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TCF Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

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TCF Bank Review: Checking and Savings

TCF Bank
NerdWallet’s rating: 3.0 / 5.0

TCF Bank
Learn more
at TCF Bank

Based in Minnesota, TCF Bank is a regional financial institution with a wide range of products and a small network of branches and ATMs. Though convenient if you live in one of the states TCF serves — Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin — rates are pretty low and fees are expensive.

» MORE: Best banks and credit unions in the Midwest

The bottom line:

  • Savings and certificates of deposit have low rates
  • Overdrafting will put a sizable dent in your wallet
  • A small network of branches and ATMs
Our Ratings
Checking
Savings
Certificates of deposit (CDs)
Customer experience
Overdraft fees
Overall

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best national banks

Checking


3.5 / 5.0
TCF’s free checking account is best for customers who won’t stray from TCF Bank ATM and branch locations. You won’t earn any interest on your account, but you won’t have to pay monthly maintenance fees or keep a minimum balance either.

ProsCons
  • No monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirement
  • A low deposit requirement of $25
  • No interest earned on the basic checking account
  • Only 331 branches for in-person banking
  • A small network of 843 ATMs
Account reviewed for rating: TCF Free Checking.

» MORE: Best checking accounts

Savings


3.0 / 5.0

TCF’s Power Savings account comes with an interest rate that falls below the national average. Some savings products at this bank can offer slightly higher rates, but they don’t come close to the rates of 1% or higher that some online-only banks and credit unions offer.

ProsCons
  • The monthly maintenance fee of $4 is waived with a minimum balance of $100
  • A low $25 opening deposit
  • A low rate of 0.01% APY (rates may vary by state)
  • A withdrawal limit fee of $15 for exceeding six monthly transactions
Account reviewed for rating: TCF Power Savings.
» MORE: NerdWallet’s best savings accounts

Certificates of deposit


2.5 / 5.0
TCF Bank offers a variety of fixed terms. Explore other options from an online-only bank or a credit union if you’re hunting for the best rates.

ProsCons
  • A low minimum deposit of $500
  • Term rates from three months to 10 years
  • A 0.20% APY for two-year CDs (varies by state)
  • A 0.25% APY for three-year CDs (varies by state)
  • A 0.35% APY for five-year CDs (varies by state)
  • Early withdrawal penalties apply
Account reviewed for rating: TCF certificate of deposit.

Customer experience

3.5 / 5.0

TCF’s website is clean and modern, though fees and interest rates can be hard to locate. Though its mobile apps on both iOS and Android platforms receive low ratings, they will let you transfer money between TCF accounts and pay bills.

Customer service is available by phone from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends, and Twitter. You can also find support in one of its 331 branches, located in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Overdraft fees


2.0 / 5.0
TCF Bank fees can add up quickly. The bank can charge a $37 overdraft fee, up to five times in one day.

Usually you can avoid this fee with overdraft transfers, which are significantly cheaper, but it’ll still cost you $10 each time. An account at this bank will require extra padding that goes beyond the minimum balance requirement to avoid these fees.

Many options that won’t grow your money

TCF Bank
Learn more
at TCF Bank
TCF Bank has an abundance of options, but they may end up costing you in fees. You can find better accounts with lower fees and higher savings at a credit union or online-only bank.

Melissa Lambarena is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: mlambarena@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @LissaLambarena.

Updated May 12, 2017.


Ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, customer experience and overdraft fees.

Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.