First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest + Solutions review
Includes free overdraft protection, but its interest rate is almost nonexistent.First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest + Solutions account shines compared to the bank’s other checking accounts thanks to its free overdrafts and upgraded debit card. But it’s only available in two states and your funds earn a paltry 0.01% APY.
$10 per month
Minimum deposit to open
|APY||0.01% on balances of $500+|
|Fee||$10 per month|
|To waive the fee||Waived with $2,000 in deposits per statement cycle|
|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.
Among the three flavors of Hometown checking accounts offered by First Commonwealth Bank, the Checking + Interest + Solutions account is best if you’re looking for free overdraft protection, an upgraded debit card and a higher rate on funds kept in a First Commonwealth Bank money market account.
But as far as this account’s interest goes, it’s not any better than its Hometown + Interest checking account as they both offer the same low 0.01% APY. Plus, it has a higher monthly fee of $10 and requires a $2,000 monthly deposit to avoid it.
Compared to other interest-bearing checking accounts, this one doesn’t quite stack up. While most high-yield checking accounts come with minimum debit card or direct deposit requirements, you’ll find higher yields with other checking accounts. For example, you can earn 1.01% APY with a Quontic Bank High Interest Checking account as long as you keep less than $1,000,000 in your account and make 10 purchases a month of $1 or more.
6 steps to open an account
To get started:
- Go to the provider site
- Select Personal, then Checking accounts.
- Scroll down to First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest + Solutions and select Open online.
- Enter your ZIP code, then select the + symbol next to First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest + Solutions.
- Check the box if you’d like to receive a Mastercard debit card and choose whether you’d like to activate overdraft protection. Then select Add account and Continue.
- Fill out the Tell us about yourself form and select Continue.
- Add details about your funding source and confirm your initial deposit.
Open this account when you meet the following requirements:
- 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
5 benefits of First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest + Solutions account
In addition to bill pay, this account includes benefits such as:
- Adjustable overdrafts. Opt in to approve or decline purchases that exceed your balance. Link any First Commonwealth Bank account as a backup funding source and you won’t pay a penny for overdrafts.
- World Debit Mastercard. This account comes with an upgraded debit card that doubles the warranties on purchases and provides identity theft resolution services.
- Money Manager. All First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking accounts come with a personal financial management tool to track your income, expenses and savings.
- Relationship Rates. When you open this account, you’ll qualify for an increased interest rate on funds kept in a First Commonwealth Bank Relationship Money Market account. Instead of earning 0.03% to 0.01% APY, you’re eligible to earn 0.05% to 0.15% APY.
5 potential drawbacks to look out for
Take note of these shortcomings before opening this account.
- Monthly fee. There’s a $10 monthly service charge if you deposit less than $2,000 in your account per statement cycle.
- Low interest rate. While the account earns interest, it’s only 0.01% APY. That’s a mere $0.01 per every $100 per year.
- Costly wire transfers. Like other First Commonwealth Bank checking accounts, you’ll pay $55 for each outgoing international wire transfer. This is higher than what we’ve seen at other banks.
- Overdraft fees. If you don’t have a linked First Commonwealth Bank account set up as a backup funding source, you’ll pay $35 per overdraft up to four times per day. You’ll also pay an additional $8 per day if your account is still overdrawn after five calendar days.
- Branches in only two states. First Commonwealth Bank only has branches in Ohio and Pennsylvania. If you live elsewhere, you’re limited to online banking.
First Commonwealth Bank‘s ATM network and fees
When you open a First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest + Solutions account, you have the option of getting a World Debit Mastercard that includes upgraded purchase protection and identity theft resolution services.
Use the card for free at over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs across the US. But if you use an ATM outside of that network, you’ll pay $2.50 to First Commonwealth Bank and you may pay a fee to the ATM owner as well.
First Commonwealth Bank‘s reviews and complaintsFirst Commonwealth Bank is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which gives the bank an A+ rating based on its responses to 20 complaints during the past three years. However, the bank also has nine customer reviews on the BBB’s website, and each rating gives the company one out of five stars. The complaints mention slow processing times and slow responses from the bank’s customer service.
Compare First Commonwealth Bank Hometown Checking + Interest + Solutions with other checking accounts
Use this table to compare other checking accounts by fees and their 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. There’s a $20 fee for incoming domestic and international wire transfers.
- Incoming Zelle payments. Get paid by friends or family via the Zelle payment platform.
- ATM withdrawals. Withdraw cash for free at any of the 55,000 Allpoint ATMs in the US.
- Check-writing. Write unlimited checks for no additional fee, but you will need to pay for checkbooks.
- 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
Contact First Commonwealth Bank in these ways.
- Visit any of the 130+ First Commonwealth Bank branches in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
- Call 800-711-2265 weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Chat with a First Commonwealth Bank representative through the bank’s website.
- First Commonwealth Bank is active on Facebook and Twitter @financebetter.