Banking

Ponce Bank review: Hispanic American bank with several free checking accounts

Overall bank rating

Pros and cons

Savings

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • $50 minimum opening deposit
    • Easy to waive $5 monthly service fee
    Cons
    • Low APY
    • Interest compounds monthly, not daily
    • $5 monthly service fee
    • Bank with 12 branches in New York (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens) and 1 in New Jersey (Union City)
    • Most board members are Hispanic American, and the bank serves a minority community
    • To waive $5 monthly service fee, maintain a minimum daily balance of $100
    • Interest compounded monthly, paid monthly
    • Member FDIC

    You only need to keep $100 in your Ponce Bank Savings Account to waive the $5 monthly service fee. However, you would earn a much better interest rate with an online high-yield savings account.

    Checking

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    None

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • No monthly service fee
    • $50 minimum opening deposit
    • No out-of-network ATM fees
    • You have the option to opt out of overdraft fees, so your transaction would be declined instead
    Cons
    • Doesn’t reimburse any fees charged by out-of-network ATM providers
    • $29 overdraft fee
    • Bank with 12 branches in New York (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens) and 1 in New Jersey (Union City)
    • Free ATMs at branch locations and at Citibank branches
    • Most board members are Hispanic American, and the bank serves a minority community
    • Member FDIC

    The Ponce Bank Simply Free Checking Account is a good free checking account with no monthly fees or minimum balance. Ponce offers a few other types of checking accounts, too, most of which have no monthly fee.

    CD

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.05% to 0.60% APY

    Min Deposit

    $500 to $1,000

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Terms as short as 1 month
    • $500 minimum deposit for terms of 1 to 6 months
    • Competitive APY
    Cons
    • $1,000 minimum opening deposit for terms of 1 to 5 years
    • High early withdrawal penalties
    • Interest compounds monthly, not daily
    • Bank with 12 branches in New York (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens) and 1 in New Jersey (Union City)
    • Most board members are Hispanic American, and the bank serves a minority community
    • Terms range from 1 month to 5 years
    • $500 minimum deposit for terms of 1 to 6 months; $1,000 minimum deposit for terms of 12 months to 5 years
    • Early withdrawal penalties depend on term length and balance, but can be as high as 2.5 years interest on a 5-year term
    • Interest compounded monthly, paid monthly
    • Member FDIC

    Ponce Bank pays competitive interest rates on CDs. You can open a term of six months or less with only $500, and you’ll need $1,000 to open a CD with a term over six months.

    Money market account

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.10% to 0.20% APY

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • $50 minimum opening deposit
    • Includes a debit card and paper checks
    • No out-of-network ATM fee
    Cons
    • $10 monthly service fee
    • Low APY
    • Interest compounds monthly, not daily
    • Doesn’t reimburse any fees charged by out-of-network ATM providers
    • Bank with 12 branches in New York (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens) and 1 in New Jersey (Union City)
    • Free ATMs at branches and at Citibank branches
    • Most board members are Hispanic American, and the bank serves a minority community
    • Waive $10 monthly service fee by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $500
    • Tiered interest rates: Earn a higher rate when your balance reaches $1,500 and $50,000
    • Interest compounded monthly, paid monthly
    • Member FDIC

    The Ponce Bank Money Market Account comes with a debit card and paper checks. It could be a good place to keep your emergency fund, because you can use the card or checks to access your savings quickly if necessary.

    How Ponce Bank works

    Ponce Bank is a minority depository institution; most of its board members are Hispanic American, and Ponce serves a minority community.

    There are 12 branches in New York (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens) and one in New Jersey (Union City). You can use an ATM for free at each branch location and at Citibank branches.

    Branch hours vary slightly by location, but all are open Monday through Friday and closed on weekends. You can call customer service Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET, Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET, and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET.

    The Ponce Bank mobile app has 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple store, and 4.5 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

    Your deposits are FDIC insured for up to $250,000, or up to $500,000 for joint accounts.

    Is Ponce Bank trustworthy?

    Ponce Bank doesn’t have any public controversies.

    The Better Business Bureau gives Ponce Bank a B- in trustworthiness. The BBB evaluates trustworthiness by looking at responses to customer complaints, honesty in advertising, and openness about business practices.

    The BBB states that it gives Ponce a B- because the bank has failed to respond to half of the customer complaints on the BBB website. But considering Ponce only has two customer complaints in total, you may want to take this B- grade with a grain of salt.

    How Ponce Bank compares to similar institutions

    We’ve compared Ponce Bank to two other Hispanic American banks in New York: Popular Bank and International Finance Bank.

    Ponce Bank vs. Popular Bank

    Popular Bank has more branches than Ponce Bank, so it may be the more convenient option for you.

    Ponce has several free checking accounts to choose from. But you might prefer Popular if you have enough money in your accounts to qualify for its rewards program. Rewards members can waive a variety of fees and receive ATM fee refunds.

    Ponce Bank vs. International Finance Bank

    International Finance Bank is primarily in Florida, and it only has one New York branch. You might prefer Ponce Bank if there’s a branch closer to your home or office.

    But you may like International Finance Bank if you travel regularly. The bank refunds up to five out-of-network ATM fees each month, including fees from international ATMs.

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