Banking in the Aloha States has its unique challenges. Options are limited. You can’t physically cross state lines for better hours or more branches. Finding an available branch or fee-free ATM can be a challenge.
Luckily the Bank of Hawaii (BOH) has a large footprint, making banking accessible to residents throughout the state. It has more branch locations and network ATMs than any other institution there.
In addition to checking and savings accounts, BOH offers a wide range of investment, savings, and other financial products, and a customer loyalty program that offers increased interest rates for multiple accounts.
Interest rates for CDs and savings products aren’t as high as what many online-only banks and fintech institutions offer, but they are competitive with many large national banks.
What is Bank of Hawaii?
Since 1897, the Bank of Hawaii has provided banking services to Hawaiians. It offers local community-style banking, convenience, and the might of over $23 billion in total capital. The bank trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the trade code BOH.
While it’s a small, in-state bank, it gets high praise from industry experts. Moody’s Investor Services and Forbes consistently give BOH high marks for security and overall banking experience. Additionally, a recent Newsweek poll ranked the Bank of Hawaii number four among America’s Most Trustworthy Companies in the banking industry.
Checking and savings deposit accounts are the bank’s most popular products, but it is also the state’s number one residential lender for the total number of residential loans and total dollars of loans made to Hawaiians.
Bank of Hawaii: Checking Accounts
BOH offers five (5) checking accounts with varying benefits and deposit requirements.
1. Convenience Checking
A low-fee convenient checking account, there is a $3.25 monthly maintenance fee but the bank will waive the fee for enrolling in online statements.
An initial opening deposit of $25 is due, but beyond that, there are no account balance requirements. The account comes with checks or a Bank of Hawaii Visa debit card.
2. EASE by Bank of Hawaii
Similar to the BOH Convenience checking account, a $25 minimum opening deposit is due and the monthly account maintenance fee of $3.25 is waived for signing up for eStatements.
Consumers aged 13 or older can open an EASE account although a parent cosigner may be required.
To avoid overdrafts, checks do not come with the account but it does offer a Bank of Hawaii Visa debit card.
3. Bank Ohana Checking
A Bank Ohana Checking offers account holders tiered rewards, Level I, II, or III, based on total account balance and overall relationship with the bank.
A premier product, all levels of Ohana accounts come with free checks, waived fees, discounted benefits, preferred foreign exchange rates, and rewards perks.
- Level I: $500 minimum account deposit, $6,000 minimum combined accounts balance to avoid maintenance fees, and balances up to $10,000 earn a 0.01% APY.
- Level II: $500 minimum account deposit, $20,000 minimum combined accounts balance to avoid maintenance fee, balances up to $50,000 earn a 0.01% APY, balances over $50,000 earn an APY of 0.20%, free notary services, and free cashier checks.
- Level III: $500 minimum account deposit, $50,000 minimum combined accounts balance to avoid maintenance fee, balances up to $50,000 earn a 0.01% APY, balances over $50,000 earn an APY of 0.20%, free notary services, free cashier checks, fees waived for out-of-network ATMs, and ability to earn HawaiianMiles using the exclusive Bank of Hawaii Visa Debit Card.
Bank of Hawaii: Savings Accounts
BOH offers four different deposit savings account options.
1. Regular Savings
The Regular Savings account is a simple, no-fuss way to save money. A minimum opening deposit of $100 is due, and there is a $5 monthly service fee. BOH will, however, waive the fee for maintaining a daily balance of at least $300. Balances of least $1 earn a 0.02% APY.
2. Bonus Rate Savings
The Bonus Rate account incentivizes members to save their money by offering bonus interest for making no withdrawals and depositing at least $25 per month.
An initial deposit of $100 is required. There is a $5 monthly account maintenance fee, with the fee waivable for maintaining a minimum daily balance of at least $500.
Accounts with balances up to $100,000 earn a 0.02% APY, or a combined APY with bonus interest of 0.05%. Balances over $100,000 earn a combined APY of 0.06%.
3. Bankohana Bonus Rate Savings
A deposit of $100 is needed to open this account. There are no minimum daily balance requirements. Active savers making regular deposits and no withdrawals per month can earn bonus interest.
Balances up to $100,000 earn an APY of 0.03%, or a combined APY with bonus interest of 0.06%. Balances of greater than $100,000 earn a combined APY of 0.07%.
4. Bankohana Bonus Rate Savings Plus
As with other BOH savings accounts, the opening deposit is only $100. Active savers can earn bonus interest and may be eligible for high-yield rates through the Bankohana Savings Special.
There are no monthly maintenance fees for this account, and interest rates range from 0.04% to 3.682% depending on the balance. With rewards interest, the combined APY rates range from 0.09% to 3.80%.
Bank of Hawaii: CD Accounts
BOH offers competitive rates on its CDs, with a range of APYs based on CD length of terms.
To open a CD, you must have a BOH checking account with a minimum deposit of at least $500, and it can be opened at the same time as opening a certificate of deposit (CD) account.
CDs require a minimum deposit of either $2,500 or $5,000 and have APYs ranging from 2.00% to 4.50% based on CD type and length of terms.
Bank of Hawaii: MMA Accounts
Money market accounts (MMAs) are not listed on BOH’s website under its menu of personal or deposit bank account options, however, consumers can find MMA savings rates on the bank’s Consumer Checking and Savings Rate Sheet.
There are three (3) MMA options, with tiered interest rates that range from 0.03% to 0.06% APY.
For more details about opening an MMA, speak directly with a representative BOH branch rep or call 1-806-643-3888 or 1-888-643-3888.
Beyond their checking, savings, CD, and MMA accounts, Bank of Hawaii offers many other banking products and services.
- Mortgages and commercial real estate loans
- Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
- Bank of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines credit cards
- Personal loans: Secured and unsecured
- Insurance: Accidental death and dismemberment or hospital accident plans
- Small business banking
- Commercial and corporate banking
- Merchant services
- Investment management and financial planning
- Estate planning and trust services
- Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
- Convenient banking for Hawaiians: Physical branch locations in four (4) of the state’s five (5) counties, on the islands of Hawaii, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, and Kauai.
- Low-fee and no-fee deposit accounts: Most account fees range from $3.25 to $5.00, and it’s easy to meet requirements to get fees waived.
- Online banking: Secure easy way to manage your money 24/7, including balance checks, remote deposit, bill pay, and sending money to friends with Zelle.
- Mobile banking app: Convenient BOH app available for Android and Apple devices. The Apple app is highly rated with a 4.8-star rating in iTunes. In the Google Play Store, the app has a 3.7-star score.
Pricing and Fees
Like any bank or financial institution, the Bank of Hawaii does assess fees and surcharges for some of its services.
Here’s a rundown of some of the more common ones.
- Non-Sufficient Funds Fee on Items Returned: BOH assesses a $30 fee per item that is returned to the merchant due to insufficient account balance.
- Non-Sufficient Funds Fee on Items Paid / Overdraft Fee: BOH assesses a $30 fee per item (ACH transaction, check, ATM withdrawal, or debit card spend) that overdraws your account where the bank covers the charge.
- Inactive Fee: There’s a $5 monthly fee assessed for inactive accounts, with no incoming funds, withdrawals, or other transactions. This fee is waived for EASE accounts, children’s savings accounts, and Bankohana deposit accounts.
- Cashier’s Check: There’s a fee of $12 per item for bank-issued cashier’s checks. This fee is waived for Bankohana account holders with level II or III relationship status.
- Stop Payment Order or Post-Dated Check Notification Fee: The $30 fee per item is assessed regardless of the bank’s success at stopping the payment or preventing the early processing of a post-dated check.
- Bank of Hawaiian Airlines Visa Debit Card Fees: For Hawaiian Airlines debit cards, regular or Black Visa debit cards, there is a charge of $3 per card per month. There is a discount of $2 for Bokohana level II accounts, and the fee is waived for level III cardholders.
- ATM Fees: In-network, there are no fees for deposits, withdrawals, transfers, or balance inquiries. There is a $1.50 charge, however, for mini-statements. The mini-statement fee is waived for select Bankohana accounts. For out-of-network ATMs, fees generally range from $3 to $5. For international ATM withdrawals, an additional 3% transaction balance fee may be charged.
- Legal Process Fees: If the Bank of Hawaii processes a legal collection order on one or more of your accounts the bank will charge $95 for each garnishment order, or $50 for any tax levy or other legal order.
- Card Replacement Fees: There is a $20 fee to replace any lost, customer-requested replacement card. This fee applies to all debit cards and Bankoh BankCards. For an additional $40, you can request rush delivery.
- Wire Transfer Fees: Bank of Hawaii has steep fees for wire transfers. There is a $13 fee for any incoming wire transfer, and for outgoing wires, the fee is $40 for amounts under $5,000 or $75 for higher amounts. For international transfers, the fees are higher.
For most accounts, you can open it online or at a branch location.
Online, the process takes around 10 minutes or less. You’ll need a U.S. physical address and proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency.
The online forms will ask you a series of questions about your contact information, employer, and any joint account holders you would like to add.
Then you will need to provide information for the external account you’ll use to transfer money and fund your new BOH account. The process can take 1-5 business days.
Bank of Hawaii does not offer promotions for new account sign-ups or referring friends.
The BOH does, however, offer a Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard with decent rewards, including 70,000 bonus miles for making at least $2,000 purchases within the first 90 days, two (2) free checked bags on eligible flights, and a one-time 50% companion travel discount.
Banking with the Bank of Hawaii is a safe and secure experience when it comes to protecting your money and your data.
As a member FDIC institution, a consumer’s deposit of up to $250,000 is insured by the federal government. For additional account types or joint accounts with another owner, there is also additional FDIC coverage available.
When it comes to managing customer data, the Bank of Hawaii uses all cybersecurity best practices including firewalls and cryptographic techniques.
Bank of Hawaii is known for its great customer service and offers customers a number of ways to get in touch.
Customers can visit any Bank of Hawaii branch location during regular business hours, or BOH customers can reach out through other offline and online methods.
- Phone: Call 1-808-643-3888. Customer service representatives are available 7 days a week from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Account self-service, through the automated phone menu, is available 24 hours a day. Customers outside of Hawaii, dial 1-888-643-3888.
- Web form: Fill out the online contact form. You can ask any questions you have about your Bank of Hawaii account, and indicate whether or not you want a return phone call or a reply email. This is the closest option to customer support email.
- Book an appointment: Schedule an appointment online to speak with a banker. For most services, you can select an in-person or telephone appointment. For many business financial services, phone appointments are not offered.
- Customer service FAQs: The bank’s FAQ section covers the most common questions that customers have, and can often answer a customer’s questions in full.
- Mail: Send postal correspondence to Bank of Hawaii, 111 S King St, Honolulu, HI 96813.
- Live Chat: Real-time messaging is available through Bank of Hawaii’s Live Chat which is available in the app.
Bank of Hawaii has a wide range of customer reviews. Since it’s a regional bank with numerous locations, customer experience can vary depending on which branch you choose.
Here are a few reviews to help you gauge Bank of Hawaii’s overall customer service.
Very good bank. Always improving. Very impressed. Always prompt to return your call and branch hours are great.
Bank of Hawaii Customer WalletHub
No 24-hour live customer service. Only 7am to 7 pm. So, if you notice suspicious activity on your account after 7pm, you need to wait 12 hours before you can talk live to a customer representative.
Bank of Hawaii Customer WalletHub
Customer service which I only ever did over the phone is excellent. The problem is their systems and customer interactions must be outdated or have some other issues… The agents are always friendly and make every effort to help but appear limited by the tools available to them.
Bank of Hawaii Customer Yelp
Pros and Cons
- Branch locations throughout the state: 68 locations throughout the Hawaiian islands, making it the most easily accessible local bank for residents.
- Full-service banking services, including loans and wealth management. This includes private client services to meet your short-term and long-term financial goals.
- Debit card rewards are tied to Hawaiian Airlines, dining out, and traveling.
- Boost APR rates based on the relationship with the bank. Bankohana members can get a higher, blended APY rate for savings, CD, and money market accounts.
- Some account services such as preferred foreign exchange rates, are only available in Hawaii.
- Long list of banking fees, including monthly dormancy or inactivity fees, high NSF fees, and debit card
Alternatives to the Bank of Hawaii
While the BOH offers great convenience to local customers, there are other Hawaiian banks to consider.
Central Pacific Bank
Central Pacific was founded in 1954, dedicated to serving the immigrant community and local families. It offers a full suite of banking products, including some of the state’s highest CD rates. It also has low, minimum balance requirements and high overall ratings for products and services.
First Hawaiian Bank
First Hawaiian Bank is one of the oldest banks in Hawaii — and anywhere in the U.S. for that matter. Founded in 1858, it offers a considerable range of banking products, financial planning, and investment services.
Similar to BOH, First Hawaiian has a large footprint in the region. It has 51 branches in total, including three (3) in Guam and two (2) in Saipan.
American Savings Bank
While it’s Hawaii’s third-largest bank, it’s a relative newcomer to the banking scene. Founded in 1987, American Savings has seen rapid growth and enjoys immense popularity in the Aloha State. The bank offers an attractive array of low-fee or no-fee deposit accounts, discounted rates on loans, and a large ATM network throughout the state.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most popular FAQs that consumers have about the Bank of Hawaii and banking in the Pacific region.
Is the Bank of Hawaii a Good Bank?
In terms of financial strength, convenient locations, and customer service, the Bank of Hawaii is an outstanding bank. For two years in a row, Bank of Hawaii has won recognition from Newsweek as being one of America’s most trustworthy banks.
How Stable is the Bank of Hawaii?
According to Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) Morningstar, the Bank of Hawaii has “stable”, long-term financial strength. DBRS rates Bank of Hawaii an ‘A’
It has just shy of 33% market share among Hawaiian residents, and that share is growing.
Who is Bank of Hawaii Owned By?
Bank of Hawaii is owned by a range of different investment groups, with ten groups controlling more than 50% of the bank. Black Rock Fund Advisors (12.35%), The Vanguard Group (11.30%), and SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (7.79%) have the largest shares.
Is the Bank of Hawaii in the American Samoa?
No, the Bank of Hawaii no longer has any operating branches in the American Samoa. American Samoan customers can continue to bank with BOH through the mobile app, phone banking, and online banking, but there are no physical storefronts.
Is Bank of Hawaii Best for Your Needs?
If you live in Hawaii and want the convenience of local banking, strong CD rates, or the ability to earn debit card spending rewards, then Bank of Hawaii could be a very good fit.
While it does have a high schedule of fees, there are easy ways to waive or minimize most of them, including setting up direct deposit, meeting the low minimum balance requirements, or opting out of overdraft charge coverage so you do not incur the bank’s high overdraft fees.
The BankBonus team has analyzed dozens of banks to provide our readers with thoroughly informed and accurate reviews.
We evaluate digital financial platforms, online banks, regional banks, and national banks across several metrics.
Our assessment of each bank factors in these considerations:
- Product lineup: We review the types of accounts, loans, and services offered by each bank, as well as the number of accounts.
- Fees and pricing: We also consider each institution’s fees, including monthly maintenance fees and other service charges.
- Account features: To compare banks, we take a close look at the features, limits, and capabilities each one has to offer.
- Interest: Along with these features, we consider whether or not the bank offers interest-bearing accounts and compare their rates to industry averages.
- Brand reputation: The bank accounts we recommend have been carefully vetted to ensure they are legitimate, secure, and backed by FDIC
- User experience: Additionally, we consider the ease of use and availability of resources on each bank’s website and factor in reviews of the mobile app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
- Branch and ATM access: To gauge convenience, we also look at each bank’s branch and ATM availability and consider their ATM reimbursement policies.
- Customer service: In our review process, we also explore banks’ customer service channels, hours of availability, and third-party reviews