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In-Depth Analysis

Ponce Bank Review

G. Dautovic Image
ByG. Dautovic
December 10, 2021
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If you live paycheck to paycheck, you might wonder what the best way to save some money for emergencies and rainy days is. Unfortunately, many of the best options require either locking your money for an indefinite amount of time or a significant upfront investment to make it worth your while. 

This is where money market accounts, or even certificates of deposit, come into play. Unlike other types of savings accounts, MMA accounts allow you to withdraw your funds in case of an emergency. CDs, on the other hand, can be bought short-term, allowing you to manage your budget with ease.

This flexibility, unfortunately, usually comes at the price of a lower APY. That’s why we’ve added Ponce Bank to our reviews list. It offers MMA accounts in partnership with the SaveBetter platform. These come with an exceptional APY without compromising flexibility. 

High-yield MMDA APY:
Up to 0.41%

FDIC-Insured

Learn More

Fortunly Rating

APY:
Up to 0.41%
Account type:
Money Market Account
Min. initial deposit:
$1
Min. account balance:
No balance requirements
Account fees:
No fees
ATM fees:
No fees for in-network ATMs
Foreign transaction fees:
N/A
International ATM fee:
N/A
FDIC-insured:
Yes
pros thumb up Strengths
  • Excellent APY on money market accounts
  • Short- and long-term CDs
  • $1 initial deposit requirement
  • No fees
  • FDIC-insured up to $250,000
  • The bank is a CDFI
pros thumb up Weaknesses
  • Unfavorable customer support reviews
  • CD APY rates are not very competitive

What Can You Sign Up For?

At Ponce de Leon Bank, you can sign up for four deposit accounts: a Ponce checking account, savings account, MMA, and CDs. The bank also offers other banking products such IRAs. Still, we’ll focus on the options you can use to grow your finances that don’t require locking up your funds until you retire.

How Does Ponce Bank Compare to Other Banks?

Ponce Bank Logo
Ponce Bank
Minimum initial deposit:

$1

APY:

0.41%

Visit Website
Capital One Logo
Capital One
Minimum initial deposit:

$0

APY:

0.20%

Visit Website
Aspiration Logo
Aspiration
Minimum initial deposit:

$0

APY:

3.00%

Visit Website

The Benefits of Ponce Bank Deposit Accounts

Figuring out what to do with your extra cash can be more difficult than you’d expect. Depositing all in a retirement account could potentially leave you without funds in an emergency. Investing your money can be tough for those who have a low tolerance for running risks. These people would rather have their funds right where they can access them at all times - in their checking accounts. This, unfortunately, leaves your money exposed to inflation.

For all our risk-conscious readers, MMAs and CDs could be the best solutions. Luckily, you’ll find that Ponce Bank’s interest rates and terms for these accounts are highly competitive. 

Speaking of competitive APY rates and terms, Ponce Bank’s APY rates for MMAs are 6.8 times higher than the national average for savings. Opening one of its accounts requires just a $1 upfront investment. Compared to other banks where, for $1, you can only get 100 cents, Ponce is a great place to be if you don’t initially have a lot to put toward savings.  

Not only does it have some excellent offers for prospective savers, but it also gives back to the minority community. Ponce is a Certified Community Development Financial Institution. It has so far invested more than 80% of its assets into underserved communities. This means your deposit will surely be put to good use. 

Another benefit of going with this bank is Ponce Bank’s online and mobile banking services, which allow you to check your account balances, schedule bill payments, and transfer funds without having to leave the comfort of your home. 

Ponce also has excellent mobile banking apps for both iOS and Android, which will help you manage your finances on the go. Both apps are highly rated on Google Play and App Store, and we haven’t come across a single review of these Ponce Bank apps that doesn’t praise them for their simplicity and ease of use. 

Checking Accounts

Ponce offers excellent checking options, all with interest-earning capabilities. It currently provides four checking accounts:

Simply Free Checking

Ponce Bank Simply Free checking account is advertised as “a free account for everyone.” It’s the most basic option offered by Ponce that doesn’t have any requirements or monthly maintenance fees while still offering all the benefits of a sound checking account. Free, uncomplicated, and reliable - that’s Simply Free Checking in a nutshell.

Direct Interest Checking

This offer allows you to earn interest without compromising any aspect of your regular checking account. This account offers 0.05% APY on your balance, even though it requires no minimum balance. Again, there’s also no monthly service charge, and you can use the Ponce Bank mobile app to conveniently check your balance, transfer funds, and pay bills. 

50+ Interest Checking

The 50+ Interest Checking account is a good solution for people over 50 who still rely on checks. It brings all the benefits of a Direct Interest Checking account, including the 0.05% APY on your balance, plus a free set of standard checks.

Premium Interest Checking

The premium interest checking account is another excellent option for those who’d like to earn interest on their balance while enjoying the flexibility and convenience of Ponce Bank’s standard checking account. It offers 0.05% APY for balances under $1,500 and 0.08% for balances above that amount. However, there’s a $7 monthly fee on balances below $1,500. 

Savings Accounts

Ponce offers numerous traditional savings accounts, MMAs, and CDs. 

The Ponce Bank savings account comes with an APY of 0.10%, which is considerably higher than the national average (0.06%). There are no monthly fees for balances over $100. Balances under $100 come with a $5 monthly fee, and there’s an opening deposit requirement of $50.  

On top of the standard savings account, Ponce also offers passbook savings, which have a higher opening deposit minimum of $100, but balances over $500 earn interest from the day you deposit till the day you withdraw your funds.

Additionally, Ponce offers accounts that can help you save for holidays and vacations, which also come with the above-average Ponce Bank’s savings rates. If we take into account that the average cost of a vacation in Hawaii, for example, is about $200 per day per person, it’s easy to see that without a savings plan, most families would need to take out a personal loan to cover their vacation expenses.

Finally, there are also dedicated savings accounts for minors from 6 to 17 years of age, or rather, their parents, who wish to teach their kids financial responsibility. Parents can also set up the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act with Ponce Bank and start saving in their kids’ name at very competitive terms.

Money Market Accounts

An MMA is a solid option to consider if you’re looking to earn interest while retaining access to your funds. In cooperation with SaveBetter.com, Ponce offers high-yield MMAs, whose APY goes as high as 0.41%. 

A Ponce Bank money market account allows you to earn interest on your balance with ease. It requires a minimal upfront investment of $1 to open the account, and from there, you can choose to deposit or withdraw money as you please. 

The interest accrues daily but is credited monthly. All Ponce Bank MMAs are FDIC-insured, and there are no fees for you to worry about. All you have to do is deposit some funds and start earning on your balance.   

Certificates of Deposit

Ponce Bank’s Certificates of Deposit are a less flexible option than money market accounts but come with higher returns. Together with the SaveBetter platform, Ponce bank offers some exquisite, high-yield CD options, too. With these, the APY rates are based on the length term - the longer the term, the better the rates. When it comes to high-yield CDs, you have 5-month, 13-month and 48-month options. 

The 5-month CDs allow you to earn 0.25% in APY, which is almost three times the national average APY. Interest compounds daily, and is credited monthly. Probably the best aspect of these CDs is that you can start an account with mere $1.

The 13-month CDs option has an exquisite 0.45% return. This is one of the best offers on the market, as it is more than three times the national average for CDs with the same length term. 

Lastly, the 2-year option allows for 0.45% APY as well, which is double the national average. While not as impressive as the previous offers, it allows for a set it and forget it mentality. Like all the other CDs, it is FDIC insured, requires $1 to open an account, and your deposit helps Ponce bank invest in the underserved communities.  

Customer Service

When it comes to Ponce de Leon Bank customer service, you can rely on it to help you out in case anything goes south. Contact the agents via phone, send them an encrypted email, or go to the local branch. Unfortunately, many Ponce Bank’s reviews mention that its customer support is rather slow to answer, so your best bet would likely be to visit a local branch in case you reside in New York or Union City (New Jersey) if you need something resolved quickly.

Should You Sign Up for Ponce Bank?

If you have some extra money and would like to earn some interest on it but aren’t sure whether you’ll need it in the near future, then yes, you should sign up for a Ponce Bank CD or MMA account. These are excellent options to go for if you’re thinking about saving or investing, as your funds will remain accessible while earning interest. The interest you’ll earn probably won’t get you settled for life, but it’s still better  than inflation eating up your hard-earned money. Or, even worse, spending it all without having an emergency stash set up somewhere.

FAQ

Where is Ponce Bank from?

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Ponce is a New York-based bank. You can find Ponce Bank branches in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Union City in New Jersey. It’s occasionally mistaken for Banco de Ponce, a bank from Puerto Rico.

Is Ponce Bank FDIC-insured?

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Yes, Ponce Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and your funds will be FDIC-insured up to $250,000. 

Is Ponce Bank a CDFI?

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Yes, Ponce bank is a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). So far, it has invested more than 80% of its assets into underbanked communities. Most of its employees are Hispanic-American, and it has branch locations in underserved communities.

Is Ponce Bank trustworthy?

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Yes, Ponce has been on the market since 1960 and is a reputable bank and member of the FDIC.

Is Ponce a good bank?

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Ponce Bank is a well-known and respected bank with an excellent selection of accounts, great savings options, and APY rates higher than the national average. Most Ponce Bank reviews praise this bank’s rates, inclusivity, and convenient banking tools.