FinWise Bank, with humble roots in community banking, has embraced digital banking technology to help expand its services. Once you enroll, you’ll have access to a full suite of deposit accounts including free checking. Several of its certificates of deposit offer competitive annual percentage yields.
FinWise, however, focuses primarily on personal and commercial loans. It partners with third-party services such as Upstart and processes thousands of loan applications daily.
What we like
- Minimal fees: The savings and checking accounts don’t charge monthly fees or have minimum balance requirements.
- Competitive rates: Some deposit accounts earn high APYs.
- Large ATM network: FinWise has access to more than 55,000 ATMs that charge no fees through the MoneyPass network.
What we don’t like
- In-person application process: Opening a deposit account requires visiting a branch location.
- Limited emergency help: Lost or stolen cards, for example, can only be reported by calling the bank during business hours Monday through Friday.
- Missing information: The website doesn’t contain standard details about the bank’s accounts, rates or fees as you would find on most banks’ websites.
- Limited physical branches: There’s only one branch office, located in Sandy, Utah.
- Only open to Utah residents: You must be a Utah resident and deposit accounts can only be opened at the branch in Sandy.
Who is FinWise Bank suited for?
Residents of Sandy, Utah, who prefer the comforts of a small community bank, will benefit the most from FinWise. Setting up an account requires an in-person visit during business hours. Upon creating an account, you’ll be able to enroll in its online banking service. Don’t worry if you’re moving out of state because you can continue to access your account through online banking.
FinWise has transitioned its online operations by adopting the “.bank” domain, which offers greater security requirements than the traditional “.com” domain. Financial institutions, specifically community banks, using “.bank” are harder to mimic because of their additional verification and security requirements.
FinWise’s checking account isn’t interest-bearing. It doesn’t charge monthly maintenance fees or require a minimum deposit to open or avoid additional fees. The overdraft fee, however, can be excessive. While there’s no charge for overdrafts of up to $100, anything over $100 will incur a $3 daily fee. A daily fee of $8 will apply to an overdraft of more than $1,000. The overdraft fees are charged each business day with no maximum cutoff. There’s a large ATM network, including more than 55,000 ATMs. FinWise doesn’t charge an additional fee for out-of-network ATM transactions.
Checking Account Features
|Checking account||APY||Min balance||Monthly fee||Overdraft fee||Foreign transaction fee|
|Consumer Free Checking||N/A||$0||$0||$3 to $8 daily (over $100 or $1,000) No max.||$25/item|
Free checking: There are no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements.
Free ATM access: There are no fees for non-network ATMs.
Online banking: The bank’s app allows for mobile check deposits.
Overdraft fee: A $3 overdraft fee is incurred each business day on overdrafts of more than $100 ($8 for overdrafts of more than $1,000). There’s no maximum cutoff for overdraft fees.
No interest: Consumer Free Checking isn’t interest-bearing. If you’re looking for a fee-free checking account with a competitive yield, read CNET’s list of the best free checking accounts.
FinWise Bank’s savings account has a low APY compared with many high-yield savings options. If you’re interested in online banking, you can find a better rate with banks that don’t require a branch visit to open an account. There are no maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirement, making it a good choice for consumers with limited cash. You can deposit cash into your savings account through an ATM.
- APY: 0.50%
- Minimum balance to open: $0
- Monthly maintenance fee: $0
No fees: There are no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements.
Free ATM: In addition to a large network of ATMs through the MoneyPass network, there are no fees for non-network ATM transactions.
Low-yield accounts: Higher-yielding savings accounts are available at other banks.
FinWise Bank offers a standard CD with terms that range from one month to five years. Its 15-, 18- and 24-month CDs earn the highest yields and are an attractive option if you can live with the longer time restrictions. The early withdrawal penalties range from 30 to 90 days’ worth of simple interest depending on the term. The shorter-term CDs pay yields near the middle of the spectrum of CNET’s list of top one-year CDs. Before deciding on purchasing a FinWise CD, check out CNET’s list of high-yielding CDs.
CD Account Features
Competitive rates: A selection of CDs offer competitive rates. However, if you want to concentrate on shorter-term CDs maturing in one year or less, you can find better rates elsewhere.
Variety of terms: You have the option to purchase a wide variety of CD terms.
Low-yield accounts: Higher-yielding savings accounts are available at other banks.
No specialty CDs: The bank doesn’t offer CDs such as no-penalty or bump-rate CDs.
The FinWise money market account has a tiered interest rate structure ranging from 0.05% for balances under $2,500 to 2.02% for balances of more than $500,000. A minimum deposit of $1,000 is required to open the account and avoid monthly maintenance fees. The account incurs a $7 monthly fee if the daily balance drops below $1,000.
As with checking accounts, a daily overdraft fee of $3 will apply to accounts with a negative balance of $100 or more. The fee increases to $8 per day if the overdraft exceeds $1,000.
The account offers check-writing privileges and debit card access. There’s a $7 fee charged for more than seven transactions in one month.
MMA Account Features
|Account||APY||Minimum balance||Monthly fee||Overdraft fee||Excessive transaction fee||Foreign transaction fee|
|Consumer Money Market||0.05% to 2.02%||$1,000||$7 (on balances below $1,000)||$3 to $8 daily (over $100 or $1,000) No max.||$7 per month||$25/item|
Reasonable minimum deposit: The minimum deposit for a money market account is lower than many competitors.
Large ATM network: There are more than 55,000 ATMs with no surcharges available through the MoneyPass network.
Competitive APYs: The rates offered are within a competitive range. However, you can find more competitive rates on money market accounts.
Overdraft fee: A $3 or $8 daily overdraft fee is incurred each business day on overdrafts of more than $100. Like the checking account, there’s no maximum cutoff for this fee.
FinWise offers a full suite of deposit accounts with mobile banking tools that allow for mobile check deposits, online bill pay and external money transfers. However, the requirement to open an account in person is cumbersome and limits the appeal to people who prefer a purely mobile banking experience. The cutting-edge tech tools developed for lending operations have yet to be developed into a robust mobile banking experience. For example, you can’t deactivate lost or stolen cards using the app. The website encourages you to check back as tools are under development.
FinWise charges a $3 daily nonsufficient-funds fee for any overdrafts of checking or money market accounts that exceed $100 ($8 for overdrafts of more than $1,000). The daily fee is charged on each business day with no maximum cap until the overdraft has been resolved.
Early withdrawal penalties for a CD account ranges from 30 to 90 days’ worth of simple interest, depending on the CD’s term.
FinWise offers in-person or telephone customer support Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. MT. The phone number is 833-346-9473.
About FinWise Bank
FinWise Bank is a Utah-based community bank that only allows Utah residents to open deposit accounts. Founded in 2000, the bank has leveraged technology to bring products and services to traditionally unbanked populations.
Annual percentage yields, or APYs, shown are as of Feb. 2, 2023. CNET’s editorial team updates this information regularly. APYs may have changed since they were last updated and may vary by region for some products.