E-Trade Bank Review: Convenient for Brokerage Customers

GOBankingRates Score

4.4
Quick Take: E-Trade Bank is a convenient option for existing brokerage customers, but it might also appeal to other bank customers because of its fee-free accounts and lack of minimum balance requirements. 
  • Fees
    4.5
  • APY
    4.0
  • Breadth of Products
    4.0
  • Account Minimums
    5.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Convenient companion accounts if you've got an E-Trade brokerage account
  • No account fees for basic checking and savings
  • Wide variety of investment options through a companion brokerage account
  • No minimum deposits for basic checking and savings

Cons

  • Low APYs
  • Not enough by way of yields or additional perks over other online options

About E-Trade Bank

E-Trade Bank was formed as a companion to the E-Trade online brokerage platform. One of the pioneers in online trading, E-Trade brokerage offers a host of commission-free trading options.

E-Trade Bank offers a limited roster of checking and savings accounts as a convenience to brokerage customers who want to keep their money under the same roof. GOBankingRates cited E-Trade Bank as one of the Best Checking Accounts of 2022.

E-Trade Savings Account

E-Trade Bank has a single savings account, known as the Premium Savings account. There is no minimum deposit to open an account, and deposits are insured up to $1.25 million. The account pays an annual percentage yield of 0.05% on all balances. Customers also have access to money management tools, a mobile app and a transfer money service that makes it easy to move money between accounts.

E-Trade Checking Accounts

Two types of checking accounts are available at E-Trade Bank: the standard E-Trade Checking account and the enhanced Max-Rate Checking account. No minimum opening deposit is required for either account, and both are FDIC-insured up to $250,000. Customers get free online bill pay service, a free debit card and unlimited debit and check transactions.

Max-Rate Checking is an interest-bearing account that pays an APY of 0.05% on all balances. Customers can access their cash at more than 2 million ATM locations around the world and get unlimited fee refunds at any ATM in the United States. The Max-Rate account does have a $15 monthly service fee, but it can be waived in a number of ways, including setting up direct deposits of $200 or more per month or maintaining an average monthly balance of at least $5,000. 

The E-Trade Checking account has many of the same features as the Max-Rate account — including unlimited transactions and access to any ATM nationwide — but it doesn’t pay interest, and you don’t get the ATM refunds. Your initial check order is free of charge. After that, the charge is $8.75 for each standard check reorder. 

How E-Trade Bank Earned Its Scores

Fees

E-Trade Bank has only one account with a monthly fee, the Max-Rate Checking account, and it can be avoided with a $5,000 average monthly balance or a direct deposit of at least $200 per month.

APY

E-Trade Bank gets a thumbs-up for offering an interest-bearing checking account that pays a 0.05% APY, which is higher than you’ll find on many similar accounts. The 0.05% APY on the E-Trade Savings is higher than you’ll find at some banks, but it’s also much lower than what you’ll find at high-yield savings accounts that pay 0.50% and higher.

Breadth of Products

E-Trade Bank offers a thin product line compared with most banks, with just two checking accounts and one savings account. Money market and CD accounts are available only to brokerage customers.

Account Minimums

E-Trade Bank requires no minimum opening deposit for any checking account as well as no minimum balance for its savings account, so it’s a good option for customers who don’t want to keep a lot of money tied up in deposit accounts.

Editor’s Favorite

E-Trade Bank offers a simple account lineup with no fees and no minimums for its basic checking and savings accounts. It is best used in conjunction with a brokerage account to facilitate rapid deposits and withdrawals.

E-Trade Bank vs. Competitors

E-Trade Bank is designed primarily for customers of the bank’s brokerage division, but it also competes with traditional and online banks.

Bank Best For
E-Trade Bank E-Trade brokerage customers
Wells Fargo Numerous physical locations
Bank of America Wide range of account types
Discover Bank High savings APY

E-Trade Bank vs. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is a full-service institution, offering more than 7,200 branch locations and a wide variety of accounts, so it’s a better fit for customers who value size and product breadth. E-Trade’s main advantage is that it offers unlimited ATM fee rebates with its Max-Rate Checking account, vs. the $2.50 to $5 Wells Fargo charges for non-Wells Fargo ATM transactions.

E-Trade Bank vs. Bank of America

Like Wells Fargo, Bank of America has a range of banking products, and it also boasts about 4,200 financial center locations, vs. the zero offered to E-Trade’s traditional bank customers. But with an APY of 0.05% on its interest checking and savings accounts, E-Trade offers higher interest rates than Bank of America across all balances.

E-Trade Bank vs. Discover Bank

Discover Bank offers a much higher 0.40% APY on its online savings account than E-Trade and also pays 1% cash back on the first $3,000 of debit card purchases each month with its checking account. E-Trade’s banking accounts are complementary products to its brokerage account, allowing customers easy access to a host of investment options — something Discover Bank doesn’t offer.

Final Take

Because E-Trade Bank was established to complement the brokerage business, it’s far from a one-stop shop for traditional bank customers. It has a thin lineup of deposit accounts and doesn’t offer diversified services such as auto and mortgage loans.

However, if paired with an E-Trade brokerage account, it can work as a parking place for your funds. Most of the accounts have no fees or minimums. Fees overall are a bit below what you might expect out of a traditional bank, and most can be avoided. If you don’t overdraw your account, send a wire transfer or require additional services, you might be able to pay no fees at all at E-Trade Bank.

E-Trade Bank FAQ

Here are answers to some of E-Trade Bank’s more commonly asked questions.
  • Is E-Trade Bank safe?
    • E-Trade carries FDIC insurance that protects up to $250,000 per depositor applies for checking and savings accounts, while the Premium Savings account carries $1.25 million in FDIC insurance.
  • Should you open an E-Trade Bank account if you already have an investing account?
    • E-Trade Bank is perhaps even more useful if you already have an E-Trade brokerage account. You can easily transfer funds back and forth between your banking and investment accounts, and funds from internal transfers are available immediately.
  • Who owns E-Trade Bank?
    • E-Trade Financial Corp. was acquired by Morgan Stanley in October 2020.
  • How do you deposit checks with E-Trade Bank?
    • You can deposit checks through the mobile app or by mailing a check payable to E-Trade.


Vance Cariaga
 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 Dec. 28, 2021.

This content is not provided by E-Trade 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 E-Trade Bank.

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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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