First Republic Bank Review: Private Banking for Higher Net Worth Individuals

GOBankingRates Score

4.8
Our Take: First Republic Bank caters to high net worth customers who are looking for banking, wealth management and investment services.  Follow this in-depth First Republic Bank review to examine what the financial institution has to offer.
  • CD Options
    5.0
  • Customer Service
    4.5
  • Mobile App
    4.8
  • Breadth of Services
    4.8
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Interest-bearing checking option
  • ATM rebates available 
  • Large variety of products and services
  • Competitive annual percentage yields

Cons

  • Limited branches in select markets
  • Balances of $1 million or more needed to get the highest APY on some accounts

About First Republic Bank

First Republic Bank was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in San Francisco. It operates mainly on the West Coast and in the Northeast, with locations in cities with great concentrations of wealth. In California, it has offices in Palo Alto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach and San Diego. There are also offices in Portland, Oregon; Palm Beach, Florida; Jackson, Wyoming; Boston; New York City; and Greenwich, Connecticut.

First Republic Bank Products

First Republic Bank provides a range of personal, business and wealth banking services. Here’s a quick look at what it has to offer.

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Type Key Details
Checking Accounts
  • Three checking accounts to choose from
  • Minimum opening balances of $25 and $500
  • One interest-bearing account
Savings Account
  • No monthly fees
  • Interest compounds daily
Money Market
  • Money market checking or savings available
  • Unlimited deposits, ATM and bank withdrawals
  • APY up to 0.20% for checking and 0.25% for savings
Certificates of Deposit
  • Traditional CDs with terms of 30 days to six years
  • Liquid CDs allow access to your funds
  • $10,000 minimum to open
Personal Loans
  • Personal loans and lines of credit
Home Loans
  • Mortgages
  • Construction loans
  • Home equity lines of credit
  • Second and vacation house loans
Individual Retirement Accounts
  • Traditional, Roth or SEP

First Republic Bank Checking Accounts

Finding the best checking account requires a little research. First Republic offers three options: Basic, Classic and ATM Rebate checking. Basic comes with a $25 minimum opening deposit and a $3 monthly service fee. The minimum deposit for Classic and ATM Rebate is $500, with a $25 monthly service fee that can be waived by maintaining minimum average balances of $2,500 (Classic) and $3,500 (ATM Rebate).

Features

  • Overdraft protection available when you link an additional First Republic account
  • Complimentary checks for the first order
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Pros

  • Low monthly fee for Basic Checking
  • Unlimited use of First Republic ATMs for Classic account holders
  • Unlimited rebates on ATM charges for ATM Rebate account holders
  • ATM Rebate account holders earn interest on balances over $3,500

Cons

  • APY of 0.01% is much lower than at other banks
  • Basic Checking’s monthly fee can’t be waived

First Republic Bank Savings Account

First Republic Bank provides a single savings account option, Passbook Savings. Deposits of $1 million and up will earn you the highest APY of 0.30%. For balances of $25,000 or less, the current APY is 0.05%.

Features

  • APY of 0.05%, 0.10%, 0.20% or 0.30%, depending on balance
  • $500 minimum opening balance

Pros

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Competitive APY for higher balances

Cons

  • Withdrawals and deposits are only possible in person at Preferred Banking offices
  • Low APY for smaller balances

First Republic Bank CD Accounts

CDs can be beneficial if you’re comfortable locking your money in for a set period of time without accessing it. But for many, the long terms required to get the best CD rates are prohibitive. First Republic works around that problem by offering an innovative Liquid CD that allows for deposits and withdrawals during the term.

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Features

  • Liquid CD withdrawals as often as every seven days
  • $10,000 opening deposit

Pros

  • CD terms of 30 days to six years
  • APY of 0.05% to 0.55%, depending on term
  • Liquid CD lets you access your money penalty-free

Cons

  • Early withdrawals from traditional CDs subject to penalty
  • Low APY of 0.05% for 30-day CDs

Banking Experience

First Republic has a limited number of offices in only a dozen cities, so unless you live in one of its service areas it might not be the best option. But if you do live in one of its service areas, you’ll have access to branch and ATM banking as well as online and mobile banking.

Customer Service

First Republic offers several ways to get help. Here are some of the options:

  • Call 888-408-0288 weekdays from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. PT, Saturday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. PT, or Sunday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT
  • Visit a local branch; clients 60 and older have special hours of 9 to 10 a.m.
  • Email info@firstrepublic.com
  • Visit the website and request a call back
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Accessibility and Branch Availability

Locations are available in the California cities of Palo Alto, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Newport Beach and San Diego. You’ll also find offices in Portland, Oregon; Palm Beach, Florida; Jackson, Wyoming; Boston; New York; and Greenwich, Connecticut. Hours may vary by branch, so call ahead or check online to find out when your local branch is open.

Mobile and Digital Experience

First Republic offers customers the usual assortment of digital options in the form of online and mobile banking. Customers can download a complimentary subscription to Trusteer Rapport online banking security software for privacy and protection. The app gets decent reviews from users, including the following ratings:

You can handle numerous banking tasks on the app, including the following:

  • Manage accounts, including those with other banks and brokerages
  • Pay bills
  • Make mobile check deposits
  • Contact customer service

Convenience and Ease of Use

First Republic’s mobile app is one of the few on the market that lets users manage multiple bank and brokerage accounts for a complete financial overview. This feature makes it easy to transfer funds between accounts and monitor activity.

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How To Open a First Republic Bank Account

To open a First Republic account, visit a branch location or call 888-408-0288. You’ll need to provide the following:

Key Information

Customer service number: 888-408-0288

Routing number: 321081669

Promotions: See Newest First Republic Bank Promos and Bonuses

Login: First Republic Bank Login Help

First Republic Bank Fees

Some of the most common fees First Republic Bank charges include the following:

  • Monthly maintenance: $3 or $25, depending on the account, but $25 fee can be waived when you meet minimum balance requirements
  • Cashier’s check: $10
  • Wire transfer (incoming): No charge
  • Wire transfer (outgoing): $30 domestic; $30 international with U.S. currency or $25 with foreign currency
  • NSF/overdraft: $30 per item, maximum $120 per day

First Republic Bank vs. Competitors

Here’s a look at how First Republic and a few of its competitors compare:

Bank Best For
First Republic Bank Customers with high balances in select markets
Bank of the West Wide geographic reach
Regions Customers in the South and Midwest
Silicon Valley Bank International clients
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First Republic Bank vs. Bank of the West

First Republic provides banking services to customers living in select areas of California, Oregon, Wyoming, Florida, New York and Connecticut. But if you don’t live within the bank’s service area, you’ll miss out on many of the services provided. Bank of the West has branches throughout the West Coast as well as in the Mountain, Midwest and prairie regions, giving it a broader reach.

First Republic Bank vs. Regions

If you live in the South or Midwest, then Regions is the better choice. It operates about 1,500 banking offices and 2,000 ATMs in the Southeast, Texas and Midwest. First Republic has only one location in Florida, but it’s a better choice for high net worth individuals in California and the Northeast.

First Republic Bank vs. Silicon Valley Bank

Silicon Valley Bank is headquartered near First Republic in Santa Clara, California. However, SVB takes a more international approach to specialized banking. In addition to offices in California and 14 other states stretching as far as the East Coast, it also has offices in China, India, Germany, Israel, the UK and Canada. First Republic might be the better option if you prefer a more local, community focus.

Final Take

First Republic Bank is a good fit if you live in one of its service areas, maintain a larger-than-average bank balance, and value personalized attention and wealth management guidance. To open an account, you’ll need to call or visit a local branch. Request an appointment to get started.

Editor’s Favorite

First Republic Bank’s Liquid CD is a unique offering that lets you lock in a higher interest rate for a set period of time while having the ability to make withdrawals every seven days, penalty-free.

FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about First Republic Bank.
  • Does First Republic Bank offer free money for signing up for an account?
  • Does First Republic offer ATM fee refunds?
    • Yes, if you open an ATM Rebate checking account, you'll receive unlimited ATM fee refunds for transactions worldwide.
  • Can I open a First Republic account online?
    • No, you can only open a First Republic account by visiting a local office or by calling 888-408-0288.

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Feb. 3, 2021.

This content is not provided by First Republic 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 Republic 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.

First Republic Bank Review: Private Banking for Higher Net Worth Individuals
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