First National Bank of America: Banking Review 2023

This bank offers competitive online CD rates -- but unless you live in Michigan, its other accounts aren't particularly noteworthy.

First National Bank of America offers great rates for CDs, though its other savings account rates are rather low. With only three physical locations across Michigan, this bank might make sense if you live near a local branch and also want access to online banking tools. 

fnba.png
First National Bank of America

Those outside of Michigan might consider First National Bank of America for a high CD rate, but you can't switch all of your banking services -- this bank only offers checking accounts at local branches, and not online.

What we like

  • Competitive CD rates: This bank currently offers some of the highest CD APYs on the market.
  • Physical branches and online access: If you live in Michigan, this bank offers a small community feel with good online banking features.
  • ATM access: Part of the Allpoint network, which includes free access to 55,000 ATMs around the country

What we don't like

  • Some products are only offered in Michigan: You can't open a checking account or money market account online with First National Bank of America -- you'll need to open these accounts at one of its three Michigan-based branches.
  • Nonsufficient funds and overdraft fees: You could get charged NSF fees ($30 per charge) and continuous overdraft fees ($5 per day) if you do not have enough money in your account to cover a transaction.
  • Low yield on checking and savings accounts: You can earn higher APYs with checking, savings and money market accounts at other banks. 
  • High minimum balance requirements: Most accounts have high deposit and daily balance requirements to avoid fees. Other banks offer lower balance requirements or no-fee accounts.

Who is First National Bank of America suited for?

First National Bank of America might suit your needs if you live in one of the three Michigan cities where it operates -- East Lansing, Grand Rapids or Traverse City. For customers outside of those three cities, First National Bank of America really only makes sense if you want to invest in a CD. 

Checking account review

First National Bank of America offers two main types of checking accounts: Personal Checking and Simple Checking. You must open them in-branch.  (There is also a HomeTowne Checking account, but since it's technically  a money market account, we'll discuss this lower down in the review). Simple Checking offers interest and comes with a slightly higher minimum balance requirement than Personal Checking, which does not offer interest. 

Checking account features

Checking account Minimum deposit Minimum balance to avoid fees Interest
Personal Checking $100 $100 minimum daily balance or average $350 balance for the statement cycle No
Simple Checking $100 $500 minimum daily balance or average $750 balance for the statement cycle Yes, although rates aren't listed online


What we like

  • Interest-bearing account: You can earn interest with Simple Checking, though rates aren't posted online.
  • Good digital banking tools: This bank has an easy-to-use mobile app and mobile deposit process.
  • Free ATMs: Surcharge-free ATM transactions are supported nationally through Allpoint networks.

What we don't like

  • Limited availability: Only available to customers in the bank's geographical footprint in Michigan.
  • Minimum account balances to avoid fees: The minimum balance requirements are in line with many traditional banks, but higher than other online checking account requirements.
  • Charges nonsufficient funds and overdraft fees: You could get charged NSF fees ($30 per charge) and continuous overdraft fees ($5) if you do not have enough money in your account to cover a transaction.

Savings account review

First National Bank of America offers one straightforward savings account option available outside of the bank's Michigan locations. This savings account has a $199 minimum balance requirement to avoid any monthly fees and a fairly low 0.25% APY-- a much lower rate than you'll find elsewhere, including the bank's money market account. 

Savings account features:

  • APY: 0.25%
  • Minimum balance requirement: $100 to open an account; $199 minimum balance to avoid fees
  • Fees: $10 per month if your balance is below $199

What we like

  • Available nationally: This savings account is available online and not limited to the Michigan branch locations.
  • Free ATMs: Surcharge-free ATM transactions are supported nationally through Allpoint networks.

What we don't like

  • Low-yield account: You'll earn a relatively low interest rate compared to other savings accounts, including this bank's CD account.
  • Minimum balance requirements: You'll need to maintain a $199 balance to avoid fees.
  • Monthly fee: Though you can waive the fee by maintaining a $199 balance, other banks offer free savings accounts with better features.

CD account review

First National Bank of America offers some of the best CD rates available with terms ranging from 1 to 7 years. You can buy a CD online and are not limited to visiting one of the Michigan branch locations. Just make sure you won't need to access the money before maturity; this bank charges some of the steepest early withdrawal penalties we've seen.

CD account features

CD term APY
12-month APY 4.40%
24-month APY 4.40%
36-month APY 4.40%
48-month APY 4.35%
60-month APY 4.35%
72-month APY 4.40%
84-month APY 4.50%

What we like

  • Low minimum deposit requirement: You can open an account with $1,000. Other banks require much higher minimum deposits to open a CD.
  • Available nationally: You can open a CD account online and are not limited to the Michigan branch locations.
  • High CD rates: This bank offers some of the highest CD rates in the market.

What we don't like

  • Limited to traditional CDs: Some banks offer additional CD types, like IRA CDs.
  • High early withdrawal penalties: Penalties can go as high as 540 days of interest, which is much higher than early withdrawal fees from other banks.

Money market account review

It's difficult to find First National Bank of America's money market account online, because it's featured as a checking account -- but the HomeTowne checking account is technically a money market account with unlimited check-writing privileges. You can only sign up for this account at one of the bank's three Michigan branches, and you'll need to deposit a minimum of $1,000 to open and maintain this account.

Money market account features

Balance APY
Less than $49,999 0.70% APY
$50,000–$99,999 0.70% APY
$100,000–$249,999 0.85% APY
$250,000–$999,999 1.00% APY
$1 million or more 1.00% APY

What we like

  • Interest-bearing account: You can earn decent interest with this money market account, but other banks offer higher rates for similar accounts.
  • Unlimited check writing: There's no limit on the number of checks you can write each month.
  • Free ATMs: Surcharge-free ATM transactions are supported nationally through Allpoint networks.

What we don't like

  • Limited availability: Only available in Michigan
  • Higher interest rates available at other banks: You'll earn a decent interest rate, but other banks offer more competitive APYs.
  • Minimum balance requirements: You'll need $1,000 to open and maintain this account. Other banks have lower deposit requirements.

The experience at First National Bank of America

First National Bank of America offers the intimate feel of a community bank with three branches across Michigan, balanced with some of the advancements you might expect from a large national operation including a good mobile app. However, if you live outside of Michigan, the CD rates are the only product worth considering -- you can't sign up for checking or a money market account online and its savings account offers a low interest rate.

First National Bank of America overdraft fees

First National Bank of America charges a $30 nonsufficient funds fee. Plus, if your account is overdrawn for five days, you'll receive a $5 continuous overdraft fee each day your account remains overdrawn.

How to contact First National Bank of America's customer service

National customers can call the bank's customer service department at 517-679-6485. The bank's physical locations are all open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (with slightly later hours in East Lansing). 

About First National Bank of America

Founded in 1955, First National Bank of America primarily serves customers via three branch locations in Michigan. In addition to traditional banking products for money management, the bank may be a good fit for anyone with self-employment income or less-than-perfect credit history looking for a nontraditional mortgage offering.