Overall impressions of Ponce Bank

Ponce Bank logo
Ponce Bank / Twitter
4MoneyWise Rating

The MoneyWise editorial team developed a grading system — taking into consideration fees, yields, perks and other factors — to determine the star rating for this review.

Ponce Bank offers decent interest on a wide range of accounts. Its rates are consistently above the national average, although not always as high as some of its competitors.

In general, Ponce’s account fees are low. Many of its accounts come with no monthly service fees, and the fees it charges for failing to meet your minimum balance are modest.

However, Ponce Bank does not currently refund out-of-network ATM fees, so you’ll either need to use one of Ponce Bank’s own ATMs or a Citibank ATM if you want to avoid getting hit with a usage fee.

Ponce prides itself on its in-person customer service at its brick-and-mortar branches, but online and mobile users have limited options for customer support.

The Ponce Bank website does not currently offer support via live chat, so if you have an issue you’ll have to submit a request by email or the Ponce mobile app or call during regular business hours.

Overall: What’s good

  • Many different accounts available.
  • Higher-than-average interest rates.
  • Low or no account fees.

Overall: What needs work

  • Some competitors offer better rates.
  • Fees for using out-of-network ATMs.
  • Limited support options for online and mobile users.

Checking accounts

Ponce Bank devices
Ponce Bank / Twitter

Ponce Bank currently offers four different options for checking accounts:

Premium Interest Checking

The Premium Interest Checking account is a good choice for consumers looking to earn higher-than-average interest while maintaining the flexibility of a regular checking account.

Balances between $0 and $1,500 earn 0.07% interest, balances between $1,500 and $50,000 earn 0.10%, and balances over $50,000 earn 0.12%.

The Premium Interest Checking account also comes with free standard checks, which is a nice bonus.

If your balance falls below $1,500, you’ll have to pay a fee of $7 each month until you meet the minimum again.

50+ Interest Checking

The 50+ Interest Checking account is designed for customers over the age of 50.

It offers a flat rate of 0.07%, which is almost double the national average at time of writing.

There is no minimum balance required for the 50+ Interest Checking account and no monthly service charge.

Like Ponce’s Premium Interest Checking account, the 50+ account also comes with free standard checks.

Direct Interest Checking

The Direct Interest Checking account allows you to earn a competitive interest rate with the convenience of direct deposit and automatic payments.

Like the 50+ Interest account, it offers a flat interest rate of 0.07% and requires no minimum balance or monthly service fee.

Simply Free Checking

The Simply Free Checking account is a free account that is available to anyone.

Although you won’t earn interest, you also won’t have to maintain a minimum balance or pay any monthly fees.

Checking: What’s good

  • Several checking account options.
  • Free standard checks with some accounts.
  • Most accounts come with no monthly fees.

Checking: What needs work

  • Best interest rate requires a $50,000 balance.
  • Fees for Premium Interest balances under $1,500.

Savings accounts

Ponce Bank savings
Ponce Bank / Twitter

You also have several options for savings accounts through Ponce Bank:

Ponce Savings

This is a basic savings account that offers a flat interest rate of 0.10%, which is twice the national average at time of writing.

The Ponce Savings account requires a minimum opening deposit of $50.

If your balance falls below $100, you’ll be charged a monthly fee of $5.

Passbook Savings

The Passbook Savings account has the same flat 0.10% rate as the Ponce Savings account, but balances of $500 or more will earn more interest from the day-of-deposit to the day-of-withdrawal.

The minimum opening deposit for a Passbook Savings account is $100, and you’ll be subject to a monthly $3 charge if your balance falls below $500.

Holiday and Vacation Club Accounts

These are savings accounts specifically designed to help Ponce Bank customers save for a vacation or for the holidays.

These accounts are opened for a predetermined period of time and are subject to withdrawal limitations before this time frame is up.

Holiday and Vacation Club accounts earn a flat interest rate of 0.10%, which accrues daily and is credited to the account upon reaching maturity.

The minimum balance to open one of these accounts and earn interest is $5.

Young Explorer Passbook or Statement Account

Ponce Bank’s Young Explorer accounts are available for minors between the ages of 6 and 17 years old.

These accounts can be opened with a minimum balance of $1 and come with no fees whatsoever.

Funds deposited in Young Explorer savings accounts earn a flat interest rate of 0.10%, and account holders who are 16 or older can get ATM access with their parents’ consent.

Savings: What’s good

  • Wide variety of accounts available.
  • Earn twice the national average APY.
  • Special accounts for kids and vacation savers.

Through the SaveBetter platform Ponce Bank is offering a special digital high yield savings account.

Savings: What needs work

Money market accounts

Ponce Bank accounts
Ponce Bank / Twitter

Ponce Bank’s money market accounts allow customers to earn competitive interest rates while maintaining easy access to their funds.

Money market accounts with balances between $1,500 and $49,999 earn 0.25% interest, while accounts with balances of $50,000 or more earn 0.40% interest — that’s almost six times the national average at time of writing.

To open a money market account with Ponce Bank, you’ll need to put down a minimum opening deposit of $50. If your account balance falls below $500, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee of $10.

Money market: What’s good

  • Competitive interest rates.
  • Low minimum opening deposit.

Money market: What needs work

  • Best interest rate requires a $50,000 balance.
  • $500 minimum account balance.

Certificates of deposit

Ponce Bank %
Ponce Bank / Twitter

Ponce Bank offers traditional CDs in a variety of term lengths ranging from one month to five years.

Here are the current rates, as of November 2020:

CD rates
Term APY
1 & 2 months 0.10%
3 months 0.15%
6 months 0.35%
1 year 0.55%
18 months 0.57%
2 years 0.60%
30 months 0.62%
3 years 0.65%
4 years 0.70%
5 years 0.80%

Ponce Bank’s CDs are all FDIC insured, with a fixed rate for the length of your term.

CD terms ranging from one to six months require a minimum deposit of $500. Terms ranging from one to five years require a minimum deposit of $1,000.

Once your CD has matured, Ponce Bank will notify you, and your CD will automatically renew if no action is taken within seven days.

The interest you earn can be collected as a check or be transferred to another Ponce Bank account.

CD: What’s good

  • Lots of different CD terms to choose from.
  • Competitive rates on longer terms.

CD: What needs work

  • Rates on short term CDs could be higher.
  • $1,000 minimum deposit on terms longer than a year.

Retirement accounts

Ponce Bank accounts
Ponce Bank / Twitter

Ponce Bank offers three IRA options: Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts.

All three IRA types are available as savings accounts or as certificates of deposit.

Here are the current IRA CD rates, as of November 2020:

IRA CD rates
Term APY
1 & 2 months 0.20%
3 months 0.25%
6 months 0.35%
1 year 0.55%
18 months 0.57%
2 years 0.70%
3 years 0.75%
4 years 0.80%
5 years 0.85%

As with Ponce Bank’s traditional CD offerings, IRAs with a CD term of one to six months require a minimum deposit of $500, and terms of one to six years require a $1,000 minimum deposit.

Additional contributions during the term of your CD are not permitted.

Retirement CD: What’s good

  • Variety of IRA CD terms available.
  • Competitive rates compared to national average.

Retirement CD: What needs work

  • $1,000 minimum deposit on terms longer than a year.
  • Some rival banks offer higher rates.

Is Ponce Bank safe?

Ponce Bank savings
Ponce Bank / Twitter

Ponce Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), like most reputable financial institutions.

Ponce Bank’s accounts are insured by the federal government up to $250,000, so you can rest easy knowing that your money is protected.

Bottom line

Ponce Bank is a solid option if you’re looking for a reliable financial institution that offers higher-than-average interest on most of its accounts.

It has a wide variety of CD options available with competitive rates for longer terms, so if you don’t mind setting your money aside for a few years, Ponce Bank is a good choice.

If you live in New York or New Jersey, you can take advantage of Ponce’s in-person customer service at one of its 14 physical branches, but online and mobile customer service may only be available during limited hours.

About the Author

Shane Murphy

Shane Murphy

Reporter

Shane is a reporter for MoneyWise. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Language & Literature from Western University and is a graduate of the Algonquin College Scriptwriting program.

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