TIAA Bank Review: Is It the Right Bank for You?

GOBankingRates Score

4.6
Our Take: TIAA Bank is primarily an online bank, although it does have 141 financial services locations nationwide. Unlike most online-focused financial institutions, TIAA gives you access to a wide variety of products and services, including various deposit accounts as well as retirement planning, loans and investments.
  • Breadth of Products
    5.0
  • Range of Services
    5.0
  • Opening Deposit Requirements
    4.5
  • Fees
    4.0
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 for TIAA Bank customers
  • High yields on qualifying checking, money market and CD accounts compared with many other banks

Cons

  • Non-TIAA ATM fees only reimbursed for accounts with a minimum balance of $5,000

About TIAA Bank

TIAA Bank is the banking arm of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA), a Fortune 100 financial services company. The original company was established in 1918 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to ensure retirement income and life insurance for educators. In the years since, New York-based TIAA has earned a reputation for providing quality financial services to nonprofit organizations, institutions, professors and teachers across the U.S. GOBankingRates also named it named one of the Best Online Banks of 2021 in its annual Best Banks rankings.

TIAA Bank launched in June 2018 following the previous year’s merger of EverBank and TIAA, The bank is based in Jacksonville, Fla., but accounts are available to residents in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

TIAA Bank Products

TIAA Bank might be an online-only entity, but it provides much of what you’d expect from a full-service bank. Here’s a quick rundown of its products:

Product Features
Yield Pledge Checking Account
  • Interest-earning
  • No maintenance fees
  • $100 minimum deposit to open
Basic Checking Account
  • ATM fee reimbursements up to $15 per month when holding an average daily balance of less than $5,000
  • $25 minimum deposit required to open
Basic Savings Account
  • Variable APY
  • $5 monthly fee waived for average daily balances over $25
  • $25 minimum deposit required to open
Yield Pledge Money Market Account
  • $500 minimum deposit to open
  • Up to six monthly transactions without any fees
CDs
  • Basic CDs have terms of 3 months to 5 years with a minimum of $1,000 to open
  • Bump-Rate CDs have terms of 3.5 years with an optional one-time bump rate and minimum $1,500 to open
Individual Retirement Accounts
  • Traditional IRA
  • Roth IRA
  • Rollover IRA
Investment Options
  • Precious Metals: Coins and bars, Unallocated metals
  • Foreign Currencies: CDs, CD Baskets, Access Accounts
Loans
  • FHA and VA home loans
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit
  • Refinancing

Here’s a closer look at the banking products TIAA Bank has to offer:

TIAA Bank Checking Account

TIAA Bank offers Basic Checking and Yield Pledge Checking accounts. The main difference between the two is the high-yield guarantee of the Yield Pledge Checking account, making it an attractive option for those who want to grow their money faster. In fact, GOBankingRates ranked it one of the Best Checking Accounts of 2021.

Features

  • Free debit cards
  • Mobile and online banking available
  • Access to all TIAA-affiliated ATMs

Pros

  • Basic Checking has no monthly fee for accounts with a minimum average daily balance of $25
  • Debit card comes with Price Protection and Return Protection, both up to $250

Cons

  • Basic Checking accrues no interest
  • Account balance minimum is $5,000 in order to access unlimited ATM fee reimbursements

If you want to see how TIAA Bank’s checking account features compare with other banks, take a look at the best checking accounts out there.

TIAA Savings Account

TIAA Bank only has a single Basic Savings Account, which currently offers an annual percentage yield of 0.50%. Although this is the least customizable of all account types at TIAA, GOBankingRates ranked it one of the Best Savings Accounts of 2021.

Features

  • Earns variable interest
  • Mobile/online banking available

Pros

  • A high APY compared to other banks, some of which have rates as low as 0.01%
  • No monthly account fee with $25 minimum average daily balance

Cons

  • $5 monthly fee if average daily balance falls below $25

TIAA Money Market Account

TIAA Bank’s Yield Pledge Money Market Account offers a comparatively high 0.40% APY on all balance tiers. There’s no monthly account fee and you can open an account with a minimum deposit of $500. These features earned TIAA Bank a spot in GOBankingRates’ Best Money Market Accounts of 2021.

Features

  • Easy access through online and mobile banking
  • Fee-free overdraft protection when linked to a TIAA Bank checking account

Pros

  • No monthly service fee
  • High APY vs. other banks
  • GOBankingRates ranked it one of the Best Money Market Accounts of 2021

Cons

  • $500 deposit to open account

TIAA CD Account

TIAA Bank’s Certificate of Deposit accounts are among the best in the industry and include a Basic CD and a Bump-Rate CD. CDs are a great way to earn high returns with virtually no risk.

Features

  • Terms vary from 3 months to 5 years, with rates that range from 0.55% to 0.85% APY
  • FDIC-insured

Pros

  • No monthly account service fees
  • Bump-Rate CD only requires a $1,500 initial deposit

Cons

  • Basic CD requires a $1,000 minimum opening deposit with fewer features than the Bump-Rate CD
  • Other banks offer CDs with no minimum deposit required.

Banking Experience

TIAA Bank has a variety of products and services to choose from, but how does it rank in terms of overall banking experience? Here’s a quick look:

Customer Service

Not all TIAA Bank clients have access to in-person service because the bank’s physical locations are scattered in different places, with many states having only one or two offices. To make up for its lack of branches, TIAA Bank offers customer service agents who are available by phone at 888-882-3837. Here are the hours:

  • Weekdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST
  • Weekends, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST

Accessibility/Branch Availability

TIAA bank financial services offices are available in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Florida residents have the most access, with 14 branches in the following cities for in-person banking:

  • Boca Raton, Coral Gables, Daytona Beach, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Lady Lake, Melbourne, Naples, Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa

Mobile & 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. Here’s how TIAA Bank’s mobile app rated in terms of customer reviews on the following platforms:

  • Google Play: 4.6 out of 5 stars, 3,934 votes (as of Dec. 2, 2020)
  • Apple Store: 4.7 out of 5 stars, 3,800 votes (as of Dec. 2, 2020)

These are some of the most popular mobile app features:

  • Ability to deposit checks
  • Functionality when using a wearable device or watch
  • Lets you download and access documents
  • Ability to contact customer service
  • Lets you view mortgage details
  • Ability to trade stocks
  • Lets you create savings goals

TIAA’s mobile app is integrated with smart-device security features such as Touch ID, face recognition and password access.

How To Open an Account

You can open a TIAA Bank account at a branch, online, by fax or by calling customer service. To open a bank account, you’ll need to provide the following:

  1. Name
  2. New login information
  3. Social Security number
  4. Employment information

Key Information

Customer Service number: 888-882-3837

Routing number: 063092110

Promotions: Newest TIAA Bank Promos and Bonuses

TIAA Bank Fees

There are a range of fees at TIAA Bank depending on which type of account you want to open. However, many can be waived by keeping a minimum account balance. Here’s more:

Checking

  • NSF fee: $30
  • Stop payment fee: $25
  • Domestic wire transfer fee: $25
  • International wire transfer fee: $35
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $5 monthly fee for the Basic Checking Account (waived with a minimum average daily balance of $25), No monthly fee for the Yield Pledge Checking Account

Savings

  • Basic Savings Account: $5 monthly fee, but waived with a minimum daily balance of $25
  • Money Market Savings: No monthly fee

TIAA Bank vs. Competitors

So how do TIAA Bank’s fees stack up against the competition? Here’s an overview:

Bank Monthly Maintenance Fee
TIAA Bank Basic Checking $5 monthly maintenance fee, but can be waived
$30 overdraft fee
$25 domestic wire transfer fee
Capital One 360 Checking No monthly maintenance fee
$35 overdraft fee
$30 domestic write transfer fee
Ally Bank Interest Checking

No monthly maintenance fee
$25 overdraft fee
$20 domestic write transfer fee

Synchrony Savings

No monthly maintenance fee
$25 domestic write transfer fee

TIAA Bank vs. Capital One

Capital One is one of the biggest banks in the U.S., making it a good fit for customers who want a nationwide network of branches and ATMs. It’s also a good choice for customers who might overdraw their accounts. Capital One lets you fund your account by 11:59 p.m. the next business day before you get charged a $35 NSF fee. TIAA doesn’t provide a grace period, so you’ll need to stay on top of your spending and balances.

TIAA Bank vs. Ally Bank

If you want a simple way to bank with the least amount of fees, choose Ally. This online bank doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees, so in that respect it tops TIAA Bank. However, TIAA provides more products and services than Ally Bank, which might make it a better fit if you prefer a broader banking experience.

TIAA Bank vs. Synchrony

Synchrony is best for customers eyeing a simple, no-fee savings account. But TIAA Bank has the edge when it comes to financial products because it offers loan, investment and checking account options.

Final Take

TIAA Bank is a good option for customers who value high yields and diverse products and services over in-person banking. Customers with enough money to open TIAA’s Yield Pledge accounts might find the bank’s rates very competitive.

In addition, TIAA Bank’s variety of high-yield CDs are a great way to grow your money with up to five-year terms. While auto and personal lending options are not currently offered, TIAA does provide mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit and, if you’re a veteran, VA home loans. For customers in search of more options than you find at most online banks, TIAA Bank could be just the right fit.

Editor’s Favorite

Keeping your finances organized in one place might be the best part of banking with TIAA Bank. You can invest in the stock market with a TIAA brokerage account, move money back and forth from your bank and brokerage accounts, get a mortgage or loan and plan for your retirement.

FAQ

  • What does TIAA stand for in TIAA bank?
    • TIAA is short for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America.
  • Is TIAA bank FDIC insured?
    • TIAA is FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor.
  • Does TIAA Bank have branches?
    • Yes, it has offices in 44 states and the District of Columbia, including 14 branches in these Florida cities: Boca Raton, Coral Gables, Daytona Beach, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Lady Lake, Melbourne, Naples, Orlando, Palm Beach Gardens, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa
  • Does TIAA Bank use Zelle?
  • Does TIAA Bank offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • TIAA Bank bonuses don't come up very often. Currently, there are no free money offers available for opening an account.

Jared Nigro also 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. 2, 2020.

This content is not provided by TIAA 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 TIAA 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.

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