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California First National Bank VS PNC

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.0 Star Icon
0.25%APY
Savings/MMA
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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
  • Financial Rates: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • Virtual Wallet rates are competitive
  • Relationship Rates offer higher rates
  • Student accounts offered
  • Business accounts are available

Cons:

  • Low interest rates for other accounts
  • Accounts have monthly fees
  • High required balances to avoid fees
  • Must open CDs at branch locations
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.

PNC Review

Opening PNCs Virtual Wallet accounts earn competitive interest rates. This includes three specific accounts: the Spend, Reserve, and Growth accounts. The Spend account is your checking account for everyday spending. The Reserve account is a short-term savings account. It offers overdraft protection for the Spend account. The Growth account is for longer-term goals, like a down payment, car, or vacation. Virtual Wallet accounts offer interest rates that are competitive with other online accounts. You must link these accounts together to earn competitive rates.

Some Growth savings accounts offer slightly higher rates with Relationship Rates. You must qualify to earn the Relationship Rates. To qualify, you must have a set amount directly deposited into the Spend account. Making five debit transactions also qualifies you. The amounts of direct deposits vary from $500 to $5,000 depending on the account. If you qualify, your money will earn even higher interest rates.

PNC offers accounts for college students. With proof you are enrolled in college, the monthly fee is waived. This account offers a debit card and online and mobile banking. The same features of Virtual Wallet are available for the college account. Parents can sign up to receive alert texts when balances are low or overdrawn. Some colleges offer other perks with the account. For example, one college allows you to use your student ID card as a PNC ATM card.

PNC offers small and commercial business accounts. Checking, savings, and money market accounts are available. CDs, credit cards, and online services for your business are available. Bill pay, remote check deposits, and online payroll are services offered.

PNC standard account interest rates are low. To earn the competitive rates on Virtual Wallet accounts, you must meet the set requirement. If you open a standard account or do not meet the requirements, interest rates are low. To earn the competitive rates, be sure you open the right accounts and meet the requirements.

Most PNC accounts have a monthly fee. The fees range from $5 to $25 depending on the account. There are ways to waive the fees. Having a set amount in the account or in qualifying PNC accounts will waive the fees. Direct deposits of a set amount or if you are 62 years or older will waive some fees. As of March 2019, PNC loan and investment balances are not included to waive monthly fees.

The amounts required to have in PNC accounts to waive the monthly fees are high. The money market account requires $5,000 to avoid the monthly fee. Virtual Wallet accounts require $500 to $5,000 to waive the fee or $10,000 to $25,000 across all PNC deposit accounts. After March 2019, loans and investment balances will no longer count toward the total amount to waive fees. Their standard savings account only requires $300 to waive monthly fees.

Customers must open PNC CDs at a branch location. Most PNC CDs required $1,000 to open. The CDs with terms of seven to 89 days require $5,000 to open. PNC has branch locations in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

Read the full PNC review.

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