First Republic Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

May 24, 2022

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Overall bank rating

First Republic Bank
  • Checking

  • Savings

  • CD rates

  • Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

3.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

First Republic bank is one of the largest banks in the United States. As you might expect with a traditional big bank, interest rates are low and fees are steep. Branches are mostly located in California, though some are available on the East Coast (and a few more in Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming). Note that geographical restrictions may apply and some accounts might not be available in your area.

Best for: Customers who live near a branch, don't make many ATM withdrawals and won't need to have more than a few checks processed each month.

Pros

  • No fee for savings account.

Cons

  • Low rates on CDs.
  • The basic checking account's monthly fee can't be waived.
  • High minimum deposit for CDs.
  • Can’t open an account online.
  • High overdraft fees.

Full review

First Republic Basic Checking
First Republic Basic Checking

Checking

Member FDIC

2.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$3.00

First Republic offers several checking accounts. The Basic checking account requires a minimum opening deposit of $25. The account doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement. The monthly fee is only $3, but there’s no way to waive it. Up to eight checks can be processed each statement period; the fee for additional checks is $1 each.

The bank only offers a few of its own ATMs for customers to use without fees. Though the bank doesn’t charge customers for using out-of-network ATMs, doing so will cost whatever fee is charged by the machine operator. First Republic offers a checking account that provides rebates for all out-of-network ATM fees, but it has a minimum balance requirement of a few thousand dollars to waive the $25 monthly fee.

» Interested in an account without fees? See our list of the best free checking accounts

First Republic Passbook Savings
First Republic Passbook Savings

Savings

Member FDIC

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.40%
With $500 min. balance for APY

The Passbook savings account doesn’t charge a monthly fee, but that’s its only distinguishing feature. The minimum opening deposit of $500 is higher than what’s required for similar accounts at other brick-and-mortar banks. And the account earns a low 0.40% annual percentage yield for balances under $25,000, which is less than the national average. The higher your balance, the more interest you'll earn. However, many online banks offer better interest rates than First Republic's highest APYs.

» Want to earn more interest? See our picks for the best high-yield online savings accounts

First Republic Bank CD
First Republic Bank CD

CD

Member FDIC

3.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY
0.30%
3-year APY
0.40%
5-year APY
0.50%
Minimum deposit
$10,000

First Republic’s minimum opening deposit of $10,000 for a CD is steep. And its rates, though higher than the national average and better than what you’ll find at other big banks, are nowhere near what you’d find at online banks and credit unions, some of which have low or no minimum deposit requirements.

» Interested in the top CD options? Check out this month’s highest CD rates

Banking experience

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bank offers online and mobile banking, but to open your first account, you’ll need to go to a branch, call the bank or fill out a form online so a bank representative can contact you.

Customer support is available by phone on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. PST, on Saturdays from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Support is also available through Twitter.

The bank’s mobile apps get 4.8 out of five stars from iOS users, but only 3.7 out of five stars from Android users.

Overdraft fees

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

First Republic’s fee for overdrafts is $30, which can be charged up to four times a day for a total of $120. That’s steep, especially compared with banks that have recently reduced or eliminated overdraft fees. You can link a savings account or a line of credit for overdraft protection; overdraft protection transfers are free.

» Want to know how First Republic’s fees compare? See other banks’ overdraft fees

How does First Republic Bank compare?

Chime Checking Account

Chime Checking Account

Deposits are FDIC Insured

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5

Monthly fee

$0

Monthly fee

$0

APY

N/A

APY

0.25%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus

N/A

Bonus

N/A

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. How we rate banks, credit unions and other financial service providers.