Loading
Tap on the profile icon to edit
your financial details.

Associated Bank Review

Your Details Done
by Nick Wallace Updated
Associated Bank

With retail banking locations in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, Associated Bank is one of the larger regional banks in the country. For residents of those three states, it offers a compromise between the huge national banks - places like Chase or Wells Fargo - and local, one-city banks and credit unions. 

Associated Bank offers nearly every personal banking service imaginable, from the basics of savings accounts and checking accounts, to credit cards and loans, to retirement accounts. It even offers a “self-directed brokerage” IRA, allowing customers to trade on behalf of their own retirement account. 

In an effort to strengthen its relationship with customers, Associated Bank offers higher rates and perks to those who open multiple types of accounts. On the other hand, possibility of monthly maintenance fees for accounts that fall below certain thresholds may be a turn off for those looking to put away smaller sums.

Products Offered

Product Key Details
Savings Accounts
  • Low-fee, low-earning accounts
  • Waivable $5 monthly maintenance fee
  • $25 deposit required to open account
Certificates of Deposit
  • Offers regular term CDs, special term CDs, fixed rate add-on CDs, and mini-jumbo CDs
  • Minimum deposit of $1,000 for regular term CDs, $5000 for special term CDs
  • Range of terms available
  • Mini-jumbo CDs require $40,000 minimum balance
Checking Accounts
  • Minimum deposit of $100
  • Interest-earning accounts
  • Access to national network of 25,000 ATMs
  • Waivable monthly service fees
  • Cash back bonuses
Money Market Accounts
  • Minimum deposit of $1,000 to open account
  • Monthly fee of $16 for accounts with balance below $1,000
  • Interest compounded monthly 
  • Checks available
IRAs
  • Starter IRAs, Fixed rate IRAs, Fixed rate add-on IRAs available
  • Minimum deposit of $100 to open account
  • Interest compounds quarterly

Associated Bank Interest Rate Comparison

Associated Bank Overview

Based in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Associated Bank is a full-service bank with personal banking locations in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. Founded in 1861, it has grown to be Wisconsin’s largest bank by offering a wide variety of personal and commercial banking services. Customers can choose from several different kinds of savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposit, money market accounts, retirement accounts, as well as various types of loans and credit cards. 

Associated Bank Account Features

Though nearly all of Associated Bank’s various types of personal banking accounts come with monthly fees, these can be avoided by maintaining a minimum balance. Most Associated Bank accounts, including its “Elite Checking” accounts earn interest, which compounds daily based on the daily average balance. Though Associated Bank’s brick-and-mortar personal banking locations are limited to Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota, customers have access to a network of 25,000 ATMs to access banking services on the go.

Associated Bank Online Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, branches and ATMs.
Security FDIC insured up to maximum allowed by law.
Fees $5 monthly fee, waivable with one of the following
  • Maintaining balance of at least $300
  • Contributing at least $25 in recurring automatic deposits
Current Terms and Rates 0.05% APY

Associated Bank does not offer especially high interest rates on its savings accounts, with current APY of just 0.05%. This rate applies regardless of the level of deposits, so whether you have $100 or $100,000 in your savings account at Associated Bank, you will earn 0.05% on your money. 

There is a monthly maintenance fee of $5 on Associated Bank savings accounts, though avoiding it is relatively straightforward. The bank waives the fee for anyone who meets one of three criteria. The simplest way to avoid the fee is to maintain a minimum monthly balance of $300. If that is not possible, the fee will be waived for anyone who makes a recurring, automatic monthly deposit of at least $25. Lastly, the monthly maintenance fee is waived for all customers under the age of 18.

Withdrawals and balance inquiries for savings accounts can be made for free at any Associated Bank ATM or at any ATM that is part of the national MoneyPass ATM network (MoneyPass ATMs can be found at many 7-Elevens, for example). Balance inquiries at any other ATM cost $2, in addition to fees charged by the ATM owner. Withdrawals cost $2.50 after the first two withdrawals of any statement cycle.

Deposits and balance inquiries can also be made using Associated Bank’s free mobile app. To deposit a check through the app, customers can take a picture of the front and back of the check, and the amount is automatically added to their account.

Associated Bank Certificates of Deposit: High Yield CD, Raise Your Rate CD and No Penalty CD

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • Regular Term CD: $1,000
  • Special Term CD: $5,000
  • Fixed Rate Add-On CD: $100
Access to Your CD Account Online, mobile and at branches.
Security FDIC insured up to maximum allowed by law.
Fees No maintenance fees, but there will be penalties for withdrawing from your CD before maturity. The amount of the penalty will depend on the length of your CD term.
Current Terms and Rates: Regular Term CD
  • Standard Rates
    • 3 Month: 0.10% APY
    • 6 Month: 0.10% APY
    • 9 Month: 0.10% APY
    • 12 Month: 0.10% APY
    • 18 Month: 0.10% APY
    • 24 Month: 0.10% APY
    • 30 Month: 1.05% APY
    • 36 Month: 0.10% APY
    • 48 Month: 0.15% APY
    • 60 Month: 0.35% APY
  • Preferred Rates:
    • 3 Month: 0.10% APY
    • 6 Month: 0.10% APY
    • 9 Month: 0.10% APY
    • 12 Month: 0.15% APY
    • 18 Month: 0.26% APY
    • 24 Month: 0.28% APY
    • 30 Month: 1.30% APY
    • 36 Month: 0.35% APY
    • 48 Month: 0.40% APY
    • 60 Month: 0.60% APY
Current Terms and Rates: Special Term CD
  • 7 Month: 0.75% APY
  • 13 Month: 1.00% APY
  • 26 Month: 1.25% APY
  • 42 Month: 1.50% APY
  • 61 Month: 1.85% APY
Current Terms and Rates: Fixed Rate Add-on CD 12 Month: 0.10%

For those seeking a higher return than the APY offered on a savings account, a certificate of deposit may be a good way to go. CDs typically offer a higher yield in exchange for less flexibility, as CD holders agree to leave their money in place for a certain length of time, and face withdrawal penalties before then. The longer the term, the higher the return

At Associated Bank, there is an additional bonus for CD holders who also have checking accounts with Associated Bank: these customers can receive “preferred rates” on their CDs. 

Short-term CDs at Associated Bank do not offer much of an advantage even for those eligible for preferred rates, however. The APY for CDs with a term of less than one year is just 0.10% (compounded quarterly). Longer CD terms offer more of an advantage, however. A 60-month CD with Associated Bank has an APY of 0.60%.

Those seeking higher rates may be interested in the Special Term CD. These are offered in unusual increments, such as seven or 42 months. They are only available to checking account customers, but offers rates as high as 2.5% (for a 61-month CD).

Regular Term CDs with Associated Bank require a minimum deposit of $1,000, while Special Term CDs require $5,000 to get started. Associated Bank offers another “starter” option, with a minimum balance of just $100. This CD, called the Fixed Rate Add-On, is only offered in 12-month increments, and has an APY of 0.10%.

Associated Bank Money Market Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $1,000
Access to Your Money Market Account Online, mobile, branches and ATMs.
Security FDIC insured up to maximum allowed by law.
Fees $16 monthly fee, waivable by maintaining balance of at least $1,000
Current Terms and Standard Rates
  • Account balances below $25,000: 0.05% APY
  • Account balances of $25,000 and over: 0.10% APY
Current Terms and Preferred Rates
  • Account balances below $10,000: 0.05% APY
  • Account balances of $10,000 - $24,999: 0.08% APY
  • Account balances of $25,000 - $99,999: 0.12% APY
  • Account balances of $100,000 and over: 0.15% APY

A money market account is a good option for anyone who has a larger amount of money they would like to save, but wants more flexibility than a CD. Money market accounts at Associated Bank require a larger minimum balance than a savings account ($1,000 vs. $300) but offer higher rates and some other features that savings accounts lack.

The higher rates, however, do not kick in right away. Customers with less than $10,000 in their money market account will receive the same APY as they would if they placed their money in a savings account - 0.05%. From there, larger amounts earn higher yields, especially for customers who have a checking account and are therefore eligible for preferred rates.

Even then, the highest possible APY on a money market account with Associated Bank is currently 0.15%, which is the preferred rate for money market accounts with more than $100,000.

Higher rates are not the only advantage of a money market account. Customers can also order checks for their money market account. Money market accounts are subject to checking limits, typically permitting no more than six check withdrawals per statement cycle.

Associated Bank Checking Accounts

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, branches and ATMs.
Security FDIC insured up to maximum allowed by law.
Fees $11 monthly fee, waivable with one of the following
  • Maintaining a minimum balance of $1,000
  • Setting up a regular direct deposit of $500
  • Holding $2,500 in other personal banking accounts
Current Terms and Standard Rates Associated Elite Checking
  • Account balances below $25,000: 0.05% APY
  • Account balances of $25,000 - $249,999: 0.10% APY
  • Account balances of $250,000 and over: 0.15% APY

At Associated Bank, checking is the gateway to all other personal banking accounts. The bank designs all of its services to pair with a checking account, building in bonuses and features for customers who do their checking with Associated Bank. Checking account customers are eligible for the “preferred rates” described in the sections above.

Like other Associated Bank accounts, there is a monthly maintenance fee of $11 for checking accounts that is waived by meeting one of several criteria. Accounts with a balance of at least $1,000 throughout each statement cycle are not subject to the fee. Likewise, customers with a total of $2,500 of deposits in other Associated Bank accounts are exempt from the fee. Customers who make a recurring direct deposit of $500 are also exempt.

Associated Bank checking accounts are subject to overdraft fees in addition to the maintenance fee. Each overdraft item costs $35. Accounts that remain overdrawn for more than five days will get charged a $7 daily fee thereafter.

Associated Bank checking accounts can be accessed online or through the mobile app. They also come with a Mastercard debit card, which has standard fraud protection for unauthorized transactions. That means that if someone steals your card or your card number, you will not be on the hook for any spending they do.

Customers who have at least $10,000 in deposits among their Associated Bank accounts may be eligible for Elite Checking. This is an interest-bearing checking account, with current rates at 0.05%. Elite Checking accounts have some other perks, including that they are not subject to overdraft fees.

Associated Bank IRAs

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your IRA Online, mobile and branches.
Security FDIC insured up to maximum allowed by law.
Fees $35 monthly fee

Those with an eye on retirement may be interested in Associated Bank’s individual retirement account (IRA) offerings. The bank has a number of options for tax-deferred retirement accounts. 

The most basic type of account, the Starter IRA, has a $100 minimum deposit and variable interest rates, compounded quarterly. For a more predictable return, Associated Bank has the Fixed Rate IRA CD, which has a minimum opening deposit of $1,000 and offers a guaranteed return at CD rates (see above) over a set period of time.

Associated Bank customers can also open a Self-Directed Brokerage IRA, which allows you to execute your own trades for your IRA through an online trading platform. Note that these trades are typically subject to trading commissions. For instance, a $1,000 equities trade is subject to a fixed commission of $40, plus 0.9% of the trade, adding up to a total commission of $49.

Where Can I Find Associated Bank?

Associated Bank has personal banking locations in three midwestern states: Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota. While it has commercial banks in other states, these do not offer personal banking services.

What Can You Do Online With Associated Bank?

Nearly all of Associated Bank’s services are available through its website. This includes accessing savings, checking and retirement accounts, viewing recent transactions, printing account statements and transferring money between accounts. 

Likewise, Associated Bank’s mobile app offers extensive services. In addition to the services listed above, the mobile app enables remote check deposit. Take a picture of a check, and moments later the money is in your account!

How Do I Access My Money?

There are a number of ways to access the money you have deposited at Associated Bank. Most accounts come with debit cards, allowing you to withdraw money from ATMs (subject to fees for non-affiliated ATMs) and to make purchase transactions. For checking and money market accounts, you can also write personal checks issued by the bank.

Associated Bank’s website and mobile apps allow you to access your money remotely. For example, you can set up automatic bill-pay through the website so that money is withdrawn from your account every month.

Lastly, if you are in Wisconsin, Illinois or Minnesota, you can drop in to one of Associated Bank’s retail locations and access your money the old-fashioned way - by speaking to a bank teller!

How Can I Save More Money With Associated Bank?

Though Associated Bank does not offer the highest interest rates around, it does beat out many large national banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo. It also offers perks to customers with deposits in multiple accounts. 

If you are seeking the highest return, your best bet is to pair a checking account with a multi-year certificate of deposit, which can earn rates as high as 2.5%. Note that the highest-yield accounts require minimum deposits of $5,000.

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

Associated Bank is a FDIC-insured retail bank. The best way to open an account is to walk into one of the bank’s locations and talk to someone face-to-face. Remember to bring a photo I.D. such as a driver’s license or a passport and have your Social Security number handy.

If that sounds like too much of a hassle, you can begin the process of opening an account on the website, or give the bank a call at (800) 236-3209.

What’s the Catch?

First and foremost: Associated Bank is a regional bank. If you do not live in Wisconsin, Illinois or Minnesota, it probably does not make much sense to open an account here.

Additionally, Associated Bank does not offer the highest rates on its savings accounts or CDs. Its checking accounts do not pay interest unless you have $10,000 in deposits at the bank.

Likewise, nearly all of the accounts have maintenance fees that are waived only by maintaining a minimum deposit. For those who will not be depositing much more than that minimum, you will be at risk of incurring that fee if you dip below the minimum for any reason. These are monthly fees, which means that you will pay every month until you increase your deposit.

Bottom Line

Associated Bank may be a good choice for anyone in Wisconsin, Illinois or Minnesota who is seeking a compromise between the convenience of a traditional national bank like Bank of America and the personal touch of a truly local small bank and the higher yields of nontraditional online banks. The bank has hundreds of locations and ATMs throughout its three service states (including at least seven retail locations in Chicago).

While it does not offer the highest possible rates, Associated Bank’s rates do beat out large national banks. Furthermore, it offers lots of perks for customers with multiple accounts, including higher rates and fee waivers.

Save more with these rates that beat the National Average
Unfortunately, we are currently unable to find savings account that fit your criteria. Please change your search criteria and try again.
Searching for accounts...
Ad Disclosure
Unfortunately, we are currently unable to find savings account that fit your criteria. Please change your search criteria and try again.
Searching for accounts...
Ad Disclosure

Best Places to Save

SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places in the country where people have the opportunity to save money. Zoom between states and the national map to see the best places to save.

Worse
Better
Rank County Median Household Income Cost of Living Purchasing Power Estimated Tax Rate

Methodology Where you live can have a big impact on how easy it is to save money based on several regional factors. Our study aims to find the most suitable places for people to save based on median household income, average living expenses and income tax burden.

First, we calculated the average cost of living in each county for a household with two adults (one working). We then created a purchasing power index for each county. This reflects the counties with the highest ratio of household income to cost of living.

To better compare income tax burdens across counties, we applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating federal, state and local income taxes for a family making $50,000 annual income in each location. Next, we created an effective tax rate index for each county, which reflects the counties with the lowest ratio of income taxes to the assumed $50,000 annual income.

Finally, we calculated the weighted average of the indices to yield an overall best places to save score. We used a three-fourths weighting for purchasing power and a one-fourth weighting for tax rates. We indexed the final number so higher values reflect places that are better to save.

Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study