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American Savings Bank Review

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American Savings Bank Savings
0.02% APY

American Savings Bank has a very strong presence in Hawaii, with more than 60 branch locations across five islands. The bank offers a number of savings account and checking account options, as well as a money market account (MMA) and several certificates of deposit (CDs).

You'll have access to a statewide network of ATMs if you open an account, and the bank’s premium checking options come with several perks along with discounts on the bank's other offerings. Accounts at the bank are also extremely accessible, with $20 minimum opening deposits for all but CD accounts.

On the other hand, all but one of the checking accounts offered have high monthly fees that could be difficult to waive, and while interest rates could certainly be worse, they still fall short of the most competitive rates available, especially if you’re comfortable banking online.

Products Offered

Products Key Details
Savings Accounts
  • $20 minimum opening balance
  • Interest rate can be flat or dependent on account balance
  • Monthly service fee is fairly easy to waive
Money Market Accounts
  • No minimum required to earn interest
  • $20 minimum opening balance
  • $1,000 balance needed to waive monthly fee
Certificates of Deposit
  • Term lengths from seven days on up
  • Minimum opening deposit of $1,000
  • Two special term lengths available
Checking Accounts
  • Interest-bearing and non-interest bearing options
  • High monthly service fees on premium options
  • $20 minimum opening balance

American Savings Bank Interest Rate Comparison

American Savings Bank Overview

American Savings Bank is the third-largest financial institution in Hawaii, with more than 60 locations throughout the state. The bank doesn’t have locations anywhere else, so you’ll want to live in Hawaii if you’re considering opening an account.

Although this article will focus on the personal banking options, American Savings Bank also offers business banking services, wealth management services and U.S. agriculture lending. In the personal realm, the bank offers three types of savings accounts, three checking accounts and several different CDs. Read on to learn more about each of these options.

American Savings Bank Account Features

The majority of deposit accounts at American Savings Bank are accessible online or via the bank’s mobile app. Accounts also come with a Visa debit card or ATM card, depending on the type of account.

With the exception of CDs and the Kalo Simple Checking account, the accounts at American Savings bank have monthly service fees, which are waivable provided you meet certain account requirements that vary in difficulty. You may also face fees for excessive transactions with the savings and money market accounts.

Compare American Savings Bank to Other Competitive Offers

Statement Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $20
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $4.50 monthly service fee, which can be waived by a $300 minimum daily balance
Current Terms and Rates 0.02% APY

This is the basic savings account option at American Savings Bank. The minimum opening balance is quite low at $20, but there is a catch. While you only need $20 to open the account, you need at least $100 to earn any interest. That interest is compounded daily and credited to your account monthly.

Like any savings account, you’re limited to six pre-authorized withdrawals or transfers during each statement cycle. If you exceed that limit, you’ll incur a fine, and if you exceed it on a regular basis, you’ll run the risk of having the bank close or convert your account.

Tiered Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $20
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $5 monthly service fee, which can be waived by a $500 average monthly balance
Current Terms and Rates
  • Account balances of $5,000 - $9,999.99: 0.05% APY
  • Account balances of $10,000 - $24,999.99: 0.07% APY
  • Account balances of $25,000 - $99,999.99: 0.09% APY
  • Account balances of $100,000 - $749,999.99: 0.12% APY
  • Account balances of $750,000 - $999,999.99: 0.14% APY
  • Account balances of $1,000,000 - $2,4999,999.99: 0.15% APY
  • Account balances of $2,500,000 and above: 0.35% APY

The Tiered Savings account gives you the ability to earn at a higher interest rate than the Statement Savings account. However, that ability comes at a cost: you’ll need at least $5,000 in the account to earn any interest at all. The highest rate you can achieve is 0.35%, and you’ll need at least $2.5 million dollars in the account to get there. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.

It’s almost never a good idea to have that kind of money in something like a savings account because you won’t be keeping up with inflation, meaning your purchasing power will actually decrease over time. Generally, you should have your emergency fund - money you could need very quickly - in savings, and if you have more money to stow away, you should put in accounts that are less liquid but offer much higher rates.

Money Market Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $20
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $10 monthly service fee, which can be waived by a minimum daily balance of $1,000 or an average monthly balance of $2,500
Current Terms and Rates
  • Account balances of less than $2,500: 0.02% APY
  • Account balances of $2,500 - $9,999.99: 0.03% APY
  • Account balances of $10,000 - $99,999.99: 0.04% APY
  • Account balances of $100,000 and above: 0.06% APY

The Money Market Savings account is similar to the Tiered Savings account in that your interest rate is determined by your account balance. However, the range in interest rate is much narrower. There’s also no minimum balance to earn interest, so you can open an account with $20 and earn interest immediately. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly.

If you want to avoid the monthly service fee, you’ll need to have a balance of at least $1,000. You’ll have limited ability to write checks with the Money Market Savings account, although you’ll still be constrained to the limit of six pre-authorized withdrawals/transfers per statement cycle.

Certificates of Deposit

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $1,000
Access to Your Savings Account Branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees No monthly service fee, but early withdrawal penalties will apply
Current Terms and Rates
  • 7 - 29 days: 0.03% APY
  • 30 - 59 days: 0.05% APY
  • 60 - 89 days: 0.05 APY
  • 3 - 6 months: 0.10% APY
  • 6 - 12 months: 0.15% APY
  • 12 - 24 months: 0.20% APY
  • 24 - 36 months: 0.15% APY
  • 36 - 60 months: 0.25% APY
  • 60 - 84 months: 0.60% APY
  • 84 - 120 months: 0.65% APY
  • 120 months or longer: 1.30% APY

American Savings Bank offers a variety of certificate of deposit (CD) accounts, with term lengths ranging from seven days to 10 years or longer. The rates aren't stellar - you'd need to lock into a 10-year term just to get above 1% - but they could certainly be worse. If you invest more than $100,000, you could be eligible for higher rates, so contact your nearest branch more exact details.

If you need to withdraw your money before the end of your term, you’ll be forced to pay an early withdrawal penalty. The exact amount of the penalty will depend on a number of factors like how much you’re withdrawing, the term length of your CD and how much time you have before maturity, to name a few.

Special Certificates of Deposit

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $1,000
Access to Your Savings Account Branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees No monthly service fee, but early withdrawal penalties will apply
Current Terms and Rates
  • 36 Months with $50,000 of new money: 1.65% APY
  • 36 Months without $50,000 of new money: 1.40% APY
  • 60 Months with $50,000 of new money: 2.15% APY
  • 60 Months without $50,000 of new money: 1.90% APY

American Savings Bank also offers two special CD accounts that give purchasers access to significantly higher rates. With each term length, your CD will automatically renew at the corresponding standard rate once your term expires, so if you don’t want that, you'll have to withdraw during your grace period.

The actual rate you receive will depend on how much you deposit. If you invest at least $50,000 of new money, meaning money that isn’t currently in an American Savings Bank account, then your rate will be even higher. The same early withdrawal penalties also apply to these special accounts.

Kalo Simple Checking Account

Key Featuers Details
Minimum Deposit $20
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $15 monthly service fee, which can be waived by either:
  • $7,000 in combined balance
  • $2,500 in direct deposits per statement cycle

If you're looking for a free, no-frills checking account option, the Kalo Simple Checking account may be of interest to you. There’s no monthly service fee to worry about, and the $20 minimum opening balance is one of the lowest thresholds out there. The only catch is the $5 fee that you’ll face unless you set up an automatic bill payment. One Netflix or newspaper subscription should fix that, though, and you'll be rid of fees.

Unlike the other checking account options, you'll receive no refunds from the bank if you use an out-of-network ATM to withdraw or deposit funds, so make sure you keep that in mind. Finally, if you have a balance of $0 for 30 consecutive days, the bank reserves the right to close your account.

Kalo Plus Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $20
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $15 monthly service fee, which can be waived by either:
  • $7,000 in combined balance
  • $2,500 in direct deposits per statement cycle

The middle-of-the-road checking option at American Savings Bank is the Kalo Plus Checking account. You’ll still have the $20 minimum opening balance, but you’ll need to either deposit a lot more or have more funds in other American Savings accounts to avoid the $15 monthly fee.

Unlike the simple checking account, you won’t pay a fee if you don’t have an automatic bill payment set up. The bank will also refund you for up to $8 in foreign ATM fees per month. Even further, opening this account will mean you’ll have discounts on personal loans and home equity at the bank.

Kalo Deluxe Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $20
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $25 monthly service fee, which can be waived by either:
  • $30,000 in combined monthly average balance
  • $5,000 in direct deposits per statement cycle
Current Terms and Rates
  • Account balances below $5,000: 0.01% APY
  • Account balances of $5,000 and above: 0.02% APY

This is the interest-bearing checking account at American Savings Bank, and it comes with a good deal of perks attached. The monthly service fee, however, is substantial at $25, and you'll need either $30,000 in combined balance or $5,000 a month in direct deposits to make it go away.

The interest rate you earn will depend on your account balance, but no matter what, it will be quite small, so don't expect any type of lucrative interest. You'll also receive all the perks of the plus account and then some. These include personal loan discounts, mortgage discounts, up to $12 in foreign ATM fees per month and higher rates on CDs.

Where Can I Find American Savings Bank?

American Savings Bank has roughly 65 branches, all in the state of Hawaii. Additionally, the bank operates around 175 ATMs, so you’ll be able to access your money just about anywhere in the state.

What Can You Do Online With American Savings Bank?

Most accounts at American Savings Bank can be accessed online, and all checking accounts can be managed on your smartphone via the American Savings Bank Hawaii app. On iTunes, the app has a 3.1 star rating and 24 reviews as of this article’s publication.

How Do I Access My Money?

You can access funds online or via the mobile app. You can also make deposits or withdrawals at the bank’s statewide network of ATMs. If you use an out-of-network ATM, some checking accounts offer refunds up to a certain amount per statement cycle. And, of course, you can visit an American Savings Bank branch during business hours to access funds.

How Can I Save More Money With American Savings Bank?

The best interest rate among American Savings Bank’s collection of offerings comes with the 60-month special CD account. You can get a 2.00% rate if you invest $50,000 of new money, otherwise the rate is 1.75%. Other than that, you’ll likely be able to find more competitive rates for your money elsewhere, especially if you’re willing to bank online.

What’s the Process for Opening an Account With American Savings Bank?

You can apply for most accounts on the American Savings Bank over the phone, and you can also open accounts by visiting a branch in person. To apply, you’ll need enough money to meet the minimum opening deposit requirement for your desired account as well as some form of identification like a driver’s license or ID card. You’ll also likely need to provide your Social Security number and your residential address.

What’s the Catch?

Most accounts at American Savings Bank are fairly straightforward. One downside is the size of the monthly service fees for the two more premium checking accounts as well as the high balance thresholds need to waive them. There’s also no completely free checking option, as the Kalo Simple Checking account comes with a $5 fee if you don’t attach any automatic bill payments.

Bottom Line

Overall, American Savings Bank’s low minimum opening balances for its savings and checking accounts make it very accessible to just about any banker. If you don’t live in Hawaii, then banking with American Savings Bank wouldn’t make sense. If you live in Hawaii, and you’re looking for an in-person banking experience with many branch locations to choose from, American Savings Bank will definitely merit consideration. If the in-person factor isn’t as important to you, then you will likely be able to find better rates and lower fees online.

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