Umpqua Embark Checking account review November 2018 |

Umpqua Embark Checking account review November 2018

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No maintenance fees and free savings come standard, but you must live on the West Coast.

If you’re looking for a no-frills checking account with no monthly fees, ATM rebates, mobile banking and automatic bill pay, the Umpqua Embark Checking account could be a good fit. That is, if you live in this bank’s limited service area of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California or Nevada.

Monthly fee$0
Minimum deposit to open$25
ATMsSurcharge-free Umpqua ATMs in all of the network's 5 states, plus up to $10 per month in ATM fee rebates
ATM transaction fee$0
Out-of-network ATM fee$2.5
Overdraft fee$35
Nonsufficient funds 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 an Umpqua Embark Checking account?

As with most checking accounts, your balance is FDIC-insured for up to $250,000. And you can simplify your life with automatic bill pay on utilities and more.

  • No monthly fee. Avoid the maintenance fees that can mount with other checking accounts.
  • Low starting deposit. Open an Umpqua Embark Checking account with as little as $25.
  • Free savings account. When you sign on for Umpqua Embark Checking, you also qualify for an Umpqua savings account.
  • No balance minimum. Keep as much or as little in your Umpqua Embark Checking account without penalties.
  • $10 monthly ATM rebates. If you maintain a monthly balance of at least $2,500, you’re refunded up to $10 a month for fees resulting from transactions outside of Umpqua’s ATM network.
  • Mobile app. Download Umpqua’s free mobile banking app for Android and iOS to review your account balance, transfer funds and deposit checks.
  • Support. Get the help you need 24/7 by phone or email.

Umpqua’s ATM network and fees

You won’t pay fees to use ATMs in Umpqua network across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Nevada. In addition to withdrawing up to $500 in cash from an ATM, you can conveniently check your balance, review transactions, transfer money and change your PIN.

The bank charges $2.5 for each transaction at ATMs outside its network. But if you keep at least $2,500 in your checking account, you qualify for up to $10 in rebates to soften the blow of up to four non-network transactions.

What should I look out for?

Umpqua offers a strong checking product, though in few states and with many potential fees.

  • Limited service area. Umpqua supports customers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Nevada only.
  • High overdraft fees. Umpqua charges $35 for any transaction that overdraws your checking account.
  • Paper statement fee. If you prefer to receive paper statements, you’ll pay $3 a month for the convenience.
  • High wire transfer fees. Expect to pay $15 for each incoming wire transfer and $30 to $50 for outgoing wire transfers.
  • Other fees. ATMs outside Umpqua’s network cost $2.5 for each transaction. And if you plan to use your card outside the US, expect an extra 2% on top of your purchase.

Compare with other checking accounts

Name Product APY ATMs Fee
Use any of the 32,000+ MoneyPass ATMs in the US for free
Forget the hidden fees and fine print — this checking account has neither.
1,000 fee-free ATMs across the country
Pay a $0 monthly service charge and get free access to BBVA Compass ATMs.
65,000 preferred ATMs nationwide (Allpoint, MoneyPass, PNC)
An online checking account means no driving around town, no waiting in line and no bankers' hours.
38,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide
No overdraft fees. No monthly maintenance fees. No monthly service fees. No minimum balance fees. No deposit required. No foreign transaction fees. Over 38,000+ fee-free MoneyPass ATMs.
Over 60,000 no-fee ATMs across the U.S.
Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month.
Free to use anywhere worldwide
Up to 1.00% APY. No monthly service fees. Free access to every ATM in the world. FDIC insured.

Compare up to 4 providers

How much do I need to open an account?

Unlike other banks that require $100 or more to take advantage of a strong checking account, you can open Umpqua Embark Checking in person or online with a mere $25 opening deposit.

How do I apply?

1. Go to Umpqua’s website and find Embark Checking. Click Open Now.
2. Review the information you’ll need to provide to complete your application. Click Continue.
3. Enter your name, date of birth, Social Security number, phone number and email address. Click Continue.
4. Enter your address. Click Continue.
5. Review Umpqua’s overdraft options, indicating whether you’d like to add overdraft protection to your checking account. Click Continue.
6. Select two security questions you’ll use to protect your online account, and enter the answers you’ll remember. Click Continue.
7. Review your information for accuracy and carefully review Umpqua’s account disclosures. E-sign your authorization, and click Continue.

Finalize your application by funding your account with a deposit of at least $25. You can fund your new account from an existing Umpqua account, from an external account or with a credit or debit card.

After approval, you’ll receive your checking account’s debit card by mail.


For Umpqua Embark Checking approval, the bank requires:

  • US citizenship.
  • A residential address California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho or Nevada.
  • Proof that you’re at least 18 years old.
  • A Social Security number.
  • A valid bank account.

Required information

  • Primary home address
  • Valid email address and phone number
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued ID
  • Banking details for the account to fund your checking account

What other checking options does Umpqua offer?

In addition to its Umpqua Embark Checking account, Umpqua offers flexible checking options designed to meet specific banking needs:

  • Access Checking. With an opening deposit of $25, you receive up to four non-Umpqua ATM fee rebates and one free incoming wire transfer each billing cycle.
  • Attain Checking. This top-tier personal checking account requires a $200 opening deposit but offers free incoming wire transfers, free checks and bonus interest on Umpqua CDs.
  • Community Business Checking. Open this business checking account with a $100 deposit to get 200 free checks monthly. Maintain a $1,000 minimum daily balance, and the bank waives your $10 monthly fee.
  • Marketplace Checking. Open your account with a $100 minimum deposit to get 500 free checks each month. Maintain a $25,000 minimum daily balance, and the bank waives your $25 monthly fee.
  • Business Analyzed Checking. A full-service account requiring a $100 minimum deposit offering earnings credits that can offset the $18 monthly maintenance fee.

Bottom line

The FDIC-insured Umpqua Embark Checking account can help you save on monthly maintenance fees with the flexibility of mobile banking, automatic bill pay and monthly ATM rebates.

But you must live in California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho or Nevada to take advantage of its perks. And you face multiple fees for wire transfers, paper statements, foreign transactions and more that could chip away at your funds.

Compare other checking account options to find one that best meets your spending and financial goals.

Frequently asked questions

Shannon Terrell

Shannon Terrell is a writer for who studied communications and English literature at the University of Toronto. On any given day, you can find her researching everything from equine financing and business loans to student debt refinancing and how to start a trust. She loves hot coffee, the smell of fresh books and discovering new ways to save her pennies.

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