What is currently known as Associated Banc Corp started out as First National Bank of Neenah, Wisconsin in 1861. The year 1970 was pivotal due to the merging of the Neenah Bank with two other Northeast Wisconsin banks—Kellogg Citizens Bank of Green Bay and Manitowoc Savings Bank. The second key event earning Associated Banc its name was the 1997 merger of First Financial and Associated Bank, resulting in the retaining of the latter name. Today, approximately 150 years later, Associated Banc Corp is one of the top 50 publicly traded, bank holding companies in the United States based out of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The bank offers a variety of financial products and services in over 200 banking locations in more than 100 communities throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, including offering commercial financial services in Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Texas.
Associated Banc Corp has a list of varied products and services for its Midwest customers. The three that stand out are its Associated Checking, Associated Savings and especially its Fixed Rate Add-on Certificate of Deposit (CD). First up is Associated Banc's Associated Checking account. This is a personal checking account designated for people wanting a basic, no-frills transaction account to deposit their money that is easy and convenient to access at anytime. This account satisfies those qualifications. Here are the basic features:
The monthly service fee can be waived by doing one of the following:
As far as easy, convenient access, Associated Checking offers the following:
Some related bonuses include:
A few available Associated Checking debit card options are:
The next highlight is the Associated Savings Account. This account is designed to be simple for new savers to begin putting money away. The account has low fees, including:
The $5 monthly service fee can be waived with one of the following:
If customers already have an Associated Checking Account they will get preferred interest rates. They will also get protection against overdrafts when they link their savings account to their Associated Checking account. A few other savings account benefits include:
Associated Banc's most unique feature product is its Fixed Rate Add- On Certificate of Deposit (CD). This CD has unusual features for customers needing lower cost with higher flexibility. Here are the features:
There is also a flexible grace period allowing the account owner 10 calendar days after maturity (one year) to withdraw the funds without penalty. (Interest is not paid during the grace period unless the funds from this Certificate of Deposit are deposited into another Associated Bank Certificate of Deposit).
There seems to be two components missing with Associated Banc's Associated Checking account based on its target audience:
To be a basic account designated for people wanting simplicity and low maintenance, the Associated Checking has fallen short of its promise for its target customers, which are typically individuals without a lot of money to begin with. The Associated Savings Account does have low fees, such as a $5 monthly fee that can be waived by:
The issue is the same as the basic checking account: its target customers would not necessarily be equipped to meet the listed requirements. Many people with this kind of account do not make monthly account deposits. To set up automatic deposits can be inconvenient and direct deposits usually are done with checking accounts for people without a lot of money to move around.
Customers should also be sure to ask their banker to link their savings and checking accounts. Closing one's checking account means applicable minimum balance requirements and maintenance fees will apply on the linked accounts. This perhaps should be more emphasized instead of being buried in the fine print.