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AloStar VS Gateway First Bank

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.5 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Low required amounts to open CDs
  • Accounts are entirely online
  • Shorter terms offer competitive rates

Cons:

  • Limited personal accounts offered
  • Customer service not available 24/7
  • No checks or debit cards offered
  • Must link to an external bank account
  • Financial Rates: 4.5 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.5 Star Icon
No Rate Information
Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon Star Icon

Pros:

  • Competitive rates on all accounts
  • Low opening required amounts
  • Good variety of accounts
  • Can send and receive money with Zelle

Cons:

  • Tiered interest rates for most accounts
  • Cannot open all accounts online
  • Accounts not available to everyone
  • Monthly fees for some accounts
AloStar Review

AloStar CDs offer competitive interest rates. The interest rates are competitive with other online CDs. The rates are much higher than typical brick and mortar bank rates.

The CDs at AloStar have low required opening amounts. Each of the CDs require $1,000 to open. To earn the competitive interest rates, you must keep $1,000 in the account. There is not a fee if your balance falls below $1,000, but you will not earn interest on the balance.

CDs with AloStar are entirely online. You apply for the CDs online. Once you open an account, everything for the account is online. There are no branch locations. You can reach customer service by phone or email.

Usually with CDs, the longer the term the higher the interest rate. But, with AloStar some shorter terms offer more competitive rates. The 12-month, 18-month, and 24-month CD terms offer the most competitive rates.

There are limited accounts offered through AloStar. The only accounts offered are CDs. AloStar does not offer checking, savings, or money market accounts. The CD terms offered range from three-month to five-year terms.

AloStar customer service is not always available. You can contact customer service through email. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. On Saturday their hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The AloStar CD accounts do not offer debit cards or checks. The only way to access your money is through electronic transfers. You can transfer money during the grace period or after the CD reaches maturity.

To fund your AloStar CDs you must link the accounts to an external bank account. Once the accounts are linked you can make electronic transfers between the accounts. To avoid a fee, make withdrawals or deposits during the grace period or after the CD reaches maturity.

Read the full AloStar review.

Gateway First Bank Review

Gateway First offers competitive interest rates on most accounts. The interest rates are much higher than typical bank rates. The online savings account and 12-month CD offers the most competitive interest rates.

The opening required amounts for Gateway First accounts are low. The online savings account requires $10 to open. The CDs need $1,000 to open. The checking accounts require either $50 or $1,000 to open. The money market account does require $2,500 to open.

Gateway First offers a good variety of accounts. These include:

  • Three personal checking accounts
  • Online savings account
  • CD terms from six-months to five-years
  • One, two, and three-year IRA CDs
  • Home and consumer loans
  • Business checking account
  • Commercial and specialty lending options

Customers can send and receive money through Zelle. Gateway First Bank offers Zelle as a feature for each of their checking accounts. You can initiate Zelle payments through the mobile app or online.

Gateway First accounts have tiered rates. The CDs require $500 to open, but to earn interest requires a $25,000 balance. Each CD earns competitive rates if you have $25,000. You cannot add money to the CD after the opening amount. The money market account requires $100,000 to earn the most competitive rate. The checking account requires $50,000.

Not all Gateway First accounts can be opened online. The only accounts available online are the high yield savings account and CDs. The CD terms range from six-months to five-years.

Gateway First accounts are not currently available in all 50 states. If you live in the following states, you cannot open an account:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont

Some Gateway First Bank accounts have monthly fees. The fees for the checking accounts are between $7-8. There is a fee of $0.15 per debit item if you do not keep a set account balance. To waive the account fees, you must keep an account balance between $250 and $2,500.

Read the full Gateway First Bank review.

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