Independent Financial Bank Review: New Name, Same Quality Service
Breadth of Products
Opening Deposit Requirements
Ease of Use
- A comprehensive range of accounts
- Competitive rates
- No monthly fees for most accounts
- Limited service area
- Can be difficult to qualify for preferred rates
About Independent Financial
The Independent Financial brand name was introduced in 2019 to reflect the company’s increasingly diverse business model, but the company itself dates back more than 30 years. Headquartered in McKinney, Texas, Independent Financial provides personal and business banking services with a community focus. Its parent company, Independent Bank Group, operates in four markets in Texas and Colorado: Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Houston and Colorado’s Front Range area.
This Independent Financial review takes a closer look at the bank’s products and services.
Independent Financial Products
As a full-service bank, Independent Financial provides a range of banking and loan products. Customers can also take advantage of wealth management services through Independent Financial’s partner, Private Capital Management. Here’s a rundown of Independent’s various products:
|Money Market Accounts||
|Certificates of Deposit
Independent Financial Checking Accounts
Independent Financial offers checking accounts to fit a variety of needs. IntroChecking is a check-free option where customers make purchases with debit cards, ensuring their accounts can’t be overdrawn.
Free Checking is a no-frills account that offers the basics with no fees or minimum balance requirements. Free Rewards Checking and Now Checking pay interest with either no fees or fees that can be waived. Platinum Checking, for customers 50 and over, offers competitive interest rates on your entire balance and charges no monthly service fees.
- Check-free account option with IntroChecking
- Free Checking with no fees, no minimum balance requirements and no minimum opening deposit
- Now Checking with an annual percentage yield of 0.05% for balances under $1,500 and 0.10% for balances of $1,500 and higher
- Free Rewards Checking with up to $20 in ATM fee refunds per month and APY as high as 1.50% if certain conditions are met
- Platinum Checking with free checks, no service fees or balance requirements, and competitive interest rates for customers ages 50 and up
- Competitive APY compared with many other banks
- Wide range of choices
- No or low service fees that can be waived
- IntroChecking and Free Checking don’t earn interest
Independent Financial Savings Accounts
Service fees can eat into your savings, but Independent Financial waives the $10 quarterly fee on its Regular savings account when you maintain a $250 minimum daily balance. The REALSaver Savings account has no monthly service charge, and you get a higher interest rate when you link your checking account and meet transaction requirements. High-net-worth customers with a $25,000 minimum opening deposit can opt for an Index Fund savings account with tiered rates ranging from 0.10% APY to 0.30% APY. Independent Financial also offers a High-Yield Index Fund designed for deposits of $1 million or more.
- 0.15% APY on Regular Savings balances of $50 and up
- 0.50% APY on REALSaver balances up to $15,000 when checking transaction requirements are met
- Two free REALSaver withdrawals per months, then $2 each
- $150 minimum opening deposit for both accounts
- $15 monthly service charge on index fund account, but can be waived
- $10 quarterly fee on Regular Savings balance waived with $250 minimum daily balance
- $15 monthly Index Fund Account fee waived with $25,000 minimum daily balance
- Excellent REALSaver APY when qualifying criteria are met
- Low $2 excessive withdrawal fee after sixth withdrawal per month from Regular Savings account
- No interest on Regular Savings balances below $50
- Must make at least 12 checking-account debit card purchases and at least one direct deposit or automated clearinghouse deposit per month to earn preferred rate on REALSaver balance
- Must have balances of $100,000 or more to earn the highest Index Fund APY
Independent Financial Money Market Accounts
- Independent Financial’s only money market account has tiered interest rates to reward higher balances. You can also write checks directly from the account to help prevent overdrafts.
- $2,500 minimum opening deposit
- $2,500 minimum daily balance to avoid $10 monthly service fee
- Tiered rates ranging from 0.15% APY for balances below $25,000 to 0.35% APY for balances of $250,000 or more
- Higher rates as the balance grows
- Can write checks directly against the account
- Waivable fee
- Eligible for Bounce Protection against overdrafts beginning 30 days after account opening
- Modest rates for balances below $100,000
Independent Financial CD Accounts
If you can do without access to your money for a while, a certificate of deposit is a good way to save. Independent Financial’s CDs are available in terms ranging from 30 days to five years. There’s also a three-year step-up CD with a rate that changes according to a predetermined schedule during the term.
- Fixed rates ranging from 0.15% APY to 0.45% APY for regular CD, depending on term; IRA CD rates range from 0.30% APY to 0.45% APY, depending on term
- Terms from 30 days to five years
- No fees to set up or maintain an account
- Early withdrawals subject to penalty
- Guaranteed returns on deposit
- Tax-advantaged saving with IRA CD
- Wide choice of terms
- No premium rates for high balance
Independent Financial is a Texas bank, so your experience will depend in large part on your access to branch locations and ATMs. The digital experience is also a factor, especially if you can’t or choose not to bank in person.
Independent Financial’s Customer Care department is available by phone Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Also, you can send and receive secure messages via the mobile app.
Independent financial has more than 90 branches in Texas and Colorado. It’s best to call your local branch for lobby hours if you need to go inside as opposed to using the drive-through because most branches have reduced their hours due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mobile and Digital Experience
When you can’t make it to a branch, you can do your banking digitally from your computer or mobile device. Online banking lets you do almost anything you’d normally do at a branch, such as viewing account histories and documents, transferring funds between accounts, and paying bills. The digital platform integrates with Quicken and QuickBooks for easy statement downloads.
The Independent Financial mobile app is available for Android and iPhone users. In addition to the services listed above, the app lets you deposit checks, enroll in text alerts and pay for purchases with Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. The app gets pretty average reviews from users, however, earning 3.8 out of 5 stars on Google Play and 3.9 stars in the App Store.
An additional service, Finance360, helps customers take control of their finances with a view of all their bank accounts, no matter where they are. Other features include budgeting, tracking finances and receiving real estate value estimates.
Independent Financial scores high for convenience, at least for a community-oriented bank. In addition to the branch locations, online banking and banking by phone, Independent Financial offers surcharge-free access to more than 30,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide.
How To Open an Account
Independent Financial doesn’t currently let customers open an account online. Contact Customer Care or your local branch for more information.
Customer Care Number: 800-460-6634
Routing Number: 111916326
Independent Financial Fees
Except for the $4.95 monthly service charge for IntroChecking, you can avoid some bank fees at Independent Financial by meeting minimum transaction or balance requirements and avoiding overdrafts. Here’s a look at some of the other fees you might face:
|Non-sufficient funds||$35 per item|
|Wire transfers||$10 for incoming, $25 for outgoing domestic, $45 for outgoing international|
|Account closing fee||$25 (within 30 days of opening)|
|Excess withdrawals||$2 to $10, depending on the account|
Independent Financial vs. Competitors
Where you bank can have a significant impact on your finances, so it pays to shop around. Here’s a look at how Independent Bank stacks up against other banks.
|Independent Financial||Customers who prefer a local, community-oriented banking experience|
|Texas Capital Bank||Customers who want robust digital banking tools in addition to physical branches|
|Frost Bank||A large number of branch locations for easy accessibility to in-person service|
|Wells Fargo||The breadth of products and services|
Independent Bank vs. Texas Capital Bank
Texas Capital Bank is similar to Independent Financial in many ways, but it has its own online-only bank with very competitive interest rates. Independent Financial has wider appeal for people who like to bank in person because it has branches in Colorado as well as Texas.
Independent Financial vs. Frost Bank
With more than 130 financial centers in Texas, Frost Bank gets the nod over Independent Financial for Lone Star State customers. If you do most of your banking online, however, Independent Financial might be the better choice because its mobile app has more features, such as a mobile wallet.
Independent Financial vs. Wells Fargo
As one of America’s “big four” banks, Wells Fargo is unrivaled in the breadth and depth of the products and services it offers. Independent Financial can’t compete in terms of scale, but that’s likely to be fine with Texas and Colorado customers who prefer a more community-focused bank.
Is Independent Financial Good?
Although Independent Financial is a Texas bank that operates in a limited number of markets, it still could be a good choice to some people because their account options are comprehensive enough to compete with national banks if you don’t need insurance and investment brokerage services under the same roof. Its interest rates are competitive with most other banks, and there are few fees you can’t avoid.
As befits a local bank, Independent Financial has a checking account for everyone from first-time bank customers and those rebuilding their checking account histories to customers 50 and older who expect their account to provide good value.
Independent Financial FAQHere are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Independent Financial.
- How are Independent Bank Group and Independent Financial Related?
- The parent company, Independent Bank Group, a financial services company based in McKinney that offers services throughout the Gulf Coast of Texas and Colorado, introduced the brand, Independent Financial, in 2019.
- Does Independent Financial impose limits on mobile deposits?
- There is no bank-wide limit, but Independent Financial might impose a limit on the amount or number of items you can deposit.
- Are Independent Financial accounts FDIC-insured?
- Yes, Independent Financial is a member of the FDIC, and deposit accounts are insured up to $250,000 per depositor.
- Does Independent Financial offer free money for signing up for an account?
- Independent Financial doesn't currently offer free money for signing up for a bank account. However, its credit cards offer perks such as bonus cash back and bonus points for new customers.
Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 25, 2021.
This content is not provided by Independent Financial. 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 Independent Financial.