First National Bank Review: Robust Checking Account Options and Low Minimums

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Quick Take: First National Bank offers a good range of low-minimum accounts to customers in its service area. Although there is limited fee-free ATM access, the bank's monthly maintenance fees are generally easy to avoid.
  • Fees
    4.0
  • Customer Service Hours
    4.5
  • Product Breadth
    4.8
  • Account Minimums
    4.8
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Good range of checking accounts
  • Easy ways to avoid most fees
  • Generally low account minimums

Cons

  • Low annual percentage yields for most accounts
  • Limited surcharge-free ATM network
  • Cumbersome website can make it difficult to find interest rates on deposit accounts

About First National Bank

First National Bank has a storied history, tracing its roots back to Greenville, Pennsylvania, in 1864. Since then, the Pittsburgh-based bank has grown into the second-largest bank based in Pennsylvania. With a footprint now covering seven states and the District of Columbia, FNB offers a wide variety of products, from checking and savings accounts to loans, mortgages, investing, retirement, insurance and business solutions. It has nearly 340 branch locations and more than 800 ATMs in its service area. Most recently, it was named one of the Best Regional Banks of 2022, holding spot no. 22, and also one of the Top 100 Banks of 2022 in GOBankingRates annual rankings.

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 account that best matches their needs.

Three of the accounts — Lifestyle, eStyle Plus and Premierstyle — pay interest if you maintain certain balances. FNB does not list checking account APYs on its website, but other sites have listed them as 0.01%. With Lifestyle Checking, you get a free first order of checks, a 3″ x 5″ safe deposit box and interest on balances above $2,500. The $10 monthly fee for Lifestyle Checking is waived with a minimum $1,000 balance.

You can earn interest on deposits of $2,500 or less with the eStyle Plus account. The $25 monthly fee for eStyle Plus Account is waived with a $1,000 balance. With Premierstyle Checking, you earn interest on balances above $1,000. The $25 monthly fee for Premierstyle Checking account is waived with a $7,500 balance.

Freestyle Checking has no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fee with online statements, but it doesn’t pay interest. eStyle is a checkless account that helps you avoid overdraft fees.

First National Bank Savings Accounts

First National Bank has a single savings account, called FirstRate Savings. This is a basic, no-frills savings account with low minimums and an easy-to-avoid fee. The bank also offers a no-minimum health savings account. The $5 monthly service fee is waivable with $500 average daily balance.

A $50 minimum deposit is required to open a FirstRate Savings account online, but there is no minimum requirement if you open in a branch location. The account comes with a free Visa debit card with free Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay. The APY is a low 0.01% across all tiers, and interest is compounded quarterly.

First National Bank Money Market Account

First National Bank has a single money market account, FirstRate Money Market. The main advantage of this account over a regular savings account is that you can write checks from it. The $10 monthly fee can be waived with a $5,000 average daily balance. Like FirstRate Savings, the FirstRate Money Market account pays a low 0.01% APY regardless of your balance.

First National Bank CD Accounts

FNB offers CDs in terms ranging from three months to five years, with fixed rates throughout the term. Interest is compounded and paid quarterly and can be credited back to your CD, paid by check, or credited to another FNB account. A $500 minimum deposit is required.

The bank also offers promotional CD rates that require deposits of $5,000 or more. APYs are pretty low, however, ranging from 0.03% for terms of 12 months or less to 0.30% for terms of five years.

Best Features of First National Bank

Here’s a breakdown of how GOBankingRates scored the best features of First National Bank of Pennsylvania.

Fees

Account fees at First National Bank can be high, but there are fairly straightforward ways to avoid them, typically through maintaining a minimum balance.

Customer Service Hours

First National Bank customer service reps are available by phone seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Product Breadth

First National Bank offers all of the basic bank accounts such as checking, savings, money market and CDs, as well as loans and mortgages, and insurance, investing and retirement products.

Account Minimums

Freestyle Checking has no minimum balance requirements, and neither do the savings or money market accounts if you open at a branch. FNB also offers a no-minimum health savings account.

Editor’s Favorite

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 vs. Competitors

First National Bank has regional competitors that offer different strengths and weaknesses.

Bank Best For
First National Bank Wide checking account options
Marquette Savings Bank Free savings accounts
PNC Bank Wide geographic reach 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 available 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 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 has about 2,700 branches across 20-plus states and Washington, D.C. First National Bank’s main advantage is that it offers more checking account choices.

First National Bank vs. Unity Bank

Unity Bank takes the prize over First National Bank when it comes to interest rates because its savings accounts offer an APY as high as 0.25%, with most tiers ranging from 0.05% to 0.10%. 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 nine hours per day on weekends. Unity Bank’s 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.

Final Take

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 accounts offer a good range of options. Although most account maintenance fees can be waived, other fees are quite high, including overdraft and wire transfer fees.

Two of the main drawbacks of banking with First National Bank are its low APYs and limited fee-free ATM universe. Whereas most regional banks now tie in 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 FAQ

Here 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.

Vance Cariaga contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Apr. 26, 2022.

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.

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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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