Money at 30: NBKC Everything Bank Account Review
As I’ve reviewed a number of FinTech accounts over the years, I’ve seen a few banking partners come up again and again. Among them is NBKC — short for National Bank of Kansas City. Despite this, it wasn’t until recently that I opened an account directly with the bank. Specifically, I opted for their Everything Account, which includes some key savings and checking features.
With that, let’s take a look at what NBKC’s Everything Account has to offer:
What You Need to Know About NBKC and the Everything Account
Signing up for NBKC
To get started with NBKC, you’ll first need to sign-up using your email address and phone number. From there, you’ll also need to provide basic information such as your name, address, birth date, etc. Furthermore, you’ll need to enter your Social Security number, driver’s license/ID number, and even your mother’s maiden name. You may need to upload an image of your ID as well.
One somewhat clunky aspect of NBKC is that, once you’re approved for an account, you’ll then need to take the extra step of signing up for online banking. To do this, you’ll visit the NBKC site, enter the requested info, and select your username. Naturally, you’ll then also choose a password. At long last, you’ll then be able to manage your money on the NBKC site or app.
In terms of fees, NBKC waives quite a few key one. The Everything Account has no minimum balance fees, overdraft fees, maintenance fees, or foreign transaction fees.
Something else I want to mention in regards to joining NBKC is that a couple of weeks after opening my account, I actually received a “thank you” note from the bank, welcoming me to the family. This has never happened to me before and was a really nice touch. In fact, I’ll admit it made me more of a fan right off the bat.
FDIC and branches
Unlike a lot of banking accounts I review, NBKC is a real full-fledged bank. In turn, they maintain their own FDIC insurance, which insures customer deposits up to $250,000 per depositor. What’s more, while NBKC is known as an online bank to most, they actually have a handful of brick and mortar branch locations in the Kansas City areas of Missouri and Kansas.
Staying true to its moniker, the “Everything Account” is a hybrid option that combines both savings and checking features. Thus, while the account includes a debit card, it also earns interest. Currently, funds in your Everything Account earn 0.15% APY. While that’s above the national average, it is still a bit low even in today’s climate. Still, something is better than nothing (and hopefully that rate will increase with time).
Personally, I happen to like hybrid accounts such as SoFi Money. Sure enough, I think the format works well here, even if the APY could be a bit more enticing.
Debit card design
With so many online banking accounts keeping things fresh in the debit card department, I always take a moment to point out these designs. However, NBKC’s debit card is about as basic as they come. With a white background, red-ish “n” logo, and black embossed numbers, it’s nothing to write home about for sure. That said, it does contain both chip and tap technology, so at least it’s up to date in that fashion.
In addition to maintaining a few of their own ATMs, NBKC offers customers fee-free ATM access via the MoneyPass network. If you’re unfamiliar, MoneyPass is one of two main ATM networks in the country, with the other being Allpoint. With around 34,000 machines in its network, MoneyPass is the slightly smaller of the two, but happens to be my preferred option — merely because the nearest ATM to my apartment happens to be a MoneyPass machine. Regardless, based on my experience, there are plenty of available in-network ATMs to be found, with the locator feature in the app definitely coming in handy. What’s more, according to their account documents, customers also get “nationwide with reimbursement up to $12/month for fees charged at other ATMs.” Having just discovered that wording, I have yet to try this for myself, but it’s definitely interesting to note.
As someone with the occasional need to deposit paper checks, I’m always willing to award bonus points to services that still retain this feature. Thus, I was happy to see that NBKC does indeed offer mobile check deposits in its app. As usual, this involves taking photos of your checks and uploading them for processing. Since opening my account, I haven’t had a use for this feature just yet, but am willing to trust it works and appreciate it being built right into the app as I’d expect.
Linking external accounts and synced accounts
Following a growing trend in banking, NBKC allows users to sync external accounts so that they can monitor their balances and spending in one place. To do this, customers simply need to select their bank from the list and login to sync. On top of that, you can add manual accounts to get an even more comprehensive look at your finances at a glance.
Oddly, however, this syncing device is not utilized to arrange transfers to/from external accounts. Instead, NBKC asks for the routing and account number in order to make micro deposits that you’ll then need to verify. To me, this method is antiquated and I can’t help by wonder why NBKC doesn’t use Plaid or a similar tool to arrange for transfers.
Another interesting feature of the NBKC Everything is the Savings Goals section. Here, you can set savings goals and calculate how much you’ll need to save per week/month in order to reach your goal in time. From there, you can set the wheels in motion by arranging for automated transfers. Furthermore, when you go to make transfers, your savings goals will display as a separate account that you can transfer funds directly to.
While this functionality isn’t Earth-shattering by any stretch, it is a welcome feature. The only thing I’m unclear on is how balances in these Savings Goals accounts affect Long Game Rewards (which we’ll discuss next). Aside from that question, I think this could be a useful tool for those saving up for a trip, building an emergency fund, or just learning to save in general.
Long Game Rewards
Last but not least, the reason I finally got around to opening an NBKC account after years of seeing their name is due to their partnership with Long Game. In fact, the bank actually helped power the savings app’s short-lived debit card product, which I of course had. Now, after a hiatus and revamp, Long Game is back as Long Game Rewards — and NBKC is one of two banks (the other being Varo) participating in their beta.
When you link your NBKC Everything Account to Long Game, you’ll earn coins as your balance grows. These coins can then be used to play a variety of games for a chance to win cash. When you do win, your prizes will be automatically transferred back to your NBKC account. As I noted in my review of Long Game Rewards, this new model marks an improvement over previous iterations of Long Game, while the games themselves are as fun as ever. Thus, I’m very excited to see NBKC working with Long Game Rewards and think the partnership only enhances their Everything Account option.
Final Thoughts on NBKC Everything Account
Overall, I like what NBKC’s Everything account has to offer as a digital bank account. Between the hybrid nature of the offering and the added security of knowing that NBKC is a “real” FDIC-insured bank, it’s a no-brainer of an online option. Plus, with them participating in the Long Game Rewards beta, there’s one more reason to give them a shot.
At the same time, for a company I’ve associated with FinTechs, NBKC’s app and website seem dated and basic to me. Similarly, the debit card design leaves something to be desired. Of course, looks aren’t everything, so at least these tools function as intended.
With that, if you’re looking for an online account that can function more like your main bank account, then NBKC could be a good option. This is especially true if you happen to be in the Kansas City city (I secretly hope to visit a branch on my next trip up that way). So whether you want to try out Long Game Rewards, set savings goals, or just enjoy an easy-to-manage all-in-one account, the Everything Account just might have you covered.