TIAA Bank Review

Is TIAA Bank a good bank?

TIAA Bank review
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Based out of Jacksonville, Florida, TIAA Bank is an online-only bank established in 2017 when TIAA acquired EverBank Financial Corp. It promotes high-yield checking and savings accounts with an uncommon promise: Yields always will be among the top 5% of competitor accounts.

TIAA Bank has $41.9 billion in assets, as of the close of 2019.

What We Like

  • Highly competitive APYs on checking, CD, and money market accounts

  • Live customer support

  • Reimbursements for ATM fees

What We Don't Like

  • No physical banking locations

  • Must have higher balances to get the best rates

  • Best rates on checking and money market accounts last only for your 1-year introductory term

Who Is TIAA Bank Best For?

TIAA Bank is a good fit for people who looking to earn high yields on their accounts and who have the ability to maintain a high enough balance to take advantage of the best possible rates. Customers will find:

  • Guaranteed high returns on checking, savings, money market accounts, and CDs, relative to the market
  • A network of more than 80,000 free ATMs across the U.S.
  • Up to $15 in reimbursements for out-of-network ATM fees per month
  • Mobile check deposits using TIAA Bank’s mobile app

What Does TIAA Bank Offer?

TIAA Bank offers the following types of accounts:

  • Checking Accounts
  • Savings Accounts
  • Money Market Accounts
  • CDs
  • Credit Cards

Yield Pledge Checking

Yield Pledge Checking is guaranteed to produce yields in the top 5% of competitive accounts. TIAA Bank collects data from large banks in large markets at the end of every month to define what constitutes the top 5%. Also included are monthly ATM reimbursements up to $15 on out-of-network ATMs, and if you have a minimum balance of more than $5,000, you'll get unlimited ATM reimbursements. A Yield Pledge Checking account requires a minimum opening balance of $100.

The account also comes with specific purchase protections when using your debit card, including extended warranty protection, price protection, and return protection.

Other features include:

  • No monthly fees
  • Mobile check deposits
  • Free online bill pay

After an initial 1-year introductory APY of 0.50%, as of May 22, 2020, ongoing APYs vary depending on the amount of money you deposit.

Checking Rates
Balance Ongoing APY
$100,000 to $10,000,000 0.35%
$50,000 to $99,999.99 0.30%
$25,000 to $49,999.99 0.25%
$0 to $24,999.99 0.20%

Basic Checking

Basic Checking has nearly all of the same features of Yield Pledge Checking, but it pays no interest and requires only $25 to open an account. There are no monthly fees as long as the average daily balance remains at least $25. This is a good account for anyone who prefers not to keep a lot of money in a checking account but needs the basic functionality.

Basic Savings

TIAA Bank offers a single savings account option good for people who want to start saving and build their funds. Its annual percentage yield of 1.01%, as of May 22, 2020, is still higher than what can be found in basic savings accounts at brick-and-mortar locations. Accounts can be opened with a minimum of $25, and no monthly fees are charged as long as the average daily balance remains at least $25.

Other advantages of the account include:

  • Mobile check deposits
  • IRA eligibility
  • FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor

Yield Pledge Money Market

Savers with at least $500 can take advantage of TIAA Bank's high-yield guarantee with a money market account. It functions in much the same way as savings accounts but with better interest rates for at least the first year.

Account advantages include:

  • IRA eligibility
  • Yields in the top 5% of competitive accounts
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Mobile check deposits

After an initial 1-year introductory APY of 1.40%, as of May 22, 2020, ongoing APYs vary depending on the amount of money you deposit.

Money Market Rates
Balance Ongoing APY
$100,000 to $10,000,000 1.35%
$50,000 to $99,999.99 1.25%
$25,000 to $49,999.99 1.10%
$10,000 to $24,999.99 1.01%
$0 to $9,999.99 0.90%

To get the best rates of return on your money, mark the expiration of any promotional APYs on your calendar. Banks count on you to forget and just leave your money with them at the lower rate.

Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

TIAA Bank offers a wide range of CD terms. Those with a minimum deposit of $5,000 come with the high-yield guarantee, but options without the guarantee are available for as little as $1,000. Rates as of May 22, 2020, were 0.15% higher for Yield Pledge CDs than for Basic CDs.

Yield Pledge CDs
CD Term for Yield Pledge CDs Yield Pledge APY Basic APY
3-month 0.50% 0.35%
6-month 0.90% 0.75%
9-month 1.10% 0.95%
1-year 1.30% 1.15%
1.5-year 1.30% 1.15%
2-year 1.25% 1.10%
2.5-year 1.20% 1.05%
3-year 1.35% 1.20%
4-year 1.55% 1.40%
5-year 1.60% 1.45%

TIAA Bank also offers a Bump Rate CD that allows you to bump your rate once during the term of the CD. It's a 42-month term with a 1.35% APY, as of May 22, 2020, and requires a minimum deposit of $1,500.

Other Financial Products From TIAA Bank

In addition to its standard personal banking options, TIAA Bank also offers the following services:

  • Mortgage lending
  • Precious metal services
  • Foreign currency services

TIAA Bank Customer Service

Customer service representatives are available via phone seven days a week from 8 a.m.–11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time by calling 1-888-882-3837. Customers also can submit inquiries online by clicking the email link.

If you press 0 after calling, you will be connected to a real human.

How to Bank With TIAA Bank

To open an account, visit tiaabank.com or call 1-888-882-3837. As with any financial institution, you need to provide personal information to open a bank account.

You can start the account opening process by clicking the “open an account” button on most account pages of the TIAA bank website.

This will take you to a page where you can select all the accounts you want to open.

At that point, the account opening wizard will walk you through the process. It’s simple and easy, but if you get stuck there is 24/7 customer service available at 1-866-755-9143.

The Bottom Line

BENEFITS

TIAA Bank offers highly competitive rates on checking, money market, and CD accounts through its Yield Pledge accounts. The Yield Pledge means you can rest assured that your money is earning in the top range of returns across other banks for the accounts and terms you select. This can be great for peace of mind and ease of use. TIAA Bank also has real people answering their customer service line, so it’s easy to get the answers you need without having to speak to an answering service.

DRAWBACKS

While TIAA Bank does offer accounts with opening deposits of just $25, these accounts don’t have particularly competitive interest rates. You can get higher interest rates on both checking and savings accounts elsewhere than what TIAA offers for its basic accounts. If you are not opening a Yield Pledge account, you may want to shop around for alternatives.

Article Sources

  1. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. "TIAA Bank." Accessed May 22, 2020.

  2. TIAA Bank. "Yield Pledge Checking." Accessed May 22, 2020.

  3. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. "TIAA Bank Financials." Accessed May 22, 2020.

  4. TIAA Bank. "Basic Accounts." Accessed May 22, 2020.

  5. TIAA Bank. "Yield Pledge CD." Accessed May 22, 2020.

  6. TIAA Bank. "3.5-Year Bump Rate CD." Accessed May 22, 2020.

  7. TIAA Bank. "Contact Us." Accessed May 22, 2020.