East West Bank review: Chinese American-owned bank with branches around the US

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  • East West Bank (Member FDIC) is a Chinese American-owned bank with branches in seven US states.
  • It has several types of checking accounts, plus savings accounts and CDs.
  • East West could be a good fit if you qualify to waive the monthly service fees.
  • Learn about Insider’s picks for the top checking accounts »

Is East West Bank a good match?

You might like East West if you … You might not like East West if you … 
  • Live near a branch
  • Qualify to waive monthly service fees
  • Want to bank with a Chinese American-owned institution
  • Want a variety of checking accounts to choose from
  • Don’t live near a branch OR would rather bank online
  • Don’t qualify to waive monthly service fees

The bottom line: You may like East West Bank if you live near a branch and are eligible to waive monthly fees.

East West Value Checking review

East West Bank Value Checking Account

East West Bank East West Bank Value Checking Account

East West Value Checking is a pretty standard checking account. You’ll need $100 to get started, and there’s a $5 monthly service fee unless you qualify to waive it. East West Bank offers several other checking accounts, too. There’s an option for students, one for senior citizens, and one that pays interest, to name a few.

East West Premier Savings review

East West Bank Premier Savings Account

East West Bank East West Bank Premier Savings Account

You may like East West Premier Savings if you qualify to waive the monthly fees. The interest rate is low, but comparable to what you’ll earn with most brick-and-mortar banks. To earn a higher rate, consider opening a high-yield savings account at an online bank.

East West CD review

East West Bank Certificate of Deposit

East West Bank East West Bank Certificate of Deposit

You’ll need to contact your local branch to ask about CD rates and early withdrawal penalties. In general, rates on longer-term CDs are higher than what you’d earn at many in-person banks. You’ll still earn better rates at online banks, though.

East West Bank features

East West Bank is a Chinese American-owned company that originally opened to serve Chinese Americans in the Los Angeles area. Now it has branches in the following US states:

  • California
  • Georgia
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • New York
  • Texas
  • Washington

It also has branches in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shantou, and Shenzhen.

You have free access to branches in the East West Bank, MoneyPass, and Allpoint ATM networks. East West won’t charge you for the first two out-of-network ATM withdrawals each month, although the ATM provider might. After that, it’s $1 per out-of-network transaction.

The mobile app has 4.7 out of 5 stars in the Apple store, and 4.2 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

Call to speak to a live customer service agent Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PT. Or call Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT.

Your deposits are FDIC insured for up to $250,000, or $500,000 for joint accounts.

Is East West Bank trustworthy?

The Better Bureau Business grades individual East West Bank branches separately. Each branch has received either an A- or A+ in trustworthiness. A strong BBB score indicates a company responds to customer complaints effectively, is honest in its advertising, and is transparent about business practices.

East West Bank doesn’t have any public scandals, so you may decide you feel comfortable banking with this institution.

How does East West Bank compare to similar banks?

East West Bank’s largest presence is in California, so we’ve compared it to two other Chinese American-owned banks in the state: American Continental Bank (Member FDIC) and Cathay Bank (Member FDIC).

East West Bank review vs. American Continental Bank review

East West Bank has many more branches around California than American Continental, so you may prefer it if you frequently travel around the state. But you might like American Continental if you want a smaller banking experience.

American Continental Bank offers more types of loans than East West, so you might like it if you want to borrow and bank at the same place.

East West Bank review vs. Cathay Bank review

East West and Cathay have very similar offerings, from types of accounts, to interest rates, to monthly fees. Your choice between the two could come down to which has a branch closer to your home.

You might prefer East West if you expect to use out-of-network ATMs, because you can use two out-of-network machines for free each month. East West also only charges you $1 for each additional transaction, whereas Cathay charges you $2.

Laura Grace Tarpley is the associate editor of banking and mortgages at Personal Finance Insider, covering mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. She is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF). Over her four years of covering personal finance, she has written extensively about ways to save, invest, and navigate loans.

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