Amalgamated Bank Review: Checking and Savings

The mission-driven Amalgamated Bank offers interest-earning checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees.
May 3, 2022

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Overall bank rating

Amalgamated Bank
  • Savings

  • Checking

  • Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Amalgamated Bank is the largest B Corp Certified bank in the U.S. This certification means it has a third-party designation that reflects a serious commitment to creating positive social and environmental change. Created in 1923 to serve a clothing workers’ union, the New York City-based bank now works with over 1,000 unions, such as those representing teachers and firefighters.

Amalgamated offers solid online checking and savings accounts, which earn interest. You can access accounts through its website, mobile apps, a fee-free nationwide ATM network, and five branches across New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The bank also provides impact investing, or values-driven investing, and doesn’t support fossil fuel companies.

Best for: Customers seeking a values-driven bank with interest-earning checking and savings who don’t mind primarily banking online.

Pros

  • No monthly fees on checking and savings accounts.
  • Give-Back Checking and Savings let you support one of five social justice organizations.
  • Free nationwide ATM network.

Cons

  • Below-average ratings for mobile apps.
  • High overdraft fee.
  • Few branches.

Full review

Amalgamated Bank Give-Back Savings
Amalgamated Bank Give-Back Savings

Savings

Member FDIC

4.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.30%
With $0.01 min. balance for APY

Three options with no monthly fees: Amalgamated Bank has three savings accounts: Online Savings, Convenience Savings and Give-Back Savings. None has monthly fees, but each differs in rates and other ways. For example, Convenience Savings can be opened only in a branch.

Decent rate plus donation component: Give-Back Savings has a middle-of-the-road rate, 0.30% annual percentage yield, when compared with high-yield savings accounts at online banks and credit unions. There’s an opening minimum of $100. As the account’s unique feature, Amalgamated matches half the annual interest you earn and donates the amount to a social justice organization of your choice from a pool of five. The organizations include the Roosevelt Institute, UltraViolet, Netroots Nation, Color of Change and the American Constitution Society.

Amalgamated Bank Give-Back Checking
Amalgamated Bank Give-Back Checking

Checking

Member FDIC

4.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$0

Four options, three with no monthly fees: Online Checking, Affordable Checking and Give-Back Checking don’t charge a maintenance fee. The branch-only Convenience+ Checking has a $10 fee, waived with a monthly direct deposit. All accounts have check-writing and three earn interest.

Big ATM network, modest rate and donation feature: Customers have access to over 40,000 fee-free ATMs in the Allpoint network and cash deposits at available ATMs. Like Give-Back Savings, the Give-Back Checking earns interest — rare among checking accounts — and the bank donates the equivalent of half the interest you earn in a year to one of the organizations above. The rate is decent for a checking account, which usually has minimal (if any) interest.

Banking experience

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Helpful website and multiple support channels: You can easily find fees, rates, ATM and branch locations on the bank website. If you have issues or questions, there are several ways to get in touch with customer support: phone, email, live chat online, Twitter and one of the five branches in three major cities.

Below-average mobile app ratings: iOS and Android users rate the bank apps below three stars.

Overdraft fees

2.5

NerdWallet rating 

Amalgamated Bank has an overdraft program with costs on par with national banks. There’s a $34 overdraft fee per item, up to five per day. (The exception is customers who open an account in the San Francisco office, which has a $25 overdraft fee.)

Although the bank doesn’t provide an overdraft line of credit or overdraft protection transfer program, it has one saving grace: If a purchase exceeds your balance by $10 or less, the bank covers the transaction without charging a fee.

Amalgamated Bank Give-Back Savings
Amalgamated Bank Give-Back Savings

Savings

Member FDIC

4.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.30%
With $0.01 min. balance for APY

Three options with no monthly fees: Amalgamated Bank has three savings accounts: Online Savings, Convenience Savings and Give-Back Savings. None has monthly fees, but each differs in rates and other ways. For example, Convenience Savings can be opened only in a branch.

Decent rate plus donation component: Give-Back Savings has a middle-of-the-road rate, 0.30% annual percentage yield, when compared with high-yield savings accounts at online banks and credit unions. There’s an opening minimum of $100. As the account’s unique feature, Amalgamated matches half the annual interest you earn and donates the amount to a social justice organization of your choice from a pool of five. The organizations include the Roosevelt Institute, UltraViolet, Netroots Nation, Color of Change and the American Constitution Society.

Methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

Frequently asked questions