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First Interstate 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
First Interstate Bank Regular Savings
0.15% APY

Even though First Interstate Bank operates in only six states thus far, this financial institution offers many of the same products you’d expect to see at a major bank with a national presence. The bank offers deposit options like checking, savings and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts. In addition, its wealth management team can help you do anything from managing short-term investments to running an individual retirement account (IRA). First Interstate Bank reprepresentatives can also help you with trust and estate planning as well as tax matters. 

The bank also provides its customers with online and mobile banking features such as a tool that helps you visualize your complete finances including accounts from other financial institutions. And even though you won’t always find the best savings accounts here, you can find high-yield CDs. At times, the bank will even offer higher rates for promotional CDs. Below, we’ll explain how these accounts work. We’ll also explore their pros and cons so you can make the best decision when choosing the right product for you. 

So get ready to put your finances on the right track and figure out if you want to make First Interstate Bank an institution you want to manage your money with.

Products Offered

Product Key Features
Savings Account
  • Two options to choose from
  • One earns a high interest rate
Certificates of Deposit
  • Terms stretch from 1 month to 60 months
  • Good interest rates overall
  • High-yield promotional rates available on occasion
IRA
  • Choose from traditional or Roth IRA
  • Wealth management team available to help you tailor a personal savings strategy
Checking Accounts
  • Four options available
  • Two earn interest

First Interstate Bank Interest Rate Comparison

 

First Interstate Bank Overview

First Interstate Bank emerged during the 1960s in Sheridan, Wyoming. It still runs banks in the state but has since expanded its footprint. Now, First Interstate operates full-service branches throughout Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota and Washington. Its offerings have also expanded. Now, you can find a variety of personal banking, wealth management, and business-focused services at First Interstate Bank. 

Bank Account Features 

First Interstate Bank offers a range of deposit accounts designed for all kinds of customers. So if you’re looking for a basic checking account or one with all the bells and whistles, this place has you covered. The bank also gives you several opportunities to waive those annoying monthly service charges. In most cases, all you need to do is maintain a minimum daily balance. Each is in line with the type of account you open. So the less flashy require much smaller minimums. 

In the savings realm, First Interstate Bank offers some of the best CD rates we’ve seen. Its basic savings account? Not so much. But most brick-and-mortar banks offering face-to-face customer service don’t offer rates that can compete with online banks. So you might want to check out our study on the best online high-yield savings accounts in addition to First Interstate Bank more advantageous products.

Compare First Interstate Bank to Other Competitive Offers

Regular Savings

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100 or $50 for minors 
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $4 monthly service fees unless you maintain a daily minimum balance of $200 or if you’re younger than 18-years-old. 
Current Terms and Rates 0.15% APY 

For those looking for a straight-forward savings account without the bells and whistles, First Interstate Bank offers the Regular Savings account. It charges among the lowest monthly fees we’ve seen. But the bank will waive it if you keep at least $200 in your account. This arrangement may encourage you to keep your money saved and watch it grow. 

However, it won’t grow by much. It’s current APY of 0.15% nearly reaches the national average interest rate for savings accounts, but falls short. Still, the rate is slightly higher than similar accounts offered by similarly-sized banks. Plus, the account is very inexpensive to manage. 

It can suit people who are not looking to deposit a lot of money and want to get started flexing their savings muscle. 

In addition, you’d be allowed to make free unlimited withdrawals in person, by mail or via an ATM. However, federal law limits most other types of savings account withdrawals, transactions and transfers to other accounts to six per month. First Interstate Bank will charge you a $10 fee for breaching that limit. So your best bet is to access your money via the bank’s more than 200 ATMs and branches. 

First Interstate Bank compounds and pays interest on this account monthly. And when you open any deposit account with First Interstate Bank, you get access to all online and mobile banking features such as mobile check deposit and online bill pay.

Market Interest Savings 

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 $11 monthly service fee unless you maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,000 
Current Terms and Rates
  • Account balances up to $10,000: 0.35% APY
  • Account balances between $10,000 and $49,999: 0.40% APY
  • Account balances between $50,000 and $99,999: 0.55% APY
  • Account balances between $100,000 and 249,999.99: 0.65% APY
  • Account balances of $250,000+: 0.70% APY

The Market Interest Savings account functions similarly to traditional money market accounts, which tend to generate higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts. Unfortunately, the rates collected by this option can’t help it compete with the best money market accounts in the industry today. 

It’s current peak APY of 0.70% is moderately high, but you’d need a high balance of $250,000. You can find accounts with higher rates and less stringent requirements at other institutions, especially online ones. 

Certificates of Deposit (CD)

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • For a 1 Month CD: $10,000
  • For all other CD options: $1,000
Access to Your CD Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly fee, but early withdrawal penalties will apply.
Current Terms and Rates
  • 1 Month: 2.0% APY
  • 3 Months: 2.8% APY
  • 6 Months: 0.37% APY
  • 12-23 Months: 0.50% APY
  • 24-35 Months: 0.75% APY
  • 36-47 Months: 1.00% APY
  • 48-59 Months: 1.15% APY
  • 60 Months: 1.40% APY

Certificates of deposit (CD) accounts may serve as effective savings vehicles especially in light of rising interest rates. If you’ve never opened one, here’s how it works. You deposit a certain amount of money into a CD for a set period of time such as six months. In return, you get a fixed interest rate that typically climbs well above those earned by traditional savings and money market accounts. 

The catch is you have to keep your money invested in the CD for the length of its term. Otherwise, you’d face a severe early withdrawal penalty. But if you can commit to socking away your cash for a defined period, you can expect a pretty decent return. 

And at First Interstate Bank, you can open a CD account for terms spanning from 1 month to 60 months or five years. Across the board, their CD rates are solid, especially if you invest in longer-term CDs.

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your IRA Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly service charges, but the IRS can impose severe early withdrawal penalties. 
Current Terms and Rates 0.35% APY (First Interstate Bank wealth department can help you create an individualized plan based on your needs and savings goals). 

You can start saving for your retirement by opening an individual retirement account (IRA) at First Interstate Bank. The bank gives you the option to open a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. When you open a traditional IRA, you contribute after-tax dollars and your money grows tax deferred until you make eligible qualified withdrawals when you’re at least 59.5 years-old. Your contributions may also be tax-deductible to an extent and if you meet certain income requirements.

When you invest in a Roth IRA, your qualified withdrawals are tax free as long as you’ve held the account for at least five years. So these may serve as savvy ways to invest in your Golden Years if you expect to find yourself in a higher tax bracket. 

At First Interstate Bank, the wealth management team can help you tailor a retirement saving strategy based on your individual goals and needs. But anytime you’re making major retirement plan decisions, you should find a financial advisor and tax professional to help you make the most out of this critical plan. 

Basic 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 $5 monthly service fee unless you establish monthly recurring direct deposit or opt in for eStatements within 30 days of opening an account. 

As its name suggests, the Basic Checking account from First Interstate Bank is as bare-bones as they come. Still, it’s very affordable. The bank will even waive the monthly fee as long as you simply opt-in for receiving eStatements. And you still get access to all of the bank’s online and mobile banking features.

Regular Checking Account

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 $9 monthly maintenance fee unless you maintain a $500 minimum daily balance 

Despite its name, the Regular Checking account offers some interesting perks. For instance, you get 2,000 FirstRewards points when you open this account along with a FirstRewards Debit Mastercard. With this rewards credit card, you can earn a point for every net dollar spent on a retail transaction. You can then redeem these points for items through the bank’s loyalty program.

Preferred Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $1,500 
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $13 monthly service fee unless you meet one of the following requirements:
  • Maintain a $1,500 minimum balance in this account or a $5,000 combined minimum balance across all your First Interstate Bank deposit accounts. 
  • Be at least 60-years-old
Cureent Terms and Rates 1.70% APY

The Preferred Checking account comes with all the bells and whistles of the previous options mentioned, and it collects an impressive APY of 1.70%. In terms of interest rates, it ranks among the best checking accounts we’ve examined. However, you need a larger minimum deposit of $1,500 to open this account. But if you can park that amount or a larger sum, you can expect a decent return. 

In addition, it may suit customers who have a strong relationship with First Interstate Bank. For example, having this account allows you to bump the interest rate on a CD with First Interstate Bank as long as its term is at least two years. You’d also get 3,000 FirstRewards Points.

Market Manager Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $50,000 
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $25 monthly service fee unless you maintain a $50,000 minimum balance among all your First Interstate Bank deposit accounts.  
Current Terms and Rates
  • Balances up to $9,999,99: 0.40% APY
  • Balances between $10,000 and $249,999.99: 0.45% APY
  • Balances of $250,000+: 0.55% APY

Although the MarketManger Checking account stands as First Interstate Bank premier checking option with the most benefits, you need a very large minimum deposit to open one and avoid large fees. 

However, you get the following free of charge: 

  • Gift cards
  • Money orders
  • Incoming wires
  • Cashier’s checks
  • Foreign currency exchange
  • $250 Mortgage loan origination discount
  • 0.5% consumer loan discount subject to approval
  • 5,000 FirstRewards points

Nonetheless, you won’t earn as much interest on your deposits as you would by investing in a Preferred Checking account. 

Where Can I Find First Interstate Bank? 

You can find more than 120 full-service First Interstate Bank Branches throughout the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming.

What Can You Do Online With First Interstate Bank?

First Interstate Bank offers its customers access to all the online and mobile banking features you’d expect from a major financial institution. You can use any laptop, computer or mobile device to monitor accounts, check balances, transfer money and more. In addition, the bank’s analyzer tool gives you a glimpse of all your finances including accounts with other financial institutions. You can also create a budget and track spending. 

The bank’s mobile app offers many of the same features, as well as check deposit and an ATM/branch locator. In addition, iPhone X users can access their account via facial recognition. In fact, the app currently ranks at a strong 4.6 rating out of 5 on the Google Play store. The app also holds a current a 4.7 star rating on the Apple App Store. 

How Do I Access My Money?

You can access your funds via more than 200 branches and ATMs throughout six states. But the easiest way to locate a nearby branch or ATM is via the mobile app. Or you can visit the First Interstate Bank website and enter your zip code, city or state in the appropriate field. 

How Can I Save More Money With an First Interstate Bank Account?

When it comes to high-yield savings options, First Interstate Bank scores with its CDs. And you’d typically earn a higher interest rate if you open one for a longer term. For example, you can open a CD account for a term of 60 months today with an APY of 1.40%. The bank’s Preferred Checking account earns an APY of 1.70%. But you’d need to deposit at least $1,500 to open one and avoid large fees. Overall, the bank’s basic savings accounts don’t pack the strongest interest punch. But you can also take advantage of the bank’s online and mobile tools to save and manage your budget wisely. 

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

The easiest way to open an account at First Interstate Bank is by doing so online. You’d need all the basic information that any bank would request upon opening an account. So make sure you have the following ready before you apply: 

  • Social Security card
  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID
  • Current and previous home address if you haven’t lived in your current residence for at least two years
  • Banking account you’d use to make your initial deposit

What’s the Catch? 

The catch with First Interstate Bank is that you won’t find the best basic savings accounts and some accounts are far more expensive to manage than others. But overall, First National Bank has something for everyone. And if you shop a lot, you may be interested in the bank’s FirstRewards loyalty program. Its digital tools and features could also be quite useful if you use them to your advantage. 

Bottom Line 

At First Interstate Bank, you won’t find the most inexpensive high-yield savings accounts. However, the bank offers plenty of options that stand out. For one, its CD rates are quite high. And the bank is very generous when it offers promotional rates. So if you step into a branch at the right time, you may find one that can help you get a very decent return on your deposit. Plus, you have access to customer service via more than two hundred branches in six states. The bank’s digital features can also help you manage your money wisely. 

The preceding rates were gathered following a call to First Interstate Bank in Sheridan, Wyoming. They are current as of August 2018. 

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