Webster Bank Review: Great Selection of Deposit Accounts for New England Customers
Digital Banking Experience
Breadth of Products
Range of Services
Opening Deposit Requirements
As is the case with any financial institution, banking with Webster Bank has perks and challenges.
- Large selection of checking and savings accounts
- Bump-up and IRA CDs
- Military banking benefits
- Wealth and retirement planning
- Helpful online tutorials and resources about personal finance
- Few branches and ATMs
- Lots of fees
- Lackluster customer service options
- Less-than-competitive interest rates of 0.01% to 0.02% on balances under $250,000
Overview of Webster Bank
Since its founding over 80 years ago, New England-based Webster Bank has grown into a serious contender among mid-sized banks. Webster Bank has over 3 million consumer and commercial banking customers and more than $33 billion in assets, ranking as one of the Top 100 Banks of 2022 in the annual GOBankingRates study.
This Webster Bank review takes a detailed look at what the bank has to offer in terms of account types, rates, fees and other factors that can help you decide if this is the right bank for you.
Webster Bank Review Product Details
In addition to checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit, Webster Bank’s consumer products include credit card and loans. You’ll also find wealth management products like insurance and investments. The bank rewards first responders and members of the military with special benefits on deposit accounts and loans.
Webster Bank Checking Accounts
Webster Bank offers five different checking accounts, including a second-chance account called Opportunity Checking, to give you plenty of flexibility no matter how you spend. Opening deposit requirements are $50 for all accounts except for the $500 required for Premier Checking. Only two accounts earn interest — Premier and Relationship Checking. The rate is minimal at 0.01%.
To avoid the monthly maintenance fee of $11.95 to $21.95 with most accounts, you’ll need to meet certain requirements such as a minimum balance of $1,000 to $20,000. However, not all checking account service fees are waivable — all you may receive is a discount of $2 to $5 per month if you receive a direct deposit. Although you have plenty of options, you may want to compare other checking accounts before you sign up.
Webster Bank Savings Accounts
Webster’s Holiday Club Savings and Premier Savings are free. Other savings accounts have a monthly service fee of $5 to $10, but fees can be waived with qualifying account activity such as maintaining a minimum balance of $300 or $10,000.
Most accounts earn 0.01 to 0.02% APY. You can earn higher rates with Premier Savings if you deposit a higher balance of $250,000. Review GOBankingRates’ best savings accounts for better yields on high balances.
Webster Bank CD Rates
Webster Bank CDs offer guaranteed rates of return through traditional, bump-up or IRA certificates. There are five term lengths available, ranging from six months to five years with a relatively low $1,000 minimum deposit. Rates are 0.05% for six months, and increase to 0.10%, 0.20% or 0.30% APY.
The bump-up CD allows you to increase interest rates once during the three-year term. The rate is currently 0.20% with the potential of increasing if you time the bump well.
Best Features of Webster Bank
Webster Bank’s GOBankingRates score is a 4.5 out of 5 based on four high-scoring categories:
Digital Banking Experience
Webster Bank’s digital banking is robust. The mobile app is highly rated by customers and the online platform is easy to navigate so banking is possible 24/7.
Breadth of Products
Webster Bank offers clients a variety of financial services beyond bank accounts. Lending, retirement planning and wealth management are also available.
Range of Services and Opening Deposit Requirements
The breadth of deposit accounts and flexible opening deposit requirements for each type means account holders with varying needs and account balances will find an account option.
Most Webster Bank checking accounts earn discounts on loan interest, and you can save even more on your loan rate by signing up for automatic payments from your checking account. Over the life of a mortgage loan in particular, the savings can really add up.
As a regional financial institution, Webster Bank has branch locations within a small geographic area. But some accounts let you use other banks’ ATMs for free, and Webster’s digital banking services remove geography from the equation for those who bank strictly online.
Customer service can only be contacted by phone, but representatives are available 24/7.
Accessibility and Branch Availability
Customers in New England can bank in person at any of Webster’s 156 banking centers, which are located from upstate New York to Boston. The bank also has over 300 ATMs account holders use for free.
Mobile and Digital Experience
Digital banking lets you do nearly everything you’d do at a branch location without leaving your home — manage your accounts, pay bills, automate transfers from checking to savings accounts and set up balance alerts and other notifications. The mobile app gives you even more flexibility, allowing you to make check deposits into your accounts. The app is available for iOS and Android and has an average rating of about 4.5 stars.
For America’s digital-banking majority banking “convenience” likely has more to do with digital banking options than with physical locations and ATMs. In that regard, Webster Bank has you covered. But if banking in person is important to you, Webster is probably not a good choice unless you live in New England and have a branch nearby.
How To Open an Account
In addition to opening an account at a branch office, you can request a call from a Webster banker to open one by phone or use a link on any product page to open one online. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Driver’s license
- Social Security number or tax ID
- Employment information
- Identifying information such as your previous addresses, employers and loans
The application has a phone number where you can get 24/7 assistance in the event you have trouble opening your account.
Some Webster Bank fees, such as monthly service fees and fees for overdrafts and excess savings withdrawals, are avoidable. Not so with other fees, unless you forgo the services associated with them. Here’s a rundown on fees you might encounter with Webster Bank:
|Non-Webster Bank ATM Withdrawal||$2.50 (free with WebsterOne Relationship or Premier Checking; one fee rebate per statement period with Student Checking)|
|Monthly Maintenance Fee||$0 to $21.95, depending on the account|
|Excess Transfers From Savings||$15 each|
|Overdraft Fee/Non-sufficient Funds||$37 (rebated once per year with Student Checking account)|
|Inactivity Fee||$5 per month after six months of inactivity and less than $250 balance|
|Early Closeout Fee||$15 if the account is closed within 90 days of opening|
|Research and Reconciliation Assistance||$30 per hour|
Webster Bank vs. Competitors
Factors like fees, minimum balances and account benefits vary by bank. That’s why it’s important to shop around. Here’s a look at how Webster Bank compares:
|Webster Bank||Student and second-chance banking|
|Bank of America||Branches available nationwide|
|People’s United Bank||Bonuses for opening an account|
|Commerce Bank||One-stop shopping for all your financial needs|
Webster Bank vs. Bank of America
With branches in 37 states plus the District of Columbia, Bank of America is the better choice for people who like to bank in person and live outside of New England. But for anyone who lives near a Webster branch, a smaller regional bank might offer the hometown-bank experience some prefer.
Webster Bank vs. People’s United Bank
People’s United Bank sometimes offers generous bonuses to new customers. You won’t find any current bonuses at Webster Bank, but you will have more savings and CD options to choose from.
Webster Bank vs. Commerce Bank
Commerce Bank offers a comprehensive product line that includes multi-benefit and disability insurance and student loans, which Webster Bank doesn’t offer. If you don’t need those products, you might get more value from Webster Bank’s higher rates.
You can be hit with a lot of fees at Webster Bank, especially on the Premier accounts. In return, you get several checking and savings accounts to choose from, plus bump-rate and IRA CDs. And rates are competitive even before you add in loan discounts. If you’re looking for your first bank or are considering a change, you’d do well to visit the Webster Bank website. You can request a call from a banker by filling out a form linked to product pages.
Webster Bank FAQOther facts not covered in this Webster Bank review include:
- Who owns Webster Bank?
- Webster Financial Corp. is the holding company for Webster Bank. Webster Financial Corp. is a public company whose stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol WBS.
- Does Webster Bank Have Free Checking?
- Yes. Student Checking also comes with no monthly maintenance charges. Value Checking also has no monthly maintenance fees with $500 in direct deposits each month or a $1,000 average monthly balance.
- Is Webster Bank FDIC insured?
- Yes. Webster deposit accounts are insured up to $250,000, per depositor, by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
- Is Webster Bank nationwide?
- Although digital banking lets you bank from just about anywhere, Webster Bank is a regional bank with branch locations extending from upstate New York to Boston .
- Does Webster Bank offer free money for signing up for an account?
- Customers have had the opportunity to earn free cash in past Webster Bank promotions. However, the bank has no promotions running currently.
Cynthia Bowman contributed to the reporting for this article.
Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 11, 2022.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Webster 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 Webster Bank.