Bank of the West

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Bank of the West banking products: Savings and Checking

Waiving fees isn't complicated, and its structure is concise.

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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.

Compare Bank of the West bank accounts

Name Product Annual percentage yield (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open
Bank of the West Choice Money Market Savings
Finder Rating: 2.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Bank of the West Choice Money Market Savings
0.03%
0.02%
$15 per month
(can be waived)
$100
Earns higher interest rates when linked to eligible personal checking accounts. Premier Checking customers earn even more.
Bank of the West Classic Savings
Finder Rating: 3.1 / 5: ★★★★★
Bank of the West Classic Savings
0.01%
$5 per month
(can be waived)
$25
Offers Bank of the West's lowest opening deposit and makes an easy way for you to put a little extra money away.
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Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Bank of the West Any Deposit Checking
Finder Rating: 3 / 5: ★★★★★
Bank of the West Any Deposit Checking
N/A
$0
Over 750 ATMs
$3
A simple checking account with two ways to avoid the monthly fee.
Bank of the West Premier Checking
Finder Rating: 3 / 5: ★★★★★
Bank of the West Premier Checking
0.01%
$0.10
750 Bank of the West ATMs
$3
An interest-bearing checking account with added benefits.
Bank of the West 1% for the Planet Checking
Finder Rating: 2.8 / 5: ★★★★★
Bank of the West 1% for the Planet Checking
N/A
$0
more than 750 Bank of the West ATMs
$3
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Its checking accounts feature secure chip debit cards, online protection and fraud protection guarantee. Savings accounts also allow for mobile deposits, payments and transfers. Additionally, Bank of the West’s personal accounts have supported transfers via Zelle since 2018, and Zelle functionality was added to the bank’s business accounts in February 2021.

Bank of the West personal checking accounts

Its two options for personal checking include:

  • Any Deposit Checking. The $10 monthly service charge is waived if you’re under 25, or if you make any deposit within the statement cycle. Get a $5 overdraft buffer, and a full refund of one overdraft charge each year.
  • Premier Checking. The $25 monthly service fee is waived if you maintain a combined average monthly balance of $25,000, and you can access any ATM in the world without paying withdrawal fees. Plus, get discounts on consumer loans, bonus rates on CDs and money market accounts and get 15 zero-commission online equity and ETF trades each month with a BancWest brokerage account.

Bank of the West personal savings accounts

To save money long term, consider these personal savings accounts:

  • Classic Savings. Expect an APY of about 0.01% that compounds daily and is paid monthly, with a minimum opening deposit of $25. The $5 monthly service charge can be waived with an average monthly balance of $300 — $50 if you’re living in Minnesota — automatic deposits of $25 or more or if the account holder is younger than 19.
  • Choice Money Market Savings. Standard APYs range from 0.02%–0.03%, and relationship rates go up to 0.09% when you have a Premium Checking account. A minimum opening deposit of $100 is required. To waive the $15 monthly service fee, maintain an average monthly balance of $5,000, set up an automatic monthly transfer of $75 or maintain a Bank of the West Premier Checking account.
  • Money Market Premier Savings. The APY jumps from 0.01% to about 0.4% if you open an account with at least $25,000 of new money. But the minimum required to start saving is $10,000, and you can skip the $15 monthly service fee if you maintain at least that much as an average balance.

Bank of the West personal CDs

In addition to savings accounts, Bank of the West has five types of certificates of deposit to help you reach your personal savings targets.

  • Flexible-Term CDs. You’ll need at least $1,000 to open this basic CD that earns 0.02% to 0.25% APY depending on the terms you select, which can range from 32 to 364 days or 12 to 60 months.
  • Premium Certificates of Deposit. This CD requires a minimum of $2,500 to open and earns 0.02% to 0.30% APY with terms ranging from 91 days to 60 months.
  • Premium IRA Certificate of Deposit. This fixed-interest CD requires a minimum of $100 to open and offers an APY of 0.02% to 0.15% with terms ranging from 91 days to 24 months.
  • Flexible IRA CD. This CD is similar to the Premium IRA but offers an APY of 0.05% to 0.25% with terms ranging from 12 to 60 months.
  • IRA Add-on CD. This CD is also similar to the Premium IRA, but it allows you to make additional deposits of $100 or more over the course of 12 months, all of which will earn the APY that was in effect when the CD was opened.

Bank of the West small business checking accounts

If you own a small business, Bank of the West has four types of checking accounts.

  • Any Deposit Checking for Business. The $10 monthly fee is waived with any deposit during your statement cycle and there’s no minimum balance requirement. This account also includes a $5 overdraft fee buffer, but you’re limited to 50 transactions totaling $2,500 per month.
  • Classic Business Checking. This account is similar to the Any Deposit Checking for Business account, but you’re limited to 150 transactions totaling $5,000. There’s a $25 monthly fee, but it can be waived if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $5,000 or have a combined balance of $15,000 across linked business savings accounts. You can also avoid the fee by using Bank of the West’s merchant services or a Bank of the West business credit card.
  • Choice Business Checking. This account includes all the benefits of the Classic Business Checking account plus a $100 rebate on your first check order and bonus rates on a linked Business Money Market Select account. You also get 10 incoming wire transfers for free each month and discounts on other business banking services. There’s a $40 monthly fee, but it can be waived by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $25,000 or $50,000 across linked savings accounts.
  • Analyzed Business Checking. This customized account for businesses with advanced needs includes security controls, streamlined money management and automated payables and receivables. Fees and requirements vary based on your business. Contact a Bank of the West branch for details.

Bank of the West small business savings accounts

The bank also has three savings accounts for small businesses.

  • Classic Business Savings. Bank of the West’s entry-level business savings account requires $200 to open, and sole proprietors can link it to a Business Checking account to avoid overdraft fees. There’s a monthly service charge of $5, but it can be waived by maintaining an average monthly balance of at least $500 or by setting up an automatic transfer of $100 or more from a Bank of the West Business Checking account.
  • Business Money Market Advantage. This money market account has a $10 monthly service charge, but you can avoid the fee and earn interest if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,000.
  • Business Money Market Select. Bank of the West’s premier money market account has a $15 monthly service charge, but you can avoid the fee and earn the bank’s highest APY if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $10,000.

Bank of the West small business CDs

In addition to savings accounts, Bank of the West has three kinds of CDs to help your business achieve its goals.

  • Flexible Term CD. This CD requires at least $1,000 to open and gives you the freedom to choose a term ranging from 32 to 365 days or 12 to 60 months.
  • Premium Money Market CD. If you want to earn a high interest rate over a fixed amount of time, you can open this 3- to 60-month CD for $2,500 or more.
  • 7-31 Day CD. Business owners who want to earn a high level of interest within one month or less can open this short-term IRA with deposits of $100,000 or more.

Other products

  • Credit cards. It offers three credit cards, each featuring either generous cash rewards, low interest rates, or help rebuilding credit.
  • Loans. Get a loan for your car, RV, boat, or mortgage. It also offers personal loans and lines of credit, and home equity loans.
  • Investments. Invest on your own, with an advisor, or get a personalized portfolio managed by a professional.

However, to be eligible you must live in a state with a branch location. These include:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

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.

Checking accounts

Pros

  • Low opening deposits. Open any Bank of the West checking account with as little as $0. But you may need to maintain a higher balance to avoid the monthly fee.
  • 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.
  • Overdraft fee eraser. At your request, Bank of the West will forgive one overdraft or returned item fee once every 12 months.

Cons

  • Expensive overdraft fees. If you overdraw on your account by more than $5, Bank of the West will charge you $35 each time, up to 5 times daily.
  • ATM fees could add up. Bank of the West has a small network of 750 ATMs, and it charges $3 for non-network ATM usage.

Savings accounts

Pros

  • Low deposit requirements for basic accounts. You only need $25 to open a Classic Savings account and $100 to open a Choice Money Market account.
  • Several account options. Bank of the West offers three personal and three business savings account options.
  • Free account for minors. If the account holder is 18 years old or younger, Bank of the West automatically waives the monthly service fee.

Cons

  • Savings accounts won’t earn you big bucks. The Premier Savings account has the highest APY at 0.4%. But even if you meet the $25,000 minimum deposit requirement, this rate isn’t as competitive as other online savings accounts.
  • Monthly service fees. Every Bank of the West savings account has a monthly fee — even its most basic option. But these can be waived when you meet certain requirements.
  • Some accounts can’t be opened online. You’ll need to fill out an application at a local branch if you wish to open the Money Market Premier Savings account.

CDs

Pros

  • Flexible terms. Lock your money away for as short as 32 days or as long as five years.
  • Daily compound interest. Your money grows even faster when you earn interest on yesterday’s interest.
  • No monthly fees. Like most CDs, the only time you’ll pay a fee is if you withdraw your money before your CD matures.

Cons

  • Low APYs. Bank of the West‘s CD rates start out at 0.03% APY and top out at 0.75% APY, which are astonishingly low compared to the competition.
  • High deposit requirements. You’ll need at least $1,000 to open a Flexible-Term CD, $2,500 to open a Premium Money Market CD or Relationship CD and $25,000 to open a promotional CD with the highest APY.
  • Can’t be opened online. All CDs must be opened in-person at a local branch.

Overall banking

Pros

  • 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.
  • Convenient customer service options. Get assistance by starting a live chat on Bank of the West‘s website, calling 800-488-2265 or making an appointment for in-person support at a local branch.

Cons

  • 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.
  • Low rates overall. If you’re looking to grow your money fast with a high APY, Bank of the West may not be right for you as it has low interest rates across the board.
  • Limited service area. Bank of the West is only open to those who live in a state with a branch location, so you may not be eligible for an account.

    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.

    Bottom line

    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.

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