First Foundation Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Chanelle BessetteSeptember 29, 2020

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Overall bank rating

First Foundation Bank
  • Savings

    Savings

  • Checking

    Checking

  • CD rates

    CD rates

  • Banking experience

    Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

    Overdraft fees

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: First Foundation Bank has some strong features that are well-suited to online customers. There are, however, some fees, minimum balances and branch limitations to be aware of.

Pros

  • No monthly fee on Personal Checking or Online Savings.

  • Solid 0.75% APY on savings.

  • ATM fees reimbursed nationwide up to $20 per transaction.

Cons

  • Minimum opening deposit on Personal Checking is $100.

  • Minimum opening deposit on Online Savings is $1,000.

  • $2,500 minimum opening deposit for CDs.

  • Three- and five-year CDs only available in California, Nevada and Hawaii.

  • Branches only available in California, Nevada and Hawaii.

Full review

First Foundation Bank First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account

First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.75%

With $0 minimum balance

First Foundation offers a solid 0.75% APY on its Online Savings account, much higher than traditional brick-and-mortar banks; the national average is just 0.05%. This account has no monthly fee and a minimum opening deposit of $1,000

Want to see more options? Check out NerdWallet’s best high-yield online savings accounts

First Foundation Bank First Foundation Bank Personal Checking

First Foundation Bank Personal Checking

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Monthly Fee

$0

First Foundation Bank’s Personal Checking account has no monthly fee on its checking account, and all domestic ATM fees are reimbursed up to $20 per transaction. The minimum opening deposit is $100, and the account doesn't pay interest.

First Foundation Bank CD

First Foundation Bank CD

2.0

NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY

0.65%

Minimum Deposit

$2,500

First Foundation’s one-year CD has an interest rate of 0.65% and a somewhat high $2,500 minimum opening deposit. The bank’s three-year and five-year CDs are available only in California, Nevada and Hawaii.

Banking experience

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

First Foundation Bank has only 23 branches, located in California, Nevada and Hawaii, but it has a particularly generous ATM reimbursement policy: Customers can use any ATM in the U.S. and have the ATM fee reimbursed up to $20 per transaction. Its customer service representatives are available by phone during business hours Monday through Friday along with some Saturday hours.

The bank’s app has solid star ratings for both Android and iPhone.

Overdraft fees

3.0

NerdWallet rating 

First Foundation Bank charges $35 per overdraft with a daily limit of $175 per account. The bank doesn’t offer an overdraft line of credit or overdraft protection transfers. It also doesn’t charge a continuous negative balance fee.

First Foundation Bank First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account

First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
APY

0.75%

With $0 minimum balance

First Foundation offers a solid 0.75% APY on its Online Savings account, much higher than traditional brick-and-mortar banks; the national average is just 0.05%. This account has no monthly fee and a minimum opening deposit of $1,000

Want to see more options? Check out NerdWallet’s best high-yield online savings accounts

RATING 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.