nbkc is a small Midwestern bank with just three local branches, looking to make a big impact in online banking, and moving steadily in that direction. They’re offering full-service banking, as well as some interesting online products, centering on their nbkc Personal Checking account.
The Personal Checking account comes with no minimum balance, no monthly account fees, and access to more than 32,000 ATMs across the country. And best of all, the account pays interest of over 1% on all balances. That’s one of the most generous personal checking account offers available anywhere.
They also offer high yield savings–also with no fees–as well as an innovative assortment of certificates of deposit. Most interesting are their 10-month and 20-month CDs that pay interest rates higher than competing online banks with CDs of comparable terms.
And as a full-service bank, they also offer business banking services that will be attractive to anyone who’s self-employed. It’ll be an opportunity to earn high interest on personal savings while also running your business through the same bank. And for what it’s worth, nbkc Bank’s business checking comes with the same no-fee arrangement as its other accounts.
nbkc Bank’s motto: Live boldly, bank simply. Is it true? Let’s take a close look.
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Also known as the National Bank of Kansas City, nbkc was founded in 1999, and is based in Kansas City, Missouri. The Bank has just three branches, located in Missouri and Kansas. But they operate primarily online, and offer their Personal Checking account and other banking services to customers nationwide.
In addition to the nbkc Checking Account, the Bank also offers a full range of high-yield savings products, real estate loans, small business loans, and other loans, as well as business services.
The Bank has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+, on a scale of A+ to F.
Minimum opening requirements: $5 to open your checking or money market savings account, then no minimum balance. Minimum $1,000 to open a CD (though their starter CD has only a $25 minimum).
Interest paid: nbkc Personal Checking currently pays 1.01% APY on all account balances. Personal Money Market Savings pays up to 1.77% APY, and CD rates are as high as 3.04% APY (all as of March 18, 2019).
Online Banking: nbkc Online Banking enables you to view transactions and your account balances, to stop payments, transfer funds between accounts, and set up balance and deposit alerts on your computer.
It also allows you to link your bank account directly with Quicken or QuickBooks, giving you the ability to download transaction information to a spreadsheet.
Online Banking also comes with Online Bill Pay, so you can pay bills electronically, set up future and recurring payments, and check the status of payments at any time.
Customer Service: Available by phone, Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Central time
Account debit card: nbkc Personal Checking comes with a Debit MasterCard. It can be used to make purchases, both online and at point of sale. It can also be used to access cash at ATMs.
ATM Access: nbkc participates in the MoneyPass network, which offers fee-free access to more 32,000 ATMs around the country. The Bank will also refund up to $12 per month for fees charged by out-of-network ATMs.
Account security: All account balances are protected by FDIC insurance, for up to $250,000 per depositor. Online banking comes with multi-factor authentication for extra protection. For debit card transactions, a text message may be sent to you to confirm the transaction.
nbkc Mobile Banking
The nbkc mobile banking app is available for download at The App Store for iOS (9.0 and later) devices, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is also available for Android devices (5.0 and up) through Google Play. The app is free to download.
With the app you can:
- Enjoy nearly all the features of Online Banking
- Make funds transfers
- Use Online Bill Pay
- Pay with your digital wallet, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay
- Send and receive secure messages
- Access branch hours and location information
- Make mobile check deposits
- Locate surcharge free ATMs
nbkc Bank offers just one personal checking account, the nbkc Personal Checking account, or simply nbkc Personal Account. It’s an interest-bearing checking account with very few fees – including no monthly maintenance fee – and no “gotcha” provisions.
As noted above, the account can be opened with as little as $5, but has no ongoing minimum account balance requirement. It’s currently paying a rate of 1.01% APY, which is paid on all account balances. The account comes with both Online and Mobile Banking access, including Online Bill Pay.
nbkc Personal Checking also comes with a Debit MasterCard, good at more than 32,000 ATMs with no fees. And even if you do have fees for out-of-network ATM access, nbkc will reimburse up to $12 per month.
And as is becoming increasingly unusual with online checking accounts, nbkc Personal Checking does come with paper checks.
nbkc Personal Checking account fees: Same as for nbkc Personal Money Market Savings account – see fee section below.
On the savings side, nbkc Bank offers it’s Personal Money Market Savings account, and a full line up of certificates of deposit (CDs).
Personal Money Market Savings
Personal Money Market Savings can be opened with a minimum opening deposit of $5, after which there is no minimum account balance requirement. The money market account features are identical to those of the Personal Checking account. That includes a Debit MasterCard, paper checks, Online Banking, Mobile Banking, and Online Bill Pay. (But be aware money market accounts are limited to just six withdrawals per month, per Federal Regulation D.)
The account pays interest of 1.77% APY on all balances up to $1 million. It then pays 1.31% APY on balances over $1 million (as of March 18, 2019).
nbkc Personal Checking and Money Market Savings Account Fees
nbkc Personal Checking and Money Market Savings Accounts maintain a policy of no hidden fees. The fee structure looks like this:
- No monthly service fees
- $0 for a “nifty box of checks”
- $0 for online banking with bill pay
- Overdrafts and NSFs, $0
- Stop payments, $0
- Income domestic wire fees, $0
- Outgoing domestic wire fees, $5
- International wire fees, send and receive, $45
Personal IRA Savings
This is a personal savings account specifically designed for individual retirement accounts. But curiously, the interest rate paid is lower than that of the Money Market Savings Account.
The Personal IRA Savings account is currently paying 1.11% APY on balances up to $1 million, but it drops to 0.65% APY on balances over $1 million.
nbkc Bank Certificates of Deposit (CDs)
nbkc offers both personal and IRA CDs with terms ranging from three months to 60 months. The minimum investment is $1,000, but their 14 Month Special CD requires a minimum investment of $25,000.
CD rates are as follows as of March 18, 2019:
nbkc also offers its Add-to Starter CD/IRA CD: It has a term of 12 months, requires a minimum initial deposit if just $25, plus at least $25 recurring contributions, and is currently paying 2.12% APY. It provides an opportunity for a new or very small savers to take advantage of high interest rates with a very small investment.
Personal Non-IRA CDs: This is a special type of CD with non-typical terms. For example, they offer terms of 10, 20, and 30 months. Each requires a minimum investment of $10,000, and currently pays an interest rate of 2.85% APY.
At these rates, the 10 month and 20 month CDs look especially attractive, compared with one year and two year CDs offered by other online banks.
There’s one major problem with their CDs – you can’t buy them online. So although the rates are attractive, investing in them is difficult.
Personal Health Savings Account (HSA)
nbkc Personal Health Savings Account currently paying an APY of 1.11% on balances up to $1 million, and 0.65% APY on balances exceeding $1 million.
Contributions to an HSA account are tax deductible, and can be withdrawn only to cover approved medical expenses. These are primarily health insurance copayments, deductibles and co-insurance balances. For 2019 you can contribute up to $3,500 for an individual and $7,000 for a family, plus a “catch-up” contribution of $1,000 more for participants 55 and older.
HSAs are designed to work with health insurance plans that are considered “high deductible health plans” (HDHPs), defined as a minimum deductible of $1,350 for an individual or $2,700 for a family. At the opposite end, there’s also a maximum out-of-pocket limit of $6,750 for an individual and $13,500 for a family.
nbkc is a full service mortgage lender, offering both fixed rate and adjustable rate conventional mortgages. They also offer FHA and VA loans. All loans are available for both purchase and refinance. You can be prequalified for a mortgage online, for a purchase, refinance, or an FHA or VA loan.
Conventional mortgages are available in 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, and five-year adjustable-rate mortgages. Recent rates on those programs are as follows:
Other Loan Products
nbkc also offers:
- Home equity lines of credit (HELOC)
- Personal loans for debt consolidation for as little a $5,000
- CD loans
- Construction loans
- Auto loans in terms of 36, 48 and 60 months
- Loans for motorcycles, boats and recreational vehicles
- Bridge loans and lot loans
As a full service bank, nbkc offers the following business services:
- Business checking with unlimited transactions, no monthly fee, and no minimum account balance requirement.
- Treasury solutions, including cash management disbursement systems, fraud management, and various collections processes, including credit card processing and merchant capture systems.
- Visa business credit cards, with rewards and access to more than 805,000 ATMs worldwide.
To open an account with nbkc Bank, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
- Have a Social Security number
- Have a valid driver’s license or state ID
- Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien
- Be at least 18 years old
You’ll also need to supply your email address and mobile phone, then scan and upload your driver’s license.
You’ll then be asked to provide your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow the bank to identify you.
Once the online application has been completed and approved, you can open the account with just $5.
Question: Why doesn’t nbkc offer a personal credit card?
Answer: They don’t offer a personal credit card, and they don’t provide an explanation for why not. But interestingly, they provide a large number of business credit cards, including the following:
- Visa Platinum
- Cash Rewards Visa Platinum
- Young Adult Visa
- Secured Visa
- Select Rewards Visa Platinum
- Travel Rewards Visa Platinum
- College Rewards Visa
Though each of the above cards is listed as a business credit card, they look an awful lot like personal credit cards. If you plan to open an nbkc Personal Checking account, and want to add a credit card, you should certainly ask if one of the above cards is available for non-business use.
Question: Are there any limits to how I can use Online Bill Pay?
Answer: The only limitation is that you cannot make payments that are court ordered, or will go to a payment center. That means you can’t use the service to pay for obligations like alimony or child support. Online bill pay can be used for virtually all other payment types.
Question: The customer service is limited to regular business hours for the checking
account, but what happens if I have a problem with my debit card?
Answer: nbkc has an after-hours debit card support phone line (800-528-2273) where you can report a lost or stolen debit card, either after hours or on weekends. It may not offer customer service in the usual sense, but it will enable you to reach a live person in a worst-case scenario, which would be the loss of your
- $5 initial deposit: This and the absence of a minimum balance requirement, make the checking and money market savings accounts perfect for new and small depositors.
- Earn interest: Over 1% on all account checking balances balances, and even higher rates on the Money Market Savings account.
- No monthly service fees: On either the checking or money market savings accounts.
- No-fee extras: No fees for a box of checks, online banking with bill pay, overdrafts and NSFs, stop payments and incoming domestic wires.
- Free ATMs: Access more than 32,000 fee-free in-network ATMs nationwide.
- High yield savings products: The 10 and 20 month Personal Non-IRA CDs pay especially attractive rates compared to other online banks..
- Business banking services: Full service banking plus business credit cards.
- Loan options: Home, auto and various personal loans.
- No local bank branches: Other than three in the Kansas City area.
- Limited customer service: Only available during regular business hours, which could be a limiting factor with a checking account.
- No personal credit card: nbkc only offers business credit cards.
- International wire fees: These are higher than the industry norm at $45.
- High minimum investment for some CDs: The minimum investment of $10,000 on the 10-month and 20-month CDs is high for new and small investors.
- Can’t purchase CDs online: Although their CD rates are competitive, customers can’t purchase them online.
nbkc is a small, locally run bank that operates nationwide. But they have one advantage over most other online banks, and that’s that they provide the full range of banking services. That includes checking and savings accounts, as well as CDs and IRAs. But they also provide the full selection of business services, as well as all types of personal loans.
The nbkc Personal Checking account is at the very center of nbkc Bank product offerings. Not only does it pay interest in excess of 1%, but it also provides paper checks, which is becoming increasingly uncommon among online banks. As well, there are no regular fees associated with this account. That gives you a pure benefit on the interest rate, without it being reduced by a large number of fees.
The Money Market Savings account isn’t one of the highest paying savings or money market accounts available among online banks. But it does pay a very healthy interest rate, and requires a minimum balance of just $5 to open.
Among its CDs, the Personal Non-IRA 10-month and 20-month certificates are paying higher rates than comparable online bank CDs, though they do require a high minimum initial investment at $10,000.
However, perhaps to offset that high minimum balance CD, nbkc offers it’s Add-to Starter CD. This certificate can be opened with as little as $25, and pays an interest rate in excess of 2% on a 12-month term.
And if you’re self-employed, you’ve gotta love an online bank that offers full business services, in addition to high interest checking and CDs. You can open a business checking account with no transaction fees, and no limits. But that’s just the beginning, since they also provide business loans and treasury solutions, including cash management and merchant services.
If you’d like more information, or if you’d like to open an account, visit the nbkc Personal Checking website.