Finding the right bank for your specific financial needs can be challenging for anyone. If you live in the state of Hawaii, you may find yourself met with fewer options than people on the mainland. However, First Hawaiian Bank stands out as a prominent option for people living on the Hawaiian islands.
First Hawaiian Bank has been serving the people of Hawaii for over 160 years. In its long history, it has developed an extensive selection of products and services for its customers to choose from, including checking and savings, retirement accounts, personal and business loans, and more.
Read on to learn more about First Hawaiian Bank’s offerings, service, and overall performance to determine if it’s the right choice for you.
About First Hawaiian Bank
First Hawaiian Bank’s history goes back to the mid-1800’s when the major industry in the Pacific was whaling. In 1858, two local businessmen recognized the need for more complete banking services on the island and opened Bishop & Co. The bank kept this name until 1969 when it formally changed its name to First Hawaiian Bank.
From the introduction of sugar and pineapple to the tourism boom, First Hawaiian Bank has grown alongside Hawaii. Today, they are one of the largest financial institutions in the South Pacific with 51 branches across Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan. They have over $20 billion in assets and offer a diversified range of banking products including deposit products, lending services, and wealth management.
First Hawaiian Bank Checking Accounts
First Hawaiian Bank has three checking accounts for customers to choose from. The accounts range from a no-frills account to a premium account for loan or line of credit holders.
First Hawaiian Bank markets their Pure Checking account as a streamlined and simple account for customers who value mobile banking and low to no fees. You can waive the $2 monthly service charge easily by either signing up for eStatements or if you’re over 25 years of age and under 50 years of age. This account also features a low minimum opening deposit of $20, and it comes with a free Mastercard debit card.
Priority Banking Gold
The Priority Banking Gold account is best for people who want to enjoy 0.25% off regular rates for personal loans, lines of credit, or home equity lines of credit (HELOC.) The account requires a $20 minimum deposit to open and comes with a $15 monthly service fee. There are a few ways you can waive the fee: have a combined balance of $6,000; have a minimum direct deposit amount of $2,000 per statement cycle; or enroll in the Private Banking Program. In addition to the rate discount, you can take advantage of $250 off the loan administration fee for a residential first mortgage loan and $15 off an annual safe deposit box fee.
Priority Banking Platinum
Similar to the Priority Banking Gold account, the Priority Banking Platinum account offers special rates for account holders who apply for lines of credit and loans through First Hawaiian Bank. The account only requires $20 to open an account and has a monthly service fee of $22, which can be waived in a number of ways: have a combined balance of $35,000; have a minimum direct deposit amount of $4,000 per statement cycle; or enroll in the Private Banking Program. Account holders get 0.35% off loans and lines of credit standard rates, $250 off loan administration fees for a residential first mortgage loan, and no annual fees on lines of credit. This is also the only interest bearing checking account offered by First Hawaiian Bank.
First Hawaiian Bank Savings Account
While First Hawaiian Bank only offers two savings accounts, each account includes features that cater to a wide array of banking needs.
Regular Savings Account
The Regular Savings account is the standard, no-frills savings account with First Hawaiian Bank. It features a steady interest rate to help offset inflation and grow your funds, and account holders can maintain easy access to their funds. This account can also be linked to a First Hawaiian personal checking account to act as overdraft protection. To open the account, you must make an opening deposit of at least $20. You’ll also be charged a $5 monthly service fee unless you maintain a daily balance of at least $300 or are under 18 years of age.
While First Hawaiian Bank doesn’t offer a money market account (MMA) product, they do offer a savings account that earns money market rates. The MaxiMizer account earns MMA interest rates based on balance tiers, meaning you will earn a higher rate if you have a higher balance. It requires a $20 minimum open deposit and charges a $10 monthly service fee. You can waive the fee is you maintain a daily balance of $1,000, an average daily balance of $2,500, or are a Personal Priority Banking customer.
First Hawaiian Bank CD Account
First Hawaiian Bank markets two types of certificate of deposit (CD) products: in-branchCDs and eCDs.
The in-branch CDs are split into regular and Priority CDs. These CDs can only be opened in one of the bank’s local branches. The minimum opening deposit for the in-branch CDs depends on the term length and can range from $1,000 to $25,000. The term lengths for in-branch CDs are three, six, and 12 months, and the annual percentage yield (APY) ranges from 3.00% APY to 4.55% APY.
The eCDs differ from the in-branch CDs in that they can only be opened online. They feature a lower minimum opening deposit of $500 and have much lower rates than the in-branch CDs, with rates ranging from 0.06% APY and 0.15% APY. The only exception is their promotional eCD, which only comes in one term length of six months and earns 4.30% APY.
First Hawaiian Bank Additional Products
In addition to checking and savings accounts, First Hawaiian Bank also offers products and services like:
- Credit cards
- Home equity lines of credit
- Personal loans
- Auto loans
- Business checking and savings
- Business credit cards
- Business loans and lines of credit
- SBA loans
- Commercial real estate loans
- Payroll services
- Retirement services
First Hawaiian Bank Features
First Hawaiian Bank has some features that parity it with other banks and others that truly set it apart as a financial institution.
- Personal assigned banker: One of the most unique features of FHB is anyone who has a combined balance of $5,000 or more is assigned a personal banker. It is exceptionally convenient to know you have someone who understands your financial needs and can assist at any time.
- Mobile and online banking: These days, managing your account virtually is essential to keeping up with the fast pace of the digital world. First Hawaiian Bank’s mobile app and online banking platform allow you to review transactions, move funds, and check your balances at any time.
- Philanthropic activities: First Hawaiian Bank may be a financial institution, but they have a heart of gold. They are partnered with Aloha for Maui to provide relief resources to those affected by the Maui wildfires.
Pricing and Fees
You can expect fees when you bank at any financial institution because it’s one of the ways that banks earn revenue. However, many of the fees charged by First Hawaiian Bank can be waived or avoided altogether. Here are the fees that you can expect to pay by banking with First Hawaiian Bank.
Monthly Service Fee
Each of First Hawaiian Bank’s checking and savings accounts charges a service fee. These fees are one of the ways that First Hawaiian Bank makes money, but they can be waived by meeting certain criteria, such as maintaining a minimum balance. Here are the monthly fees that First Hawaiian Bank charges on its deposit accounts:
- Pure Checking: $2
- Priority Banking Gold: $15
- Priority Banking Platinum: $22
- Regular Savings: $5
- MaxiMizer: $10
Like most banks, First Hawaiian Bank offers overdraft protection in the form of linking a savings account or line of credit. If you do happen to overdraft your account, First Hawaiian Bank will charge you $30 per item.
First Hawaiian Bank offers two addendums to their overdraft fee policy. They offer a small fee waiver that waives any overdraft fees for transactions that create an end of day balance that is overdrawn by $5 or less. They also have a daily fee limit that won’t charge your account more than five overdraft fees per day.
If you’ve decided that banking with First Hawaiian Bank is the best option for you, you’re ready to open a new account and get started. Getting started is a simple process that requires only a few steps and pieces of key information.
First Hawaiian Bank allows new customers to apply online and in person at a bank branch. No matter how you choose to apply, you will have to provide key information and documents to help First Hawaiian Bank confirm your identity and authenticate your account. The information you need to provide includes your full name, date of birth, Social Security number, and a government-issued photo ID. It’s possible that they will ask about employment status and residential information.
After you’ve filled out this information, First Hawaiian Bank will authenticate your information before approving your account. Once they have confirmed your identity, you will need to make an initial deposit to your newly-opened account. Luckily, First Hawaiian Bank has relatively low initial deposit requirements.
After you’ve made your first deposit, you’re ready to begin using your account. You can set up online banking, bill pay, and any other services you’d like to take advantage of.
Unfortunately, First Hawaiian Bank does not typically offer promotions on their deposit accounts or lines of credit. To keep up with any promotional offers, be sure to check their website and social media channels for any changes.
First Hawaiian Bank emphasizes the need for security and protection of their customers’ transactions and personal information. With an ever-evolving digital landscape, First Hawaiian Bank places enormous importance on safeguarding their customers’ data and account information.
One of the cornerstones of FHB’s security efforts is robust encryption technology. All online interactions, from logging in to completing transactions, are encrypted with industry-standard protocols. This means that any information transmitted between a customer’s device and the bank’s servers remains confidential and secure.
First Hawaiian Bank also understands the importance of remaining compliant with industry standards, which is why they are member FDIC. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is a government agency that provides deposit insurance up to $250,000 per depositor per institution. This adds an extra layer of confidence for FHB customers, knowing their bank account is backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government.
First Hawaiian Bank is known for their excellent customer service that you can easily reach during their business hours. You can contact a First Hawaiian Bank customer service representative daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. HST. You can also choose to make an appointment at a branch near you or call FHB by the department phone number.
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the pros and cons of banking with First Hawaiian Bank.
- Low minimum balance requirements: Most First Hawaiian Bank accounts only require $20 to open an account, which is quite low compared to their competitors.
- Personal bankers: First Hawaiian Bank assigns a personal banker to your account if you have $5,000 or more across your accounts. This is an incredible feature that can be easily attained.
- Low or waivable fees: The monthly service fees for First Hawaiian Bank range from $2 to $22, but they are often able to be waived by meeting a certain minimum balance requirement or signing up for certain services through FHB.
- Less competitive interest rates: For their eCDs, First Hawaiian Bank offers less competitive rates compared to other financial institutions offering similar products.
- No money market accounts: First Hawaiian Bank does not offer a money market account product, which can be limiting for customers who want to earn a better interest rate on their deposits.
Alternatives to First Hawaiian Bank
If you’re looking for a financial institution in Hawaii, there are plenty of options for you to consider. Here are three of our top picks for alternatives to First Hawaiian Bank.
Bank of Hawaii
Named the “Best Big Bank in Hawaii” by Newsweek in 2022, Bank of Hawaii has been helping locals manage their finances since 1897. They are committed to helping local causes and entrepreneurs get their operations off the ground. Like First Hawaiian Bank, Bank of Hawaii offers full-service banking for customers and businesses alike. They also offer additional products like their Bank of Hawaii credit card that lets you earn Hawaiian Miles with nearly every purchase.
American Savings Bank
Even though it’s a newer bank, American Savings Bank is the third largest bank in the state of Hawaii. Most of their deposit products have minimum balance requirements as low as $20, which directly competes with First Hawaiian Bank’s minimum deposits. Their CD rates, however, are more competitive with rates as high as 4.50% APY. They also have interest-bearing checking accounts and money market accounts, which can help customers grow their immediate deposits.
Central Pacific Bank
Founded in 1954 to help immigrants build a better life, Central Pacific Bank is dedicated to helping communities, individuals, and businesses meet their financial objectives. They offer many different deposit products, personal and business loans, and investment tools to round out their banking services. They are highly competitive in the CD space, which is a compelling reason to choose them over First Hawaiian Bank.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is First Hawaiian Bank a good bank?
First Hawaiian Bank is considered one of the best banks in Hawaii. They have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB.) They also have a highly-rated mobile app with a 3.5 star rating on the Google Play store and a 4.7 star rating on the App Store.
Where is First Hawaiian Bank located?
First Hawaiian Bank has locations across the Hawaiian islands of Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai. They also have branches and ATMs in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Is First Hawaiian Bank Best for Your Needs?
First Hawaiian Bank’s long-standing presence and commitment to modern banking make them a compelling choice for local Hawaiians.
The customers who are best suited for First Hawaiian Bank are those who want personalized service through a dedicated banker and easy access to service through their branch and ATM locations.
The BankBonus editorial 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 insurance.
- 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.