Waiving fees isn’t complicated, and its structure is concise.
Headquartered in San Francisco and primarily based in — you guessed it — the western states, Bank of the West‘s product list is relatively short compared to competitors. It’s a straightforward approach that it also applies to its clear-cut fee structures. But you must live in a state with a branch location in order to open an account.
What banking products does Bank of the West offer?
Its checking accounts feature secure chip debit cards, online protection and fraud protection guarantee. Savings accounts also allow for mobile deposits, payments and transfers.
How does it compare to other banks or services?
It’s more regional than industry giants like Wells Fargo. And it’s ranked 20th against the nation’s other banks for number of branches, with around 550 in 18 states.
Overall, its product offerings are more concise than competitors — but while many banks have hefty and complicated fee structures, Bank of the West‘s service costs have fewer caveats than similar accounts.
Why should I open an account at Bank of the West?
Choosing a bank is a personal decision — and an intimate one at that. Make sure your priorities align with Bank of the West‘s strengths, which include:
- Easily waived monthly service fees. There are fewer hoops to jump through to get the monthly service fees waived, and the Any Deposit checking account just requires one deposit a month.
- Award-winning service. In the last three years, it’s been lauded for great client service, excellence in consumer retail banking and innovation in private banking, among other achievements.
- Focused and regional membership. While most banks don’t care what state you live in, Bank of the West limits membership to people who live in states with a branch location, which means it’s not trying to overextend its services.
What should I look out for?
Like any bank, it’s not perfect. You’ll want to make sure you can live with its drawbacks, which include:
- Travel may be inconvenient. If you need help on-the-go, or move to a state without branch locations, you’ll have limited access to in-person help.
- Savings accounts won’t earn you big bucks. Even if you meet the $25,000 deposit required to get a decent rate in the Premier savings account, the 1.87% APY isn’t as competitive as other online savings accounts.
Bank of the West reviews and complaints
It’s not accredited by the BBB, but has an A+ rating overall, which means that it’s likely to respond to customer complaints. 34 customer reviews average out to a little over one star — but most complaints seem to be case-specific, and revolve especially around loans and credit cards.
It’s a member of the FDIC and has “satisfactory” ratings from the FFIEC. While it has its fair share of complaints recorded in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, most of the cases indicate a timely response from the bank.
Bank of the West customer service
Get support through:
- Phone: Reach Bank of the West‘s customer service at 800-488-2265.
- Live chat: IM an agent from the comfort of your home computer.
- Branch: Make an appointment to get one-on-one help.
If you’re in a state that Bank of the West services, its minimal fees and strong customer service reputation could be appealing. But if you’re hoping for better branch access and more product options, find a bank with more locations and variety.