Arvest Bank Review: Regional Bank Offers Wide Range of Services
Breadth of Products
- Large selection of checking accounts
- Business, loan and investment options
- Full-service banking in a regional package
- Limited fee-free ATM access for customers
- Branches in just four states
- High-fee accounts with no waivers
About Arvest Bank
Based in Lowell, Arkansas, Arvest Bank got its start in 1961 with the purchase of the Bank of Bentonville and its $3.5 million in deposits. Arvest has grown by acquiring other independent banks in both its home state and neighboring states such as Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas. Today, Arvest has more than 200 locations that are part of 14 locally managed banks in more than 110 communities, with more than $26 billion in assets. Arvest offers a wide variety of products, including checking and savings accounts, CDs, money market accounts, loans, mortgages, investments and business accounts. Arvest Bank ranks among the Top 100 Banks and Best Checking Accounts in GOBankingRates’ Best Banks study for 2022.
Arvest Bank’s checking account lineup is its most diverse, with six options: Free Blue, Basic Blue, myBlue, Arvest Club, Preferred Club and Arvest Bright Solutions Banking, which is a checkless account. Free Blue is on GOBankingRates’ list of Best Checking Accounts for 2022.
A $50 initial deposit is required to open Free Blue, Basic Blue, myBlue, Arvest Club and Preferred Club accounts. A $25 minimum deposit is required to open an Arvest Bright Solutions account.
Free Blue is the only checking account without a monthly service fee, but you have to enroll in eStatements. The other monthly fees are $3 for Basic Blue, $6 for myBlue, $12 for Arvest Club and either $5 or $7 for Arvest Bright Solutions Banking (the lower fee comes with eStatement enrollment). None of these can be waived.
Preferred Club has an $18 fee that can be waived if you meet certain requirements, such as keeping $20,000 in deposits.
The Preferred Club checking account is the only one that pays interest, at an annual percentage yield of 0.02%.
Arvest Bank offers one regular savings account as well as the Cool Blue Savings account for customers under age 18.
The regular account has a $100 minimum to open and a $2 monthly service charge, which can be waived with either a $100 minimum daily balance or $500 average daily balance.
Cool Blue Savings has a $50 minimum opening deposit and no monthly fee. The APY on both accounts is The Preferred Club checking account is the only one that pays interest, at an annual percentage yield of 0.05%.
Money Market Account
Arvest’s money market account has a $100 minimum to open and a $10 monthly service charge that can be waived by keeping a minimum daily balance of $2,500. This account features tiered interest rates, with an APY of 0.05% on balances below $100,000, 0.10% on balances between $100,000 and $5 million, and 0.15% on balances of $5 million and above. Interest is compounded and credited monthly. Account holders get up to six penalty-free withdrawals per month.
Arvest offers CDs with fixed rates of varying maturities, which it also dubs Time Accounts. Terms are from 31 days to five years, with interest distribution options available. The minimum to open an account is $1,000. Penalties for early withdrawal may apply.
CDs at Arvest have tiered interest rates, with longer terms and larger deposits earning the higher rates. For six-month CDs, the APY ranges from 0.05% for balances of less than $10,000 to 0.15% for balances of $95,000 and up. For one-year CDs, the APY range goes from 0.10% for balances of less than $10,000 to 0.20% for balances of $95,000 and up. For two-year CDs, the APY ranges from 0.15% to 0.25%.
How Arvest Bank Earned Its Scores
Fees are a mixed bag at Arvest Bank. Some of its basic accounts have monthly fees that cannot be waived, which is a drawback compared with competitors. However, other fees at the bank, such as the $17 fee for insufficient funds, are low relative to those at other institutions.
Arvest Bank gets pretty high marks when it comes to its mobile app. Users on Google Play give the app 4.6 out of 5 stars, while users on the App Store rank it even higher, bestowing 4.9 stars. You can handle numerous bank activities on the app, including scheduling and paying bills, depositing checks, transferring funds, searching account transactions and locating branches and ATMs.
Breadth of Products
One of Arvest Bank’s main strengths is in the range of products it offers. In addition to the usual checking, savings, money market and CD accounts, Arvest offers traditional, Roth, SIMPLE and SEP IRAs; investment products such as managed accounts, ETFs, mutual funds, annuities, insurance and estate planning; home, auto and personal loans; credit cards; and business accounts, including SBA lending and equipment finance.
You won’t find any no-minimum accounts at Arvest. A $50 initial deposit is required to open Free Blue, Basic Blue, myBlue, Arvest Club and Preferred Club accounts. A $25 minimum deposit is required to open an Arvest Bright Solutions account. You need a minimum daily balance of $100 or an average daily balance of $500 to avoid fees on the basic savings account. The money market account has a $100 minimum opening deposit, and CDs have a $1,000 minimum opening deposit.
Arvest Bank provides customers with six checking account options and a wide selection of other products, giving people in its service area just about all the choices they might get with a national bank.
Arvest Bank vs. Competitors
Arvest has a limited geographic reach but still competes with both regional and online banks. Here’s how it stacks up against others.
|Arvest Bank||Regional customers in search of a full lineup of products and services|
|Ally Bank||No-fee, high-APY accounts|
|Regions Bank||Rewards programs|
|Bank OZK||Several money market account options|
Arvest Bank vs. Ally Bank
Ally Bank offers several no-fee, high-yield accounts, such as its no-fee savings account currently paying a 0.50% APY. However, Ally is online only, so it’s not a good choice for customers who want in-person service. Although Arvest bank is limited to a four-state service area, it offers more than 200 branches.
Arvest Bank vs. Regions Bank
As its name suggests, Regions Bank is a regional bank like Arvest Bank, operating in the South and Midwest. Regions offers some attractive rewards programs, such as Cashback Rewards for purchases at select merchants and a Relationship Rewards program attached to its credit card products. Although Arvest Bank doesn’t offer the highest APYs, it stands above Regions, which offers just a 0.01% APY on its savings account.
Arvest Bank vs. Bank OZK
Bank OZK, also known as Bank of the Ozarks, offers four money market accounts (Arvest Bank has one). But Arvest has a big edge in digital banking. Bank OZK’s website makes it all but impossible to find APYs on savings and CD accounts, and its mobile app has a poor 3.1 rating on Google Play.
Arvest Bank offers a wide range of accounts to its customers, but it has a limited geographic reach, serving just four states. This wouldn’t be a problem if the bank had a vast, fee-free ATM network, but outside of its own machines, it charges $2 per transaction.
Arvest Bank FAQHere are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Arvest.
- Is Arvest Bank owned by Walmart?
- Arvest Bank is not owned by Walmart, but it is controlled by the descendants of Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. Sam Walton's son, Jim Walton, is the chairman of Arvest Bank.
- Does Arvest Bank have free checking?
- Arvest Bank has five checking accounts. Free Blue is completely fee-free. Fees can be waived for some of the other checking accounts.
- How long does it take for a check to clear Arvest?
- In most cases, funds from check deposits are available within one business day. Direct deposits are available on the day the bank receives them.
- Can you deposit money into an Arvest ATM?
- Yes, you can deposit cash or checks into an Arvest ATM.
- Does Arvest offer free money for signing up for an account?
- You can earn a $50 Visa Reward Card with Arvest ReferLive each time you refer a friend who opens and uses a new, qualified Arvest personal checking account. Your friend will receive the same bonus.
John Csiszar contributed to the reporting for this article.
Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Apr. 20, 2022.
Editorial note: This content is not provided by Arvest Bank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Arvest Bank.