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Bank of the West Review
If you have just moved to the West or you’ve been living here for some time already, it is likely that you’ve heard of Bank of the West. It is a financial institution founded back in the 19th century in California, but it quickly gained popularity.
Nowadays, it is present in numerous states and has a broad offering that includes financial products and services. The next sections offer an in-depth Bank of the West review, so you can make a more informed decision whether it is suitable for your banking needs.
About the Bank – Who Owns Bank of the West?
Bank of the West is headquartered in San Francisco, but you can now find it in more than 20 states in the West with over 600 locations. The bank offers products and services for personal and business purposes. The institution is now owned by BNP Paribas, a French financial company present in more than 70 countries.
The main products and services offered by the bank are quite varied. For individuals, the main categories include:
- Checking and savings accounts
- Loans, including military loans, home equity, mortgages, and even vehicle financing
- Insurances for vehicles, home, or life
- Credit cards
- Retirement planning
- Wealth management
- Online and mobile phone banking
Businesses or commercial customers also have access to different products and services:
- CDs (certificates of deposit) and money market accounts
- Checking and savings accounts
- Merchant and payroll services
- Online banking and international banking
- Multiple options for loans and credit
- Cash management
- Commercial lending
Bank of the West Review
Onto our Bank of the West review!
Types of Accounts
Bank of the West splits its checking account options into two simple categories: a basic and premium service. The basic deposit checking account allows you to deposit money at no monthly fee as long as you deposit at least once per statement cycle for people over 25, and automatically if you are younger.
Premier checking accounts are available for high-earning customers. The fee is waived only if you have at least $25,000 in your checking, CD, and savings accounts.
Fortunately, Bank of the West provides numerous perks that you cannot find elsewhere. For instance, the overdraft fee eraser feature allows you to reverse an overdraft fee per year. However, if you only have an overdraft of $5 or less, there is no charge. If you’d like additional overdraft protection, you can easily link your checking account to another line of credit or savings account.
Some other benefits include:
- Discounts on loans when you select auto-payment if you have any deposit checking account
- Premier checking accounts come with higher interest rates on deposits and can even waive the administration charges for mortgages
- The classic savings account requires only an auto-transfer of $25 per month or a daily balance minimum to waive the fee and it earns interest
- Choice money market savings account requires customers to have at least $5,000 in their account and there are no fees associated with withdrawals and deposits, either physically at any branch or via ATMs
- The minimum deposit for IRA CD is $100, or up to $2,500 for other types of CDs.
Bank of the West Loans
Bank of the West Personal Loan
If you have any personal plans that require higher finances, such as a wedding, medical bills, or even home improvement projects, you can easily access the personal loan. Bank of the West provides unsecured personal loans from $2,000 to $50,000, which means that you do not need collateral for this money.
The repayment term depends on the amount you want to borrow and can be a maximum of 60 months. All rates are fixed and, even better, there are no pre-payment penalties, so you can cover your remaining balance in full at any time. If you set up an automatic payment for the loan from your Bank of the West deposit account, you enjoy a 0.25% interest rate discount, thus lowering your overall cost.
On other hand, it is worthwhile to know that the bank prefers credit scores of 700 or higher. However, people with lower scores can have a co-signer with a higher credit score to boost their approval chances. You should be at least 18 years old and live in one of the 19 states where the bank is present.
If you want to apply for a loan, you must visit a physical branch or contact the customer service team via phone. Make sure you have all the relevant asset information, information regarding your current debt, at least two years of verifiable income history, and your social security number.
Bank of the West Mortgage Loan
If you are planning to buy your first home, Bank of the West has several attractive offers for you. Fortunately, the bank assists all of their clients to make sure that they choose the best option according to their financial situation.
The common options are a fixed-rate mortgage or adjustable-rate mortgage, depending on your preferences. For instance, if you prefer security, you can choose the fixed-rate mortgage and all of your payments will remain the same throughout the entire period. Alternatively, if you believe that the interest rates will decrease over time, the adjustable-rate mortgage comes with fluctuating payments based on the market rate.
The Fannie Mae HomeReady loan is suitable for low-to-moderate-income borrowers with limited cash for the down payment (up to 3%). People in this category can receive cash coming from qualifying grants or local down payment assistance programs to cover the initial costs. You should have a credit score of 620 or higher.
The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan is suitable for first-time home buyers. You need to cover the 3.5% down payment, but, in some cases, it may be gifted. You need an up-front, monthly government insurance premium and this mortgage is only available for your primary residence.
Finally, a VA (Veteran’s Affairs) loan can be accessed by people serving the country, either veterans or active-duty members, along with surviving spouses. There is no down payment quired and you do not need private mortgage insurance for a VA loan.
Bank of the West Auto Loan
If you open a checking or savings account with Bank of the West, your auto loan can come with interest rate discounts if you decide you finance a vehicle. One of the best aspects is that this option is also available to people without a US credit history, such as people who have recently moved to the US. However, auto loans are only available in 19 states and you can only apply for them physically by going to a nearby branch.
The Bank of the West auto loan is available for qualifying a new or used car, refinancing an existing auto loan, or a lease buyout. Under the vehicle category, you may also use the loan for travel trailers, motor homes, or even boats.
If you decide to buy a qualifying electric vehicle, you receive a 0.25% interest rate discount. There is an additional discount of 0.25% if you pay for your auto loan from your existing Bank of the West checking or savings account. Some other relevant details about Bank of the West auto loans include:
- Minimum amount is $7,500
- You should have at least two years of verifiable income to qualify for it
- It is recommended to have at least a 600 credit score
- Maximum term is 84 months
- Co-signers are allowed, helping you to get a better interest rate if they have a good credit score
- If you do not have an established credit history, you may still be eligible for receiving up to 90% of the vehicle’s value, or a maximum of $150,000
- No pre-payment penalties
Types of Bank of the West Credit Cards
There are three types of credit cards you can access. The Cash Back World credit card provides 3% cashback on dining, grocery, and gas spending, and 1% on all your other spending. In addition to this, there is a welcome offer of 0% introductory APR for the first year on balance transfers and purchases (between 15.99% and 22.99% APR afterward).
Cash can be redeemed in $25 increments, either as a statement credit or simply as a direct deposit. Bank of the West offers robust security protection for its credit cards, including identity theft resolution and even zero liability for fraudulent transactions.
If you want a credit card for daily purchases, a Cash Back World credit card might be a great option. Apart from the potential rewards, you also benefit from the lack of an annual fee. However, keep in mind that the cashback on gas purchases is capped at $1,500 per quarter.
The Platinum credit card is suitable if you often have a balance on your account. It comes with no annual fee and 0% APR for the first 15 months. After that, the APR depends on your creditworthiness, reaching up to 22.99% variable APR. This is available for both purchases and balance transfers.
Finally, the Secured credit card is a foolproof way to build your credit score. You do not require a credit history or a minimum score to open your account. You set up your own limit by depositing a sum when you open your account. The minimum amount is $300 and it is capped at $12,000. This credit card comes with an annual fee of $25 and has a variable APR based on the market. Secure credit card cardholders enjoy all the perks – including security features, online banking, and more.
Bank of the West Online Banking
Bank of the West provides on-the-go services for anyone who enjoys online and mobile banking. Some of the main features of the Bank of the West mobile app include Touch ID, checking your balance without signing in, and even bill payment, check deposits, or even investment information. The PopMoney service enables you to send money quickly and easily.
The Bank of the West app allows you on-the-go access no matter where you are. You can use it to activate new cards, set travel notifications, and have up to seven years of statement history on your accounts.
Pros and Cons
Bank of the West review pros and cons.
- Different types of checking account options
- Ability to waive maintenance fees
- Unsecured credit card for poor credit history
- Broad coverage in the West with more than 600 locations
- Online banking service for convenience
- Numerous loan options
- Not suitable for people living outside the 19 states
Bank of the West Customer Service
The Bank of the West phone number is 800-488-2265. You may contact the customer service team at any time from Monday to Friday between 4 AM to 10 PM (PST), while weekends and holidays typically have similar operating hours: 5 AM to 10 PM (PST). For in-person assistance, you can simply visit a local branch but you should book an appointment via the website.
What Time Does Bank of The West Open?
With more than 600 physical branches, the opening and closing times may vary. Generally, most branches are open during the standard business hours from 9 AM to 5 PM during the week. Branches are usually closed during Sundays, while business hours are shorter on Saturdays, typically from 9 AM to 12 PM only. If you want more information about accessibility and hours, you can contact the customer service team, as mentioned above.
Bank of the West Alternatives
Our Bank of the West review covers competitors and alternatives below.
Bank of the West vs Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo has a better presence throughout the United States, unlike the Bank of the West. However, if you live in the area, Bank of the West offers the benefit of no ATM fees as Wells Fargo has relatively high charges for non-network ones.
Bank of the West vs Bank of America
While the banks’ offerings are quite similar, Bank of America provides its customers with more opportunities to get higher interest rates on the basic savings account. You can avoid administration fees at both banks, but Bank of America has a stronger presence in the rest of the country.
Bank of the West vs Chase
Similarly, Chase has more branches outside the West, but Bank of the West does not require any minimum deposit account. Both banks allow you to waive administration fees on your basic checking accounts.
All in all, Bank of the West provides robust perks to their customers and has a strong physical presence in the area. Its products and services are broad, enjoy favorable interest rates, and are also open to people with poor credit history. Whether you need a credit card, a checking account, or a loan, Bank of the West has a full suite of services that could fulfill your needs.
Check Out The Website
Head to the Bank of the West website to see if the products are a good fit for your needs
Thanks for reading our Bank of the West review.
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