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Options trading Bank of Hope has low APYs and high minimum deposits, but stands out for its community services and college scholarship programs


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Options trading Bank of Hope has low APYs and high minimum deposits, but stands out for its community services and college scholarship programs

Bank of Hope; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.Bank of Hope (Member FDIC) has branches in eight US…

Options trading Bank of Hope has low APYs and high minimum deposits, but stands out for its community services and college scholarship programs

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Bank of Hope; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider


Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, like American Express, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

  • Bank of Hope (Member FDIC) has branches in eight US states, and it focuses on programs and college scholarships for low- to moderate-income members of the community.
  • You might like banking with Bank of Hope if you want to work with an institution that gives back to its community, but most of its bank accounts come with high minimum deposits and low interest rates.
  • The Bank of Hope mobile app doesn’t have many reviews, and the existing reviews are relatively poor; if banking on your phone is important to you, then you might not like Bank of Hope.
  • The bank’s strongest banking product may be its CDs, which offer terms as short as one month and charge low early withdrawal penalties.
  • See Business Insider’s picks for the best CD rates »

Bank of Hope is a brick-and-mortar bank in eight US states, with the bulk of its branches in California.

Bank of Hope has several programs set up to help members of its community, including donations toward homeownership and affordable housing for people in low- to moderate-income areas and a college scholarship program.

If you want to support an institution that gives back to its community, then you might like banking with Bank of Hope. But if you’re just looking for a regular bank account, then you might be turned off by high minimum opening deposits and low interest rates.

You might like Bank of Hope if you:

  • Live near a branch
  • Want to bank with a company that’s involved in its community
  • Want to open a CD with a term as short as one month
  • Are looking for a CD that charges low early withdrawal penalties

You might not like Bank of Hope if you:

  • Don’t live near a branch
  • Want to earn a high APY on your savings
  • Can’t afford the minimum opening deposit requirements
  • Don’t qualify to waive monthly fees
  • Want a money market account with a debit card or checks
  • Are looking for a strong mobile app
  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Super regional Korean-American bank with community focus
    • 58 branches in 8 states: AL, CA, IL, NJ, NY, TX, VA, and WA
    • Free ATMs nationwide through the Allpoint and MoneyPass ATM networks
    • Earn higher rate with balance of $100,000+
    • Waive $5 monthly service fee by maintaining $500 daily balance
    • FDIC insured
    Pros
    • Relatively easy to waive monthly fee
    • Earn higher APY with higher balance
    Cons
    • Low APY
    • $500 minimum opening deposit
    • $5 monthly service fee

    The Bank of Hope Personal Savings Account monthly fee and APY are comparable to other brick-and-mortar banks. But many online banks pay higher rates and don’t charge a monthly fee.

    The $500 minimum opening deposit is pretty steep. If you don’t have the money to open a savings account with Bank of Hope, you can find other brick-and-mortar banks that require much less.

    Bank of Hope also has a Personal Installment Savings Account that works similarly to a CD. Choose a 12-month, 24-month, or 36-month savings term. Although you’ll earn a higher rate with this account than with a Bank of Hope Personal Savings Account, you’ll pay a penalty if you withdraw funds before the term is over.

    See Business Insider’s picks for the best high-yield savings accounts »

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Super regional Korean-American bank with community focus
    • 58 branches in 8 states: AL, CA, IL, NJ, NY, TX, VA, and WA
    • Free ATMs nationwide through the Allpoint and MoneyPass ATM networks
    • Earn higher rate with balance of $100,000+
    • Waive $15 monthly service fee by maintaining $2,500 minimum daily balance, OR average $5,000 daily balance
    • FDIC insured
    Pros
    • By enrolling in e-statements, you’ll have $3/month credited toward monthly service fee
    • Unlimited check-writing privileges
    • No out-of-network ATM fees
    Cons
    • $1,000 minimum opening deposit
    • $15 monthly service fee
    • $33 overdraft fee
    • No overdraft protection
    • Doesn’t reimburse fees charged by out-of-network ATM providers

    You have the opportunity to earn interest with the Bank of Hope Interest Checking Account. But if earning interest on your checking balance is important to you, then you can find accounts with much higher rates. The high $1,000 minimum opening deposit is also almost unheard of for a checking account.

    Bank of Hope has several checking accounts, so if the Bank of Hope Interest Checking Account isn’t what you’re looking for, then you may find another one that suits your needs.

    Bank of Hope charges a $33 overdraft fee, which is pretty standard. But unlike most banks, there are no overdraft protection options.

    Bank of Hope’s main advantage over most other brick-and-mortar banks is that it doesn’t charge a fee when you use out-of-network ATM. An out-of-network ATM provider may charge a fee, though, and Bank of Hope doesn’t reimburse these fees like some online banks do.

    See Business Insider’s picks for the best checking accounts »

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Super regional Korean-American bank with community focus
    • 58 branches in 8 states: AL, CA, IL, NJ, NY, TX, VA, and WA
    • Terms ranging from 1 to 60 months
    • Early withdrawal penalties are as follows: 30 days simple interest for terms under 12 months; 90 days interest for terms of 12 to 23 months; 180 days interest for terms of 24 months or more
    • Earn higher rate with higher balance
    • FDIC insured
    Pros
    • Terms as short as 1 month
    • Low to standard early withdrawal penalties
    Cons
    • Low APY
    • $1,000 minimum deposit

    The Bank of Hope Regular CD rates are lower than what most online banks pay, but they’re comparable to or higher than what some brick-and-mortar banks pay. The $1,000 minimum deposit is pretty standard, but if you don’t have the funds, then you can find other banks that require less.

    You can choose from CD terms as low as one month. Bank of Hope’s early withdrawal penalties are relatively low. Some online banks have no-penalty CDs, but if you know you want a brick-and-mortar bank and are worried about needing funds early, Bank of Hope could be a good option.

    Bank of Hope also offers a Flex CD that allows two additional deposits and two withdrawals during the term, but you’ll need $5,000 to open an account.

    See Business Insider’s picks for the best CD rates »

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Super regional Korean-American bank with community focus
    • 58 branches in 8 states: AL, CA, IL, NJ, NY, TX, VA, and WA
    • Earn higher rate with higher balance
    • Waive $10 monthly service fee by maintaining $2,500 minimum daily balance, OR average $5,000 daily balance
    • FDIC insured
    Pros
    • By enrolling in e-statements, $3/month goes toward monthly service fees
    • Earn higher APY with higher balance
    Cons
    • Low APY
    • $2,500 minimum opening deposit
    • $10 monthly service fee
    • $10 excess transaction fee
    • No debit card or paper checks

    Some people prefer money market accounts to savings accounts because the former provides you a way to access your money, such as a debit card or paper checks.

    But the Bank of Hope Personal Money Market Account doesn’t give you an easy tool for tapping into savings, so there isn’t much that sets it apart from the Bank of Hope Personal Savings Account.

    Depending on your balance, you may earn a higher APY than if you opened a Bank of Hope Personal Savings Account. But if a high interest rate is driving your decision, then you may be better off opening a money market account with a different bank.

    See Business Insider’s picks for the best money market accounts »

    On its website, Bank of Hope describes itself as “the only super regional Korean-American bank in the US.” Bank of Hope was established by Korean immigrants to the US, and it serves customers of all ethnicities.

    A super regional bank isn’t quite as large as a national bank, but it’s bigger than a local or regional bank and is present in more than one region of the US. Here are the eight states with Bank of Hope branches:

    • Alabama
    • California
    • Illinois
    • New Jersey
    • New York
    • Texas
    • Virginia
    • Washington

    There are 31 branches in California, and it’s the only state with more than six branches.

    You might not like Bank of Hope if you do a lot of banking from your phone. The mobile app doesn’t have many reviews, but it’s accumulated 2.2 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 2.3 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

    You can contact the customer call center Monday through Friday, 5:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PST, or Saturday from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PST.

    Your money is FDIC insured for up to $250,000, or $500,000 if you have a joint account.

    We’ve compared Bank of Hope to two other brick-and-mortar institutions that have a significant presence in California: Bank of America (Member FDIC) and Golden 1 Credit Union (Federally Insured by the NCUA).

     Bank of HopeBank of AmericaGolden 1 Credit Union
    Locations58 in 8 states4,200 in 37 states70 in CA
    Savings APY0.01% to 1.01% APY0.01% to 0.05%0.05% to 0.10%
    Opening deposits   
    Savings$500 to $1,000$100$1 to $20
    Checking$25 to $1,000$25 to $100$0 to $25
    Money market account$2,500 to $25,000N/AN/A
    CD$1,000 to $5,000$1,000 to $10,000$500
    Monthly service fees   
    Savings$0 to $5$0 to $8$0
    Checking$0 to $15$0 to $25$0 to $8
    Money market account$0 to $25N/AN/A

    Bank of Hope review vs. Bank of America review

    Bank of America has over 850 branches around California. It also has branches in 36 other states, so if you travel around the US frequently, then Bank of America could offer you easier access to your money.

    You may prefer Bank of America if you don’t have much money to open a savings account. Bank of America only requires $100 to open a savings account, but Bank of Hope has a mandatory $500 or $1,000 opening deposit.

    You’ll want to go with Bank of Hope for a money market account, though, because Bank of America doesn’t have a money market account. You also could earn a higher APY on your CD with Bank of Hope, depending on your balance and term length.

    If banking via a mobile app is important to you, then you’ll probably prefer Bank of America. Its app has much better online reviews than the Bank of Hope mobile app.

    See Business Insider’s review of Bank of America savings rates »

    Bank of Hope review vs. Golden 1 Credit Union review

    If you’re interested in a credit union over a bank, then you might like Golden 1 Credit Union. It has over 70 branches around California. It doesn’t have branches in other parts of the US, which could be inconvenient if you travel, but it does have plenty of ATMs nationwide.

    Golden 1 Credit Union is a worthwhile option for people who don’t have much money to open accounts. But you’ll prefer Bank of Hope if you want to open a money market account, because Golden 1 doesn’t offer a money market account.

    The Golden 1 app has better ratings than the Bank of Hope app, so you’ll probably like Golden 1 if you want to bank from your phone.

    See Business Insider’s list of the best banks and credit unions in California »

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    Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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    More:

    Bank of Hope
    Bank of Hope Personal Savings Account
    Bank of Hope Personal Installment Savings Account
    Bank of Hope Interest Checking Account

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