for an account, and you can apply online or in a local branch. All you’ll need is basic personal information (including your social security number), a government-issued photo ID, and some way to fund your account.

You can fund it with a check or a credit or debit card, but if you go the card route, you can only make the minimum opening deposit of $1,000 — you can’t deposit anything more than that.

Citizens Bank IRA Options

These retirement savings vessels are light on information—make sure you do your research before choosing to open an account.

IRA CDs

Citizens Bank offers some less-touted IRA CD options, including terms ranging from one to 120 months. You can get started with one of their IRA CDs with a deposit as small as $250. There is no monthly account maintenance fee.

The interest rates on these IRA CDs are not advertised on their website, however, so you’ll need to contact the bank directly if you’d like to open an IRA CD.

How to get a Citizens Bank IRA CD

If you’re interested in getting a Citizens Bank IRA CD, make sure you do your homework first by calling the bank or visiting them in person to verify the rates and term options for their different CDs.

If you’re looking for a good benchmark to compare the rates, check out other IRA CD options.

IRA Savings

Citizens Bank also offers an IRA Savings account, however they offer just about as much information on it as with their IRA CDs (that is to say, very little).

You can open an IRA Savings account with any amount you wish. Your first four months with this account are free, but after that you’ll need to pay a $4.99 monthly maintenance fee if you don’t keep at least $200 in your account.

How to get a Citizens Bank IRA savings account

Again, if you’re interested in this account you’ll need to either call Citizens Bank or visit a branch to get the information you need to make an informed decision. Specifically, you’ll need to inquire about the interest rate being offered and whether there are any fees associated with the account.

Overall review of Citizens Bank

Citizens Bank does offer some niceties with their accounts. In particular, we like the monetary bonuses they throw in for the CollegeSaver and HomeBuyer Savings accounts, in addition to their GoalTrack gift card bonuses. These rewards may provide just enough incentive if you’re looking to stick to your savings goals.

However, we are not excited about the rates that they offer and the amount of fee baggage that these accounts come with. In this day and age, it’s very easy to find a bank that doesn’t hang you high and dry with fees.

The only reason we can see recommending Citizens Bank is if you want to use an in-person branch exclusively and if Citizens Bank is the closest bank to you. Otherwise, we’d skip past this one in favor of something better.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

TAGS:

Advertiser Disclosure

Reviews

CIT Bank Review: Savings and CD Rates

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

CIT Bank review
iStock

CIT Bank originally started as a business banking system. That’s where the acronym CIT—Commercial Investment Trust—came from. But lest that lead you to believe they aren’t for the average person, take heart: they’ve broadened their services to include several personal banking products.

Still, this is an online-only bank. That’s good news if you’re an internet-savvy consumer looking for great rates, since online-only banks typically don’t have a lot of overhead and can pass the savings along to you in the form of higher rates.

But, how good are these rates, really? And are the terms that CIT bank offers any good?  With one of the highest interest rates currently on the market and zero fees, which we highlight in our review,  it’s certainly a great option for savers looking for low-fee, high-yield accounts.

We’ll look at their two main personal banking products — CDs and savings accounts — in this article to help you make an informed decision about whether CIT Bank is right for you.

Note: All rates are current as of May 8, 2018.

CIT Bank CD rates

Term CDs

CIT Bank Term CDs provide decent returns for your investment and flexibility in determining how interest payments are handled.

Term

APY

6 months

0.72%

1 year

1.32%

13 months

1.90%

18 months

1.95%

2 years

1.40%

3 years

1.30%

4 years

1.50%

5 years

1.70%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $1,000
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For CD terms that are one year or less, three months’ worth of interest is the penalty. For CD terms that are over one year up to three years, the penalty is six months’ worth of interest. For CD terms over three years, the penalty equals 12 months’ worth of interest.

One neat thing about CIT Bank’s Term CDs (and all of their CDs, actually) is how they let you manage the interest you’ve earned on your CDs.

You can choose from three options:

  1. Invest the interest back into the CD
  2. Have the interest you earned taken out and deposited into a CIT Bank savings account
  3. Or, you can have it transferred into another account (such as your checking account at a different bank).

Be warned, though: you won’t earn as much interest over the life of the CD if you choose to withdraw the monthly interest payments.

CIT Bank will give you a heads-up 30 days before your CD matures. Once it does mature, it’ll automatically roll over into another CD with the exact same term length. However, you have a 10-day grace period to withdraw your money, add more cash, or transfer it to a different type of CD.

How to get a CIT Bank term CD

It’s an easy process to open up a CIT Bank Term CD online. You’ll need to apply for an account by providing personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, and a valid form of government-issued ID.

Once you have an account set up, you can fund it by sending in a check or setting up an electronic transfer from another bank.

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

No-Penalty CD

A high-earning option for folks who might need their money before the CD matures — but it’s only available in one-term length.

Term

APY

11 months

1.85%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $1,000
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: None for this CD.

If you think you might need to withdraw your CD before the term is up, CIT Bank’s No-Penalty CD might be right for you. You’re allowed to withdraw everything — principal and interest — once per term without paying an early withdrawal penalty.

The only catch is that you can only do so after a week or so has passed from the time you open your account—meaning your money is locked away for the first six days. Still, a six-day period under lock and key is way better than an 11-month period. Even better, you don’t really sacrifice any potential earnings for choosing this option — currently, the APY on this 11-month No-Penalty CD is even higher than CIT Bank’s 1-year Term CD.

You also get the option to have interest payments deposited right back into your CD account, another CIT Bank savings account, or an external account. CD maturity for this No-Penalty CD works the same as with a regular Term CD. Your 11-month No-Penalty CD will automatically roll over into another 11-month No-Penalty CD once matured, with a 10-day grace period to withdraw the cash or make any changes to the CD itself.

How to get a CIT Bank no-penalty CD

It’s an easy process to open up a CIT Bank No-Penalty CD online. You’ll need to apply for an account by providing personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, and a valid form of government-issued ID.

Once you have an account set up, you can fund it by sending in a check or setting up an electronic transfer from another bank.

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

RampUp™ Plus CD

This CD gives you the option to raise your interest rate and/or add more money — but only once per term.

Term

APY

1 year

1.26%

2 years

1.27%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $25,000
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $25,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For the 1-year CD, you’ll pay three months’ worth of interest. For the 2-year CD, you’ll pay six months’ worth of interest.

One of the downsides of being locked into CDs is that if interest rates go up or you come across a sudden windfall of cash, you’re out of luck. You can’t take advantage of those fortuitous events unless you open a new CD (assuming you have enough cash on hand to meet the CD’s minimum deposit requirement, if there is one).

CIT Bank’s RampUp™ Plus CD changes that. You’ll have the option to adjust your rate once if our rates go up, plus you can add to your deposit once during the term of your CD.

There are some limits, however; you can’t deposit more than $250,000 into your CD account (a wise decision, since this is the limit of FDIC insurance anyway), and the maximum interest rate rise they’ll honor is twice your current APY minus 0.05%. The original length of your term also stays the same — i.e., adding more money or boosting the APY does not increase the length of your term.

Your CD is handled similarly to other CIT Bank CDs once matured. It will roll over into another CD of the same type and term, but you’ll get a 10-day grace period to withdraw the cash, add more money, or change the CD to a different term or type.

How to get a CIT Bank RampUp™ Plus CD

It’s an easy process to open up a CIT RampUp™ Plus CD online. You’ll need to apply for an account by providing personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, and a valid form of government-issued ID.

Once you have an account set up, you can fund it by sending in a check or setting up an electronic transfer from another bank.

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

RampUp™ CDs

This CD account is similar to the RampUp™ Plus, however you aren’t able to add more money during the CD’s term.

Term

APY

3 years

1.20%

4 years

1.38%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $25,000 for the 3-year CD. $50,000 for the 4-year CD.
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $25,000 for the 3-year CD. $50,000 for the 4-year CD.
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months’ worth of interest for the 3-year CD. 12 months’ worth of interest for the 4-year CD.

If you like the idea of being able to raise your rates upward, but want to invest on a slightly longer term, consider a RampUp™ CD. These CDs are offered in three- and four-year terms instead, and also allow you to boost your rates once during each term (again, with a cap of twice your current rate, minus 0.05%).

There are two important differences between these RampUp™ CDs and the shorter-term RampUp™ Plus CDs. The four-year RampUp™ CD has a much higher minimum deposit size — $50,000, versus $25,000 if you’re investing a smaller amount. Additionally, you cannot add more money into these CDs. You only have the option to raise your rates, and that’s it.

Once mature, these CDs will also automatically roll over into another RampUp™ CD of the same type. You’ll have a 10-day grace period to withdraw the money, make any changes to the CD term or type, or add more money.

How to get a CIT Bank RampUp™ CD

It’s an easy process to open up a CIT RampUp™ CD online. You’ll need to apply for an account by providing personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, and a valid form of government-issued ID.

Once you have an account set up, you can fund it by sending in a check or setting up an electronic transfer from another bank.

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

Jumbo CDs

CIT Bank’s Jumbo CDs allow you to earn a slightly higher interest rate for a much larger deposit size.

Term

APY

2 years

1.45%

3 years

1.40%

4 years

1.60%

5 years

1.75%

  • Minimum amount to open an account: $100,000
  • Minimum amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six months’ worth of interest for the 2- and 3-year CDs. 12 months’ worth of interest for the 4- and 5-year CDs.

If you can come to the table with deep pockets — at least $100,000 to be exact — you can open one of CIT Bank’s Jumbo CDs. These big accounts work exactly like the normal term CDs, with one exception: You can earn a slightly higher interest rate.

As with the other CDs, you can also choose to withdraw your interest payments at any time penalty-free to a CIT Bank savings accounts, an external bank account, or just let the interest payments pile up in your CD account so you earn even more.

Once your Jumbo CD matures, it’ll automatically roll over into another Jumbo CD with the same term length. Again, you’ll have a 10-day grace period if you want to withdraw the money, add more funds, or change the CD to a different type or term length.

How to Get a CIT Bank Jumbo CD

It’s an easy process to open up a CIT Jumbo CD online. You’ll need to apply for an account by providing personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, and a valid form of government-issued ID.

Once you have an account set up, you can fund it by sending in a check or setting up an electronic transfer from another bank.

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

How CIT Bank’s CDs compare

We like the diversity of CD products that CIT Bank offers. Rather than just having a one-size-fits-all term CD, you can also choose from jumbo CDs and bump-rate CDs. The interest rates offered on these CDs aren’t the highest CD rates out there, but they’re pretty darn close.

CIT Bank high-yield savings account

This high-yield savings account offers one of the highest interest rates available in the U.S.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

1.55%

$100

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

CIT Bank currently holds one of the top spots for highest interest rate in the nation. While they technically have two interest rate tiers, the interest rate is currently the same for both tiers. However, it is possible that CIT Bank may change it in the future so there are higher interest rates for different deposit sizes.

This bank account is very accessible for anyone who wants to bank online. With a minimum deposit size of $100, nearly anyone can meet the minimum deposit requirements for this account.

The only downside of this account is that it doesn’t come with ATM access. The only way to get money in and out of your account is by electronic transfer, by requesting or sending in a physical check, or by wire transfer.

How to get CIT Bank’s high-yield savings account

It’s an easy process to open up a CIT high-yield savings account online. You’ll need to apply for an account by providing personal information such as your name, Social Security Number, and a valid form of government-issued ID.

Once you have an account set up, you can fund it by sending in a check or setting up an electronic transfer from another bank.

on CIT Bank’s secure website
 

Member FDIC

How CIT Bank’s savings account compares

We really love CIT Bank’s savings account for three reasons. This account has:

  • One of the highest interest rates currently on the market
  • Zero fees
  • A low, easily-achieved minimum deposit size

However, there are a couple of reasons why you may want to consider another one of our top savings account choices. Firstly, this account doesn’t come with an ATM card — leaving you out in the cold if you really need access to your money via this route. Secondly, CIT Bank doesn’t offer a matching checking account, meaning that you’ll still need to rely on another bank for your daily banking needs.

Still, if the lack of an ATM card and having your savings in an external (and very high-earning) savings account don’t bother you, then you really can’t go wrong with this account.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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Reviews

PNC Bank Reviews: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market, and IRA Rates

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1804
Total Assets$370.0B
LEARN MORE on PNC Bank’s secure website
PNC Bank is one of the oldest and largest banks in the country, founded shortly after the American Revolution. Although it is based out of Pittsburgh and its 2,600 branches are mostly located across the Eastern U.S., that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you’re in the western U.S.PNC Bank offers a robust online banking platform with plenty of helpful features. But is it the right bank for you? How do its rates compare with those of other banks? Let’s walk you through the different types of PNC Bank account offerings.
PNC Bank’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.01%

Savings

PNC Bank S is for Savings

0.13%

CD Rates

PNC Bank 12 Month CD

0.30%

CD Rates

PNC Bank 36 Month CD

0.60%

CD Rates

PNC Bank 60 Month CD

It’s important to note that PNC Bank charges different rates across the country. To keep things consistent for comparison purposes, we’ll present you with the rates closest to their headquarters in Pittsburgh using the ZIP code 15222. To see rates for your local area, click here.
All rates are current as of May 6, 2018.

PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet®

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get a super-easy holistic account package when you decide to switch banks? That’s what PNC Bank aims to offer with its Virtual Wallet® kit. It’s a complete set of accounts for everything you need to do, including:

  • Spend : An everyday checking account.
  • Reserve : A savings account for short-term goals, like a vacation or Christmas gifts.
  • Growth : A savings account for long-term goals, like a down payment on a house.

Virtual Wallet® accounts also come with different tiers of interest rates, depending on whether you meet certain qualifications. We’ll do a deeper dive on that later.

What’s really neat about PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet® is that it comes with all sorts of tools to help you manage your money better. Within the checking account, you can take advantage of the following tools:

  • Calendar : Allows you to see scheduled bills and amounts due.
  • Online bill pay : Will pay your bills for you automatically on their due dates.
  • Danger Day : Shows you when you might run out of money for the month.
  • Spending Zone : Allows you to set up and track your spending in a budget.
  • Money Bar : Shows you how your money is divvied up: savings, scheduled for bills, or free to spend.

The Virtual Wallet® even makes it easier to save in Reserve and Growth savings accounts with the following features:

  • Punch The Pig : Gamifies your savings when you hit a pig icon to transfer money to your Growth account.
  • Wish List : Allows you to set up and track individual savings goals separately from each other.
  • Early closure fee: $25 if you close the account within 180 days of opening.
  • Savings Engine : Automatically puts money into savings when you’re paid, or if you pay a bill.

PNC Bank checking accounts with Virtual Wallet®

Virtual Wallet® Basic Checking Account

A basic account for lower-income earners who want to use Virtual Wallet® features to manage their money.
 

Reserve Rates

Standard Growth Rates

Relationship Growth Rates

$1.00 - $2,499.99

0.01%

0.01%

0.05%

$2,5000 and above

0.01%

0.01%

0.10%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee:
    1. Keep at least $500 in your Spend and/or Reserve accounts
    2. Have at least $500 direct-deposited into your Spend account
    3. Be 62 or older
    4. Provide proof of active enrollment in a qualifying education institution (expires six years after the account is enrolled in the student banking program).
  • ATM fees: No charge at PNC Bank ATMs. $3 for every domestic non-PNC Bank ATM transaction, and $5 for every international non-PNC ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $36 per charge, up to four charges per day. $7 per day for each day the account remains overdrawn. Any overdraft fees will be refunded if the overdrafted amount is less than $5. They will not charge you if you set up Overdraft Protection Transfer from your Reserve or Grow accounts.

If you’re looking to take advantage of PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet® account package but don’t earn a huge income, this basic account is where you’ll want to start.

This checking account does come with a rewards program, but we’ll be honest: it is confusing. To earn rewards points, you’ll need to log into the PNC Bank Rewards Portal to see and manually activate customized offers just for you, based on your spending history.

You can redeem your rewards through the online rewards catalog or receive cash back directly into your account. If you link up a PNC Points Visa credit card with your account, you can also earn 25 percent more rewards points for your purchases.

Because of the complexity of assessing the value of the rewards program before you sign up, we think that this is a nice bonus feature but not one you should base your decision on. If you’re looking for cashback rewards, there are many better, more transparent options for you.

If you decide to open a basic Virtual Wallet® account with PNC Bank, the process is relatively straightforward.

You can do it online, over the phone, or in a local branch if one is nearby. Simply provide some basic information (name, address, Social Security number and the like), have a government-issued photo ID ready, and a way to make an opening deposit with your existing bank’s routing and account numbers, or with a debit or credit card.

Virtual Wallet® with Performance Spend

A low-interest-earning account for those who earn a higher income and want to use the Virtual Wallet® package.
 

Reserve Rates

Standard Growth Rates

Relationship Growth Rates

$1.00 - $9,999.99

0.01%

0.01%

0.40%

$10,000 - $24,999.99

0.01%

0.01%

0.40%

$25,000 - $49,999.99

0.01%

0.01%

0.45%

$50,000 - $99,999.99

0.01%

0.01%

0.45%

$100,000 and above

0.01%

0.01%

0.50%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee:
    1. Keep at least $2,000 in your Spend and/or Reserve accounts
    2. Have at least $15,000 in another PNC Bank account or loan
    3. Have at least $2,000 direct-deposited into your Spend account each month ($1,000 for military members).
  • ATM fees: No charge at PNC Bank ATMs. $3 for every domestic non-PNC Bank ATM transaction, and $5 for every international non-PNC ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: Two refunds per statement. However, ATM surcharges from the originating financial institution ATMs may not be refunded.
  • Overdraft fees: $36 per charge, up to four charges per day. $7 per day for each day the account remains overdrawn. Any overdraft fees will be refunded if the overdrafted amount is less than $5. They will not charge you if you set up Overdraft Protection Transfer from your Reserve or Grow accounts.

The Virtual Wallet® with Performance Spend works exactly like the basic Virtual Wallet® accounts, albeit with some extra threshold levels for higher rewards. You’ll need to log into a portal to view and activate different rewards offers for purchases you make. When you’ve accumulated enough rewards, you can redeem them for an unknown amount of cash back or other rewards.

The Performance Spend also adds in a few extra rewards: You get up to two ATM fee refunds per month. You’ll also get discounts on check designs, an annual safe deposit box rental,`free cashier’s checks, and higher rates on certain CDs and IRA CDs You do have the potential to earn slightly higher (but still paltry) interest rates on your savings accounts.

Virtual Wallet® with Performance Select

A low-interest-earning account for high earners who want to take advantage of Virtual Wallet® features.
 

Reserve Rates

Standard Growth Rates

Relationship Growth Rates

$1.00 - $24,999.99

0.01%

0.01%

1.00%

$25,000 - $49,999.99

0.01%

0.01%

1.10%

$50,000 - $99,999.99

0.01%

0.01%

1.20%

$100,000 - $499,999.99

0.01%

0.01%

1.30%

$500,000 and above

0.01%

0.01%

1.30%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee:
    1. Keep at least $5,000 in your Spend and/or Reserve accounts
    2. Have at least $25,000 in another PNC Bank account or loan
    3. Have at least $5,000 direct-deposited into your account each month.
  • ATM fees: None for PNC Bank ATMS and non-PNC Bank ATMS.
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $10 per month in non-PNC Bank surcharges (i.e., the fees the ATM owner tacks on).
  • Overdraft fees: $36 per charge, up to four charges per day. $7 per day for each day the account remains overdrawn. Any overdraft fees will be refunded if the overdrafted amount is less than $5. They will not charge you if you set up Overdraft Protection Transfer from your Reserve or Growth accounts.

This Virtual Wallet® package is built to be used by high-income earners. After all, you do not want to be paying a $25 monthly account fee, especially when you can get a much better rates at another bank. The Performance Select package comes with added bonus perks. In addition to all the perks from the Performance Spending package, you also will have fees waived for more obscure services, such as Stop Payment and ATM statements. You’ll also be eligible for savings on home equity lines of credit and personal lines of credit, and up to $10,000 in identity theft protection reimbursement.

Overall, though, we’re left feeling underwhelmed by the bonus perks that this account offers for all of the requirements.

Bonus: New checking account offer

PNC Bank is currently offering sign-up bonuses with the Virtual Wallet® account package. If you open a new account and meet the requirements, you could be eligible for a lucrative sign-up bonus.The bonus amount and the requirements depend on which account tier you open.

For a basic-level Virtual Wallet account, you’ll need to set up at least $500 of direct deposits into the account and make at least 10 purchases with your debit card. If you do those things, you’ll earn a $50 sign-up bonus.

The next level up is the Performance Spend account. To get the $200 sign-up bonus for this account, you’ll need to set up $2,000 of direct deposits and also make 10 purchases with your debit card.

Finally, you can earn a $300 sign-up bonus by opening a Virtual Wallet package with the Performance Select level. To earn this hefty bonus, you’ll need to schedule a $5,000 direct deposit into your account and make 10 debit card purchases.

PNC Bank checking accounts without Virtual Wallet®

Performance Select Checking

A basic interest-earning checking account for high-income earners who don’t need all the fancy Virtual Wallet® features.

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

APY

$2,000

0.01%

The Virtual Wallet® account package is nice for people who want an all-inclusive money management experience. But what if you’re a high-income earner who just wants a simple, no-frills checking account?

That’s where the base Performance Select Checking account comes in. It has the same fees, reward program, requirements and interest-earning structure as the Virtual Wallet®’s Performance Select, just without the extra two Reserve and Growth savings accounts.

Signing up for the Performance Select checking account is easy and takes just a few minutes. You can go to a local branch if you’re near one, call or sign up online. You’ll need that photo ID, a way to fund your new account, and all the basic info, like Social Security number.

Performance checking

A basic interest-earning checking account for medium-income earners who don’t want Virtual Wallet® features.

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

APY

$2,000

0.01%

PNC Bank’s Performance checking account is its lowest-requirement interest-earning checking account. But with a low interest rate that only applies to balances over $2,000, the amount of money you’ll earn with this account will be peanuts.

Furthermore, if you don’t meet all the same requirements (keeping at least $2,000 in your account, having $2,000 of direct deposits, or having $15,000 in another PNC Bank account or loan) as the Virtual Wallet with Performance Spend, you’ll have to pay a $15 monthly account fee.

This account does come with the same reward structure and banking discounts as the Virtual Wallet® with Performance Spend account, however. If this sounds like the right account for you, you can easily sign up online, via phone or by visiting a local branch.

Standard checking

A basic-reward checking account for lower-income or retired consumers.

If you’re not interested in taking advantage of PNC Bank’s Virtual Wallet® money management features but still want a reward checking account without all the red tape, the Standard account might be for you.

This non-interest-earning account, which carries the same fee, reward, and requirement structure as the basic Virtual Wallet® account package, is easy to sign up for. All you need is a photo ID, basic personal information and a way to fund your account. You can sign up in just a few minutes online, over the phone or at a local branch.

magnifying glass

How PNC’s checking accounts compare

PNC Bank’s checking accounts are, overall, pretty lackluster. The only advantage of using them is that you get access to the Virtual Wallet® account package, which actually does offer some nice money management tools. But you can still get access to budgeting tools and savings apps elsewhere that can do all the same jobs as the Virtual Wallet®.

The rewards structure for these checking accounts is confusing. There’s no way to know whether you’ll earn good rewards, since you have to log into a portal and manually activate them ahead of time. Furthermore, once you do earn those rewards points, you have to redeem them through another portal. Some checking accounts do come with discounts, but they’re mostly on more obscure banking products you probably aren’t going to use much anyway, like cashier’s checks or safety deposit boxes.

These accounts carry a lot of red tape and fees. They also don’t pay much interest, if any. If earning the highest interest rates possible (with the least amount of fine print and fees) is your goal, there are much better checking accounts elsewhere.

PNC Savings Accounts

Standard savings

Low interest rates for a fee-heavy savings account.
 

Standard Rates

Relationship Rates with a checking account

$1.00 - $2,499.99

0.01%

0.05%

$2,500 and above

0.01%

0.10%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee:
    1. Keep $300 in your savings account
    2. Be under age 18
    3. Transfer at least $25 from this account to an Auto Savings account
  • ATM fees: No charge at PNC Bank ATMs. $3 for every domestic non-PNC Bank ATM transaction, and $5 for every international non-PNC Bank ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $36 per charge, up to four charges per day. $7 per day for each day the account remains overdrawn. Any overdraft fees will be refunded if the overdrafted amount is less than $5.

PNC Bank’s basic savings account does technically earn interest — but that’s about all we can say about it. Though national savings account rates average around 0.20% APY, the best you can hope for with this account is 0.10% APY—-and only if you have more than $2,500 in your account and qualify for relationship rates.To do this, you can set up a direct deposit into another account in one of the following amounts:

  1. $500 to a Standard checking account
  2. $2,000 to a Performance checking account
  3. $5,000 to a Performance Select checking account

Alternatively, you can also qualify for the higher rates by making at least five purchases with your PNC Bank credit or debit card.

If you’re not able to meet these requirements for the higher relationship interest rates, you’ll only earn a measly 0.01% APY on your savings. That’s as low as you can go while still technically saying it does earn interest.

Furthermore, there are many hidden-fee traps with this account. For example, if you don’t meet another set of requirements to waive the monthly account fee, you’ll pay a $5 monthly account fee.

At least the bank does make it easy to open an account if you decide you want to go this route. You can do it online, over the phone, or at a local branch. You’ll need just a few minutes of your time along with a photo ID, basic personal information and a way to fund your new account.

“S” is for Savings

Fun savings tools for children, but don’t expect to teach them about earning interest.

Minimum Balance to Earn APY

APY

$1.00

0.01%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee:
    1. Be under age 18
    2. Keep at least $300 in this account
    3. Transfer at least $25 from this account to an Auto Savings account each month
  • ATM fees: No charge at PNC Bank ATMs. $3 for every domestic non-PNC Bank ATM transaction, and $5 for every international non-PNC Bank ATMS.
  • ATM fee refunds: None.
  • Overdraft fees: $36 per charge, up to four charges per day. $7 per day for each day the account remains overdrawn. Any overdraft fees will be refunded if the overdrafted amount is less than $5.

It can be tough to teach young ones about money, but this savings account can help in a few ways. Children can set savings goals for things like a new bike or a toy.When money is deposited into the account, children are presented with a visual of three buckets that they can choose to put the money in:

  1. Saving (for later)
  2. Sharing (to be given to charity or other people)
  3. Spending (to be spent right away)

Even cooler is an interactive learning center where young savers can learn about basic money management from “Sesame Street” characters.

These features are great for teaching basic financial concepts, except for one thing: how compound interest works. This account earns a rock-bottom interest rate of 0.01% APY. Since your child probably isn’t going to be saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in this account, he or she won’t really be able to see compound interest in action.

Luckily, this account is pretty easy to open. All you need is a photo ID for yourself (not your child), a way to fund the account, and your child’s personal information. It only takes a few minutes to complete an application, which you can do online, in person at a local branch or over the phone.

magnifying glass

How PNC’s savings accounts compare

While you can save money with PNC Bank’s savings accounts, they’re not an effective way to earn interest. Their rates are well below the national average of around 0.20% APY and there are many hidden fees that can trip you up if you aren’t a model customer.

The “S” is for Savings account for children is an exception if you’re looking to teach your youngsters about money, however. With its neat interactive interface and “Sesame Street” characters, it can get any child excited about savings.

That doesn’t mean it’s the best tool for the job, though. There are many other savings accounts that offer better rates for both you and your children.

PNC CD Rates

Fixed-rate CDs

Large amounts of cash needed for below-average returns.

Standard rates

$1.00 - $999.99

$1k - $9,999.99

$10k - $24,999.9

$25k - $99,999.99

$100k - $499,999.99

$500k +

1 month

0.04%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

3 months

0.04%

0.05%

0.06%

0.07%

0.08%

0.09%

6 months

0.04%

0.06%

0.08%

0.10%

0.12%

0.14%

12 months

0.04%

0.13%

0.15%

0.18%

0.20%

0.22%

18 months

0.04%

0.18%

0.25%

0.28%

0.30%

0.35%

24 months

0.04%

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

0.38%

0.43%

36 months

0.04%

0.30%

0.35%

0.38%

0.40%

0.45%

48 months

0.04%

0.50%

0.55%

0.65%

0.70%

0.75%

60 months

0.04%

0.60%

0.70%

0.90%

0.95%

1.00%

84 months

0.04%

0.90%

0.95%

1.05%

1.15%

1.25%

120 months

0.04%

1.10%

1.20%

1.30%

1.40%

1.50%

Promotional rates

$1.00 - $999.99

$1k - $9,999.99

$10k - $24,999.99

$25k - $99,999.99

$100k - $499,999.99

$500k +

9 months - Fixed Rate Only

0.04%

0.06%

0.08%

0.10%

0.12%

0.15%

9 months - with Choice/Premium Plan

0.24%

0.26%

0.28%

0.30%

0.32%

0.35%

9 months - with Performance Select/VW Performance

0.29%

0.31%

0.33%

0.35%

0.37%

0.40%

  • Minimum deposit amount: $1,000
  • Interest compounded: Monthly
  • How interest is paid: Deposited into your CD account monthly
  • Grace period: 10 days to decide whether to renew or withdraw the CD
  • Early withdrawal penalties: For CDs with terms between 3 months and one year, you’ll lose the amount of interest you would have earned. For CDs with terms over one year, you’ll lose six months’ worth of interest.

To get started with a PNC Bank Fixed Rate CD, you’ll need a deposit of at least $1,000. The bank will notify you and give you a 10-day grace period when your CD term is due to allow you to decide what to do with it (withdraw, or renew?). If you do nothing, the CD will automatically renew with the same term.Although PNC Bank does allow CDs with a deposit of as little as $1, there’s a hidden catch: deposit amounts between $1 and $999.99 are only available for CDs that are being renewed — which means you can’t start out at this level with your first deposit amount.

Furthermore, the rates offered for their CDs are again very low.

For example, the average national rates for a 1-year and 5-year CD are 0.73% APY and 1.66% APY with a $1,000 deposit, respectively. But PNC Bank? They’re just 0.13% APY and 0.60% APY, respectively—less than half the national average.

If you do decide to open a Fixed Rate CD, you’ll need a bit more information than with a standard checking or savings account. You’ll need current personal and employment information, and a photo ID. You can apply online, at a local branch, or over the phone.

Ready Access CDs

A better option to earn higher interest rates and skirt around the rules of PNC Bank’s savings account.

Term

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

3 months

0.05%

$1,000

12 months

0.15%

$1,000

  • Minimum deposit amount: $1,000
  • Interest compounded: Monthly
  • How interest is paid: Deposited into your CD account monthly
  • Grace period: 10 days to decide whether to renew or withdraw the CD
  • Early withdrawal penalties: You will forfeit any interest earned.

CDs can be tough to invest with. On one hand, they offer higher rates than a savings account. But, if something comes up and you need the cash, you generally can’t withdraw it without paying an early withdrawal fee that could wipe out your earnings.PNC Bank’s Ready Access CD is a great option for these scenarios. While the rates still aren’t the greatest, the 12-month Ready Access CD interest rate is actually higher than their highest-earning savings account that has tons of red tape, fees, and stipulations surrounding it (see PNC Bank’s Standard Savings account above).

You can withdraw the money from this CD at any time penalty-free after the account has been open for at least seven days. These CDs will also automatically renew, meaning they’re a great option to store your emergency savings to earn a higher interest rate. In a worst-case scenario, you won’t be able to pull the money out within a brief seven-day period each year without incurring an early withdrawal fee.

Otherwise, it’s a great way to skirt around the rules and fees of their savings account while still earning a higher rate.

You can open a Ready Access CD online, over the phone or in-person at a local branch. You’ll need a photo ID, employment and personal information, and a way to fund your new account.

Callable CDs

Higher rates that still underperform national averages with added fine print.

Term

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

36 months

0.50%

$10,000

60 months

1.10%

$10,000

  • Minimum deposit amount: $10,000
  • Interest compounded: Monthly
  • How interest is paid: Deposited into your CD account monthly
  • Grace period: 10 days to decide whether to renew or withdraw the CD
  • Early withdrawal penalties: Six months’ worth of interest.

If the rates of PNC Bank’s Fixed Rate CDs left you feeling a bit underwhelmed, you do have an opportunity to earn a slightly higher rate with Callable CDs. Still these rates are around half of what national averages are for these CD term lengths.The way it works is a little confusing. PNC Bank has the right to call back its CD if it decides the interest rate isn’t working in its favor. This just means that it’ll pay out what you’ve already earned instead of paying a higher interest rate for the full term length of the CD. It can only call back the CD after you’ve had it open for 12 months (for a 36-month Callable CD), or 24 months (for a 60-month Callable).

If this happens, you’ll get an advance notice of the actual “call date” of the CD. After this date, you’ll have 10 full days to decide whether you want to withdraw the cash or renew it into another CD. If you do nothing, the bank will automatically roll the funds over into a 12-month fixed-rate CD.

Getting a Callable CD is relatively straightforward, but you’ll need a few pieces of information. You can open an account over the phone or in person at a local branch. You’ll need a photo ID, employment and personal information, and a way to fund your new CD.

Variable-rate CDs

Earn fair rates through a changing interest rate environment.

You’ve probably heard all the kerfuffle surrounding the Federal Reserve changing interest rates. That can cause banks to change their own CD rates, and if you’re locked into a long-term CD, that change might not be in your favor.

Instead, PNC Bank offers an option for these scenarios. You can choose from just one term length — 18 months — and the interest rate you earn will be tied to the current price of a three-month Treasury Bill. As of May 4, 2018, that’s running at 1.80%.

After the 18-month period is up, your variable-rate CD will renew into another CD of the same type.

  • Minimum deposit amount: $1,000
  • Interest compounded: Monthly
  • How interest is paid: Deposited into your CD account monthly
  • Grace period: 10 days to decide whether to renew or withdraw the CD
  • Early withdrawal penalties: You’ll lose six months’ worth of interest.

To open a Variable Rate CD, you’ll need a few things. You’ll need to provide personal information and employment history, as well as a photo ID. You can apply in person at a local branch or over the phone.

Step-rate CDs

Frequent access to your cash with an unknown earning potential.

If you want more frequent access to your money but don’t want to commit to a Ready Access CD, then a step-rate CD might be right for you. This CD is available in 36-month term lengths, which are further subdivided into six six-month terms.

Every six months you’re given a 10-day period where you can withdraw your cash penalty-free if you wish. If you choose to leave it in the account, the interest rate will be bumped up a notch each time.

The downside of this CD is that the bank won’t tell you what the interest rates for each step are until you sign up for an account. So, it’ll be a surprise!

  • Minimum deposit amount: $2,500
  • Interest compounded: Monthly
  • How interest is paid: Deposited into your CD account monthly
  • Grace period: 10 days to decide whether to renew or withdraw the CD
  • Early withdrawal penalties: You’ll lose six months’ worth of interest.

To open a Step Rate CD, simply call PNC Bank or visit them in person if you live near a local branch. You’ll need to provide them with basic personal and employment information, and a photo ID.

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How PNC’s CD rates compare

PNC Bank offers a diverse set of CDs, which is great because it provides you with the most flexibility for your personal situation. Not everyone is able or willing to use a one-size-fits-all CD.

The rates offered for these CDs fall well short of national averages, however. If you’re looking to maximize the amount of return for your money, there are better CD rates at other banks.

PNC Bank’s Money Market Account

Premiere Money Market Account

Decent rates if you can meet the additional requirements.

Balance to earn interest

Standard APY

APY when linked to Performance Checking

APY when linked to Performance Select Checking

$1.00 - $9,999.99

0.03%

0.40%

1.00%

$10k - $24,999.99

0.09%

0.40%

1.00%

$25k - $49,999.99

0.11%

0.45%

1.10%

$50k - $99,999.99

0.13%

0.45%

1.20%

$100k - $249,999.99

0.15%

0.50%

1.30%

$250k - $499,999.99

0.15%

0.50%

1.30%

$500k - $999,999.99

0.17%

0.50%

1.30%

$1M and above

0.17%

0.50%

1.30%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Maximum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12
  • How to waive the account maintenance fee: Keep at least $5,000 in your account.
  • ATM fees: No charge at PNC Bank ATMs. $3 for every domestic non-PNC Bank ATM transaction, and $5 for every international non-PNC Bank ATMS.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $36 per charge, up to four charges per day. $7 per day for each day the account remains overdrawn. Any overdraft fees will be refunded if the overdrafted amount is less than $5.

For most products, PNC Bank offers below-average rates. Its money market account is one exception — if you can meet the added requirements. Otherwise, you’ll earn measly rates and might actually lose money if you have to pay the monthly account fee.To qualify for these higher interest rates, you’ll need to meet at least one of these other requirements in addition to having the extra checking account:

Set up a monthly direct deposit amount ($2,000 to a Performance Checking account, or $5,000 to a Performance Select Checking account)
Make at least five purchases a month with your PNC credit or debit card

Just be sure to watch out for the hidden fees, especially the monthly account maintenance fee. If you’re not able to keep $5,000 in your account, it’ll be a $12 fee each month.

To sign up for a PNC Bank Money Market account, you’ll need to apply either online, in person at a local branch, or over the phone. You’ll need a photo ID, and be able to provide bank account or credit card numbers to provide an opening deposit. Finally, you’ll also need to provide PNC Bank with basic personal information.

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How PNC’s money market account compares

PNC Bank’s basic money market account isn’t anything to write home about on its own. But, if you can take advantage of the higher rates offered if you have a Performance Checking or Performance Select Checking account, you can actually earn decent returns on your savings.

The higher rates offered for customers who qualify are actually right on par with national averages. But, as with the rest of their products, you can still find better money market account rates and terms with other banks.

PNC IRA CDs

Fixed-rate IRA CD account

Low rates for high-fee retirement savings.

Standard rates

$1.00 - $999.99

$1k - $9,999.99

$10k - $24,999.99

$25k - $99,999.99

$100k - $499,999.99

$500k +

6 months

0.04%

0.06%

0.08%

0.10%

0.12%

0.14%

12 months

0.04%

0.13%

0.15%

0.18%

0.20%

0.22%

18 months

0.04%

0.18%

0.25%

0.28%

0.30%

0.35%

24 months

0.04%

0.25%

0.30%

0.35%

0.38%

0.43%

36 months

0.04%

0.30%

0.35%

0.38%

0.40%

0.45%

48 months

0.04%

0.50%

0.55%

0.65%

0.70%

0.75%

60 months

0.04%

0.60%

0.70%

0.90%

0.95%

1.00%

84 months

0.04%

0.90%

0.95%

1.05%

1.15%

1.25%

120 months

0.04%

1.10%

1.20%

1.30%

1.40%

1.50%


Promotional rates - 9-month fixed term

Fixed rate only

Fixed rate with Choice/Premium plan

Fixed Rate with Performance/Performance Select/VW Performance

$1.00 - $999.99

0.04%

0.24%

0.29%

$1k - $9,999.99

0.06%

0.26%

0.31%

$10k - $24,999.99

0.08%

0.28%

0.33%

$25k - $99,999.99

0.10%

0.30%

0.35%

$25k - $99,999.99

0.12%

0.32%

0.37%

$500k+

0.15%

0.35%

0.40%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Annual custodian fee: $25
  • How to waive the annual custodian fee: Keep at least $2,000 in your account.
  • Interest compounded: Monthly
  • How interest is paid: Deposited into your CD account monthly
  • Transfer fee: $25 if transferring money to another PNC savings or checking account, or to another bank.
  • Grace period: 10 days to decide whether to renew or withdraw the CD
  • Early withdrawal penalties: For Fixed Rate IRAs with terms between three months and one year, you’ll lose the amount of interest you would have earned. For CDs with terms over one year, you’ll lose six months’ worth of interest.

This is one of the safest options around for growing your savings. PNC Bank offers multiple term lengths and rate tiers depending on how much money you want to invest and for how long.Although it does offer IRA CDs in amounts from $1.00-$999.99, you actually can’t start your account with these. You can only renew existing IRA CDs in this amount, meaning that you’ll need to bring at least $1,000 to the table if you want to open an account.

If you’d like to open a fixed-rate IRA CD account with PNC Bank, you’ll need to block out about 15 minutes of time from your day. You can apply over the phone, online or in person at a local branch.

Bonus: New IRA account offer

PNC Bank is offering a nice promotion when you sign up for a new IRA Account until June 30, 2018. First, you’ll need to sign up to receive the sign-up bonus coupon. After that, you’ll need to call up PNC Bank or visit a local branch in-person to open your account. You cannot take advantage of this sign-up bonus by signing up for an account online.You’ll also need a hefty deposit amount to be able to take advantage of this offer. You’ll earn the following sign-up bonus based on your deposit amount:

  • $50 sign-up bonus for a $20,000 deposit
  • $100 sign-up bonus for a $50,000 deposit
  • $200 sign-up bonus for a $100,000 deposit
  • $600 sign-up bonus for a $250,000 deposit
  • $1500 sign-up bonus for a $500,000 deposit

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How PNC’s IRA CD rates compare

Unfortunately, PNC Bank falls short of the mark for Fixed Rate IRA CDs as well. The rates offered are measly compared with those of competitors, even when you look at the longest-running CDs with the highest deposit amounts. If you’re looking to grow your money, you can find better rates and terms for IRA CDs elsewhere.

Furthermore, there are fees to watch out for with this account. Unless you come to the table with a $2,000 minimum deposit, you’ll have to pay an annual account fee. If you ever want to transfer your money out of the bank, you’ll need to pay another fee. These fees could really eat into your already-tiny earnings.

PNC Bank’s Student Virtual Wallet® Review

Student Virtual Wallet® Account

Great account package for young adults to learn money management skills.
 

Reserve Rates

Standard Growth Rates

Relationship Growth Rates

$1.00 - $2,499.99

0.01%

0.01%

0.05%

$2,5000 and above

0.01%

0.01%

0.10%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None if you provide proof that you’re actively enrolled in an educational institution. Status expires 6 years from when you open the account.
  • ATM fees: No charge at PNC Bank ATMs. $3 for every domestic non-PNC Bank ATM transaction, and $5 for every international non-PNC Bank ATMS.
  • ATM fee refunds: Two per month. ATM surcharges (i.e., the extra fee the ATM’s owner tacks on) are not refunded.
  • Overdraft fees: Your first overdraft fee within 12 months of account opening will be refunded.

PNC Bank offers all the functionality and perks of its regular Virtual Wallet® package (Spend, Reserve, and Growth accounts) with added bonuses for students. One of these great features is parental alerts, so parents can also see, along with students, when the account balance is low.

This account package also comes with helpful financial education. It provides in-person financial education seminars if you’re lucky enough to have a local branch on your campus.

Opening an account is the same as for the regular Virtual Wallet® accounts. In addition, you’ll need some way to prove that you actually are a student for this particular account.

Overall review of PNC Bank

We’ll be honest. PNC Bank really does offer some neat money management tools, especially with its Virtual Wallet® and “S” is for Savings® accounts. These accounts come with seamless tools that help you to simplify your hectic financial life.But that doesn’t mean these are the only places you can get these tools. Other financial products such as Mint or FamZoo can also do just about everything that the Virtual Wallet® does. You’ll have to do research and piecemeal these tools together to create a custom package for you, but it is possible to replace all the functionality of the PNC offerings with other products.

Furthermore, PNC Bank offers rock-bottom rates and super-high fees for most of its banking products. Unless you’re a model customer, these fees have the potential to wipe out your meager earnings.

Instead, you can search for higher-earning, more transparent checking and savings accounts elsewhere and finding your own budgeting and savings tools to help you manage your money. That way, you’ll have the best of both worlds: custom ways to simplify your finances and, with luck and due diligence, the highest-earning accounts possible.

Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are 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 card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here

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