Ponce Bank Review [2024]: Banking for New York City Locals

BANKING - CHECKING ACCOUNTS
Ponce Bank primarily serves people in the New York City area. The bank offers various banking products that typically offer low APY.
Updated March 14, 2024
Fact checked
Banking in person

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Ponce Bank, founded in 1960, offers financial services in New York with a focus on low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. We don’t recommend Ponce to most people because of its low annual percentage yield (APY) rates, which reflect the amount of interest it pays on your balance.

Ponce has a small footprint and requires you to open an account in person, so it could make sense if you live in the New York City area. Just make sure that you don’t mind its low APY rates.

Let’s explore our Ponce Bank review to see if this financial institution makes sense for you.

In this Ponce Bank review

Key takeaways

  • We don’t recommend Ponce Bank because its APY rates on interest-bearing accounts aren’t the most competitive. For example, the Ponce Bank Savings account offers 0.10% (as of Jan. 24, 2024) APY1, while the Direct Interest Checking account offers 0.05% (as of Jan. 24, 2024) APY.
  • Ponce Bank has 13 branches located in the New York City area. It offers checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, and more.
  • Ponce is a Member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which provides coverage up to a balance of up to $250,000 per depositor, per bank.

Ponce Bank overview

Pros
  • Offers checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, and more
  • Has savings and checking accounts with no monthly service fees
  • Well-rated mobile apps on the App Store and Google Play
Cons
  • Offers low APY rates
  • Only has branches in the New York City area

Ponce Bank was founded in 1960 in The Bronx by Puerto Rican immigrants. For over 60 years, Ponce has served the New York City Metro Area with various financial services and products, such as bank accounts and loans. Over 75% of Ponce Bank loans are invested in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods.

Ponce Bank checking accounts

Checking account Description Minimum balance Monthly maintenance fee APY
Simply Free Checking Basic checking with no monthly fees $0 (minimum $50 to open) $0 None
Direct Interest Checking Account with interest and no monthly fees $0 $0 0.05% (as of Jan. 24, 2024)
Premium Interest Checking Account with higher interest $1,500 $7 ($0 with $1,500 minimum balance) Up to 0.15% (as of Jan. 24, 2024)
50+ Premium Interest Checking Account with free checks (50+ only) $0 $0 0.05% (as of Jan. 24, 2024)

All Ponce Bank personal checking accounts provide these tools and features:

  • Debit card with ATM access
  • Online banking with real-time alerts
  • eStatements with online check images
  • Bill Pay

We think these checking accounts can provide easy access to your funds whenever you need it, especially with online banking. It’s also nice that you don’t have to worry about monthly service charges with most of the account options.

The APY rates are low, but they’re rarely high on checking accounts. For more options, check out our list of the best checking accounts.

Simply Free Checking

Annual percentage yield (APY) None
Minimum balance requirement $0 (minimum $50 to open)
Monthly maintenance fees $0
ATM access 60,000+ fee-free ATMs with Moneypass network, Ponce Bank branch locations, and Citibank branch locations
FDIC insured Yes, up to $250,000

This is a basic checking account that doesn’t have extra bells and whistles attached, including no APY, but gets the job done with no monthly maintenance fees and access to a network of over 60,000 fee-free ATMs.

There’s also no ongoing minimum balance requirement, so you don’t have to worry about keeping more money than you need in this account. But there’s a minimum opening deposit of at least $50 to open a Simply Free Checking account.

Direct Interest Checking

Annual percentage yield (APY) 0.05% (as of Jan. 24, 2024)
Minimum balance requirement $0
Monthly maintenance fees $0
ATM access 60,000+ fee-free ATMs with Moneypass network, Ponce Bank branch locations, and Citibank branch locations
FDIC insured Yes, up to $250,000

This account is a step up from the Simply Free Checking account because it earns an APY of 0.05% (as of Jan. 24, 2024) on deposited funds. It also has no minimum balance requirement or monthly maintenance fees and the same ATM access.

Premium Interest Checking

Annual percentage yield (APY) Up to 0.15% (as of Jan. 24, 2024)
Minimum balance requirement $1,500
Monthly maintenance fees $7 ($0 with $1,500 minimum balance)
ATM access 60,000+ fee-free ATMs with Moneypass network, Ponce Bank branch locations, and Citibank branch locations
FDIC insured Yes, up to $250,000

The Premium Interest Checking account has the best APY rate (up to 0.15% (as of Jan. 24, 2024)) of all the available Ponce Bank checking accounts. However, this APY rate is still low compared to interest checking accounts from some of the best neobanks.

You can also receive free standard checks with this account. With these added benefits, there are added requirements. You must keep a minimum balance of $1,500 or you’ll have to pay a $7 monthly maintenance fee.

50+ Premium Interest Checking

Annual percentage yield (APY) 0.05% (as of Jan. 24, 2024)
Minimum balance requirement $0
Monthly maintenance fees $0
ATM access 60,000+ fee-free ATMs with Moneypass network, Ponce Bank branch locations, and Citibank branch locations
FDIC insured Yes, up to $250,000

The 50+ Premium Interest Checking account is only available if you’re 50 or older. This account is similar to the Direct Interest Checking account, but it has the added benefit of being able to receive free standard checks.

Ponce Bank savings accounts

Savings account Description Minimum balance Monthly maintenance fee APY
Ponce Savings Basic savings with low requirements $100 $5 ($0 with $100 minimum balance) 0.10% (as of Jan. 24, 2024)
Money Market Account with higher interest $1,500 $10 ($0 with $1,500 minimum balance) 0.10%-0.20% (as of Jan. 24, 2024), depending on your balance

Ponce savings accounts don’t provide much in terms of benefits or earning a lot of interest. For storing funds, there are better options available.

Check out our list of the best savings accounts.

Ponce Savings

Annual percentage yield (APY) 0.10% (as of Jan. 24, 2024)
Minimum balance requirement $100
Monthly maintenance fees $5 ($0 with $100 minimum balance)
ATM access 60,000+ fee-free ATMs with Moneypass network, Ponce Bank branch locations, and Citibank branch locations
FDIC insured Yes, up to $250,000

Ponce Savings is a basic savings account that doesn’t provide much more than a place to securely store your money. Its low APY isn’t competitive at all and mirrors what you might find at traditional banks. For better APY rates on savings, consider one of the best online banks.

Money Market

Annual percentage yield (APY) 0.10%-0.20% (as of Jan. 24, 2024), depending on your balance
Minimum balance requirement $1,500
Monthly maintenance fees $10 ($0 with $1,500 minimum balance)
ATM access 60,000+ fee-free ATMs with Moneypass network, Ponce Bank branch locations, and Citibank branch locations
FDIC insured Yes, up to $250,000

The Ponce Bank Money Market account offers an APY that's barely more than the Ponce Savings account, and the minimum balance requirement is much higher. If earning interest is your goal with a savings account, consider other money market accounts with better APY rates.

Additional Ponce Bank products

In addition to personal checking and savings accounts, Ponce Bank offers:

Product Description
Loans Receive help from Ponce loan experts to find a loan for a car or property. You can also use a property for a home equity line of credit (HELOC).
Certificates of deposit (CDs) Access higher interest rates by keeping your funds in a Ponce Bank CD for a set period of time. Note that Ponce Bank CD rates don’t compete with the best available rates from different banks.
Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) Save for retirement with a traditional or Roth IRA and take advantage of different types of tax benefits.
Business checking accounts Manage your business expenses and payroll with a business checking account.
Business savings accounts Use a business savings account to store business funds.
Business loans Access business loans and lines of credit to increase your business cash flow and pay for unexpected expenses.

What we like about Ponce Bank

  • Multiple financial products: Ponce provides checking accounts, savings accounts, loans, and more.
  • In-person branches: You can manage your bank accounts online with Ponce, but you can also visit one of their New York City area branch locations.
  • Well-rated mobile apps: The Ponce Bank Mobile app for iOS has a 4.8 out of 5 rating on the App Store, while Ponce Bank Mobile for Android has a 4.2 out of 5 rating on Google Play. Some of the Ponce Bank reviews mention it’s a “great app” and that it’s “very easy and convenient.”

What Ponce Bank could improve

  • Local footprint: You don’t technically have to live in New York to bank with Ponce, but Ponce clearly makes more sense if you live in the area of one of its branches. You also have to visit a branch in person to open an account.
  • Low APY rates: The APY rates on Ponce interest-bearing accounts aren’t very good compared to what’s available from other financial institutions.

Who is Ponce Bank best for?

Ponce Bank is best for people who live in the New York City area and aren’t concerned about earning high interest on their cash balances.

Ponce Bank is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and Minority Depository Institution (MDI) located in New York City. These designations show that Ponce is dedicated to giving back to its local communities around New York.

If you don’t live around the areas that Ponce serves, it likely wouldn’t make sense to bank with Ponce. You may prefer to look into alternative options that offer high APY rates.

How to open an account with Ponce Bank

To open an account with Ponce, you need to fill out an introductory form online or visit an in-person branch location. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Navigate to the online form for the account you want to sign up for, such as a personal checking account.
  2. Fill out your information, including your name, email address, phone number, and ZIP code.


  1. Submit the form and wait for Ponce to contact you.

Alternatives to Ponce Bank

Discover®

It’s easy to open the Discover® Cashback Debit Account online with no monthly fee or balance requirements and no impact to your credit score. This account is FDIC insured and offers 1.00% (as of Jan. 30, 2024)cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month.

Visit Discover

…or read our full Discover Bank review.

SoFi

SoFi Checking and Savings2 accounts provide up to 4.60% APY3 with direct deposit4, which is much higher than what you can get at Ponce Bank. There’s also no minimum deposit to open an account and no monthly maintenance fees. With SoFi Checking and Savings, you can receive up to $2 million in FDIC insurance5.

Visit SoFi

…or read our full SoFi review.

Ponce Bank FAQ

Is Ponce a good bank?

Ponce is a good bank if you’re interested in basic checking and savings account options. Its APY rates on interest-bearing accounts don't compete with other banks, but it could make sense to use Ponce products if you don’t have many alternatives and live in the New York City area.

Is Ponce Bank FDIC insured?

Yes, Ponce Bank is a Member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which provides you with coverage up to $250,000.

How big is Ponce Bank?

Ponce Bank is relatively small, primarily serving customers local to the New York City area. Ponce has 13 in-person branches located throughout The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and New Jersey.

Ponce Bank review: bottom line

We don’t recommend Ponce Bank for most people because it primarily serves people in the New York City area and you have to go into a branch to open an account. If you live in New York, we still think there are better options available from other financial institutions that offer higher APYs and larger footprints.

Compare bank accounts with higher APY rates and more benefits with our list of the best banks.

Discover®️ Cashback Checking Benefits

  • Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month6
  • No minimum deposit, no minimum balance, and no account fees
  • Access your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay
  • 60K+ fee-free ATMs and make cash deposits at Walmart stores nationwide

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is a Senior Credit Cards Writer at FinanceBuzz. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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