November 9, 2018

Union Bank Review: Account Good for You?

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If you are in the market for a simple bank account that allows you to pick and choose the features that you pay for, Union Bank may be the bank for you.

Union Bank claims to have the "perfect account" for every consumer. They offer basic checking and savings accounts, accounts for children and teens, and retirement accounts. While they do have specialized accounts for certain demographics, their basic accounts may be hard to differentiate from any other big-name bank.

Keep reading to see how Union Bank stacks up to your banking needs.

Services Offered


Each Union Bank checking account comes with an ATM/debit card, online banking, bill pay, mobile banking, and custom alerts. Choose from one of the three Union Bank checking accounts below.

  • Priority Banking: You need $1,000 to open this checking account, which has numerous features. It comes with a hefty monthly service fee, but you can have it waived with a combined balance in all Union Bank deposit accounts of $50,000 or if you have a Union Bank mortgage set up on autopay. With this account, you get unlimited ATM transactions worldwide (host bank may charge a fee), free cashier's checks/money orders, no fee for stopped payments, no charge for incoming wire transfers, and no overdraft transfer fees. This account does earn interest and you can open two more personal deposit accounts free of charge.

  • Ready to Go Checking: This account is a step up from your basic checking account. Along with the basic features, you'll have access to unlimited in-branch banking, an unlimited check supply, and access to one linked checking or savings account free of charge. You may also opt-in to a few features that have a monthly charge. They include two non-Union Bank ATM transactions free of charge, incoming wire transfers free of charge, and cashier's checks/money orders free of charge. While we say "free" here, you will pay a small monthly fee for the benefits, but the fee should be less than what it would cost to utilize those services a la carte. You'll need $100 to open the account. You can waive the monthly fee by having combined direct deposits of at least $500, combined mobile deposits of at least $500, $1,500 average monthly balance, or $5,000 combined balance across all deposit accounts.

  • Banking by Design: You can design your own checking account with this account option. It comes with the standard checking features that each Union Bank checking account includes. From there, you can pick and choose which features you want. Each feature has its own cost per month. For example, if you want an unlimited check supply, you'll pay a small fee each month. If you accept a lot of wire transfers, you may want to pay for that feature. You create the checking account that meets your needs. You'll need $100 to open the account. You can waive the monthly service fee with a $250 monthly direct deposit or mobile check deposit for at least $250 (on one check).


Each Union Bank Savings account includes an ATM/debit card, access to online banking, telephone banking, and bill pay services. The amount you have to deposit and the amount you plan to keep in the account will help determine which savings account is right for you.

  • HighRate MoneyMarket: If you have a minimum of $10,000 to keep in your savings account, you can earn top tier interest rates with this account. You will need a linked Union Bank checking account to qualify, though. If you keep a minimum balance of $10,000 in your account, you won't pay a monthly service fee. You can write up to six checks from this account per month.

  • MoneyMarket: You need $2,500 to open this account and you'll have to maintain at least a $2,500 balance to waive the maintenance fee. You can write up to six checks from this account per month. Your money will earn competitive interest rates in this account.

  • Regular Savings: If you have less money to open a savings account, the regular savings can get you started. With just $50, you have access to variable interest rates to make your money work for you. You'll need a minimum balance of $300 to waive the monthly service fee.

Other Banking Products

  • CDs: Union Bank also offers CDs with varying maturity dates, ranging from 7 days to 5 years. These fixed interest rates earn a guaranteed return and are on a tiered basis (the more you deposit, the higher interest rate you earn). Union Bank also allows CD laddering, which staggers your deposits over a variety of CD maturity terms to help you earn the largest return on your investment.

  • IRAs: Union Bank offers three options for your IRA/retirement savings account. You can choose from a fixed rate IRA CD, variable rate IRA CD, or IRA Money Market Savings Account. These retirement options help you save while keeping your money safe as you save for retirement.

Union Bank Customer Service: You can reach Union Bank's customer service at 1-800-238-4486, Monday - Friday from 7 AM to 9 PM and Saturday from 8 AM to 5 PM. You can also choose their automated banking services from the options, which you can access 24/7.

Reasons We Like Union Bank

  • You can link your savings account to your checking account for overdraft protection. If you overdraft your checking account, Union Bank will automatically transfer the funds from your linked savings or money market account (assuming you have the funds). This will prevent you from getting charged an overdraft fee. You may, however, pay an overdraft transfer fee, which is less than the overdraft fee itself.

  • You can set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings or money market accounts. If saving each month feels like an impossible task, you can set up automatic transfers from your checking to your savings account. You decide how frequently to make the transfers and in what amount, and Union Bank handles the rest for you.

  • Union Bank offers Youth Banking products. The accounts are meant to grow with your child. They offer Kidz Savings for kids ages 8-12 years old, Teen savings for kids ages 13-17 years old, and Teen Access, which is also for kids ages 13-17, but gives them access to a checking account. Any of these accounts must be jointly owned with a parent or guardian. Each youth account can be opened with just $1.

  • Union Bank deposits are FDIC insured. If Union Bank went out of business, you wouldn't have to worry about your funds. FDIC insurance covers each deposit account up to $250,000 per account.

  • College students can get a "Ready to Go" Checking Account free of charge. College students actively in college can apply for the same Ready to Go account that adults can get, but they won't be charged a fee. Union Bank does require $100 to open the account, though.

  • If you deposit your checks with the mobile app by 9 PM PST, you may have the funds the next day. Not only can you deposit your checks from the comfort of your own home, but you have time outside of the normal banking hours to get the checks deposited for use the next business day.

  • You can send money to friends and family right from your mobile device. With the Union Bank mobile app, you can send money via PayPal. You simply log into your mobile app, click "Send Money," and follow the prompts. With just your recipient's email or mobile number, you can send money in minutes.

  • If you have a Priority Checking Account, you may have access to the Priority Banking Client Services team. If you have a combined balance of $50,000 across your deposit accounts or a linked Union Bank mortgage, you can utilize the Priority Banking Client Services. This dedicated team is available via phone Monday - Friday from 7 AM to 9 PM and Saturday from 8 AM to 5 PM.

  • Union Bank makes it easy to switch banks. They walk you through the process in three simple steps. Once you open an account, you complete the provided Direct Deposit Authorization form and Automatic Payment Authorization. Once all outstanding transactions have cleared from your old account, complete the Account Closure request provided by Union Bank and the switch is complete.

  • You have three options to set up overdraft protection. If you think you need overdraft protection, you can link your savings/money market account, Union Bank credit card, or apply for a Cash Reserve account to avoid the expense of overdrafting your account.

Union Bank Routing Number: The main Union Bank routing number is 122000496. You can use this number for your incoming wires or direct deposits. If you have a checking account with Union Bank, you can find your routing number for your branch on the lower left corner of your checks.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • If you choose optional features in the Union Bank checking accounts, you pay for them no matter what. This means if you don't use the feature, such as the "2 non-Union Bank ATM transactions," you still pay the monthly fee to have that feature. You'll want to think long and hard before you choose any of the optional features to see if it's worth it.

  • Union Bank is only located in seven states. If you don't live in Illinois, Georgia, California, Washington, New York, Oregon, or Texas, you won't have a physical Union Bank near you to conduct your banking.

  • You must have a Union Bank personal checking account to get the highest rates for the Union Bank Money Market. If you just wanted to open a CD and were happy with your current checking account, you'd have to accept lower interest rates at Union Bank. Access to the highest tiered rates is only given to those with a current checking account, even if you have $10,000 to deposit.

How It Compares

  • Wells Fargo: Wells Fargo doesn't have a huge list of account offerings, but they do specialize in a few accounts that many banks don't offer. Their teen checking account is similar to the one offered by Union Bank, but Wells Fargo also offers a "second chance" checking account. This account gives those who have experienced financial destruction a second chance at picking up the pieces of their financial life.

  • Bank of America: Bank of America is known as the "convenient bank" because it has locations in 37 states. Their account offerings aren't huge and they don't offer any benefits you can't find elsewhere, but they do have the convenience factor that many other banks can't say that they have.

Bottom Line

Union Bank is a barebones bank that is suitable for those just starting out or those who know exactly which features they need and which they don't in their checking account. They have a great selection of accounts for kids, but they tend to charge a lot of fees, which can cut into your interest earnings if you aren't careful.

Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $300 Bonus

Expires 7/24/2024
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $300 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account with qualifying activities
  • Access to more than 15,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit
  • Chase Overdraft Assist℠ - no overdraft fees if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day or if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the next business day*
Bank of America
Member FDIC

Bank of America Advantage Banking - $200 Bonus Offer

Expires 5/31/2024
  • The $200 bonus offer is an online only offer and must be opened through the Bank of America promotional page.
  • The offer is for new checking customers only.
  • Offer expires 5/31/2024.
  • To qualify, open a Bank of America Advantage Banking account through the promotional page and set up and receive qualifying direct deposits totaling $2,000 or more into that new account within 90 days of opening.
  • Bank of America will attempt to pay bonus within 60 days.
  • Additional terms and conditions apply. See offer page for more details.
  • Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Online Savings Account - Earn 4.25% APY

  • No fees
  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No minimum balance required
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Platinum Savings - 5.05% APY

  • 5.05% APY with a balance of $5,000 or more
  • 0.25% APY with a balance of less than $5,000
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Member FDIC

Free Business Checking - Up to 2.0% APY

  • 2.0% APY on your balance up to $250,000 for customers that meet monthly eligibility requirements
  • $0 minimum opening deposit
  • $0 monthly service fee
Banking services provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC

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