In our detailed Zions Bank review, we cover its savings products, rates, and fees. We also compare it to other online banking options.
As of today, Zions Bank offers one of the highest interest rates among high-interest savings accounts. But is it worthwhile to move your money there to take advantage of this interest rate? Today’s interest rate environment is not the best for moving money from bank to bank in search of the highest rate. So the more appropriate question is whether Zions Bank is a good choice for someone who is not currently taking advantage of a high-yield savings account.
If the money you keep for short-term expenses like emergencies is earning only 0.25% APY or less, open a high-yield savings account anywhere and start giving your cash a chance against inflation. Even if it’s not at Zions Bank, any high-yield savings account is better than none.
Banking Deal: Earn 1.55% APY on an FDIC-insured savings account at CIT Bank.
I’ve gone through the process of opening a Zions Bank savings account. This article contains a review of my experiences.
About Zions Bank
Before opening an account with the bank, I performed cursory research to understand the company that would be holding my deposit. Deposits at Zions Bank are FDIC insured up to the federal maximum. I wouldn’t even consider opening a savings account at a bank that did not offer this protection or the equivalent protection available at credit unions.
Zions Bank is based in Utah and has been in business since 1873. The corporation was formed by Brigham Young as Zion’s Savings Bank and Trust Company and was the territory’s first banking institution. The Church of Latter-Day Saints was involved with the bank’s operations until 1960, following a merger with other Utah banking institutions. After a series of name changes, the bank’s parent corporation is now known as Zions Bancorporation.
Zions Bancorporation operates 130 Zions Bank branches in Utah and Idaho. But the investment company’s operations span the western United States. The parent company is traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange (ZION). Zions Bank has a two star rating in Bankrate’s “Safe & Sound” system.
Opening a New Zions Bank Online Savings Account
The first page of the savings account application asks for your personal information. As expected, Zions Bank asks for your Social Security number, as well as your mother’s maiden name. You will use this information for identity verification when communicating with the bank. For communications, Zions’s customer service is available from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm Mountain Time every day except Sunday.
Zions suggested I open the bank’s free checking account after completing the application, but I declined. The bank offered several additional features. I declined the ATM account access option because there are no bank-owned ATMs local to me. I also declined the Visa credit card as I have no need for another credit card at this time.
Click the image to the right to zoom in.
Funding the Zions Bank Online Savings Account
New customers have three options for funding the initial deposit, which carries a minimum of $100. The application offers electronic funds transfer (EFT), check, and wire. If you select to fund your account via check, the opening process takes longer. This process requires you to send a check through the mail and wait for the bank to receive it. The EFT process is the quickest, but it requires finding your bank routing number and account numbers. If you’re funding the account from an existing checking account, you can easily find this information on your checks.
I will be funding my new Zions savings account with an electronic transfer from ING Direct. Although I have the bank’s routing number memorized from the many times I’ve used it to fund new bank accounts, I always verify the number by logging into my account at ING Direct.
USA PATRIOT Act and Government Regulations
You may have noticed that opening a bank account in the past few years has involved more scrutiny for the applicant. To fight against terrorism–or against the funding of terrorism–banks are required to ask more questions about your purposes for opening a bank account. You will need to let Zions Bank know if you are a foreign government official, whether you plan to make deposits of physical cash (not electronic transfers), whether you plan to send or receive more than three wire transfers, if you plan to keep more than $1 million on deposit at the bank, and whether you are a business owner. You will also need to provide your occupation or industry and the name of your employer.
Like all savings accounts, Zions Bank will limit your withdrawals by internet, ACH, or telephone to six per thirty-day cycle. This is a federal regulation for savings accounts. But each bank can choose how it wants to handle violations of this rule. Zions charges customers $15 per withdrawal over the limit of six in each statement period. However, ATM withdrawals are unlimited. The Zions Bank Online Savings Account charges no other fees.
Once you provide all the information requested and agree to electronic disclosures, terms, and fees, the application is complete. Zions Bank will process the application within two business days. But your confirmation already includes your new account number.
Zions provides instructions for accessing your new account right away. But you won’t be able to access your account until you receive confirmation by email. Your login name is the same as the email address you provided during the application process, and your default password is the first two letters of your mother’s maiden name followed the month and year of your birth.
Accessing Your New Zions Bank Savings Account
Twenty-six hours after completing my application, I received my second email from Zions Bank to notify me that I could now access my account online. Using my email address and the password described above, I logged into ZionsBank.com.
Note: The password is case sensitive. And though I entered my mother’s maiden name capitalized properly, my password worked only when entering the two letters in lowercase.
After entering your default password, you will have the opportunity to select a security image and phrase, now a common practice when banking online. And you’ll pick three challenge questions that will be used to verify your identity and register your computer the first time you log in and any time you view your account from a new computer.
After assigning answers to your chosen questions, your account will bring you back to the main Zions Bank home page. You’ll need to log in again. Once you are logged in and choose to register the computer, you will have the option of turning off paper statements and will see your account listed. If you log in right away, you will probably be viewing your account before your initial deposit makes its way to the bank. Zions Bank will present you first with your balance screen, which shows you the balances across all the accounts you hold at Zions Bank. You can click on the name of any of your accounts to see that account’s activity. In my case, there was still nothing to see.
The process of opening my account at Zions Bank was flawless.
Zions Bank Rates
So opening an account with Zions is easy. Zions Bank also recently revamped its entire online presence and interface, which makes the banking experience much better. But the primary reason why Zions Bank isn’t a well-known national brand is simple. They have lousy interest rates.
Zions Bank provides a variety of deposit products. Savings, Money Markets, IRA’s and CD’s can all be opened with no minimum deposit. Here’s a rundown of the interest rates you can expect to receive on each offering.
- Online Savings Account – 0.06%
- Money Market Account – 0.50%
- Anytime Interest Checking – 0.02%
- High Yield CD’s – 0.05% – 1.01%
- IRA Money Market – 0.14% – 0.20%
Simply put, those are awful. Zions Bank used to be a good high-yield online savings opportunity; but it has become the opposite. If you’re looking to stash money away into a quality online bank, look elsewhere. Checking out our best high yield savings account page is a great place to start.
|Routing (ABA) number||124000054|
|Established||July 10, 1873|
|Savings interest rates||Click here to see rate|
|Money Market interest rates||Click here to see rate|
|Location||One South Main Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84133|
Updated December 16, 2017 and originally published December 15, 2017.