First Hawaiian Bank Review: Hawaii’s Largest Bank Has Something For Everyone

GOBankingRates Score

4.8
Our Take: First Hawaiian Bank is the Aloha State's oldest and largest financial institution, giving customers a one-stop shop for all their personal, business and commercial banking needs. There's a lot to cover in a First Hawaiian Bank review, but you'll find everything you need to know right here.
  • Breadth of Products
    5.0
  • Accessibility
    5.0
  • Opening Deposit Requirements
    4.8
  • Fees
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Wide range of products and services
  • More than 50 branches throughout Hawaii
  • Relationship banker assigned to customers with a combined account balance of $5,000 or more

Cons

  • No money market accounts
  • Low annual percentage yields compared with many other banks
  • $2.50 fee for ATM withdrawals outside of the network

About First Hawaiian Bank

First Hawaiian is a bank holding company that was founded in 1858 and is currently headquartered in Honolulu. It has 53 branches throughout the Hawaiian Islands, plus three in Guam and two in Saipan. Customers have access to deposit accounts, investment options, wealth management, loans, credit cards and more.

First Hawaiian Bank Products

First Hawaiian Bank’s product lineup is pretty extensive for a community-oriented bank. Here’s an overview:

Product Details
Checking Accounts
  • Five accounts to choose from
  • $20 minimum deposit to open
  • Monthly maintenance fees of $2 to $22, but all can be waived by meeting certain criteria
Savings Accounts
  • Four accounts to choose from
  • $20 minimum opening deposit
  • APY of 0.02% to 0.05%, depending on balance
CD Accounts
  • Terms between six and 36 months
  • APY of 0.03% to 0.25% depending on CD type and balance
  • $500 to $1,000 minimum deposit
Personal Loans
  • Personal, tuition, debt consolidation and auto loans as well as lines of credit
  • Can apply online or over the phone
Home Loans
  • Mortgages
  • Refinancing
  • Home equity lines of credit
  • Construction loans
IRAs
  • Traditional or Roth

Having too many options can sometimes be overwhelming. Here’s a breakdown of how the different types of accounts compare.

First Hawaiian Bank Checking Accounts

Each of First Hawaiian’s five checking accounts targets a specific type of customer. It’s important to understand what you need when you’re comparing the best checking accounts on the market.

Pure Checking is First Hawaiian’s basic account, with a $5.99 monthly service fee that can be waived by making at least $500 in direct deposits per month. Complete Checking offers free checks, and you can waive the $7 monthly service fee with $1,500 in direct deposits per month. The Priority Banking accounts come in three tiers, each adding extra perks, relationship rates and discounts on loans. You’ll need combined balances of $6,000 to $35,000 to avoid the $15 to $22 monthly maintenance fees.

Features

Pros

  • Priority Banking tiers come with savings on loans and interest rates, such as 0.25% off loan rates
  • Five different account types to choose from
  • Free checks for all accounts except Pure Checking

Cons

  • No interest-bearing options
  • All accounts come with monthly maintenance fees if you don’t meet the requirements
  • $2.50 fee for withdrawals at non-network ATMs

First Hawaiian Bank Savings Account

First Hawaiian Bank’s savings accounts all come with a monthly maintenance fee if you don’t maintain a minimum balance. Minimums are $300 to waive the $5 Regular Savings and $4 Premium Savings monthly fees, $500 to avoid the $5 YesSavings fee, and $1,000 to avoid the $10 MaxiMizer Savings fee.

Features

  • $20 minimum opening balance
  • APY of 0.02% to 0.05%, depending on account and balance

Pros

  • Small opening balance requirement
  • Maintenance fees can be waived with a minimum daily balance as low as $300
  • Priority Savings can be linked to a First Hawaiian checking account for overdraft protection

Cons

First Hawaiian Bank CD Accounts

First Hawaiian Bank offers several types of CDs. Its best CD rates are available for 12-month CDs opened at a branch (0.15% or 0.18% APY) or for a 24-month eCD (0.25% APY).

Features

  • Terms between six and 36 months
  • Earn between 0.03% and 0.25% APY depending on CD type and balance

Pros

  • Low $500 to $1,000 minimum deposit
  • Competitive rates on some CDs

Cons

  • Early withdrawals subject to penalties
  • No long-term CDs available

Banking Experience

A First Hawaiian Bank review wouldn’t be complete without a look at how day-to-day banking works. Here’s what you need to know:

Customer Service

General customer service inquiries are available by phone at 888-844-4444. For online and mobile banking questions, call 888-643-4343 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Or, log in to FHB online and send a secure message.

Accessibility and Branch Availability

First Hawaiian Bank has 53 branches throughout Hawaii for a friendly, “mahalo” banking experience. Contact the branch itself or consult the ATM and branch locator for hours.

Mobile and Digital Experience

First Hawaiian’s mobile banking app provides a full-featured banking experience. Your information is safe because the app is compatible with fingerprint and face recognition and uses 128-bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption. You can download the app on Google Play or the App Store. Here are some of the banking functions you can perform with the app:

  • View account activity
  • Transfer money
  • Pay bills
  • Use Popmoney to send funds to friends and family
  • Deposit checks
  • Find branches and ATMs

Customers give the First Hawaiian mobile banking app mixed reviews:

  • Google Play: 4 out of 5 stars, 2,552 votes
  • Apple Store: 4.8 out of 5 stars, 10,300 votes

Convenience and Ease of Use

First Hawaiian Bank’s app and website let you handle most of your banking needs quickly and easily. For other services you can do the following:

  • Visit a local branch
  • Call for support
  • Send a secure message through the online portal

How To Open an Account

You can open a First Hawaiian account at a branch or online. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Social Security number
  • Home address
  • Date of birth
  • Phone number
  • Email address

Key Information

Customer Service Number: 888-844-4444

Routing Number: 121301015

First Hawaiian Bank Fees

You can avoid many First Hawaiian Bank fees by meeting account activity and balance requirements, but some fees are unavoidable if you perform certain activities. Here’s a quick look:

Type Amount
Monthly maintenance $2 to $22, but can be waived
Returned item $10
Non-First Hawaiian Bank ATM fee $2.50
Wire transfer (incoming) $13
Overdraft or NSF fee $30
Overdraft transfer fee $12.50

First Hawaiian Bank vs. Competitors

Before settling on a bank, take the time to compare it to others. Here’s a look at how First Hawaiian compares to some of its rivals.

Bank Best For
First Hawaiian Bank Customers in Hawaii who prefer a local bank and a personal relationship banker
Bank of Hawaii A similar alternative to FHB that offers interest checking
Central Pacific Bank Access to higher savings rates
American Savings Bank New account holders and customers who want a money market option

First Hawaiian Bank vs. Bank of Hawaii

Both banks have a large presence in Hawaii, with wide product ranges and a focus on community-oriented service. Bank of Hawaii’s biggest advantage is that it offers interest-bearing checking accounts. First Hawaiian Bank gets the edge if you keep at least $5,000 in the bank because then you’ll get assigned your own personal banker.

First Hawaiian Bank vs. Central Pacific Bank

Central Pacific Bank night be a better choice if you want to earn more interest on your savings, because some of its accounts have an APY as high as 0.10%. But First Hawaiian offers a wider variety of checking accounts.

First Hawaiian Bank vs. American Savings Bank

American Savings Bank is another Hawaii-based bank with a strong community focus. What sets it apart are the many Financial Wellness tools and articles available on its website, which are designed to help customers manage their money, build savings, deal with financial hardship and more. This can come in handy if you’re just getting started on your financial journey. American Savings also offers a money market account — something its rivals don’t. But if you want a personal banker for keeping high combined deposits, First Hawaiian is the better option.

Final Take

First Hawaiian’s status as the state’s first (and largest) bank makes it a good choice for customers who want a wide branch network and access to a variety of financial products. If First Hawaiian ticks most of your boxes, you can open an account online or stop by a local branch to get started.

Editor’s Favorite

Getting a personal banker assigned to you when you have a combined balance of $5,000 or more might be First Hawaiian’s best feature. Being able to call or visit a banker who knows and understands your financial needs really brings home First Hawaiian Bank’s community mission.

First Hawaiian Bank FAQ

Here are answers to some of First Hawaiian Bank’s more commonly asked questions.
  • How many branches does First Hawaiian Bank have?
    • As of January 2021, there are 53 First Hawaiian Bank branches throughout the islands, as well as three branches in Guam and two in Saipan.
  • Is First Hawaiian Bank a member of the FDIC?
    • Yes, it's a member of the FDIC and account holders are insured up to $250,000 per depositor.
  • Is there a First Hawaiian Bank mobile banking app?
  • Does First Hawaiian Bank offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • No cash bonuses are available from First Hawaiian at this time, although the bank has promotional interest rates of 0.15%, 0.18% and 0.25% on select CDs.

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 24, 2021.

This content is not provided by First Hawaiian 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 First Hawaiian Bank.

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About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with degrees from American University in international business and journalism. Besides writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design and architecture. Her work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates’ Open Skies magazine and more.

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