BankDirect VS California First National Bank

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon
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Pros:

  • Low required opening amounts
  • Reimbursement of ATM fees
  • Variety of personal deposit accounts
  • Money market account earns good rates

Cons:

  • Highest MMA rate requires large amount
  • High required amount to open CDs
  • Checking accounts have a monthly fee
  • Must mail in application to open account
  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.0 Star Icon
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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
BankDirect Review

Most of the BankDirect accounts have a low amount required to open the account. BankDirect checking accounts only require $500 to open. Both BankDirect money market accounts require $500 to open. The basic savings account only requires $100 to open.

BankDirect does not own any ATMs; they reimburse their customers the ATM fees. The first four ATM withdrawals per statement cycle are refunded. The refunds are up to $2.50 per transaction. There is a withdrawal limit of $500 from an ATM each day.

BankDirect offers a variety of personal deposit accounts. There are three different checking accounts and two different money market accounts. There are a variety of different CD terms available. BankDirect offers one savings account. There are no business accounts available.

The BankDirect Money Market Plus account offers a competitive interest rate. BankDirect also offers a mileage money market account. This account earns American Airline miles. Both MMA require $500 to open. The mileage money market account earns much lower interest rates. You earn miles instead of interest. There is no monthly fee for either account.

To earn the high rates offered on the BankDirect Money Market Plus account you must have $10,000 in the account. Amounts under $10,000 do not earn any interest. Only $500 is required to open this account, but to earn any interest requires $10,000.

BankDirect offers a variety of different CD terms. The required amount to open any of the CDs is $10,000. There is no monthly fee. The interest rates for CDs are competitive. The 12-month, 18-months, 24-months and 36-month CDs offer the most competitive rates. To open a mileage CD also requires $10,000.

Two of the BankDirect checking accounts have monthly fees. The interest and mileage checking accounts both have a monthly fee. The fee is waived for the interest checking account if you have at least $2,500 in the account. The mileage checking does not list a way to waive that monthly fee.

Opening an account with BankDirect is not entirely online. To open an account, you must fill out the application online, then print off part and mail it in. You will then receive a welcome kit within one to two weeks. Once you get your kit, you can finish setting up your account.

Read the full BankDirect review.

California First National Bank Review

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.

Read the full California First National Bank review.

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