OneUnited Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

OneUnited Bank’s checking account options

UNITY E-Gold Checking

Be careful about this account’s monthly fee — it’s really high.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $20, unless you meet the requirements to waive the fee. If you opt for paper statements, you’ll be charged another $2 per month.
  • ATM fee: None. However, you may still have to pay a surcharge fee from the ATM owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 per item, on up to six items per day. However, the bank won’t charge you this fee unless your account is overdrawn by more than $10. If you set up a backup account for overdraft protection, you’ll instead pay $15 per transfer.

This is OneUnited Bank’s premium-level checking account. Unfortunately, this account does not allow you to use paper checks. You’ll have to do all of your transactions via debit card, ATM cash withdrawal or online transfer. If you need to deposit a check that someone’s written to you, however, you can still deposit it with the bank’s mobile app.

This checking account comes with a pretty steep monthly fee. You can get it waived in one of two ways, however. If you keep at least $5,000 in your checking account, you won’t have to pay the fee. Similarly, if you make at least 10 debit card transactions and receive a direct deposit, you won’t have to pay the fee for that month.

The main benefit of opening this checking account is that you can earn interest on your balance, as long as you have at least $100 in your account. There aren’t any other perks that come with this account, such as rewards or ATM surcharge fee reimbursements.

How to get OneUnited Bank’s UNITY E-Gold Checking account

You can open the UNITY E-Gold Checking account online. You’ll need to be a U.S. citizen and send in a copy of your driver’s license to apply for an account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on OneUnited Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

UNITY E-Style Checking

This checking account is cheaper than the bank’s UNITY E-Gold Checking account but doesn’t earn interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, unless you meet the requirements to waive the fee. If you opt for paper statements, you’ll be charged another $2 per month.
  • ATM fee: None. However, you may still have to pay a surcharge fee from the ATM owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 per item, on up to six items per day. However, the bank won’t charge you this fee unless your account is overdrawn by more than $10. If you set up a backup account for overdraft protection, you’ll instead pay $15 per transfer.

This checking account is a little bit cheaper, but it still ranks as an expensive account. You can get the fee waived if you keep at least $500 in the account, however, or if you make at least 10 debit card transactions and receive at least one direct deposit each month.

This checking account also comes with several limitations. It doesn’t earn any interest, and you won’t be able to write paper checks with this account. Again, you’ll have to make all of your transactions digitally, with a debit card or by withdrawing cash from an ATM — although if someone writes you a check, you can deposit it into your account through the bank’s mobile app.

Other than that, this account doesn’t offer anything special.

How to get OneUnited Bank’s UNITY E-Style Checking account

You can apply for this account online. You’ll need to be a U.S. citizen and have a valid driver’s license that you can copy and send in to the bank to verify your identity. If you already have an account with OneUnited Bank, you can simply log into the online banking page and opening this account as well.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on OneUnited Bank’s secure website

U2 E-Checking

This is a second-chance account designed for people who’ve had problems being approved for a checking account in the past.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12, plus an extra $2 if you want your paper statement mailed to you each month.
  • ATM fee: None. However, you may still have to pay a surcharge fee from the ATM owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 per item, on up to six items per day. However, the bank won’t charge you this fee unless your account is overdrawn by more than $10. If you set up a backup account for overdraft protection, you’ll instead pay $15 per transfer.

Have you had trouble managing your checking account in the past, such as frequently overdrawing your account? If so, you might be surprised to find out that your checkered past can prevent you from getting another checking account in the future. If that’s the case, you may still be able to qualify for a second-chance checking account like this one at OneUnited Bank.

That’s not to say this is a nice account, however. It comes with a $12 monthly fee, and there’s no way to get the charge waived like you can with the bank’s other checking accounts. If you opt for this account, we suggest opening a fee-free checking account as soon as you’re able to qualify for one. Like the rest of OneUnited Bank’s online checking accounts, you won’t be issued any paper checks with this account. You must do all of your transactions entirely online, by debit card, or by withdrawing cash from an ATM.

How to get OneUnited Bank’s U2 E-Checking account

To open this account, you’ll need to apply online. You’ll also be required to send in a copy of your driver’s license to the bank so it can verify your I.D.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on OneUnited Bank’s secure website

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How OneUnited Bank’s checking accounts compare

OneUnited Bank only offers one interest-bearing checking account. While this rate is higher than average, it’s still not that great of an interest rate.

Furthermore, all of these accounts come with very high fees and few other perks. The bank will argue that it is possible to get the monthly fee waived for these checking accounts (except for its second-chance checking account, that is). And while that is true, that also still conveniently leaves the door open for them to charge you fees later if you aren’t able to meet the requirements each month, every month. That’s also to say nothing of the inconvenience of not being able to write a physical, paper check if you need it.

Instead, if you’re willing to do your banking online, why not choose one of these on our list of the best online checking accounts instead? These banks and credit unions won’t charge high fees and will offer you higher interest payments.

OneUnited Bank’s savings account options

UNITY E-Gold Savings

OneUnited Bank asks for a lot of money in order to make this account worth your while.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1,000-$24,999.99
0.10%
$25,000-$99,999.99
0.15%
Over $100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5, unless you keep at least $2,500 in the account.
  • ATM fee: None. However, you may still have to pay a surcharge fee from the ATM owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 per item, on up to six items per day. However, the bank won’t charge you this fee unless your account is overdrawn by more than $10. If you set up a backup account for overdraft protection, you’ll instead pay $15 per transfer.

If you want to earn the highest rates possible on a savings account at OneUnited Bank, this account is your best bet. You’ll need to pack a lot of cash to open it, however. This account requires at least $1,000 to open the account, and you’ll need to keep at least that much in there to earn interest. We recommend waiting until you’ve got a larger amount of money saved up — at least $2,500 — because if you have anything less than this in your account, you’ll be charged a $5 monthly fee.

Like all savings accounts, this one is governed by federal rules that state you can only make six convenient (check, draft, debit card, telephone, internet, and preauthorized transfers) withdrawals per month from the account without penalty. You can make more than that, but you’ll be charged a $20 slap for each extra withdrawal beyond the sixth in a month. Cash withdrawals, however, are unlimited.

How to get OneUnited Bank’s UNITY E-Gold Savings account

As long as you’re a U.S. citizen, you can apply for this account online. You’ll need to provide a copy of your driver’s license with the application.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on OneUnited Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

UNITY E-Style Savings

This savings account is better for folks who don’t have a lot of money saved up yet.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%
$200
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $200
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5, unless you receive at least one direct deposit into the account each month or have at least $200 in your account.
  • ATM fee: None. However, you may still have to pay a surcharge fee from the ATM owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37 per item, on up to six items per day. However, the bank won’t charge you this fee unless your account is overdrawn by more than $10. If you set up a backup account for overdraft protection, you’ll instead pay $15 per transfer.

If you’re just starting out on your savings journey, you might not have the required $1,000 to open up a UNITY E-Gold Savings account. If that’s the case, this account might be a better fit for you. It only requires a $100 minimum opening deposit. But again, you may want to wait until you have a bit more saved. That’s because if you aren’t able to keep at least $200 in the account or receive at least one direct deposit, you’ll have to pay a $5 monthly fee. Given the low interest rate that this account offers, the monthly fees may eat away at your bank account balance over time.

You also are only allowed six certain transactions per month with this account due to federal Regulation D without penalty. If you need to make more than that, you’ll have to pay a $20 per withdrawal fee, which won’t be any fun. This doesn’t apply to cash withdrawals, however.

How to get OneUnited Bank’s UNITY E-Style Savings account

If you already have another account with OneUnited Bank, opening this account is as simple as logging into the online banking page and opening this account as well. If you’re not yet a OneUnited Bank customer, you’ll need to apply for this account online.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on OneUnited Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How OneUnited Bank’s savings accounts compare

OneUnited Bank’s savings accounts follow a similar pattern as its interest-bearing checking account. Its UNITY Gold Savings account offers a higher-than-average rate, but it’s still a long ways off from being what we’d really call a “good” interest rate. Its UNITY E-Style Savings account, on the other hand, currently offers a lower-than-average interest rate. If earning the highest interest rates are what’s important to you, then we’d recommend one of these on our list of the best online savings accounts instead.

Furthermore, we don’t like the fact that these accounts come with monthly fees that you’ll always need to be on the lookout for.

OneUnited Bank’s CD rates

UNITY Gold E-CDs

OneUnited Bank doesn’t give you very many choices or very good interest rates with these CDs.
TermAPY  Minimum Balance to Earn APY
120 days0.20%
$500
120 days0.20%
$250,000
1 year0.25%
$500
1 year0.30%
$250,000
2 years0.30%
$500
2 years0.30%
$250,000
4 years0.90%
$500
4 years1.00%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For the 120-day CD, you’ll pay three months’ worth of interest. For the one- and two-year CDs, you’ll pay six months’ worth of interest. For the four-year CD, you’ll pay one year’s worth of interest.

You get only four options for term lengths with OneUnited Bank’s UNITY E-Gold CDs. There are also two interest rate tiers depending on how much you deposit into the CD (with $250,000 as the dividing line), however both tiers are currently offering the same interest rate for each term length offered.

It’s also important to note that even if OneUnited Bank does ever offer a higher interest rate on its $250,000 and up CD, it’s generally not a good idea to keep that much money on deposit with any one bank. FDIC insurance only covers you up to a maximum $250,000. Banks can and do fail, and if you have more than the maximum insured on deposit, you could lose your money if OneUnited Bank ever goes under.

When your CD matures, OneUnited Bank will automatically renew it for another term. You will have the option of withdrawing the money during a short 10-day grace period after it matures, however.

How to get OneUnited Bank’s UNITY E-Gold CDs

You can open these CDs by applying for them online if you’re a U.S. citizen. You’ll need to provide a copy of your driver’s license so that the bank can verify your identity.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on OneUnited Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How OneUnited Bank’s CD rates compare

We’re sad to report that the rates OneUnited Bank offers on its CDs are far below those of other banks. CDs can be a great way to save and earn higher rates long-term, but because you are setting money aside for the long run, we always recommend seeking out the highest interest rates possible. After all, you can’t move your money without paying penalties if you change your mind later.

That’s why we recommend these top-yielding CDs instead if you’re looking for a place to stash your cash long-term. You’ll earn far more money with these CDs, so you can reach your financial goals faster than you can with OneUnited Bank.

Overall review of OneUnited Bank’s banking products

OneUnited Bank makes a great promise: helping to provide financial services to the underserved African-American community.

But in terms of deposit products, this bank doesn’t appear too different than the big-name banks out there. Its bank accounts generally do provide higher-than-average rates, but just barely. And when you compare these rates to the top-yielding banks, OneUnited Bank is left in the dust by the competition.

Another strike against OneUnited Bank is the amount of fees it charges for its bank accounts. For example, its UNITY E-Gold Checking account comes with a $20 monthly fee. That’s a lot of cash to take away from customers.

At the end of the day, even though this bank has a noble mission, you need to know that it’s still privately owned. That means that the bank is still beholden primarily to its owners, and not to you.

Whether you decide to go along with OneUnited Bank’s low rates and high fees in support of its mission is up to you. We’ve provided you with the full picture for how this bank’s accounts work and how the bank operates, and now the ball’s in your court.