TAB Bank Review: Competitive Rates With Fees To Watch For



TAB bank logoTAB Bank is a relationship-driven financial institution based in Ogden, Utah, where its one and only physical branch is located. Founded in 1998, TAB — which stands for Transportation Alliance Bank — initially provided banking services from truck stops. More than 20 years and 10,000 clients later, TAB is a mostly online bank with $711 million in assets.

TAB Bank’s personal banking products include checking and savings accounts as well as a money market account and certificates of deposit. Although it still tailors its services to truckers, you don’t have to work in the transportation industry to open a TAB Bank account. Whether you should open one depends on how well TAB fits your banking preferences and financial goals.

Here’s a look at what this TAB Bank review will cover:

Who Is TAB Bank Best For?

TAB Bank is best for truck drivers and owner-operators. TAB was founded to provide truckers with banking services from within the Flying J’s chain of truck stops, and it has remained true to its mission. In addition to standard checking, savings and money market accounts and CDs, TAB Bank has a checking account specifically for truckers and owner-operators who need to collect and manage payments on the road. A range of business loans is also available, including equipment financing.

Here are some factors to consider before deciding whether TAB Bank is right for you:

Pros:

  • Unique products for truck drivers and owner-operators
  • Competitive rates on savings and money market accounts and CDs
  • Availability of IRA savings accounts and CDs

Cons:

  • Limited choice of bank products for individuals outside of the transportation industry
  • No consumer loans except equipment financing
  • Monthly fees on some accounts, although they can be waived when account activity requirements are met
  • Website has missing or conflicting information about some accounts
  • Limited customer service

Explore: Best Online Banks of 2020

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Who Might Want To Choose TAB Bank?

TAB targets truck drivers and operators with deposit accounts and loans tailored specifically to them, so people in this profession will find a lot to like about the bank — especially if they process payments while out on the road. TAB might also be a good choice for nontruckers who want decent rates on basic bank products and are comfortable doing all their banking online.

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Who Might Want To Skip TAB Bank?

Because TAB Bank is online-only except for its Ogden, Utah, branch, you’ll want to skip it if you don’t live in Ogden and prefer banking in person. Folks who don’t use their checking accounts very often should also explore other options because TAB’s checking accounts charge a monthly service fee unless you meet minimum transaction requirements.

Customers who need the assistance of a bank representative to learn about account features are likely to be disappointed with TAB Bank. Although customer service lines are available Monday through Saturday, sales representatives with expert knowledge about the accounts are only available Monday through Friday.

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Types of Accounts Available

You’ll find a well-rounded range of account types at TAB Bank, although choices within each account category are limited. All of the currently available TAB Bank accounts pay interest. Rates are competitive for most accounts, but watch out for fees — they can really add up.

TAB Bank Account Types
Account Type Rates Fees
Interest Checking 0.10% APY $8 monthly fee; $30 overdraft and nonsufficient funds fee per transaction; $2 fee per ATM transaction
Online Savings 0.25%-1.50% APY $25-$30 returned deposit or paid overdraft fee; $20 for each excessive withdrawal
Money Market 0.25% APY $25 fee per returned deposit; $20 for each excessive withdrawal
CDs 0.85%-1.30% APY Contact bank for information about fee on opening deposit and early withdrawal penalty
IRAs Contact bank for information on IRAs Contact bank for fee information
Loans Contact bank for information on loan interest rates Contact bank for fee information

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Interest Checking Account

TAB Bank offers two checking accounts: 365 Checking, its standard consumer account; and Chrome Checking, which is designed especially for truckers. The accounts are identical in terms of their interest rates and fees. But the Chrome account lets truckers deposit electronic funds source checks, Comcheks and T-Cheks, which are commonly used in the trucking industry, online or by phone.

The interest rate these accounts pay is competitive with other banks, but perhaps not competitive enough to make up for the fees. You’ll have to pay the $8 monthly service fee unless you maintain a $1,000 minimum daily balance, make eight debit card transactions per month or get $1,200 in direct deposits per month. You can get hit with up to five $30 overdraft or nonsufficient funds fees per day. What’s more, you’ll pay $2 for every ATM transaction.

Pros:

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Access to alternative payment formats commonly used by truckers
  • Full-service mobile banking app
  • Low $1 minimum daily balance requirement

Cons:

  • $25 minimum opening deposit
  • $2 fee for all ATM transactions
  • $8 monthly maintenance fee unless you meet minimum account activity requirements
  • Overdraft and nonsufficient funds fees can be charged five times per day.

Learn More: Types of Checking Accounts

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Online Savings Account

You won’t pay a monthly service fee for either of TAB Bank’s two savings accounts, and the accounts’ other terms are easy to live with as well. The Premium Savings account requires a $25 opening deposit but the minimum balance requirement is only $1. Your money earns a 0.25% annual percentage yield, which is compounded daily and paid monthly. TAB’s High-Yield Savings account pays 1.50% APY and has no minimum deposit to open, but you’ll need to maintain a $1,000 minimum daily balance. And, of course, both accounts include mobile banking access.

Pros:

  • Interest begins compounding the day you make your first deposit.
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Low or no opening deposit requirement
  • Low minimum daily balance requirement for Premium Savings

Cons:

  • $1,000 minimum daily balance requirement for High-Yield Savings
  • Overdraft and nonsufficient funds fees can be charged up to five times per day.

Compare: Best High-Yield Online Savings Accounts

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Money Market Account

The money market account is the one product where TAB Bank’s APY falls short of the competition — especially for an online bank. It pays just 0.25% compared to Ally’s 0.75% and Discover’s 1.25%. That said, you only need to deposit $25 to open the TAB Bank Money Market account, and the minimum daily balance requirement is just $1.

TAB Bank’s money market account has the same rate and the same fees as the Premium Savings account. In fact, the only practical difference between the accounts is that you can write checks from the money market account, making it a good alternative to the lower-interest checking accounts for anyone who only writes an occasional check. As with a regular savings account, you’re limited to six withdrawals per month from your money market account.

Pros:

  • Higher interest than a checking account
  • Low daily balance requirement
  • Low opening deposit requirement

Cons:

  • Low interest compared to competitors
  • Overdraft and nonsufficient funds fees can be charged up to five times per day.

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Certificates of Deposit

CDs are a low-risk way to invest your money. In exchange for keeping your money in the account until the CD reaches maturity at the end of the term, you earn more in interest than you would with many savings accounts. TAB Bank has eight different CDs, with terms ranging from six to 60 months. Rates start at 0.85% APY for a six- or nine-month CD and max out at 1.30% APY for a 60-month CD. You must maintain a $1,000 minimum daily balance to earn the published rates, and you’ll incur an interest penalty if you withdraw your money before the CD matures.

Pros:

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Low-risk investment
  • Range of terms to choose from

Cons:

  • $1,000 minimum daily balance
  • Opening deposit might incur fees
  • Lower interest rate than the High-Yield Savings account pays, plus you lose access to your funds unless you want to risk a penalty

Learn About: Investing In Certificates of Deposits: The Ultimate Guide

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Individual Retirement Accounts

TAB Bank offers IRA savings accounts and IRA certificates of deposit, but even though TAB is an online bank, it doesn’t provide information about either account on its website, and you can’t open either account online. Contact TAB Bank’s New Accounts Team at 800-215-7128 for more information.

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Loans

Most of TAB Bank’s loans are business loans, but it does offer equipment financing that can help owner-operators purchase a new truck or trailer. Applicants work one-on-one with a banker to determine their needs and create a custom payment plan.

Information about rates and terms isn’t available on TAB Bank’s website, so you’ll have to call 888-441-6952 for more information.

Pros:

  • TAB Bank only makes equipment loans to transportation companies, so it understands that business.
  • Custom repayment schedules

Cons:

  • No online rate or term information or loan application

TAB bank logo

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How To Bank With TAB Bank

The first step toward banking with TAB is to visit the bank’s website to open an account. Use the “Open Now” button on any of the Personal banking product pages to navigate to the application. You can enter information manually or have TAB Bank pull the information from one of your social profiles.

TAB Bank will verify your identity by gathering the following:

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security or tax ID number

Once you’ve opened your account, you’ll need to enroll in online banking and link your accounts.

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Mobile and Online Banking

You’ll be doing all your banking online unless you live in or near Ogden, Utah, so it’s important to know what features you can expect from TAB’s online and mobile banking platforms. Here are some of the things you can do with basic online banking:

  • View and download your transaction history
  • Review account information, including balances and rates
  • Transfer funds between TAB Bank accounts
  • Make loan payments
  • Order checks

Bill pay is an optional feature TAB Bank offers for free. You can request it when you sign up for online banking or add it later.

TAB Bank’s mobile app, which is available from the Apple Store and Google Play, is compatible with checking and savings accounts only. In addition to basic services and optional bill pay, the mobile app makes it easy to deposit checks and send payments to family and friends.

Again, you won’t find much information on TAB Bank’s website, but customer service is available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. MST, and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. MST, except on federal holidays. Use the contact form on the bank’s website or call 800-355-3063.

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Fees

Both of TAB Bank’s checking accounts have $8 monthly maintenance fees, which the bank waives as long as you meet the minimum activity requirements. TAB’s overdraft fee is $25 to $30 depending on the account, which seems reasonable until you consider that you can be charged for up to five per day. And the $20 excessive withdrawal fee — charged when you make more than six savings or money market account withdrawals within a statement period — is also high. But the most surprising fee for this online bank is the $2 charge for each ATM transaction.

Learn About: Bank Fees You Should Never Pay

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Availability of Funds

You can visit an ATM to withdraw up to $500 per day from your checking or savings account using your TAB MoneyCard. Just be careful not to make more than six savings account withdrawals in a statement period or you’ll get hit with the excess funds’ fee.

Funds from direct deposits are available for withdrawal on the same day TAB Bank receives them. Funds from the following deposits are available the business day after TAB Bank receives them:

  • U.S. Treasury checks made out to you
  • Wire transfers
  • TAB Bank checks
  • Cash, other government checks, cashier’s checks, certified checks, money orders and Federal Home Loan Bank checks, as long as you deposit them in person at the branch office. Otherwise, they’ll be available the second business day after the bank receives them.

You can withdraw up to $200 from any other deposit on the first business day after you make the deposit. The balance is available on the second business day.

When you cash or deposit a check from another bank, TAB might hold some or all of the funds against your account until the check clears.

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Is TAB Bank Right for You?

TAB Bank offers competitive rates and a reasonable selection of accounts that could meet the needs of customers who want basic services they can access through online and mobile banking. But fees could be a deal breaker unless you have a compelling reason for choosing TAB over another online bank.

Truck drivers and owner-operators, for example, might appreciate the ability to process EFS check, Comchek or T-Chek payments and finance a truck or trailer purchase. But even for these individuals — TAB Bank’s core customers — the $500 daily ATM withdrawal limit and $2 ATM transaction fee might prove restrictive when banking on the road for days or weeks at a time.

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More Bank Reviews

Rates and fees are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of April 28, 2020. 

This content is not provided by TAB Bank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by TAB Bank.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: TAB Bank Review: Competitive Rates With Fees To Watch For



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