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First Commonwealth Bank Review

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by Lauren Perez Updated
First Commonwealth Bank

First Commonwealth Bank began not too long ago in 1982 when multiple community banks merged to serve a wider community in Western Pennsylvania. With headquarters still in Indiana, Pennsylvania, First Commonwealth Bank now reaches other parts of the state, as well as Central and Northern Ohio. 

The bank offers a range of services like a big bank, while maintaining its community-banking feel. That way, you can build relationships with your banker and benefit from personal accounts, small business and commercial accounts, insurance products, investments and estate planning. 

For personal banking, you can open checking, money market and savings accounts and certificates of deposit. No matter which accounts you open, you’ll have access to online and mobile banking, mobile deposit, Allpoint and Freedom Alliance ATMs and more.

Note that all rates below are based on the zip code 15701 as if you were opening an account at a branch. If you open an account online, you may see different rates.

Products Offered

Products Key Details
Savings Accounts
  • Three account options, including a child savings account
  • Generally low rates, but opportunities for rate boosts
Certificates of Deposit
  • High minimum deposit for shorter terms
  • Terms range from 90 days to 60 months
Money Market Account
  • High minimum deposit
  • Better rates for higher balances
  • Low monthly fee, waivable with $1,000 minimum balance
Checking Accounts
  • Four account options
  • Two interest-earning accounts 
  • Relatively high deposits

First Commonwealth Bank Interest Rate Comparison

Hometown Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $0
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly fee
Current Terms and Rates
  • Account balances below $10,000: 0.10% APY
  • Account balances of $10,000 and over: 0.15% APY

The Hometown Savings Account is the most basic savings account with First Commonwealth Bank. There’s no minimum deposit requirement or monthly fee, which makes it pretty accessible. It earns interest according to balance tiers, with higher balances earning at a slightly higher rate. The interest rates are decent, especially when compared to big banks. 

First Commonwealth Bank bills this account as perfect for providing free overdraft protection on any linked Hometown Checking account. Without a savings account fee, this makes a perfect add-on account. 

American Dream Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $2 monthly fee, waivable with $100 minimum daily balance
Current Terms and Rates
  • Base Rate: 0.05% APY
  • Max Add-On Rate: 0.20% APY

The American Dream Savings account earns at a base rate that comes in much lower than the Hometown Savings account. However, you do have the opportunity to boost your rate in 0.05% increments up to an extra 0.15%. You can add each additional 0.05% by having a checking account, certificate of deposit, IRA or consumer loan. However, multiple accounts within the same type will count as only one. 

Tower Savers Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $0
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $3 monthly fee when the account holder reaches age 22, waivable with $200 minimum daily balance
Current Terms and Rates
  • Account balances of $0.01 - $10,000: 0.05% APY
  • Account balances of $10,000.01 and over: 0.10% APY

The Towers Savers account works to teach kids about saving and grown their money early on. This is made easier with no minimum deposit and no monthly fee. You’ll also receive free monthly statements to keep track of the accounts funds with your child. 

For parents, you can link your own First Commonwealth Bank account to see all accounts in your own online banking portal. You can choose to open this account either as a joint or custodial account.

Certificates of Deposit

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • $2,500 for terms less than one year
  • $500 for terms of one year and greater
Access to Your CD Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly fee, but early withdrawal penalties may apply.
Current Terms and Rates
  • 90 - 181 Day: 0.10% APY
  • 182 - 364 Day: 0.10% APY
  • 12 Month: 0.15% APY
  • 18 Month: 0.15% APY
  • 24 Month: 0.25% APY
  • 30 Month: 0.30% APY
  • 36 Month: 0.30% APY
  • 48 Month: 0.55% APY
  • 60 Month: 0.70% APY

Certificates of deposit offer a stricter approach to savings. Once you place your deposit in the account, you won’t be able to touch it again until the account matures. If you do, you’ll face a hefty penalty for an early withdrawal. CDs are a good option if you don’t want to be tempted to dip into your savings until absolutely necessary. Plus, First Commonwealth Bank offers a variety of CDs from 90 days to 60 months long so you can find the best CD accounts  for you. 

As your CD earns interest, you can choose to re-deposit that interest back into your CD or transfer it to a First Commonwealth checking or savings account each month. 

Hometown Money Market Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $1,000
Access to Your Money Market Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $3 monthly fee, waivable with $1,000 minimum daily balance 
Current Terms and Rates
  • Account balances below $20,000: 0.05% APY
  • Account balances of $20,000 - $49,999.99: 0.10% APY
  • Account balances of $50,000 - $99,999.99: 0.12% APY
  • Account balances of $100,000 and over: 0.15% APY

The Hometown Money Market Account works better for customers with higher balances. You’ll need at least $1,000 to open the account and to waive a monthly fee. Much higher balances (over $20,000) will get you better interest rates, too, which allows for more savings.

A big plus to money market accounts like this is the flexibility they offer. Like a checking account, money market accounts can also be accessed through checks and debit cards. However, you’re still limited to six outgoing transactions per statement cycle like a savings account.

Hometown Checking 

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $2 monthly fee, waivable with eStatement enrollment

The Hometown Checking account is the bank’s simplest checking account. It doesn’t earn interest and requires eStatement enrollment to waive the nominal monthly fee. The account does come with free overdraft protection from a linked Hometown Savings account.

Hometown Checking + Interest Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $5 monthly fee, waivable with $1,000 or more in deposits per statement cycle
Current Terms and Rates Account balances of $500 and over: 0.01% APY

If you want to earn interest on your checking account balance, you can take a look at the Hometown Checking + Interest account. You will need at least $500 to begin earning interest. The interest rate isn’t incredibly competitive, but it’s certainly better than earning no interest at all. 

You can link this account to a Hometown Savings account to set up free overdraft protection.

Hometown Checking + Interest + Solutions Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $10 monthly fee, waivable with $2,000 or more in deposits per statement cycle
Current Terms and Rates Account balances of $500 and over: 0.01% APY

This checking account is made to both earn interest and provide payment solutions. While this account doesn’t earn at a higher interest rate than the Hometown Checking + Interest account, the other perks may make up for this. 

The Hometown Checking + Interest + Solutions account includes free person-to-person transfers, discounted expedited bill payment and premium debit card benefits with the World Debit™ Mastercard®. You’ll also be able to set up free overdraft protection from any of your First Commonwealth accounts, including lines of credit. 

SmartPay Card Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $5 monthly fee

The SmartPay Card personal checking account is perfect for customers who might need some extra help with responsible banking. The biggest safety measure is that it prevents you from spending money you don’t have to avoid overdrafts and its fees. The account also includes the ability to create a budget, track your spending, set savings goals and more through your online banking interface. 

There is a small monthly fee that you cannot waive. While it might be a pain to be unable to waive the fee, it could help create some more disciplined money management skills. 

Branch Locations 

First Commonwealth Bank operates about 138 branches throughout 20 counties in western Pennsylvania and central, northern and southern Ohio. You can also find commercial business centers in Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio plus mortgage loan offices in Stow and Dublin, Ohio.

If you just need an ATM, you also have widespread access to over 55,000 free ATMs in the Allpoint and Freedom Alliance ATM networks.

Financial Statistics & Bank Health Rating

First Commonwealth currently has $7.28 billion in assets and $5.37 billion in loans. Customers hold $5.60 billion in deposits with the bank. 

If you’re wondering about the risk you might face by placing your deposits with a bank, you can check its Texas Ratio. You can calculate this ratio by dividing the amount of non-performing assets (unbacked current loans and real estate owned) by the sum of the bank’s tangible equity capital and its loan loss allowances. A bank with a ratio close to 100% is considered at risk of covering its bad debts. 

First Commonwealth has a Texas Ratio of 3.60%, which is considered excellent, posing a very low risk for your deposits. 

Tips on Saving Money

  • Many small banks offer a personalized feel to your banking experience. However, a small bank might not offer the high-earning interest rates you’re looking for. For the same small-bank community but with higher interest rates, you can look into opening an account with a credit union. This can be a credit union based on your employment, your location or many other factors. 
  • If you’re willing to give up your access to a physical bank branch, you can check out an online bank instead. Online banks tend to have the highest interest rates with the best savings accounts and interest-earning checking accounts. Plus, banks like Ally Bank offer 24/7 customer service so you can always access a representative and your accounts even outside of normal bank hours. 
  • If you’re not quite sure where to put your money or what to do with all your savings, you could consider consulting a financial advisor. A financial advisor can take a comprehensive look at your finances and create a long-term financial plan to help you reach your savings goals. Our financial advisor matching service can help you find an advisor in your area based on your financial situation and goals. We’ll also take into account your preferences for your ideal advisor. 
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