Provident Bank Review 2021

Published January 2021 by Brian Beers

AT A GLANCE
4.2

Bankrate Score

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ATM fee refunds

Provident Bank is a good option for savers looking for a brick-and-mortar bank that keeps fees on the low side and offers a wide range of products and services. Customers looking to avoid ATM fees will find a good match here, but yields could be a bit more competitive overall.

  • CDs
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    3.9
  • Savings
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    4.1
  • Checking
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    4.4
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.55 % APY

    1yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.55 % APY

    1yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Overall

    4.2

    Bankrate Score

    Provident Bank has a sizable branch presence in New Jersey and a few in surrounding states. They offer numerous checking account options and enough savings products to appeal to a wide base of customers. The bank does a very good job of minimizing those pesky fees that consumers generally loathe.

    What we like

    • There are no monthly service fees on most accounts, and the requirements to waive monthly fees are attainable on the accounts that do charge a fee.

    • If you live in northern or central New Jersey, it should be fairly easy to find a branch close to you where you can bank in person.

    • Customers can qualify for domestic ATM fee/surcharge refunds, although there are a number of factors that have to be met each month.

    What we don't

    • Yields on basic accounts are a little underwhelming, but there are ways to boost it with Provident’s platinum offerings with tiered interest rates.

    • The bank’s app is rated below average on both Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store.

    • Most accounts that are closed within six months of opening will be hit with a $15 early closure charge on the way out.

    CD rates

    3.9

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.55 % APY

    1yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Provident Bank offers nine different terms of CDs ranging from 91 days to five years. You’ll only need $500 to open one, but look out for some costly early withdrawal penalties if you take out your money before the maturity date.

    What we like

    • It doesn’t take much money to open a CD.

    • There’s a good choice of shorter-term and longer-term CDs.

    What we don't

    • Rates are close to the national average, but you can find higher rates by shopping around.

    • You can only open a CD at a branch.

    Savings accounts

    4.1

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.50 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    The bank offers a few different options for savers here. Choosing the Provident Power Savings account will result in a higher interest rate for the portion of your balance above $10,000. Yields for balances below that mark, however, are much lower. The account has no fees or service charges and comes with a basic debit card.

    There’s also a Statement Savings account, a Young Saver account and a Provident Platinum Money Manager account that links to a Provident checking account and boost yields for higher balances.

    What we like

    • The minimum opening deposits are quite low, so it’s easy to get started.

    • There is no monthly service fee.

    • If you have at least five figures to stash in the Power Savings account, you can get a big boost to your APY.

    • There are no fees on transfers to another Provident deposit account.

    What we don't

    • The portion of your balance below the $10,000 mark gets a much lower interest rate in the Power Savings account.

    • The Statement Savings account has a $3 monthly minimum balance penalty fee if you end up with an average daily balance below $250 in your account.

    Checking accounts

    4.4

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Quontic Bank

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.01 % APY

    $ 100

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    Provident Bank offers checking account options that meet a bunch of different needs. Whether you’re looking for free checking, a high-yield account, or even cash back and rewards, you’ll likely find something interesting here.

    The Smart Checking account is a rewards-based program where you can earn an exceptional APY on balances up to $15,000, and have the ability to also qualify for domestic ATM fee/surcharge refunds. It will take a combination of debit purchases, a regular direct deposit, and opting in to a ProvidentConnect Online Banking relationship with occasional statements going there.

    All of the checking account options are available without monthly fees and nearly all of them offer the possibility of ATM fee refunds too.

    What we like

    • There’s a wide variety of checking options.

    • Forget about monthly service fees with these accounts.

    • ATM fee refunds are a nice perk.

    • If you can qualify for the high APY on the Smart Checking account, then you’ll be maximizing your savings.

    • The cash-back checking account provides a solid reward on qualifying debit purchases and there are no limits on the amount of cash back you can accumulate.

    What we don't

    • If you travel out of New Jersey or eastern Pennsylvania, you might find it hard to access an in-network ATM.

    • The overdraft fee of $35 isn’t the worst you’ll find, but a lot of other banks will make this charge lower or even limit the number of times they’ll charge the fee per day.

    Bank experience

    Provident Bank offers a lot of the most popular digital banking services that are out there these days, including mobile and online banking, BillPay, Zelle, and Apple Pay as examples. However, one thing to note is that the bank’s app doesn’t score very highly with reviewers in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

    Customers can get in touch with representatives of the bank over the phone or by email, but the hours are somewhat limited. You can get help Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    About Provident Bank

    Provident Bank is a New Jersey-based institution that has been around since 1839. It has more than 100 branches spanning New Jersey, parts of Pennsylvania and a small section of New York.

    Customers can access a wide variety of banking products, including checking and savings accounts, CDs, mortgages, credit cards, and investments.

    Provident Bank’s parent company is called Provident Financial Services and is publicly traded. It acquired SB One Bank in 2020 and is now one of the largest banks in the state of New Jersey.

    Brian Beers Twitter Created with Sketch. @BRIAN_BEERS

    Brian Beers Twitter Created with Sketch. @BRIAN_BEERS

    About the author Brian Beers is the senior wealth editor at Bankrate. He oversees editorial coverage of banking, investing, the economy and all things money. Previously, he was the director of editorial production for CNBC Digital where he received an Emmy-nomination for the long-form digital feature "Boom, Bust and Blame: The Inside Story of America's Economic Crisis." Brian is driven to help people learn more about their money and investments knowing that it could end up positively impacting them in a real-life financial decision someday. His work has been published on CNBC, Investopedia, MagnifyMoney, NBC Sports, The Drive and Yahoo. He also spent a number of years as the lead digital producer of SportsBiz with Darren Rovell. Brian holds a B.S. in finance from Syracuse University and lives in New York with his family.