First National Bank Review: Good Checking Account Lineup With Low Minimums
Customer Service Hours
- Good range of checking accounts
- Easy ways to avoid most fees
- Generally low account minimums
- Low APYs for most accounts
- Limited surcharge-free ATM network
- Cumbersome website
About First National Bank
First National Bank has a storied history, tracing its roots back to Greenville, Pennsylvania, in 1864. Since then, the bank has grown into the second-largest bank based in Pennsylvania. With a footprint now covering seven states, First National Bank offers a broad variety of consumer accounts, from checking and savings to loans and mortgages, investing and retirement, insurance and business solutions.
First National Bank Products
First National Bank offers all of the types of basic banking accounts to make the regional institution a potential one-stop shop for personal and business customers.
|Money Market Account||
First National Bank Checking Accounts
First National Bank offers five types of checking accounts: Freestyle Checking, Lifestyle Checking, eStyle Checking, eStyle Plus Checking and Premierstyle Checking. The checking accounts vary in terms of fees charged and services offered, allowing customers to choose the checking account that best matches their needs.
- Freestyle Checking has no minimums and no monthly fee with online statements
- Free first order of checks, 3×5 safe deposit box and interest on balances above $2,500 with Lifestyle Checking
- $10 monthly fee for Lifestyle Checking waived with $1,000 balance
- No overdraft fees or check writing with eStyle Account
- $25 monthly fee for eStyle Plus Account waived with $1,000 balance
- $25 monthly fee for Premierstyle Checking account waived with $7,500 balance
- Multiple account options
- $12 out-of-network ATM fee rebates per statement period with eStyle Plus Account, bumped to $15 for Premierstyle Checking
- Three checking account options pay interest
- Various accounts offer different benefits, from free checks and free paper statements to free safe deposit boxes
- Checking account APYs top out at 0.01%
First National Bank Savings Accounts
First National Bank has a single savings account, the FirstRate Savings account. This basic savings account has low minimums, pays interest and has an easy-to-avoid fee. The bank also offers a no-minimum health savings account.
- $5 monthly service fee waivable with $500 average daily balance
- $50 minimum to open online, $0 minimum to open in branch
- Tiered interest rates
- Free Visa debit card with Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay
- Interest compounded quarterly
- No minimum balance requirement for HSA
- Low 0.01% APY across all tiers
- No surcharge-free nationwide ATM network
First National Bank Money Market Account
First National Bank has a single money market account, the FirstRate Money Market. In contrast with the bank’s savings account, the money market account can be accessed via check writing and potentially offers higher interest rates.
- $10 monthly fee waived with $5,000 average daily balance
- $50 minimum to open account online
- Tiered interest rates
- Check writing
- $0 minimum to open account in branch
- Low 0.01% APY across all tiers
First National Bank CD Accounts
First National Bank offers four variations of CDs: standard CDs, Savers Goal CDs, Special CDs and Flex CDs. This broad range of CDs offers features such as flexible funding and withdrawal and varying interest rates.
- Standard CDs have maturities from three to 60 months and a $500 minimum
- Savers Goal CDs have a single 12-month maturity, a $100 minimum and the ability to add to the account at any time
- Special CDs have a $5,000 minimum and seven different maturities: seven months, 13 months, 19 months, 25 months, 35 months, 52 months and 61 months
- Flex CDs have a nine-month maturity, a $500 minimum and the ability to withdraw funds once per month without penalty
- APYs from 0.10% to 0.40%
- Multiple account types
- Low minimums for most CDs
- APYs are low, even with CD specials
First National Bank has a modest geographic footprint, but it offers mobile apps to help customers on the go. Those in need of customer service can reach the bank seven days a week.
Physical Branch Locations
First National Bank has approximately 350 branches across seven states, plus Washington, D.C.: Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.
Mobile and Digital Experience
First National Bank offers apps via both Google Play and the App Store, in addition to a traditional banking website. The apps allow customers to perform tasks that are to be expected in a good mobile banking app, including the following:
- Check account balance
- Search transactions
- Manage FNB debit cards
- Deposit checks remotely
- Transfer cash between accounts
- Pay bills
- Locate branches and ATMs
Although the FNB apps offer the expected basic functionality, users don’t rave about the experience. The app garners a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars from Android users, but App Store reviews only reach 2.9 stars.
How To Open a First National Bank Account
The process to open an online account at First National Bank is a bit cumbersome. Instead of just clicking an “Open Account” button, you must first select the account you’d like and add it to your shopping bag, similar to making an online store purchase. Then, you must select a “Checkout” button to begin the online application process.
From there, the process is relatively standard. You must provide basic personal and financial information, such as your address, date of birth and Social Security number. You’ll also need to verify your identity via some form of government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport.
You can reach First National Bank’s customer service representatives at 800-555-5455. Phone lines are available from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Customer service: 800-555-5455
Routing number: 043318092
First National Bank Fees
Account fees at First National Bank can be high, but there are reasonable ways to avoid those fees, typically through maintaining a minimum balance. Here’s a look at how First National Bank stacks up in terms of fees that are typical at most banks:
|Transactions at non-FNB ATMs||$2.50|
|Account closed within 180 days of opening||$50|
|Overdraft protection transfer||$10|
|Ongoing overdraft fee||$12 every three business days that account remains overdrawn|
|Incoming wire transfers||$17|
|Outgoing domestic wire transfers||$25|
|Outgoing foreign wire transfers||$50|
Service fees at First National Bank are fairly high overall. Wire transfer fees are quite expensive, and the overdraft fee is high, though it may be lowered to $10 with overdraft protection. Early account closure fees are also pricey.
First National Bank vs. Competitors
First National Bank has regional competitors that offer different strengths and weaknesses.
|First National Bank||Checking account options|
|Marquette Savings Bank||Free savings accounts|
|PNC Bank||Branches and fee-free ATMs|
|Unity Bank||High CD rates|
First National Bank vs. Marquette Savings Bank
Marquette Savings Bank doesn’t charge a monthly fee for any of its savings accounts. First National Bank’s savings account fee is waivable with a $500 balance.
Checking account options are First National Bank’s strong suit when compared with Marquette Savings Bank, as it offers five types of checking accounts, including one that is completely free with online statements. Marquette Savings Bank has only three checking accounts, and they all carry maintenance fees that either can’t be waived or have a minimum balance requirement.
First National Bank vs. PNC Bank
PNC Bank is the 1,000-pound gorilla when matched up against First National Bank, as it offers about 2,200 branches across 20-plus states and Washington, D.C., in addition to 9,100 ATMs.
First National Bank offers a wide range of attractive CD options, while PNC Bank only offers a single type of fixed-rate CD.
First National Bank vs. Unity Bank
Unity Bank takes the prize over First National Bank when it comes to CD rates. Across the board, Unity Bank pays higher CD rates, capped off by the 1.00% APY on the bank’s 60-month CD offering. First National Bank’s CD rates top out at just a 0.40% APY.
First National Bank has much more extensive customer service hours than Unity Bank, making reps available seven days a week for 13 hours a day during the week, and for nine hours per day on weekends. Unity Bank customer service hours are only 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
First National Bank is a decent option for customers in the bank’s service area. All of the basic banking account types are available, and checking and CD accounts in particular offer a good range of options. Although account maintenance fees generally can be waived, transactional fees, such as overdraft and wire transfer fees, are quite high.
Some of the main drawbacks of banking with First National Bank are its low APYs and its limited fee-free ATM universe. Whereas most regional banks now tie up with systems such as MoneyPass or Allpoint to provide wide surcharge-free ATM access, First National Bank only offers free ATM transactions at its own branded machines.
The bottom line is that if you live in the bank’s service area, you’re likely to find accounts that you can use. However, if you’re looking for a low-fee, high-APY institution, there are better options available.
First National Bank’s standout products are its checking accounts, which offer a variety of perks and services that can be tailored to customers’ needs. Fee rebates offered by two of the checking accounts help make up for the shortfall in surcharge-free ATMs in the bank’s network.
First National Bank FAQHere are the answers to some commonly asked questions about First National Bank.
- Does First National Bank offer Zelle?
- In addition to allowing customers to send and receive money using Zelle, First National Bank also allows digital payments via Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
- Does First National Bank have free checking?
- First National Bank's Freestyle Checking is free as long as customers select online statements. Other checking accounts at the bank require minimum qualifying balances to waive the monthly fees.
- When are mobile deposits available at First National Bank?
- Mobile deposits processed by 6 p.m. EST are available on the next business day. Those processed after this daily cutoff time will be available on the second business day after deposit.
- Does First National Bank offer free money for signing up for an account?
Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Feb. 5, 2021.
This content is not provided by First National 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 National Bank.