California First National Bank Review

How does your bank stack up?

  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.0 Star Icon

Pros:

  • Reimbursement of ATM fees
  • Competitive interest rates on accounts
  • Interest rates are not tiered
  • Free first order of checks with checking

Cons:

  • Not a wide variety of accounts
  • High opening required amounts
  • Accounts have monthly fees
  • Not all CDs offer competitive rates

What You Need to Know

You can withdraw money from any ATMs with the specific “Plus” logo. If you withdraw money from another ATM, you are reimbursed for the fees charged. CalFirst will reimburse up to $6.00 each statement cycle in ATM fees.

Most CalFirst accounts offer competitive interest rates. The interest rates are not tiered, so you earn the highest rates offered on any balance in the account. Interest is paid monthly on the actual daily balance.

The interest rates for CalFirst accounts are not tiered. Any amount you have in their accounts earns the competitive interest rates. You do not have to have a certain amount in the account to earn the most competitive rates.

The first order of checks is free when you open an interest checking account. You get an ATM card when you open an interest checking account. Free online bill pay comes with each CalFirst checking account opened.

CalFirst does not have a wide variety of accounts. No business accounts are available, only personal deposit accounts. One money market account and savings account are available. There is an interest checking and one regular checking account. CalFirst only offers five different CD terms.

CalFirst accounts have high opening amounts. The money market account and CDs require $5,000 to open. The interest checking account requires $2,500 to open. The savings account and regular checking account both require $1,000 to open.

The accounts at CalFirst all have a monthly fee. The fees range from $10 to $20 a month, depending on the account you open. Waive the fee by keeping a set amount in CalFirst accounts. You can also have a combined balance between a variety of CalFirst accounts.

Not all the CD terms offer competitive rates. The most competitive rates are the three-month, six-month, and the one-year terms. The two-year and three-year terms have interest rates much lower than the other terms. Regular CDs require $5,000 to open. The IRA CDs require $2,000 to open. The only fees are if you withdraw the money before the maturity date.

Cool Things

Green Leasing Practices

CalFirst is doing their part to make the environment a better place. They lease solar panels and hybrid vehicles. You can rent shrubbery for your buildings or businesses. All statements are electronic to reduce paper. CalFirst offers virtual meetings for customers. Those meetings help businesses learn how to become more environment-friendly.

History

California First National Bank is an internet only bank. There are no branch locations. They offer competitive interest on personal deposit accounts. They offer loans and leases to small companies and nonprofits. Loans for educational institutions are also available. Since there are not branch locations, customers can bank from anywhere.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is This Bank FDIC insured?

Yes. CalFirst is FDIC insured. The FDIC is an agency of the United States government that protects funds deposited in banks, up to $250,000 per customer, per bank. The money deposited in FDIC insured banks means money is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

How do I access my money?

ATM or debit cards, checks, bill pay, or through electronic transfers.

Does this bank offer mobile banking?

No mobile app is available on the website. You can access your accounts online. Everything for your account is online.

Is this a good bank?

The interest rates are competitive. Any balance in the account earns the competitive rates. There are no branch locations. Only personal deposit accounts are available. The required amounts to open the account are high.

Is this bank free?

No. Each of their accounts has a monthly fee. Waive the fees by keeping a certain balance in the account. Having a required balance between more than one CalFirst account could also waive the fees. The fees range from $10 to $20 each month.

Is this bank secure online?

CalFirst encrypts personal information. Accounts are password protected. You must contact a CalFirst representative within two days to report unauthorized transactions.

Does this bank offer competitive interest rates?

Yes. The interest rates are competitive with other online-only accounts.

Can I use this bank for my business accounts?

No. CalFirst only offers personal deposit accounts. They do offer loans for small businesses, nonprofits, and educational institutions.

How is the online bank different from the online banking my bank offers?

The interest rates are higher. There are no branch locations. Everything for your account is online.

Do their checking accounts pay interest?

Yes. One CalFirst checking account earns interest. The interest rates are competitive with other online checking accounts.

How do I reach customer service?

By phone, mail, or email. Customer service is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST. Customer service is closed on all federal holidays.

Does this bank offer bill pay?

Yes. When you open a CalFirst checking account, free bill pay is available.

Can I deposit cash?

No. Make deposits by direct deposit or by mailing a check. You can make an electronic transfer or a wire.

How long do transfers take?

Specific transfer times are not listed on the CalFirst website.

Can I sign up for direct deposit to this account?

Yes. You can have money directly deposited into CalFirst accounts.

Bank Contact Information

CalFirst

28 Executive Park
Irvine, CA 92614

Favorite Rates

E*TRADE Bank
Savings 10/16/2018
APY 1.90%
Rate 1.88%
For APY $100
Monthly Fee $10.00
Checkbook No
Make the most of your savings - higher rates & a whole lot more!
Learn More &
Open Account
American Express National Bank
Savings 10/16/2018
APY 1.90%
Rate 1.88%
For APY $1
Monthly Fee $0.00
Checkbook No
Accounts offered by American Express National Bank. Member FDIC
Learn More &
Open Account
Capital One 360
MMA 10/16/2018
APY 1.85%
Rate 1.83%
For APY $10,000
Monthly Fee $0.00
Checkbook Yes
360 Money Market: Up to 1.85% APY
Learn More &
Open Account