TIAA Bank was founded more than a century ago with the intention of helping teachers retire. Today it’s a full-service bank that has more than 80,000 in-network ATMs in the U.S. While it’s primarily an online-only bank, you’ll be able to set foot in a physical branch if you’re in Florida.

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Pros

  • Debit card with perks

  • Earn interest on checking account

  • Extensive ATM network

Cons

  • A limited number of physical branches 


  • Higher interest rates from online-only banks found elsewhere

Pros Explained

  • A debit card with added protections – TIAA Bank’s debit card comes with some features that are typically found with credit cards: extended warranty protection of up to one year, price protection up to 60 days after purchase, and return protection within 90 days after you buy something.
  • A checking account that earns interest – TIAA Bank’s checking accounts earn a bit of interest. It offers an introductory annual percentage yield (APY) of 0.50% for the first year.
  • A wide network of ATMs – TIAA Bank offers its customers more than 80,000 ATMs nationwide. If you keep a balance of at least $5,000 in your account, TIAA Bank will waive ATM fees from other institutions when you use an out-of-network ATM. Otherwise, up to $15 a month in ATM fees will be waived.

Cons Explained

  • Not many brick-and-mortar locations – If you want to set foot inside a branch and talk to a human being, there are only four physical locations, and they’re all in Florida.
  • Higher interest rates can be found elsewhere – While the intro APYs for the money market account and Yield Pledge checking are higher than the national average after the intro rate ends you can probably find a higher interest rate through other online-only banks.

Who Is TIAA Bank Best For? 

TIAA Bank should appeal to most customers who desire a full range of services with an online-only bank. It might be a particularly good fit for those who:

  • Want access to a wide network of ATMs 
  • Can meet their minimum balance requirements to waive the monthly account fee 
  • Want to enjoy a debit card that comes with extra perks
  • Would like to see different options for certificates of deposit (CDs)

What Does TIAA Bank Offer? 

TIAA Bank offers a number of different types of accounts and services:

  • Savings Account
  • Checking Account 
  • Money Market Account 
  • CDs
  • Credit Card 
  • A Range of Online Tools and Services
  • Different Ways to Access Customer Service

Basic Savings

TIAA Bank’s Basic Savings account requires only $25 to open one. If you keep at least $25 in your account, the monthly account fee gets dropped. If you don’t, you’re looking at a $5 fee each month. If you reside in Rhode Island, the minimum deposit and monthly account fee are waived.

Basic Checking 

TIAA Bank’s Basic Checking account has a $25 minimum deposit to get started. To waive the $5 monthly account fee, you’ll need to maintain a balance of $25. New York residents do not pay the monthly account fee nor are they required to have the minimum amount to open.

Yield Pledge Checking

There’s a $100 minimum to open an account. TIAA Bank’s checking enables you to earn interest. For the first year after opening the account, the intro rate is a competitive one at 0.50%. Then it kicks over to a tiered, ongoing APR that’s based on the account balance.

Yield Pledge Checking Rates
Balance Ongoing APY
$0 to $9,999.99 0.20%
$10,000 to $24,999.99 0.20%
$25,000 to $49,999.99 0.25%
$50,000 to $99,999.99 0.30%
$100,000 to $10,000,000 0.35%

TIAA Bank promises that its APY rates remain competitive and are among the top 5% of interest rates. There’s no monthly maintenance account fee, and for balances less than $5,000, you get up to $15 reimbursed per month for out-of-network ATM fees. You also enjoy special perks with your debit card: purchase protection, return protection, and extended warranty protection.

Yield Pledge Money Market Account

TIAA Bank’s money market account has no monthly account fee and requires a $500 minimum deposit to get started. Like its Yield Pledge checking account, there’s a one-year intro APY. At a competitive 1.40% APY, it might be worth considering, especially if you want some liquidity with your cash. Then it kicks to tiered rates according to your account balance, starting at 0.90% APY for balances under $10,000.

Yield Pledge Money Market Rates
Balance Ongoing APY 
$0 to $9,999.99 0.90%
$10,000 to $24,999.99 1.01%
$25,000 to $49,999.99 1.10%
$50,000 to $99,999.99 1.25%
$100,000 to $10,000,000 1.35%

$1,000 is the minimum deposit requirement for opening a CD at TIAA Bank

Basic CDs

TIAA Bank’s basic CDs range in terms of three months to five years. You need a minimum of $1,000 to sign up for a CD. The rates are as follows:

Yield Pledge CD Rates
Term APY
Three-month CD 0.50%
Six-month CD 0.90%
Nine-month CD 1.15%
One-year CD 1.35%
One-and-a-half-year CD 1.35%
Two-year CD 1.35%
Two-and-a-half-year CD 1.20%
Three-year CD 1.45%
Four-year CD 1.55%
Five-year CD 1.60%

If you withdraw early, you’ll be dinged with a penalty.

Yield Pledge CD Penalties
Term Penalty 
One year or less 90 days of simple interest on the amount of principal withdrawn 
One to three years

180 days of simple interest on the amount of principal withdrawn


 
Three years or more 270 days of simple interest on the amount of principal withdrawn

CDARS Service 

For those who have a lot of money to park in a CD, TIAA Bank offers a way for you to deposit funds at other banks in its network. That’s so you can have access to millions of dollars in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance, versus the standard $250,000 per account. You’ll need at least $10,000 to open a CD through this service, and there are funding limits.

CDARS Rates and Funding Limits

Term
 
Funding Limits  APY
Three-month CD $12.5M 0.26%
Six-month CD $12.5M 0.63%
One-year CD $12.5M 1.02%
Two-year CD $2.5M 0.90%
Three-year CD $1M 0.87%

Bump-Rate CD 

Only for CDs with a term of three-and-a-half years, should the interest rate increase during the duration of your CD, you can “bump up” the existing rate of the CD to the new one. Note that you can only do this once and for one account. 

TIAA Credit Cards

TIAA Bank currently offers one credit card, which is its Rewards Credit Card.

A Range of Online Tools and Services 

As you might expect from an online-only bank, TIAA Bank offers a variety of tools you can access on your phone or desktop. You can pay bills, receive payment alerts, and set up automatic bill pay. What’s more, you can create a budget and savings goals and send money to friends and family through Zelle.

Tweet for Customer Service 

For help with banking-related issues, TIAA’s customer support team is available seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST. Prefer to tweet for support? You can, at TIAA’s customer support account, https://twitter.com/TIAABankHelp, from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. If your debit or credit card gets lost or stolen, around-the-clock service is available.

Other Financial Products Offered by TIAA Bank

TIAA Bank also offers a handful of other services and products: 

  • Purchase Mortgages 
  • Refinance Mortgages
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) 
  • Individual Retirement Account (IRA)
  • Mutual Funds 
  • Annuities 
  • Brokerage Services
  • 529 Education Savings Plans 
  • Managed Investment Portfolios

TIAA Customer Service

Whether you do banking, take out a mortgage or sign up for a credit card, TIAA offers live customer support. Depending on the products, the hours vary and are as follows: 

  • Banking: 7 days a week, 8 am - 11 pm 
  • Credit and debit cards: 24/7
  • Mortgages: Weekdays, 8 am - 9 pm 

For those who prefer to connect via social media, you can also contact TIAA’s support team onTwitter. Besides talking to a human on the phone, you can also send an email or snail mail.

How to Bank with TIAA Bank

As with other online-only financial institutions, you can sign up for a TIAA account online. Have questions before you sign up? You can reach out to their customer support, or poke around its help center.

Verdict

TIAA Bank might be a good option for those who want an online bank that makes it easy for them to get money from an ATM and make a lot of purchases on their debit card. If you are looking at opening an account with an online-only bank, you’ll probably be able to find higher interest rates elsewhere.

Methodology

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of banks. We collected over 20 data points across more than 80 banks including products available, interest rates, fees, and accessibility to ensure that our content helps users make the right decision for their savings and banking needs.