Bank of Hawaii Review: Top-Notch Service From a Regional Bank
Breadth of Services
- Branches throughout the islands
- Full-service banking including deposit accounts, loans and wealth management services
- Earn Hawaiian Airlines miles for travel when you use your debit card
- Most accounts and banking services only available in Hawaii
- No money market account
- Long list of fees
About Bank of Hawaii
Bank of Hawaii has been providing financial services to the island communities since 1897. It currently has about $20.6 billion in total assets and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BOH. It’s a small bank compared to the national players, but it gets high marks from industry watchers. Moody’s Investors Service ranks it as one of the nation’s safest banks, and Forbes consistently ranks it as one of America’s best banks. Bank of Hawaii had 65 branches at the end of 2020.
Bank of Hawaii Products
Bank of Hawaii provides many of the same accounts and services you’ll find at most financial institutions. Here’s an overview of what’s available to customers:
|Certificates of Deposit||
Bank of Hawaii Checking Accounts
Whether you’re just getting started or looking for more comprehensive services, Bank of Hawaii has five checking accounts for your needs. The Ease and Convenience checking accounts are entry-level, with minimum opening deposits of $25 and low monthly maintenance fees that can be easily waived. Three tiers of Bankohana checking accounts come packed with more features and better interest rates, but you’ll need at least $500 to open an account, and you’ll need to maintain minimum balance requirements to waive the monthly fees.
- Bankohana accounts all earn interest
- $2.50 monthly service fees for Ease and Convenience checking, but waived by enrolling in online statements
- Monthly service fees for Bankohana accounts are $15 for Level I, $20 for Level II and $30 for Level III; all can be waived by meeting minimum balance requirements
- Variety of accounts to choose from
- Interest-bearing accounts available
- Ease checking has no overdraft fee
- Low $25 opening deposit for Ease and Convenience accounts
- Minimal interest of 0.01% on select accounts
- All accounts come with monthly service fees, but can be waived
Bank of Hawaii Savings Accounts
Bank of Hawaii has four types of savings accounts: Regular, Bonus Rate, Bankohana Bonus Rate and Bankohana Bonus Rate Savings Plus. Choose one based on your long- or short-term goals. The Regular and Bonus Rate savings accounts can be opened with as little as $100. The Bonus Rate and Bankohana savings accounts allow you to earn an extra 0.03% to 0.04% APY.
- $5 monthly service fee for Regular Savings, but waived by maintaining a $300 minimum balance
- $5 monthly service fee for Bonus Rate Savings, but waived by maintaining $500 minimum balance or making a minimum $25 deposit with no withdrawals for that month
- Online savings accounts available to residents of all 50 states, as well as Guam, Saipan, Palau and American Samoa
- Bonus interest paid to Bonus Rate and Bankohana accounts during months you don’t make withdrawals and add a minimum of $100
- APY up to 0.07% with bonus rates
- Recurring deposits available
- No monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements for Bankohana accounts
- Low APY compared to the best savings accounts
- Minimum balance of $100,000 required to earn highest APY
Bank of Hawaii CD Accounts
Bank of Hawaii offers both online and traditional CD products. Terms range from one month to five years.
- APYs range from 0.02% to 0.18%, depending on term and balance
- $2,500 minimum to open
- Wide range of terms to choose from
- Short terms of one, three and six months available
- Low APY compared with many other banks
- High opening balance requirements of $2,500 or $25,000
One of Bank of Hawaii’s biggest strengths is its customer service, having consistently been named as the best bank by readers of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser in its People’s Choice Awards. Customers can bank online or through the mobile app, as well as at branches and ATMs located throughout the islands.
There are several ways to get help when you need it:
- Call customer service seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. HST. The numbers are 808-643-3888 in Hawaii or 888-643-3888 in the U.S. mainland and Canada; 877-553-2424 in Guam and Saipan; and 680-488-3338 in Palau.
- Visit a Bank of Hawaii branch
- Log in to BOH online banking
- Use the mobile app
Accessibility and Branch Availability
Bank of Hawaii had 65 branches at the end of 2020, according to its end-of-year financial results. Branches can be found throughout the islands, including Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Lihue, Maui, Molokai and Oahu. Branches are also available in Guam, Saipan and Palau. Hours may vary by branch, so be sure to call ahead or check online to see when your local branch is open. Some have also temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mobile and Digital Experience
If you don’t want to visit a Bank of Hawaii branch, you can handle different functions online or by using the mobile app. Bank of Hawaii reviews for the mobile app are good:
The Bank of Hawaii mobile app integrates with your smartphone to securely sign you in using a passcode, Touch ID or Face ID. In addition, information is encrypted and not stored on the phone. Here are some of the things you can do on the app:
- Account management
- View balances
- Pay bills
- Find branches and ATMs
- Make mobile deposits
- Switch debit card on or off
- Search for transactions
Convenience and Ease of Use
If you choose to do your banking online or through the mobile app, you’ll find that the interface for both formats is clean, minimal and user-friendly. It’s easy to navigate and find the information you need. To deposit a check, take a photo with your smartphone, follow the prompts and let the app handle the rest.
How To Open a Bank of Hawaii Account
Depending on the type of account you’re interested in, you can open an account online or by visiting a branch. Bank of Hawaii provides checklists of what you’ll need to open an account, based on your location. In general, you’ll need to provide the following:
- Government-issued photo ID
- Contact information, including phone number, email address and home address
- Current bank account and routing numbers for the first deposit
Customer service numbers: 808-643-3888 (Hawaii), 888-643-3888 (U.S. mainland and Canada), 877-553-2424 (Guam and Saipan), 680-488-3338 (Palau)
Routing number: 121301028
Bank of Hawaii Fees
One of the few drawbacks of Bank of Hawaii is its large number of fees.
Here’s a look at some of the fees customers should be aware of:
- Monthly maintenance: $2.50 to $30, which can be waived by meeting certain criteria
- Overdraft: $30 each
- Domestic wire transfers: $40 to $75 outgoing, $13 incoming
- Cashier’s check: $12
Bank of Hawaii vs. Competitors
If you’re wondering how Bank of Hawaii measures up to the competition, here’s a quick rundown:
|Bank of Hawaii||Island residents who value customer service and plenty of branch access|
|Central Pacific Bank||Students and faculty|
|Territorial Savings||Competitive savings APY|
|First Hawaiian Bank||Full-service banking|
Bank of Hawaii vs. Central Pacific Bank
Both Bank of Hawaii and Central Pacific Bank have locations throughout the state. Bank of Hawaii has about twice as many total branches, but Central Pacific Bank has a higher concentration of branches near universities, making it convenient for students and faculty.
Bank of Hawaii vs. Territorial Savings
If you’re sitting on a lump sum of cash, you’ll earn higher interest with Territorial Savings than Bank of Hawaii. Territorial Savings’ current APY for a standard savings account is between 0.06% to 0.35%, which is higher than you’ll get at Bank of Hawaii.
Bank of Hawaii vs. First Hawaiian Bank
First Hawaiian Bank is the state’s oldest financial institution and provides account holders several credit card products and a wider variety of products and services. But Bank of Hawaii has more branches and scores high for customer service.
Bank of Hawaii offers a wide lineup of banking products and services as well as an extensive network of branches, ATMs and digital banking options. It’s a decent option for Aloha State residents who value variety and customer service.
The Bank of Hawaii mobile banking app is simple to navigate and gets good reviews from most users.
Bank of Hawaii FAQHere are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Bank of Hawaii.
- Does Bank Of Hawaii offer free money for signing up for an account?
- Bank of Hawaii doesn't currently offer free money for new accounts, but it does offer a 50,000-mile bonus when you sign up and qualify for a Hawaiian Airlines Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard and spend at least $2,000 in the first 90 days.
- Are Bank of Hawaii branches open during COVID-19?
- Not all branches are currently open, but some are. To confirm which branches near you are open, or whether you need an appointment first, search the branch locator.
- What COVID-19 relief does Bank of Hawaii offer loan holders?
- Bank of Hawaii offers forbearance up to six months on loans and an extension program that pushes back payments to the end of the loan term.
Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Feb. 3, 2021.
This content is not provided by Bank of Hawaii. 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 Bank of Hawaii.