Commerce Bank Review

Is Commerce Bank a good bank for your money?

A woman uses an ATM outside of a Commerce Bank branch.
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Commerce Bank is a community bank that operates primarily in the midwest and neighboring states, and dates back to 1865. It’s the 47th largest bank in the U.S., based on assets, and has 184 branches in a swath of the country ranging from Illinois to Colorado.

What We Like
  • A variety of payment cards for building credit or earning rewards

  • Easy to qualify for free checking

  • Potential for free business checking and additional services for growing enterprises

What We Don't Like
  • Very unimpressive rates on savings accounts and CDs

Who Is Commerce Bank Best For?

Commerce Bank offers online and mobile banking, but it might be most appealing to consumers who want a brick-and-mortar bank. It may be a good fit if you:

  • Live in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, or Colorado.
  • Want a checking account and a debit card that you can pay no fees for.
  • Need to build credit with a secured credit card.
  • Run a business, and need a no-fee checking account (or a broader range of commercial services).

What Does Commerce Bank Offer?

  • Savings account
  • Checking accounts
  • Money market accounts
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Credit cards

myRewards Savings

The myRewards Savings account allows you to save for your future and organize your finances. There’s no minimum initial deposit required, although keeping $300 in your account allows you to dodge the $3 monthly fee. You can also qualify for a fee waiver with a monthly electronic deposit of $25 or more. The interest rate on this account is in line with other brick-and-mortar banks, but you can earn substantially more online.

  • Earn 0.01% APY on your balance.
  • Open up to five sub accounts and give them nicknames for goals like vacations, a down payment, or gifts.
  • Qualify for a free $50 deposit to your account through 11 months of regular savings (additional criteria apply).

This account allows up to three withdrawals per month at no charge. After that, you pay $2 for each withdrawal.

CommerceFree Checking

The CommerceFree Checking account is a classic checking account for everyday needs. This account doesn’t charge a monthly fee and requires just $25 to open.

You can get paperless statements for free, but you pay extra if you want images or hard copy statements. This account also allows you to:

  • Pay bills online.
  • Monitor your account with email and text alerts.

CommerceInterest Checking

A CommerceInterest Checking account has the same features highlighted above for the CommerceBasic account, but you earn interest. The monthly fee is $10 per month, with two ways to qualify for a fee waiver:

  • Set up direct deposit of at least $500 per month.
  • Keep your balance above $1,000 every day of the month.

This account pays 0.01% APY on your balance, so don’t expect to get rich off the interest.

CommerceRelationship Checking

The CommerceRelationship Checking account rewards you for keeping a substantial balance with Commerce Bank. This account has a $20 monthly fee, but you can qualify for a waiver in two ways:

  • Keep at least $5,000 in this account, or
  • Keep at least $15,000 in multiple accounts at Commerce Bank.

At 0.01% APY, the interest earnings are minimal, but you receive other benefits from this account.

  • Open an account with just $100.
  • Pay no fees for statements (paper or electronic).
  • Pay no foreign ATM fees.
  • Receive up to $10 per month of ATM rebates for fees that other banks charge.
  • Gain access to higher rates in a Commerce Bank Premium Money Market Account.

CommerceStudent Checking

Students often don’t have the assets or income to qualify for fee waivers, but the CommerceStudent Checking account may be a solution. This account, designed for students under the age of 26, has no monthly fee as long as the account stays active. If there are no transactions in the account for 60 days, a $3 monthly fee applies.

CommerceStudent Checking has the same features highlighted above for the CommerceBasic Checking account. However, the student account charges $2 if you write a check or withdraw funds with a teller.

myRewards Money Market

The myRewards Money Market is an appealing alternative to the Commerce Bank savings account. There is no minimum deposit required. Plus, the money market pays the same APY, has check writing privileges, and provides a unique bonus that encourages saving.

As of this writing, Commerce Bank pays a yearly bonus of 0.50% on the average “collected” month-end balance, which means how much you add to the account over time. The maximum reward you can earn under this program is $200 per year.

The myRewards Money Market has a $6 monthly fee, but you can avoid that fee in several ways: 

  • Keep your balance above $500 every day.
  • Keep your average daily balance for the month at $1,000 or more.
  • Make electronic deposits into your account of at least $25 each month.

Highlights of this account include:

  • 0.01% 
  • Up to six withdrawals allowed per month, including checks you write from the account and ATM withdrawals
  • Free paperless statements

Premium Money Market Account

The Premium Money Market Account pays the highest rates available from Commerce Bank on a liquid account. The account requires $1,000 to open, and you must keep your average daily balance above $5,000 to avoid a $10 monthly fee.

This account has the same withdrawal features as the myRewards account above, but you can earn slightly higher rates if you deposit more:

  • At $25,000 to $49,999, earn 0.03% APY
  • At $50,000 or more, earn 0.05% APY

Certificates of Deposit

Commerce Bank offers CDs with a minimum initial deposits of $1,000 and $2,500. Terms range from three months to five years, and early-withdrawal penalties may apply if you cash out before maturity.

Commerce Bank CD Rates
Term APY Minimum Deposit
3-Month 0.05% $2,500
6-Month 0.05% $2,500
1-Year 0.10% $1,000
2-Year 0.15% $1,000
3-Year 0.20% $1,000
4-Year 0.25% $1,000
5-Year 0.30% $1,000
Rates as of April 24, 2020

Those rates are better than what you’d get with the Commerce Bank savings account, and they may be similar to what you earn from large brick-and-mortar banks. But you can earn significantly better CD rates with online banks and other institutions that are competing for deposits.

If you cash out a CD before maturity, you may pay an early-withdrawal penalty, which is a common practice for banks that issue CDs. 

At Commerce Bank, early-withdrawal penalties at Commerce Bank are:

  • Terms up to one year: Three months of interest
  • Terms of one to two years: Six months of interest
  • Terms longer than two years: 12 months of interest

Credit Cards

Commerce Bank has a variety of credit cards that provide cash back, travel rewards, and other benefits. Plus, you can use a secured credit card to build credit.

  • Commerce Bank Secured Visa
  • Commerce Bank Special Connections
  • toggle
  • Special Connections Visa Signature
  • Kansas City Royals Mastercard
  • Commerce Bank World Elite Mastercard

In addition to credit cards, Commerce Bank offers a variety of prepaid debit cards. Those cards allow you to “load” funds and spend without taking on debt or dipping into your checking account.

Other Financial Products From Commerce Bank

Commerce Bank has a broad menu of offerings besides deposit accounts and payment cards.

  • Auto loans
  • Personal loans
  • Home purchase loans
  • Home equity loans
  • Self-directed investment accounts
  • Investment management services
  • Life insurance
  • Disability insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Business loans
  • Business bank accounts

Commerce Bank’s Customer Service

Commerce Bank earns relatively high marks for customer service. In the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, the bank placed seventh (out of 18) and ahead of several national banks. 

Customer service is available by phone Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays (all times Central time). That should be sufficient for most people, but there are banks out there with live 24/7 support, if you need it.

How to Bank With Commerce Bank

To open accounts with Commerce Bank, visit CommerceBank.com or call 855-659-1656. As with any financial institution in the U.S., you’ll need to provide personal information to open an account.

The Bottom Line

Advantages

Commerce Bank does what community banks should do: It has a strong presence in a few locations, and it makes it easy for individuals and businesses to bank for free (with fee waivers). You can open an account at a local branch, work with a teller, and get everything you need in your hometown. If you run a business, you can start small and grow with a robust lineup of bank services. Plus, Commerce Bank helps consumers build credit and start using payment cards, which is a valuable offering.

Disadvantages

Interest rates at Commerce Bank are similar to what you can earn at other large brick-and-mortar banks. In a world of online banks paying substantially more, that puts Commerce Bank at a disadvantage. Also, the bank’s regional focus may cause challenges if you’re planning to move out of the service area anytime soon. If that’s the case, online banks or credit unions that participate in shared branching might be a better option.

Article Sources

  1. Commerce Bank. "Building Commerce for 150 Years," Page 67. Accessed April 24, 2020.

  2. J.D. Power. "2019 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study." Accessed April 24, 2020.