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Bank of the West Premier Checking account review

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Enjoy access to investment services, but look elsewhere if you want a high APY.

finder.com’s rating: 3.0 / 5.0

★★★★★

This account features a suite of perks like free ATM withdrawals anywhere in the world and access to CDs, money market accounts and personal loans. But the highest APY is 0.01%, and if you can’t maintain a $25,000 balance, you’ll pay $25 a month.

$25 per month

Fee

0.01%

APY

$0.10

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APY0.01%
Fee$25 per month
To waive the feeMaintain a $25,000 combined average monthly balance
Minimum deposit to open$0.10
ATMs750 Bank of the West ATMs
ATM transaction fee$0
ATM fee rebatesBank of the West refunds fees charged by other banks within one business day.
Out-of-network ATM fee$3
Foreign transaction fee3%
Overdraft fee$35

Expert review

Peter Carleton

Review by


Peter Carleton is a writer that covers banking and investing, breaking down what you need to know about where you put your money. When Peter's not thinking about cutting-edge banking apps and robo-advisors, he runs a creative agency and spends his spare time cooking or reading.

Expert review

This interest-bearing account comes with a 3% cashback Mastercard and a few other attractive perks. However, if you’re looking for a high APY or would have trouble maintaining a $25,000 balance, it may not be the best account for you.

What are the benefits of the Premier Checking account?

Issued by the FDIC-insured Bank of the West, your money will be kept safe while you take advantage of this account’s perks:

  • Overdraft protection.You get a $5 overdraft buffer and one waived overdraft each year.
  • Access to other products. Gain access to Bank of the West CDs, money market accounts and personal loans. Plus, you’ll get a yearly financial checkup, investment advice and 15 commission-free trades in a BancWest brokerage account.
  • Avoidable monthly fee. You’ll get free access to money orders or ATMs and you won’t pay the $25 monthly fee if you carry $25,000 or more in any Bank of the West account.
  • Low opening deposit. Start earning interest with as little as one cent.
  • Cashback Mastercard. This account gives you access to 3% cashback for using its World Mastercard on eligible purchases.

Bank of the West ATM network and fees

Its Mastercard is accepted almost anywhere and cardholders have access to 750 Bank of the West ATMs. But with the premier checking account, you won’t be charged fees for using US ATMs outside the network — and Bank of the West refunds fees charged by other banks within one business day.

  • Domestic ATMs: None
  • International ATMs: 3% of transaction amount

What should I look out for?

Keep an eye out for these potential pitfalls:

  • Fee waiver requirement. To waive the $25 monthly fee, you’ll need to maintain an average monthly balance of at least $25,000 across eligible Bank of the West accounts.
  • Low interest. You’ll only earn between and 0.01% APY, which is much lower than you might find from other banks.
  • Satisfactory deposit accounts. While this account offers a gateway to other Bank of the West products, you could get better rates with accounts from other institutions.
  • Foreign transaction fee. Bank of the West will waive ATM fees in the US, but you’ll still be charged 3% of each transaction that you complete outside the US.
  • Limited availability. Accounts are only available to residents of AZ, CA, CO, ID, IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, SD, UT, WA, WI and WY.

For even more options with potentially even better rates and lower monthly fees, use our guide to checking accounts to see what else is out there.

Compare to other checking accounts

Name Product Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Chase Total Checking
$0
Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 4,900 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 nearly 4,900 branches. Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
HSBC Advance Checking
$0
Surcharge-free HSBC ATMs nationally and internationally, plus up to four rebates a month for using non-HSBC ATMs in all US states except New York
Get up to $270 (max. $50 per month) for eligible new customers who open an HSBC Advance checking account. Conditions apply. Deposit products are offered in the US by HSBC Bank USA, N.A. Member FDIC.
BBVA Online Checking
$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, plus a $200 signup bonus when you meet deposit requirements
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
$10
55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Deposits are fossil fuel-free. A spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC.
SoFi Money
$0
$0
SoFi Money® is a cash management account that charges no account fees to save, spend, and earn cash back rewards when you spend on brands you love.
NorthOne Business Banking
$50
More than 300,000 ATMs across America.

$0
A digital bank account featuring free cash deposits, on-demand customer support and streamlined bookkeeping integrations.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I apply?

You can open this account by phone, at a branch or online:

  1. Visit the Bank of the West website and click Banking.
  2. Click Checking Accounts.
  3. Scroll down to Premier Checking and click Apply Now.
  4. Enter your ZIP code, then click Get Started.
  5. Enter your personal information and click Continue.
  6. Enter your employment information and any other details, then click Continue.
  7. Verify your information, fund your account and submit your application.

Eligibility

To open a Premier Checking account, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements:

  • At least 18 years old if opening online
  • Resident of one of the 19 states where Bank of the West operates
  • US Citizen
  • Social Security or tax ID number
  • State-issued ID

Required information

During your application, you’ll be asked to provide the following information:

  • Name, date of birth and address
  • Government-issued ID number
  • Social Security or tax ID number
  • Employment information

How can I get in touch with customer service?

This account comes with a dedicated customer service line:

  • By phone: Call 844-246-9378 Monday to Friday from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. PT
  • Online: Use the live-chat option on the website to contact the general customer service line.

How do I deposit or withdraw money?

Now that your account is set up, here’s how you can access your money:

Deposits:

  • At a branch or ATM
  • Online or wire transfer
  • Via direct deposit
  • Mobile check deposit
  • By mail

Withdrawals:

  • At a branch or ATM
  • Online or wire transfer
  • Bill pay
  • Cashback at a retailer

What other checking options does Bank of the West offer?

Bank of the West only offers one other checking account:

  • Any Deposit Checking account. This no-frills account has a low opening deposit and an avoidable monthly fee, but doesn’t offer as many perks as the Premier Checking account.

Frequently asked questions

Checking account ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

We analyze top checking accounts and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include: monthly fees, the ease at which monthly fees can be waived, the breadth of ATM access, ATM and overdraft fees, and customer service.

Read the full methodology of how we rate checking accounts.

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