Carver Federal Savings Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

Carver Bank offers a community focus and solid account options, but branches are limited to New York City.
Chanelle Bessette
By Chanelle Bessette 

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Overall bank rating

Carver Federal Savings Bank
  • Savings

  • Checking

  • CD rates

  • Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Carver Federal Savings Bank — also known as Carver Bank — is a Black-owned financial institution headquartered in Harlem. The bank is designated as a community development financial institution due to its focus on community impact.

Carver Bank’s seven branches are limited to the New York City area, but the bank has a large free ATM network and its mobile app is highly rated.

Pros

  • More than 76,000 no-fee ATMs.
  • Monthly fee on savings account is easy to avoid.
  • Solid rates on CDs.

Cons

  • Very limited branches.
  • High overdraft fee.

Full review

Carver Savings
Carver Savings

Savings

Member FDIC

4.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.10%
With $0 min. balance for APY

Carver Savings customers earn a rate of 0.10% APY. The account has a $5 monthly fee that can be waived by maintaining a monthly balance of at least $300, a monthly direct deposit of at least $100 or a recurring monthly transfer of $25 or more from your checking account.

Carver Community Free Checking
Carver Community Free Checking

Checking

Member FDIC

4.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$0

This account has no monthly fee, but there is a $3 monthly paper statement fee that can be avoided by signing up for e-statements. The account has no minimum balance requirements except for the $50 that it takes to open an account.

Carver Community Free Checking doesn’t earn interest, but the bank offers another checking account, Value Plus Interest Checking, that offers 0.05% APY. The interest checking account has a $6 monthly fee, but that fee is waived if you either direct deposit or maintain a balance of $1,500 per month.

Carver 1 Year CD
Carver 1 Year CD

CD

Member FDIC

4.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY
1.77%
3-year APY
2.79%
5-year APY
2.79%
Minimum deposit
$2,500

Carver Bank has solid rates on its certificates of deposit. The minimum opening deposit amount depends on the length of the term; one year or shorter is $2,500, and CDs longer than a year have a minimum opening deposit of $1,000.

Banking experience

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Carver Bank has a limited number of branches that are all near or in New York City, but the bank offers solid mobile banking services and strong ATM offerings. The bank’s app has high ratings for Apple and Android, and the bank is part of the Allpoint network and partners with JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, which gives customers access to more than 76,000 fee-free ATMs. If a customer wants to use an out-of-network ATM, Carver Bank typically charges a $2.50 fee in addition to whatever the ATM operator charges, but the bank will waive its first five ATM fees per month. Live customer phone support is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern time weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Saturdays. The call center is closed on Sundays and bank holidays.

Overdraft fees

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Carver Bank charges a $35 nonsufficient funds fee per occurrence for transactions that overdraft the account by $25 or more. The bank doesn’t have a continuous negative balance fee, but it doesn’t offer overdraft lines of credit or overdraft protection transfers to cover overdrafts.

Carver Savings
Carver Savings

Savings

Member FDIC

4.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.10%
With $0 min. balance for APY

Carver Savings customers earn a rate of 0.10% APY. The account has a $5 monthly fee that can be waived by maintaining a monthly balance of at least $300, a monthly direct deposit of at least $100 or a recurring monthly transfer of $25 or more from your checking account.

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.