KeyBank Review

KeyBank

Overall Rating

9

Bottom Line

KeyBank mainly targets customers who are looking for a local, full-service bank with access to branches. Since it offers everything you might want from a bank, it's ideal for those who value their relationship with the bank.

Pros

  • FDIC insurance
  • Large selection of products
  • Financial Wellness Center

Cons

  • Regional bank
  • Lower APY rates

KeyBank is a regional bank with more than a few products and services. This article will look at everything that this bank has to offer.

We’ll take a deep dive into its products and services, features, fees, and anything else you might want to know when deciding if it’s the right choice for you.

In This Article

What is KeyBank?

KeyBank is a community bank headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.

The bank operates in 15 different states, has over 40,000 ATMs in its network and 1,000 full-service branches.

These are the states that KeyBank operates in:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Washington

This list is current as of 9/26/2021.

According to the latest 2021 figures, their total assets reach $181.1 billion with revenues of $3.5 billion.

KeyBank has several business units, including:

  • Personal banking
  • Small business banking
  • Commercial banking
  • Wealth management
  • Corporate bank

Each of these business units services different types of customers. It’s worth noting that the corporate bank services a more extensive physical area than the other units.

Given it’s a community bank, KeyBank is involved in the communities it services.

In particular, they are committed to providing affordable housing and lending and renewable energy, and sustainability.

KeyBank Features

KeyBank is a full-service bank and offers a wide range of products and services.

Here, you’ll find everything from deposit accounts to mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, and everything in between.

They also offer other products that you might not necessarily find at other banks. These include investing, insurance, and debt consolidation options.

Other notable KeyBank features include their Financial Wellness Center. Here you’ll find several resources that can help you improve your financial situation, including articles and quizzes,

The bank is a Member FDIC, so your money is insured up to the allowable limits. KeyBank is also an Equal Housing Lender.

KeyBank Products

As mentioned earlier, KeyBank offers a wide range of products and services. In this section, we will be going through KeyBank products to give you a better idea of what’s in store.

KeyBank Checking Accounts

KeyBank offers five different types of checking accounts, ensuring that all KeyBank customers can find a checking account that best fits their requirements.

Three of these checking accounts earn interest – but they also include a monthly fee. The other two have no fees and no interest.

Checking account features vary by account; however, they all include a MasterCard Debit Card, online banking, and mobile banking.

Other features include automatic savings, overdraft protection (i.e., you’ll avoid overdraft fees), mobile check deposits, and account alerts.

The following checking accounts are available:

1. Key Smart Checking Fees

  • Opening Deposit Requirement: $10
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee: None

Out-of-network ATM withdrawals are charged at $3.00 each by the bank, going up to $5.00 when outside of the US. Additional operator charges may also apply.

2. Key Advantage Checking Fees

Earns an APY of 0.01% across all balances.

  • Opening Deposit Requirement: $50
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee: $18
  • Fee Avoidable: Yes (waived the first 3 months)
    • How to avoid the fee after the first 3 months:
      • maintain a minimum balance of $10,000 across eligible accounts
      • have a mortgage payment deduction of at least $500.00 through KeyBank
      • be a member of the Key@Work program with direct deposits of at least $1,000

3. Key Privilege Checking Fees

Earns an APY of 0.01% across all balances.

  • Opening Deposit Requirement: $50
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee: $25
  • Fee Avoidable: Yes (waived the first 3 months)
    • How to avoid the fee after the first 3 months:
      • maintain a minimum of $25,000 across eligible accounts
      • have a KeyBank mortgage with payments of at least $500.00 per month
      • or you’re a Key@Work member with cumulative monthly direct deposits of at least $2,500.00

If you end up paying out-of-network ATM fees, you’ll get a reimbursement up to a maximum of $6.00 per month.

4. Key Privilege Select Checking Fees

Earns an APY of 0.01% across all balances.

  • Opening Deposit Requirement: $50
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee: $50
  • Fee Avoidable: Yes (waived the first 3 months)
    • maintain a minimum of $100,000.00 across eligible accounts
    • if you’re enrolled in the Key@Work program and receive direct deposits of at least $5,000.00 each month

It also has unlimited reimbursements on out-of-network ATM fees, and customized relationship statements are free of charge.

5. KeyBank Hassle-Free Account Fees

  • Opening Deposit Requirement: $0
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee: $0

The KeyBank Hassle-Free account has no fees other than a charge for using an out-of-network ATM. This fee is charged at $3.00 when inside the US and $5.00 when outside the US.

KeyBank Savings Accounts

When it comes to savings accounts, KeyBank offers five different types of savings accounts to choose from right now.

The selection includes an account for kids, MMAs (Money Market Accounts), HSA (Health Savings Account), and a more traditional savings account.

All accounts have a monthly fee except for the kids’ account.

Not all accounts earn interest or qualify for overdraft protection – so be mindful of that when looking for an account for you.

The following savings accounts are available:

1. Key Active Saver Fees

  • Opening Deposit Requirement: $10
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee: $4
  • Fee Avoidable: Yes

This fee is waived when holding any KeyBank checking account, and the account earns an APY interest rate of 0.01%.

You’ll pay $5.00 for withdrawals and transfers that exceed the seven per month limit.

2. Key Silver Money Market Savings Account Fees

  • Opening Deposit Requirement: $25
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee: $12
  • Fee Avoidable: Yes

You can avoid the monthly fee by either keeping a daily balance of at least $5,000.00, making monthly direct deposits into the account of at least $25.00, or holding a personal relationship package checking account.

The minimum opening deposit for this account is $25.00; however, you can get promotional interest rates if you deposit a minimum of $5,000.

The standard interest rate is 0.01% across all balances.

The promotional rate is 0.02% on balances between $5,000.00 and $999,999.99 for the first three months and 0.01% after that. Anything above or below this balance bracket does not earn any interest.

You may also be eligible for the KeyBank Relationship variable interest rate. Here you can expect to earn an APY of 0.02% on balances over $5,000,00 with anything less than this amount earning 0.01%.

3. Key Gold Money Market Savings Account Fees

  • Opening Deposit Requirement: $25,000
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee: $18
  • Fee Avoidable: Yes

You can avoid the monthly fee by keeping a daily balance of at least $25,000.00 and a relationship package checking account.

The APY interest rate varies from 0.05% to 0.01%, depending on the balance and whether you get the promotional rate on not. Excessive withdrawals and transfers also incur a $15.00 fee.

4. Health Savings Account (HSA) Fees

  • Opening Deposit Requirement: $0
  • Set-up Fee: $25
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee: $2.50 – $5
  • Annual Fee: $10
  • Fee Avoidable: Yes

The APY interest rate on offer currently stands at 0.01%, which is applicable on all balances.

If you have a relationship package, there are virtually no fees associated with this account. However, those who do not have a relationship package will need to pay a $25.00 account set up fee and an annual fee of $10.00.

On top of that, a monthly service charge of $5.00 will be applicable if you have a balance of under $500 and no direct deposit or $2.50 if you have a direct deposit and less than $500.

You can avoid the fee entirely if your balance exceeds $500.00.

5. Key4Kids Savings Fees

  • Opening Deposit Requirement: $10
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee: None

There are no monthly service fees, and the account earns interest.

KeyBank Certificates of Deposit

KeyBank offers three different types of CDs. Available options include:

  1. Short Term
  2. Tiered
  3. Jumbo

All CDs feature daily interest compounding and automatic renewal, but minimum opening deposit requirements vary.

The bank has set the minimum amount at a rather hefty $2,500 for the Short Term and Tiered CDs.

The minimum deposit requirement goes up to $100,000 for the Jumbo CDs.

Loans, Mortgages, and Lines of Credit

When it comes to lending, Keybank has quite a few products on offer.

With the bank, you can get home loans and mortgages, personal loans, lines of credit, vehicle loans, student loan refinancing, and home improvement loans.

It’s worth noting here that the bank is an Equal Housing Lender and even has a Mortgage Center with all types of information on taking out a mortgage.

When it comes to mortgages, there are a few different packages to choose from right now.

The bank has several conventional and specialty home loans and government mortgages, including mortgages for medical professionals.

Credit Cards

Like other product lines, credit cards also come in various shapes and sizes, helping customers choose the best fit for their personal needs and requirements. Most cards come with 0% introductory APR with terms varying by card.

You can also get unlimited cash back – when you meet the qualifying criteria.

If you’re looking to build your credit, the Key Secured Credit Card will be of interest. It has no annual fee and no rewards but features a low minimum deposit requirement. Activity is also reported to bureaus, helping you build up your credit score.

APR will vary by card and your creditworthiness, with overall ranges starting at 9.99% and maxing out at 22.99%.

Investments

Investment products are handled through KIS, which stands for Key Investment Services.

Professionals from this arm of the bank will work with you to help you achieve your goals, whether it’s saving money for a big purchase, leaving a legacy, or anything in between.

Here you will find several different solutions aimed at helping customer customers reach their goals. These include:

  • IRAs – Individual Retirement Accounts
  • Annuities
  • Mutual Funds
  • Managed Accounts
  • Education Savings Plans
  • Health Savings Investment Account

You can reach out to the bank’s professionals to help you choose a suitable investment depending on your risk appetite and goals.

KIS is a Member FINRA/SIPC and is also registered with the SEC.

Insurance

The bank offers insurance through a yet different arm of the bank, called KeyCorp Insurance Agency USA Inc.

Here you’ll find long-term care insurance as well as life insurance.

You can choose the policy that best fits your requirements, each having its benefits, features, and coverage term.

Debt Consolidation

The bank can help you manage your bills better with fewer overall bills to pay and shorter repayment terms through debt consolidation.

There are several products and services through which the bank can help you do this.

These include issuing a personal loan, home equity, or a balance transfer credit card, among other options.

If you’re not sure which one is the best fit for you, you can schedule an appointment with one of their bankers at a nearby branch, and they will guide you through the whole process.

Fees

When it comes to fees, the more features the account has, the higher the fees, so you’ll need to be careful when deciding which features you need – and equally which ones you don’t. See each section above to learn more about each account’s fees.

Getting Started

Signing up and getting started with KeyBank is relatively easy. You can open some accounts online, while others require a trip to a bank’s physical branch.

First, you’ll need to decide which bank account or accounts you want to open.

The bank’s website has a nifty account comparison tool with everything that you need to know.

It will also tell you whether the account you want to open can be opened online or in-person at a branch.

To open an account online, you need to be 18 years or older, a US citizen, and a resident of one of the states serviced by the bank. You will also need to have an official ID and your opening deposit – with the actual amount depending on the minimum opening deposit requirement for the chosen account.

If for some reason, you don’t meet all of these requirements, you can visit a physical branch, and the bank will try to help you.

The entire process should take about five minutes, so you’ll be done in no time at all. If you’re opening the account in a branch, it might take a while longer, of course.

Due to the ongoing covid-related restrictions, make sure you check the bank’s website before heading out to your branch.

While most branches are open, not all of them are. There are also several restrictions and guidelines that you need to be aware of to ensure a smooth and safe experience.

All information is available online and is directly accessible through the customer service center.

Promotions

Bank promotions offer a great way to get started with a new account. They come in all shapes and sizes and typically range from free cash to better terms, such as higher interest rates.

Even so, do keep in mind such offers are generally accompanied by several terms and conditions that can limit your eligibility.

Traditionally, these can include restrictions and requirements, like:

  • not have opened an account with the bank in the past
  • making deposits to your account and holding them for a while

Security

KeyBank’s security policy is a little scant on technical details.

They have a Cyber Defense Center and a Fraud Prevention Services group, tracking threats and proactively monitoring client accounts.

They have service lines where customers can report identity theft and phishing.

KeyBank also uses multifactor authentication, proven to stop most attacks on user accounts.

They also use industry-leading tools, practices, and technology. While the bank fails to provide any details regarding what this entails, it is safe to assume that they do take security seriously and, as such, can be considered safe to bank with,

Customer Service

When it comes to getting your questions answered or getting support, the bank offers quite a few different ways to go about it. In this section, we will be looking at the other options available to go about it.

Firstly, there’s the Customer Service Center, which you can access directly through their website. Here you’ll find an organized FAQ section that should answer the most common questions and problems.

They also have phone-in numbers and a live chat system – which is always good to see.

Of course, this being a brick and mortar bank, you can also schedule an appointment at one of their locations.

You can use the online branch finder to find your nearest location or schedule a 30-minute review to help with your finances.

Pros & Cons

Just like all other banks, KeyBank has its pros and cons.

While this does not mean that it’s the worst bank out there or even a bad one at that, it can help you decide if it’s the right bank for you.

Below are the pros and cons of KeyBank:

Pros:

  • Financial Wellness Center. The Financial Wellness Center, along with the community-focused approach of the bank, can make customers feel like there is someone who can help them with their financial needs.
  • FDIC insurance. With KeyBank being a member FDIC bank, you can rest easy knowing that your money is insured should the worst happen.
  • Large selection of products and services. Many products and services on offer mean that you can make KeyBank your one-stop shop for all of your banking needs and build a stronger relationship with the bank.

Cons:

  • Regional Bank. With KeyBank operating within a limited geographical area that only includes 15 states, not everyone might be able to get an account here.
  • APY rates are not the highest. The APY rates on offer are not the highest available and can seem very low compared to online banks and credit unions.

Alternatives to KeyBank

KeyBank’s main selling point is that it’s a regional full-service bank. As such, suitable alternatives will be other regional banks and credit unions operating within the same area.

These tend to offer more personalized services and physical branches, which is where KeyBank really shines.

If you’re not fussy about branches and personalized services, you might want to consider an online bank instead.

Such banks make location inconsequential and offer better interest rates and lower prices since they have fewer overheads.

FAQs

Is KeyBank a Good Bank?

KeyBank is a bank that receives excellent feedback.

Keybank reviews are generally positive, and their community-focused approach to banking is reminiscent of the service offered by credit unions.

As it’s a regional bank, it can only service customers who live in one of the 15 states in which they do business.

Is KeyBank a Real Bank?

KeyBank is as real of a bank as it gets. So, whether you’re looking for a new card or an affordable auto loan, KeyBank might be an excellent bank to check out.

As it’s a regional bank, it might not get as much attention as the bigger banks.

Nevertheless, it’s an FDIC-insured bank with an entire product and service line that can match anything the bigger banks offer.

What is KeyBank Known For?

KeyBank is mainly known for being a full-service regional bank. Additionally, they are also known for their focus on the community in which they operate.

Does KeyBank Charge Monthly Fees?

Most accounts have a monthly fee as well as an opening deposit requirement. The monthly fees depend a lot on the type of account and, in most cases, can be avoided by meeting their fee waiver requirements.

Is KeyBank Best for You?

KeyBank mainly targets customers who are looking for a local, full-service bank with access to branches.

Since it offers everything you might want from a bank, it’s ideal for those who value their relationship with the bank.

If you’re someone who prefers phone calls with a service representative than looking for the answer to your question online, KeyBank could be right for you.

Because it offers various products and services, it’s an excellent choice for someone who would prefer to bank with one institution only.