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First Republic 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 Republic Bank Savings
0.15% APY

First Republic Bank has done a solid job in switching up the normal account options currently offered across the banking industry. This is especially evident with its ATM Rebate Checking account, Money Market Checking account and Liquid CD, which includes a decent interest rate for an account with such flexible terms.

For all this diversity, though, the bank institutes some unusually high opening deposit requirements and fee schedules. But if you can manage to meet these stipulations, there are plenty of interest- and feature-based benefits to take advantage of.

If you need help deciding which type of bank account you want to open for your personal financial situation, a financial advisor may be worth talking to. These fiduciary professionals can ensure that the banking decisions you make fall in line with your long-term retirement goals.

Products Offered

Product Key Details
Savings Accounts
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Online/mobile banking
  • No fees
Checking Accounts
  • Everything from cheap to high-yield accounts available
  • Free debit card
Money Market Accounts (MMAs)
  • Both Checking and Savings variations
  • Decent interest rates
Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
  • 30-day to 6-year terms
  • Great long-term CD rates
  • Liquid CD available
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
  • Accounts for individuals and businesses

First Republic Bank Interest Rate Comparison

First Republic Bank Overview

Founded in just 1985, First Republic Bank is younger than many of the banks of its size. Aside from providing personal banking, it also offers financial services for various businesses.

First Republic Bank Passbook Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $500
Access to Your Account Branches, online, mobile & ATMs
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees None
Current Terms and Rates
  • Rates tiered based on account balance:
    • Less than $25,000: 0.15% APY
    • $25,000 - $499,999.99: 0.50% APY
    • $500,000 - $999,999.99: 0.75% APY
    • $1,000,000 and up: 1.00% APY

The Passbook Savings account is the only savings product offered by First Republic Bank. Although it requires an extremely high balance of $1 million to earn the top interest rate for this account, even its lower tier APYs are decent. The account calls for a minimum deposit of $500 when you’re opening it, but this investment should pay off. This is namely due to the lack of a monthly service fee on this account which is an increasingly rare benefit.

First Republic affords customers access to their online and mobile platforms to monitor their balances, though there are some limitations for this account specifically. For example, though you’re given a debit card, you cannot visit an ATM to retrieve your money. This means you must make all withdrawals in-person at a branch.

You can also visit your local First Republic branch to check out the various senior- and minor-centric savings accounts it offers. To be considered a senior, you need to be 65 or older, while minors are those younger than 18.

Compare First Republic Bank to Other Competitive Offers

First Republic Bank Classic Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $500
Access to Your Account Branches, online, mobile & ATMs
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $25 monthly service fee; waivable by maintaining a $2,500 minimum average balance
Current Terms and Rates Non-interest bearing

First Republic Bank’s Classic Checking account features a $500 minimum opening balance. While this is nothing to be worried about, the $25 monthly service fee associated with it is troubling. This charge unfortunately looks even worse when you pair it with the $2,500 minimum balance necessary to avoid it. In other words, this account is reserved solely for customers with plenty of money to deposit. Otherwise, the account is pretty standard and comes with a debit card and online/mobile banking.

If you’re on the prowl for a simple checking option, the Basic Checking account is probably the way to go. A mere $25 deposit is needed to open the account, and there’s a non-waivable monthly fee of just $3. Many of your transactions will likely be done through the debit card that’s included with the account, but you can also use up to eight fee-free checks every statement period. Once you cross that threshold, each check will warrant a $1 fee.

As the banking industry has transitioned further toward mobile and online platforms, ATMs have become a much more popular way to withdraw money, rather than using a slip at a bank branch. The ATM Rebate Checking account helps to fill this niche, as it fully refunds all domestic and international ATM fees and unlimited withdrawals. You can earn a 0.005% APY with this account, though you’ll need at least $3,500 in the account to maintain interest-earning eligibility.

Similar to savings accounts, First Republic offers specific checking accounts for seniors over 65 and minors under 18.

First Republic Bank Money Market Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $5,000
Access to Your Account Branches, online, mobile & ATMs
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $25 monthly service fee; waivable by maintaining a $5,000 minimum average balance
Current Terms and Rates
  • Rates tiered based on account balance:
    • Less than $25,000: 0.10% APY
    • $25,000 - $499,999.99: 0.50% APY
    • $500,000 - $1,999,999.99: 0.50% APY
    • $2,000,000 - $4,999,999.99: 0.50% APY
    • $5,000,000 and up: 1.00% APY

First Republic offers two styles of money market accounts (MMAs): a Money Market Savings account and a Money Market Checking account. Although these are alike in certain ways, there are fundamentally different at heart.

For every interest rate tier that’s available with the checking MMA, the savings MMA, has a 0.05% higher APY. This signature savings characteristic will allow you to save more money with the savings MMA, but the checking MMA gives you much more access to its funds. You can only spend or withdraw money from the savings MMA six times a statement cycle, whereas the checking counterpart allows you to do so on an unlimited basis.

Each account comes with a $5,000 minimum opening balance and $25 monthly service fee. You can eliminate that fee, though, as long as your maintain a $5,000 average monthly balance. An ATM/debit card is given to all MMA account holders.

First Republic Bank CDs

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $10,000; $25,000 minimum for 30-day CD
Access to Your Account Branches, online & mobile
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees None
Current Terms and Rates
  • Rates tiered based on term length:
    • Traditional CD:
      • 30-day: 0.15% APY
      • 3-month: 0.75% APY
      • 5-month Special: 2.40% APY
      • 6-month: 1.00% APY
      • 12-month: 1.50% APY
      • 18-month: 2.45% APY
      • 2-year: 2.50% APY
      • 3-year: 2.55% APY
      • 4-year: 2.60% APY
      • 5-year: 2.85% APY
      • 6-year: 2.95% APY
    • Liquid CD:
      • 8-month: 1.25% APY

Certificates of deposit (CDs) are overall one of the best banking products First Republic Bank has to offer. Prospective customers can even download special CD “coupons” from the bank’s website: one is good for an 8-month, 2.10% APY CD, the other for a 14-month, 2.50% APY CD. Being that most of the bank’s best interest rates come only with long-term accounts, these could be an invaluable benefit for those interested in shorter-term options.

First Republic’s normal CDs range in term length from 30 days all the way up to six years. As you move up the ladder, the better the APYs get. Rates open at 0.15% and top out at 3.00%. The 30-day CD requires a $25,000 minimum balance, whereas all other terms need just $10,000.

One of the major issues customers have with CDs is that they lock in your money for the entire term length. While you can technically withdraw assets early, huge penalties will likely follow. In response to this, First Republic created the 15-month Liquid CD. A $10,000 is necessary to open one, and you can withdraw money, fee-free, as often as every seven days.

First Republic 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 Americans’ principal form of retirement savings comes in the form of 401(k)s and other employer-based accounts. The individual retirement accounts (IRAs) available through First Republic Bank offer you the chance to supplement those savings on your own terms.

First and foremost, you’ll need to decide when you want to pay federal income taxes on the money that you invest in your IRA. If you’d prefer to get it out of the way at the time you deposit, a Roth IRA is your best bet. Traditional IRAs provide the chance to hold off the income tax, though the IRS will take their share once you begin taking payments from the account.

An simplified employee pension plan, or SEP IRA, can also be created through First Republic. This is meant specifically for employers rather than employees, as you can choose to set a certain deposit percentage for all of your workers. You can choose to manifest this in the form of a CD, Passbook Savings account or Money Market Savings account.

Where Can I Find First Republic Bank?

First Republic Bank boasts branches on both the East and West Coast of the U.S. Out west, you’ll find branch locations throughout California (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco), Wyoming and Oregon. On the East Coast, New York City is home to a few locations, along with Massachusetts (Boston, Wellesley), Florida and Connecticut.

What Can You Do Online With First Republic Bank?

Unlike many banks of its size, First Republic’s Apple- and Android-based mobile app has received positive reviews from bank customers. In fact, it has been rated nearly five stars by Apple users, while Android users mark it about three stars. Mobile check deposit, an ATM/branch locator tool and StealthViewTM, which will dim your account numbers and balances on your phone screen to protect them in public places.

The online banking website First Republic offers is just as robust as the mobile app. In an unprecedented fashion, the bank allows customers to add accounts from other financial institutions, giving you an easy way to follow all of your balances at once. Users can also set up automatic bill pay to draw directly from the account’s funds.

How Do I Access My Money?

Most accounts at First Republic Bank are paired with a Visa® debit card that you can use for purchases or to get cash from your account at an ATM. If you’re having trouble finding a fee-free ATM machine, The bank’s mobile app includes a locator, so hop on their to find a location. While there are usually fees that accompany using an out-of-network ATM, the ATM Rebate Checking account forgives all such charges.

The mobile app and online banking site at First Republic are great for managing your money, making it a viable alternative to stopping by a branch location. Through these platforms, you can view your current account balances, images of past processed checks and all of your withdrawal, deposit and debit transaction histories.

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

The best way to take advantage of First Republic Bank’s offers is to maintain high account balances in a savings account, money market account or CD. This bank is notorious for rewarding those who invest in its services, so be sure to oblige, if possible.

The Money Market Checking account and Liquid CDs at First Republic are very interesting, and potentially beneficial hybrid accounts. What they attempt to do is pull the best parts of different styles of accounts and mesh them together, which the bank has accomplished fairly well. The rewards of opening one of these accounts could be financial, but also could be in terms of the features you’ll receive.

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

First Republic Bank does not offer an online application program for new, or even existing, customers. You can either call the bank at (888) 408-0288, set up a scheduled callback from a bank professional or simply walk into one of your local branches. Regardless of the manner in which you choose, the bank will require that you have on-hand your Social Security number, a government-issued form of ID and the funds to fulfill the minimum opening deposit of your new account.

What’s the Catch?

One of the first things that jump out about First Republic Bank and the banking products that it offers is that they are joined by very high minimum opening deposits as well as monthly service fees. In fact, just a standard savings and checking call for investments of no less than $500, which at least five times higher than most similar banks.

Bottom Line

If you can afford to meet the exorbitant opening deposit and monthly service waiver stipulations of First Republic Bank, you’ll likely find that it’s a very solid financial institution. It has varied styles of accounts that make it simple to personalize your relationship with the bank, and some of the top-rated and developed mobile apps and online banking websites of its market. But if you find yourself struggling to match up with the vigorous account requirements of this bank, it’s probably not the right choice for you.

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