Banking » Bank Review » Banner Bank Review 2021 : savings & checking account, CDs and MMAs
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Banner Bank Review 2021 : savings & checking account, CDs and MMAs

Although they have leveled up their use of technology, Banner Bank is still a traditional brick-and-mortar bank. Here are the things you should know.
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Banner Bank Review

About Banner Bank

They may be a quiet bank without much fanfare going on but they do their job well. In fact, Money Magazine awarded them the Best Bank in the Pacific Region of the US in 2019.

For the last 4 years, Forbes named them in the top 100 Best Banks. Bauer Financial gave this bank a five-star rating.

What started out as a small thrift bank in 1890 has now grown to be a big full-service bank with headquarters in Walla Walla, Washington.

Their operations mostly cover the west, providing banking products as well as services in commercial real estate, construction, residential, agricultural and consumer loans. The bank employs around 2,149 employees.

Banner Bank is the 3rd largest bank in Washington and ranks 126th of all the banks in the United States. The bank reports an asset of more than $12.6B.

They are present in over 175 locations dispersed all over Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho. Although they have leveled up their use of technology, Banner Bank is still a traditional brick-and-mortar bank.

Banner-bank-logo-square

On Banner Secure Website

Account Types

Minimum Deposit

PROS

CONS

Variety Of Investing Products, Great Customer Rating

Stability is one of the bank’s notable descriptions. One proof of this is their recent merger with AltaPacific Bank which created a larger collective presence in California.

According to their official website, Banner Bank will be the surviving brand later in 2020 after the bank’s system conversion.

Although this does not necessarily broaden their reach outside the present service area, it will boost the number of branches in the states that they a presently serving.

A quick survey of their product offerings will reveal that they focus mostly on loans and credit such as home loans and home equity, student loans, vehicle loans, and personal loans.

But they also have deposit products ranging from checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs, and IRAs. Online and mobile banking are also available as well as investment banking. The bank is a complete package when it comes to financial services.

Customers looking for high rates for their savings and checking accounts should not expect Banner Bank to offer them.

As a bank that has to deal with high operating costs due to their physical branches, their average deposit rates are way below the national average deposit rates. And depositors should also be aware that the bank charges fees for many of their services.

Being a traditional bank, Banner Bank also has a huge corporate social responsibility advocacy. In 2019, the bank was able to donate some $2.5 million to 1,400 communities.

The bank partners with various institutions to help communities through funding programs and providing volunteers who come from the employee workforce.

Last year, the bank ranked the highest in the Norwest region for customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study.

This is the longest-running and most in-depth independent customer satisfaction survey of the retail banking industry.

Many other independent review websites also show a high customer satisfaction rating for the bank. Banner Bank has made different options available for customer service matters including a dedicated toll-free phone number that is available from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Here are the main products Banner bank offers for savers:

Savings Account

$25 - $100

Initial Deposit

None

Minimum Balance

0.05%

APY

FeaturesConnected SavingsMoney MarketBanner's Best Savings
Minimum opening$25$100$100
Monthly fee$3$10$10
Minimum daily balance to waive fee$100$1,000$5,000
Interest rateCompetitive interestCompetitive tiered interestPremium tiered interest
Unlimited deposits & withdrawalsAvailableAvailableAvailable
Online & Mobile bankingAvailableAvailableAvailable
Automatic saving and loan planAvailableAvailableAvailable

Similar to the strategy for the checking accounts, Banner Bank’s savings accounts give customers choices that would fit their savings pattern.

The Connected Savings Account works like a starter account with low minimum, low monthly fee, low daily balance, and a not-so-high interest rate.

On the high end, there’s the Banner’s Best Savings Account that requires a high minimum daily balance to qualify the depositor to a premium interest rate.

All accounts come with mobile and online banking facilities plus unlimited deposits and withdrawal options.

Checking Account

$50

Initial Deposit

None

Minimum Balance

0.05 - 0.10%

APY

FeaturesConnected checkingRewards CheckingInterest CheckingBanner's Best Checking
Minimum to open$50$50$50$50
Cashback optionNot available$0.05 for debit transactions$0.05 for debit transactions$0.05 for debit transactions
ATM fees reimbursementAvailable for any ATM in the US up to 4x per monthAvailable for any ATM in the US up to 6x per monthAvailable for any ATM in the US up to 6x per monthUnlimited for any ATM fees in the US
Online & mobile banking, bill pay, digital walletAvailableAvailableAvailableAvailable
Monthly fee0$6$7 but waivable$12 but waivable
Interest-earningNot availableNot availableFixedTiered

The bank offers 4 different types of checking accounts whose features address the needs of various customer profiles. They have one as a starter account, a rewards account, an interest-earning account, and a high-end account for prime customers.

There is a very low minimum requirement to open an account and each account has an unlimited check writing feature.

The bank reimburses ATM fees up to a certain limit except for the Best Checking account that has unlimited reimbursement.

Although two of the accounts earn interest, customers should not expect too much. To make up for the low interest, the bank offers cashback rewards through their card partner. That’s an extra come-on considering that the bank charges a monthly service fee.

CDs

$2500

Initial Deposit

3 months - 36 months

CDs Terms

0.25%

APY

Minimum opening balance$2,500
Monthly feeNone
Terms90 days to 10 years
Interest rateFixed
Mobile and online bankingAvailable

Banner Bank has positioned its CD for people with excess funds and are willing to just leave their money in the bank for the entire term whether it be 90 days or 10 years.

The interest rate is much higher than any of their other products as well as the eventual yield. Generally, the bank compounds the interest daily so customers can enjoy higher returns.

For customers who can shell out $2,500 to open an account, this product is good enough. There’s no monthly fee and customers can access their account through mobile or online banking.

The downside is, aside from the high opening balance, the shortest term available is 90 days. Some banks offer a 30-day term for CDs and there are banks that even go for one week.

Money Market Account

$100

Initial Deposit

None

Minimum Balance

0.23%

APY

Pros

Cons

Banner Bank Pros & Cons

Like any other bank, Banner has its own strengths and weaknesses. Here are the main benefits and drawbacks you should know before applying:

Stability

Being the 3rd largest bank in Washington and having a total asset of more than $12B is no joke. This bank can stand on its own two feet.

In the uncertain financial universe, it’s an advantage to have a bank with a solid track record of stability. When it comes to your money, peace of mind is of utmost importance.

Get Rewards And Reimbursements

Not many banks offer rewards to customers. Banner Bank has an agreement with Mastercard so that customers can earn cashback for using their debit cards.

Somehow, this offsets whatever customers give up on interest rates, albeit a little. Plus, the ATM reimbursements also helps in a way to save money.

Award-Winning Service

Banking is more of a relationship rather than a transaction.

This bank puts a premium on service so clients can expect a good experience when they deal with the staff.

Many banks have forgotten to emphasize this frontier in their operational strategies.

It’s good that Banner Bank remembers.

No High-Interest Deposit Rates

When your purpose of putting money in your account is to get a good return, don’t expect Banner Bank to be your genie in this department. The rates, as they describe, are ‘competitive’. But they are below the national average rates.

After all, Banner Bank still fits the mold of the traditional brick-and-mortar bank that needs a lot of money to cover its overhead costs.

Fees

The thing about traditional banks is that they need to charge fees to enable them to operate.

So, expect them to be strict when it comes to some fees. This means that it would be almost impossible to do banking without having to pay a fee here and there.

Big But Not Wide Enough

Many regional banks grow big but only within the same area and very few extend their reach all over the country.

If you don’t live, work, or do business in their service area, you won’t have access to their branches. This means that only residents of the four states would directly benefit from banking with them.

Alternatives Banks For Consideration

Here are our alternatives to Banner Bank:

Barclays bank is an organization well-known for investments and lending options. Its loan offers can be for business purposes, investment plans, home purchase and renovations.

Here are some of the benefits of banking with Barclays: service is widely available, high-interest rates on savings and an up-to-the-task customer service system.

There are various saving accounts ranging from free access to notice to fixed-term accounts.
Free access savings have a minimum deposit of $1 and a maximum of up to $15,000,000.

Notice account funds may be fixed for 35 or 100 days with minimum deposits of $500,000 and $1,000,000, respectively. Fixed terms may be up to five years with fixed interest rates and a minimum opening balance of $50,000. The organization also provides online services; mobile banking platforms are easy and convenient for clients to transact.

There are a few cons of banking with Barclays like; reports have shown complaints of a slow customer service system. Also, it is a London-based company; hence it is limited only to UK citizens.
Clients may qualify for Barclays savings account if they can provide the following certifications: proof of identity (passport, driver's license), and proof of residency (driver's license details, bank statement, or utility bill).

JD Power in 2019 ranked Barclays with a score of 806 for a credit card customer satisfaction survey.
Business Bureau awards Barclays an A/Negative for their long-term credit and an A-1 for their short-term credit rating history.

Flagstar Bank offers personal, commercial and business banking and is well-known in the US for its mortgage loans. 

The Bank has a series of checking accounts from which clients can choose. They come with online banking, mobile deposits, free debit cards, no ATM charges, and overdraft protection. There are different savings options for adults and minors; the Foundation Savings plan has an APY of 0.30% for a minimum balance of $10,000, and the High-Yields Savings is the most attractive interest rate offer with a steady balance of $50,000. Certificates of deposit accounts have higher rates than most with a fixed term of 49 months attracting a 1.00% APY. Flagstar has several branches across different states as well as online platforms, including a mobile application.

Most of these accounts, except Certificates of Deposit, require in-house banking to apply. Before signing up for a CD account on the company's website, you may be asked to give some certifications like social security number, a form of identification, sign-up details, credit report and that you’re up to 18 years of age.

Clients have reported a few complaints in Flagstar Bank’s services, including; inadequate online services and technicalities with the mobile app, and a high mortgage originator fee compared to its contemporaries.

In 2010, JD Power awarded Flagstar with the highest score of 800 on a 1,000 points scale for customer satisfaction. The Bank is the fight largest mortgage servicer in America.

Summary

If you still want to do your banking the old way by visiting a branch and interacting with a teller, this bank is good for you.

Banner Bank is keeping its brick-and-mortar branches to provide banking services to individual customers and to the community.

However, the bank has already provided the convenience of mobile and online banking to its customers so even the younger market can feel comfortable making it their bank.

If you happen to live or do your business in any of the states they cover, this is also a good fit for you. Their extensive branch network guarantees that you can find them in major locations within these states.

But if you’re after a good return for your deposits, this may not be your best choice. They are not known for their deposit interest rates. Yes, the service is good but if you want a nice figure on your bottom line, some other banks can give you a much higher yield for your money.