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Bank of Hawaii Review

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Bank of Hawaii Savings
0.07% APY

Banking in Hawaii can be tricky, especially if your bank doesn’t have a branch or ATM nearby. The Bank of Hawaii, which has more branches and ATMs than any other bank in the state, offers a solution to that problem.

It’s not just the bank’s footprint that makes Bank of Hawaii a good choice for Hawaiian residents. Bank of Hawaii also offers a diverse assortment of personal deposit accounts and features. In addition to basic checking and savings accounts, it has interest checking and money market accounts and certificates of deposit. Also of note is the Bankohana program, which offers higher interest rates for paired checking and savings accounts with higher balances.

Interest rates at Bank of Hawaii are near average for the banking industry, beating out the major national banks while falling short of rates offered on some online-only banks. But the main attraction for this bank is not its rates, but rather the convenience it offers residents of the Aloha State looking for a local banking option.

Products Offered

Product Key Details
Checking Accounts
  • Interest-earning account available
  • Visa debit card included
Savings Account
  • Minimum balance of $300 to avoid monthly fee on standard account
  • Multiple account options with higher “bonus” interest rates available
Paired Checking and Savings Accounts
  • Three levels of “Bankohana” paired accounts
  • Minimum combined deposit totals from $6,000 (level I) to $50,000 (level III)
  • Higher interest rates than on standard accounts
Money Market Account
  • Minimum balance of $1,000 to avoid monthly fee
  • Tiered interest rates: higher rates for higher balances
Certificate of Deposit
  • Also called “time deposit accounts” - fixed interest rates for set period of time
  • Minimum opening deposit of $2,500
  • No monthly fees

Bank of Hawaii Interest Rate Comparison

Bank of Hawaii Overview

Bank of Hawaii is the largest bank in the Aloha State, with the most customers and branches in the state. It has been doing business in Hawaii for over 100 years, and over that time has expanded into other West Pacific areas such as Guam and American Samoa. 

For residents of Hawaii, Bank of Hawaii offers the convenience of a local bank, with personal banking services such as checking accounts, savings accounts, mortgages and credit cards. The bank also does commercial banking, offering business loans and support to businesses throughout the state.

Bank of Hawaii Account Features

Most of Bank of Hawaii’s personal deposit accounts have low (or no) minimum balances, and low fees. Checking accounts include a debit card, while most savings accounts come with an ATM card. All accounts have access to free online and mobile banking.

Compare Bank of Hawaii to Other Competitive Offers

EASE by Bank of Hawaii and Convenience Checking Accounts

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees
  • No monthly fee with online statements
  • $2 monthly fee with paper statements

If you want easy access to your money in Hawaii, you should consider Bank of Hawaii’s checking account. For starters, the requirements to open one are quite low: there’s a minimum opening deposit of $100, and no minimum balance requirement or direct deposit requirement, which are common at other banks. If you sign up for online statements (instead of paper statements) there’s no monthly fee.

A checking account gets you a Visa debit card with free access to all Bank of Hawaii ATMs (there are more than 100 spread across the state), as well as free online and mobile banking.

Given the low balance requirements, one thing to watch out for with your checking account is overdrafts and the associated fees. A non-sufficient funds fee is charged when you have a withdrawal (from a check, for example) that reduces your account balance to less than zero. This fee is $28. 

Bank of Hawaii also provides an option to avoid fees due to insufficient funds. If you have a savings account with Bank of Hawaii, you can link it to your checking account, and in the case of an overdraft, the bank will automatically transfer the required money over to cover the amount.

Bank of Hawaii Personal Money Management Checking

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $8 monthly fee, waivable with one of the following
  • $500 minimum daily balance
  • $1,000 average monthly balance
Current Terms and Rates 0.05% APY

Another checking account option with Bank of Hawaii is its interest checking account, which it calls Personal Money Management Checking. The account pays a small amount of interest on deposits. 

The interest rate is low enough that this represents a nice perk more than a great way to build savings. On the other hand, it is higher than the interest rate on savings accounts at many national banks like Bank of America.

While the requirement for opening an account and avoiding monthly fees is higher than the standard checking account, it is still fairly low. You have to maintain a minimum deposit of $500 or an average monthly deposit of $1,000 in order to avoid the fee. If you do not meet that requirement, the monthly fee is $8, or $7 if you set up a direct deposit.

Bank of Hawaii Regular Savings and Bonus Rate Savings Accounts

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees
  • Regular Savings: $5 monthly fee, waivable with $300 minimum balance
  • Bonus Rate Savings: $5 monthly fee, waivable with one of the following
    • $500 minimum balance
    • At least $25 in direct deposits with no withdrawals
Current Terms and Rates: Regular Savings 0.07% APY
Current Terms and Rates: Bonus Rate Savings
  • Without bonus rate: 
    • 0.07% APY
  • With bonus rate: 
    • Account balances below $10,000: 0.11% APY
    • Account balances of $10,000 to $25,000: 0.12% APY
    • Account balances of $25,000 to $100,000: 0.16% APY
    • Account balances of $100,000 and over: 0.23% APY

You have two basic savings account options with Bank of Hawaii, the Regular Savings account and the Bonus Rate Savings account. As it’s name suggests, there’s nothing remarkable about the regular savings account. It has a minimum balance requirement of $300 to avoid a monthly service fee of $5, and an interest rate of 0.07% APY.

The Bonus Rate Savings account is a little more complicated. It can function like the regular savings account, with an interest rate of 0.07% APY, and a minimum balance of $500 to avoid the monthly fee. But it also offers an enticing opportunity for higher interest rates.

In short, if you have a monthly direct deposit of at least $25, and make no withdrawals during the month, you receive “bonus” interest. The bonus depends on your total balance, but it ranges from 0.11% to 0.23%. That’s still not much, but it’s a nice little incentive to save more.

Bank of Hawaii Paired Checking and Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $500
Access to Your Accounts Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees
  • Level I: $15 monthly fee, waivable with $6,000 combined balance
  • Level II: $20 monthly fee, waivable with $20,000 combined balance
  • Level III: $30 monthly fee, waivable with $50,000 combined balance
Current Terms and Rates: Bankohana Level I
  • Savings:
    • 0.10% APY
  • Checking:
    • 0.05% APY
Current Terms and Rates: Bankohana Level II
  • Savings: 
    • 0.12% APY
  • Checking:
    • Account balances below $5,000: 0.05% APY 
    • Account balances of $5,000 to $10,000: 0.05% APY
    • Account balances of $10,000 to $50,000: 0.06% APY
    • Account balances of $50,000 and above: 0.08% APY
Current Terms and Rates: Bankohana Level III
  • Savings: 
    • 0.12% APY
  • Checking:
    • Account balances below $5,000: 0.05% APY 
    • Account balances of $5,000 to $10,000: 0.06% APY
    • Account balances of $10,000 to $50,000: 0.07% APY
    • Account balances of $50,000 and above: 0.10% APY

In addition to its standard checking and savings accounts, Bank of Hawaii offers a paired checking and savings account program, which it calls “Bankohana.” This accounts have higher balance requirements than the standard accounts, but come with higher rates and some better features.

There are three levels of Bankohana accounts. The levels are primarily differentiated by the minimum balance required to avoid monthly fees. Level I has a minimum balance requirement of $6,000 (combined among all Bank of Hawaii accounts, including checking, savings, CDs and loans). The requirements for Level II and Level III are $20,000 and $50,000, respectively.

If you do not meet those requirements, the monthly fee is fairly stiff, from $15 for Level I up to $30 for Level III. On the other hand, interest rates are a bit better, and you get higher interest rates on other account types, such as money market accounts and certificates of deposit. With Bankohana Savings Accounts, you are also eligible for bonus rates if you have a monthly direct deposit and make no withdrawals.

The basic bonus rates range from 0.11% to 0.23% (for accounts with balances of over $100,000). There is also bonus rates savings plus, for accounts with direct deposits of more than $100 per month. Those rates range from 0.17% to 0.29%.

Bank of Hawaii Certificates of Deposit

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • $2,500 for all accounts longer than a month
  • $25,000 for one-month terms
Access to Your CD Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly fees, but early withdrawal penalties may apply.
Current Terms and Rates
  • 1 Month: 0.07% APY
  • 3 Months: 0.08% APY
  • 6 Months: 0.13% APY
  • 9 Months: 0.14% APY
  • 12 Months: 0.25% APY
  • 24 Months: 0.35% APY
  • 36 Months: 0.50% APY
  • 48 Months: 0.75% APY
  • 60 Months: 1.25% APY
Current Terms and Rates: Bankohana
  • 1 Month: 0.09% APY
  • 3 Months: 0.10% APY
  • 6 Months: 0.18% APY
  • 9 Months: 0.19% APY
  • 12 Months: 0.30% APY
  • 24 Months: 0.40% APY
  • 36 Months: 0.55% APY
  • 48 Months: 0.80% APY
  • 60 Months: 1.30% APY

Certificates of deposit, which Bank of Hawaii calls “time deposit accounts,” are a simpler way to save. You choose a term of anywhere from one to 60 months. You set your money aside for that length of time, and receive a fixed interest rate throughout the term. The only requirement is a minimum opening deposit of $2,500 ($25,000 for the 1-month CD).

Rates on CDs are generally higher than those available on a savings account. For example, a 12-month CD has a rate of 0.30% APY, higher than even the highest rates on a Bank of Hawaii savings account. 

Bank of Hawaii also offers some temporary specials on its CDs. These generally require a higher minimum deposit. Currently there are specials on 3-month, 6-month and 12-month CDs, with rates of 0.50%, 0.75% and 1.05% APY, respectively. The minimum deposit is $25,000.

Bank of Hawaii Personal Money Market Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Money Market Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $8 monthly fee, waivable with one of the following
  • $1,000 minimum daily balance
  • $2,500 average monthly balance 
Current Terms and Rates
  • Account balances below $2,500: 0.05% APY
  • Account balances of $2,500 to $10,000: 0.06% APY
  • Account balances of $10,000 to $25,000: 0.09% APY
  • Account balances of $25,000 to $100,000: 0.10% APY
  • Account balances of $100,000 to $1,000,000: 0.16% APY
  • Account balances of $1,000,000 and over: 0.20% APY

Another option for savers at Bank of Hawaii is the money market account. These accounts offer slightly higher rates than the standard savings accounts. They also have a higher minimum balance if you wish to avoid the monthly service fee. 

The fee is $8, and to avoid it you need to maintain a minimum balance of $1,000, or a minimum monthly average balance of $2,500. 

Bankohana customers receive some higher rates on this account, though the bonus is just 0.01% APY higher than the standard rates listed above.

Where Can I Find Bank of Hawaii?

As you might have guessed, Bank of Hawaii does most of its business in the Aloha State, with numerous locations in Honolulu and other major towns and cities throughout the island chain. There are also locations in Guam and American Samoa.

What Can You Do Online With Bank of Hawaii?

Pretty much anything that doesn’t involve cash. You can manage your accounts by transferring money between them or setting up automatic bill pay (this service is free for the first two months but costs $5.95 per month thereafter). You can review statements and tax documents. You can look at your transaction history. You can also deposit checks with your smartphone. 

Bank of Hawaii’s mobile app is very highly rated on the Apple app store, with 4.7 stars out of a possible 5. This is based on more than 14,000 user ratings, so it seems that most users really like the app.

How Do I Access My Money?

If you’re looking for cash, an ATM or branch is your best best. Bank of Hawaii accounts come with either an ATM card or a debit card, which you can use for free at any Bank of Hawaii ATM - there are more than 100 in Hawaii. 

You can also access surcharge-free ATMs through the STAR ATM network. This is a national network, with ATMs scattered through major US cities on the mainland.

Otherwise, if you need to check an account balance or review transactions, the website or mobile app is a good way to go.

How Can I Save More Money With Bank of Hawaii?

None of the interest rates offered by Bank of Hawaii are particularly high, but if a good return is your priority, a certificate of deposit (time deposit account) is your best bet. Interest rates on those accounts get up to around 1%. If you are a Bankohana customer, rates are even better.

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

You can open an account online through Bank of Hawaii’s website. In fact, you do not even need to live in Hawaii to do so. After selecting the type of account you wish to open, you will need to provide you social security number, a valid U.S. address, and an email address. You will also need to provide information for the existing account with which you are funding your new account. The entire process takes less than 15 minutes.

Note: not all accounts can be opened online. For example, to open a certificate of deposit, you likely need to visit a branch.

What’s the Catch?

Although you don’t need to live in Hawaii to open a Bank of Hawaii account, we don’t recommend doing so otherwise. Bank of Hawaii’s rates are not particularly high as compared with numerous online-only banks. While the convenience of its local presence might make it worthwhile for Hawaii residents to open an account here, it really doesn’t make sense for others to do so.

Bottom Line

Bank of Hawaii has more branches and ATMs than any other bank in the state. It offers a good array of personal deposit accounts, from basic checking accounts, to complicated “bonus rate” savings accounts. While rates aren’t especially high, it is a good option for Hawaii residents seeking the convenience of a local bank.

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