TIAA Bank Reviews: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Thursday, October 1, 2020

TIAA Bank’s checking account option

Yield Pledge® Checking

Offers an attractive introductory APY rate, as well as a competitive standard APY that TIAA pledges will always be among the top 5% of rates offered for a checking account.
APYBalance to Earn APY
0.12%$0.01 - $9,999.99
0.12%$10,000 - $24,999.99
0.12%$25,000 - $49,999.99
0.12%$50,000 - $99,999.99
0.12%$100,000 - $10,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None, but the ATM’s owner may charge its own surcharge fees.
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $15 each month. Account holders with a minimum average daily balance of $5,000 or more will get unlimited ATM fee reimbursements.
  • Overdraft fee: There are two overdraft options. The first is a $30 fee that applies to all overdrafts except those created by TIAA Bank’s Visa debit card or ATM card. Limited to two per day per account. The second option is a line of credit.

TIAA Bank offers a competitive annual percentage yield (APY) and its Yield Pledge checking account comes with minimal fees. Also, the minimum opening deposit required isn’t too big to earn the bank’s APY. If you’d like to earn some interest, this account is a step up from the basic checking account offered by other banks. With this account, you get access to free bill pay, mobile banking and a free Visa debit card. Your first 20 checks are free.

As of January 31, 2020, there is an introductory APY rate of 1.01% on balances up to $250,000 that is offered to new client accounts for the first 12 months. Existing TIAA Bank customers will need to fund a new account with money from an external account in order to be eligible for the intro rate.

There are two overdraft options. The first is to link another checking, money market or savings account to your Yield Pledge checking account. If you overdraw your account, the bank will pull the extra amount to cover the overdraft from the linked account covers it. You still pay a $30 fee for each overdrawn item.

The second option is a line of credit, which is variable and based on the market prime rate plus a margin of 5.90%. This rate may change at any time, and will be adjusted in your account each month (if you use it). Also, any outstanding balance requires payment from a linked account.

TIAA Bank offers a Yield Pledge program: Your checking account will remain in the top 5% of other competitor accounts — the 10 biggest banks in the top 10 largest banking markets. This is to encourage you to keep banking with TIAA Bank even after the introductory APY expires.

How to get TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge checking account

Opening a checking account can be done in as little as five minutes using TIAA Bank’s online application form. You’ll need to select “Yield Pledge Checking” under the “Basic Accounts” section. You’ll then be asked to fill in your personal details, including citizenship status, address and employment information. The bank will also ask you to create a security code as an extra layer of security when contacting its customer service.

Once you agree to the bank’s terms and review your information, you’ll need to fund your account by online transfer, mobile deposit or via mail. Alternatively, you can call customer service at 888-882-3837 or apply at a branch in person — although there are only a handful of branches and they’re all in Florida.

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How TIAA Bank’s checking account compares

TIAA’s checking account offers low fees and free features. The Yield Pledge account carries a very good APY that’s up there with the very best, as seen on our list of the top high-yield checking accounts. Unlike many of its competitors, TIAA Bank doesn’t charge ATM fees and even offers ATM fee reimbursements.

TIAA Bank’s certificate of deposit (CD) rates

Bump Rate CD

Offers the option to increase your APY once during your CD term.
TermAPY
3.5 years0.65%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 318 days of simple interest

The Bump Rate CD offers account holders the opportunity to take advantage of possible rate increases any time before maturity. TIAA Bank touts that customers can choose when to contact the bank for the rate increase (if, at all, during the 3.5-year term), but it cannot guarantee you’ll receive the best rate. The account has a maximum of $250,000, and it’s important to note that there is a limit of one Bump Rate CD per customer at a time.

To receive a rate increase, it’s up to you to monitor the TIAA Bank website for current rates. Once you decide you want to take advantage of the rate increase, you’ll need to call 888-882-3837 during regular business hours to do so. You can only have one Bump Rate CD at any time and request a rate increase once. There’s an option to transfer dividends to your TIAA Bank checking or money market account or keep it in the CD.

When your account matures, you have a 10-day grace period where you can either close the account, make additional deposits or renew for another term. Otherwise, it’ll automatically be renewed at the current APY as long as the bank continues to offer this product.

Like some of TIAA Bank’s other CD options, the Bump Rate CD is IRA-eligible, but you will need to call 855-291-1840 and open the account over the phone if you want to open it as an IRA.

How to get TIAA Bank’s Bump Rate CDs

You can open a Bump Rate CD by completing an application form. Once you select to open the Bump Rate CD, you’ll need to enter information, such as name, address, citizenship information and employment details. On the form is also an area to create a security code, which is meant for security purposes when you need to verify your identity if you ever need to contact customer service later on.

After confirming your entered information and agreeing to the terms, you’ll then fund your account either by mobile deposit, mailing a check, making a deposit into your account in a Florida branch, or via online transfer.

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Yield Pledge CD

Offers guaranteed rate adjustments so that you’re getting the top 5% of yields of CD accounts nationwide.
TermAPY
3 months0.35%
6 months0.65%
9 months0.80%
1 year0.90%
1.5 years0.95%
2 years1.00%
2.5 years0.90%
3 years1.05%
4 years1.21%
5 years1.30%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty, which depend on the original term of the CD, are:
    • 3 months: 22 days’ simple interest
    • 6 months: 45 days’ simple interest
    • 9 months: 68 days’ simple interest
    • 1 year: 91 days’ simple interest
    • 1.5 years: 136 days’ simple interest
    • 2 years: 182 days’ simple interest
    • 2.5 years: 228 days’ simple interest
    • 3 years: 273 days’ simple interest
    • 4 years: 365 days’ simple interest
    • 5 years: 456 days’ simple interest

With TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge program, rates for your specific CD account will be in the top 5% of competitor CDs — from the 10 largest banks in the 10 biggest banking markets — whenever you open, renew or roll any CD into a new Yield Pledge CD account.

As in the other CD products, interest is compounded daily and credited monthly, either in your CD, TIAA Bank checking or money market account. You’ll get a 20-day notice before account maturity, then a 10-day grace period when you can make additional deposits, withdraw your cash or renew for another term. If you do nothing, your account will be automatically renewed.

Like some of TIAA Bank’s other CD options, the Yield Pledge CD is IRA-eligible, but you will need to call 855-291-1840 and open the account over the phone if you want to open it as an IRA.

How to get a TIAA Bank Yield Pledge CD

Complete an online application form in as little as five minutes to open this high-yield CD. Select the product and term you want and then enter your personal details, such as name, employment information and citizenship information. You’ll also need to create a security code to use when contacting the bank’s customer service.

After confirming your entered information and agreeing to the terms, you’ll then fund your account either by mobile deposit, mailing a check, making a deposit into your account in a Florida branch, or via online transfer.

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CDARS® Service CD

Helps you obtain FDIC insurance on multimillion-dollar CDs.
TermAPYMaximum Deposit Limit
3 months0.10%$10 million
6 months0.10%$10 million
1 year0.20%$12.5 million
2 years0.20%$2.5 million
3 years0.20%$1 million
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $10,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty, which depend on the original term of the CD, are
    • 3 months: 90 days’ simple interest
    • 6 months: 90 days’ simple interest
    • 1 year: 180 days’ simple interest
    • 2 years: 360 days’ simple interest
    • 3 years: 540 days’ simple interest
    • 5 years: 900 days’ simple interest

CDARs stands for Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service. This service helps institutions deposit their customers’ CD investments in multiple accounts at different banks in order to obtain FDIC insurance coverage for large deposits.

Most of us probably won’t be depositing millions of dollars into a CD. This option is designed for investors who need to obtain FDIC insurance on large deposits. The rates are comparable to the others on offer, but this account is best for those who have a large chunk of cash and want a conservative investment vehicle.

Interest earned is compounded daily and credited monthly, and it can either be deposited into your checking or savings account. You’ll get a 20-day notice before your account matures. This type of CD won’t renew, so you’ll need to make a decision before your account matures as to where the funds should go.

This account is not as straightforward to open as the other CD accounts, so you’ll want to make sure to read the next section on how to open one. This specific type of CD is not IRA-eligible.

How to get TIAA Bank’s CDARS service CDs

To open a CDARS Service CD, you’ll need to fill out an online application form. After selecting that you want to open a CDARS Service CD, you’ll need to enter your personal details, such as name, address and employment information. The form will also ask you to create a security code. You can also call a banking agent at 855-529-6748.

Once you confirm all details and agree to the disclosures, you’ll need to fund your account. You’ll need to either send a check, or make an internal account transfer or a wire transfer. There are deadlines you’ll need to meet, and each method has its own deadline.

Instead of the money being directly funded into a CDARS account, it’ll be held in a designated Yield Pledge money market account in your name until TIAA Bank officially opens the CDARS account. When that happens, the Yield Pledge money market account will be closed.

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How TIAA Bank’s CD rates compare

All of TIAA Bank’s CD products offer competitive rates and a wide range of terms compared to those at other banks. While some of the rates are slightly lower than the top-ranked options on our list of the best CD rates, TIAA Bank offers CDs with slightly lower minimum deposits. Considering that there are also CDs that can be FDIC-insured above $250,000, any of TIAA Bank’s CDs could be considered an attractive choice.

TIAA Bank’s money market account

Yield Pledge® Money Market

Minimal fees and a very attractive introductory APY for the first 12 months. After that, the Yield Pledge Money Market account pays a competitive APY.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.50%$0.01 - $9,999.99
0.50%$10,000 - $24,999.99
0.50%$25,000 - $49,999.99
0.50%$50,000 - $99,999.99
0.50%$100,000 - $249,999.99
0.50%$250,000 - $10 million
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None, but the ATM’s owner may charge its own surcharge fees.
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $15 each month. Account holders with a minimum average daily balance of $5,000 or more will get unlimited ATM fee reimbursements.
  • Overdraft fee: None if funds transferred from a TIAA Bank account.

The Yield Pledge money market account is a great option for those who are looking for a place to store their cash with some liquidity and a competitive rate. As of January 31, 2020 TIAA Bank offers a great 1.75% APY introductory rate for new client accounts with balances up to $250,000 for the first 12 months. After the first year, your APY depends on your balance, as seen in the chart above.

Like the other Yield Pledge accounts, the money market accounts offer the same guarantees in that the APY will give you a yield in the top 5% of competitor accounts. Even though there aren’t any ATM fees, there is a $10 excess transaction fee, Federal Reserve’s Regulation D mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle. If you continue to exceed the limit, your account may be converted to a checking account.

The Yield Pledge Money Market account is IRA-eligible, but you will need to call 855-291-1840 and open the account over the phone if you want to open it as an IRA.

How to get TIAA Bank’s money market account

To open a money market account, fill out an online application form on the bank’s website. You’ll need to indicate which account you want to open and enter your personal information, such as your name, address and employment information. There’s also a section to create a security code, meant to be an extra layer of security when verifying your identity whenever you need to contact customer service.

Once you complete the application, you can fund the account by mobile deposit, mailing a check, visiting a branch in person, or through an online transfer.

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How TIAA Bank’s money market account compares

The introductory rate is on par with the best offerings out there, including the low minimum balance amount. As for the ongoing APYs, they’re still decent, though not nearly as high as some of the competitors on our list of the best money market account rates. You’re also looking at higher minimum balance amounts to get higher APYs for TIAA Bank’s money market account. If you don’t intend on keeping a lot in the account but want competitive rates, you could look elsewhere.

Overall review of TIAA Bank’s banking products

TIAA Bank’s products offer attractive rates and require low minimum opening deposits, making them accessible to many customers. Most of its products do not have ATM or monthly maintenance fees, which can help account holders save some of their hard-earned cash.
While there are higher rates out there, not all offer the same perks as TIAA Bank does when it comes to ATM fees and refunds. If you intend on making a lot of ATM transactions, TIAA Bank’s banking products are a great choice. Even otherwise, its rates are worth sticking around for.

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