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Primis Bank Review

Primis Bank Checking
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Sean Lapointe
Mar. 21, 2024
4 min read
LaPointe
Primis Bank Checking Summary
Primis Bank was founded in 2001 as Sonabank before rebranding in 2021. It operates mainly as an online bank but has 38 physical locations in Virginia and Maryland. One of its key offerings is the Primis Perks Checking account, which rewards you with $0.50 on every debit card purchase, alongside other benefits like no overdraft and ATM fees. You only need $1 to sign up for the account, and customer support is available 24/7.

Pros

  • Earn $0.50 on every debit purchase
  • Free ATM use nationwide
  • No overdraft fees

Cons

  • Physical branch locations in only two states
  • Perks account does not pay interest

Primis Bank Checking at a glance

9.6
Editorial score

Fees?

No maintenance, overdraft, or ATM fees
10.0

Security

FDIC-insured and SSL-encrypted account, supports biometrics and 2-factor authentication
10.0

Customer service

24/7 customer support via phone and live chat; dedicated fraud team
10.0

Online experience

User-friendly site with full banking capabilities
9.0

Mobile experience

iOS and Android; includes account balances, online transfers, and digital check deposits
9.0

Advantages Over Traditional Banks

The Primis Perks Checking account waives most of the charges customary at conventional banks, such as overdraft, ATM, and monthly service fees. In addition, it gives you 50 cents back on every debit card swipe (excluding ATM transactions). Most traditional banks don’t offer any rewards on debit transactions.

It’s also generally easier to start your banking journey with this Primis account. You only need $1 to open the Perks Checking account, and there’s no minimum balance required after that.

What’s more, if you’re formally employed, the account lets you receive your paycheck up to two days early through direct deposit.

Cutting-Edge Bank Services

Primis offers a suite of cutting-edge banking services through its online and mobile banking platforms, including:

  • Checking account balances
  • Paying bills
  • Storing payment information and scheduling payments
  • Moving money between your accounts
  • Transferring funds to an external account
  • Viewing your recent transactions and statements
  • Depositing mobile checks
  • Requesting money from other people
  • Accepting and sending payments to others
  • Setting up custom alerts
  • Managing your debit card (including turning it on and off)

Traditional Banking Services

While Primis is a digital-first bank, it also operates 38 brick-and-mortar locations in Virginia and Maryland. So, if you live in either of the states and prefer banking in person, you can visit any of these physical locations to access a variety of services, such as opening an account, depositing or withdrawing cash, or speaking with a customer service agent face-to-face.

As an account holder, you can withdraw cash using your card from any ATM in the US. There’s a daily withdrawal limit of $550, however.

As with many traditional banks, fund availability depends on the method used. Electronic direct deposits are available for withdrawal the same day your bank receives the funds.

For cash and check deposits, the bank’s policy is to make your money available for withdrawal on the first business day after it receives it. However, funds from certain check deposits may not be available until the second business day or even longer, with the maximum being seven days.

If the bank needs to hold your funds longer than usual, it will notify you when you can access them.

Beyond checking accounts, Primis also offers a variety of other traditional banking products, including:

  • Savings accounts
  • Mortgages
  • Credit cards
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)
  • Loans (personal, auto and boat)
  • Home equity line of credit (HELOC)

Interest Rates and Fees

The Primis Perks Checking account has no overdraft or monthly service fees.  Primis also doesn’t charge any fees for transactions at in-network ATMs. If you use a non-Primis ATM, the bank will reimburse you for any fees charged at the end of your statement cycle.

The Primis Perks Checking account also offers free incoming wire transfers and check images, free cashier’s checks and stop payments, and free in-person notary services. Furthermore, Primis provides up to 40 branded checks for free upon request.

Almost anyone can open an account as it requires a minimum deposit of just $1. While there’s no interest on your deposits, Primis more than makes up for it by awarding you 50 cents on every debit card purchase.

However, if you’re looking to earn interest on your money, the Primis Premium Checking account offers an enticing 5.02% annual percentage rate (APY) on deposits.

Annual Percentage Rate (APY)None
Monthly maintenance/service fee

$0

ATM fees

$0

Overdraft fee

$0

Incoming and outgoing ACH transfers$0
Incoming wire transfers$0
Minimum account opening deposit$1

 Customer Service and Online Experience

Primis offers 24/7 customer support on the phone (at 833-477-4647) and via live chat. Support is also available through online tickets and by email at customercarecentre@primisbank.com.

In addition, you can reach out to and interact with the bank via its social media platforms, including Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, and Instagram.

If you need in-person assistance, you can visit any of the bank’s branches in Virginia and Maryland. The bank’s website includes a location finder tool to help you locate the closest branch. 

It also features a comprehensive knowledge center packed with highly informative blog articles and guides on personal finance topics, including budgeting, saving, credit management, and home buying and ownership. 

Primis Bank has an average rating of 3.2 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot. However, this is only based on nine reviews. On the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it has an A+ rating, the highest rating on the platform. This indicates that the bank is committed to fair and open business practices and is highly responsive to customer complaints. 

Primis’s online platform is user-friendly and includes all the bank's features and services. Signing up for an account is straightforward and only takes a few minutes.

Primis caps new account openings at 1,000 per month in its quest to ensure top-notch services and support. If the bank has already hit this threshold when you try to apply, you’ll be asked to join a waiting list. The bank will notify you when slots become available again, after which you can proceed with your application.

Mobile App

Primis offers an intuitive mobile app to help you manage your account and access various banking services on the go. The app lets you deposit checks, transfer funds into and out of your account, pay bills, send money to others, and find ATM and branch location information, among many other features.

It’s available for both iOS and Android devices, ensuring accessibility for a broad range of customers. The iOS version has a high score of 4.7 out of 5 stars but the Android version is lower at 3.7 out of 5 stars.

Security 

Primis is a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-insured firm. This means that in the unlikely event of the bank going under, your money is protected up to at least $250,000.

The bank employs several safeguards to protect your personal information and account from unauthorized access, including 256-bit SSL encryption and firewalls. It also offers biometric login and two-factor authentication. You can set up custom alerts on the app to stay up-to-date with any account activity or changes. 

To prevent check fraud, Primis uses Positive Pay, an automated tool that detects and notifies you of any fraudulent or unauthorized check activity. Additionally, the app features an automatic logout function that initiates after a period of inactivity, reducing the risk of unauthorized account access or data exposure.

Primis also has a dedicated fraud team that’s available 24/7 at 1-833-477-4647. Contact Primis via this number if your card is stolen or lost, and the bank will immediately turn it off to prevent misuse and send you a new one. You can also use this number to dispute any debit transactions you didn’t authorize.

Finally, Primis provides a comprehensive Privacy Policy on its website that explains how the bank collects and uses your personal information. 

Summary 

The Primis Perks Checking account is great for people seeking a cost-effective and rewarding digital banking solution. You get $0.50 for every debit card purchase, a unique feature you’re unlikely to find at many other online banks. There are no overdraft, maintenance, or ATM fees, plus you only need $1 to open an account.

Primis is FDIC-insured, which means your deposits are safe for up to a minimum of $250,000 in the event of the bank’s collapse. If you have any questions or complaints, customer support is available 24/7 on the phone and via live chat. 

Primis Bank Checking Primis Bank Checking Visit Site

Methodology

The information used to create this review was gathered from Primis’s website and reviews on comparison sites.

LaPointe
Written by
Sean Lapointe
Sean LaPointe is a freelance personal finance writer with a passion for helping readers make informed financial decisions. With over 8 years of personal finance writing experience, Sean has written for a wide variety of top publications, including The Motley Fool, Angi, Top10.com, and BestMoney. Sean’s commitment to providing readers with the most up-to-date information means he’s always researching the latest financial products.
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