November 3, 2018

Dollar Bank Review: Account Good for You?

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What do you look for in a bank? If it's more than the interest rates you earn and more about the service you receive, you might want to put Dollar Bank on your radar.

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In business for more than 160 years, Dollar Bank has grown exponentially, but it still remains an independent bank. In other words, they don't have any stockholders. Their focus is on the customer and how they can make each and every one of them happy, rather than the price of their stock. Dollar Bank focuses on their services and how they can improve the community, all while offering a large selection of personal banking choices.

Keep reading to see if Dollar Bank may be right for you.

Services Offered

Checking

Each Dollar Bank checking account includes access to online banking, online bill pay, mobile banking, free account alerts, and free ATM transactions at Dollar Bank ATMs. Dollar Bank also offers "hassle-free" switching from another checking account to a Dollar Bank checking account.

  • Everything Checking: As the name suggests, this checking account includes "everything," such as no surcharge for non-Dollar Bank ATM transactions, no annual fee for the overdraft protection, it earns interest, and you can get discounted personal checks. You'll also have access to higher rates on your savings account, relationship rates on CDs, and discounts on loans. You need $50 to open the account. You can waive the monthly service fee by conducting six transactions each month or with a $2,500 average balance.

  • Free Checking: If you prefer a checking account that doesn't require a minimum balance and doesn't charge a monthly fee, you've got it with Free Checking. In exchange, your balances will not earn interest. You'll also have access to the large Allpoint or Freedom Alliance ATM network. Dollar Bank won't charge a surcharge for use of these ATMs, but the host bank might charge a fee. You'll need $50 to open this account. You will be required to receive electronic statements with this account. If you don't, your account gets transferred to a No Minimum Checking account.

  • No Minimum Checking: With $50, you can open the No Minimum Checking, which, as the name suggests, doesn't require a minimum balance. Because there is no minimum required balance, though, you will pay a small monthly fee for this account. Unlike some of the other Dollar Bank checking accounts, you will receive free paper statements.

  • No Overdraft Checking: If you worry about going over your account balance, the No Overdraft Checking account may be for you. Any transactions that exceed your available balance will be declined. This way, you don't have to worry about overdraft fees. You need $25 to open this account and you don't have to meet a minimum balance. But you will pay a small monthly service fee. The amount depends on if you have a "qualifying checking account with Dollar Bank." You must talk to a bank representative to determine which accounts qualify. This account also doesn't earn interest.

Savings

The Dollar Bank Savings accounts offer a variety of options to help you earn interest on your funds as well as serve as overdraft protection.

  • Everything Savings: The Everything Savings account linked with the Everything Checking account will earn you relationship rates on your savings. You don't have to keep a minimum balance and there is no monthly service fee.

  • Everything Savings Plus: If you keep a balance of at least $20,000 in your savings account and you conduct limited transactions, you can earn higher interest rates with this savings account. When you link it to your Everything Checking account, you'll earn even higher rates. If your balance dips below $20,000, though, you'll pay a hefty monthly fee. You'll also incur a fee if you conduct more than three transactions in one month.

  • Passbook Savings: You can open this savings account with $25. You'll keep track of your account balances with your physical passbook, which you must bring with you when you go to the bank. There is no monthly minimum balance requirement or service fee for this account. But, if you keep at least a $4,000 balance in this account and you link it to a checking account, Dollar Bank will waive the service fee on the checking account as long as one owner is on both accounts.

  • No Overdraft Savings: With $50, you can open this savings account. But to earn interest, you'll need a balance of $250 or higher. You can conduct up to 6 withdrawals per month before you incur the excessive withdrawal fee. This account doesn't have a minimum balance or monthly service fee. In order to gain access to your funds, this account must be linked to a No Overdraft Checking account. This account does not include bankcard access.

  • Statement Savings: You can open this savings account with $50, but you'll need to reach $250 before you'll earn interest. There is no monthly service fee, but you will pay for paper statements. Online statements are free, but the fee can be waived with an average balance of $2,500.

  • Premier Savings: Earn higher interest rates with this savings account if you have the $5,000 minimum opening deposit available. You only get one withdrawal per month, though. Any more than one withdrawal, and you'll pay a fee for each transaction. You'll also pay a hefty monthly service fee if you don't meet the $20,000 balance requirement.

CDs

Dollar Bank offers a large variety of CD options. A majority of the CDs require a $2,500 opening deposit and only allow you to withdraw the interest upon the interest disbursement date or within a seven-day grace period following that date.

  • Traditional Term CD: You can choose from terms between 6 months and 120 months. It also offers tiered interest rates for balances of $10,000 and $25,000. You do have the option to "bump up" your interest rate one time during the term if interest rates rise.

  • CD Ladder: Divvy up your investment into multiple CDs with varying maturity dates. This way, you have access to some of your funds every 6 to 12 months. You protect yourself against the risk of falling interest rates by tying up some of your money in longer-term CDs. You also have the benefit of getting higher interest rates if rates increase by reinvesting your matured, shorter-term CDs into another CD. There is no monthly service charge for this option, but you do need a minimum $2,500 opening deposit.

  • Rising Rate CD: The Rising Rate CD allows you to earn a higher interest rate on your funds every 90 days for a total of 12 months. You can choose to withdraw your funds every 90 days or keep rolling them over and earning the higher interest rate.

  • Relationship CD: If you have an Everything Checking Account, you can earn higher rates with this CD. You can choose to have your interest disbursed to your checking account or keep adding it to your CD's principal to compound the interest.

  • Bump-Up CD: You choose the CD term, but you have the option to "bump up" the interest rate if interest rates rise during your CD's term. This way, you can take advantage of higher rates without waiting for rates to increase and letting your money sit idle.

  • Three-Month No Penalty CD: Tie your money up for just three short months and earn high interest rates. You can withdraw the funds penalty-free after the first seven days of opening the account.

  • Flex CD: This is the only Dollar Bank CD that allows a minimum opening deposit lower than $2,500. You only need $500 to open this CD. You also have the option to withdraw your funds after the first seven days without penalty.

Dollar Bank Customer Service: You can reach Dollar Bank customer service at 1-800-828-5527 Monday - Friday 8 AM to 8 PM and Saturday 9 AM to 3 PM.

Reasons We Like Dollar Bank

  • Dollar Bank has an ATM network of more than 55,000 ATMs. This makes it easier to access your funds without facing third-party charges just for accessing your own money.

  • You can bank online 24/7 free of charge. You can conduct a large variety of transactions, including paying bills, checking balances, verifying transactions, transferring money, and viewing online statements for the last 18 months.

  • You can send money to friends and family free of charge. Dollar Bank partners with Zelle, which allows you to send money with just the email address or mobile phone number of the recipient. The money is transferred right from your Dollar Bank account to the recipient's bank account in a few simple steps.

  • You can customize alerts. If you want to know when you have a low balance or have an NSF charge, you can set up email or text alerts. This may help you keep a better eye on your balances and avoid unnecessary fees.

  • You can keep track of your spending with the Online Banking Expense Tracker. You can categorize expenses, create reports, and even highlight items that you'll need for tax reporting later in the year.

  • The Dollar Bank mobile app makes banking on the go easy. You can conduct many of the same banking transactions in the mobile app that you can in the online banking portal. You can also deposit your checks with the mobile app. You don't have to visit the bank to get your deposits in, which may mean faster access to your cash.

  • Dollar Bank offers educational seminars for people of all ages. Elementary school students all the way to the elderly can attend a variety of educational financial seminars. They focus on the basics of banking, how to keep your identity safe, how to save, and how to budget.

  • Everything Banking account holders receive special benefits on other products. The benefits include discounted rates on loans or lines of credit, money off mortgage closing costs, and cash-back on credit card purchases.

  • The Dollar Bank Debit MasterCard is compatible with mobile payments. You can set up your card with Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay. This way, you don't have to use your card at checkout. Instead, you use your mobile phone.

  • You can set up automatic savings to pay yourself first. You choose the frequency and amount of the transfers and Dollar Bank handles the rest. This makes it easier to "pay yourself" first and hopefully increase your savings.

Dollar Bank Routing Number: The Dollar Bank routing number is 243074385. You'll need this number for any direct deposits you set up as well as when you switch your current checking/savings account over to Dollar Bank.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • Dollar Bank is only located in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. If you don't live in one of those three states, you won't be able to bank at Dollar Bank.

  • Only the Everything Checking Account earns interest. Even though Dollar Bank offers a large number of checking accounts, only one out of the four options earns interest. You would be better off with a high-yield, online checking account if you need access to your funds often.

  • Dollar Bank charges a large number of fees. You'll find that they charge fees that other banks don't charge, and you have to read the fine print to learn about them. Statement fees, excessive transaction fees, debit card transactions, overdraft transfers, and non-Dollar Bank ATM transactions are just a few of the fees you may face.

How It Compares

  • PNC: PNC is an East Coast bank that focuses heavily on budgeting, savings, and educating college students about financing. They offer a wealth of budgeting tools and access to what they call a "Virtual Wallet," which is a checking, savings, and reserve (money market) account.

  • KeyBank: KeyBank is located in 15 states, giving you a little more access than Dollar Bank. They offer services similar to Dollar Bank, but KeyBank tends to offer easier access to their relationship banking interest rates.

  • Citizens Bank: If you are looking for specialized accounts, such as a college savings account or money market with high interest rates, Citizens Bank may be a good option. They have branches in 11 states, many of which are on the East Coast, and they reward customers with large balances in their checking and/or savings accounts.

Bottom Line

If you live in one of the three states where Dollar Bank is located and their ATMs are conveniently located for you, it could be a good option for your checking or savings account. Where they really shine is in their selection of CD options, including several that allow you to take advantage of increasing interest rates.

As always, read the fine print to make sure you won't get "nickeled and dimed" in fees with an account at Dollar Bank. You want a bank account that encourages you to save rather than one that eats away at your earnings.

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.

More from CreditDonkey:


Best Online Savings Account


Best CD Rates


Best Online Checking Account

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