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WaFd Bank Review

How does your bank stack up?

  • Financial Rates: 2.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.5 Star Icon

Pros:

  • Good variety of accounts available
  • Low opening required amounts
  • Business accounts offered
  • Money market and CDs earn good rates

Cons:

  • Low interest rates on accounts
  • Tiered interest rates on some accounts
  • High rates require eligible checking
  • Accounts have monthly fees

What You Need to Know

WaFd Bank offers a good variety of accounts. Those include:

  • Savings account
  • Savings account for minors
  • Checking accounts
  • Money market accounts
  • CD terms from three-months to five-years
  • Retirement accounts
  • Lending options
  • Credit cards
  • Small business accounts
  • Commercial options

The opening required amounts for WaFd accounts are low. Most savings and checking accounts only require $25 to open. A savings account for minors requires $10 to open. The Stellar Plus checking account requires $100 to open. The money market accounts require $100 to open. All CD terms require $1,000 to open.

WaFd Bank offers business accounts along with personal accounts. Those accounts include small business checking and savings accounts. They also offer some commercial business accounts. To open those accounts, you need to contact a commercial banker.

The WaFd Gold Money Market account has competitive rates. These account rates are the most competitive rates offered at WaFd. They are lower than other online money market accounts but still competitive. The seven-month and 13-month special CDs also earn higher rates than other WaFd CDs.

WaFd accounts besides the Gold MMA and special CD terms have low interest rates. These rates are similar to other brick-and-mortar bank rates. They do not compare to other online-only accounts.

Some WaFd accounts have tiered interest rates. To receive the highest rate for the Stellar Plus checking account requires a $10,000 balance. The regular money market account requires $90,000 to earn the best rate. Even the highest interest rate for these accounts is low.

Specific WaFd accounts require you to open other eligible accounts. To earn the best rates on the special CD terms, you must have an eligible checking account. The rates are only 0.05% higher if you have the checking account.

Most WaFd Bank accounts have monthly fees. The checking account fees range from $0-8 per month. The savings accounts have monthly fees from $3-10 per month. There are ways to waive some of the monthly fees. Those include keeping a set account balance. That balance ranges from $100-$20,000, depending on the account.

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Digital or Mobile Banking

WaFd offers online banking and a mobile app. With these digital tools, you can:

  • Pay bills
  • Make mobile check deposits
  • Transfer money between accounts
  • Access MoneySync budgeting tool
  • See account balances
  • Pay others with Zelle

Cool Things

MoneySync

WaFd Bank offers a specific budgeting tool online, and on their app, called MoneySync. You can see your account balances, debts, and budgets in one place. Purchases are automatically categorized. You can see where you are spending the most money. You can set up email alerts through MoneySync to keep you on track financially.

History

Washington Federal first started in 1917 by a group of businessmen in Seattle, Washington. The name was originally Ballard Savings and Loan Association. Over the last 100 years, they have worked to become a community bank. Every loan funded stays within Washington Federal books. They do not sell their loans to other banks. During the recession of 2008, they helped over 3,000 families stay in their homes.

Washington Federal has over 240 branch locations in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington. They offer free ATM transactions at over 32,000 ATMs. WaFd has over $15 billion in assets.

Awards and Recognition

  • "Best Banks" by Money.com from 2019-2020
  • "Best Banks" by Money.com from 2018-2019

Giving Back

WaFd Bank supported over $160 million in loans to community development and affordable housing. The loans aimed to help those with low-to-moderate income.

WaFd has a Save at School program for middle and elementary school students. The kids learn how to make good financial choices. WaFd also matches the $5 opening deposit to their Save at School accounts for students.

WaFd partners with organizations around communities with branch locations. These include United Way and Northwest Harvest.

List of Common Bank Fees

  • ATM fees in the United States: $0-5
  • ATM fees internationally: Not listed
  • Bill pay: $0
  • CD early withdrawal fees: 90-365 days of interest
  • Excessive withdrawal fees: $15
  • Monthly service fees: $0-10
  • Overdraft service fees: $30
  • Paper bank statements: $5
  • Wire transfers (Domestic): $15-25
  • Wire transfers (International): $15-45

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all the accounts FDIC insured?

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

How do I access my money?

Through checks, ATM or debit cards, or electronic transfers. You can access your money through bill pay and by visiting a local branch location.

Can I deposit cash?

Yes, at a local branch location. Some WaFd ATMs may also accept cash deposits.

How long do transfers take?

Money deposited into ATMs should post the same business day. The first $200 of mobile deposits are available the first business day after the deposit.

Can I sign up for direct deposit?

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

Are ATM transactions free?

WaFd offers free ATM transactions at over 32,000 ATMs. You can find those on the WaFd website.

Are ATM transaction fees reimbursed?

WaFd offers free ATM transactions at over 32,000 ATMs. It does not seem that WaFd refunds ATM transaction fees. Contact customer service for more information.

Is mobile banking or a mobile app available?

Yes. WaFd offers a mobile app. Through the app, you can see account balances, pay bills, and make mobile deposits. You can access MoneySync and pay others through Zelle.

Is bill pay offered?

Yes. Each WaFd checking account offers free bill pay.

Do the accounts offer competitive interest rates?

Most WaFd accounts do not offer competitive interest rates. The Gold Money Market account and special term CDs offer the most competitive rates. These rates are still lower than other online-only accounts.

Do checking accounts earn interest?

One WaFd checking account earns interest. The interest is low and requires an account balance of $20,000.

What are the most popular accounts?

The Green Checking and Gold Money Market accounts are popular.

What are the monthly maintenance fees?

The monthly fees vary from $0-10, depending on the account. Waive some account fees by keeping a set account balance.

Is this one of the best banks?

WaFd offers a good variety of accounts. They have branch locations in eight states. The opening required amounts for accounts are low. The interest rates for most accounts are also low, and accounts have monthly fees. You can open WaFd accounts online or in a branch location.

How are my money and personal information protected?

WaFd has security measures that comply with federal laws. Their computers have safeguards. Their files and buildings are secure. Employees only see personal information when they need to.

Are any business accounts offered?

Yes. WaFd offers small businesses and commercial accounts.

What makes these accounts different?

The Gold MMA and special CD terms offer more competitive rates than the other accounts. You can open these accounts online or at a branch location.

How do I reach customer service?

Through email, mail, online chat, phone, or visiting a local branch location. You can follow WaFd on Facebook and Twitter or read about the bank on their blog.

Bank Contact Information

WaFd Bank
800-324-9375

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