KeyBank Review: No-Frills Convenient Checking

GOBankingRates Score

Keybank National Association
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.
Quick Take: KeyBank is a full-service financial institution, but its primary strength lies in its checking accounts. With choices that include basic fee-free checking and an online-only option as well as relationship accounts, KeyBank provides a robust selection. For a midsize bank, it also casts a wide net for customer service options including extended hours for chat support, in-person service, Twitter assistance and around-the-clock live phone support.
  • Checking Accounts
  • Savings Accounts
  • CD Accounts
  • Banking Experience
How did we calculate this?


  • Fee-free overdraft protection available
  • Mobile app is user-friendly and highly rated
  • Upgraded ATMs accept cash deposits


  • Higher-tier checking accounts have high monthly maintenance fees and high balance requirements to waive them
  • Interest-bearing checking accounts offer a minimal amount of interest
  • Must live in one of 15 states served to bank with KeyBank

KeyBank Overview

KeyBank is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio and is a subsidiary of KeyCorp. This bank offers a multitude of personal and business financial products, plus investment and insurance products backed by its 190-year history. KeyBank has over 1,000 full-service branches in the 15 states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

GOBankingRates has ranked KeyBank as a finalist in the Best Banks of 2023 rankings. 

KeyBank Features

Here is a look at some of the best features of KeyBank.

KeyBank Checking Accounts

With five different choices, including the online-only KeyBank Hassle-Free Account with no monthly service fee, KeyBank offers some of the best checking account options out there. Whether you’re looking for a basic account with no monthly fee or a checking account that earns some interest, KeyBank has the solution.

  • Hassle-Free: This non-interest-bearing and checkless account requires use of the online platform and electronic bill pay but also has other features.
    • Can be opened for $10 
    • No minimum balance requirement
    • No service fees
  • Key Smart Checking: This is a non-interest-bearing checking account with many features.
    • No minimum balance requirement
    • No service fees
    • Can be opened with just $10
    • Allows both paper checks and electronic bill pay
  • Key Advantage: Has a monthly maintenance fee of $18, but the fee can be waived if you can maintain a combined balance of $10,000 or have at least $500 deducted monthly for your KeyBank mortgage payment.
  • Key Privilege Checking: Has a monthly maintenance fee of $25, but the fee can be waived if the account holders have a monthly combined balance of $25,000 or have at least $500 deducted monthly for your KeyBank mortgage payment.
  • Key Privilege Select: Has a monthly maintenance fee of $50, but the fee can be waived if account holder maintains a monthly balance of at least $100,000.

For individuals who need more than basic features from a checking account and plan on holding higher balances, Key Advantage, Key Privilege and Key Privilege Select accounts all earn APY.

KeyBank Savings Accounts

A KeyBank savings account isn’t the best option to grow your savings aggressively but can be useful to ensure you avoid overdraft fees. You can sign up for overdraft protection and link your KeyBank checking and savings account. There is no charge for a transfer to cover the balance if your account falls into the red. KeyBank offers multiple savings account options.

  • Key Active Saver
  • Key4Kids Savings Account 
  • Health Savings Account
  • Key Active Saver 

The bank’s free EasyUp program automates saving every time you use your KeyBank checking account debit card to make a purchase. It’s a good way to automate your savings plan to grow your emergency fund or set money aside for a large purchase.

KeyBank’s savings accounts offer a minimal amount of interest at APY.

Money Market Account

Money market accounts are a good choice for customers who need to make an occasional payment or write a check directly from their accounts. The Key Select Money Market account offers rates based on your balance and the interest is compounded daily. This account also has a $20 monthly fee and to waive it you will need to maintain a daily balance of at least $25,000 during the statement cycle or have a Key Advantage Checking, Key Privilege Checking or Key Privilege Select Checking account.

KeyBank CD Accounts

A certificate of deposit can grow your funds faster than a regular savings or money market account. Choose between KeyBank’s short-term, tiered or jumbo CD.

You can open a short-term or tiered account with a minimum of $2,500; jumbo CD accounts require a minimum deposit of $100,000. Short-term CDs have terms of seven days to less than six months. Tiered CDs have terms of six months to 10 years, and jumbo CD terms start at seven days and range up to 10 years.

KeyBank Banking Experience

KeyBank is ideal for anyone who typically maintains a balance large enough to avoid the sometimes steep monthly maintenance fees. However, a high balance isn’t essential — customers who stick with the basic checking and savings accounts can avoid monthly fees altogether.

Anyone in the 15 states where KeyBank operates can bank online or in person at one of 1,000 full-service branch locations. A network of over 40,000 KeyBank and Allpoint ATMs lets you access your money on the go. 

Mobile Banking

KeyBank has an online-only Hassle-Free checking account for customers who don’t need a bank with physical branches.

The KeyBank mobile app is worth mentioning. It can handle most banking tasks such as mobile check deposits, account balances and setting up bill payments. You can also sign up for free. It has a rating of 4.5 stars on the App Store and 4.2 stars on Google Play.

Customer Service

KeyBank provides a few options when you require support. Help is available via online assistance, live chat and a 24/7 customer service number of 1-800-539-2968.

KeyBank vs. Competitors

If you’re not sure whether KeyBank is the right financial institution for you, here’s a comparison to similar competitors.

KeyBank vs. PNC Bank

PNC, like KeyBank, has a long history of serving bank customers and their communities. Its Virtual Wallet® product makes PNC a good choice for customers who need an uncomplicated way to manage their budgets.

However, it’s the bank’s preferred checking account and the only PNC checking account you can open online. KeyBank’s selection of checking accounts makes it a far less restrictive choice.

KeyBank vs. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo remains one of America’s “Big Four” banks, and as such, it has among the most comprehensive selections of account types. It also has about 4,700 branch locations throughout the U.S., so it’s a better choice for anyone who prefers to do their banking in person but doesn’t live in one of the 15 states KeyBank serves.

But the same type of customer is likely to consider good customer service a priority, and that’s an area where KeyBank shines.

KeyBank vs. US Bank

As America’s fifth-largest bank, U.S. Bank is significantly larger than KeyBank. That shows in its services, like an advanced mobile app. U.S. Bank’s national presence is bigger than KeyBank’s to cover individuals who don’t live in the states KeyBank serves.

Final Take

As one of America’s largest financial institutions, KeyBank has a wide selection of checking, savings and money market accounts, as well as CDs. If you live within the service area, KeyBank may be the ideal financial institution for you.

KeyBank FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about KeyBank.
  • What are the pros and cons of KeyBank?
    • KeyBank offers plenty of account options and a large network of ATMs. However, branches are limited to only 15 states and interest rates aren't as competitive.
  • Is KeyBank a good bank?
    • KeyBank is an established banking institution that's been operating for over 190 years. Due to its wide range of products and customer service, GOBankingRates has ranked KeyBank among the Top Banks for 2023.
  • Is KeyBank a real bank?
    • Yes, KeyBank is a well-known national bank that is FDIC-insured.
  • Is KeyBank better than Bank of America?
    • It would depend on what your banking needs are as both have varying features. However, Bank of America would have more accessibility and physical branches if you prefer in-person banking.
  • Is KeyBank owned by US Bank?
    • KeyBank is a subsidiary of KeyCorp and not owned by US Bank.

Caitlyn Moorhead 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 Nov. 30, 2022.

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 discover the Top Banks, GOBankingRates looked at the top national institutions (excluding credit unions) with over $100 billion in total assets. To determine rankings, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) checking product minimum deposit; (2) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (3) savings product minimum deposit; (4) savings product APY; (5) Bauer rating (out of 5 stars); (6) products/services offered (auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services and insurance); and (7) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1) and (3) were weighted 0.5 times, factor (4) was weighted 2.5 times, and factor (6) was weighted 1.5 times.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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