Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Bank of the West Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Bank of the West Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts
09 Nov
7:09

Bank of the West’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.04%

Savings

Bank of the West Online Savings

1.90%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.12%

CD Rates

Bank of the West 12 – 23 Month Flexible Term CD

2.50%

Synchrony Bank 12 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.55%

CD Rates

Bank of the West 36 – 47 Month Flexible Term CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.65%

CD Rates

Bank of the West 48 – 60 Month Flexible Term CD

3.10%

Synchrony Bank 60 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Bank of the West’s checking account options

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How Bank of the West’s checking accounts compare

The two Bank of the West checking accounts serve two very different markets, but they do a solid job in each. The Any Deposit Checking account is a good choice for someone who lives close to Bank of the West ATMs and wants a simple, free checking option. It’s incredibly easy to avoid the maintenance fee as the only requirement is to make a monthly deposit of any kind and any amount (or if you are younger than 25).

The Premier Checking account offers free worldwide ATM access and adds discounts and bonuses for other services at Bank of the West. It can be a helpful addition for someone who plans on using the other loans, investments or deposit accounts at Bank of the West and plans on keeping a larger amount of money with the bank — at least $25,000 to avoid the maintenance fee.

The big downside of these accounts is their interest rates: Any Deposit Checking doesn’t pay interest, while Premier Checking offers a rate that is next to nothing. If you’d like to earn interest on your money while still receiving similar benefits, these top online checking accounts could be a better alternative.

Bank of the West’s savings account option

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How Bank of the West’s savings account compares

We are not big fans of the Bank of the West savings account. The interest rate is practically nonexistent and doesn’t increase, even for large deposits.

There are some positives, such as the unlimited ATM withdrawals and a small, easy-to-avoid monthly maintenance fee. But if you’re going to set up a savings account, chances are you want to earn at least some return on your money. These other savings accounts are better options because they are still very low-cost and offer much higher interest rates.

Bank of the West’s CD rates

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How Bank of the West’s CDs compare

Bank of the West’s CDs simply don’t pay a high enough interest rate. Even if you use its Relationship CDs, the rate is still much lower than what you could get from the best CDs in the country.

The rate aside, there are some nice features. You can open the CDs with relatively small deposits, and we like that the early withdrawal penalty is only a percentage of what you take out. That way, withdrawing a small amount will lead to a smaller penalty. With other banks, the penalty is usually the same size regardless of how much you take out.

The ability to choose your CD length on the Flexible-Term product could also be attractive if you have a strict timeline for when you need your money and want a CD that matches exactly that.

Bank of the West’s money market account option

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How Bank of the West’s money market account compares

The Bank of the West money market account is a clear upgrade over its savings account. It pays a higher interest rate, offers the same unlimited ATM withdrawals and only has slightly tougher standards to avoid the monthly maintenance fee.

But even with the upgrades, the Bank of the West money market account is still not that competitive compared to what else is out there. Its interest rate is just too low, even for larger deposits. Take a look at these top money market accounts to see how you could do better versus Bank of the West.

Bank of the West’s IRA account options

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How Bank of the West IRA CDs compare

Bank of the West’s IRA CDs have the same problem as its regular CDs: interest rates are too low. While Bank of the West offers a nice variety of terms, you won’t be earning much, no matter what level you pick. The IRA CDs don’t have the Relationship CD rates so they earn even less than the normal Bank of the West CDs.

You have to be careful with making a small deposit, too. While you can open a Bank of the West IRA CD with a deposit as low as $100, making such a small deposit doesn’t make sense because of the $12 annual fee. The interest rates are so low that whatever you’d earn would most likely get wiped out — and more — by the fee. You might think you’re building retirement savings, but chances are you’d be losing money.

Other IRA CDs found elsewhere require a larger initial deposit — of at least $500 — but will pay you a much higher return on your money. You’re better off waiting until you can open one of these rather than accepting a $100 IRA CD with Bank of the West, which would get wiped out by the annual fee.

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David Rodeck

David Rodeck |

David Rodeck is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email David here

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Source: https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/reviews/bank-of-the-west/

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