September 2014: Industry Overview Part Two

For each firm tracked by Bank Monitor, we looked at the checking, savings, money market and CD products available to prospective clients, along with their current fees, rates and promotions. For firms that offer only a select number of accounts, each account is detailed in a comparison chart within the firms’ write-ups. For those firms that offer an abundance of accounts to choose from, we provided a sampling of the top accounts in a similar comparison chart within the write-ups. We also investigated the public site services offered by each firm, focusing on the main areas of each of the 17 banks tracked by Bank Monitor: navigation, product overviews and individual account product pages. Though all 17 firms provide these resources, each firm offers its own variation. Finally, we call attention to any especially notable and interesting products, tools or features offered by banks on their public websites.

Of the 17 Bank Monitor firms, two firms provide users with seven checking account options each, the most in our coverage group. Another two firms offer only one checking account product each. On the savings side, three firms each offer seven savings and money market accounts, the most in this report. Two firms that we track, on the other hand, offer only one savings account each.

Only two firms offer rewards checking accounts. One bank offers two rewards accounts that allow users to earn points by making PIN and non-PIN debit purchases, writing checks, withdrawing cash from a Capital One ATM, and paying bills online. These rewards can then be redeemed for cash back, merchandise and travel. The other bank offers $20 to account holders who have direct deposits of $1500 or more and make two online bill payments per month. Two additional firms also offer rewards to clients who have more than one account at the firm or maintain and make specific customer-initiated transactions; these rewards are offered for all deposit account products and feed into each firm’s more general rewards program.