Banking

First Republic Bank review: Better interest rates than many brick-and-mortar banks, but high minimum deposits

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  • First Republic Bank (Member FDIC) is a bank with branches in CA, CT, FL, MA, NY, OR, and WY.
  • First Republic pays higher interest rates than many brick-and-mortar banks.
  • The minimum opening deposits and monthly fees can be high, though you may be able to waive them.
  • See Insider’s picks for the best high-yield savings accounts »

This post was last updated and reviewed on July 15, 2021. 

Overall bank rating

Pros and cons

Savings

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.05% to 0.25% APY

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • No monthly service fees
    • Competitive rates for higher balances
    Cons
    • $500 minimum opening deposit
    • Can only deposit/withdraw money at a physical branch location
    • Low rates for lower balances
    • Branches in CA, CT, FL, MA, NY, OR, and WY
    • Tiered interest rate system; earn the lowest rate with a balance under $25,000 and highest rate with a balance of $1 million or more
    • FDIC insured

    Although you’ll earn higher interest rates with online

    high-yield savings accounts
    , the First Republic Passbook Savings Account pays higher rates than many brick-and-mortar banks, especially if you have a high balance. There are no monthly service fees for this account, unlike with savings accounts at many physical banks.

    You do need at least $500 to open a First Republic Passbook Savings Account, which is steeper than what most banks require.

    Checking

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.001% on balances of $3,500 or more

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • No charge when you use an out-of-network ATM
    • Refunds any fees charged by out-of-network ATM providers
    • Link to a money market account for overdraft protection
    Cons
    • $25 monthly service fee
    • $500 minimum opening deposit
    • $30 overdraft fee
    • Branches in CA, CT, FL, MA, NY, OR, and WY
    • Waive $25 monthly fee by maintaining a minimum average daily balance of $3,500
    • Receive refunds for fees charged by out-of-network ATM providers, both domestic and foreign, at the end of the month
    • FDIC insured

    First Republic offers several types of checking accounts, but the First Republic ATM Rebate Checking Account could be a good choice if you use ATMs often. First Republic has its own ATM network, and it doesn’t charge a fee when you use a machine outside its network — but an out-of-network ATM provider may charge you. With First Republic ATM Rebate Checking, you’ll receive refunds for any fees charged by other banks’ ATMs.

    You’ll need $500 to open this account, though, and there’s a $25 monthly fee if you don’t maintain a daily average balance of $3,500. You can find other banks with much lower monthly fees, and more lenient requirements to waive them.

    CDs

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.05% to 0.55% APY

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Competitive APY
    • Variety of term lengths
    Cons
    • Minimum $10,000 deposit
    • Standard-to-high early withdrawal penalties
    • Branches in CA, CT, FL, MA, OR, and WY
    • Terms ranging from 30 days to 6 years
    • Early withdrawal penalties: 6 months simple interest for terms under 1 year, 15 months simple interest for terms of 1 year or more
    • FDIC insured

    First Republic CD rates are competitive, especially for a brick-and-mortar bank. But you’ll need at least $10,000 to open an account, and the early withdrawal penalties are a little high. If you’re worried about accessing your money before the CD matures, you might like the 8-month First Republic Liquid CD, which allows you to withdraw money every seven days.

    Money market

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.05% to 0.20% APY

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Link to checking account for overdraft protection
    • Doesn’t charge out-of-network ATM fees
    • Comes with a debit card
    Cons
    • $5,000 minimum opening deposit
    • Low APY
    • $25 monthly service fee
    • Doesn’t include paper checks
    • Doesn’t reimburse any fees charged by out-of-network ATMs
    • Branches in CA, CT, FL, MA, NY, OR, and WY
    • Tiered interest rate; earn lowest rate with a balance below $50k, and highest rate with balance of $5 million or more
    • Waive $25 monthly service fee by maintaining a minimum average daily balance of $5,000
    • FDIC insured

     

    A money market account is a lot like a savings account, except it typically provides you with an easier way to access your money, such as a debit card or paper checks. The First Republic Money Market Savings Account sends you a debit card, and the bank doesn’t charge a fee for using out-of-network ATMs. An ATM provider may charge you, though, and First Republic won’t reimburse you.

    The minimum opening deposit of $5,000 is higher than what many banks require. You also won’t earn a competitive interest rate unless you have at least $50,000.

    First Republic also has a money market checking account, which comes with paper checks along with a debit card.

    How First Republic Bank works

    First Republic Bank is a brick-and-mortar institution with 76 branches in seven US states:

    • California
    • Connecticut
    • Florida
    • Massachusetts
    • New York
    • Oregon 
    • Wyoming

    The banks also has free ATMs around the country.

    The mobile app has 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple store, and 4.4 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

    To contact First Republic customer service, call Monday through Friday, 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. PT. Or call Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. PT, or Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT.

    Your deposits are FDIC insured for up to $250,000 for an individual account, and $500,000 for a joint account.

    Is First Republic Bank trustworthy?

    The Better Business Bureau gives First Republic an A+ in trustworthiness. A good BBB grade signifies a company advertises honestly, is transparent about business practices, and responds effectively to customer complaints.

    First Republic Bank doesn’t have any recent public scandals. Between its clear history and strong BBB grade, you may decide you feel comfortable banking with First Republic.

    How First Republic compares to similar banks

    The bulk of First Republic’s branches are around California and in New York City. We’ve compared it to two other banks with large presences in these areas: Chase and Citibank.

    First Republic review vs. Chase review

    You may prefer Chase if you travel frequently within the US. Chase has the second-highest number of branches in the country, after Wells Fargo. It could be a good option if you want to be able to walk into a branch when you travel. Chase also doesn’t require any minimum opening deposits for its

    checking accounts
    or Chase Savings℠, while First Republic’s minimum deposits are pretty high.

    First Republic review vs. Citibank review

    You might like Citibank if you travel abroad regularly. Citibank has free ATMs in over 20 countries, making it easy and affordable to access your money. However, Citibank has an F in trustworthiness from the Better Business Bureau. If this score worries you, First Republic could be the better choice — it has an A+ from the BBB.

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