Arvest Bank Review
The Arvest Bank story all started in 1961 with the Bank of Bentonville in Arkansas. Back then, it boasted of some $3.5 million in deposits. From 1963 through 2018, the little bank grew by acquiring banks left and right – some 25 or so of them – which brought them to where they are right now. However, it was only in 2006 that the bank took on the name Arvest Bank while doing its business.
Today, Arvest is present in about 279 locations that serve 135 communities in the Southern Midwest. It is a network of 14 locally-managed banks – which means that each of them has its own local president, a board of directors and management team. If you go around the area, you’ll find their branches in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
The bank stands proud with an asset of $19 billion. In fact, they claim to be the largest bank in Arkansas when it comes to market share.
On Arvest Secure Website
– Certificate Of Deposits (CDs)
Bank Reputation - Customer Ratings, Financial Strength
- A+ on BBB – BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest) to F (lowest). BB ratings are based on information in BBB files with respect to factors such as business's complaint history with BBB, type of business, time in business, transparent business practices and more.
- J.D Power Research – We considered J.D. Power’s national banking satisfaction study 2020.
J.D Power offers the most comprehensive and independent study of customer satisfaction. The study aims to help consumers and issuers to understand user opinions and ratings of the largest bank in the country. It covers customer satisfaction, products, fee structures, digital customer experience, transparency and more.
Low Opening Requirements, Average Deposit Interest Rates
Their products range from the usual personal and business products, credit cards, and home loans. They also offer investments and trusts and carry quite an impressive list of offerings including investment management, estate management, and even estate planning services. A recent news release reports that the bank has gone over the $13 billion-mark with respect to the assets that they manage. Indeed, Arvest has become a full-service bank through its rich history of service.
The bank offers a variety of checking accounts for different customer profiles. One great thing about their premium checking account options is that customers can receive perks and get discounts on the other offerings of the bank.
People will find that Arvest Bank has low opening deposit requirements which are great for customers who want quick access to banking services. However, the bank has some mandatory fees which may turn off depositors who want to avoid paying all sorts of charges.
The thing about regional banks is that they tend to concentrate their service area within the region only. If you’re located within the Southern Midwest, you’ll have access to a wide network of ATMs within the region. But once outside their service area, it may not be very easy to access their services.
Like many brick-and-mortar banks, Arvest Bank does not offer the best deposit interest rates. In fact, on average, their rates are just one-fifth of the national average rates. This is a big trade-off for many customers who are looking to maximize the returns from their savings.
On the customer service side, there aren’t too many customer complaints about the bank compared to other banks their peer. The Better Business Bureau gave them an A+ rating. However, the bank’s mobile app received a low score from users. This is probably because they have entered the mobile banking arena relatively later than most banks.
The bank customers can reach them through email, post, social media platforms, and via customer service phone lines in English and Spanish. However, phones are available only during office hours.
|Cool Blue||Arvest Savings|
|Minimum daily balance||None||$100|
|Monthly fee||None||$2 (if daily balance falls below $100|
It is interesting that while they have 5 kinds of checking accounts, the bank offers only 2 kinds of savings accounts. The first type is for children and teenagers. So, if you don’t fall under that category, there’s only one choice left which is the Arvest Savings.
There isn’t much to say about the basic savings account.
The minimum amount that you need to open is $100 which is a little high compared to other banks. There’s also a $2 monthly fee if you can’t maintain the daily balance of $100 or $500 in average daily balance.
If you can manage the minimum balance, you can earn an APY of 0.05%.
|Free Blue||Basic Blue||MyBlue||Arvest Club||Preferred Club|
|None||$0.50 each||Free unlimited||Free unlimited|
|For 62 years old or more||For 62 years old or more||For 62 years old or more||Free|
|up to $400||up to $400||up to $600||up to $800|
up to $1,000
|Not available||Not available||$10,000 family insurance||$30,000 family insurance|
$30,000 family insurance
The bank has several checking accounts to choose from but the target market for each type is not very clear. They share almost identical features. It’s easy to see that the Free Blue is the starter account but since the opening deposit is the same for all accounts at $50, then anybody can just opt to get the next level accounts.
Four out of the five checking accounts come with a monthly fee that increases as the supposed benefits also increase.
The increment in the monthly fee is very obvious but the benefits one can get from availing of the more expensive products don’t quite communicate value for money. For example, what difference would it make if you have an extra $200 in overdraft coverage if, as a responsible account holder, you don’t intend to overdraw your account?
Only one account pays interest – the Preferred Club. However, customers who can do the math can see that they have to put in a lot of money just to break-even on the $18 monthly fee.
Certificate Of Deposits (CDs)
|Term||31 days to 5 years|
|Early withdrawal||With penalty|
|APY||0.05% to 0.45%|
It has a high opening deposit requirement at $1,000 when other banks accept $500 or even $100 to open an account. The minimum term of 31 days appears quite long when some banks go with a minimum of one week.
Finally, the APY for such a high opening deposit is low and below the national average rate for CDs.
It almost seems like the product is there just for the sake of having one. Customers looking for a good CD product may find that this one does not meet many of their needs.
Money Market Account
Arvest Bank Pros & Cons
Like any other bank, Arvest has its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are the main benefits and drawbacks you should know before applying:
A bank as old as this one must be doing something right to remain open for business for such a long time.
Depositors can count on the bank’s stability and experience. This is a good place to keep your money. Its history of acquisition is also a testament that Arvest is indeed a strong bank.
Because of its network, Arvest can easily give customers additional perks on their accounts.
Customers can get rewards and incentives, insurance coverage, identity protection, and more.
And speaking of fees, this bank has a lot of them. The bad news is, the bank can’t waive some of them.
So, in terms of value for money, the fees don’t help the bank get on the right side of the customers.
The menu of products assures depositors looking for help that there would be something that fits their needs.
The bank caters to the normal, average bank customer and to the sophisticated businessman who might need a bank to do his international transactions.
Even if they have been operating for the longest time, the bank has chosen to concentrate its services in a regional area.
This strategy immediately cuts-off customers who have a requirement for national access to banking services. They could do it through bank tie-ups but there’s usually a fee for that.
We all know that banks make a killing off their depositors’ money by lending or reinvesting them.
The low rates mean that the bank keeps the bigger slice of the pie from their income when they use their clients’ funds. Any time that any bank’s rates fall way below the national average, we don’t think that’s good news for customers.
Like most traditional banks, Arvest Bank has not evolved as fast as new businesses that invested in technology did. This is the reason why the disadvantages of running a physical bank have limited the bank from giving out higher rates and lesser fees (or none at all). This is one of the major setbacks for a bank when it comes to attracting customers. When it comes to money, depositors would always look at what they would be getting and what they would have to give away. For this aspect, we give Arvest a not-so-high rating.
In the area of peace of mind, depositors would certainly have a lot when they bank with Arvest. The long experience and the big chunk of market share it enjoys simply point to it as a reliable bank worthy of a customer’s hard-earned savings. Of course, since the business model allows independent management for several branch networks, customers should do their homework and check if their local Arvest branches are running in alignment with sound banking and business practices.
This bank does not come with a full bank and a grand parade. For residents of the Midwest who are okay to do their banking the traditional way, this is a good choice. If you’re looking for a more progressive style of banking with a larger reach, this may not be the one for you.