October 10, 2018

TIAA Bank Review: Is It Good?

Read more about TIAA Bank
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If you have a large opening deposit, TIAA Bank provides a variety of options at high introductory rates. But there are downsides. Read on to see if it's right for you.


Overall Score








Money Market


Customer Service


Mobile App

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • High intro APY
  • No monthly service fees
  • Refund ATM fees
  • Large minimum deposit
  • Intro rate only for one year

Bottom Line

Online bank offering high intro rates if you have a large deposit

Services Offered

  • High Yield Accounts. TIAA Bank's most popular products are its High Yield Accounts. The Checking and Money Market both accrue interest at a competitive rate for the first year. After that, your ongoing interest rate falls and will depend on your balance tier. The High Yield CDs, however, can lock in a high rate for the entire term.

  • Basic Accounts. TIAA Bank also offers basic checking, savings, and CDs with lower minimum opening deposit requirements. The checking account doesn't accrue interest. The savings account and CDs do, but at a lower rate than what you'd receive on a high-yield account.

  • Specialty CDs. It also has a variety of unique CD options, including the Bump Rate CD, which offers the option to "bump up" your interest rate one time during the term, if rates allow.

Most of the banking done with TIAA is online. All accounts can be opened online, but you can also call a customer service representative and apply over the phone if you are more comfortable with that.

Keep reading to learn if TIAA Bank may be right for you.

How to Access Your Funds:
Since TIAA Bank transactions take place mostly online, it helps to know how you can access your funds.

The easiest way is via ATM. If you have a TIAA checking account, you'll receive a TIAA ATM card, which you can use at any TIAA, Allpoint, and MoneyPass ATM for no fee.

If you don't have a checking account, you can electronically transfer your funds to an external bank account that does give you ATM access.

TIAA Bank also offers the option to pay your bills online directly from your TIAA bank account and send money to friends and family via electronic transfer, PayPal, or a mailed check.

    Yield Pledge Checking

    • 1-year 1.21% intro APY on balances up to $250,000
    • $5,000 Minimum Opening Deposit
    • No monthly service fee
    • U.S. ATM fees reimbursement (unlimited with minimum average daily balance of $5,000; otherwise up to $15/monthly)
    • Top 5% yields always
    • Daily Compounding Interest
    • FDIC insured

    Yield Pledge Money Market

    • 1-year 2.15% intro APY on balances up to $250,000
    • $5,000 Minimum Opening Deposit
    • No monthly service fee
    • Move money up to 6 times a month
    • U.S. ATM fees reimbursement (unlimited with minimum average daily balance of $5,000; otherwise up to $15/monthly)
    • Top 5% yields always
    • Daily Compounding Interest
    • FDIC Insured

    Yield Pledge CD

    • Up to 3.02% APY
    • Up to 5 years
    • $5,000 Minimum Opening Deposit
    • No monthly service fee
    • Top 5% yields always
    • Daily Compounding Interest
    • FDIC insured

    Bump Rate CD

    • 3.00% APY
    • 3.5-Year Term
    • $1,500 Minimum Opening Deposit ($250,000 max)
    • Opportunity to increase your rate once over the term
    • No monthly maintenance fee
    • Daily Compounding Interest
    • FDIC insured

TIAA Bank Also Offers Lending Solutions
You can apply for a purchase mortgage, refinance, or home equity loan from TIAA Bank. They offer a wide range of loan products, including low down payment loans and jumbo loans. TIAA Bank is a nationwide lender, which opens up the possibility for borrowers throughout the US to compare TIAA's offerings when shopping for a mortgage loan.

Reasons We Like TIAA Bank

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  • You can get the $25 monthly checking or savings fee waived. TIAA's basic checking and/or savings accounts have a $25 monthly fee. If you keep just $25 in the account, though, you can have that fee waived.

  • You can get your ATM fees reimbursed. If you use an ATM that isn't a TIAA, Allpoint, or MoneyPass ATM, the bank providing the funds may charge you a fee. TIAA Bank will reimburse those fees up to $15 per month if you have an average daily balance of less than $5,000 in your account. If you have an average daily balance of more than $5,000, TIAA Bank doesn't limit the number of reimbursed ATM fees.

  • TIAA Bank offers 10 different CD lengths. TIAA Bank has 10 different CDs available with differing maturity dates. While you need $5,000 to open a High Yield CD, you have several options. You can make the CD a part of your IRA. You can also choose to automatically roll the CD over upon maturity.

  • You can use mobile deposit to deposit your checks. Since TIAA Bank is mostly online, it's helpful to know that you can deposit your checks just by taking a picture of your check via the TIAA mobile app.

  • The High Yield Checking, Money Market, and CDs don't charge a monthly fee. TIAA Bank is very transparent with their fees. The High Yield accounts that offer the most competitive APYs don't charge a monthly fee. Keep in mind, though, you may pay for ATM transactions if you don't keep a minimum $5,000 balance in your High Yield accounts.

  • The TIAA mobile app makes it easy to transfer funds, pay bills, and check balances on while on the go. You can transfer funds to internal accounts, pay your monthly bills, or reconcile your accounts on your mobile phone, which gives you 24/7 access to your TIAA bank accounts.

  • TIAA Bank promises a high level of security while banking online or on the app. They use two-factor authentication for log-ins; have free malware protection; and provide alerts via email or text based on the thresholds you set in your accounts.

  • You can name beneficiaries for your savings accounts. This can help prevent your funds from being tied up in probate. Naming beneficiaries directly on the account allows those funds to go to a specific person or persons, avoiding probate.

  • You can set up direct deposit to make depositing your funds easier. If your employer offers direct deposit, you can have some or all of your check deposited directly in your TIAA Bank account. This can save you the few steps that mobile deposit takes. It also helps to make your funds available as soon as your employer pays them.

  • You can set up contactless payments, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. TIAA Bank helps you turn your mobile phone into a credit card by setting up this option in your TIAA Bank app.

EverBank is Now TIAA Bank
As of June 4, 2018, EverBank became TIAA Bank. This change allowed EverBank to offer its clients even more robust account options and digital banking options. The rates and accounts with EverBank remained the same; just the name changed. TIAA Bank is slowly transforming checks, debit cards, and credit cards with their name. In the meantime, the only difference for EverBank customers is where they go to bank online.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • The minimum deposits required are pretty steep. High-yield checking and savings accounts typically require a high minimum deposit in order to offer the higher rates. TIAA Bank requires a minimum opening deposit of $5,000 to open a high-yield account with them. This doesn't make it a viable option for the person just starting to save or those looking for a secondary savings account.

  • The high introductory rates that bought you to TIAA Bank only last temporarily. You may be disappointed to learn how much your interest rates fall after the introductory period. You can see the "projected" rates after the initial year on TIAA's website, but the rates are subject to market rates at the time of the change.

  • Unless you live in Florida, you must conduct your banking online. If you are looking for a bank you can visit in person and conduct business, you have to live in Florida, near one of TIAA's four branches to do so.

How It Compares

Capital One 360: If you have less than $5,000 to open an account with, Capital One 360 may be a better option as they don't have any account minimums. Like TIAA Bank, they also don't charge any monthly fees. Capital One 360 offers checking and savings accounts as well as CDs.

 TIAA BankCapital One
 Learn MoreLearn More


Capital One

Yield Pledge Checking - Learn More

Capital One MMA - Learn More

Capital One: Pricing information from published website as of 2/15/2019

Synchrony: If you are in the market for a high-yield savings account, Synchrony may be a decent competitor for your business. Synchrony doesn't offer a high-yield checking account though. Their main focus is on savings and CDs.

 TIAA BankSynchrony Bank
 Learn MoreLearn More


Synchrony Bank

Yield Pledge Checking - Learn More

High Yield Savings - Learn More

Synchrony Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 2/15/2019.

Ally: Ally also offers a full gamut of high-yield accounts, including checking, savings, and CDs. They don't require a minimum opening deposit and their interest rates are often competitive with TIAA Bank's rates.

 TIAA BankAlly Bank
 Learn MoreLearn More


Ally Bank

Yield Pledge Checking - Learn More

Online Savings Account - Learn More

Ally Bank: Pricing information from published website as of 2/15/2019.

Bottom Line

If you're looking for a place to park more than $5,000 that isn't affected by the market, TIAA Bank offers a variety of options at competitive rates. It can be a good option for the first 12 months that you deposit the money, but after that, you may want to look elsewhere to keep your money, as the rates tend to drop significantly depending on the amount you have saved.

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 October 10, 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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