Ridgewood Savings Bank Review 2021

Published January 2021 by Brian Beers

AT A GLANCE
4.5

Bankrate Score

bank-logo

Digital Leader

High APYs

Ridgewood Savings Bank is an excellent option for savers who live in New York. It offers customers competitive rates and a wide variety of products and services that often come with attractive perks and helpful digital features.

  • CDs
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    4.5
  • Savings
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    5.0
  • Checking
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    4.6
  • MMAs
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    3.4
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    LendingClub

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    $ 2,500

    Min. balance for APY

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    Min. balance for APY

    Vio Bank

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    MMA

    0.55 % APY

    $ 100

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    Overall

    4.5

    Bankrate Score

    With Ridgewood Savings Bank, you’ll get the intimate feel and personal attention of a community bank combined with an impressive lineup of digital banking tools and services. Customers have access to competitive savings rates and a massive network of 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs worldwide in the AllPoint Network.

    What we like

    • APYs are competitive across the board, but you’ll find a top-tier rate on the Smart Move Online Savings Account.

    • There are a bunch of powerful digital banking tools available for customers, such as Alexa Voice Banking and Money Management for budgeting.

    • Debit card users can take advantage of two free rewards programs to get cash back or other fun offers, such as travel, events and gift cards.

    What we don't

    • Many of the accounts charge a monthly service fee that you can get waived, but it’s not always easy to meet the requirements.

    • If you live or travel outside of the New York City area, you may have limited access to in-person banking.

    CD rates

    4.5

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    0.55 % APY

    1yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Ridgewood Savings offers CDs with a wide variety of terms ranging from 90 days to 84 months. Yields are competitive, but you will find some online banks and credit unions with higher rates. The minimum to open a CD at Ridgewood Savings is $500, which isn’t too much of a burden for savers that are just starting out.

    What we like

    • You can get a CD with terms as long as seven years. Other banks tend to stop at five year terms.

    • APYs are attractive across terms, and there is only a single tier for determining the rate.

    • It doesn’t take too much money to open a CD — just $500 or more.

    What we don't

    • Early withdrawal penalties are on the high side. For example, a withdrawal from a CD before the maturity date will lead to a penalty of 270 days' interest if the term is between one and two years.

    Savings accounts

    5.0

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    LendingClub

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    0.60 % APY

    $ 2,500

    Min. balance for APY

    You can choose from a number of different savings accounts at Ridgewood Savings. The SmartMove Online Savings account offers customers a great rate without any monthly service fees. Customers can also opt for the Statement Savings or Passbook Savings accounts, which offer lower rates, but provide some added conveniences for customers who also want to bank in person or over the phone.

    What we like

    • The online-only account offers a top-tier rate.

    • There is no monthly service fee on the online-only account, and a low $2 fee on the other savings accounts which can be easily waived with a qualifying balance.

    What we don't

    • If you need an outgoing external transfer at an expedited speed, it will cost you $6.95 each time.

    Checking accounts

    4.6

    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Quontic Bank

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.01 % APY

    $ 100

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    There are a number of different checking account options for customers to choose from. The Ridgewood Good account comes with a low $3 monthly fee, but it’s an easy one to get waived with a few options such as signing up for electronic statements, or a monthly direct deposit of at least $300.

    There’s also two interest-bearing accounts that come with competitive rates, and some added benefits. Unfortunately, these accounts also have a much higher monthly fee, and are a little more difficult to meet the requirements for having them waived.

    Customers will enjoy some great features such as debit card rewards, a free order of checks, and some helpful card controls (including the ability to turn your debit card on or off as desired).

    What we like

    • It’s easy to eliminate monthly fees on the Ridgewood Good account.

    • You can access your cash without being charged a fee at 55,000 ATMs worldwide in the AllPoint Network.

    • Debit rewards is a great way to earn cash back, especially at a time when interest rates are so low for savers.

    • Access to digital banking tools is plentiful, such as the Money Management budgeting tool and Mobile Wallet.

    • There is a low minimum needed to open any of the checking accounts.

    What we don't

    • If you choose either of the interest-bearing checking accounts, the monthly service fee is on the steep side.

    • In order to get the highest rates on the interest-bearing account, you’ll need to have a balance of at least $50,000.

    Money market accounts

    3.4

    Bankrate Score

    If there’s one area where Ridgewood Savings could improve a bit, it’s the PowerFlex Money Market account. There are three balance tiers, and rates are decent, but fall way short compared to the online savings account’s APY.

    It will take at least $1,000 to open an account, and a balance of at least $25,000 to get the highest rate. And if your balance falls below $1,000, expect to be hit with a $15 monthly maintenance charge too.

    What we like

    • You can get free in-person withdrawals at a branch.

    • Supersavers can take advantage of a higher yield on larger balances along with maintaining liquidity.

    • Check-writing privileges are available.

    What we don't

    • A $15 monthly maintenance fee is hefty in an otherwise low rate environment.

    • Rates are a bit underwhelming, especially when compared to what one could get from the online savings account.

    • There’s also an excess transactions fee here too after going over six in a month.

    Bank experience

    Ridgewood Savings Bank gets high marks for its customer experience. It gives customers a ton of great tools and services to manage their money more efficiently. From Zelle to Mobile Wallet to Billpay, the bank makes as many money-moving services available as most big banks. Its app is highly rated in both Apple’s App Store as well as the Google Play Store.

    You’ll be able to contact customer service over the phone, six days a week: Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. There’s also a form on the website to make inquiries and ask questions.

    The bank also offers an automated roundup service called “Multiply the Change.” It will roundup debit card purchases and automatically transfer the amount from a checking account to a savings account to help customers effortlessly grow their nest egg.

    About Ridgewood Savings Bank

    Ridgewood Savings Bank is the largest mutual savings bank in New York State and operates 35 branches in the New York City metropolitan area. It was chartered as The Savings Bank of Ridgewood in 1921 and first operated out of a converted taproom.

    The bank offers a variety of deposit products, including checking and savings accounts, CDs, a money market account, and even a Vacation and Holiday Club Account. It also offers mortgages, credit cards and personal loans to borrowers. Customers can also get access to wealth management and investment services.

    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.