November 1, 2018

Associated Bank Review: Account Good for You?

Read more about Associated Bank
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If you live in the Midwest, you've likely heard of Associated Bank. You probably even wonder if they are a good fit for you.

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Associated Bank is a regional bank, but it's on the larger end of regional banks throughout the country. Associated Bank is big on relationship banking, offering premium rates to consumers who open an Associated Bank checking account alongside their savings or investment account.

Is Associated Bank the bank that will provide what you need? Keep reading to find out.

Services Offered

Checking

Associated Bank keeps it simple with just two checking accounts. Both accounts come standard with online banking, online bill pay, and mobile banking. You also get preferred rates on CDs and money markets, and a free Associated Bank Debit Mastercard.

  • Associated Checking : Associated Checking is for the consumer who wants a lot of benefits, but won't keep a large balance in their checking account. In order to waive the monthly fee on this account, you need at least a $500 monthly direct deposit, $1,000 minimum daily balance, or a combined deposit balance of $2,500 in all deposit accounts at Associated Bank. You'll have access to more than 25,000 ATMs in the MoneyPass network and the ability to enroll in overdraft protection. This account doesn't earn interest.

  • Elite Checking : If you want to earn interest on your checking account balance, you can do so with the Elite Checking account. You'll also be able to get your overdraft transfer fees waived, have up to 4 linked savings accounts (free of charge), and have access to free personal checks/money orders/and travelers checks. You can also use any non-Associated Bank ATM without a surcharge fee. In order to waive the monthly fee, you'll need a minimum $10,000 balance across all Associated Bank deposit accounts.

Savings

Associated Bank makes it possible for everyone to start saving money. Whether you want a basic savings account or you want high-yield interest rates, Associated Bank offers a variety of choices.

  • Associated Savings : Associated makes it easy to start saving. You need just $25 to open this savings account. If you also have an Associated Checking account, you'll get preferred interest rates. You will have to keep a daily balance of $300 or have an automated deposit of at least $25 each month to waive the monthly service fee. You can access your money online, over the phone, or at an Associated Bank or MoneyPass ATM.

  • Associated Advantage Money Market: With $1,000, you can open a money market account that pays slightly higher interest rates. You'll need to maintain that balance to waive the monthly service fee. As you save more money, though, your interest rate grows. Associated Bank offers five interest rate tiers for this account. Even though it's a "savings" account, you also get access to checks and preferred rates, as long as you have an Associated Bank checking account. Because it's a savings account, though, you are limited to 6 withdrawals per statement cycle.

  • HSA Plus: Associated Bank offers a Health Savings Plan for consumers with a qualified High Deductible Insurance Plan. The HSA Plus is a tax-advantaged account that helps you grow your funds while they sit in the account. If you seek medical care, the money in your HSA can be used to pay the costs. Qualified withdrawals are tax-free. Associated Bank offers online and mobile access to your funds, an HSA debit card, and access to representatives who can help you.

CDs

  • Regular Term CD: Invest at least $1,000 and you can choose terms between 3 months and 60 months at Associated Bank on this fixed rate CD. You'll earn interest quarterly and you can't make additional deposits until maturity. The CD automatically renews at maturity, but you have a 10-day grace period to withdraw the funds without a penalty.

  • Special Terms CD: If you have $5,000 to invest, you can choose from 7-, 13-, 26-, 42-, or 61-month terms. You'll earn promotional interest rates on your money and have access to your interest quarterly, as long as you invested at least $5,000. Upon maturity, the CD will roll into a standard CD.

  • Add-On CD: If you don't have a large sum of money to invest now, the Add-On CD may help. You start with $100 and then deposit more money throughout the 12-month term. You earn interest quarterly and the CD automatically renews at maturity unless you withdraw the funds during the 10-day grace period.

  • Mini Jumbo CD: If you have a large sum of money you want to invest for a short time and make a guaranteed return, the Mini Jumbo CD may be the answer. You'll need $40,000 to invest. It's only term is for 30 days. It renews upon maturity, but you have a 10-day grace period to withdraw the funds without penalty.

Retirement Accounts

  • Starter IRA: You can start saving for retirement with $100. This account pays variable interest rates and allows additional deposits at any time. You can also set up automatic deposits from your Associated Bank checking account to make saving easier.

  • Fixed Rate IRA: Earn a fixed rate of return on your deposit by investing at least $1,000 in an IRA with a 3-month to 60-month CD. It renews automatically at the end of the term, but you have a 10-day grace period to withdraw the funds to invest in another IRA.

  • Fixed Rate Add-On Rate: Invest $1,000 for 12 months and receive a fixed rate of return. You can also add to your deposit at any time, increasing your retirement funds. You can set up automatic deposits from your Associated Bank checking account. You'll earn interest quarterly and the account will automatically renew upon maturity unless you withdraw the funds during the 10-day grace period.

Associated Bank Customer Service: Call 1-800-236-8866 for customer service 24/7.

Reasons We Like Associated Bank

  • You can earn cash back for everyday purchases. In your online banking portal, you can activate offers for stores and restaurants you frequent. Once activated, all you have to do is use your Associated Bank Debit Mastercard at the designated retailers or restaurants, and you'll earn cash back.

  • You can reach customer service 24/7. Associated Bank's customer service representatives are available 365 days a year. This means no matter when you choose to do your banking or when a question pops up, you will be able to get your answer quickly.

  • You get 2 free non-Associated Bank ATM transactions free of charge per month with the Associated Savings account. Even though MoneyPass has a large network, it's possible that you'll have situations where you aren't near a network ATM. Receiving 2 free non-network ATM transactions per month can help you save on unnecessary fees.

  • You can use SnapPayments to pay your bills from your mobile phone. You snap a picture of your bill and the app stores it. You can then set up automatic payments or make manual payments via the mobile app or online banking portal. You can opt out of paper bills because Associated Bank will store the bill for your records.

  • You can check your balances without logging into the app. If you set up Instant Balance on your mobile app, you tap your finger on the app and it shows your balance. This could be helpful before you make a large purchase.

  • Their ATM network is nationwide. Even though Associated Bank is primarily a Midwest bank, you can find network ATMs throughout the country. This can save you money on fees charged to access your own money.

  • You can pay friends and family right from your mobile phone. In the Associated Bank mobile app, you can access PopMoney, which is a service that sends money to anyone in the country. All you need is the email address or cell phone number of your recipient.

  • You can set up alerts. If you want to know when your balance is low, when a large transaction posted to your account, or when someone accesses your account, you can set up email and text alerts. This way you have a heads-up when something is going on and you may possibly prevent something fraudulent from happening in your account.

  • You can set up expedited bill payments. Even though there is a fee to send same day or overnight payments, it can save you on late fees and hurting your credit. If you forget about a bill, you can have the peace of mind that you can send the payment fast and avoid negative consequences.

  • You can track your expenses and manage your budget with Trends. This online financial management tool helps you categorize expenses, monitor income, and set budgets. This can help you get a bird's-eye view of your spending and help you get things under control.

Associated Bank Routing Number: The Associated Bank routing number is 075900575.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • You must live in Wisconsin, Illinois, or Minnesota to take advantage of Associated Bank's benefits. If you don't live in one of these three states, you won't realize the benefits that Associated Bank has to offer.

  • You can only earn interest on one checking account. Only the Elite checking account offers interest and you need $10,000 to open it, so it's not the easiest account for many consumers.

  • You need to keep a close eye on your account balances or you risk paying a monthly service fee. The monthly service fee waiver is on a month-by-month basis. If your balance dips too low one month, you pay the fee. You continue to pay the fee each month that your balance is below the required threshold.

How It Compares

  • Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo spans the country from the East Coast to the West Coast. They offer a variety of checking, savings, and investment accounts. They cater to those who may not have a lot of experience in banking, including teens and those needing a second opportunity with a checking account.

  • Bank of America: Bank of America is your convenience bank. They are located in 36 states and have a variety of checking and savings products.

Bottom Line

Associated Bank is a good Midwest bank. Its reach isn't very far, but its ATM network is large enough that Midwesterners can avoid ATM fees. Their account offerings are somewhat on the small side, but if you are looking for a basic checking or savings account in which to put a large amount of money for a while, Associated Bank has a spot for it.

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author's alone. Please support CreditDonkey on our mission to help you make savvy decisions. Our free online service is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content.

Disclaimer: This content was first published on November 1, 2018. Information including rates, fees, terms and benefits may vary, be out of date, or not applicable to you. Information is provided without warranty. Please check the bank's website for updated information.

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