E-Trade Bank Review: Great for Brokerage Customers

GOBankingRates Score

4.4
Our Take: E-Trade Bank is a convenient option for existing brokerage customers, but its ease of use, lack of minimums and fee-free accounts could have broader appeal as well.
  • Fees
    4.5
  • APYs
    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 already-thriving E-Trade online brokerage firm. 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 to make it more convenient for E-Trade brokerage customers to keep their money in house. In fact, GOBankingRates has named it as one of the Best Checking Accounts of 2021 in its annual rankings. E-Trade does offer certain features that might interest even non-brokerage customers.

Sponsors of

E-Trade Bank Products

E-Trade Bank offers a thin product line consisting of a small number of checking and savings accounts.

Product Details
Savings Account
Checking Accounts
  • Two types of checking account, one with no monthly fee
  • One interest-bearing account
  • No minimum opening deposit
CDs
  • Available with an E-Trade brokerage account
Money Market Account
  • Available with an E-Trade brokerage account
IRAs
  • Available with an E-Trade brokerage account
Investment Options
  • Available with an E-Trade brokerage account
Loans
  • Line of credit against brokerage account value available

E-Trade Savings Accounts

E-Trade Bank has a single savings account, known as the Premium Savings account.

Features

  • $0 minimum to open
  • 0.05% APY
  • Deposits insured up to $1.25 million
  • Money management tools
  • Mobile app
  • Transfer Money service

Pros

  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Interest-bearing
  • High level of account insurance

Cons

  • Low 0.05% APY
  • No cash deposits

E-Trade Checking Accounts

E-Trade Bank offers two types of checking accounts: the standard E-Trade Checking account and the enhanced Max-Rate Checking account. GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best Checking Accounts of 2021.

Features

Sponsors of
  • No minimum opening deposit for any checking account
  • FDIC-insured up to $250,000
  • Free online bill pay service
  • Online images of cleared and deposited checks
  • Free debit card
  • Unlimited debit and check transactions
  • Unlimited ATM fee rebates with Max-Rate Checking
  • $15 monthly fee with Max-Rate Checking waived with $5,000 average monthly balance or a minimum $200 monthly direct deposit

Pros

  • Two types of checking accounts
  • Max-Rate Checking pays interest
  • Max-Rate Checking offers unlimited ATM fee rebates

Cons

  • Low 0.05% APY on Max-Rate Checking, 0% APY on E-Trade Checking
  • No cash deposits

Banking Experience

As an online-only bank, E-Trade Bank relies on its digital and mobile experience to reach customers.

Physical Branch Locations

Although E-Trade brokerage has physical branches, you can’t conduct any of your banking transactions there. For example, if you wish to deposit a check, you must either use the mobile app’s remote deposit feature or mail the check.

Mobile and Digital Experience

The E-Trade app is an all-in-one experience, meaning it’s designed for both banking and brokerage customers. From the banking perspective, here are some of the features of the app:

Sponsors of
  • Bill pay
  • Remote check deposit
  • Money transfer
  • Account information
  • Brokerage capabilities, including trading securities

Public opinion seems to be divided on the app, depending on which platform you’re using. More than 114,000 iOS reviewers on the App Store award the app 4.6 out of five stars, while about 15,000 Android users only give the app 3.4 stars on Google Play.

The app provides the basic functionality that E-Trade Bank users might need, especially considering that E-Trade Bank only offers three relatively standard accounts. Overall, the E-Trade app seems more geared toward brokerage account users.

How To Open an Account

Your only option for opening an account at E-Trade Bank is to open it online or to call E-Trade at 800-387-2331. You must be a U.S. resident with a U.S. address to open an account online, and you also must provide your Social Security number. You also must provide basic personal information, such as your name, address and date of birth.

Customer Service

You can reach E-Trade Bank customer service via live chat or at 800-387-2331.

Sponsors of

Key Information

Customer Service: 800-387-2331

Routing Number: 256072691

Login: E-Trade Login Help

E-Trade Bank Fees

E-Trade Bank has just one account with a monthly fee, and the $15 charge on the Max-Rate Checking account can be avoided with a $5,000 average monthly balance or a direct deposit of at least $200 per month. Beyond that, E-Trade does charge some fees for various services and products, such as:

Fee Type
$15 per check request Check request from the Premium Savings account
$10 per check request Check request from the Max-Rate Checking account
$8.75 per check reorder Check reorders with the Max-Rate Checking account
$10 If your Max-Rate Checking account is closed within the first 120 days
$25 Non-sufficient funds fee
$25 per outgoing wire Outgoing wire, either domestic or international

E-Trade Bank charges most of the same fees that other banks do, but they generally are not as onerous as those of some competitors. For example, many banks charge non-sufficient funds fees of $35 or more. The $25 outgoing wire fee, particularly for international transfers, is also not as high as the $40 or more charged at some brick-and-mortar banks.

Sponsors of

Many of the fees at E-Trade Bank can be avoided by most customers.

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 7,200 locations and a wide variety of accounts, including no fewer than four types of checking accounts.

E-Trade offers unlimited ATM fee rebates with its Max-Rate Checking, vs. the $2.50 to $5 Wells Fargo charges for non-Wells Fargo ATM transactions.

E-Trade Bank vs. Bank of America

Bank of America has a range of banking products and approximately 4,300 financial center locations, vs. the zero offered to E-Trade’s traditional bank customers.

E-Trade Bank offers unlimited ATM fee rebates with its Max-Rate Checking, vs. the $2.50 to $5 charged by Bank of America at non-network terminals.

E-Trade Bank vs. Discover Bank

Discover Bank offers a much higher 0.40% APY on its online savings account, in addition to paying 1% cash back on the first $3,000 of debit card purchases each month with its checking account.

Sponsors of

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

E-Trade Bank’s primary use is for E-Trade brokerage customers. The bank is far from a one-stop shop as it doesn’t offer numerous account options or 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 and no minimums, and the one account that does charge a monthly fee, the Max-Rate Checking account, offers additional benefits for the fee. This fee also can be waived with a $5,000 average monthly balance or one direct deposit of at least $200 each month.

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 may be able to pay no fees at all at E-Trade Bank.

In a nutshell, the E-Trade Bank accounts are best utilized by existing E-Trade brokerage customers. Although the bank offers no-fee and no-minimum accounts, it doesn’t offer enough by way of yields or additional perks to make it worthwhile enough to choose over other online options.

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 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, just like every major bank. Insurance of up to $250,000 per depositor applies to the Max-Rate Checking and E-Trade Checking 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.
  • Is there a limit to the amount you can deposit on the mobile app?
    • E-Trade limits mobile app deposits to $250,000 per day.
  • Does E-Trade Bank offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • E-Trade Bank isn't currently offering any new account bonuses, but the brokerage side of the firm has a signup bonus. Until Jan. 31, 2021, new brokerage account customers using promo code "WINTER21" are eligible for up to $2,500 in cash, although that requires a deposit of at least $1 million. Customers opening an account with at least $5,000 are eligible for $50, with tiered bonuses rising from there.

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

E-Trade Bank Review: Great for Brokerage Customers
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