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First Merchants 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 Merchants Bank Savings
0.01% APY

First Merchants Bank emerged all the way back in 1893 in the state of Indiana, where it still maintains a presence. In fact, its parent entity First merchants Corporation stands as the largest financial services holding company in Central Indiana.

But despite its local focus, you can find products here that you’d likely find at any national competitor.

First Merchants bank offers savings, checking, money market and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts to consumers. It also offers wealth management services and gears products toward local businesses.

Read on to learn more about products offered by First Merchants Bank, current rates and more. 

Products Offered

Product Key Features
Savings Account
  • Several options to choose from
  • One account specifically designed for first responders and members of the military
Certificates of Deposit
  • Choose terms from 6 months to five years
  • Special CD option takes additional deposits
Money Market Accounts
  • One option with tiered interest rates
IRA
  • Choose from IRA and Roth IRA options
  • Bank occasionally offers Special rates
Checking Accounts
  • Numerous options to choose from
  • Several ways to waive monthly fees
  • Opening accounts allow you to bump the APY on your money market account, CD or IRA.

First Merchants Bank Interest Rate Comparison

Regular Savings

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $1
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $300 monthly service fee unless you meet certain requirements
Current Terms and Rates
  • For balances of $0 - $4,999.99: 0.01% APY
  • For balances of $5,000+: 0.03% APY

As its name implies, the Regular Savings account from First Merchants Bank stands as a straight-forward savings option that’s easy to manage and offers some basic features. However, you also get fee-free access to more than ten thousand ATMs in the MoneyPass network. In addition, you get the following free benefits: 

  • Online banking
  • Mobile banking
  • ATM Card

First Merchants Bank charges a $5 monthly service charge for this account. However, the bank will waive it if you meet any one of the following requirements. 

  • Maintain a minimum balance of $300
  • Opt-in for eStatements
  • Are younger than 19

Interest on this account accrues daily and the bank credits it monthly. However, the current APY isn’t the strongest out there. You may find better rates and features by exploring our analysis of the best savings accounts on the market today. 

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • For traditional CDs with terms of less than 12 months: $2,500
  • For traditional CDs with terms of 12 months or more: $10,000
  • For Smart Saver CDs: $25
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
  • 6 - 11 Months: 0.05% APY
  • 12 - 17 Months: 0.10% APY
  • 18 - 23 Months: 0.12% APY
  • 24 - 29 Months: 0.20% APY
  • 30 - 35 Months: 0.15% APY
  • 36 - 47 Months: 0.35% APY
  • 48 - 59 Months: 0.40% APY
  • 60 Months+:  0.75% APY
 

At First Merchants Bank, you can open a certificate of deposit (CD) for terms ranging from six months to more than five years. Overall, however, the bank’s CD rates aren’t as high as those linked to options offered by similarly sized banks we’ve examined. Still, you can bump up any traditional CD’s APY by 0.05% if you also have or open an Elite or First Direct Checking account. 

The bank also offers a Smart Saver CD, which allows you to make pre-authorized transfers into your account. Several banks don’t allow you to make additional deposits into your CD once you’ve opened the account. However, First Merchants Bank requires you to make a monthly transfer of at least $25 a month into your Smart Saver CD. 

All rates on First Merchants Bank CDs are fixed for the term. The bank accrues interest daily and credits it quarterly. When your term ends, you have a 10-calendar-day grace period to withdraw your money penalty free before the bank renews your CD for the same term and current interest rate. 

And as with its money market account, First Merchants Bank occasionally offers Special CDs with higher interest rates than its standard options. You’d have to stop by a local branch to open one and to get more details. Nonetheless, you may find better rates and features now by checking out the best CD rates we’ve examined. 

Compare First Merchants Bank to Other Competitive Offers

Money Market Savings

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • $10,000
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 service fee unless you meet certain requirements
  • $10 per withdrawal after the sixth one in a month
Current Terms and Rates
  • For balances of $0 - $4,999.99: 0.01% APY
  • For balances of $5,000 - $9,999: 0.03% APY
  • For balances of $10,000+: 0.05% APY

As far as interest rates go, First Merchants Bank doesn’t rank too well in the money market playing field. Even when linked to the bank’s Elite Checking account, the money market component would generate only a current rate of 0.10% APY. You may find better rates by comparing money market accounts from various local, national and online banks. 

However, the money market account from Merchants Bank offers free checks. It also provides the same benefits as the Regular Savings account including access to the MoneyPass ATM network. In fact, you get a debit card linked to your money market account when you open it. Several similarly-sized banks we’ve examined don’t offer this perk, which provides you with easy access to your funds. In addition, this account permits six free withdrawals per month. 

Furthermore, you can avoid the $8 monthly service fee by maintaining a minimum balance of $10,000. The bank will also waive the fee if you maintain a First Merchants Bank Elite or Advantage checking account. 

But if you’re not satisfied with the current APY on the money market account, stop by a local branch and ask about Special Money Market options. Periodically, the bank offers promotional money market accounts with higher rates than its year-round offerings. 

Individual Retirement Accounts 

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • For terms less than 12 months: $2,500
  • For terms greater than 12 months: $1,000
  • For variable-rate options: $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 fees, but severe early withdrawal penalties will apply 
Current Terms and Rates  
  • 6 - 11 Months: 0.05% APY
  • 12 - 17 Months: 0.10% APY
  • 18 - 23 Months: 0.12% APY
  • 24 - 29 Months: 0.15% APY
  • 30 - 35 Months: 0.15% APY
  • 36 - 47 Months: 0.20% APY
  • 48 - 59 Months: 0.30% APY
  • 60 Months+:  0.50% APY

Through First merchants Bank, you can start building your retirement nest egg or continue lumping your savings by opening an individual retirement account (IRA). By investing in an IRA, your earnings grow tax free until you make qualified withdrawals at age 59.5, when you may be in a lower tax bracket. In addition, contributions could be tax deductible. 

The bank also offers Roth IRA options, which allow for tax-free qualified withdrawals. And the bank will raise the APY on your IRA if you also have an Elite or First Direct Checking account

But whenever considering serious retirement planning decisions, you should consult a tax or financial advisor. If you’re wondering how to choose the right one to work with, you can use our find a financial advisor tool. It asks you a few simple questions before connecting you with up to three local advisors based on the answers to your questions. You can then examine their credentials and qualifications. 

First Merchants Carefree Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
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 meet certain requirements

This is the basic checking account offered by First Merchants Bank. While it doesn’t generate interest or offer any noteworthy bonus features, it is inexpensive and easy to manage. The bank will even waive the $5 monthly service fee if you make one transaction that posts during the monthly statement cycle. In addition, the bank waives the fee for all students younger than 25. 

So if you’re looking for a straight-forward checking account without any of the bells and whistles, this option may be right for you. 

First Merchants Advantage Checking

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees
  • $15 monthly maintenance fee unless you meet certain requirements
  • No monthly maintenance fee if you’re a senior citizen

The First Merchants Advantage Checking account offers several features. In addition to generating interest, you get the following benefits free of charge. 

  • 0.25% loan discounts (Subject to credit approval)
  • 50% personal check discounts
  • Official check and money orders
  • Enhanced Mastercard debit card with fraud protection

In addition, the bank waives the fee for senior citizens. They also get free specialty checks and paper statements. All other account holders can waive their monthly service fees if they meet one of the following conditions. 

  • Make a single direct deposit of at least $500 during the statement cycle
  • Initiate 15 debit card transactions each month
  • Maintain at least $1,500 among all your personal debit accounts with First Merchants Bank 

All account holders also get access to The Gold Standards Rewards program allows you to earn points by using your debit card and then redeem those points for prizes like gift cards and airfare tickets. Speak to a customer service representative for the latest terms and conditions.

First Merchants Elite Checking 

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $20 monthly maintenance fee
Current Terms and Rates
  • For balances of $0 - $2,499.99: 0.01% APY
  • For balances of $2,500 - $4,999.99: 0.03% APY
  • For balances of $5,000 - $9,999.99: 0.07% APY
  • For balances of $10,000+: 0.10% APY

As the name implies, the Elite Checking account is designed for the more affluent customer who holds a strong relationship with First Merchants Bank.

By opening an account, you can bump the APY on your CD account by 0.05% and by 0.10% on your money market savings account. Subject to credit approval, the bank will also waive the annual fee on a home equity line of credit. In addition, the account offers the same benefits as the First Merchants Bank savings accounts and the following free features. 

  • Official checks and money orders
  • Specialty checks
  • Paper statements or e-statements

You can also waive the costly $20 monthly service fee by keeping at least $15,000 in your account. 

As you can see, First Merchants Bank places a major focus on checking accounts. However, you can explore other options as well as their features by viewing our analysis of the best checking accounts in the industry today. 

First Merchants First Direct Checking 

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $10 monthly service fee unless you meet certain requirements
Current Terms and Rates
  • For balances of $0 - $9,999.99: 0.10% APY
  • For balances of $10,000+: 0.20% APY

First Merchants Bank extends the First Direct Checking account to employees at participating companies as well as all first responders and members of the military. As long as you sign up for direct deposit, you don’t need a minimum opening balance. By opening an account, the bank can bump your CD APY by 0.05%. 

All account holders also get the following free bonuses. 

  • No-fee Home Equity Line of Credit (Subject to credit approval)
  • First order of specialty checks
  • 25% discount on available safe deposit box rentals
  • Retirement consultation

Furthermore, the bank will eliminate the $10 monthly service fee if you keep a minimum balance of at least $200 a month. However, you need to keep a minimum balance of $2,500 to earn any interest.

Branch Locations

First Merchants Bank manages several full-service branches and wealth management centers throughout Indiana. You can reach them by dialing 1-800-205-3464.

Financial Statistics & Bank Health Rating

First Merchants Bank has $9.35 billion in assets and $6.68 billion in loans, according to the FDIC. It also has deposits worth $7.20 billion. Before you consider adding to those deposits or that of any other bank, you might want to inspect the institution’s Texas Ratio. This industry-recognized metric serves as a good level of a bank’s trustworthiness. It is calculated 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. Fortunately, First Merchants Bank has maintained an impressive Texas Ratio of 2.65%. For reference, a Texas Ratio under 5% is considered excellent. 

Note: The preceding rates were gathered during a call to the headquarters of First Merchants Bank in Munice, Indiana and are current as of July 2018. Contact a local branch for latest rates and details.

 

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