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Armed Forces Bank Review

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We maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments. This post contains links from our advertisers, and we may receive compensation when you click these links. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone. | Advertiser Disclosure
We maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments. This post contains links from our advertisers, and we may receive compensation when you click these links. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone. | Advertiser Disclosure
Armed Forces Bank Savings
0.05% APY

Since its founding in 1907, Armed Forces Bank has prioritized accessibility for its active military, retired military and civilian customers. 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).

Armed Forces Bank offers an exclusive checking account for military recruits, and military members who enroll in its early pay service can receive their direct deposits a day early. The bank also offers a complete range of products and services for civilians, with mostly low minimum opening balances and access to a nationwide ATM network.

On the other hand, you won’t be able to find a free savings or checking account unless you’re a student, as all accounts have monthly service fees. The interest rates for deposit accounts at Armed Forces Bank also leave a lot to be desired.

Products Offered

Products Key Details
Savings Account
  • $25 minimum opening balance
  • $100 required to waive monthly fee
  • Student account for students under 23
Money Market Accounts
  • Tiered interest rates based on balance
  • $25 minimum opening balance
  • $10 monthly service fee
Certificates of Deposit
  • Terms ranging from 30 days to five years
  • $500 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly service fee
Checking Accounts
  • Interest-bearing and non-interest bearing options
  • $25 minimum opening balance
  • Nationwide ATM access

Armed Forces Bank Interest Rate Comparison

Armed Forces Bank Overview

Armed Forces Bank operates approximately 75 branch locations across 16 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, Nevada, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

Although this article will focus on the personal banking options, Armed Forces Bank also offers business banking services, home lending and financial education. In the personal realm, the bank offers two types of savings accounts, a money market account, four checking accounts and several different CDs. Read on to learn more about each of these options.

Armed Forces Bank Account Features

All deposit accounts at Armed Forces Bank are accessible online or via the bank’s mobile app. Accounts also come with a Visa credit, debit or ATM card, depending on the type of account.

With the exception of CDs and student accounts, all deposit accounts come with monthly service fees, all of which you can waive provided you meet certain account requirements that vary in difficulty. You may also face fees for excessive transactions with the Savings and Premier Money Market account.

Compare Armed Forces Bank to Other Competitive Offers

Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
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 with a minimum balance of $100
Current Terms and Rates 0.05% APY

This is the primary savings option at Armed Forces Bank and the only savings account available to non-students. It boasts a low minimum opening balance of only $25, making it possible for just about anyone to open an account. You’ll need at least $100 in your account to avoid the monthly fee, but that’s still a reachable number for most bankers.

Like any savings account, you’re limited to six pre-authorized withdrawals/transfers per month. You’ll be charged $7 for every withdrawal you make past this limit, so be sure to keep track of how many you’ve made each month.

Student Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $0
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees No monthly service fee
Current Terms and Rates 0.05% APY

This savings account is specifically for students in either high school or college under the age of 23. There’s no minimum opening balance and no monthly fee to worry about. If you’re under age 17, you’ll need a parent or guardian to serve as a joint owner of the account.

Interest is compounded and credited to your account quarterly. You’ll get a free ATM card, estatements and access to online banking as well. Once you turn 23, the account will convert into a traditional savings account. Be sure to compare this offering with the best savings accounts for students out there.

Money Market Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Money Market 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 with a minimum balance of $1,000 or an average monthly balance of $5,000
Current Terms and Rates
  • Account balances of $25 - $9,999.99: 0.50% APY
  • Account balances of $10,000 - $24,999.99: 0.70% APY
  • Account balances of $25,000 - $49,999.99: 0.80% APY
  • Account balances of $50,000 - $99,999.99: 0.90% APY
  • Account balances of $100,000 - $249,999.99: 1.25% APY
  • Account balances of $250,000 and above: 1.51% APY

Opening a Money Market account at Armed Forces bank will allow you to earn interest at a higher rate than with the Savings account. However, you’ll also face a higher monthly service fee and higher balance thresholds to waive that fee.

While the minimum opening balance is $25, the bank will give you a 1.51% interest rate for six months if you open the account with a $10,000 deposit. Your interest will compound monthly. You’ll still also be limited to six pre-authorized withdrawals transfers per month, although withdrawals at an ATM or in person are unlimited.

Certificates of Deposit

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $500
Access to Your CD Account Online and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees No monthly service fee, but early withdrawal penalty may apply
Current Terms and Rates
  • 30 Days: 0.26% APY
  • 91 Days: 0.35% APY
  • 182 Days: 0.50% APY
  • 9 Months: 0.60% APY
  • 12 Months: 2.07% APY
  • 13 Months: 1.21% APY
  • 15 Months: 1.31% APY
  • 18 Months: 1.41% APY
  • 19 Months: 1.51% APY
  • 24 Months: 2.42% APY
  • 30 Months: 1.91% APY
  • 36 Months: 2.02% APY
  • 48 Months: 2.17% APY
  • 60 Months: 2.27% APY

Armed Forces Bank offers a variety of certificate of deposit (CD) accounts with term lengths ranging from 30 days to five years. While the rates for the shorter term lengths are pretty low, they’re much more competitive on the longer end of the spectrum.

If you find you need to withdraw your money before your term length expires, you’ll be forced to give up some of your earned interest in the form of an early withdrawal penalty. The amount of your penalty will depend on both your term length and the amount you’re withdrawing.

If your term length is 7 to 91 days, you’ll lose 60 days’ worth of interest on the amount you’re withdrawing. For a term length of 92 to 182 days, you’ll lose 182 days of interest. If your term length is between 183 days and 59 months, you’ll lose one year of interest. If your term length is five years, you’ll lose two years of interest on the amount you’re withdrawing. Be sure to compare CD rates with the highest ones out there.

Access Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking 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 attaching a direct deposit

The Access Checking account is the closest you can get to a free checking account at Armed Forces bank because its monthly service fee is the easiest to waive. As long as you have a direct deposit connected to the account, you won’t have to pay the fee.

The $25 minimum opening balance is reachable for anyone, and you’ll receive a Visa debit card along with access to the nationwide MoneyPass®? network of ATMs.

Elite Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking 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 balance of $5,000 or an average monthly balance of $10,000
Current Terms and Rates
  • Account balances of $25 - $10,000: 0.05% APY
  • Account balances of $10,000.01 - $25,000: 0.07% APY
  • Account balances of $25,000.01 - $50,000: 0.08% APY
  • Account balances of $50,000.01 and above: 0.10% APY

If you’re looking for an interest-bearing checking account, then you’ll want to look at the Elite Checking account at Armed Forces Bank. The interest you earn will depend on how much money you have in the account, ranging from 0.05% to 0.10% APY.

The monthly fee is the same as the Access Checking account, but it’s significantly harder to waive in this instance. You’ll need to maintain a minimum balance of $5,000 or an average monthly balance of $10,000 in order to avoid paying.

Student Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees No monthly service fee as long as you are a student

The Student Checking account is very similar in structure to the Student Savings account. You won’t have a monthly service fee to pay as long as you’re under 23. Once you turn 23 or you stop being a student, however, your account will be converted into an Access Checking account.

The $25 minimum opening balance makes the account very accessible, and you’ll also have the traditional checking account features like a Visa debit card, ATM access and online and mobile banking.

Recruit Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees No monthly service fee as long as you are a student

To open a Recruit Checking account at Armed Forces Bank, you must be a recruit in the U.S. military. Other than that exclusivity and the lack of a minimum opening balance, this is very similar to the Access Checking account. There’s a $10 monthly service fee, which you can waive by connecting a direct deposit to the account.

Where Can I Find Armed Forces Bank?

Armed Forces Bank locations are pretty spread out, with around 75 locations across 16 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, New Jersey, Nevada, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming. Colorado, Kansas and Missouri have the most branch locations, and the bank is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri. As an Armed Forces Bank customer, you’ll also have access to the nationwide network of MoneyPass®? ATMs.

What Can You Do Online With Armed Forces Bank?

You can apply to all deposit accounts on the armed forces bank website, and you can also manage your accounts with your smartphone via the Armed Forces Bank app. On iTunes, the app has a 3.9 star rating and 47 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 any MoneyPass®? ATM. If you use an out-of-network ATM, you may face fees from both Armed Forces Bank and whichever third party operates the ATM. You likely won’t have to face that possibility very often, however, as you will usually be near a MoneyPass®?  ATM. And, of course, you can visit a Armed Forces Bank branch to access funds.

How Can I Save More Money With Armed Forces Bank?

If you’re looking to boost your savings potential and earn interest, your best bet at Armed Forces Bank will be to purchase a CD, especially one with a longer term length. A five-year CD will earn interest at a 1.75% rate, which is fairly competitive, especially among exclusively brick-and-mortar establishments.

What’s the Process for Opening an Account With Armed Forces Bank?

You can apply for most deposit account at the Armed Forces Bank website, or you can also visit your nearest branch in person to open any account. To open an account, you’ll need enough money to meet the minimum opening deposit requirement for your desired account as well as a driver’s license or other form of government-issued ID. You’ll also need your Social Security number, date of birth, current home address and email address.

What’s the Catch?

The main drawback of banking with Armed Forces Bank is the low interest rates. Unless you’re depositing a large sum in a five-year CD, you won’t be earning much interest on your money. Furthermore, there’s no free checking account at Armed Forces Bank. The Access Checking account comes pretty close, but if you can’t connect a direct deposit to the account, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee.

Bottom Line

Overall, accounts at Armed Forces Bank offer an impressive amount of accessibility. From the low minimum opening balances to the 30,000 participating ATMs across the country, just about anybody can open an account and access money with ease. If that accessibility appeals to you, especially if you’re a member of the military, then you may want to consider banking with Armed Forces Bank.

If you live in a state without an Armed Forces Bank branch or your biggest priority is opening an account with the most competitive interest rate you can find, then you’ll likely be better served banking elsewhere.

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