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KeyBank Review: A Well-Known Bank That Has Everything -- Except High APYs

Review Updated
Kailey Hagen
By: Kailey Hagen

Our Banking Expert

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

KeyBank is a well-known brick-and-mortar institution with a nationwide presence. While its rates aren't as high as some of its online competitors, it still has some unique perks to offer, like rare CD terms and loan discounts for loyal customers. Read our full KeyBank review to learn about all the bank's offerings.

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KeyBank

Rating image, 3.00 out of 5 stars.
Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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3.00/5
Bottom Line

KeyBank offers a robust array of banking products and it has a large national presence. But it has a hard time competing with the high APYs of online banks. However, those who prefer in-person banking could qualify for higher rates if they open multiple accounts with the bank.

Pros
  • Good mix of banking products
  • Relationship benefits for customers with multiple accounts
  • CDs with rare term lengths
Cons
  • Low APYs
  • Below-average customer ratings

KeyBank savings accounts review

KeyBank has two savings accounts: one geared at adults and the other at children.

Key Active Saver® Account

The KeyBank Active Saver® Account has a waivable monthly fee and a modest minimum balance requirement. It also includes online and mobile banking tools with automated savings features. But it's unlikely to appeal to those seeking a high annual percentage yield (APY). As a brick-and-mortar bank, its rates are pretty low.

Key4Kids® Savings Account

The Key4Kids® Savings Account is similar to the KeyBank Active Saver® Account for adults except it has no monthly fee. It also doesn't permit overdrafts. This account is aimed at children under 18 years old, but it requires the parent or guardian to have an account with KeyBank as well.

Compare savings accounts

When it comes to savings account rates, there's no comparison between brick-and-mortar vs. online banks. If you're comfortable banking online and want to earn a competitive interest rate, check out the options below.

Rates as of June 7, 2023
Offer
 
 
 
Account
Rating
Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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= Excellent
= Good
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4.50/5
Rating image, 4.75 out of 5 stars.
Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
= Best
= Excellent
= Good
= Fair
= Poor
4.75/5
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
Circle with letter I in it. Our ratings are based on a 5 star scale. 5 stars equals Best. 4 stars equals Excellent. 3 stars equals Good. 2 stars equals Fair. 1 star equals Poor. We want your money to work harder for you. Which is why our ratings are biased toward offers that deliver versatility while cutting out-of-pocket costs.
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4.00/5
APY 4.00% 4.00% 4.60% Rate info Circle with letter I in it. CIT Bank also offers the Platinum Savings account. Savers with $5,000 or more can get a 4.85% APY with Platinum Savings, but accounts with less than $5,000 get 0.25% with that account.
Min. to earn APY $0 $1 $100
Next Steps

KeyBank CD accounts

KeyBank has three types of certificates of deposit (CDs).

Key Short-Term CDs

KeyBank's short-term CDs have terms ranging from seven days to less than six months. You don't often see terms this short with most other banks, so it could be a good option for those looking to build a short-term CD ladder. The minimum balance requirement is a little higher than what you see with some competitors, though, and the APYs are pretty low.

Key Tiered CDs

The Key Tiered CDs are your traditional CDs with terms ranging from six months to 10 years. It's rare to see CD terms longer than five years, so KeyBank might also appeal to those hoping to build a long-term CD ladder. But it is possible to find other providers that offer these terms with more competitive APYs.

Key Jumbo CDs

KeyBank's jumbo CDs require a $100,000 minimum deposit. This is pretty typical of jumbo CDs, which is why you don't see them with too many other banks. Terms range from seven days to 120 months, so there's plenty of flexibility here. But again, it's hard to overlook those low APYs.

Compare CD rates

If you're interested in CDs with lower balance requirements and higher APYs, some of the CDs listed below might appeal to you.

Rates as of June 6, 2023

APY = Annual Percentage Yield

Offer
Logo for CIT Bank CD
Member FDIC.
Logo for Discover High Yield CD
Member FDIC.
Logo for Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield CD
Member FDIC.
Account CIT Bank CD Discover High Yield CD Marcus by Goldman Sachs High Yield CD
6 Mo. 5.00% 3.40% 4.25%
10 Mo. -- -- 5.05%
11 Mo. 4.90% -- --
1 Yr. 0.30% 4.75% 4.75%
13 Mo. 4.65% -- --
1.5 Yr. 4.60% 4.75% 4.75%
2 Yr. 0.40% 4.30% 4.35%
3 Yr. 0.40% 4.30% 4.30%
4 Yr. 0.50% 4.00% 4.00%
5 Yr. 0.50% 4.00% 3.80%
Min. Deposit $1,000 $2,500 $500
Early Withdrawal Penalty Yes Yes Yes
Next Steps

KeyBank checking accounts review

KeyBank currently offers five checking accounts, which are discussed in detail below. They're all backed by FDIC insurance.

Key Smart Checking®

The Key Smart Checking® account doesn't have any checking account fees or minimum balance requirements. It includes a debit card and paper checks as well as online and mobile banking tools. However, it doesn't earn any interest.

Key Advantage Checking®

The Key Advantage Checking® account is an interest-bearing checking account, though its rates are pretty low. Still, there are many checking accounts that don't offer interest at all, so even a low rate is better than nothing. The account has a monthly maintenance fee, but there are several options to waive it.

Key Privilege Checking®

The Key Privilege Checking® account will appeal to those who already have other accounts with KeyBank. Owning one of these accounts gives you premium rates on CDs, plus monthly out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements and discounts on other KeyBank services.

Key Privilege Select Checking®

The Key Privilege Select Checking® account takes the perks of the Key Privilege Checking® account one step further. It offers all the same benefits, plus premium investing and management tools. But you have to keep quite a bit in the bank to avoid this account's hefty monthly maintenance fee.

KeyBank Hassle-Free Account®

The KeyBank Hassle-Free Account® doesn't have any maintenance fee or balance requirements, but it also doesn't include check-writing capabilities and it doesn't earn interest. Customers interested in a fee-free checking account from KeyBank would be better off going with the Key Smart Checking® account described above.

Compare checking accounts

If none of KeyBank's checking accounts appeal to you, one of these other top checking accounts might be a better fit.

KeyBank customer service and experience

KeyBank doesn't have the greatest reputation for customer service. It received below-average ratings in every region it featured in for the latest J.D. Power U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study, except the Northwest.

It also has poor customer ratings with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), though it maintains an A+ rating with that organization.

KeyBank relationship benefits

Like many brick-and-mortar banks, KeyBank offers extra perks to customers who open more than one account with the bank. This includes things like higher APYs on CDs and discounts on mortgages.

In order to qualify for the KeyBank Relationship Rate®, you need a qualifying checking account, a savings or investment account, and a credit product with the bank.

Alternatives to KeyBank

If KeyBank doesn't seem like a good fit for you, one of these other banks might be a better fit:

Discover Bank

Discover is an online bank known for its few fees and competitive APYs. It's received high customer satisfaction ratings from organizations like J.D. Power, and it offers some innovative features, like CDs with terms up to 10 years and a checking account that gives you cash back.

Capital One Bank

Capital One is worth considering if you want the high APYs of an online bank, but you aren't ready to say goodbye to brick-and-mortar institutions altogether. Capital One Bank has some branches and cafes, but it also has the low fees and high APYs of an online bank.

Is KeyBank right for you?

KeyBank could be a good fit for you if:

  • You're interested in opening multiple accounts with a single bank.
  • You want to open CDs with terms under six months or longer than five years.
  • You prefer visiting a branch to banking online.

Other products by KeyBank

Here's a brief rundown of all the other banking products KeyBank has to offer.

KeyBank money market accounts

In addition to the savings accounts mentioned above, KeyBank also offers two money market accounts. The Key Silver Money Market Savings® Account has a reasonable monthly fee and minimum balance requirements. There is a three-month promotional APY for those who have at least $5,000 in the account, but it's still low compared to that of the best online banks.

The Key Gold Money Market Savings® Account offers higher APYs, but it also has a much higher minimum balance requirement. This may prohibit some people from opening this account.

KeyBank credit cards

KeyBank offers the following credit cards:

  • Key Cashback® Credit Card
  • KeyBank Latitude® Credit Card
  • Key Secured Credit Card®
  • Key2More Rewards® Credit Card

KeyBank mortgages

You can get a mortgage or home equity loan through KeyBank and, if you have a qualifying checking or savings account, you may get a discount on your interest rate.

The bank offers a variety of loan types, including fixed- and adjustable-rate conventional mortgages, jumbo loans, FHA loans, and VA loans, among others.

KeyBank loans

KeyBank also offers the following types of loans:

  • Personal loans
  • Vehicle loans
  • Home improvement loans
  • Student loan refinancing

FAQs

  • KeyBank is a well-known national bank with deposit accounts backed by the FDIC. Whether it's a good bank for you depends on what kinds of accounts you're looking for and what you value most in a bank.

  • Yes, KeyBank is a national bank headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.

  • KeyBank has received below-average customer service ratings from independent agencies like J.D. Power.

Our Banking Expert