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

GOBankingRates Score

Bank of the West
4.7
SCORE
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
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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 the region where Bank of the West does business, it's worth your time to research its deposit accounts, loans and other offerings. If not, they do have mobile banking options.
  • Checking Accounts
    4.7
  • Savings Accounts
    4.6
  • CD Accounts
    4.6
  • Banking Experience
    4.8
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Regional bank with a wide array of products
  • Easy options for waiving maintenance fees

Cons

  • Limited service area and ATM network
  • Low rates 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 many states such as 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 among one of the Best Regional Banks of 2023. Bank of the West has all the banking services you’d expect from a major bank including accounts, loans, credit cards and investment services.

    Bank of the West Key Features

    Here is a closer look at some of the features that make Bank of the West stand out.

    Bank of the West Checking Accounts

    Bank of the West has three checking accounts.

    • Any Deposit Checking: Has a minimum deposit requirement of just $0.01. No monthly fee if you make at least one deposit per statement period, or if you are under the age of 25.
    • Premier Checking: $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.
    • 1% for the Planet Checking: The bank donates 1% of the account’s net revenue to environmental causes. $0 monthly service charge if you make at least one deposit per statement period, or if you are under the age of 25.

    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 a range of APYs 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 Banking Experience

    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. 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.

    Mobile Banking

    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, but mobile and online banking make it possible to complete transactions and monitor accounts from anywhere. Bank of the West’s mobile app has a rating of 4.8 stars on the App Store and 3.8 stars on Google Play.

    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 on most holidays at 1-800-488-2265.

    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.

    Final Take

    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. It 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?
      • Bank of the West is rated one of the Best Regional Banks by GOBankingRates for 2023. It is best for those living in one of the states or regions in its service area.
    • Is Bank of the West owned by Bank of America?
      • Bank of the West is owned by France's BNP Paribas.
    • What is the ranking for Bank of the West?
      • GOBankingRates named Bank of the West one of the Best Regional Banks for 2023. Though it didn't win the title, it was a finalist which speaks highly of the bank's quality.
    • 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.
    • What is Bank of the West known for?
      • Bank of the West is known for being a solid regional bank with low minimum deposit requirements and easily-waived monthly fees.
    • How secure is Bank of the West?
      • Bank of the West is FDIC insured, which covers all types of deposits and accounts.

    Cynthia Bowman and Caitlyn Moorhead contributed to the reporting for this article.

    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.

    Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 5, 2022. 

    To discover the Best Regional Banks, GOBankingRates looked at the top regional institutions (excluding credit unions, online banks and neobanks) with under $100 billion in total assets. To determine rankings, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) checking product minimum deposit; (2) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (3) savings product minimum deposit; (4) savings product APY; (5) Bauer rating (out of 5 stars); (6) products/services offered (auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services and insurance); and (7) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1) and (3) were weighted 0.5 times, factor (4) was weighted 2.5 times, and factor (6) was weighted 1.5 times.

    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.

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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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