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

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Our Take: At Bank of the West, you get big bank products with community bank customer service. If you live in one of the states where Bank of the West does business, it's worth your time to research the bank's deposit accounts, loans and other offerings.
  • Customer Service
    5.0
  • Breadth of Products
    5.0
  • Banking Experience
    5.0
  • Rates
    3.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Regional bank with a variety of products similar to national banks
  • Strong presence throughout the West Coast, Southwest, Rocky Mountains and Midwest
  • Easy options for waiving maintenance fees

Cons

  • Service area limited to western half of the U.S.
  • Low annual percentage yields on savings accounts and CDs

About Bank of the West

Bank of the West is headquartered in San Francisco and owned by the French financial giant BNP Paribas. The bank has nearly 570 branches and more than $92 billion in assets. 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 2021.

Bank of the West Products

Bank of the West has an impressive lineup of banking products, including checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, loans and investments. Here’s a rundown:

Products Features
Checking Accounts
  • $0 liability on fraudulent debit card transactions
  • Mobile banking
  • Low and no maintenance fee options
Savings Accounts
  • Traditional and Money Market savings options
  • Interest compounds daily
  • ATM card with fraud protection
CD Accounts
  • Terms from 32 days to 60 months
  • APY: 0.02% to 0.30%
  • FDIC insured
Credit Cards
  • Three credit cards to choose from, including a secured credit card
  • 24/7 fraud monitoring
  • $0 annual fee options
Loans
  • Car, RV and boat loans
  • Discounts for automatic payments
  • Variable terms on loans over $10,000
Mortgages
  • Loans up to $4 million
  • Variety of rates and terms
  • Discounts available
Investments
  • Self-managed and professionally managed portfolios available
  • Online account access

The following Bank of the West review offers a closer look at some of the bank’s most popular products.

Bank of the West Checking Accounts

Bank of the West has three checking accounts: Any Deposit Checking, Premier Checking and 1% for the Planet, in which 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.

Features

  • $0 liability on fraudulent transactions
  • Access to mobile banking
  • No minimum balance requirement for Any Deposit Checking

Pros:

  • Relationship rates available
  • Options to waive maintenance fee

Cons:

  • High minimum balance required for the best interest rates
  • High minimum balance to avoid Premier Checking service charge

Bank of the West Savings Accounts

Both Classic Savings and Money Market Savings are great companions to a Bank of the West checking account. You can make saving money a habit — and waive account maintenance fees — by using Auto-Save.

Features

  • Open an account for as little as $25
  • Interest compounds daily
  • ATM card with fraud protection

Pros:

  • Low opening deposit
  • Waive maintenance fees with recurring monthly transfers

Cons:

  • Low APY of 0.01% compared to other banks

Bank of the West Money Market Account

Get a higher interest rate on your savings accounts with a Choice Money Market Savings account. Here are some of the details:

Features

  • $100 to open the money market account
  • No fees for deposits or withdrawals made at ATMs or in branches
  • Link to eligible checking account to earn higher interest rates
  • 0.02% to 0.15% APY

Pros:

  • Interest compounds daily
  • Three ways to waive the monthly maintenance fee

Cons:

  • High balance requirements to earn best interest rates

Bank of the West CD Accounts

Bank of the West offers an impressive number of CD terms for short- and long-term savings goals. Here’s a quick look:

Features

  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Terms from 32 days to five years
  • Automatic renewal available
  • FDIC insured

Pros

  • Variety of terms available, including short-term CDs
  • Interest calculated daily and compounded monthly

Cons

  • High minimum balance required for highest APY CD

Banking Experience

Bank of the West offers a variety of ways to conduct your business, including at physical branches, online and in 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.

Customer Service

Call 800-488-2265 and press option 3 to reach a Customer Service representative. Reps are available from 4 a.m. until 10 p.m. PST Monday through Friday, and from 5 a.m. until 10 p.m. PST on weekends.

Accessibility and Branch Availability

Bank of the West has more than 500 branches in its service area. Many are open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., but hours vary depending on the branch. Contact your local branch for the most accurate information about hours and accessibility.

Mobile and Digital Experience

Bank of the West’s mobile app lets you check balances, pay bills, deposit checks and transfer money. It has a rating of 4.0 on Google and 4.8 on the App Store.

How To Open an Account

You can open an account online or in person at a local branch by taking the following steps:

  1. Locate the account you want to open on the bank’s website.
  2. Click the “Apply Now” button.
  3. Provide the requested information:
    • Name and contact information
    • Government-issued ID (at branches)
  4. Verify your identity.
  5. Fund the account.
  6. Review the disclosures.
  7. Review and submit your application.

Key Information

Customer Service number: 800-488-2265

Routing number: 121100782

Promotions: Newest Bank of the West Promos and Bonuses

Bank Hours: See Bank of the West’s Hours

Login: Bank of the West Login Help

Bank of the West Fees

Bank of the West charges fees for many of its deposit accounts as well as fees for other banking services. Account maintenance fees can be waived if you meet balance or deposit requirements. Here’s more:

  • Monthly maintenance fees: $10 to $25
  • Overdraft fees: $35 per item
  • Incoming wire transfer: $15
  • Outgoing domestic wire transfer: $35
  • Outgoing international wire transfer: $50
  • Deposited item returned: $15
  • Same-day online bill pay: $10.95

Fortunately, you can avoid many of these fees by monitoring your balances in the mobile app and scheduling payments well in advance.

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 Best For
Bank of the West Customers living in the western half of the U.S. who value convenience and product variety over high APYs
Bank of America Customers who want access to a national bank with slightly higher interest rates
Wells Fargo Customers who want access to a large network of physical branches in any part of the U.S.
Chase Customers who want an affordable basic checking account with access to a large national network of ATMs

Bank of the West vs. Bank of America

Bank of the West and Bank of America have similar rates on savings products, though Bank of America offers more options for getting higher rates on its standard savings accounts. Both banks give you options to avoid maintenance fees. People 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

If you stop by the ATM a lot, Bank of the West might be the better choice if you want to avoid ATM fees because Wells Fargo charges more for using non-network ATMs. Wells Fargo has the edge if you prefer in-branch banking because it has a higher number of physical locations throughout the country.

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

You won’t find high interest rates or low account fees at Bank of the West, but you do get a menu of banking products and services typically seen only in national banks. If you live in the bank’s service area, you should consider opening an account and establishing a relationship.

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    Editor’s Favorite

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

    Bank of the West FAQ

    Here are answers to some of Bank of the West's more commonly asked questions.
    • What is Bank of the West known for?
      • For 135 years, Bank of the West has earned 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 a big bank?
      • With more than $92 billion in assets, Bank of the West is the 30th largest commercial bank in the U.S. and one of the biggest headquartered in California.
    • Who owns Bank of the West?
      • Bank of the West is owned by France's BNP Paribas, which has a presence in more than 70 countries.
    • 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.
    • Does Bank of the West offer free money for signing up for an account?
      • Bank of the West does offer free money for new accounts from time to time. No current promotions for new accounts are being advertised, though Bank of the West customers can earn $25 for each friend they refer to the bank.

    This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication.

    Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 18, 2020.

    This content is not provided by Bank of the West. 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 the West.

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    About the Author

    After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

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