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

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Reviewed By

Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Woodforest National Bank’s checking account options

Woodforest Checking

This is a no-frills, low-fee account for everyday checking needs, although it does not pay any interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6.95; can be waived with a $100 minimum daily balance
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29; can be reduced as outlined below

The Woodforest Checking account is the bank’s most basic, but it comes with a number of fees that many lower-tier accounts do not. For example, customers are charged a one-time, $15 debit card setup fee, in addition to a $25 account closing fee if the account is closed within 180 days of opening.

The monthly maintenance fee can be eliminated with a monthly direct deposit or the maintenance of a small minimum balance at all times. Customers wanting paper statements will be assessed an additional fee of $3 each cycle.

When it comes to overdrafts, customers have no fewer than five options as to how to process them:

  • No overdraft service, in which case drafts are declined and the non-sufficient funds fee is assessed
  • Overdraft transfer, in which a $5 fee is assessed to sweep funds from a backup account
  • An unsecured line of credit, in which a 15.99% APY credit line pays for overdrafts
  • A secured line of credit, in which a 7.99% APY credit line pays for overdrafts
  • Privilege Pay, which is a standard overdraft service in which drafts are paid and the full overdraft fee is assessed

As many as three overdraft fees can be charged per day.

The Woodforest National Bank checking account pays no interest to account holders. As with all of their accounts with ATM access, non-Woodforest National Bank ATM access triggers a fee.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Second Chance Checking

Woodforest National Bank’s Second Chance Checking is a starter account for those who may have trouble opening a standard checking account due to prior financial difficulties.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $11.95 without monthly direct deposit; $9.95 with monthly direct deposit
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29; can be reduced as outlined below

Second Chance checking charges a significant monthly fee that cannot be avoided, although it can be reduced with a monthly direct deposit. The account has a similar fee structure to the bank’s Woodforest Checking account, including the $25 account closure fee (within the first 180 days), the $3 paper statement fee and the $15 initial debit card setup fee. However, this account levies an additional one-time account setup fee of $9.

Second Chance Checking offers customers the same five options as the Woodforest Checking account when it comes to overdrafts, and it also pays no interest.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Choice Checking

Choice Checking is Woodforest National Bank’s standard checking account, with unlimited check writing and interest earned on qualifying balances.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, $7.50 or $0, based on daily balance (outlined below)
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29; can be reduced as outlined below

Choice Checking levies a $10 monthly fee if a customer’s account balance is below $100 on any day of the statement period. This fee drops to $7.50 when a balance is below $750 or zero with balances $750 and above.

The account pays interest on a daily balance of $1,000 or more. The interest rate is not tiered, so all qualifying balances earn the same rate.

Choice Checking’s basic fee structure mirrors that of the bank’s Woodforest Checking account, with a $15 one-time debit card setup fee, a $25 fee on accounts closed within 180 days and a $29 overdraft fee that can be addressed in one of five ways, as outlined above.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Sterling Advantage

This account is an interest-bearing checking account designed for customers age 55 or older, and it has no monthly maintenance fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.03%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29; can be reduced as outlined below

The Sterling Advantage checking account is the only Woodforest National Bank checking account that charges no monthly fee by default. The account also pays interest on all balances of $1,000 or more. Most of the other fees and characteristics of the account are similar to the bank’s other checking accounts, including the ATM and NSF fee structures. However, another important distinction is that Sterling Advantage Checking doesn’t charge a $15 initial debit card setup fee.

Sterling Advantage also comes with custom wallet checks and no-fee cashiers checks, notary services and money orders. This helps set the account apart from the Woodforest Checking, Second Chance Checking and Choice Checking accounts.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Platinum Plus Checking

Platinum Plus Checking is Woodforest National Bank’s top account, paying the highest rate of interest and requiring the biggest balance to waive the monthly fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25, can be waived with $10,000 minimum daily balance
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29; can be reduced as outlined below

The Platinum Plus Checking account is Woodforest National Bank’s premier checking product. The interest rate is the highest on any of the bank’s checking account, and it is paid on all balances, no matter how small.

The account’s monthly maintenance fee is steep at $25, and it can only be waived with a large, $10,000 minimum daily account balance. Platinum Plus Checking comes with the same fee-free additional features as the Sterling Advantage account, namely:

  • Custom wallet checks
  • Debit card
  • Cashiers checks
  • Money orders
  • Notary services

Overdraft protection options are the same as with the bank’s other checking accounts, meaning the $29 fee can be reduced to $5 using the sweep option from a backup account.

How to get Woodforest National Bank’s checking accounts

As mentioned above, customers cannot open Woodforest National Bank checking accounts online. All new Woodforest National Bank accounts must be opened inside a branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

magnifying glass

How Woodforest National Bank’s checking accounts compare

Woodforest National Bank offers five types of checking accounts, more than most institutions. However, only three of those accounts pay interest, and rates are low. For the Sterling Advantage and Choice Checking accounts, rates are below the national average and are nowhere near the best rates for checking accounts available nationally. The Platinum Plus Checking account fares better compared with the national average, but still can’t compete with the top rates available elsewhere.

With the exception of the Sterling Advantage account, which carries no fee, Woodforest National Bank checking accounts can be expensive. Although the Woodforest Checking account fee can be waived with a small minimum balance, the fee is high for a “basic” checking account. The Second Chance Checking fee is also high and cannot be avoided, while the Platinum Plus fee is very high and requires a large minimum balance for a fee waiver.

On the benefits front, most of the Woodforest National Bank checking accounts offer basic services. The Sterling Advantage and Platinum Plus Checking accounts offer some nice fee-free services, such as cashier’s checks and notary services, but nothing exceptional.

Woodforest National Bank’s savings account options

Savings account

Woodforest National Bank’s standard personal savings account offers ATM access, and pays interest at rates that are tiered and vary based on deposit size.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.03%
$0.01 - $9,999.99
0.05%
$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3; $0 with daily balance of at least $200
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29; can be reduced as outlined below

Woodforest National Bank’s savings account pays a higher interest rate on balances of $10,000 or more. However, all balances earn interest, regardless of how small.

The account’s $3 monthly fee can be avoided with a $200 minimum daily balance. ATM fees are the same as with the bank’s checking accounts, at $2.50 per non-Woodforest National Bank ATM withdrawal and free for in-network transactions. However, in the savings account, fee-free withdrawals are limited to three per month. After that, each debit is charged a $2 excessive withdrawal fee. As this account falls under Federal Reserve Regulation D, up to six debits are allowed per statement cycle, with excess withdrawals/transfers triggering a $10 fee.

The savings account otherwise has the same fee structure as most of the bank’s checking accounts, with a $3 paper statement fee, a $29 NSF fee (that can be reduced to $5 with overdraft protection), and a one-time, $15 setup fee for the debit card.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Minor Savings account

The Minor Savings Account is Woodforest National Bank’s Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) account, set up by a custodian for account holders under age 18.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29 per item

Woodforest National Bank’s Minor Savings account is an under-18 account designed to help younger savers get familiar with banking and financial transactions. With a small opening deposit requirement and no monthly fee, it’s an ideal way for young account holders to get access to a savings account.

The bank does not recommend that customers choose an ATM card with this account, as it carries the same excess activity fee of $10 per transaction in excess of six per month. Further, there is no overdraft protection available for this account, meaning the $29 fee would apply to every overdrawn transaction. However, debit card access is available, and it carries the same ATM fee structure as the bank’s other savings accounts: $0 at Woodforest National Bank ATMs, and $2.50 at other ATMs. Those who choose the debit card option will face the same $15 debit card setup fee that is standard across most Woodforest National Bank accounts. The Minor Savings account also has a $3 paper statement fee.

How to get Woodforest National Bank’s savings accounts

As mentioned above, customers cannot open Woodforest National Bank savings accounts online. All new Woodforest National Bank accounts must be opened inside a branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

magnifying glass

How Woodforest National Bank’s savings accounts compare

Woodforest National Bank’s standard Savings account is a traditional, straightforward account without a lot of bells and whistles. It carries a monthly fee that is easily waived, and an overdraft fee that can be dramatically reduced through overdraft protection. However, the initial setup fee for the debit card is a banking relic of the past that most institutions no longer charge.
Although all deposits earn interest, the rate paid is low. Even for the highest tier, rates are below the national average and not even in the same ballpark as the best available national savings rates.

Woodforest National Bank’s CD rates

Regular CDs

Woodforest National Bank’s certificates of deposit come in a standard range of maturities, but there are no promotional or special CD rates available.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm Length
0.05%
$5001 Month
0.05%
$5003 Month
0.05%
$5006 Month
0.15%
$5001 Year
0.20%
$5002 Year
0.25%
$5003 Year
0.35%
$5004 Year
0.45%
$5005 Year
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: By formula, (principal amount forfeited x interest rate)/(365 x number of days’ interest forfeited)

Woodforest National Bank’s CDs range in maturity from 1 month to 5 years. A low $500 minimum deposit is enough to open an account. Interest is calculated using the daily balance method. Rates are not tiered, and only a standard maturity schedule is offered. Jumbo deposits or other qualifying activities that commonly get higher rates at other banks are not available at Woodforest National Bank.

How to get Woodforest National Bank’s CDs

As mentioned above, customers cannot open Woodforest National Bank’s CDs online. All new Woodforest National Bank accounts must be opened inside a branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

magnifying glass

How Woodforest National Bank’s CD rates compare

Woodforest National Bank’s CD rates are not competitive. For every maturity, the rates paid are well short of the national average CD rates, and there is no comparison at all with the best available national CD rates. Unlike many banks, Woodforest National Bank does not offer any promotional or enhanced CD rates, so customers are left to choose from a standard range of CD maturities with below-average yields. However, account minimums are reasonable, as are the early withdrawal penalties.

Woodforest National Bank’s money market account option

Big Account

The Big Account is a money market account that offers check-writing privileges and pays an interest rate on all balances. The Big Account does have a monthly fee that can be waived with a minimum account balance.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10; $0 with $1,000 daily minimum balance
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29 per item

The Big Account is similar to a savings account, except this money market product allows check writing. Monthly maintenance fees are assessed if account balances fall below $1,000. Overdraft and ATM fees are the same as with the bank’s basic checking and savings accounts; thus, non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs are hit with a $2.50 service charge, while overdrafts are $29 unless covered by an associated credit line or reduced to $5 through overdraft transfer protection.

Interest rates are paid on all money market balances in the Big Account, and rates are not tiered, so all customers get the same rate regardless of account size. As this account falls under Federal Reserve Regulation D, up to six debits are allowed per statement cycle, with excess withdrawals triggering a $10 fee. Paper statements cost $3 with this account, and there’s a $15, one-time debit card setup fee.

Additional features available at no extra charge with the money market account include online and mobile banking access, daily email balance notification and eStatements.

How to get Woodforest National Bank’s money market account

As mentioned above, customers cannot open Woodforest National Bank’s money market account online. All new Woodforest National Bank accounts must be opened inside a branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

magnifying glass

How Woodforest National Bank’s money market account compares

Woodforest National Bank’s Big Account money market option offers some standard banking features, such as mobile and online access, free of charge. However, the account does have a moderate monthly fee if a minimum balance is not maintained. As is standard with most money market accounts, check writing is available for up to six transactions per statement cycle. The interest rate paid is low compared with the national average for money market accounts, and it’s a far cry from the best available money market rates nationwide.

Woodforest National Bank’s IRA options

IRA CDs

Woodforest National Bank’s IRA CDs have the same rates as the bank’s non-IRA CDs, but with limited maturity choices.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm Length
0.05%
$5006 Month
0.15%
$5001 Year
0.20%
$5002 Year
0.25%
$5003 Year
0.35%
$5004 Year
0.45%
$5005 Year
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: By formula, (principal amount forfeited x interest rate)/(365 x number of days’ interest forfeited)

Woodforest National Bank uses the daily balance method to determine the interest on its IRA CDs, just as with its non-IRA CDs. An early withdrawal penalty applies to money taken out before the end of a CD’s term.

How to get Woodforest National Bank’s IRA CDs

As mentioned above, customers cannot open Woodforest National Bank IRA CDs online. All new Woodforest National Bank accounts must be opened inside a branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

magnifying glass

How Woodforest National Bank’s IRA CDs compare

For every maturity, Woodforest National Bank’s IRA CDs are well below the national average CD rates. The best available national IRA CD rates are vastly superior to those offered at Woodforest National Bank, paying many times the rates offered by the bank. Account minimums are reasonable, as are the early withdrawal penalties.

Overall review of Woodforest National Bank’s products

Woodforest National Bank offers a fairly broad range of account types. Customers can open everything from checking and savings accounts to money markets, CDs and IRA CDs at the bank. However, rates paid across all products are low. In every category in which Woodforest National Bank has an account, the APYs can’t top the national average rates, and in no case are the interest rates paid on par with the best rates available from competitors.

On top of this, fees for many of the accounts are high, and oftentimes unnecessary or unusual. For example, many of Woodforest National Bank’s accounts charge a $15 setup fee for debit card usage, something not really seen at competitor banks. The account-opening process is also antiquated, with no option to open accounts online. Overall, customers can likely find a better alternative for their banking needs than what Woodforest National Bank offers.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Do you have a question?