TIAA Bank Review: Great for ATMs, Okay for Everything Else

TIAA Bank is an online bank with several types of business bank accounts, but it won’t work for all businesses. Find out why in Business.org’s TIAA review.
TIAA
  • Check
    Network of 80,000 ATMs
  • Check
    Interest-bearing accounts
  • X
    Large opening deposits
  • X
    No cash deposits

TIAA Bank isn’t a household name, but it offers business checking accounts, savings accounts, and more. With competitive fees and several interest-bearing accounts, we’re not surprised TIAA caught your eye.

But does TIAA Bank offer the best business bank account for you? Let’s find out.

Our review will cover what kinds of accounts TIAA Bank offers, what makes it different from other banks, and why it might be a good bank for your business. Don’t worry, though―we’ll also clue you in to some of TIAA’s flaws and point out why it might not work for you.

TIAA Bank offers the best ATM access

TIAA has one big advantage over other banks: ATMs.

TIAA has the biggest network of ATMs we’ve seen, with some 80,000 ATMs available to its customers for no-fee withdrawals. Plus, it offers incentives that make even out-of-network ATMs more affordable (more on this later).

So if you constantly find yourself googling the closest ATM, TIAA Bank (and its network) could be just what you need.

TIAA Bank fast facts

Feature
TIAA Bank
Online banking
Icon Check  Dark
Mobile banking
Icon Check  Dark
In person banking
Icon Close  Dark
Branch locations
0
ATMs
80,000
24/7 support
Icon Check  Dark
Customer service options

And if you don’t regularly visit ATMs? Then, honestly, TIAA might not be your best bet for business banking. Other banks offer cheaper accounts, higher interest rates, and more services.

That doesn’t mean TIAA is a bad bank. We like a lot of things about it. For example, it’s an online bank, so it’s available in all 50 states. And It offers competitive interest rates on both checking and savings accounts.

It’s just that other banks (like Small Business Bank) do all that and more. In the increasingly competitive world of business banking, TIAA just doesn’t stand out like it used to.

Pro Heading
Pros
Pro Bullet Network of 80,000 ATMs
Pro Bullet Variety of bank accounts
Pro Bullet Interest-bearing accounts
Con Heading
Cons
Con Bullet Large minimum deposit
Con Bullet No cash deposit options
Con Bullet Few customer reviews

Except for that killer ATM network, of course. No one tops that.

So if the ATMs are enough to get your interest, let’s dig deeper to figure out if TIAA can work for you.

TIAA Bank checking and savings accounts

TIAA Bank offers a nice variety of small-business bank accounts, especially for an online bank. (Many online banks offer just one or two accounts.)

Since pretty much all businesses need a checking account, let’s talk about those accounts first.

Cash deposits
Money

Because TIAA Bank is an online bank, you’ll have a hard time depositing cash into your business bank account. You technically can mail it in with a deposit slip, but TIAA strongly discourages that. So if you’ll need to deposit cash often, go with a different bank.

Checking accounts

Whether you need a simple everyday checking account or something more advanced, TIAA Bank has you covered. It’s got six different checking accounts.

Pretty much all of them have competitive fees (including both monthly maintenance fees and transaction fees), and several of them even earn interest (not common for business checking accounts).

The downside? All of them have a high minimum opening deposit of $1,500. Many banks don’t have a minimum deposit at all, and those that do usually top out around $200 or so. You’ll definitely need some money on hand if you plan to open a TIAA bank account.

TIAA Bank basic business checking accounts

FeatureSmall Business CheckingBusiness Checking
Min. opening deposit$1,500$1,500
Monthly fee$0$14.95
Monthly fee waivable?
N/A
Icon Check  Dark
APY0.12%–0.25%N/A
Free transactionsUnlisted200
Additional transactionsUnlistedUnlisted
Open an account

Data effective 9/23/20. At publishing time, rates, fees, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

The most basic account is Small Business Checking. It’s the only account that doesn’t charge any monthly fee (though other accounts let you waive the fee). You still get to earn interest on your account balance, though. It’s a good value, but only sole proprietorships and single-owner LLCs can qualify for this free business checking account.

Otherwise, you can go with the basic Business Checking account. It does have a monthly fee, but you can waive it if you keep a $5,000 minimum balance. You get a decent number of free transactions each month, but you won’t earn any interest. If that’s something you want, you’ll need one of TIAA's more specialized accounts.

TIAA Bank specialty business checking accounts

FeatureNon-Profit CheckingBusiness Interest CheckingBusiness Analysis CheckingAttorney Trust Checking Account
Min. opening deposit$1,500$1,500$1,500$1,500
Monthly fee$14.95$14.95$18Unlisted
Monthly fee waivable?
Icon Check  Dark
Icon Check  Dark
Icon Check  Dark
Unlisted
APY0.12%–0.25%0.05%–0.2%N/AUnlisted
Open an account

Data effective 8/25/20. At publishing time, rates, fees, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

Non-Profit Checking, for example, is exactly what it sounds like. Your nonprofit can earn some interest on your account balance (though not as much as you’d get from other accounts), and you can save money with a handful of free bill payments each month. Just note that you’ll have to keep an account balance of $5,000 to waive the maintenance fee.

If you want to earn interest (and you don’t qualify for the Small Business Checking account), you can go with Business Interest Checking. The higher you keep your account balance, the more interest you’ll earn. Again, you’ll need a $5,000 balance to avoid paying a monthly fee.

Our favorite interest-bearing checking account
Pin

TIAA Bank offers okay interest rates on its accounts, but we prefer BlueVine for interest-bearing checking. It has no-fee checking with a whopping 1% interest rate.

Then there’s Business Analysis Checking, for businesses that keep high account balances and make lots of transactions. This account, like any analysis checking account, gives your earnings credit based on how much money you keep in your account. You can then use that credit to offset the fees you rack up.

Finally, TIAA Bank has an Attorney Trust Checking Account. If you’re a lawyer who needs one, you already know how this works, so we won’t bore you with the details. We just want you to know that TIAA offers this type of account.

With all these decent checking accounts, you can see why TIAA Bank earns an honorable mention on our list of best banks for small-business checking. But what about its savings accounts?

Savings accounts

TIAA Bank offers a few different savings accounts.

As with any business savings account, using one of these will limit your ability to spend your money―so think about your spending patterns before you stash all your cash in one.

TIAA Bank small-business savings accounts

FeatureBusiness Money MarketBusiness CDCDARS Service
Min. opening deposit$1,500$1,500$10,000
Monthly fee$14.95N/AN/A
Monthly fee waivable?
Icon Check  Dark
N/A
N/A
APY0.1%–0.25%0.3%0.1%
Term lengthN/A3 mos.–5 yrs.3 mos.–3 yrs.
Open an account

Data effective 9/23/20. At publishing time, rates, fees, and requirements are current but are subject to change. Offers may not be available in all areas.

For most businesses, the Business Money Market account offers the best value. You can easily access the money in your account (up to six transactions per month) while still earning interest. And while there is a monthly fee on the money market account, you can waive it with (you guessed it) a $5,000 savings account balance.

If you’re sure you don’t need to touch your money for a while, you can choose the Business CD instead. It offers a higher APY for your account balance, but you’ll have to lock your money away from a term between three months and five years.

Or, if you plan on keeping a higher account balance (up to $10 million), you can go with CDARS Service. This unusual account type takes your large deposit and splits it up into a bunch of smaller CDs, so all your money stays insured. (Most accounts―at all banks―only insure up to $250,000.)

And that’s it for TIAA Bank’s accounts. As we said earlier, though, the TIAA Bank’s real draw isn’t necessarily its accounts―it’s all the ATMs.

TIAA Bank's ATM network

We mentioned above that TIAA has a huge network of 80,000 ATMs. That’s, well, really big.

That means that pretty much anywhere in the United States―from Sitka, Alaska, to Miami, Florida―you can find a no-fee ATM near you. Just fire up TIAA Bank’s ATM locator, then be on your way.

And hey, if you don’t feel like going through the effort of finding an in-network ATM, TIAA Bank still has you covered. All its bank accounts come with $15 of ATM fee reimbursement each month. And if you keep an account balance of $5,000 or more, TIAA Bank offers unlimited ATM fee reimbursements.

That’s right, TIAA will reimburse all your ATM fees.

Put simply, there’s no reason you should ever pay ATM fees again.

Other small-business products and services from TIAA Bank

We’ve told you about TIAA Bank’s biggest selling points. But we’ve got a few more offerings to cover yet.
Not too much, though. While some banks offer tons of services and add ons, TIAA isn’t one of them. It keeps things simple with just a handful of additional services:

  • Foreign exchange services
  • Merchant services/payment processing (via Elavon)
  • Treasury services

(That’s pretty normal for online banks.)

Just know that you won’t find any credit card or financing (at least for your business). So if you need full-service banking, you might want to go with a bigger, more traditional financial institution instead.

TIAA Bank customer reviews

Ordinarily, we’d use this part of the review to explore what real customers think of TIAA Bank. Unfortunately, there aren’t many TIAA bank reviews out there.

TIAA Bank has a 2.7 out of 5 on Bank Branch Locator, but that’s from just three customers—none of whom left reviews to justify their rating.1 In other words, we have a clue why it got that rating.

Our other usual sources, Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau, don’t offer any help. They have absolutely no TIAA Bank reviews. (We did find a BBB profile for TIAA’s home mortgage division that had some reviews, but they were mostly complaints that TIAA bought out another bank―not super helpful for business banking customers).

So we can’t tell you what customers think of TIAA bank. But hey, at least it doesn’t have tons of lawsuits and customer complaints (unlike many of the big banks).

Oh, and if you end up opening a bank account with TIAA Bank, we’d love to hear about your experience.

The takeaway

If you like ATMs, you’ll like TIAA Bank and its vast ATM network (not to mention its ATM fee refunds). But with increasingly stiff competition, that’s about all that makes TIAA Bank stand out.

No, it’s not a bank you should avoid. TIAA Bank has a nice variety of account types, and we like that so many of them earn interest. But with high minimum opening deposits, few customer reviews, and no way to deposit cash, TIAA Bank has enough downsides that we doubt it will work for most businesses.

Ready to see some alternatives to TIAA Bank? Find some on our rankings of the best banks for small business.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources
1. Bank Branch Locator, “TIAA Bank.” Accessed August 24, 2020.