First Midwest Bank Review: Low Minimums and Solid Account Variety

GOBankingRates Score

4.6
Our Take: First Midwest Bank lives up to its name, providing an extensive range of accounts and services to its Midwest-based clientele. Account minimums are low and fees are mostly easy to avoid, but APYs are generally below-average.
  • Fees
    4.5
  • Mobile App
    4.3
  • Breadth of Products
    5.0
  • Account Minimums
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Numerous account types
  • Easy ways to avoid most fees
  • Broad surcharge-free ATM access
  • Low account minimums

Cons

  • Low APYs for most accounts
  • Branch locations limited to four Midwest states

About First Midwest Bank

Tracing its roots back to 1940, First Midwest Bank is now the third-largest independent bank based in Illinois. With branches in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana, the bank now has $20 billion in total assets. A wide variety of consumer-facing accounts are available at First Midwest, including checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, individual retirement accounts, loans, investments and money market accounts.

First Midwest Bank Banking Products

First Midwest Bank offers an impressive array of basic banking accounts, enough to serve the needs of most regional bank customers.

Product Details
Checking Accounts
  • Three checking account options, plus a student account
  • Interest-bearing checking available
Savings Accounts
  • Three savings account options, plus a Health Savings account
  • Tiered interest rates
  • Relatively easy to avoid all monthly fees
Money Market Accounts
  • Three money market account options
  • Relatively easy to avoid monthly fees
  • Tiered interest rates
CD Accounts
  • Wide variety of maturities
  • Tiered interest rates
  • Enhanced rates with checking account relationship
IRAs
  • Traditional and Roth IRAs
Loans
  • Home, personal and auto loans available
Business Accounts
  • Wide range of business accounts and services, from checking and savings to loans, credit cards, Treasury services and more

First Midwest Bank Checking Accounts

First Midwest Bank offers three primary checking accounts, in addition to a youth savings account. The Diamond Checking account is the top-tier option, followed by the midrange Midwest Checking account and the bare-bones Easy Checking account.

Features

  • Diamond and Midwest Checking accounts pay interest.
  • $100 account minimums, $25 for Student Checking
  • $20 monthly fee on Diamond Checking waived with either a $25,000 combined daily balance across all First Midwest banking accounts or specific banking relationships, such as having a mortgage or Private Banking relationship with First Midwest.
  • $12 monthly fee for Midwest Checking, waived with $2,500 daily checking balance or $1,000 monthly direct deposits
  • $7.49 monthly fee for Easy Checking, waived with $100 daily balance, $100 monthly deposits or for customers age 65 or older
  • Free transactions at over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs
  • Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Zelle access
  • 0.25% rate discount on auto and home equity loans through First Midwest

Pros

  • Diamond Checking offers additional perks, such as four free non-First Midwest ATM transactions per month, priority customer service and 50% off a safe deposit box.
  • Tiered interest rates can reach 0.03% with Diamond Checking.
  • Overdraft protection drops the fee to $10 per instance.

Cons

  • $3 out-of-network ATM fees

First Midwest Bank Savings Accounts

Customers can choose from three types of savings accounts at First Midwest Bank: the basic Statement Savings, the midrange Investor Reserve Savings and the top-tier Diamond Savings. The bank also offers a health savings account.

Features

  • All three accounts bear interest.
  • APYs top out at 0.01% for Statement Savings, 0.03% for Investor Reserve Savings and 0.05% for Diamond Savings.
  • $5 monthly fee for Statement Savings waived with $200 daily balance, clients under 18 or over 65, or with a $25 monthly transfer from a First Midwest checking account (for the first six months only).
  • $25 monthly fee for Investor Reserve Savings waived with a $1,000 daily balance
  • $25 monthly fee for Diamond Savings waived with $1,000 daily balance or $50 systematic savings plan from Diamond Checking account
  • $100 account minimums

Pros

  • Very high monthly maintenance fees are relatively easy to avoid.
  • Statement Savings offers fee-free access for youths and seniors.

Cons

  • Low APYs compared to the national average.

First Midwest Bank Money Market Accounts

In addition to its three savings accounts, First Midwest Bank offers three money market account options, dubbed Money Market, Premier Money Market and Diamond Money Market.

Features

  • 0.03% APY for every size of account for Money Market
  • 0.01%-0.04% APY, depending on tier, for Premier Money Market
  • 0.01%-0.08% APY, depending on tier, for Diamond Money Market
  • $15 monthly fee for Money Market waived with $1,000 daily balance
  • $25 monthly fee for Premier Money Market waived with $2,500 daily balance
  • $25 monthly fee for Diamond Money Market waived with $2,500 daily balance
  • $100 account minimums

Pros

  • APYs on amounts below $25,000 are highest on the lowest-cost Money Market account, offering a good benefit to smaller account holders.
  • Higher APYs are available with Diamond Money Market than any First Midwest savings account.
  • High monthly fees are relatively easy to waive.

Cons

  • Top interest rate of 0.08% requires $250,000 or more in the Diamond Money Market and is still far below the best available market rates.

First Midwest Bank CD Accounts

First Midwest Bank offers a single type of standard CDs. Here’s more.

Features

  • Terms from 3-60 months
  • Rates vary depending on the checking account relationship, with the highest rates for Diamond Checking customers.
  • $1,000 minimum
  • Automatic renewal at maturity
  • Interest credited monthly or quarterly.

Pros

  • For most tiers, larger deposits translate to higher APYs.
  • 60-month CD APYs at the top tiers are competitive.

Cons

  • Shorter-term CD rates are not competitive.

Banking Experience

First Midwest Bank’s service area is limited to the upper Midwest, but a wide surcharge-free ATM network and several features on the mobile apps help broaden its appeal.

Physical Branch Locations

First Midwest has a physical location in four Midwestern states: Illinois, where the bank is headquartered, along with Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin. The bank’s 127 branches are primarily focused in metropolitan Chicago.

Mobile and Digital Experience

First Midwest Bank offers apps via both Google Play and the App Store. Users on Google Play rate the app 4 stars, while those on the App Store are more enthusiastic, bestowing 4.8 stars on the app. Highlighted features available on the apps include the following:

  • Account balance
  • Transaction search
  • Transfers
  • Bill pay
  • Remote check deposit
  • Branch and ATM locations

How To Open an Account

You can open a First Midwest Bank account online with a Social Security number, driver’s license, state ID or U.S. passport and an opening deposit. You’ll also have to provide personal and financial information about any applicants and acknowledge certain disclosures. You can open up to five First Midwest Bank accounts at a time.

Customer Service

You can reach First Midwest Bank for general customer service at 800-322-3623. If you need help with loan payments, online banking and mobile support, you can reach a representative at 877-203-6724. Customer service hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. CST on Saturdays.

Key Information

Customer Service: 800-322-3623

Routing Number: 071901604

First Midwest Bank Fees

Fees are a bit of a mixed bag at First Midwest Bank. Monthly maintenance fees can be excessive, but account holders can often easily avoid them with meager deposits or additional banking relationships. Here’s a look at some of the most prominent fees charged by First Midwest Bank:

Type Amount
International ATM or debit card transactions: 3% of the transaction
Transactions at non-Allpoint or First Midwest ATMs $3
Dormant account fee Money market or savings accounts, $5; checking accounts, $10
Excessive withdrawal fee (savings) $5
Excessive withdrawal fee (money market) $10
Stop payment $37
Overdraft $36
Ongoing overdraft $32
Money orders $3
Official checks $5
Incoming wire transfers $15
Outgoing domestic wire transfers $30
Outgoing foreign wire transfers $50

Service fees at First Midwest Bank are fairly high overall. Wire transfer fees are quite expensive, and the overdraft fee is on the high side, though it may be lowered to $10 with overdraft protection. Excess withdrawal and dormant account fees are pricey, as is the charge for non-First Midwest or Allpoint ATM transactions.

First Midwest Bank vs. Competitors

First Midwest Bank has regional competitors that offer different strengths and weaknesses. Here’s a quick look.

Bank Best For
First Midwest Bank More Midwestern locations
DuPage Credit Union High APYs
FCB Banks Lower minimums
Lakeside Bank Free accounts

First Midwest Bank vs. DuPage Credit Union

Illinois-based DuPage Credit Union offers a high-yield savings account that pays a 1% APY. The credit union also has a 3.04% APY on the first $15,000 deposited into its High-Yield Checking account. Both yields are far above anything available at First Midwest Bank.

Although DuPage also offers fee-free withdrawals from non-DuPage ATMs, it only has three branch locations, all in Illinois. First Midwest spreads its branches out over four Midwestern states, offering more access for customers who want to deal with their bank directly.

First Midwest Bank vs. FCB Banks

Although First Midwest Bank has low minimums for most accounts, FCB Banks goes one better, requiring just $25 to open most accounts. FCB Banks also has a totally free checking account, something not offered at First Midwest Bank.

FCB Banks only offers 16 branch locations, offering less access than First Midwest Bank.

First Midwest Bank vs. Lakeside Bank

Lakeside Bank is a small, Chicago-based bank, but it offers some account perks that can’t be had at First Midwest Bank. Specifically, Lakeside Bank offers a Kasasa Checking account that pays a 1.50% APY and is absolutely free. It also offers a completely free checking account with no minimums.

Lakeside Bank is super-regional, with just seven branch locations in the metropolitan Chicago area. First Midwest Bank has 127 branches over four Midwestern states.

Related: TCF Bank Review: Low Fees and Flexible Banking Options

Final Take

For customers in its four-state service area, First Midwest Bank offers an impressive range of account types. Customers can choose from three or more types of each of the basic banking accounts, in addition to accessing more advanced services such as loans and investments. Access to the Allpoint ATM network allows customers to access their money free-of-charge when traveling outside of the bank’s primary service area. Mobile apps also help keep customers connected.

Monthly maintenance fees on the bank’s basic accounts can be high, but they are easy to avoid for the most part. The overdraft fee of $36 is high, although the $10 overdraft protection feature helps mitigate the damage. Other fees, like wire transfer fees and non-network ATM fees, are also high. Beyond that, the primary drawback of the bank is its low APYs. Although there are green shoots here and there, overall, the bank’s APYs are lower than those available from other competitors, particularly the online version.

Overall, customers in the upper Midwest looking for a one-stop shop for their banking needs would be well served by First Midwest Bank — if they can avoid the service and transaction fees. Those in need of completely fee-free accounts with top APYs might want to look elsewhere.

Editor’s Favorite

The wide variety of account types available at First Midwest Bank have the potential to make the bank a one-stop shop option for customers in its service area. The bank’s top-tier CD rates also help to make the bank competitive.

First Midwest Bank FAQ

Now that you know more about what the bank has to offer, here are answers to some of its most frequently asked questions.
  • Does First Midwest Bank offer Zelle?
    • In addition to offering Zelle, First Midwest Bank also allows payments via Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
  • Does First Midwest Bank have free checking?
    • First Midwest Bank doesn't offer a completely free checking account unless you are eligible for a student checking account. However, the bank's checking account fees of $7.49-$20 can be waived through either minimum balances, direct deposits or certain banking relationships within First Midwest.
  • When are mobile deposits available at First Midwest Bank?
    • Funds from mobile deposits are generally available the business day after they are deposited. Certain other deposits, such as cash, wire transfers and direct deposits are usually available the same business day they are received.
  • What is the daily cash withdrawal limit from ATMs?
    • The standard ATM card issued by First Midwest Bank is limited to three withdrawals or $500 per day, whichever comes first. The debit card boosts those limits to five withdrawals or $1,000 per day, respectively. The World Debit Mastercard, which is only available to Diamond Checking customers, is limited to 25 withdrawals or $1,500 per day, whichever comes first.
  • Does First Midwest Bank offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • Currently, First Midwest Bank offers a $25 referral fee if a friend or family member opens a checking, savings or money market account in a First Midwest branch. Previously, First Midwest has offered promotions, such as $300, to open a checking account.

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Feb. 2, 2021.

This content is not provided by First Midwest 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 Midwest 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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