[Update September 2022: First Foundation raised the rate on their online savings account again this month from 2.02% to 2.25% APY. This is the second rate hike they’ve given to this account since the FED’s last meeting at the end of July. See more details below.]
First Foundation Bank is offering one of the highest yields available for an online savings account. They’ve been quick to raise the rate on this account in tandem with the FED’s recent rate hikes.
This account is available to consumers nationwide and is FDIC-insured up to the applicable limits.
Learn more about First Foundation Bank and their online savings account below.
Who is First Foundation Bank?
First Foundation Bank was founded in 1990 by Rick Keller and his team at the Keller Group to provide wealth management services to individuals and businesses around the Orange County area in California. They differentiated themselves by always taking a fiduciary standard approach to investing their clients’ wealth. Industry jargon refers to this as the “fee only” approach where wealth managers take only a flat fee regardless of how well they perform on their client’s behalf.
In 2008 they officially began operating under First Foundation Bank and expanded their product line to include traditional banking products as well as trust services, legacy planning, consulting, and insurance services.
Today, their FDIC-insured deposit accounts consists of:
- money market,
- and the online savings account.
They offer most of these deposit accounts for businesses as well, however the online savings account is only available for personal accounts.
Online Savings Account Rate + Details
The rate below is accurate as of August 4, 2022.
To put this yield into perspective, the current national average for a money market account and savings account sit at just 0.14% and 0.13% APY, respectively, according to FDIC data.
Minimum deposit and balance requirements
There is a $1,000 minimum balance requirement to earn the advertised APY and a $1,000 “new money” minimum deposit requirement to open the account.
There are no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. That said, if for whatever reason you need to withdraw your money and close this account within 90 days of opening it, a $20 fee will be assessed. Also, if you plan on making more than 6 transfers per month please note that a $20 fee will be imposed on the 7th transfer and on each subsequent transfer within the month.
Nationwide and can be opened online or branch if you live in one of the three states in which they are present. Currently 20 branches exist in California, Hawaii and Nevada. Locate one here. You can also give them a call at 1-888-405-4332.
Funding the Account
Depositing funds into the online savings account can be done in the following ways:
- ACH transfer
- Wire transfer
- Mailed check
- Mobile check deposit
- Visiting a First Foundation Bank branch (available only in Northern California, Southern California, Hawaii and Nevada)
None. Security questions will be generated from public databases though to confirm your identity.
Access your funds
Once you’ve opened the account you’ll have access to your funds in the following ways:
- ACH transfer
- Wire transfer
- Requesting a mailed check
- Visiting a First Foundation Bank branch
- ATM withdrawal (must first request an ATM card)
Variable Rate: This is a variable rate and may change at any time without notice.
Additional Account Features
You can expect all the standard bells and whistles in terms of account features.
Once you’ve opened the account and downloaded the app you can do the following:
- Track your account activity. Access all your account information in one central location. See your transactions, balances, statements and check images.
- Pay bills online. Transfer funds (6 external transfers per month), send person to person payments, pay your bills, deposit checks and more.
- Send money to friends and family. Unlimited transfers to other First Foundation Bank accounts, plus the ability to send externally (6 free external transfers per month).
- Stress free banking with multiple layers of security. First Foundation Bank utilizes multiple levels of authentication security so you can bank with confidence.
If you can maintain a $1,000 balance or more and are looking for a high yield online savings account, then the 2.25% APY from First Foundation Bank is a competitive offer.
A major plus is that an ATM card can be requested with the online savings account. Online savings accounts in general don’t usually come with ATM cards or access.
Also, if you live in California, Hawaii or Nevada you’ll have the added benefit of being able to visit one of their 20 branch locations.