Bank of the West Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Bank of the West offers basic accounts that have low opening deposit requirements and monthly fees that are easily waived. But rates are low and most branches are in California.
Dec 16, 2021

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Overall bank rating

Bank of the West

    3.5

    NerdWallet rating 

    The bottom line:

    You won't pay a lot to use Bank of the West's basic checking and savings accounts: Minimum opening deposits are low, and you can waive monthly fees by receiving a single deposit each statement cycle or maintaining a relatively low minimum balance. Fees are also waived for younger customers.

    But you won't get a lot back, either. Rates on savings and CDs are well below what you’ll find with online competitors (who offer about 40 to 50 times more in interest). And you might have a hard time finding a branch: The bank operates mostly in Western states, though it does have a handful of branches in other locations stretching as far as the Midwest. You'll have the best shot at a branch nearby if you live in California.

    Best for: Those who need a brick-and-mortar bank in California and are looking for accounts with monthly fees that are easy to waive and have low requirements for opening deposits.

    Pros

    • Easy-to-waive monthly fees and low minimum opening deposits on basic accounts.

    Cons

    • Low interest rates on savings and CDs.
    • Limited branches and ATM network.

    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, banking 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.