November 5, 2018

Flagstar Bank Review: Account Good for You?

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You might know Flagstar Bank as a mortgage lender, but they pack quite a punch when it comes to the banking side of things. If you live in Michigan, you may want to check out what Flagstar Bank has to offer.

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Flagstar Bank has a large variety of bank accounts, many of which have simple requirements to meet. They make it easy for consumers to manage their checking accounts as well as save money, whether in a savings account or a high-yield CD.

Keep reading to see if Flagstar Bank is right for you.

Services Offered

Checking

Each Flagstar Bank checking account includes online banking and bill pay, mobile banking, and overdraft protection. You can choose the checking account that suits your needs by focusing on the balance requirements and features you may need.

Each Flagstar Bank checking account requires just $50 to open it. Each account offers a lower rate on personal and equity loans. They also offer preferred CD rates.

  • SimplyChecking: If you are in the market for just a plain old checking account, this account may do the trick. You don't need a minimum balance, but you also don't earn interest. In exchange, though, there is no monthly service fee. You'll also receive a rate reduction on personal loans or equity loans, as well as preferred CD rates.

  • SimplyPlus+ Checking: If you'd prefer to earn interest on your checking account, you'll need at least a $1,000 average balance for this account. You may also waive the fee with a $5,000 combined balance in all Flagstar deposit accounts. If you are over the age of 50, though, you automatically get the fee waived. You'll also receive up to two "free" non-Flagstar Bank ATM transactions and free paper statements.

  • SimplyMax Checking: If you keep an average balance of $5,000 in your checking account, the SimplyMax Checking will pay you even higher interest rates than the other checking accounts. As long as you maintain the $5,000 or higher balance, you won't pay a monthly service fee. Along with all of the benefits of the SimplyPlus+ Checking, you'll receive unlimited non-Flagstar Bank ATM transactions, a free box of custom checks, and up to $20 in "other bank ATM" charges refunded per month.

Savings

Flagstar Bank offers an impressive number of savings accounts. Each account allows you to enjoy lower rates on personal loans and equity loans and to receive preferred rates on CDs with a combined $5,000 balance. If you have a Flagstar checking account, you can automatically waive the savings account fees.

  • Simply Savings: This is your basic savings account with basic interest rates. With an average balance of $300, you can waive the monthly service fee. You can also waive the fee if you have a Flagstar checking account.

  • SimplyMax Savings: If you want more out of your savings account, you can earn tiered interest rates with the SimplyMax account. The more money you save, the higher the interest rate you earn. You must have a $25,000 average balance to waive the fee if you don't have a Flagstar checking account.

  • High-Yield Savings: If your savings balances are an average of $50,000 per month, take advantage of the highest interest rates available on a savings account at Flagstar Bank. This account also has tiered interest rates, which means the more you save, the more you earn.

  • Health Savings Account: If you have a high-deductible health insurance plan, you can set aside money to pay those medical bills with the Health Savings Account. Your money grows tax-free and you can make contributions for the year up until April 15, up to the IRS maximum for the year. You can withdraw funds for eligible medical expenses at any time and your unused funds roll over into the next year.

  • SimplyKids Savings: Kids (up to age 22) can open this account. They will earn interest on their deposits with the first $500, earning the highest interest rate. Parents can transfer funds from their account to their child's free of charge. Kids ages 13 and older are able to have access to an ATM card tied to the account. There is no monthly balance required and there isn't a monthly service fee.

  • SimplyMoney Market: If you carry higher balances in your savings account but you want access to your funds via check, consider the SimplyMoney Market account. You earn tiered interest rates on your balances, and you can write up to six checks per month without incurring an excessive withdrawal fee. You can get the monthly service fee waived with ownership of a Flagstar checking account or carrying a $5,000 average balance.

  • CDs: If you can tie up your funds for a specified period, you'll earn higher interest rates on your funds. Choose from a 13-month, 19-month, or 25-month CD to earn the highest rates of return. Otherwise, you can choose your own term ranging from 30 days to 120 months. You'll need $500 to open a CD. If you access your funds prior to maturity, you will incur a penalty, though.

Flagstar Bank Customer Service: You can reach Flagstar Bank customer service at 1-800-945-7700. You can also talk to them via online chat when it is available (clicking on "Chat Now" will tell you if they are available).

Reasons We Like Flagstar Bank

  • You can open a savings account online with just $1. Some banks require you to come in to the branch in order to open a savings account. Flagstar makes it easy on you, though, by allowing you to open the account online with as little as $1.

  • You can have a Flagstar savings account for no charge if you have a Flagstar checking account. Several of the Flagstar savings accounts are offered to you at no charge with a checking account, which can save you quite a bit of money over the course of the year.

  • Flagstar Bank doesn't charge overdraft fees on overdrafts less than $5. This can prevent a $4 cup of coffee from turning into a $40 cup of coffee after adding in the overdraft charges.

  • Flagstar Bank doesn't assess overdraft charges until 9 PM ET. This gives you time to bring your account current throughout the day. If you get a notice or you happen to check your account and see that it's overdrawn, you can deposit money by 9 PM and avoid the costly overdraft fees.

  • You can set budgets, monitor expenses, and watch over your spending with the My Wallet feature offered by Flagstar Bank. In their online banking portal, you can set up budgets, look at expense reports, and determine where you need to make changes. This can help you get and stay on track financially by seeing it all in front of you at one time.

  • You can pay your bills online free of charge. The days of mailing a check can be behind you with online bill pay. Just set up the bills and Flagstar Bank does the rest. You can set up alerts to remember to pay the bills or even put them on autopay. If you cut it too close, you can choose to make an expedited payment, but you may incur a fee.

  • The Flagstar Bank mobile app makes it easy to bank on the go. You can view balances, pay bills, and evaluate transactions, just like you can with the online portal. You can also deposit checks with just a picture of the check, and send money to family and friends with PopMoney.

  • You can access up to 55,000 ATMs throughout the world to access your money free of charge. Even though Flagstar Bank is a regional bank, they are a part of the AllPoint network, which has ATMs throughout the country, giving you access to your funds even while you are away from home.

  • If you have "extra" money to invest in a CD, you'll get higher rates just for having a Flagstar bank account. Many banks require you to have a specific balance or have an "elite" account before they will give you preferential rates, but Flagstar gives them to anyone who has a Flagstar bank account.

  • You can open many of the Flagstar bank accounts online. With as little as $1, you can open a checking or savings account. You can even open CDs online, making it convenient and easy to start earn interest on your money.

Flagstar Bank Routing Number: The Flagstar Bank routing number is 272471852.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • Flagstar Bank only has branches in Michigan. If you don't live in Michigan, you won't be able to visit a branch in person. While there are ATMs that you can use free of charge throughout the country, it's nice to have a physical branch to go to, especially if you have questions or a large sum of money to deposit.

  • Flagstar charges a large amount of miscellaneous fees. Even though you can easily waive the service charge, you'll pay for things like money orders, wire transfers, stop payments and overdrafts. If you don't accept the overdraft protection, you could pay an overdraft fee up to 5 times per day and pay an extra consecutive days overdraft fee if your account remains negative for more than one day.

  • You can't make additional deposits to your CDs. Many banks offer a CD option that allows you to add deposits throughout the term of the CD. This enables you to increase your savings even more while earning higher interest rates than you could earn on your savings account, but Flagstar doesn't offer this option. You'll have to wait until you've saved enough to open a CD in order to earn the higher interest rates.

How It Compares

Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo is a nationwide bank with branches on both the East and West Coast. Wells Fargo is a household name bank and with good reason. They offer a selection of checking/savings accounts that other banks don't offer, including the second chance checking account that gives people with a poor credit history a chance to open a checking account.

Bottom Line

If you are lucky enough to live in Michigan and near a Flagstar Bank branch, they have a lot to offer. If not, you may want to find a bank elsewhere, as you won't have access to the physical branches that are often a necessary part of banking.

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.

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