Is FitnessBank a good bank?
FitnessBank is an online bank that offers competitive savings interest rates tied to personal fitness goals. It is solely focused on offering Fitness Savings Accounts with interest rates based on customers meeting their daily step goals. As a division of Georgia’s Newton Federal Bank, FitnessBank is treated as the same entity as Newton Federal for purposes of calculating FDIC insurance limits and deposits.
High interest-rate potential for the most active customers
Step challenges can be a motivator for fitness fanatics also aiming for top rates
A fun, unique, and healthy way to save money
At least some tech skills are required to link the FitnessBank Step Tracker app with your step counter
Rates are lower if you don’t meet step goals
Minimum average daily balance requirement
No ATM/debit card
Who Is FitnessBank Best For?
FitnessBank is definitely geared toward a specific niche—active individuals who enjoy challenging themselves with daily step goals. A FitnessBank savings account may be a good fit for:
- Avid walkers or runners who want to get rewarded for their daily activity
- Those looking for an online savings account with high interest potential
- Customers who plan to maintain at least $100 in their accounts at all times
What Does FitnessBank Offer?
Unlike other online banks that offer a full suite of financial accounts and services, FitnessBank only has savings accounts.
- Fitness Savings Account
- Senior Savings Account
- Online banking
- Customer service
When you open the account, you’ll start out at the highest annual percentage yield (APY) available. The rate will adjust after the first full month, based on your average daily steps.
To avoid technical glitches, use the same email address for your FitnessBank Step Tracker app and Fitness Savings Account, and allow notifications on your device.
If you average more than 12,500 steps each day, you will earn the highest APY, which was 1.05% as of July 8, 2020.
The rates decrease incrementally as your average daily step count declines:
- 0.95%: 10,000 to 12,499 steps
- 0.85%: 7,500 to 9,999 steps
- 0.75%: 5,000 to 7,499 steps
- 0.50%: 0 to 4,999 steps
You can, however, earn bonus steps that will accumulate in your “StepBank” by completing various challenges and promotional activities in your Step Tracker app. You can then choose to apply them when your step counts need a boost because you fell behind on your daily goals.
Make sure you open the FitnessBank Step Tracker between the 1st and 3rd day of each month to sync your step activity with your Fitness Savings Account.
Only six withdrawals are allowed per month. If you go over, a $10 excessive-withdrawal charge will be assessed for each transaction. FitnessBank savings accounts also charge a monthly fee of $10 if your balance drops below $100. Balances are capped at $250,000.
FitnessBank Senior Savings Account
FitnessBank offers special interest rates for account holders age 65 and older. All account features. required balances, and fees are the same as the regular Fitness Savings Account, but the step-count requirements are slightly lower for each interest-rate tier:
- 1.05%: 10,000+ steps
- 0.95%: 7,500 - 9,999 steps
- 0.85%: 5,000 - 7,499 steps
- 0.75%: 0 - 4,999 steps
Tiers and rates are current as of June 1, 2020. Account balances are also capped at $250,000.
FitnessBank Online Banking
FitnessBank only offers online banking—there are no physical locations. To set up an account, click enroll and create an access ID and password. After you receive an email confirmation you can link accounts to your savings account, view account activity, transfer funds, pay bills, and download account information into Quicken and Microsoft Money.
The FitnessBank Mobile Banking app is separate from the StepTracker app, which means you have to run two apps on your phone if you want to do online banking from your device while also tracking your physical activity.
FitnessBank Customer Service
FitnessBank customer service is available by phone Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. You can also email or submit customer service questions via an online form.
In this 24/7 world, especially for an online and app-based bank, FitnessBank isn’t as accessible as other banks that offer around-the-clock chat- and phone-based help.
How to Bank With FitnessBank
Opening a bank account with FitnessBank is pretty standard as far as what you’ll need to provide and do. The key difference is that you’ll also need to download the FitnessBank Step Tracker app and link it to your Fitbit, Garmin device, or your phone’s health application. Then, you can apply for the savings account. The funds used to open the account will post to your new FitnessBank savings account within three to five business days.
The Bottom Line
For those looking for a fun way to get rewarded for their active lifestyle, FitnessBank’s online savings accounts provide a unique solution. If you are an avid walker or runner and can manage to reach the highest step-count tier, you’ll enjoy a competitive interest rate. It could be good for anyone who already enjoys using fitness apps and devices regularly. While FitnessBank certainly won’t fulfill all of your banking needs, it can be an advantageous and fun motivator to squeeze out some extra earnings on your savings.
For people who are not consistent and dedicated about counting their steps (for instance, you forget to wear your fitness tracker, or you have days where you don’t walk much), you’ll reap less benefit from a FitnessBank savings account. The lower your step count drops, the lower your APY. This also isn’t a good fit for people who want a physical location or want to do all of their online banking with one institution—there is no checking option or ATM access.