Bank of the West Review 2022: Big Bank Products with Community Bank Service

GOBankingRates Score

4.7
Quick Take: At Bank of the West, you get a wide range of products and services, similar to big banks, but with community bank customer service. If you live in one of the 19 states where Bank of the West does business, it's worth your time to research its deposit accounts, loans and other offerings. Take a look at the following Bank of the West review by category and feature.
  • APYs
    4.5
  • Benefits
    4.7
  • Products
    4.8
  • Customer Service
    4.8
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Regional bank with a wide range of products
  • Competitive annual percentage yield for some of its CDs
  • Easy options for waiving maintenance fees

Cons

  • Service area limited to the western half of the U.S.
  • Low APY on savings accounts

    Bank of the West Overview

    Bank of the West is headquartered in San Francisco and owned by the French financial giant BNP Paribas. The bank has more than 500 branches in 19 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. 

    It offers a wide range of banking and investment products for personal, commercial and wealth management customers. That’s why GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best Regional Banks of 2022 as well as one of the Top 100 Banks of 2022 in its annual lists.

    Key Features

    Bank of the West scored a 4.7 out of 5 from GOBankingRates. Take a look at the following Bank of the West reviews for each of the following features:

    APYs

    With a low APY of % on its savings accounts, Bank of the West can’t compete with banks that offer high-yield accounts.

    Its Money Market account offers better interest rates, with an APY of % to %. Some of its CD rates are even better, ranging as high as % for a 13-month term, though the next highest CD APY is % for a 5-year term.

    Benefits

    Bank of the West has all the banking services you’d expect from a major bank including accounts, loans, credit cards and investment services.

    In addition, foreigners intending on living in the U.S. can take advantage of Bank of the West’s international services. You can open a stateside account with no Social Security number and apply for credit cards, auto loans and mortgages with no U.S. credit history.

    Products

    Some of the most popular accounts Bank of the West has to offer include:

    Bank of the West Checking Accounts

    Bank of the West has three checking accounts: Any Deposit Checking, Premier Checking and 1% for the Planet. With the latter account, the bank donates 1% of the account’s net revenue to environmental causes. Each account comes with an option to waive the monthly service fee.

    The minimum deposit for the Any Deposit Checking and 1% for the Planet Checking is a mere $0.01. Both of these accounts also offer a $0 monthly service charge if you make at least one deposit per statement period, or if you are under the age of 25.

    With the Premier Checking account, the $25 monthly service charge is waived when you maintain a minimum combined average balance of at least $25,000 in eligible accounts. Premier Checking is also the only interest-bearing account of the three.

    Bank of the West Savings Account

    Bank of the West offers one traditional savings account, called Classic Savings, which you can open for as little as $25. You can avoid the $5 monthly service fee by using Auto-Save to set up recurring monthly transfers of $25 or more from a Bank of the West checking account.

    Another way to avoid the fee is to maintain an average monthly balance of $300 or more — except in Minnesota, where the requirement is $50 or more.

    The downside of this account is that it offers a very low APY of % regardless of the balance. On the plus side, interest compounds daily.

    Bank of the West Money Market Account

    Customers can get a higher interest rate on their savings with a Choice Money Market Savings account, which offers an APY of % to %, depending on the balance and checking relationship.

    A minimum deposit of $100 is required to open the money market account. There are no fees for deposits or withdrawals made at ATMs or in branches.

    Bank of the West CD Accounts

    Bank of the West offers both Flexible-Term and Premium CDs. For Flexible-Term CDs, terms range from 32 to 364 days or 12 months to five years. Terms for Premium CDs are 91 days to 60 months. One of the better options is a 13-month CD that pays a % APY.

    The minimum opening deposit is $1,000 for Flexible-Term CDs and $2,500 for Premium CDs.

    Customer Service

    Bank of the West offers numerous options to get questions answered or check up on your account, including a dedicated Customer Service page on its website.

    If you prefer to talk with someone in person, the bank’s call center is open seven days a week and most holidays at 1-800-488-2265.

    How Bank of the West Stands Out

    Bank of the West offers the best of two worlds: it gives you plenty of product options to meet your banking needs and also provides a level of customer service usually found at smaller banks.

    Bank of the West offers a variety of ways to conduct your business, including at physical branches, online and on the mobile app. Branches are limited to the bank’s service area in 19 states, but mobile and online banking make it possible to complete transactions and monitor accounts from anywhere.

    Bank of the West vs. Competitors

    Before deciding on a bank, it’s always a good idea to see how it stacks up against the rest of the field. Here’s a look at how Bank of the West compares to some of its competitors.

    Bank of the West vs. Bank of America

    Bank of America, Member FDIC, offers top-tier savings accounts that let you earn a higher APY than you would at Bank of the West. Both banks give you options to avoid maintenance fees.

    Customers in Bank of the West’s service area might find its community banking style to their liking, but if you live outside the service area, Bank of America’s wider reach gives it a leg up.

    Bank of the West vs. Wells Fargo

    Wells Fargo has the edge if you prefer in-branch banking because it has a higher number of physical locations throughout the country, but Bank of the West offers a higher APY on its CDs.

    Bank of the West vs. Chase

    Both Bank of the West and Chase let you waive maintenance fees on their basic checking accounts, but Bank of the West makes it easier by not requiring a minimum deposit amount.

    Chase wins, though, if you need access to branches and ATMs outside Bank of the West’s service area.

    How To Apply

    To open an account with Bank of the West, applying online is the simplest way. You could also visit a branch or call customer service, but the online application page is the fastest.

    Follow the guidance, which will ask you to choose an account type and enter personal details such as name, date of birth and Social Security number. To fund the account, you’ll need to enter your existing account number and routing number to transfer money.

    Who Bank of the West Is Best For

    Bank of the West is best for anyone who would like to bank with a smaller, regional financial institution that still offers all the services you’d come to expect from a major bank.

    New residents or temporary visitors to the U.S. could also benefit from choosing Bank of the West. The bank offers accounts, credit cards and loans that don’t require a Social Security number or credit history.

    Takeaway

    Bank of the West is an alternative to national banks, with branches focused primarily in the western states. It offers all the account types you’d come to expect from a full-service bank plus online banking to make it possible to review your financial matters remotely.

    Bank of the West FAQ

    Here are answers to some of Bank of the West's more commonly asked questions.
    • Is Bank of the West a good bank to bank with?
      • Over the course of its 140 years, Bank of the West has built a reputation for friendly and efficient customer service. It is also backed by the financial might of parent company BNP Paribas, which is one of the top rated banks in the world according to analysts at Standard & Poor's.
    • Is Bank of the West owned by Bank of America?
      • Bank of the West is owned by France's BNP Paribas, which has a presence in more than 70 countries.
    • Which bank is better, Wells Fargo or Bank of the West?
      • Bank of the West and Wells Fargo both offer plenty of account options, loans and more. The biggest difference may be physical branches. Bank of the West has a few hundred locations in 19 states while Wells Fargo has 4,900 branches in nearly every state.
    • What is the ranking for Bank of the West?
      • Bank of the West earned a 4.7 out of 5 in the GOBankingRates study for its high rank in account options, APYs, customer service and more.
    • Does Zelle work with Bank of the West?
      • Yes, customers at Bank of the West can send and receive money from just about anyone through Zelle.
    • How many people use Bank of the West?
      • Bank of the West serves about 1.8 million customers, according to its most recent annual profile.
    • How do I talk to a live person at Bank of the West?
      • You can reach a live agent by calling customer service at 800-488-2265 or TTY 800-659-5495. Phone agents are available Monday to Friday from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. PST, and Saturday, Sunday, and most holidays from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. PST.

    Cynthia Bowman contributed to the reporting for this article.

    Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of July 13, 2022.

    Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Bank of the West, Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Bank of the West, Bank of America, Wells Fargo or Chase.

    Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

    Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase.

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    About the Author

    Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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