First National Bank of Omaha, a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska, is currently the largest privately owned bank in the United States today. Founded in 1850 and opened in 1857 by a group of Iowan settlers, FNBO was also a pioneer in getting women in the workforce. In 1913, First National Bank of Omaha established a “Ladies Department” which was staffed entirely of women tellers and bankers. Then during the great depression, FNBO forever solidified itself as one of the premier American banks, honoring every withdrawal that was presented; a rarity for banks during the depression.
These days, you can find just over 30 brick and mortar branches for FNBO in Nebraska, Texas and Iowa. But through its online channel, First National Bank of Omaha is available to all US customers. The interest rates table you see below is current as of 06/17/2011 and represents a reality amongst current interest rates. FNBO is consistently among the very best in savings and CD interest rates and given the state of the economy, the very best is no where near what it use to be. Less than three years ago, FNBO was offering a mind-blowing 6.00% APY for their online savings accounts, which confirmed then and now that the bank is committed to giving the very best interest rates the market will support.
Savings Account 0.70%
1 Year CD 0.40%
2Year CD 0.75%
3 Year CD 1.15%
4 Year CD 1.40%
5 Year CD 1.75%
Opening an FNBO account online is a quick and painless process that takes a little less than 5 minutes. The first step is to visit the First National Bank of Omaha website and click to start a new application.
To open an account, FNBO uses a five step process to complete a new account opening.
- Enter your personal information
- Confirm your identity (four or five security questions)
- Complete your signature card
- Customize your account
- Fund your account
Step 1: Enter Your Personal Information
Every question you’ll find in this section is one that you’ve answered a thousand times before. FNBO only asks for the basics, needing the usual name, contact info, social security number and drivers license info. Spread across two pages, if you’re a quick typist and good at remembering your personal details, you can finish the step in 60 seconds flat. On to verifying you are who you say you are.
Step 2: Confirm Your Identity
A little bit more tricky than the first, you are now asked to complete four or five security questions that will confirm the personal information you entered on the previous step. If you cannot answer all of the questions correctly, not to worry, you are given a second set that can clear things up. If you don’t score perfectly the second time around you won’t be able to continue the account opening process. After successfully entering the right information, I’ve hit a deadly snag!
My application has been declined! How can a bank decline an online savings account application you ask? Frequent readers of this site know that my credit is in the tank and while my FICO score does not automatically decline me for this application, something on my credit report has. I called in to an FNBO representative and after one simple selection on my telephone keypad, I had a live operator. He informed me the reason my account could not be opened was because I closed a bank account six years ago with a negative balance. In my defense, the negative balance was $35.00, but nevertheless, having savings accounts closed because of money owed can cause future accounts not to be accepted. Good to know.
Forgetting the issues I have, let’s continue the online account opening process assuming you make it past the validity test without any problems.
Step 3: Complete Your Signature Card
The easiest of all steps you are asked only one questions, which is whether or not you are subject to back-up withholding. The FNBO system defaults their system to “no” and as long as your name and personal details below the question are accurate, you can work your way to step 4.
Step 4: Customize Your Account
Customizing your account is more about telling FNBO what they can expect out of you, as the questions revolve around how and how much money you plan to transfer to your new savings account. 20 seconds later, you are on to the last step in creating your new account.
Step 5: Fund Your Account
First National Bank of Omaha conveniently allows for two account funding methods, the second of which is shown above. Users can mail in a personal check and expect to have the funds credited within 7 to 10 business days. If mailing a personal check isn’t your thing, you can transfer the funds electronically from an existing bank account. The online transfer method has become the method of choice for most consumers and if it’s important for you to get your money in quicker, transfer it bank to bank.
Once you have completed the last step, you are sent to a page where the details of your account are available for printing and you’re done. The only thing left for you to do is to go back to the homepage and register your new account so you have login credentials. Congratulations … you now have an online savings account with one of the best banks in the US today.
So is FNBO Direct the right bank for you? Well when you look at what the bank has going for itself; high interest rate, accessible and helpful customer service (even for non-clients), an easy to open account process and a name brand that goes back 150 years, FNBO Direct is an excellent place to start or continue your savings career.
Published or updated March 5, 2013.