KeyBank review: Checking account with free overdraft protection, but low interest rate on savings

KeyBank review: Checking account with free overdraft protection, but low interest rate on savings

KeyBank has over 900 branches in 16 states.

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The bottom line: You may like KeyBank if you’d like to open a checking account. The KeyBank Smart Checking Account has zero monthly fees and free overdraft protection. However, it’s not a strong option if your main priority is to earn high interest rates on savings accounts.

Overall bank rating

FeatureInsider rating (out of 5) Savings3.5Checking4Money market3.5CD3.5Trustworthiness4Total3.75

Pros and cons

ProsCons

Free checking account

Free overdraft protection

Possible to waive monthly service fees

Interest compounded daily

Branches located only in 16 statesMonthly service feesLow savings ratesHigh minimum opening deposit on CDs

Savings

The KeyBank Savings Account may be worthwhile if you already have a checking account with the bank. That way, you’ll waive the monthly service fee. Otherwise, you’ll find more compelling fee-free savings accounts in our best savings accounts guide

Checking

The KeyBank Smart Checking Account is a great choice if you’re worried about overdrawing from your account. You can get free overdraft protection or set up alerts that notify you when your account falls under a certain balance. 

CD

KeyBank Certificate of Deposit might be worth exploring if you want a variety of terms. However, the minimum opening deposit is a bit steep at $2,500, and online banks offer a higher interest rate regardless of the term.

Money market account

You may like the KeyBank Silver Money Market Savings Account if you’re able to maintain a high balance in your account to waive the monthly service fee. If you deposit at least $5,000 during the first seven days of opening the account, you’ll also earn KeyBank Silver Money Market Savings Account for the first three months.

However, several online banks offer fee-free money market accounts that pay higher rates.

How KeyBank works

KeyBank has over 900 branches throughout the US. You’ll find a brick-and-mortar location in the following states:

AlaskaColoradoConnecticutFloridaIdahoIndianaMaineMassachusettsMichiganNew York OhioOregonPennsylvaniaUtahVermontWashington

KeyBank customers also have access to more than 50,000 ATMs through the KeyBank and Allpoint ATM networks.

Customer service is available 24/7 over the phone. Current members may also reach representatives using live chat from 7:00 a.m. to midnight ET on weekdays or 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET on weekends.

KeyBank’s mobile app has 4.5 out of 5 stars in the Apple Store and 4.4 out of 5 stars in the Google Play Store.

The bank is FDIC insured, so up to $250,000 is secure in an individual bank account.

Is KeyBank trustworthy?

The Better Business Burea rates businesses by how they address customer issues, advertise to consumers, and handle transparency. KeyBank has an A+ rating from the BBB. 

A good BBB rating won’t guarantee that your relationship with the bank will be perfect. To see if KeyBank is a good match, read online customer reviewers or talk to current customers of the bank.

KeyBank has been involved in one recent public controversy.

In 2021, the bank paid the State of New York Mortgage Agency $5 million in a settlement that claimed KeyBank had deceptive advertising regarding its “KeyBank Plus” program. Advertisements regarding the program stated KeyBank would help New York residents who didn’t have a bank account by helping them cash checks for low fees. However, the State of New York Mortgage Agency conducted an investigation and found the program wasn’t being executed properly.

How KeyBank compares

We compared KeyBank to two other national banks: PNC Bank and Woodforest National Bank.

KeyBank

Member FDIC

Woodforest National Bank

Member FDIC

Locations

AK, CO, CT, FL, ID, IN, ME, MA, MI, NY, OH, OR, PA, UT, VT, WA

Locations

AL, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, MI, MO, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, SC, TX, VA, WV, WI

Locations

AL, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MS, NY, NC, OH, PA, SC, TX, VA, WV

Standout feature

Free checking account with no minimum deposit

Standout feature

Free checking account with budgeting tools

Standout feature

CDs with low minimum opening deposits

KeyBank Savings AccountPNC Bank Standard Savings AccountWoodforest National Bank Savings Account

If you’d like to be able to visit a nearby branch, your choice between these three banks could ultimately boil down to which state you live in.

KeyBank, PNC, and Woodforest National Bank are scattered in different states and don’t dominate a particular region. If you live in Florida, New York, Ohio, or Pennsylvania, you’ll have nearby branches from all three banks.

You’ll also want to look at specific accounts and fees.

You might prefer KeyBank or PNC if you plan to open a checking account. KeyBank has a free checking account that doesn’t require a minimum opening deposit. Meanwhile, PNC has a free checking account with budgeting tools and reimbursements on some out-of-network ATMs.

If you’d like to open a savings account, all three banks offer pretty low rates on their traditional savings accounts. However, Woodforest is a good option for CDs. You’ll only need a minimum deposit of $500, and you’ll get a better interest rate than at other brick-and-mortar banks. 

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Personal Finance, Savings, KeyBank, KeyBank Active Saver Account, KeyBank Smart Checking Account, KeyBank CD, KeyBank Silver Money Market Savings Account, PNC Bank, Woodforest National Bank, PFI Reviews, pfi, Personal Finance Insider, bank reviews, PFI-XAMP, PFI Short Code, PFI Related Content Module, PFI Product Card, Savings, Checking Account, Money Market Account, CD, TOC-jump-to, service graphics, Rachel Mendelson, FAQ Page, PFI GOBankingRates

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