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Bank of the West 1% for the Planet Checking account review

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This green account gives 1% back to the planet, but it’s only available in 19 states.

finder.com’s rating: 2.8 / 5.0

★★★★★

Bank of the West’s 1% for the Planet checking account helps you be more mindful about how your spending impacts the environment. Its app helps you track your carbon footprint. Plus, Bank of the West donates 1% of its profits on your account to 1% for the Planet — an organization that coordinates funding for environmental nonprofits. But it’s only available in certain states, and there’s a $10 fee if you don’t make qualifying deposits each billing cycle.

$10 per month

Fee

N/A

APY

$0

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APYN/A
Fee$10 per month
To waive the feeif you’re under 25 years old or you make at least one deposit of any amount every billing cycle
Minimum deposit to open$0
ATMsmore than 750 Bank of the West ATMs
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$3
Overdraft fee$35

Expert review

Michael Benninger

Review by


Michael Benninger is a personal finance writer at Finder. He is a former credit analyst and longtime freelancer whose articles have been published by Intuit, Blinkist, Business Insider and the Los Angeles Times. When he’s not writing, you can usually find him watching movies, enjoying the outdoors or boarding planes to distant destinations.

Expert review

Bank of the West’s 1% for the Planet checking account can help you monitor the carbon impact of your purchases while also raising funds for environmental nonprofits. While there’s a $10 monthly fee you need to watch out for, you can waive it when you make a direct deposit each cycle or if you’re under 25 years old.

But Bank of the West isn’t an option in most states. If you don’t live in any of the 19 states it services, you’ll want to look at other checking account options. And if you want to start being more mindful about how your purchases impact the environment, you can look at Aspiration’s spend and save account.

How do I open a Bank of the West 1% for the Planet account?

Applying for Bank of the West’s Planet Checking account takes about 10 minutes:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. From the Bank of the West’s website, select Banking and then Checking Account.
  3. Choose your state of residence, then select Apply Now under 1% for the Planet.
  4. Enter your ZIP code, fill out the About You form and submit your application.
  5. Once your application is approved, link a funding source and read and accept the disclosures.
  6. Confirm all of your information is complete and accurate, then wait for your debit card to arrive.

Eligibility

You need to meet the following eligibility requirements to open a 1% for the Planet account:

  • Be at least 18 years old or applying with a cosigner
  • Reside in one of the 19 states where Bank of the West operates

Required information

In addition to the above eligibility criteria, you also need to provide the following details:

  • A Social Security number
  • A driver’s license or other state-issued ID

What are the benefits of Bank of the West’s 1% for the Planet Checking account?

You’ll have access to the following benefits when you open an account:

  • Donations to environmental nonprofits. At no cost to you, Bank of the West donates 1% of the profit it makes from your account to environmental nonprofits that address climate change.
  • Carbon tracking tool. Your 1% for the Planet account comes with an app that estimates the carbon impact of purchases made with your 1% for the Planet debit card.
  • Corporate ethics. Bank of the West has a progressive energy policy, and it refuses to finance any business that operates in the fossil fuel, big tobacco or unsustainable palm oil industry.

What should I look out for?

There are a few drawbacks to consider before opening your 1% for the Planet account:

  • Monthly fee. There’s a $10 monthly fee, but you can waive it if you’re under 25 years old or you make at least one deposit of any amount every billing cycle.
  • Limited availability. Bank of the West only operates in 19 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Bank of the West’s ATM network and fees

Bank of the West’s 1% for the Planet account comes with a debit card made of biodegradable PVC. You can use this card for free at more than 750 Bank of the West ATMs, though you’ll have to pay a $3 transaction fee at any non-network ATM.

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How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

When you open a 1% for the Planet checking account, you can deposit and withdraw funds in a few standard ways:

Deposit

  • ATM deposit
  • Automated clearinghouse (ACH) transfers
  • Branch deposits
  • Direct deposit
  • Mobile deposit via app
  • Wire transfers

Withdraw

  • ACH transfers
  • ATM withdrawals
  • Branch withdrawals
  • Cash back at retailers
  • Wire transfers

What other checking options does Bank of the West offer?

Aside from its 1% for the Planet checking account, Bank of the West also offers these two checking account options:

  • Any Deposit Checking. This account is virtually identical to the 1% for the Planet account, but it lacks the branded debit card, carbon-tracking app and Bank of the West’s 1% donation.
  • Premier Checking. This account offers bonus interest rates and eliminates fees for ATM withdrawals worldwide, but there’s a $25 monthly fee if your balance drops below $25,000.

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