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HomeStreet Bank Review

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by Javier Simon Updated
HomeStreet Bank

HomeStreet Bank opened in Seattle in 1921 and now serves customers throughout the West Coast and Hawaii. It operates 111 branches throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Arizona and Hawaii. Residents from these locations have access to a variety of products, including checking, saving and certificate of deposit (CD) accounts as well as mortgages, motor vehicle loans and insurance options. The bank also offers residential construction loans, and it supports commercial real estate financing. In 2017, Fortune magazine named the bank one of the 100 fastest growing companies in the country. 

While you can find compare savings accounts with a higher annual percentage yield (APY) at some online banks, HomeStreet Bank offers options with rates that sometimes outshine those of even the largest banks around. Plus, many of its checking and savings accounts either carry no monthly service charge or allow you to waive the fees by maintaining certain minimum balances. Overall, its products are light on fees and transparent.

The bank’s website is also helpful and easy to navigate. Its mobile banking app offers mobile deposit and bill pay, as well as a feature that lets you withdraw money from HomeStreet Bank ATMs without your debit card. 

Products Offered

Key Features Details
Savings accounts
  • One account with a $1 monthly service fee that’s waived with a $200 minimum daily balance
  • Basic savings account has a 0.05% APY
  • One account specifically designed to save for holiday shopping with 0.25% APY
  • Moderate interest rates depending on where you open your account 
Certificates of Deposit (CD)
  • Several types of CDs with terms ranging from 31 days to five years
  • Offers CDs designed to save for retirement or purchase a home
  • Featured CDs offer APYs from about 1.24% to 2.25%
Money market account 
  • One account with a 0.55% APY
  • $5 monthly service charge is waived with $1,000 minimum daily balance
Checking accounts
  • Two basic checking accounts with no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements
  • One interest-bearing account that reimburses all non-network ATM fees
  • Access to thousands of surcharge-free ATMs in the MoneyPass network
Retirement planning solutions 
  • Traditional and Roth IRA CDs with terms ranging from 31 days to five years
  • Early withdrawal penalty waived for required minimum distributions

HomeStreet Bank Overview 

HomeStreet Bank opened in Seattle in 1921 and now serves customers throughout the West Coast and Hawaii. It has111 branches throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Arizona and Hawaii. Customers in these locations have access to a variety of products, including checking, saving and CD accounts as well as mortgages, motor vehicle loans and insurance options. The bank also offers residential construction loans, and it supports commercial real estate financing. 

Some online banks certainly have savings accounts with higher APYs, but HomeStreet Banks offers options with rates that sometimes exceed those of even the largest banks around. Plus, many of its checking and savings accounts either carry no monthly service charge or allow you to waive the fees by maintaining certain minimum balances. The bank’s website, which is clean and sleek, creates a simple online banking experience. Its mobile banking app offers mobile deposit and bill pay, as well as a feature that lets you withdraw money from HomeStreet Bank ATMs without your debit card. 

HomeStreet Bank Account Features

HomeStreet Bank offers a variety of low-fee checking and savings accounts. Its checking accounts either have no monthly service charge or allow you to waive the cost if you maintain a minimum daily balance. You can also withdraw money from your checking accounts at thousands of ATMs in the MoneyPass network. Its savings accounts and money market account (MMA) options offer moderate interest rates. However, most also allow you to waive monthly service fees. You can also invest in a variety of CDs, including one that is specifically designed to save for buying a home. The bank will waive early withdrawal penalties on these if you use the money for qualified purchases like a down payment on a mortgage. 

Statement Savings

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, over the phone and at physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees $1 monthly fee unless you maintain a daily balance of at least $200.
Current Terms and Rates 0.05% APY

HomeStreet Bank’s Statement Savings account doesn’t pack a strong punch when it comes to interest, but it’s relatively inexpensive to manage. You can waive the monthly service fee by maintaining a daily balance of at least $200. Otherwise, it’s a manageable $1 monthly service charge. The bank also forgoes the fees for account holders who are 18 or younger. There is no additional charge for online statements or paper ones like you’ll find at other banks. The account also offers free online and mobile banking.

With Statement Savings, it’s easy to keep an eye on your finances as the bank will send you important account alerts via email and text message. 

Overall, the HomeStreet Statement Savings account is a simple and inexpensive savings account that should suit someone who wants a straightforward savings account with few or no fees and surprises. However, you should compare savings accounts as you may be able to find ones with higher interest rates at other banks. Still, this account stands out as it’s easy to manage and doesn’t require much monitoring on your end. 

HomeStreet Money Market Account

Key Features Details
Minimum deposit $1,000
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile and at physical branches. 
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum allowed by law. 
Fees $5 monthly service charge unless you maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,000. 
Current Terms and Rates The following applies to accounts opened in California:
  • Standard Rate: 0.55% APY
  • Special Rate
    • Account balances below $10,000: 1.15% APY
    • Account balances of $10,000 - $49,999: 1.25% APY
    • Account balances of $50,000 - $99,999: 1.35% APY
    • Account balances of $100,000 and over: 1.40% APY

The HomeStreet Money Market account has a decent interest rate depending on where you open the account. You can currently earn a higher interest rate if you sign up for a “special” MMA and make your initial deposit with funds not held in any other HomeStreet Bank account and maintain a minimum balance of $9,999. 

For a regular MMA, you'll need an opening deposit of at least $1,000. Keeping that minimum balance will also clear you from a $5 monthly service charge.  Both MMAs compound interest monthly and credit you on the final day of your statement cycle. 

Beyond that, the MMA offers provide the same benefits as the Statement Savings account. This option should work well if you can maintain the minimum daily balance. Otherwise you won’t earn interest. 

Holiday Club Account

Key Features Details
Minimum deposit None
Access to Your Account online, by phone or at a branch 
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly service charge
Current Terms and Rates The following applies to accounts opened in California 
  • 0.25% APY

HomeStreet launched the Holiday Club Account to give customers some peace of mind during the hectic holiday shopping season. It works like a miniature CD of sorts. You deposit money into the account throughout the year and funds get distributed at the end of October, just in time to kick off the holiday shopping. However, you’ll face a small $10 penalty for early withdrawal. 

And while it doesn’t have the strongest APY, it can encourage you to save money specifically for the holiday season. Once you unwrap your savings, your shopping list may not seem like such a challenge. 

And as a bonus, you won’t owe any monthly service fees as you save. HomeStreet bank also waives the minimum opening deposit requirement. Plus, you’ll only need to maintain a minimum daily balance of $10 to keep earning interest, which is compounded monthly and credited at the end of your statement cycle. In addition, you keep the basic perks that come with all HomeStreet bank accounts like free mobile and online banking as well as access to a personal banking representative. 

HomeStreet Bank Certificate of Deposit (CD) Accounts 

Key Features Details
Minimum deposit  
  • $500 for Custom and IRA CDs 
  • $100 for Set Your Own Goal and Home Purchase CDs
Access to Your CD Online, by phone or at a branch
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly service fee, but you’ll face an early withdrawal penalty
Current Terms and Rates Custom and IRA CDs
  • 31 Day: 0.10% APY
  • 3 Month: 0.40% APY
  • 6 Month: 0.45% APY
  • 9 Month: 0.25% APY
  • 1 Year: 0.65% APY
  • 1.5 Year: 0.70% APY
  • 2 Year: 0.75% APY
  • 3 Year: 0.90% APY
  • 5 Year: 1.30% APY
Featured CDs
  • 13 Month: 1.75% APY
  • 15 Month: 2.00% APY
  • 22 Month: 2.25%
  • 3 Year: 2.25% APY
  • 5 Year: 2.25% APY
Jumbo CDs (Minimum opening balance to obtain listed APY: $90,000)
  • 30, 60, 90 & 120 Day: 0.15% APY
  • 180, 270 & 365 Day: 0.30% APY
Set Your Own Goal and Home Purchase CDs
  • 2 years: 0.35% APY

HomeStreet Bank offers a wide variety of CD accounts, including ones specifically designed to save for retirement or purchase a home. CD rates vary across the board, but they’re generally in line with the offerings of HomeStreet’s major-bank counterparts. Featured CDs currently earn the highest interest rates, and APYs tend to increase with longer terms. 

The term lengths for Custom CDs and IRA CDs span from 31 days to 60 months (five years). Both types require a minimum opening balance of $500. The bank guarantees competitive interests for both for the term of the CD. 

The bank credits interest on Custom and IRA CDs monthly for terms longer than 31 days using the daily balance method. This means there will be a daily periodic rate applied to the principal or money you deposited each day. The bank will also automatically renew your CD at the end of its term for the same term length and the current applicable APY. You have 10 calendar days after the term ends to take all your money out of the account without penalty unless specific IRS penalties apply to IRA CDs. 

All CDs also carry an early withdrawal penalty. So if you take your money out of the CD before the term ends, the bank may levy an interest penalty on the amount of principal withdrawn based on the interest rate the account has at the time. 

If your withdrawal pushes your account below the minimum balance, it would be treated as a withdrawal of the entire balance and subject to penalty on the whole amount. If the account has not earned enough interest or if it has already been paid, the bank will take the difference from the principal amount left in the account. 

Early withdrawals from IRA CDs are exempt if you took the money out to satisfy required minimum distribution (RMD) rules the IRS sets. You’re generally required to begin making RMDs from traditional IRAs at age 70.5. 

In addition, early withdrawals from Home Purchase CDs are exempt from the penalty if you use the assets for earnest money, down payments and/or closing costs necessary for the account holder to buy a home.

You’re allowed to make additional deposits of at least $100 into an IRA CD and at least $25 into a Set Your Own Goal CD at any time. However, the maximum you can deposit into a Set Your Own Goal CD is $100,000. 

For larger deposits, you can open a jumbo CD. You’d need a minimum opening deposit of $90,000. Furthermore, these CDs grow on a simple interest basis at maturity or when the term is over. They don’t compound interest. 

When it comes to IRA CDs, you have the option to invest in a traditional IRA or Roth IRA CD. Both are tax-advantaged savings vehicles. Traditional IRAs are tax-deferred, so you’ll pay taxes on the amount coming out but not on the money you’re putting in. On the other hand, Roth IRAs let you make qualified withdrawals tax-free. 

Choice Checking

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, by phone or through physical branch.
Security FDIC insurance up to maximum allowed by law
Fees No monthly service charge

HomeStreet Bank’s Select Checking account requires a higher-than-usual opening balance of $100, but it cuts you some major slack in terms of fees. For starters, you won’t owe any monthly service charges. These can significantly add up at the end of the year with other banks. You also don’t need to maintain a minimum balance to keep the account open, and you won’t owe any additional charges for statements even if they’re printed. 

By opening an account, you get a free Visa® debit card. You can use it to make fee-free withdrawals at any HomeStreet Bank locations as well as at thousands of ATM machines in the MoneyPass network. The bank will also reimburse you for two non-network ATM fees per month. These surcharges are calculated on the last business day of the month before being refunded on the following account statement date. However, you’ll need to maintain a stream of at least $500 per month in direct deposits to keep this perk. 

In addition, all of HomeStreet Bank’s checking accounts offer free online and mobile banking as well as complimentary switch services if you’re moving to another bank. Overall, Select Checking is a simple account that’s easy to manage and won’t hit you with any hidden fees or surprises. It’s right for the person looking for a bare bones, hassle-free checking account.

Select Checking 

Key Features Minimum Deposit
Minimum deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile and through physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum allowed by law.
Fees No monthly service charge

HomeStreet Bank’s Select Checking account offers all the perks that come with the Choice Checking account. However, this one reimburses you for all non-network ATM fees at the end of the statement cycle as long as you make at least $500 in direct deposits per month. The bank also does away with monthly service fees, statement fees and minimum balance requirements. 

Overall, this is a considerable step-up from the Select Checking account if you’re prone to using out-of-network ATMs. It also requires the same $100 minimum deposit, so you’re essentially getting a free bonus by signing up for the Select Checking account.

Premium Select 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 $10 monthly service charge unless you maintain a minimum daily balance of $2,500.
Current Terms and Rates The following applies to accounts opened in California
  • Account balances of $2,500 - $9,999: 0.30% APY
  • Account balances of $10,000 and over: 0.40% APY

As the name implies, Premium Select Checking is HomeStreet Bank’s leading checking account designed for more affluent customers. It collects interest, but you’ll need to maintain a minimum balance of $2,500 to earn it. Depending on where you open the account, the APY is also relatively low compared to those at some online banks. 

However, keeping this balance will also undo the $10 monthly service charge. The bank will assess the charge if your account falls below $2,500 on any day of the month. 

Furthermore, the bank waives surcharges for all non-network ATMs. Overall, this is one of HomeStreet Bank’s more expensive products, and its benefits don’t significantly outshine those offered by less expensive options the bank offers.

Where Can I Find HomeStreet Bank?

You can find HomeStreet Bank throughout the Western United States and Hawaii. It currently operates 11 branches and lending centers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Arizona and Hawaii.  However, only U.S. citizens and resident aliens living in these states can open accounts with HomeStreet Bank. 

To find the nearest branch, visit HomeStreetBank.com and enter your zip code toward the bottom of the home page. You can also find a nearby location through the HomeStreet mobile banking app. 

What Can You Do Online With HomeStreet Bank? 

HomeStreet bank offers an intuitive website that allows you to do handle virtually all of your banking needs. You can check your balance and statements, pay bills, transfer money to other bank accounts and establish alerts about important account information which can be delivered via email and text. You can also perform these tasks through the mobile banking app, which offers additional features. 

The app lets you deposit checks by snapping photo of them with your mobile device. You can also use the app to withdraw money from your checking account at HomeStreet Bank ATMs without using your debit card. The Cardless Cash feature allows you to confirm transaction details before you even reach the ATM. You can only set up one debit card with Cardless Cash, and you can’t use it to take money out from your savings account. Nonetheless, it’s still a useful perk to have when you need cash in a hurry and don’t have access to your debit card.    

HomeStreet Bank will soon offer access to Zelle, a service that allows you to transfer money to nearly any bank account in the U.S. with only a person’s phone number and email address. Transfering money to other people registered with Zelle can take as little as a few minutes. 

The bank’s website also offers one of the best user experiences we’ve seen. It’s transparent and easy to navigate. You should be able to answer most common questions about your accounts and the bank’s services after just a few minutes navigating its website. 

How Do I Access My Money?

You can access your money at more than 111 HomeStreet Bank branches throughout the Western United States and Hawaii, as well as through thousands of ATMs belonging to the MoneyPass network. Online and through the app, you have 24/7 access to account information. You can also deposit checks through the app and use its cardless feature to withdraw money from checking accounts without the need for your debit card. 

Account holders can also access customer service at 1-800-719-8080 or 206-389-6309 if you’re in the Seattle area Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, or Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. You can call mortgage lending customer service at 1-800-809-1377.

How Can I Save More Money With HomeStreet Bank?

For the most part, HomeStreet Bank offers moderately competitive interest rates on its savings accounts, MMAs and CDs. You may be able to find better rates with some online banks. However, most HomeStreet Bank accounts carry few or no monthly service fees. Some also waive minimum balance requirements. 

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

Accounts are available only for U.S. Citizens and resident aliens living in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Arizona and Hawaii.

The easiest way to open an account with HomeStreet Bank is through its website. You can select the account you want to open, review the disclosure statement and decide how you want to fund your new account. You’d need your government-issued ID and Social Security number. If you’re going to make your initial deposit from a different bank account, you should have that bank’s routing and account number ready. 

You can also open an account by visiting one of the 111 HomeStreet Bank branches. You can easily find a nearby location by visiting the bank’s website and entering your zip code in the specified area toward the bottom of the home page. 

What’s the Catch? 

While you can find savings accounts with better rates at online banks, HomeStreet Bank offers simple accounts that are easy to manage. In addition, some don’t require monthly service charges or minimum balance requirements. You can also waive the service fees for many accounts if you meet certain requirements. 

The bank also offers the convenience of having real people to discuss issues with either in person or over the phone. 

You can also compare MMAs and other products at different banks to build a diverse mix of savings tools if you don't want to do all your banking at HomeStreet bank. 

Bottom Line

If you live in the communities it serves, HomeStreet Bank may be the right place to go to for all your banking needs. Though it’s not as huge as some of its competitors, the bank offers many of the same services from personal bank accounts to mortgages and investment options. You can also take out loans for boats and motorcycles. 

Its savings accounts are not the strongest in terms of interest rates, but they’re generally easy to manage. In addition, several accounts either carry no monthly service charge or allow you to waive the fee you maintain certain minimum balances. 

Overall, this is the right place for customers with basic banking needs who value access to face-to-face customer service.

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