The bottom line
- KeyBank offers new customers a $400 sign-up bonus
- The bank’s basic checking accounts have either no monthly fees or fees that are easy to waive
- The basic savings account’s annual percentage yield is only 0.01% to 0.02%
|Certificates of deposit (CDs)|
Read on for more details about KeyBank’s checking and savings accounts, CDs, customer experience and fees.
3.5 / 5.0
KeyBank has a promotional $400 bonus for new customers who open a Key Express checking account or an interest-earning premium account by June 30, 2017. Eligible customers need to have a direct deposit of at least $500 within 60 days to qualify.
Key Express comes with a $7 monthly fee, but it’s easy to waive. You just have to deposit $500 a month or make at least eight transactions, such as deposits, withdrawals or transfers, per statement cycle. The account does not earn interest.
The bank offers an optional Relationship Rewards program, which lets you earn points for making checking account transactions. You can redeem those points for gifts and cash. If you have a KeyBank Hassle-Free or Express checking account, however, you’ll have to cough up $40 a year to enroll.
The program costs less if you open a Key Advantage interest-earning account, and it’s free with the premium Key Privilege or Key Privilege Select accounts, which also earn interest. These three accounts have higher monthly fees, along with higher balance requirements to waive the fees.
The most basic account is KeyBank Hassle-Free checking. You need only $10 to open an account, and there’s no monthly fee. But the Hassle-Free checking doesn’t qualify for the $400 bonus or earn interest. And you can’t use paper checks.
2.5 / 5.0
The Key Saver account earns only 0.01% APY for balances less than $2,500 and just a tiny bit more for higher balances. You need only $50 to open an account, but you’ll have to keep a balance of at least $300 to avoid the $4 monthly fee.
KeyBank also offers two types of money market accounts, Key Silver and Key Gold, which earn slightly more interest. But you’ll need to maintain minimum balances that start at $5,000 or deposit at least $25 each month to avoid monthly fees that start at $12.
Certificates of deposit
2.5 / 5.0
KeyBank’s standard CD rates are low, starting at just 0.10% APY. The bank offers slightly higher promotional rates to customers who have an eligible checking account and deposit at least $10,000.
KeyBank branches by state
4.0 / 5.0
If you prefer to do your banking in person, KeyBank has more than 1,200 branches spread across several regions of the U.S., including the Northeast, Northwest and parts of the upper Midwest. Customers also have access to a network of more than 1,500 ATMs.
Customer service options include live chat, phone, email and social media. Representatives are available for extended hours seven days a week.
For those who bank electronically, KeyBank offers online bill pay, text alerts and the ability to set up transfers between accounts. The institution’s website is straightforward and easy to navigate, though it’s hard to find information about a few account features, such as overdraft fees.
KeyBank also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices, which receive average ratings in the app stores. Users on the iOS platform give good marks for the TouchID feature. But there have been complaints about glitches after a recent redesign.
2.0 / 5.0
KeyBank will make you pay a high price if your account goes below zero. Depending on the state you live in and the number of overdrafts or non-sufficient funds items you’ve had, fees range from $28 to $39 per transaction, with a cap of five fees per day. To compare, the national median overdraft fee for large banks is about $34.
If your balance stays below zero for five days in a row, you’ll be charged an additional one-time fee of $28.50. Customers have the option of using a KeyBank savings account for overdraft protection; the bank charges $10 per day for overdraft transfers.
You could also apply for an overdraft line of credit. You’d still be charged a transfer fee, and you’d have to pay interest on the amount you borrow for the transfer. The annual percentage rate ranges from less than 10% to above 20%, depending on your credit. It’s not free, but it’s likely less pricey than multiple overdraft fees a day.
Keep fees in check
You can do better than KeyBank, but it may be OK for you if you’re looking for a basic checking account and you live in an area where KeyBank does business.
Updated May 26, 2017.
For banks and credit unions, NerdWallet’s overall rating is a weighted average of each subcategory: checking accounts, savings and money market accounts, CDs, customer experience and other fees. Factors we consider, depending on the subcategory, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing tech and customer service. Several Nerds contribute to each financial institution’s ratings to ensure consistency and accuracy.
What the ratings mean:
— Among the very best
— Very good; only minor caveats for most customers
— Good; issues that might make a difference to some customers
— Fair; make sure strengths and weaknesses are a good match for you
— Poor; proceed with great caution
(or below) — Best to avoid