A Review of TIAA Bank Services: Pros, Cons, and Account Requirements

FT Contributor  | 

Choosing the right bank is crucial to maximizing your wealth and achieving your financial goals. Not only do banks allow you to conveniently store and move money, they also offer a way to increase your savings without investing it.

To ensure your money is working for you, it’s important to review the types of bank accounts available and place your money in a high-yield account that’ll increase your balance over time. For example, if you have a $5,000 emergency fund account with a 1% annual percentage yield (APY), you’d earn $50.23 in interest for the year. If your savings account only pays a 0.05% APY, you’d earn $25.06.

TIAA Bank Services and Features

In June 2018, EverBank rebranded itself as TIAA Bank. The financial institution focuses on consumer, business, and commercial banking and provides several types of accounts, including savings and checking account options. The bank prides itself on offering high APYs for many accounts.

Checking Accounts

TIAA Bank offers a basic checking account that allows consumers to complete unlimited transactions with checks, a debit card, and online banking. There are no fees for a replacement card, over drafting, or maintenance.

The bank also offers ATM money withdrawal fee reimbursement with qualified transactions and account holders earn a 0.15% APY for balances $9,999 and less. You can open a checking account with TIAA Bank with a $100 minimum deposit. There’s a $25 stop payment fee and $10 cashier’s check fee associated with the account.

Money Market Accounts

Consumers can open a money market account to ensure their savings are yielding the highest amount of interest. TIAA Bank offers a money market account that earns 0.65% APY for balances $9,999 and less. Money market account holders benefit from no account maintenance fees and mobile check deposit. To open a new money market account, you must make a minimum deposit of $500.

CD Accounts

TIAA Bank offers three different types of certificates of deposit (CDs) for consumers. The Yield Pledge CD requires a $5,000 minimum deposit and offers a range of terms. With a $1,500 minimum deposit, you can open a Bump Rate CD, which allows you to “bump” your interest rate one time during the life of the account if you see the rates have improved. Alternatively, you can open a basic CD with a minimum $1,000 deposit that offers terms from three months to five years.

TIAA ATM Locations

TIAA Bank has over 80,000 ATM locations throughout the country. However, there are only about 20 branches and most of them are located in Florida. Most TIAA Bank customers do their banking online, through the mobile app, or at local ATMs.

TIAA Bank Online Options

As a TIAA Bank customer, you can sign up for an account with the website and complete online banking transactions, such as paying bills and transferring money. These transactions can also be completed through the bank’s mobile app, including mobile check deposit.

TIAA Bank partners with Zelle, a mobile app that allows you to transfer money to friends and family directly from your account. By opening Zelle in the TIAA mobile banking app, you can choose a bank account, recipient, and amount to transfer payment for free.

Pros and Cons of TIAA Bank

TIAA Bank customers have reported both pros and cons to banking with the financial institution.                                                                                                                  

Pros

High Yielding Accounts

When compared to other major financial institutions, TIAA Bank offers high APYs with most accounts. When you choose a high-yield CD, you lock in your APY and that rate is applicable for the entire term.

Convenient Online Banking

TIAA Bank allows customers to complete most transactions online or through the mobile app. You can deposit checks with your smartphone and send money to friends and family virtually with the Zelle app. Consumers who are comfortable with technology may find that these options make banking convenient and simple.

Variety of Financial Products

In addition to checking and savings accounts, TIAA Bank customers can apply for loans through the financial institution or invest their money to save for retirement. The bank also makes money by offering commercial banking services for business owners.

Cons

High Minimum Deposits

When compared to other major financial institutions, TIAA Bank requires high deposit minimums to open an account. Without the ability to meet this minimum deposit, you may not qualify to open an account with TIAA Bank.

Mostly Online Banking

Most TIAA Bank branch locations are in Florida and the list of locations isn’t extensive. If you prefer in-person banking, you may find it hard to conduct transactions at a local branch unless you live near one.

High APY Rates May Be Temporary

Many of the APY rates are only available for a short time before they’re reduced. It’s important to review the account terms to verify if the APY offered is introductory or available for the entire term.

Is TIAA Bank Right for You?

If you can meet the minimum deposit requirements for a new account, you may want to consider becoming a TIAA Bank customer due to its generous APY rates. However, you must be prepared to do most of your banking online or through the mobile app and pay attention to whether your APY rate is locked in or an introductory offer.

How to Open an Account With TIAA Bank

You can open a TIAA Bank account by phone, at a local branch, or online. To open an account by phone, call the customer service department at 888-882-3837. You can also visit a Florida bank branch to open an account with a TIAA Bank representative.

To open an account online, visit the TIAA Bank website and choose the type of account you want to open. You must create an online account, provide your information, and provide funding to complete the process. Once you’ve established an account with TIAA Bank, you can manage it from anywhere by signing in through the website or mobile app.

TIAA Bank is known for its high-yield accounts and the convenience of online and mobile banking. Before you open an account, it’s important to review the ATM locations and APY rate terms and conditions to ensure it’s the best bank for you.


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