TIAA Bank Review: Great Online Checking, Savings and CDs

GOBankingRates Score

TIAA Bank
4.8
SCORE
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: As long as you are a U.S. resident, you can open an account at TIAA Bank. This financial institution has a variety of services and products. GOBankingRates has ranked TIAA Bank as one of the Best Online Banks for 2023.
  • Checking Accounts
    4.8
  • Savings Accounts
    4.9
  • CD Accounts
    4.9
  • Banking Experience
    4.7
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Easy online banking via the TIAA Bank website and mobile app
  • More than 80,000 fee-free ATMs available
  • High yields on qualifying checking, savings and CD accounts

Cons

  • Non-TIAA Bank ATM fees are only reimbursed up to $15 per month -- though unlimited reimbursements are available if you maintain a minimum average daily balance of $5,000

TIAA Bank Overview 

TIAA Bank launched in June 2018 after the acqusition of EverBank by TIAA the year prior, with the express goal of providing solutions for the unique financial needs of its clients. Now, TIAA Bank is rated by GOBankingRates as one of the Best Online Banks for 2023.

Although the bank is based in Jacksonville, Florida, residents of all U.S. states can open an account and handle their banking needs using the website or mobile app.

Key Features

TIAA Bank stands out for several reasons. Here is a closer look at some of the top features it offers.

Checking Accounts

Although the accounts are online, mobile check deposits and access to 80,000 TIAA Bank-affiliated ATMs make it possible to handle your everyday banking needs anytime. TIAA Bank offers two low-fee accounts.

  • Basic Checking: You need $25 to open the account.
  • Yield Pledge® Checking: Accounts earn APY on all balance tiers and there is a $100 minimum for the account. The combination of $0 overdraft transfer fees, $0 monthly account fees and a competitive interest rate, is part of the reason the Yield Pledge Checking account is one of GOBankingRates’ picks for Best Checking Accounts of 2023.

Savings Account

TIAA Bank has one type of savings account, its Basic Savings. Although the online bank doesn’t provide other options, it’s still an award-winning choice, ranking in the GOBankingRates roundup of the Best Online and Neobank Savings Accounts of 2023 for its low fees, a minimum balance requirement of $25 and competitive APY of .

It’s the least customizable and most standard of all account types at TIAA Bank but it covers all the needs of a savings account.

CD Accounts

TIAA Bank’s certificate of deposit accounts are a collection of award-winning CDs, ranging from its Basic to its well-regarded Intrafi® Network Deposits. CDs are a great way to earn high returns that are virtually risk-free — as long as you don’t need to access the funds for the agreed-to term. Due to their offerings, GOBankingRates has ranked TIAA Bank among the Best CD Accounts of 2023.

If you have $1,000 to $1,500 to start with, the Basic or Bump Rate CDs are your options. The Basic CD comes with terms of three months to five years with the potential of up to APY. Investing $1,500 into a Bump Rate is a lucrative option if you can set the money aside for 3.5 years — you can bump your rate up once during the term if the bank’s rate increases.

Lastly, higher investments of $10,000 qualify for an IntraFi Network Deposits CD. The APYs tend to be lower, but this account offers expanded FDIC coverage — into the millions of dollars rather than the typical $250,000. So if you want to keep more money in a single insured account, this may be a good option for you.

TIAA Banking Experience

TIAA Bank’s focus on providing banking services for everyone is a strong point. Anyone who is a legal resident of the U.S. can access the award-winning online banking products including checking, savings, money market accounts and CDs.

Except for the savings and money market account categories, you’ll find basic and premium account options. This gives you the option to start small with a basic account and upgrade to a higher-tier account when you have a higher balance to work with.

Customer Service

Not all TIAA Bank customers have access to in-person service, especially those who do not happen to live near one of its branch locations.

To make up for the lack of brick-and-mortar branches, customer service agents are available to help by phone. You can speak to a customer service representative at 888-882-3837. They’re available on weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. EST.

You can also reach out via email on the bank’s website.

Mobile and Digital Experience

You can easily get your banking done through the TIAA Bank website, including scheduling bill payments and bank transfers. In addition, the mobile app is a great way to handle your basic banking services 24/7 and it is highly rated.

  • Google Play: 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • Apple Store: 4.7 out of 5 stars

Standout mobile app features include check deposits, watch compatibility, access to customer service and the option to create savings goals. In addition, TIAA Bank’s mobile app is integrated with smart-device security, such as Touch ID, face recognition and password access.

TIAA Bank vs. Competitors

Before deciding on a bank, it’s always a good idea to see how it stacks up against the rest of the field. Here’s a look at how TIAA Bank compares to some of its competitors.

TIAA Bank vs. Capital One

TIAA Bank and Capital One both offer competitive rates and a variety of low-cost accounts. However, TIAA Bank edges out Capital One when it comes to the number of accounts available. Capital One does not offer a money market account. TIAA Bank offers one, as well as basic and deluxe versions of a checking account.

TIAA Bank vs. Ally Bank

If you want a simple way to bank with the least amount of fees, choose Ally Bank. Both online banks have low fees but the few they charge, such as stop payment or wire transfer fees, are lower at Ally Bank. On the other hand, TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge products come with the promise that the yields offered are in the top 5% of Competitive Accounts, so you can feel confident your money is guaranteed to grow with a great rate.

TIAA Bank vs. Synchrony

Synchrony is best for customers looking for a simple savings account solution. TIAA Bank beats Synchrony when it comes to financial products — you’ll have access to checking accounts in addition to savings.

Final Take

TIAA Bank is a great option for those customers who value high yields and diverse options over in-person banking. Customers with more liquidity and enough money to open TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge® accounts, whether in checking or a money market, may find the bank’s rates very competitive.

TIAA Bank’s variety of high-yield CDs are a great way to grow your money with up to five-year terms. Consider opening an account with TIAA Bank as GOBankingRates has ranked TIAA Bank as one of the Best Online Banks for 2023.

TIAA Bank FAQ

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about TIAA Bank.
  • Is TIAA Bank a good bank?
    • Yes, TIAA Bank is a well-renowned financial institution. It has a highly rated mobile app and GOBankingRates has ranked TIAA Bank among the Best Online Banks for 2023.
  • How is TIAA Bank rated?
    • GOBankingRates has ranked TIAA Bank in a number of categories including being one of the Best Online Banks for 2023.
  • Is TIAA Bank a legitimate bank?
    • Yes, TIAA Bank is a legitimate bank and is a Member FDIC. All accounts are insured for $250,000 per ownership account.

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 Dec. 6, 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 determine rankings for the Best Checking Accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors from all banks (excluding credit unions): (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the FDIC; (3) minimum deposit to open an account; (4) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (5) APY on the checking account; (6) overdraft fee amount; 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), (2 and (5) were weighted 0.5 times, and factor (4) was weighted 1.5 times. 

To determine rankings for the Best CD Accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors from all banks (excluding credit unions): (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the FDIC; (3) minimum deposit to open an account; (4) 12-month CD APY; (5) 60-month CD APY; and (6) 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 (2) were weighted 0.5 times, factor (3) was weighted 2 times, and factors (4) and (5) were weighted 4 times. 

To determine rankings for the Best Online Banks, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors across exclusively online banks: (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (3) savings APY; (4) 1-year CD APY; (5) customer service options and mobile products offered (24/7 customer service, live chat with a human, mobile app and remote check deposit); (6) Bauer rating (out of 5 stars); (7) products/services offered (auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services and insurance); and (8) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. Factors (1) and (2) were weighted 0.5 times, and factors (3) and (7) were weighted 2 times. For all savings and checking account data, only the basic accounts/products offered at each institution were analyzed. 

To determine rankings for the Best Online Bank and Neobank Savings Accounts, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors from all online banks and neobanks: (1) total assets as sourced from the FDIC; (2) minimum deposit to open an account; (3) monthly savings fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (4) minimum balance needed in account to earn APY; (5) savings APY; and (6) 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. Factor (1) was weighted 0.5 times, factor (4) was weighed 1.5 times and factor (5) was weighted 3 times.  

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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.
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