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First Hawaiian 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
First Hawaiian Bank Savings
0.04% APY

No bank in Hawaii holds more customer assets than First Hawaiian Bank (FHB). It not only offers multiple banking services, but also personal, auto, student and home loans, long-term, life and disability insurance and investment management. FHB has very manageable opening account minimums as well, making it easy for anyone to join up.

Aside from it’s massive selection of certificates of deposit (CDs), First Hawaiian’s interest rates and APYs are mostly lackluster. While this makes it tough to save for the future with this bank, there are many other features you can take advantage of.

Products Offered

Product Key Details
Savings Accounts
  • Low account minimums
  • Varied types of accounts
  • Can be used for simple overdraft protection
Checking Accounts
  • Free debit card
  • Low account minimums
  • Online/mobile banking
Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
  • Online and regular options
  • Mixture of high and low APYs and minimums
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
  • Traditional, Roth and education accounts available

First Hawaiian Bank Interest Rate Comparison

First Hawaiian Bank Overview

No bank has provided banking services in Hawaii longer than First Hawaiian Bank, as it has been around since 1858. It’s also the largest Hawaiian bank, and now holds $16 billion in total customer assets.

First Hawaiian Bank Priority Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100 or $5 direct deposit
Access to Your Account Branches, online, mobile & ATMs
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $4 monthly service fees; waivable by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $300
Current Terms and Rates
  • Rates tiered based on account balance:
    • Less than $10,000: 0.04% APY
    • $10,000 - $24,999.99: 0.10% APY
    • $25,000 and up: 0.14% APY

The Regular Savings account at First Hawaiian bank is a simple, straight-forward savings product with a disappointing 0.03% APY. Although its interest rate is clearly lacking, it has a minimum opening deposit of $100, though you can get that down to a meager $5 if you initially fund your account with a direct deposit. Further strengthening the fee structure of this account, maintaining just a $300 minimum daily balance will waive the $5 monthly service fee. If you have a checking account, you can even connect it to your savings account for overdraft protection.

First Hawaiian’s YesSavingsSM account allows customers to earn interest at a higher rate than most of the bank’s other account options. The catch is that you must deposit at least $100 in the account and avoid making withdrawals every month. You also have to connect it to your First Hawaiian checking account statement. To help with this, the bank does offer an automatic savings service that will transfer funds from your checking account on a schedule. There are six APY tiers, and you’ll need a $500 minimum daily balance to waive the $5 service fee.

If you’re looking for something more in the middle, the Priority Savings account is where you’ll want to be. It comes with slightly inflated interest rates from the Regular Savings account. More specifically, depending on your account balance, your APY will range from 0.04% to 0.14%. Otherwise it has the same basic requirements as the base account, aside from one important area: you must have either Priority Banking Plan with First Hawaiian or be a PrimeTime Gold or Platinum member.

Compare First Hawaiian Bank to Other Competitive Offers

First Hawaiian Bank Complete Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100 or $5 direct deposit
Access to Your Account Branches, online, mobile & ATMs
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $7 monthly service fee; waivable with $1,500 in aggregate direct deposits per statement cycle
Current Terms and Rates Non-interest bearing

The Complete Checking account from First Hawaiian has a rather high $7 monthly service fee with a somewhat difficult to meet $1,500 monthly direct deposit waiver requirement. However, you only need to deposit $100 to get your account off the ground or $5 if you do so via direct deposit. It comes paired with a debit Mastercard®, free checks, online/mobile banking and identity theft and credit monitoring.

On the other hand, the Pure Checking account is a much cheaper account to manage, with a measly $2 monthly service fee that’s waived simply for signing up for eStatements. It also includes the same $100 opening deposit, or $5 with direct deposit. Where it heavily deviates from the Complete Checking option is with online bill pay, as account holders must pay $5.99 a month to use this service.

Unlike many of its peers, First Hawaiian Bank does not offer an interest checking account. Instead it allows customer to intermingle their checking and savings accounts, with perks ranging from overdraft protection to automatic savings plans.

First Hawaiian Bank MaxiMizerSM Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $1,000
Access to Your Account Branches, online, mobile & ATMs
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $10 monthly service fee; waivable by maintaining a $1,000 minimum daily balance or hold a $2,500 average daily balance
Current Terms and Rates
  • Rates tiered based on account balance:
    • Less than $2,500: 0.04% APY
    • $2,500 - $24,999.99: 0.11% APY
    • $25,000 - $99,999.99: 0.13% APY
    • $100,000 - $499,999.99: 0.16% APY
    • $500,000 - $999,999.99: 0.20% APY
    • $1,000,000 and up: 0.32% APY

First Hawaiian Bank technically doesn’t offer a money market account (MMA), but the MaxiMizerSM Savings is essentially built in the same style. Like an MMA, you will need an initial deposit of $1,000 to open an account. There’s also a sizable $10 monthly service fees that’s only waived if you can keep your average daily balance above $2,500.

The MaxiMizer Savings account also employs a tiered interest system, with six tiers in total. APYs begin at 0.04% and get as high as 0.32% for customers whose account balance surpasses the $1 million mark. In the grand scheme of the market, these rates are rather low, making traditional MMAs at First Hawaiian’s competitors a better choice.

First Hawaiian Bank CDs

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $500 - $25,000, depending on account type
Access to Your Account Branches, online & mobile
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees None
Current Terms and Rates
  • Regular CD ($1,000 minimum):
    • 6 - 9-month:
      • $1,000 - $14,999.99: 0.05% APY
      • $15,000 - $49,999.99: 0.06% APY
      • $50,000 and up: 0.07% APY
    • 1-year:
      • $1,000 - $14,999.99: 0.08% APY
      • $15,000 - $49,999.99: 0.10% APY
      • $50,000 and up: 0.15% APY
  • Online eCD ($500 minimum):
    • 6-month: 0.08% APY
    • 9-month: 0.10% APY
    • 12-month: 0.13% APY
    • 18-month: 0.18% APY
    • 24-month: 1.65% APY
    • 36-month: 0.34% APY
  • Special Promotion CD ($500 minimum):
    • 24-month: 1.65% APY
  • In-Branch CD ($1,000 minimum):
    • 12-month: 1.10% APY
    • 36-month: 1.40% APY

The massive selection of CDs at First Hawaiian is probably the bank’s greatest asset. In fact, depending on where you open the CD, the choices you’ll be eligible for will differ. For example, the bank offers eCDs, which are online-only accounts. These include the worst CD rates at the bank, but the minimum needed to open is the lowest.

In-branch CDs are also available at First Hawaiian, with slightly improved interest rates from 1.10% to 1.40%. Unfortunately though, these accounts call for a minimum opening deposit of no less than $25,000. You’ll also find promotional long-term CDs with higher rates and an opening deposit requirement of $5,000. Even the best interest rates at this bank though, are still lower than what other similar banks will feature.

First Hawaiian Bank IRAs

Key Features Details
Access to Your Account Branches, online & mobile
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees None

Many of the guidelines that dictate how individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are handled is descended through federal and state government laws. This is because they are heavily involved with how and when you pay taxes on your retirement savings, specifically with Roth and Traditional IRAs. With Roth accounts, you prepay income taxes when you deposit in the account. But Traditional IRAs allow you to defer taxes until you begin taking payments from the account.

A Coverdell Education Savings Account is considered an IRA, but rather than saving for retirement, it’s focused on helping parents save for their children’s education costs. These are available through First Hawaiian as well.

Where Can I Find First Hawaiian Bank?

First Hawaiian Bank is unsurprisingly located solely throughout the Hawaiian islands. It totals a little over 50 branches throughout the Aloha State, with fee-free ATMs spread out across the state.

What Can You Do Online With First Hawaiian Bank?

Like a sizable portion of modern-day banks, First Hawaiian Bank makes just about everything you could do at a branch available through its mobile and online platforms. Through the bank’s website, you can keep an eye on your current account balances, transaction histories and review photos of the checks deposited to your account. Money transfers between internal accounts can also be done here.

The First Hawaiian Bank mobile app is available for both Apple and Android phones, with an average rating of about three stars. Through this, you can do everything that the website offers, with a couple of extra perks. If you’re in need of some cash, the app employs an ATM/branch locator that can help you find one nearby. Mobile check deposit is also available simply by snapping a picture of the check.

First Hawaiian is partnered with Popmoney, allowing you to directly send money from your bank account to those of a friend, family member or other person. All you need to complete these transfers is their cell phone number or email address.

How Do I Access My Money?

If you want to check up on your accounts’ balances, the mobile app and online banking website are easily the fastest way to do so. Although you cannot withdraw money directly from these places, you can use the ATM locator to find a place to swipe your debit card for some cash. Deposits, however, can be done remotely through the mobile app.

Your aforementioned debit card makes using the funds in your account extremely easy, as it acts like a credit card for purchases made anywhere that they’re accepted. First Hawaiian features online bill pay as well, giving you a simple way to take care of your bills with money in your account.

How Can I Save More Money With a First Hawaiian Bank Account?

If you were to compare First Hawaiian Bank’s interest rates with the majority of its competition, you would find that they really don’t hold any sort of ability to widely outearn another banking institution. The best APYs it has to offer are with its Special Promotion CDs and In-Branch CDs and, to some degree, its MaxiMizerSM Savings account. While this certainly isn’t a great characteristic to have, it does have some redeeming financial qualities.

Many of the accounts at this bank have monthly service fees, but they’re typically cheap, manageable and have easy-to-meet waiver requirements. So although this is a much more indirect way to save money with First Hawaiian over other choices, it’s a benefit nonetheless.

What’s the Process For Opening an Account With First Hawaiian Bank?

You can apply for a new account either online or in-person at a local branch, giving you two main ways to join up with First Hawaiian Bank. If you want to complete your application online, choose the account you want, and begin the process. This will take you through all the paperwork that you’d normally fill out, so be sure you’ve got your Social Security number, enough money to cover the minimum opening deposit and a government-issued ID.

What’s the Catch?

The obvious issue with First Hawaiian Bank for a large sect of Americans is that its branches currently only reside in the Hawaiian Islands of the Pacific Ocean. So whereas many financial institutions may bank on the possibility that residents of nearby states could try them if a branch is close by, that probability is all but zero in Hawaii.

On the whole, the interest rates of First Hawaiian are underwhelming, even for some of its supposedly “top” accounts. The only exception to this rule is some of the bank’s long-term in-branch CDs, but they are not the best around. In other words, if interest rates are one of the most important factors in your banking experience, this one may not be for you.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a traditional banking institution that has some of the amenities of the modern banking world, First Hawaiian Bank does a solid job of filling that role, especially in a state that can sometimes lack selection. However, prospective savings, CD and money market customers may want to avoid FHB, as its rates are lackluster in both the short- and long-term. But because of the collection of accounts that are available at this bank, it’s a great option for those who want to combine all of their accounts into one place.

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