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Great Western Bank Review

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by Lauren Perez Updated
Great Western Bank

Tracing its small-town beginnings back over 80 years ago, Great Western Bank has grown into a regional bank reaching across nine U.S. states with over 170 branches. The bank offers a variety of financial products from personal accounts, agribusiness and business services and wealth management. Still, Great Western maintains its small bank feel with strong customer service and a focus on the customer. 

 

 

 

Products Offered

Product Key Features
Savings Account
  • No monthly fee
  • Rate depends on your balance
Certificates of Deposit
  • Two Specials offered
  • Competitive interest rates
Money Market Account
  • High minimum deposit
  • Better interest rate reserved for higher balances
Checking Account
  • Four account options
  • Two interest-earning accounts

Great Western Bank Interest Rate Comparison

Basic Savings Account

Features Key Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile or at a branch. 
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly fee
Current Terms and Rates 0.01% - 0.10% APY

Great Western’s one savings account is straightforward and easy to use. This is due to its lack of a monthly fee and minimum balance requirement. You’ll need at least $50 to open the account, but once you’ve made that initial deposit, you won’t have to maintain a certain balance. Plus, the bank has made it easy to transfer funds between your savings and checking accounts. 

The rate your account earns at will depend on your balance. You’ll want to call or visit your local branch for the most accurate rates and balance tiers for your area. 

Certificate of Deposit Specials

Features Key Details
Minimum Deposit $500
Access to Your CD Account Online, mobile or at a branch. 
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly fee, but an early withdrawal penalty may apply. 
Current Terms and Rates
  • 11 Month: 2.10% 
  • 17 Month: 2.40% 

Great Western Bank offers two Certificate of Deposit Specials, each with a great rate. You’ll need at least $500 to open a CD account. While this is relatively high, it will boost your savings better than a smaller deposit would. 

When your CD reaches maturity, you can leave it alone to renew automatically for the same term and advertised rate at the time of renewal. You could also choose to add funds or make a withdrawal. As is the case with almost all CDs, you cannot make a withdrawal from your CD before it matures. Doing so will incur a penalty. 

Money Market Account

Features Key Details
Minimum Deposit $1,000
Access to Your Money Market Account Online, mobile or at a branch. 
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $10 monthly fee, waivable with a minimum balance of $1,000
Current Terms and Rates
  • Account balances below $10,000: 0.05% APY
  • Account balances of $10,000 and over: 1.80%

A money market account provides a great way to grow your money with savings account-like interest rates with the added flexibility like a checking account. You can make unlimited withdrawals in person at a Great Western branch. Outside of that, you’re limited to six outgoing transactions per month. Any extra withdrawals or transfers will cost $5 each. 

Great Western Bank’s money market account is designed to work best for individuals with higher balances. For starters, you’ll need to open the account with at least $1,000, which is pretty high for a money market account. Then to secure the high advertised rate, you’ll need at least $10,000. Otherwise, you’ll earn at the lower interest rate. 

Digital Checking Account

Features Key Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile or at a branch. 
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $6 monthly fee, waivable with at least 25 debit card transactions and direct deposit

Great Western bills this account as the one “that has it all.” Indeed, the Digital Checking account includes unlimited check writing, free online statements, free External Transfers and three ATM fee refunds. The account isn’t free, but it can be if you make at least 25 debit card transactions and a direct deposit each statement cycle. Otherwise, you’ll pay $6 per month.

Free Checking Account

Features Key Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile or at a branch. 
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly fee

The best part about the Free Checking Account is that it lives up to its name. There’s no monthly fee or statement fee to worry about, nor any direct deposit or balance requirements. Just be mindful about sticking to the bank’s network of 25,000 free ATMs. Using an out-of-network ATM will result in a $2.50 fee for each transaction. 

VIP Free Interest Checking Account

Features Key Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile or at a branch. 
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly fee
Current Terms and Rates 0.05% - 0.25% APY

The VIP Free Interest Checking Account is a great option all around. Not only is it an interest-earning checking account, but it’s also free. There is no monthly or statement fee you need to worry about, nor balance minimums. You just get to use the account as your checking account while your balance grows. 

For a checking account, the VIP Free Interest Checking account earns at solid interest rates. Your exact rate will depend on your balance, but you can check what your rates could be by calling or visiting a branch.

Performance+ Checking Account

Features Key Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile or at a branch. 
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $8 monthly fee, waivable with balances $1,000 and over
Current Terms and Rates 0.05% - 0.25% APY

If you have a higher balance you’re able to deposit into a Great Western Bank account, check out the Performance+ Checking account. It earns at higher rates for higher balances. Plus, balances over $1,000 waive the monthly fee. 

 

Branch Locations

For a small bank, Great Western Bank has locations in a decent number of states across the Midwest and the Southwest. You can find branches in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. 

Great Western Bank also provides access to over 25,000 free ATMs throughout all 50 states. You can find the nearest free ATM to you through MoneyPass or Shazam Privileged Status. 

Financial Statistics & Bank Health Rating

Great Western bank currently has $11.80 billion in assets and $9.10 billion in loans according to the FDIC. It also currently holds $9.08 billion in customer deposits. 

Great Western’s Texas Ratio is 8.20%. The Texas Ratio indicates how risky it is to place your deposits with a certain bank. This 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. Great Western’s ratio is considered a very good score, indicating a low risk. 

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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