Bank of the West Premier Checking review May 2019 | finder.com

Bank of the West Premier Checking account review

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Bank of the West Premier Checking
  • Pay no ATM withdrawal fees at any ATM in the world
  • Earn bonus rates on CDs and money market accounts
  • Save on select consumer loans with interest rate discounts

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

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 0.02%, and if you can’t maintain a $25,000 balance, you’ll pay $25 a month.

APY0.02% on balances of $25,000 to $1,000,000
0.01% on balances of $0.01 to $24,999
Monthly 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$0
Foreign transaction fee3%
Overdraft fee$35
Deposit methodsCash by teller
Cash by ATM
Check by teller
Check by ATM
Mobile/remote check deposit
Bank transfer
Wire transfer
Direct deposit

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 0.01% and 0.02% 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.

Compare to other checking accounts

Name Product APY ATMs Fee
2.00% on balances of $10,000+ or deposit $1+ each calendar month into any Aspiration banking or investment account
Free to use anywhere worldwide
$0
A high-interest account that operates like a checking account with no monthly service fees, free access to every ATM in the world, unlimited cash back rewards and deposits insured by the FDIC.
Access to 16,000 ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches nationwide
$12/month
(can be waived)
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 5,000 branches.
16,000 Chase ATMs and nearly 5,000 branches
$15/month
(can be waived)
If you’re new to Chase, get $200 when you open this account and complete qualifying activities. It boasts convenient features to help small and growing businesses reach their goals.
You’ll get fee-free access to over 56,000 ATMs around the world
$0
A full-service account with convenient, surcharge-free access to two massive ATM networks.
1,000 fee-free ATMs across the country
$0
Pay a $0 monthly service charge and get free access to BBVA Compass ATMs.
0.01% on balances of $5+
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
$25/month
(can be waived)
Get a $350 Welcome Deposit for eligible new customers who open an HSBC Advance Checking account with qualifying activities by June 2, 2019

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.

Bottom line

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, compare your options to see what else is out there.

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