Tuesday, July 5

United Bank of Philadelphia review: Black-owned bank with low minimum opening deposits


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Overall bank rating

Pros and cons

Featured Deposit Accounts

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.40% APY as of 06/08/21

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0.29% to 0.40% APY

Savings

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

0% to 0.02% APY

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Easy to waive $7 monthly service fee
    Cons
    • $100 minimum opening deposit
    • Low APY
    • No interest earned on balances under $150
    • $7 monthly service fee
    • Black-owned bank with 2 branches in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Waive $7 monthly service fee by maintaining a $250 minimum daily balance
    • Interest compounded daily, paid monthly
    • Member FDIC

    You may like the United Bank of Philadelphia Statement Savings Account if you can maintain a $250 balance, because then you’ll waive the $7 monthly service fee. The bank pays a low interest rate, though, and you’ll earn significantly more with an online high-yield savings account.

    Checking

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    None

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • $50 minimum opening deposit
    • Easy to waive $12 monthly service fee
    • Unlimited check writing
    Cons
    • $12 monthly service fee
    • $1.25 out-of-network ATM fee
    • $37.50 overdraft fee
    • No overdraft protection
    • Black-owned bank with 2 branches in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • 13 free ATMs
    • Waive $12 monthly service fee by maintaining a $300 minimum daily balance
    • Member FDIC

    The United Bank of Philadelphia Blue Regular Checking Account is a decent option if you can keep $300 in your account to waive the $12 monthly service fee. But keep an eye out for overdrafts — the bank charges a $37.50 fee for overdrawing, and there’s no overdraft protection.

    CD

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0.05% to 0.30% APY

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    Cons
    • Low APY
    • Must contact bank for early withdrawal penalty information
    • Black-owned bank with 2 branches in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Terms range from 30 days to 5 years
    • Interest compounded daily, paid at maturity
    • Member FDIC

    United Bank of Philadelphia pays decent rates on longer-term CDs, but you can still earn more by opening a CD with an online bank.

    Money market account

    Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

    0% to 0.05% APY

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • $50 minimum opening deposit
    • Includes paper checks
    Cons
    • Low APY
    • No interest earned on balances under $1,500
    • $12 monthly service fee
    • Black-owned bank with 2 branches in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    • Waive $12 monthly service fee by maintaining a $1,500 minimum daily balance
    • Tiered interest rates: No interest earned on balances under $1,500; earn a higher rate when your balance reaches $1,500, then $2,500, then $10,000, then $100,000
    • Interest compounded daily, paid monthly
    • Member FDIC

    The United Bank of Philadelphia Blue Money Market Account includes paper checks, so you may prefer it to the regular savings account if you want easier access to your savings.

    How United Bank of Philadelphia works

    United Bank of Philadelphia is a Black-owned bank with two branches in Philadelphia. It also has 13 free ATMs around the city.

    The bank does not have a mobile app. Exact hours depend on the branch, but you can contact customer support Monday through Friday.

    Your deposits are FDIC insured for up to $250,000, or up to $500,000 for joint accounts.

    Is United Bank of Philadelphia trustworthy?

    The Better Business Bureau gives United Bank of Philadelphia a D- in trustworthiness because the bank hasn’t responded to any customer complaints on the BBB website. However, there have only been two customer complaints on the site in the last three years — so you may want to take this grade with a grain of salt.

    In 2019, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the City of Philadelphia gave United Bank of Philadelphia a $2.5 million grant to help stabilize the bank. At that point, United Bank of Philadelphia had lost money in nine of the previous 10 years.

    As of the end of the first quarter of 2021, the bank had $15 million more in assets than in Q1 2020.

    How United Bank of Philadelphia compares to similar institutions

    We’ve compared United Bank of Philadelphia to two other minority-led

    credit unions
    you can access in Philadelphia: Democracy Federal Credit Union and OneUnited Bank.

    United Bank of Philadelphia vs. Democracy Federal Credit Union

    Democracy Federal Credit Union is a credit union, not a bank, so only certain people are eligible for membership. Democracy’s requirements vary depending on where you live. In Philadelphia, you must work with one of the following employers: Department of Health & Human Services, Department of Education, Social Security Administration, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Food & Drug Administration, Gallaudet University, or other another Employer Group.

    If you don’t qualify to join Democracy, United Bank of Philadelphia is the clear choice between the two.

    But if you are eligible to join Democracy, you may like its Kasasa accounts. Democracy partners with financial services company Kasasa to offer high-yield savings, high-yield checking, and cash-back

    checking accounts
    .

    United Bank of Philadelphia vs. OneUnited Bank

    OneUnited Bank doesn’t have any physical branches in Philadelphia, but you can bank online from around the US. You may like OneUnited if you’re comfortable banking digitally, but you’ll want to go with United Bank of Philadelphia for in-person banking.

    You might prefer United Bank of Philadelphia for CDs, because it compounds interest more frequently and has more term options. But OneUnited has a stronger checking account that allows you to receive paychecks up to two days early.

    About the author

    Laura Grace Tarpley is an editor at Personal Finance Insider, covering bank reviews and guides. She is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF). Over her five years of covering personal finance, she has written extensively about ways to save.



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