Bank of the West VS PenFed Credit Union

Which bank is better for you?

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

  • Business accounts are available
  • Direct deposit is not required
  • A variety of different lengths of CDs
  • Transfer money to others with PopMoney

Cons:

  • Low-interest rates on accounts
  • High initial required amounts for CDs
  • High required amounts for accounts
  • Products change based on states
  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • CDs have competitive interest rates
  • Low opening required amount
  • CDs offered to save for education
  • Low monthly fee for checking account

Cons:

  • High opening balances for CDs
  • Low-interest rates
  • Best rates require large balances
  • Do not offer a variety of accounts
Bank of the West Review

Bank of the West offers checking, savings, CDs, and money market accounts for your business. Credit cards, loans, and lines of credit are also available. Bank of the West offers payroll services and payment processing options. Foreign exchange services for business accounts are also available. Interest rates for their different business accounts are not listed on the website.

Bank of the West does not require you to have direct deposit into their checking account. There is a monthly maintenance fee, but you can waive that fee by depositing money into your account each month. You can deposit any amount by an ATM, in-branch, direct, or mobile deposit to waive the fee.

Bank of the West offers Flexible-Term CDs, Premium Money Market CD, and a Relationship CD. Within these different CD types are a variety of term lengths, except the Relationship CD. That only has a 12-month term option. To apply for a CD and get the specific term lengths and rates you have to visit a branch. You cannot apply online.

With Popmoney you can send or receive money with only an email, text, or account number. You decide where the money is deposited. You will receive an alert when the transaction is complete. There is a fee to send money overnight, and not all customers qualify to use Popmoney.

Personal banking accounts of Bank of the West do not have competitive interest rates. The rates are much less than online-only banks but similar to typical bank interest rates.

To open a CD, you must have an opening balance of $1,000 for the Flexible-Term CDs and Premier Money Market CDs. To open a Relationship CD, you must have $2,500 and a checking account with Bank of the West.

To waive the Premier Checking account fee, you must have $25,000 in qualifying accounts. The Choice Money Market account requires $5,000. CD accounts require $1,000 to $2,500 to open. The Classic Savings account requires $300. There are other options for ways to have monthly fees waived. Know the options if you cannot keep the required amounts of money in the accounts.

Bank of the West accounts are not available in all states. To apply for an account, you must have an address in one of the states listed. Interest rates and products differ between states. The name of the bank may be slightly different as well depending on the area.

Read the full Bank of the West review.

PenFed Credit Union Review

PenFed CDs have competitive interest rates. The rates on CDs are competitive with online-only accounts. The longer you can invest the money in the CD the higher the interest rates you will earn. CD terms range from six months to seven years.

All accounts, other than CDs, have a low opening balance of only $25. The more you invest in the money market account, the higher interest rates you will earn. However, you are only required to have $25 to open an account with PenFed.

PenFed offers CDs designed to save specifically for education costs. These CDs only require $500 to open instead of $1,000. The education CDs range in term from one year to seven years. The interest rates earned on these CDs are competitive with other CD accounts.

Only the checking account has a monthly maintenance fee. The fee is low and is easy to waive. The fee is waived by having a daily balance of $500 in the account. Having a direct deposit into the account of more than $500 each month will also waive the fee. The savings account and money market accounts do not have a monthly fee.

To open a CD, PenFed requires $1,000. The CD terms vary in length from six months to seven years. The longer you can invest your money in a PenFed CD the higher interest you will earn over the CD term. The interest rates on these CDs are competitive with other online-only CDs.

The interest rates for PenFed savings, checking, and money market accounts are not competitive. The rates are low. Those interest rates are competitive to your typical bank rates. Online only accounts offer much higher interest rates for these accounts.

To earn the highest interest on the PenFed checking account, a daily balance of $20,000 to $50,000 is required. If you do not have at least $20,000, you will earn much lower interest rates. Any amount earns interest. To get the highest rates, your daily balance must meet the requirements.

PenFed only offers one checking account, savings account, and money market account. This does not allow you to find the account that best fits your needs.

Read the full PenFed Credit Union review.

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