TIAA Bank Review

TIAA Bank was established in 1918 in Jacksonville, Florida. Today, TIAA provides various banking and investing services throughout the United States. TIAA Bank currently services customers in all 50 states and while there are only physical banking locations in Florida, it also functions as a fully online bank for customers outside of the Sunshine State. Its product line includes various checking and savings accounts, money market accounts and CDs. This bank also has nationwide home lending offices to help clients with mortgage needs.

TIAA Bank at a glance

Bank Min Savings Deposit Max Savings APY 1-Year CD Rate J.D. Power Survey Score Key Benefits
TIAA Bank $25 2.00% 1.85% N/A High interest earned on checking, savings and money market accounts

What we like about it

One of the things that immediately makes TIAA Bank an attractive option for a personal and business bank is the higher-than-average APY offered on its interest-earning checking, savings and money market accounts. TIAA Bank states that it promises to keep interest rates within the top 5% of competitive rates after introductory periods. It also offers over 10 different types of high yield CD accounts for customers to choose from, with access to thousands of surcharge-free ATMs. Customers who live in Florida will be able to take advantage of in-person banking at one of the many financial centers across the state. For customers outside of Florida, TIAA Bank offers an extensive online banking experience with intuitive mobile applications for greater convenience.

Things to consider

While TIAA Bank offers a full suite of online banking options for customers across the nation, the financial institution only operates physical branches in the state of Florida. Although TIAA Bank provides higher-than-average APY percentages on individual checking accounts, the bank doesn’t offer high yield savings accounts. Another setback when banking with TIAA Bank is that it requires high minimum deposits to open and maintain high yield accounts. To keep these accounts active, customers will need to deposit and maintain a balance of at least $5,000.

TIAA checking & savings accounts

TIAA Bank offers two separate types of checking accounts to customers as well as a basic savings option: the Basic and Yield Pledge checking accounts.

TIAA Bank’s Basic Checking account is a standard account with a minimum deposit of $25 and a low monthly fee. Monthly maintenance fees are easily avoidable by maintaining a low minimum balance; however, this particular account does not offer the chance to earn any interest. Basic Checking accounts come with mobile check deposits as well as free online bill pay and mobile payment options.

Yield Pledge Checking is TIAA Bank’s interest-bearing checking account option. These accounts require a $5,000 minimum deposit and are FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law. By maintaining a minimum balance of $5,000, customers can have all of their ATM fees reimbursed. For the first year, customers will receive 1.01% APY on all balances up to $250,000. After the introductory period, APY percentages are variable and fall between 0.25% and 0.65% APY depending on account balances.

Just like TIAA Bank’s Basic Checking accounts, Basic Savings accounts only require a $25 minimum deposit to open and are FDIC insured. The account pays a respectable 0.61% APY, and monthly maintenance fees can be easily avoided by maintaining a low minimum balance.

TIAA money market accounts

TIAA Bank offers a single option for money market accounts — the Yield Pledge Money Market account. This account is very similar to a savings account except with better interest rates. Unlike TIAA Bank’s Basic Savings accounts that only earn 1.10% APY, Yield Pledge Money Market accounts have a variable APY between 1.01% to 1.80%. All new money market accounts currently have an introductory APY of 2.00% for the first year, but keep in mind that accounts are limited to six transfers and withdrawals a month and can incur fees when you go over this allotment.

TIAA CDs

TIAA Bank’s CD term offerings are extensive and customers can choose between 10 different options. CD terms for Yield Pledge CDs range from three months to five years with variable APY percentages that range from 1.50% to 2.20%. These CD options require a minimum deposit of $5,000; however, lower APY percentage tiers are available with deposits of $1,000. There are also two specialty CD options available: Bump Rate CD and CDARS Service.

TIAA credit cards

Currently, TIAA Bank only offers one credit card option: the TIAA Bank Reward Credit Card. While customers are limited in options, the rewards card has great exclusive features and purchasing incentives. The Rewards Credit Card allows customers to earn cash back or points on each and every eligible purchase they make. The credit card has no annual fee and has a variable purchase APR of 11.75% to 25.50%. Customers can choose between cash back or points and\ have free access to FICO scores. Points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards and more.

The bottom line

TIAA Bank is a great choice for customers who are looking to make more significant investments in their bank options. TIAA Bank gives customers access to highly competitive interest rates; however, customers will need to be prepared to make larger deposits and maintain higher balances to benefit from them. TIAA Bank does offer more options though than most financial institutions when it comes to high yield CD options. This bank also gives customers the ability to exceed FDIC insurance limits by participating in their CDARS program.

Overall, TIAA Bank may have fewer branches and a smaller ATM networks than other financial institutions, but its competitive interest rates, 24/7 banking and excellent CD selection make it a great option for personal and business banking.

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