FNBO Review: Relationship Banking Perks and Great Customer Service

GOBankingRates Score

First National Bank of Omaha
4.1
SCORE
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
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Quick Take: FNBO is concentrated in the Midwest and also has locations in Colorado, Texas and Wyoming. It earns high marks from customers and is one of the largest privately held banks left in the U.S.
  • Checking Accounts
    4.2
  • Savings Accounts
    4.3
  • CD Accounts
    4.1
  • Money Market Accounts
    4.0
  • Banking Experience
    4.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Family-owned and operated for over 165 years
  • Award-winning customer service 
  • Relationship banking perks including premium savings rates  
  • Low or no monthly service fees
  • No minimum opening balance amounts on checking and savings accounts

Cons

  • Limited to five Midwestern states and Colorado, Texas and Wyoming
  • Low interest rates

FNBO Overview

FNBO has been operating as an independent, family-owned bank serving the Midwest for over 165 years. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, there are over 100 branches available in the states of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.

What sets FNBO apart from other Midwest banks is its award-winning customer service and its checking account, which earned a spot on GOBankingRates’ Best Checking Accounts of 2024.

FNBO Review

FNBO is a full-service bank providing a wide range of banking, investment, wealth management, retirement and business services. Take a closer look at the most popular FNBO products and how they work.

Checking Accounts

FNBO offers three checking accounts, the standard of which is Free Checking. While it avoids unnecessary bells and whistles, it provides a number of benefits that make it one of GOBankingRates’ Best Checking Accounts of 2024.

To start, the account has no overdraft fee and no monthly service fee, and there’s no minimum opening deposit or balance requirement. There also are no ATM fees from FNBO, although other banks and ATM providers might charge you for using their machines.

Unusual for any account, and especially a free one, is the free paper statements, should you choose to receive statements that way. Online statements are also available for free. In addition, Free Checking provides free bank logo checks, free cashier’s checks and free incoming wires and stop payments.

Free Checking gives you plenty of ways to access your money. In addition to online and mobile banking, you can make payments with Apple Pay or Samsung Pay or use Visa SRC to shop online without having to enter your card information and address.

The only thing missing from Free Checking is interest. However, you stand to save more with the account freebies than you’d earn with an average 0.07% rate interest checking accounts are currently paying.

Savings Accounts

Among FNBO’s savings products is a high-yield savings account called Flex Savings, which has six-month locked-in rates. At a annual percentage yield, the base rate is lower than the national average, which is 0.46%. However, the current locked-in rate is APY. The rate could reset higher or lower at the end of six months, so your actual APY could be higher or lower.

Flex Savings requires $1,000 to open and a $1,000 minimum daily balance to waive the $25 monthly fee and earn interest.

This account is an excellent choice for an emergency fund or specific long-term savings goals. You’ll need an FNBO checking account to qualify for Flex Savings rates, and you can only make two withdrawals per month.

CD Accounts

If you’d like to lock in your savings at a guaranteed interest rate to avoid fluctuations and don’t mind giving up access to it for a while, a certificate of deposit is a good way to do it. A standard FNBO CD can be opened with $500, with terms ranging from 91 days to five years.

Base rates are low on all terms except 91 days, which earns APY. However, CD specials with odd terms like seven or 17 months earn up to when you also have a qualifying FNBO checking account. Even a Free Checking account can earn you a CD special rate of up to APY.

Money Market Accounts

FNBO has several money market accounts. The Basic account requires a $1,000 deposit to open but has no minimum daily balance requirement or monthly fee. You can make six convenience withdrawals per month by transferring funds, withdrawing money or writing checks. That’s the one benefit this account has over the Flex Savings account, which has a higher rate than the Basic Money Market account’s — but only allows two withdrawals.

Combining a money market account with a checking account increases the APY. By how much depends on the type of checking account you have. Lower-tier accounts like Free Checking boost the rate of the Money Market account to to , depending on the balance. Higher-tier accounts increase the Premier Money Market account APY to to .

Banking Experience

One of FNBO’s greatest strengths is the personal service available at over 100 branches. A typical FNBO review remarks about the bank’s knowledgeable representatives. But there are times when digital banking comes in handy — namely, after hours. FNBO is solid on the digital front, as well.

Customer Service

Whether you visit a local branch or call, you’ll get help from friendly and knowledgeable bank representatives. FNBO ranks in the top five in the Lower Midwest in customer satisfaction, according to J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction study. FNBO’s strongest features revolve around strong customer service based on the number of local branches and a variety of financial options.

Accessibility and Branch Availability

There are over 100 FNBO branches available in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. And even if you aren’t near a branch, you’ll have access to over 55,000 ATMs worldwide.

Mobile and Digital Experience

The FNBO mobile app and online dashboard are both well organized and easy to navigate. You can handle almost everything from either, such as viewing your balances and history, depositing checks and paying your credit cards and other bills.

All of your data is encrypted to ensure your information remains private. Two-step authentication is also enabled to reduce the risk of someone else accessing your account. Customers who downloaded the app from the Google Play store give it an average score of 4.5 out of 5 stars, and iOS users rate it 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Comparable Banking Options

Here’s a quick look at how FNBO compares to other banks.

First Interstate Bank

Both FNBO and First Interstate Bank have a more personal, smaller bank feel. Although FNBO offers superb customer service, First Interstate has over 300 branches in 14 states.

Ally Bank

Ally Bank and FNBO have some big differences, with the most significant being physical branches. Ally is an online-only bank, while FNBO has over 100 branches. Additionally, Ally generally offers higher interest rates on CD balances. FNBO’s CDs require a minimum deposit of $500, while Ally’s CDs don’t require a minimum deposit.

Final Take

If you live in the Midwest, Texas, Colorado or Wyoming, banking with FNBO could be a great experience. You’ll have access to a variety of account options and other financial planning services for a one-stop banking and finance experience. Opening an account online can be done in as little as 10 minutes — or you can visit a branch and get to know your local representatives.

 

FNBO FAQ

Here are some considerations worth exploring further before opening an FNBO account.
  • Is FNBO a legitimate bank?
    • Yes. FNBO was a GOBankingRates Best Regional Banks of 2023 finalist and is a finalist for Best Checking Accounts of 2024. There are several checking accounts, savings accounts and CD account terms to choose from. The bank is also known for offering top-notch service to customers.
  • Is FNBO trustworthy?
    • Yes. FNBO has provided banking services for over 165 years, operating in eight states.
  • Is FNBO FDIC insured?
    • FNBO is FDIC insured, so you can sleep soundly knowing up to $250,000 of your money is protected.
  • How many branches does FNBO have?
    • You'll find more than 100 FNBO branches across Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming.
  • Does FNBO have monthly fees?
    • Some FNBO accounts do have monthly fees. In most cases, you can get them waived by maintaining a certain balance and/or receiving direct deposits.
  • Are FNB and FNBO the same?
    • No. There are several First National Banks throughout the country, but they are not affiliated with FNBO.
  • What is the difference between FNBO Direct and FNBO?
    • FNBO Direct is First National Bank of Omaha's digital banking solution, offering a simple online checking account and online savings account.
  • Who did FNBO merge with?
    •  FNBO merged with Western States Bancorporation and Western States Bank in 2022.

Daria Uhlig 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. 14, 2023.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

To determine rankings for the Best Checking Accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors from all banks (excluding neobanks): (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the FDIC; (3) minimum deposit to open an account; (4) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (5) APY on the checking account; (6) overdraft fee amount; (7) the average mobile app rating between the Google Play (Android) and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being the best. Factors (1), (2) and (5) were weighted 0.5 times, and factor (4) was weighted 1.5 times.

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