First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest review
Nice features and an avoidable monthly fee, but it barely earns any interest.First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest account has some nice features, including adjustable overdraft protection and a built-in money management tool to keep track of your finances. But for an account with interest in its name, it earns a low 0.01% APY.
$5 per month
Minimum deposit to open
|Fee||$5 per month|
|To waive the fee||Waived with $1,000 in deposits per|
|Minimum deposit to open||$50|
|ATMs||Access to more than 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs through Allpoint and Freedom Alliance|
|Out-of-network ATM fee||$2.50|
|Nonsufficient funds fee||$35|
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 reviewFirst Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest account offers the same money management dashboard and built-in bill pay service you’ll get with the bank’s other checking accounts. But if you want to avoid the $5 monthly service charge, you’ll need to deposit $1,000 or more into your account each month.
Also, although the account offers interest it barely earns anything. The account earns 0.01% per year per every $100 in your account. And if you don’t have another First Commonwealth Bank account to link as a backup, you’ll potentially pay up to $35 plus $8 a day per transaction that exceeds your balance. You’ll also pay fees anytime you use an out-of-network ATM, and if you send international wires, you’ll pay $55.
How do I open a First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest account?
Open a Hometown Checking + Interest account with First Commonwealth Bank in seven steps.
- Go to the provider site
- Select Personal, then Checking accounts.
- Next, select First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest and select or tap Open online.
- Add your ZIP code, then select the + symbol next to Hometown Checking + Interest.
- Select whether you’d like to receive a Mastercard debit card and if you want to activate overdraft protection, then choose or tap Add account. Then select Continue.
- Complete the Tell us about yourself form and select Continue.
- Provide the routing and account numbers for your funding source and confirm your initial deposit.
Meet these three requirements to open this account.
- At least 18 years of age
- US citizen or eligible non-citizen
- $50 minimum deposit
Have the following information ready before you apply:
- Full name
- Physical address and contact information
- Social Security number
- Driver’s license or other government-issued ID
- Employment and residency information
2 benefits of First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest account
Aside from check-writing and bill pay features, this account includes the following benefits.
- Money Manager tool. All First Commonwealth Bank Checking accounts include a personal financial management tool that lets you monitor your income, expenses and savings in one place.
- Adjustable overdraft protection. If you opt in for protection you can decline purchases that exceed your balance for free, or approve them for a fee. To avoid paying for overdraft, link a First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Savings account as a backup source. You can also link other First Commonwealth Bank accounts, but you’d pay a $15 overdraft fee.
5 potential drawbacks to watch for
This account also has a few shortcomings to keep in mind.
- Monthly fee. There’s a $5 monthly service charge if you deposit less than $1,000 per statement cycle.
- Low interest. While this account earns interest, you’ll only earn 0.01% APY. That’s only $0.01 per every $100 per year.
- Costly international wire transfers. Outgoing international wire transfers cost $55 each, which is more than most other banks charge.
- Overdraft fees. Overdrafts are free if you link a Hometown Savings account as a backup funding source, but there’s a $15 overdraft fee per day if you connect a different First Commonwealth Bank account. But you’ll only pay this fee if your overdraft exceeds $25. And if you don’t link to its Savings account, you’ll pay $35 per overdraft 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.
- Branches in two states. First Commonwealth Bank only has branches in Pennsylvania and Ohio. If you live in another state, you’re limited to online banking.
First Commonwealth Bank‘s reviews and complaints
When you open a First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest account, you’ll get a Mastercard debit card to use for free at 55,000 Allpoint ATMs across the US. But if you use an ATM that isn’t part of the Allpoint network, you’ll pay $2.50 to First Commonwealth Bank plus whatever the ATM owner charges.
First Commonwealth Bank‘s ATM network and feesFirst Commonwealth Bank is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which gives the bank an A+ rating based on its responses to 20 complaints in the past three years. However, First Commonwealth Bank also has nine customer reviews on the BBB’s website, all of which rate the bank with 1 out of 5 stars.
Many of the complaints mention negative issues with loan payments and slow response times from customer support. But none of the reviews specifically reference First Commonwealth’s Hometown checking accounts.
Compare First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest account with other checking accounts
Use this table to compare other checking accounts based on their fees and ATM networks.
How do I deposit or withdraw my money?
There are several ways to move money into and out of this account.
- 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 $20 for incoming domestic and international wire transfers.
- Incoming Zelle payments. Get paid by friends or family via Zelle.
- ATM withdrawals. Withdraw cash for free at any of the 55,000 Allpoint ATMs in the US.
- Check-writing. Write unlimited checks for free.
- 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 the Zelle app.
How to contact First Commonwealth Bank‘s customer service
If you have questions or need help with your account, you can contact First Commonwealth Bank in five ways.
- Visit any of the 100 First Commonwealth Bank branches throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio.
- Call 1-800-711-2265 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 email@example.com.
- Chat with a First Commonwealth representative via the bank’s website.
- First Commonwealth Bank is active on Facebook and Twitter at @financebetter.