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Westamerica 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
Westamerica Bank Savings
0.02% APY

First chartered in 1884, Westamerica Bank is now the seventh largest California-based community bank with 80 locations throughout Northern and Central California. The bank is headquartered in San Rafael, California, a suburb of San Francisco.

The bank offers a number of savings account and checking account options, as well as a money market account (MMA) and several certificates of deposit (CDs).

Online banking is available for some accounts once the accounts have been opened, but you'll have to visit a branch in order to open an account. For this reason, you're going to want to live in Northern or Central California in order to become a Westamerica Bank customer.

If you are a California resident, you may be interested in opening an account at WestAmerica Bank. Read on to go through the ins and outs of each account option and see if one may be suited to your financial needs.

Products Offered

Products Key Details
Savings Accounts
  • $100 minimum balance
  • $500 balance required to waive monthly fee
Money Market Accounts
  • Tiered interest rate depending on balance
  • $10 monthly service fee
Certificates of Deposit
  • Terms ranging from seven days to five years
  • Rates dependent on term length and investment amount
Checking Accounts
  • Activity fees for several options
  • Interest-bearing and non-interest-bearing options

Westamerica Bank Interest Rate Comparison

Regular Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Savings Account Online, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $5 monthly service fee, which can be waived by $500 average monthly balance
Current Terms and Rates 0.15% APY

The Regular Savings Account at Westamerica Bank is aptly named, as it’s quite conventional. The 0.02% APY is awfully low, especially compared to the best savings accounts available to consumers today. However, the $100 minimum opening balance makes this account accessible to just about anyone, and the $5 monthly service fee can be waived with a balance of $500. If you opt for paper statements every quarter over eStatements, then you’ll have to pay a quarterly fee of $4.

Money Market Savings Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Money Market Account Online, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $10 monthly service fee, which can be waived by a $2,500 minimum daily balance
Current Terms and Rates
  • 10K tier: 0.06% APY

The Money Market Savings Account comes with a few extra features than the Regular Savings account, and you’ll pay a little extra for them in the form of a $10 monthly service fee. If you keep your minimum daily balance above $2,500, however, that fee will be waived. You’ll also have access to limited check writing with this account, and, as usual, you’re limited to six pre-authorized transfers per statement cycle.

This account rewards you for higher balances with incrementally higher interest rates. That said, the upper echelon is still not on par with that of a CD, so if you don’t need immediate access to that kind of money and you’re looking for a good rate, you might be less interested in the Money Market Savings account.

Compare Westamerica Bank to Other Competitive Offers

Certificates of Deposit

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • Terms of 7 - 364 Days: $2,000
  • Terms of 1 - 5 Years: $500
Access to Your CD Account Online and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees No monthly fee, but early withdrawal penalties may apply
Current Terms and Rates
  • 12 Month: 1.26% APY
  • 24 Month: 1.36% APY
  • 36 Month: 1.41% APY
  • 48 Month: 0.70% APY
  • 60 Month: 0.77% APY

WestAmerica Bank has several different certificate of deposit (CD) accounts available for purchase, with terms starting at seven days and stretching up to five years. The minimum deposit is dependent on the term length you choose, with shorter term lengths requiring a higher deposit than the longer ones.

The rates offered can vary depending on both the term length you choose and how much you invest in the account, so be sure to call or stop by your preferred branch for the most accurate rate information.

Value Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $4 activity fee, which can be waived with five transactions per statement cycle and direct deposit attached

If you’re looking for a basic checking account without a balance requirement, then the Value Checking Account is likely the option you’ll be most interested in. That isn’t to say there are no fees to worry about, though. You’ll need to attach a direct deposit to the account and make at least five ATM or debit card transactions during each statement cycle or you’ll pay a $4 activity fee. If you want to be able to access online banking with this account, it will cost you another $1.50 per month.

Express Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees
  • $6 monthly service fee
  • $0.75 fee for every check you write after the limit

The Express Checking account comes with free access to online banking and five free bill payments each months (they’re a dollar each after that). You’re not required to have a direct deposit attached like with the Value Checking account, but you will still have to have at least five transactions per statement cycle to avoid the $4 activity fee.

The $6 monthly service fee isn’t waivable, so you’ll pay that no matter what. You’re also only allowed six checks per statement cycle, and you’ll face a $0.75 fee for every check you write after that.

Classic Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $12 monthly service charge, which can be waived by either
  • $1,500 minimum daily balance
  • $3,000 average monthly balance

The Classic Checking account comes with free access to online banking as well as unlimited check-writing and ATM withdrawals. The $12 monthly service fee a bit steep, so you’ll need to be extra aware of your balance throughout the month.

You’re allowed five free bill payments per month, with a $1 fee for every bill pay after that. However, if you fail to meet your balance requirements, you’ll have to pay a $7 bill pay fee on top of the monthly service fee. Because of these fees, the Classic Checking account may not be the best spot for your emergency fund.

Interest Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees $13 monthly service fee, which can be waived by either
  • $2,500 minimum daily balance
  • $5,000 average monthly balance
Current Terms and Rates Rates can change on a daily basis. Call the bank at 800-848-1088 for the most accurate rate information.

If you’re looking for an interest-bearing checking account, then you’ll want to consider Westamerica's Interest Checking account. This account earns interest when the daily balance is at least $1,000. You’ll accrue interest at a variable rate which can fluctuate on a daily basis, and you can call or stop by the bank to learn the rate for that day.

The minimum daily balance required to waive the $13 monthly fee is fairly steep at $2,500. You’ll need to pay an extra $1.50 per month in order to gain access to online banking, and if you opt for paper statements, you’ll pay another $4 each month.

Premier Plus Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $100
Access to Your Checking Account Online, ATM and branch access
Security FDIC insured up to the maximum amount allowed by law
Fees No monthly service fee, but you will have to pay $8 membership dues
Current Terms and Rates Rates can change on a daily basis. Call the bank at 800-848-1088 for the most accurate rate information.

The Premier Plus Checking account is only available to those age 50 and above. Once you pay a $8 membership fee, you won’t have to worry about a monthly service fee. Like the Interest Checking account, you’ll earn interest as long as your balance is $1,000 or above.

This account also comes with added benefits like free Westamerica checks, a free year-long safe deposit box rental and $10,000 of accidental death insurance.

Branch Locations

Westamerica Bank operates more than 80 locations throughout California, as far north as Mendocino County and as far south as Kern County.

Financial Statistics and Bank Health Rating

Westamerica Bank has $5.47 billion in assets and $1.26 billion in loans. Its customers currently hold $4.83 billion in deposits.

An important factor when deciding whether you should trust a bank with your deposits is its Texas ratio. The Texas ratio indicates how risky the bank’s current credit situation is. 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. Ratios nearing 100% indicate a precarious credit situation for the bank. Westamerica Bank’s ratio is 1.51%, which is considered excellent.

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