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First Foundation Bank Online Savings Review

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First Foundation Bank combines a competitive APY with convenient access to create one of the most appealing savings accounts we've come across. But its $1,000 minimum balance requirement may deter some customers. Read our First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account review below to learn if it’s right for you.

Rates as of May 18, 2022

First Foundation Bank Online Savings

  • $1,000 required opening deposit
  • No monthly fees
  • ATM card
  • No monthly fees on online savings or personal checking accounts
  • Competitive APY on online savings account
  • ATM fee reimbursements
  • Only one online account option
  • Online savings requires a $1,000 initial deposit
  • CDs require a $2,500 minimum deposit
  • Branches in only three states

Full First Foundation Bank Online Savings review

Top perks

High APY: The First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account offers a competitiveAPY to those who have $1,000 or more in their account.

No monthly maintenance fee: Like most online banks, First Foundation Bank doesn't charge a monthly maintenance fee for its Online Savings Account customers.

ATM card: You can request an ATM card for your First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account if you'd like the option to withdraw cash directly from the account rather than transferring funds to your checking account first. This is a rare feature among savings accounts, so move First Foundation Bank up on your list if this is something that's important to you.

Unlimited ATM fee reimbursements: First Foundation Bank doesn't have its own network of ATMs, but it will reimburse you up to $20 per transaction for any ATM fees you are charged. There is no monthly limit on the number of ATM fee reimbursements the bank will give you.

Easily manage your account from anywhere: First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account customers may access their account online through any web browser or with the bank's mobile app, available for both Android and Apple devices. You can pay bills online, transfer funds, and even pay friends and family directly whether they bank with First Foundation Bank or not. Mobile check deposit is another option if you have a paper check you'd like to deposit to your account.

FDIC insured: First Foundation, just like a traditional bank, is covered by the FDIC. Your funds, up to a maximum of $250,000 per depositor, per institution, are protected in the event of bank failure.

What could be improved

$1,000 opening deposit requirement: You need at least $1,000 to open a First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account, which is pretty steep compared to many other online banks.

Fees for incoming wire transfers: It's normal for banks to charge for outgoing wire transfers, but few banks charge for incoming wire transfers. Unfortunately, First Foundation Bank is one of them. It says it will waive the fee if you decide to fund your account this way, though. You can also avoid this fee entirely by transferring money to your First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account another way.

How to access your money

First Foundation Bank gives you the following options for depositing and withdrawing money from your Online Savings Account.

Deposit options

You can deposit money into your First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account in any of these ways:

  • ACH transfer
  • Direct deposit
  • Wire transfer
  • Mailed check
  • Mobile check deposit
  • Visiting a First Foundation Bank branch

Note that you might have to pay an incoming wire transfer fee if you decide to add funds to your account this way. And the bank you're transferring the money from may also charge an outgoing wire transfer fee.

Withdrawal options

These are your choices for withdrawing money from your First Foundation Online Savings Account:

  • ACH transfer
  • Wire transfer
  • Visiting a First Foundation Bank branch
  • ATM withdrawal
  • Point-of-sale withdrawal

First Foundation Bank doesn't partner with an ATM network provider, so you can use any ATM you'd like, but there's a maximum ATM withdrawal limit of $500 per day.

Alternatives to consider

The CIT Savings Builder account offers a high APY and no minimum balance requirement (though you need $100 to open the account). It doesn’t offer an ATM card, so you can't withdraw your funds directly from the savings account, but free electronic transfers are available.

The Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings account’s APY is just about the same as the APY on a First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account.. Plus, there is no minimum balance requirement (though you need $100 to open an account) or monthly maintenance fees, so it’s a good choice if you have less than $1,000 in savings.

Rates as of May 18, 2022
Offer
Member, FDIC
Member, FDIC
Member, FDIC
Account
First Foundation Bank Online Savings
CIT Bank Savings Builder
Vio Bank High Yield Online Savings Account
Rating
APY 0.50% Up to 0.55% 0.50%
Min. to earn APY $1,000 $25k or $100 monthly deposit for highest tier $1
Next Steps

This savings account is right for you if:

The First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account is a great choice if you expect to maintain a balance of at least $1,000 or more and like the idea of having easy access to your money wherever you go. It's one of the few banks to offer an ATM card, and those who live in California, Nevada, Florida, or Hawaii also have the option of visiting a branch to access their money. The account also offers one of the highest APYs we've seen among savings accounts, which can help you grow your savings faster.

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