Amalgamated Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs
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- Certificates of deposit
- Banking experience
- Overdraft fees
Overall institution rating
Amalgamated Bank is the largest B Corp Certified bank in the U.S. This is 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 serves a wide customer base, including over 1,000 unions, such as those representing teachers and firefighters.
Amalgamated offers solid online checking accounts, savings accounts and certificates of deposit, nearly all of 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 accounts and who don’t mind primarily banking online.
» COMPARE: Best socially responsible banks
- No monthly fees on nearly all checking and savings accounts.
- Give-Back Checking and Savings let you support one of five social justice organizations.
- Free nationwide ATM network.
- Mixed ratings for mobile apps.
- High overdraft fee.
- Few branches.
4.5/5 NerdWallet rating
Three options with no monthly fees: Amalgamated Bank has three regular 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. We rated the Give-Back Savings account due to its unique offering.
Decent rate plus donation component: Give-Back Savings has a middle-of-the-road rate, 0.90% 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.
4.5/5 NerdWallet rating
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. We rated the Give-Back Checking account due to its unique offering.
Big ATM network, modest rate and donation feature: Customers have access to over 40,000 fee-free ATMs in the Allpoint network, including a small fraction that allow cash deposits. 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.
» COMPARE: Best checking accounts
4.5/5 NerdWallet rating
Decent rates but not competitive with many online banks. Amalgamated Bank’s CD rates for terms from six months to five years are solid compared to national averages but are not in the same league as the best CD rates that online banks and credit unions have.
Low opening minimum. You need to deposit at least $500, which is a lower minimum than at many banks.
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.
Mixed mobile app ratings: iOS users have a top-rated bank app while Android users rate the bank app below 4 stars, on average.
» Want to do good? Check out NerdWallet’s picks for best socially responsible banks
Amalgamated Bank has an overdraft policy with costs on par with national banks. There’s a $34 overdraft fee per item, up to five per day. (It’s a $25 overdraft fee for customers who open an account in the San Francisco office.)
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.
» Tend to overdraw your account? See our list of best banks for overdrafts
How does Amalgamated Bank compare?
SoFi Checking and Savings
CIT Bank Platinum Savings
Citizens Online Savings Account
With $0 min. balance for APY
With $5,000 min. balance for APY
With $0.01 min. balance for APY
Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.
at CIT Bank
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
Yes, the bank is part of the Zelle network for peer-to-peer transfers that can arrive within minutes.
Yes, Amalgamated Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which provides FDIC insurance. This means you get your money back (up to $250,000) if a bank fails.
Its headquarters are in New York City.