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Five Star Bank Review

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by Lauren Perez Updated
Five Star Bank
HSBC Savings 2.01% APY
Our Rating: 4.2/5

Five Star Bank has been around for about 200 years and offers a great range of financial products and services for individuals, small business and municipalities. This includes bank accounts, investments, insurance policies and more. 

When it comes to bank accounts, you can find accounts from a simple savings account to an interest-earning checking account. Each account includes online and mobile banking access once you’ve opened the account. 

You will need to visit your local branch to open a savings, money market or CD account. You can, however, open a Five Star checking account online.

Products Offered

Products Key Details
Savings Accounts
  • Three accounts available, including a Club savings account 
  • Two accounts with waivable monthly fees
Certificates of Deposit
  • Reasonable minimum deposit
  • Premier rates available
  • Terms from three months to 60 months
Money Market Accounts
  • Two account options 
  • Check-writing abilities 
  • High minimum balance requirements to waive monthly fees
Checking Accounts
  • Four account options, with one interest-earning account
  • Waivable monthly fees

Five Star Bank Interest Rate Comparison

Statement 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 $5 monthly fee, waivable with one of the following
  • $300 average daily balance
  • Primary owner is less than 18 years old
Current Terms and Rates 0.04% APY

For a simple and basic savings account, the Statement Savings account should work perfectly for you. There’s a low minimum opening deposit which makes it pretty easy for anyone to open the account. There is a monthly fee, although it’s relatively low and you can waive the fee in a couple different ways. 

Premier 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 $5 monthly fee, waivable with $5,000 average daily balance 
Current Terms and Rates 0.07% APY

Five Star Bank’s Premier Savings account is reserved for Premier Checking account customers. It’s as easy to open as the Statement Savings account, but may be more difficult to maintain. It has a higher monthly fee and requires an even higher average daily balance to waive the fee. If you can maintain the account, you’ll get to earn at a slightly better interest rate. 

Club 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 No monthly fee 
Current Terms and Rates 0.05% APY

Five Star Bank’s Club savings account is designed to help you set aside money for the holidays. You can set up automatic transfers in amounts of your choice. Plus, there’s no monthly fee to worry about so you can actually save toward your holiday expenses. 

Certificates of Deposit

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $500
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 Premier Rates
  • 3 Month
    • Account balances of $500 - $9,999.99: 0.10% APY
    • Account balances of $10,000 - $250,000: 0.15% APY
  • 6 Month
    • Account balances of $500 - $9,999.99: 0.15% APY
    • Account balances of $10,000 - $250,000: 0.25% APY
  • 8 Month: 1.85% APY
  • 9 Month: 0.30% APY
  • 12 Month: 0.30% APY
  • 13 Month: 2.80% APY
  • 15 Month: 0.40% APY
  • 18 Month: 0.40% APY
  • 20 Month: 2.30% APY
  • 24 Month: 0.50% APY
  • 30 Month: 0.50% APY
  • 32 Month: 2.55% APY
  • 36 Month: 0.80% APY
  • 48 Month: 1.20% APY
  • 60 Month: 1.60% APY
Current Terms and Standard Rates
  • 3 Month
    • Account balances of $500 - $9,999.99: 0.05% APY
    • Account balances of $10,000 - $250,000: 0.10% APY
  • 6 Month
    • Account balances of $500 - $9,999.99: 0.10% APY
    • Account balances of $10,000 - $250,000: 0.20% APY
  • 8 Month: 1.80% APY
  • 9 Month: 0.25% APY
  • 12 Month: 0.25% APY
  • 15 Month: 0.35% APY
  • 18 Month: 0.35% APY
  • 20 Month: 2.25% APY
  • 24 Month: 0.45% APY
  • 30 Month: 0.45% APY
  • 32 Month: 2.50% APY
  • 36 Month: 0.75% APY
  • 48 Month: 1.15% APY
  • 60 Month: 1.55% APY

Certificates of deposit, or CDs, offer a more structured way to save. CDs come in various term lengths, allowing you to save towards both short-term and long-term goals. Once you’ve chosen the account(s) you want to open, you can make your deposit(s). After that, you have to wait for the account to reach the end of its term, also known as maturity, to withdraw any part of your deposit or many an additional deposit. 

Five Star Bank offers a great variety of CD terms. If you can responsibly meet the minimum deposit each time, you can even open multiple CD accounts to build a CD ladder. That creates a stream of income throughout the years depending on how you build your ladder. 

You can earn at some decent rates with Five Star Bank CDs, with some CDs offering higher, special rates. You can also earn at more favorable rates when you also have a Premier Checking Account. If you want to deposit more than $250,000 into your Five Star Bank CD, you’ll need to visit a branch and consult with a representative.

You can open Five Star Bank CDs as IRAs.

Money Market Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Money Market Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $10 monthly fee, waivable with $2,500 average daily balance
Current Terms and Premier Rates
  • Account balances below $10,000: 0.05% APY
  • Account balances of $10,000 - $24,999.99: 0.10% APY
  • Account balances $25,000 - $49,999.99: 0.15% APY
  • Account balances of $50,000 and over: 0.20% APY

A money market account works like a mix of a savings account and a checking account. Like a savings account, it earns at decent interest rates, with the opportunity for higher rates with higher balances. However, like a checking account, you’ll also have some check-writing abilities to more easily access your funds. Just be careful of the six outgoing transactions limit that applies to savings accounts.

You’ll also want to note the monthly fee. It’s pretty high for a savings account without any extra perks. You can waive the fee, but with a higher average balance. 

Premier Money Market Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $25
Access to Your Money Market Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $12 monthly fee, waivable with $10,000 average daily balance 
Current Terms and Premier Rates
  • Account balances below $10,000: 
    • 90-Introductory Rate: 0.20% 
    • Standard Rate: 0.20%
  • Account balances of $10,000 - $24,999.99: 
    • 90-Introductory Rate: 1.50% 
    • Standard Rate: 0.22%
  • Account balances of $25,000 - $49,999.99:
    • 90-Introductory Rate: 1.50%
    • Standard Rate: 0.25%
  • Account balances of $50,000 - $99,999.99: 
    • 90-Introductory Rate: 1.50%
    • Standard Rate: 0.75%
  • Account balances of $100,000 - $999,999.99: 
    • 90-Introductory Rate: 1.50%
    • Standard Rate: 0.90%
  • Account balances of $1,000,000 and over: 
    • 90-Introductory Rate: 0.30%
    • Standard Rate: 0.30%

If you already have a Five Star Premier Checking account, you may want to consider also opening a Premier Money Market account. The account earns at some pretty great introductory rates. It might be tricky to earn at these rates though, since you’ll need at least $10,000 when you open the account. If you do qualify, you can earn these introductory rates for the first 90 days of account ownership. If you don’t qualify, your balance will simply earn at the given Standard Rates. 

As a money market account, this account also includes check-writing abilities. Again, just be careful of your transaction limits so you don’t incur any unnecessary fees. 

Premier Checking 

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 $22 fee per statement period, waivable with one of the following
  • $25,000 in combined total consumer deposit accounts and/or loan balances per statement period
  • Direct deposits into the account totaling at least $5,000 per statement period 
Current Terms and Premier Rates
  • Account balances below $25,000: 0.10% APY
  • Account balances of $25,000 - $49,999.99: 0.20% APY
  • Account balances of $50,000 and over: 0.25% APY

To get the most perks out of Five Star Bank, you’ll want to open a Premier Checking account. This account unlocks the ability to open certain savings accounts and earn at higher CD rates. The account itself also earns interest and cash back rewards, albeit limited. You’ll earn $0.05 cash back for every Five Star Bank Debit Card/ATM POS transaction over 15 transactions. 

The Premier Checking account also includes unlimited check writing, one free box of standard checks, an overdraft line of credit (depending on credit), wire discounts, a safety deposit box discount and more. The Five Star Premier Checking account also includes a maximum of $10 in ATM fee credits to help counteract ATM fees you might face if you can’t find a free in-network ATM. 

Plus 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 $10 fee per statement period, waivable with one of the following
  • $2,000 average ledger balance per statement period
  • Direct deposits into the account totaling at least $500 per statement period 

The Plus Checking account is a small step down from the Premier Checking as it doesn’t earn interest. However, it still offers a ton of great account perks. This includes a free first order of standard checks, an available overdraft line of credit, unlimited check writing, wire transfer discounts, safety deposit box discounts and up to $5 in ATM fee credits.

You also have the opportunity to earn $0.05 cash back for every Five Star Bank Debit Card/ATM POS transaction you make after 25 transactions. 

Traditional 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 $3 fee per statement period, waivable for customers 62 years of age and older 

Five Star Bank’s Traditional Checking account lives up to its name with its standard checking account features. It doesn’t earn interest or cash back. It does offer your first order of 20 checks for free and the potential for an overdraft line of credit. 

You’ll be limited to eight checks per statement cycle. Every check over that amount each statement cycle will incur a fee of $0.50 per check.

E-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 fee per statement period, waivable with electronic statements

As its name suggests, you’ll do best with the E-Checking account when you sign up for electronic statements. That will allow you to waive the statement fee. 

This account also includes your first 20 standard checks for free and the available overdraft line of credit.

Branch Locations 

Five Star Bank maintains more than 50 locations in western New York. If you don’t live close enough to a branch though, you can contact bank representatives over the phone, email or through mail. You can also take advantage of 24-hour touchtone banking if your request doesn’t require a representative’s help. 

Financial Statistics & Bank Health Rating

Five Star Bank holds $4.07 billion in assets and $2.70 billion in loans according to the FDIC. Five Star Bank customers currently keep $3.22 billion in deposits with the bank.

To determine whether you should add your deposits to this amount, you can look at the bank’s Texas Ratio. The Texas Ratio indicates how safe your money will be with a given bank. It’s 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. Five Star Bank has a Texas Ratio of 2.29%. This score is considered to be excellent, compared to banks with a score close to 100% which pose a great risk. 

Tips on Banking Responsibly 

  • When banking with Five Star Bank, you’ll want to be careful of each account’s monthly fees. No account charges an exorbitant amount, but paying a fee each month can detract from your earnings. It’s important to try to waive your monthly fees especially if you have multiple accounts. If you can’t meet the requirements, consider opening a free checking account elsewhere so you can focus on boosting your savings instead of paying unnecessary fees. 
  • If you have the funds to do so, you might want to think about getting a financial advisor who can help you manage your money more responsibly. The right financial advisor can take a look at your finances to help you cut spending and save more wherever possible. To find the right financial advisor for you, you can take our SmartAdvisor quiz. That will help us pair you with advisors in your area according to what you want and need from an advisor.
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Best Places to Save

SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places in the country where people have the opportunity to save money. Zoom between states and the national map to see the best places to save.

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Rank County Median Household Income Cost of Living Purchasing Power Estimated Tax Rate

Methodology Where you live can have a big impact on how easy it is to save money based on several regional factors. Our study aims to find the most suitable places for people to save based on median household income, average living expenses and income tax burden.

First, we calculated the average cost of living in each county for a household with two adults (one working). We then created a purchasing power index for each county. This reflects the counties with the highest ratio of household income to cost of living.

To better compare income tax burdens across counties, we applied relevant deductions and exemptions before calculating federal, state and local income taxes for a family making $50,000 annual income in each location. Next, we created an effective tax rate index for each county, which reflects the counties with the lowest ratio of income taxes to the assumed $50,000 annual income.

Finally, we calculated the weighted average of the indices to yield an overall best places to save score. We used a three-fourths weighting for purchasing power and a one-fourth weighting for tax rates. We indexed the final number so higher values reflect places that are better to save.

Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 5-Year American Community Survey, MIT Living Wage Study