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TCF Bank Review: Savings, Checking, and CDs

TCF Bank offers a variety of personal and business banking solutions — but only services nine states.

Updated

TCF Bank
TCF Bank has 17 checking and savings options for individuals and businesses, including special accounts for teens, students, international travelers and the elderly. But its lack of service areas and low interest rates may outweigh the perks.

What banking products does TCF Bank offer?

Checking accounts

  • TCF Free Checking account. This account comes with all the basics and has no monthly maintenance fee as long as you sign up for online statements.
  • TCF Premier Checking account. Ideal for the international traveler, this account comes with free wire transfers, no withdrawal fees at non-network ATMs, waived international transaction fees and more.
  • TCF Base Checking account. Although you won’t have to worry about an overdraft or nonsufficient fund fee, there’s an unwaivable $4-monthly fee and no checks.
  • TCF Premier 62+ Checking account. Individuals aged 62 and over can take advantage of two fee-free withdrawals per month at non-network ATMs.
  • TCF Free Student Checking account. Designed for students aged 18 to 24, this account has no monthly fees or minimum balance.
  • TCF Teen Checking account. Teens aged 14 to 17 can take advantage of no monthly fees and two free non-TCF ATM withdrawals a month.

Savings accounts

  • TCF Free Savings account. Enjoy no monthly fee or minimum balance on this interest-bearing account, but it’s only open to TCF personal checking account customers.
  • TCF Power Savings account. You’ll need a minimum deposit of $25 to start earning interest with this basic savings account.
  • TCF Elevate Savings account. Requires a monthly balance of $10,000 to take advantage of its competitive 1.50% APY.
  • TCF Power Money Market account. Power up your savings with this interest-bearing account, but you must maintain a monthly $1,500 balance to avoid the $10 fee.
  • TCF CD. Earn a fixed interest rate with variable terms starting at three months.
  • IRAs. Choose from a range of IRA plans with no monthly maintenance fee.

Business banking

  • TCF Small Business Checking account. Best for small businesses with less than 200 transactions per month.
  • TCF Premier Business Checking account. Ideal for growing business, this account features up to 1,000 free monthly transactions, but you’ll need to maintain a $5,000 balance to avoid the $20 fee.
  • TCF Free Community Group Checking account. Nonprofits and clubs enjoy no monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance.
  • TCF Small Business Money Market account. Write checks and use your TCF Business debit card with this interest-bearing account.
  • TCF Business Premier Money Market account. This interest-bearing account is ideal for businesses with large savings.

Other products

  • Mortgages. Buy or refinance your home through TCF Bank.
  • Personal loans. TCF customers with an existing checking or savings account can get a loan up to $35,000.
  • Credit cards. TCF Bank has six credit cards for business and personal use, including the TCF Bank Secured Visa Card.

How does TCF Bank compare to other banks or services?

TCF Bank is a midwest bank headquartered in Detriot, Michigan. It manages $49 billion in total assets and has nearly 500 branches — most of which are located in Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota. As a full-service institution, TCF Bank offers bank accounts, loans, credit cards, money services and more to individuals, small businesses and commercial institutions.

Checking accounts

Pros

  • Specialized accounts. Choose from nine personal and business checking accounts, including options for international travelers, teens, students and seniors.
  • Multi-use debit card. Use your TCF Bank debit card to manage your checking and savings accounts.
  • Low opening deposit. You can open most checking accounts with as little as $25.

Cons

  • Monthly fees. Most accounts have monthly fees, but you can avoid them when you meet certain direct deposit or minimum balance conditions.
  • Low APYs. Some checking accounts earn interest, but the rate is almost nonexistent at 0.01% APY.
  • Expensive overdrafts. Expect to pay $37 each time you overdraw on your account, up to five times a day.

Savings accounts

Pros

  • Low opening deposits. Most savings accounts have a $25 minimum opening deposit and money market accounts have a $50 opening deposit — which is affordable compared to other institutions.
  • ATM access. Most savings accounts come with an ATM card so you can access your money on the go.

Cons

  • Low yields. With the exception of the Elevate Savings account, all APYs range from 0.01% to 0.45%.
  • Monthly fees. The TCF Free Savings account doesn’t have a monthly fee. But all other savings accounts have monthly fees you’ll need to avoid by meeting certain minimum balance requirements.

CDs

Pros

  • Low opening deposit. While most banks require you to have at least $1,000 to open a CD, you only need $500 to get started with TCF Bank.
  • Flexible terms. Terms start out at three months and go all the way to 10 years. Generally, the longer your CD term, the more interest you’ll earn.

Cons

  • Low rates. CDs earn anywhere from 0.05% to 0.75%, which is lower than rates offered by other banks.
  • Can’t open online. You’ll have to visit a local TCF Branch if you want to open a CD — unlike other banks that let you get started online.

Overall banking

Pros

  • Digital banking. Lock and unlock your debit card, pay bills, deposit checks, create a budget and more through the TCF Bank mobile app.
  • Gives back to community. TCF Bank provides free financial education to its local communities.

Cons

  • Limited service area. You must reside in one of TCF Bank‘s nine service areas to open an account.
  • In-person applications. While you can open most accounts online, CDs, and teen accounts must be opened in-person at a local branch.

    TCF Bank customer service

    Chat with a TCF Bank customer service representative by:

    • Phone: 612-823-2265 or 800-823-2265 – weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT, Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT.
    • In-person: Branch location near you
    • Twitter: @TCFCares

    Compare TCF Bank to the competition

    TCF Bank has many benefits, but if it’s not you’re looking for, consider these top-rated bank accounts:

    Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
    Chime Spending account
    Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
    Chime Spending account
    N/A
    $0
    38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
    $2.50
    Get rid of fees with this mobile-first bank offering consumer-friendly accounts. Chime can also help you save easily and access your paycheck faster.
    Chase Total Checking
    Finder Rating: 2.8 / 5: ★★★★★
    Chase Total Checking
    N/A
    $0
    Access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches nationwide
    $2.50
    Get a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking account and set up direct deposit within 60 days of opening your account. Chase's simplest checking account is easy to use and gives you access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700. Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
    HSBC Premier Checking
    Finder Rating: 2.7 / 5: ★★★★★
    HSBC Premier Checking
    0.01%
    $1
    Free to use at all ATMs in the US
    $0
    Get a 3% cash bonus, up to $600 (max. $100 per month) during first six months after account opening. Must open HSBC Premier checking account through offer page by September 30, 2020, and set up qualifying direct deposits into the new account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
    BBVA Online Checking
    Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
    BBVA Online Checking
    N/A
    $25
    No ATM fees nationwide at more than 64,000 AllPoint, participating 7-Eleven and BBVA USA ATMs
    $3
    A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.
    Axos Bank Essential Checking
    Finder Rating: 5 / 5: ★★★★★
    Axos Bank Essential Checking
    N/A
    $0
    ATM fees reimbursed at any ATM nationwide
    No fees. Unlimited domestic ATM fee reimbursements.
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    Bottom line

    TCF Bank offers nearly 20 banking products for personal and business use. But it’s interest rates are low and it only serves nine states. If you’re in the market for higher yields and a broader service area, shop around for other accounts before you decide.

    Frequently asked questions

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