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First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking review

Comes with an avoidable monthly fee, but has one of the most expensive overdraft fees we’ve seen.

First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking account has a $2 monthly fee you can avoid by signing up for electronic statements. It also offers features, including adjustable overdraft protection and a money manager tool that allows you to monitor your finances. But if you overdraw without any protection in place, you’ll pay $35 plus $8 per day if your balance is still in the red after five calendar days.

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$2 per month

Fee

N/A

APY

$50

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APYN/A
Fee$2 per month
Minimum deposit to open$50
ATMsAccess to more than 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs through Allpoint and Freedom Alliance
Out-of-network ATM fee$2.50
Overdraft fee$35
Nonsufficient funds fee$35

Review by


Michael Benninger is a staff banking writer at Finder. He is a former credit analyst and longtime freelancer whose articles have been published by Intuit, Business Insider and the Los Angeles Times. Michael is passionate about all facets of personal finance and has written hundreds of articles about money management during the past decade.

Expert review

First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking account has some attractive features and a low $2 monthly fee you can avoid by signing up for electronic statements. The account stands out for its built-in Money Manager tool that helps you keep track of your income, savings and spending. It also gives you control over whether to allow or deny transactions that exceed your balance.

But if you don’t set up overdraft protection, you’ll pay a $35 fee up to four times daily. And if your account is still overdrawn five days later, you’ll pay an additional $8 per day. International wire transfers on this account are also costly, and you’ll always pay fees for out-of-network ATM withdrawals.

If you want to keep your money with First Commonwealth Bank but want more options and benefits, consider a Hometown Checking + Interest account or a Hometown Checking + Interest + Solutions account. These accounts give you even more flexibility with overdrafts, and they come with an upgraded debit card that provides greater purchase protection. But they also require you to deposit $1,000 or $2,000 each month to avoid a fee.

Sign up for a First Commonwealth Bank account today, or explore our list of the best checking accounts, including banks and credit unions that pay interest and offer ATM fee reimbursements.

How do I open a First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking account?

Open a Hometown Checking account with First Commonwealth Bank in seven steps:

  1. Go to the provider site
  2. Select Personal, then Checking accounts.
  3. Scroll down to Hometown Checking and tap or choose Open online.
  4. Enter your ZIP code, then select the + symbol next to Hometown Checking.
  5. Check the box if you’d like to receive a Mastercard debit card, choose whether you’d like to activate overdraft protection, then select Add account and Continue.
  6. Fill out the Tell us about yourself form and select Continue.
  7. Add details about your funding source and confirm your initial deposit.

Eligibility

You must meet the following requirements to open this account.

  • At least 18 years of age
  • US citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • $50 minimum deposit

Required information

Provide the following information when opening your account.

  • Full Name
  • Physical address and contact information
  • Social Security number
  • Driver’s license or other government-issued ID
  • Employment and residency information

5 benefits of First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking account

In addition to unlimited check-writing and bill pay, this account offers the following benefits.

  • No opening deposit. You won’t have to worry about meeting a required deposit to open this account.
  • Easily avoidable monthly fee. Although there’s a $2 monthly fee, waive it when you enroll in electronic statements.
  • Money Manager. Access this personal financial management tool to monitor your income, expenses and savings goals.
  • Adjustable overdraft protection. You have the freedom to choose whether or not you want First Commonwealth Bank to decline purchases that exceed your balance or approve them for a fee. If you link a First Commonwealth Bank savings account as a backup funding source, you won’t pay anything for overdrafts. But If you link another type of First Commonwealth Bank account, the fee is $15 per overdraft.
  • Fire pit giveaway. If you live in Pennsylvania or Ohio, you’ll have the chance to win one of eight portable fire pits when you open an account by November 5, 2021.

3 things to look out for

This account has a few shortcomings to keep in mind.

  • Expensive international wire transfers. Outgoing international wire transfers are $55, which is among the most costly wire transfer fees we’ve seen.
  • Overdraft fee. Unless you link your account to a First Commonwealth Bank savings account, you’ll pay $35 per overdraw up to four times a day. You’ll also pay an additional $8 per day if your account is still overdrawn after five calendar days.
  • Limited branch locations. First Commonwealth Bank has more than 100 branches, but they’re all in Pennsylvania and Ohio. If you don’t live in either of those states, you’re limited to online banking.

First Commonwealth Bank‘s ATM network and fees

When you open a First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking account, you have the option of getting a Mastercard debit card that’s free to use at 55,000 Allpoint ATMs across the US.

But if you use an ATM outside of that network, you’ll pay a fee of $2.50 to First Commonwealth Bank, and you might pay a fee to the ATM owner as well.

First Commonwealth Bank‘s reviews and complaints

First Commonwealth Bank is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which awards the bank an A+ rating based on its handling of 20 complaints during the past three years. However, the BBB’s website shows the bank has nine customer reviews, each giving the company a 1-star rating out of 5.

The complaints mention negative issues with loan payments, slow response times from customer service and slow processing times using the bank’s bill pay service. But none of them specifically mention First Commonwealth Bank‘s checking accounts.

Compare First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking with other checking accounts

Use this table to compare other checking accounts by their fees, deposits and ATM networks.

Name Product APY Minimum deposit to open ATMs Out-of-network ATM fee
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
Finder Rating: 4.2 / 5: ★★★★★
Aspiration Spend & Save Account
5.00% on balances of $0 to $10,000
$10
55,000 free in-network ATMs
$0
Deposits are fossil fuel-free and insured by the FDIC. Enjoy a spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
Chase Secure Banking℠
Chase Secure Banking℠
N/A
$0
Access to 16,000 ATMs and more than 4,700 branches nationwide
$2.50
Chase Secure Banking offers no overdraft services
Douugh
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Douugh
N/A
$0
more than 38,000 ATMs in the MoneyPass ATM network
The Douugh app is an AI assistant focused on your finances.
OnJuno
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5: ★★★★★
OnJuno
1.20% on balances of $0 to $50,000
0.25% on balances of $50,000.01+
$0
more than 85,000 ATMs nationwide
$0
OnJuno embraces an open banking system for everyone, regardless of their age, location, or income.
Lili
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Lili
1.00%
$0
32,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
$2.50
Freelancers get paid up to two days early and can automatically set aside money for taxes with the Lili digital bank account. Get up to 10 referral rewards, or $1000.
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How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

There are multiple ways to move money into and out of this account.

Deposit options

  • Branch deposits. Add funds to your account at any First Commonwealth Bank branch.
  • ATM deposits. Deposit cash into your account at any First Commonwealth Bank or NYCE ATMs.
  • Mobile deposits. Use the mobile app to deposit paper checks into your account.
  • Direct deposits. Your employer can deposit your paychecks directly into your account.
  • Incoming ACH transfers. Accept deposits from linked bank accounts for no fee.
  • Incoming wire transfers. You’ll pay a $20 fee for incoming domestic and international wire transfers.
  • Incoming Zelle payments. Get paid by friends or family via the Zelle payment platform.

Withdrawal options

  • ATM withdrawals. Withdraw cash for free at any of the 55,000 Allpoint ATMs in the US.
  • Check-writing. There’s no limit to the number of checks you can write on this account, but four books of checks costs $22.99.
  • Outgoing ACH transfers. Send money to linked accounts at any time.
  • Outgoing wire transfers. Outgoing domestic wires are $25, while international wires are $55.
  • Outgoing Zelle payments. Send funds to friends or family via Zelle.

5 ways to contact First Commonwealth Bank‘s customer service

If you have questions or need help with your account, contact First Commonwealth Bank in the following ways.

  • Visit any one of the First Commonwealth Bank‘s 100 branches throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio.
  • Call 800-711-2265 on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.
  • Send an email to engage@fcbanking.com.
  • Chat with a First Commonwealth Bank representative via the bank’s website.
  • Connect on Facebook and Twitter at @FinanceBetter.

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