Review: Bank of the West

Bank of the West is a solid choice for those seeking a bank with a long history and excellent customer service. Based in San Francisco, Bank of the West offers its customers a wide variety of financial products that range from home loans to credit cards. As of 2010, this financial institution has more than $62 million in assets, making it one of the nation’s largest banks. There are currently more than 700 locations in 19 states.

Maybe you’re not happy with your current institution and feel that it’s time to make a change. You certainly have plenty of banking options — but before you step foot inside another bank, find out if Bank of the West can meet your needs.

Bank of the West Products

When selecting the right bank for your money, it’s all about the products and features. At Bank of the West, there is no shortage of options for your money.

Bank of the West Savings Accounts

Why settle for a bank with only one or two savings account options? Bank of the West offers several ways for depositors to grow their balances. Choose from three savings accounts, each with a low, manageable monthly maintenance fee: The Classic Savings is perfect if you’re looking for a simple way to build your nest egg, while the bank’s Online Savings account provides the convenience of an online account, plus the opportunity to earn a higher, competitive interest rate.

Other options include a Choice Money Market Savings. Additionally, Bank of the West features four CD options, all designed to grow your money faster. Choose a CD term between seven days and 60 months.

Bank of the West Checking Accounts

With five different options, there is certainly a checking account to meet your financial lifestyle. Get started with Easy Checking and pay no monthly maintenance fees, or earn interest on your checking account balance with Choice Interest Checking or Premier Relationship Checking.

Are you over the age of 55? If so, a 55 Plus Checking account is an excellent way to avoid maintenance fees and enjoy additional perks. If you’re a student between the ages of 18 and 24, a Student Checking account comes with unique benefits, such as the ability to earn points with qualifying debit card purchases. And with a checking account, there is always the option of direct deposit — as long as you have your Bank of the West routing number and account number.

Bank of the West Credit Cards

You can choose between three credit card options. If you’re a frequent credit card user, and you pay your balance in full each month, a Bank of the West rewards credit card might be a right fit for you. Earn one reward point for every $1 on qualifying purchases, and redeem points for cash, travel, merchandise and gift cards. Each Bank of the West credit card features a 0% introductory rate for the the first six months, plus you can enjoy 24-hour access to Bank of the West online banking.

Bank of the West Home Loans

Regardless of your home loan needs, Bank of the West can help. This financial institution offers four different types of mortgages, including fixed rate mortgages, government mortgages, jumbo mortgage loans and adjustable rate mortgages. Whether you’re buying your first property, upgrading to a new home or refinancing your existing home loan, there’s a product to help you realize your ownership goals. And since Bank of the West mortgage rates are competitive, now is the best time to consider your options.

Bank of the West Online

A bank that doesn’t offer mobile or online banking is a deal breaker for some customers. Unfortunately, this isn’t an issue with Bank of the West online, which gives you the ability to track and manage your finances from a computer or mobile device. Get up-to-date bank statements, transfer money, schedule bill payments, deposit checks with your smartphone, plus receive text alerts about your account.

Bank of the West: Pros and Cons

Every bank will have its fair share of complaints, but for the most part, Bank of the West customers seem satisfied with the level of service. Whether speaking with a banker in person or over the phone, many customers praised their professionalism and willingness to help.

Unlike other banks, Bank of the West ATMs allow customers to withdraw funds in $5 increments, which is a major plus considering that other financial institutions only allow withdrawals in $20 increments.

But despite the bank’s many positive features, Bank of the West locations are only in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Additionally, Bank of the West hours aren’t as convenient as some other financial institutions, as many branches do not offer Saturday hours.

Bank of the West might be a good match if you live in a state with a branch, and if you’re looking for a bank with multiple checking and savings account options, plus top online features. And with the bank’s other loan products, business services and wealth planning tools, you can manage all your personal finances in one place.

If you need to locate a branch or open an account, visit the bank’s official website or call 1-800-488-BANK.