First Foundation Bank Online Savings Account Earns 2.40% APY


Deal Summary: Online Savings, 2.40% APY, $1k minimum deposit/balance, new money.

Availability: Nationwide through online application.

California-based First Foundation Bank (First Foundation) is currently offering 2.40% APY on its Online Savings account. The minimum opening deposit is $1k of new money, which is defined as “not funds from existing First Foundation Bank accounts.” End-of-day balances of $1k and above earn 2.40% APY, with balances below $1k earning 1.00% APY.

2.00*%$1k-First Foundation BankOnline Savings Account - New Money Only
OTHER TIERS: 1.00% Up to $1k
Rates as of January 19, 2020.

There is no rate guarantee. As is common for any new online savings account, only time will tell if it will remain competitive over the long run.

Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 8/23/2019, subject to change without notice

The opening online deposit must be made from an external U.S. checking/savings/money market account or by check. There are three way to make subsequent deposits:

  • The First Foundation Mobile app check deposit feature.
  • Transferring funds from an external account using online banking or mobile app.
  • In-branch at any of 20 branch locations.

The fee-free Online Savings account comes with a free ATM card and eStatements. An Online Savings account can be accessed by using the “Sign In” button at the top right of First Foundation’s home page.

Thanks to DA reader, Tom, for reporting on this online savings account in the comments.


Headquartered in Irvine, California, First Foundation offers its Online Savings account to all U.S. citizens and resident aliens with a valid Social Security number through an online application only.

While opening an Online Savings account can only be done online (“in five easy steps”), subsequent transactions can also be done at any of 20 full-service branches located in Northern and Southern California (18), Las Vegas, and Honolulu.

Existing First Foundation clients can open an Online Savings account, but the online application must be used.

Bank Overview

For those skeptical of those new savings accounts from those new fintech companies, you might appreciate this excerpt from First Foundation Bank's online savings page:

We are a bank, not a fintech unicorn

First Foundation Bank has an overall health grade of "B+" at, with a Texas Ratio of 2.51% (excellent) based on June 30, 2019 data. First Foundation has an above average capitalization level (9.80%), the result of holding $6.27 billion in assets with $614.05 million in equity. Please refer to our financial overview of First Foundation Bank (FDIC Certificate # 58647) for more details.

First Foundation Bank was established in 2008, but its roots trace back to 1990 when the Keller Group (headed by Rick Keller, current First Foundation Chairman) was providing wealth management services to clients in Orange County, California. According to First Foundation CEO, Scott F. Kavanaugh,

As the needs of clients became more complex, First Foundation sought additional support to offer clients true, comprehensive wealth management. In 2007, we started a bank and added it to the existing asset management platform. We would later add trust services, legacy planning, consulting, and insurance services.

First Foundation has grown to become California’s 22nd largest bank, with more than $6.2 billion in assets.

How the Online Savings Compares

When compared to 211 nationally available Savings Accounts tracked by that do not require a large minimum balance, First Foundation Bank’s Online Savings APY currently ranks second.

The above rates are accurate as of 10/14/2019.

To search for the best Savings Accounts rates, either nationwide or state-specific, please refer to DA’s Savings Account Rates page.

Related Pages: Honolulu savings accounts, Yuma savings accounts, Los Angeles savings accounts, Palm Springs savings accounts, San Francisco Bay savings accounts, San Diego savings accounts, Las Vegas savings accounts, Sacramento savings accounts, savings accounts, nationwide deals

No Rates or Disclosures
No Rates or Disclosures   |     |   Comment #1
No where on any website (or even a google search) can one find a "Rates" page for CDs and such, even though their website states CDs are available. There's a bad feeling I get with an institution when things such as Rates and Disclosures are NOT TO BE FOUND ANYWHERE on their website...
Sodium100MG   |     |   Comment #2
Also looks like they charge for ACH transfers. Just saw it in the demo version but could not find the disclosure.
AK!   |     |   Comment #3
I don't see anywhere that says they might charge for ACH transfers. If they charged, who would open an online savings acc with them?!
TomKaz64   |     |   Comment #4
Looks like there is a disclosure table on the "Personal Banking Accounts" page about halfway down.

Says they provide up to 6 ACH transfers per month free and then after that there is a service charge. Which is no different than other banks that are subject to Regulation D. In fact Marcus by Goldman has the same language "

There is a limit of six withdrawals or transfers in a monthly statement period from a Marcus Online Savings Account."
TomKaz64   |     |   Comment #5
Ken Tumin: Another cool feature of the account I found out is that you can request an ATM card with the account that provides reimbursement for ATM fees of non-FFB ATMs. I can use the card to withdraw cash from any ATM that is convenient to me without having to eat the foreign ATM fees.
retirednc   |     |   Comment #6
While the web site doesn't say so, I ultimately was told that the online savings account at 2.4% had an external transfer limit of $5000/ day and $10,000/month. Too low to be really useful as a transactional or hub account to shift blocks of money as needed for investments, etc. Wire transfers are OK for big one-time transactions, but time consuming for frequent use.
OCDan2   |     |   Comment #7
At First Foundation, as with many other similar banks, that limit is easily removed as a problem by initiating an ACH or wire transfer from the *outside* institution to move funds into, or out of, First Foundation Bank. By doing so, the only limit governing the flow of funds is that imposed by the outside institutions. My other outside institutions have large $150k plus amounts allowed for transfer per day, so that's not a problem. I just initiate the ACH as a pull from my other institution.
8832   |     |   Comment #8
We do not assess service charges or transaction fees for transfers to or from Online Savings accounts. However, your external bank or third party may charge a fee.

-Is there a minimum balance to keep to avoid a fee?
TomKaz64   |     |   Comment #10
No minimum balance to avoid a fee per the FAQs
8832   |     |   Comment #9
This is another one of those slow drawn out application process banks. Looks like they are using the same verification service MemoryBank uses.

Some of the challenge questions posted were unrelated to me but pertinent to my parents instead. For example, when I purchased the home located at address XXXX how much did I pay for the house? That is my parents home and I was 9yrs old when they purchased their first home in the city where they live.

The second question "What year was your Toyota Scion?" I owned two Toyota Scions and both years were listed as possible answers. I can see this turning into another MemoryBank fiasco where they declined my application 6 times because of erroneous public information, and they refused to tell me who the source was.
enduser   |     |   Comment #11
Same here. I suspect I will also be declined.
8832   |     |   Comment #12
As expected I was declined as a result of the erroneous public information. However this time they informed me as required by law as to who they got the information from. The first source was LexisNexis. I had already got a copy of me Credit Report from them and there was nothing wrong with it. The second source they used is Early Warning. I have never heard of that company but they are also a credit reporting agency, so I ordered my credit report from them.
DCGuy   |     |   Comment #13
This appears similar to my online application at CFG Community Bank which asked questions like how much was the original price of your current residence, who was your original mortgage lender, what subdivision is your home located, what date was it when you bought the house? I was at the house closing when it was purchased along with my parents, so I knew the answers. But the nature of the information were not in any credit report file of mine or my parents that I am aware of.

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