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

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Updated on Saturday, August 1, 2020

Popular Bank’s checking account options

Popular Prestige Checking

Move up in the ranks to get bigger and better rewards.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$0.01
0.10%$1,000
0.10%$25,000
0.15%$50,000
0.15%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None (exceptions apply)
  • Overdraft fee: $34

This checking account could be worth it if you qualify for the Popular Rewards rate tiers. This rewards program offers benefits based on your account balance. Essentially, the more money you have in combined account balances across Popular Bank, the more perks you get. This includes ATM refunds, rate increases on linked savings accounts and free monthly services. There are three tiers — bronze, silver and gold — and you’ll automatically be bumped up once you qualify.

To waive the monthly fee for this account, you’ll need to maintain an average monthly balance of $2,000 or a combined monthly deposit balance of $5,000 across your Popular Bank deposit accounts. In addition, you won’t be charged an overdraft fee if the amount is less than $5. You can link to your savings account for overdraft protection and that’ll set you back $5 per transaction.

How to get the Popular Prestige Checking account

You can open an account by filling out an online application form. Provide personal details such as your name, employment information and Social Security number. Then you can fund the account. You can also stop at a branch or call customer service at 1-888-533-5333.

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on Popular Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Popular Everyday Checking

Just that, a basic checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

This is a basic checking account that sadly doesn’t earn any interest. The monthly maintenance fee seems a bit steep for what you get but you can avoid it by keeping an average monthly balance of $1,000 or maintaining $750 a month in combined direct deposits. There’s also a $2 paper statement fee each month, which you can waive by opting for electronic statements.

Just like Popular Bank’s other checking accounts, you get online banking and the ability to link to a savings account for overdraft protection. This option will set you back $5 per transfer. However, you won’t be charged an overdraft fee whichever overdraft option you choose if the overdrawn amount is less than $5.

How to get the Popular Everyday Checking account

You can complete an online application form where you’ll provide personal details such as your name, employment information and Social Security number. From there, you can arrange for your opening deposit. Customers can also open an account in a branch or by calling customer service at 1-888-533-5333.

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on Popular Bank’s secure website

Popular eVolve Student account

A simple account for teens, with ATM access.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $2 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The eVolve student account is meant for students between 13 and 18 years old. To qualify for an account, the teen’s parent or guardian needs to have their own Popular Bank checking account and be the primary co-owner. Once the teen turns 19, the account can then be upgraded to a personal checking account and become the primary (sole) owner. This account doesn’t earn you any interest.

The account offers ATM access but no check writing capabilities or overdraft options. The monthly maintenance fee can be waived if you can make a minimum of five bill pays or ACH deposits each month.

How to get the Popular eVolve Student account

You can only open this account in person. Click here to find your nearest location.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Popular Bank’s secure website

Popular Fast Track College account

You can save on monthly maintenance fees compared to the Popular Everyday Checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

For those who qualify, this may be the better choice than the Popular Everyday Checking account as you can get a much lower monthly maintenance fee at $4 compared to $10. Fortunately, both fees can be waived. The monthly fee associated with the Popular Fast Track College Account can be waived if you make five electronic deposits (ACH) or five transactions using bill pay.

You can only open this account if you’re 18 to 24 years old and can provide proof of enrollment at a post-secondary educational institution. Once you turn 25 years old, this account will automatically be converted to a Popular Everyday Checking account.

Unlike the eVolve Student account, this account gives you overdraft and check writing capabilities, on top of online banking and ATM access. Just like the Popular Everyday Checking account, you can link a savings account for overdraft protection and you won’t be charged a fee if your account is overdrawn by less than $5. This account doesn’t earn you any interest.

How to get the Popular Fast Track College account

You can only open this account in person. Click here to find your nearest location.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Popular Bank’s secure website

Popular Basic Checking

If you want a checking account with low fees, this one is for you.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $34

Popular Basic Checking is for those looking for an account that has low fees and no minimum account balance amounts. However, you don’t earn any interest and there isn’t a way to waive the monthly maintenance fee. You also don’t get unlimited transactions. Instead you get eight free withdrawals a month and then you’ll need to pay $1 for each one over that. You do get to make unlimited deposits.

How to get the Popular Basic Checking account

To open a Basic Checking account, you can head to Popular Bank’s website and fill out an application form by entering in information such as your name, address and Social Security number. Then you’ll need to fund your account. Otherwise, you can call customer service at 1-888-533-5333 or go to the nearest branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Popular Bank’s secure website

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How Popular Bank’s checking accounts compare

Even with the Popular Prestige Checking account and its many perks, the rates still fall slightly short of what’s being offered out there. Many other online banks offer ATM refunds, unlimited transactions and no monthly maintenance fees. If those are the most important aspects to you in a checking account, then you’ll probably want to check out our list of the 10 best online checking accounts to do a little comparison shopping.

Popular Bank’s savings account option

Popular Savings

The rate offered isn’t that great but you can get ATM access.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.03%$0.01
0.03%$2,500
0.03%$10,000
0.05%$25,000
0.10%$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies (see table)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

As the only savings account Popular Bank offers, you’re not earning much more than with the Prestige Checking account and you can only waive the monthly maintenance fee if you qualify for the rewards program.

Other features of the Popular Savings account include an ATM card, online and telephone banking. Keep in mind you are limited to six withdrawals per month as mandated by Federal Reserve Regulation D or else you’ll need to pay $5 for each excessive withdrawal.

How to get the Popular Savings account

Head over to Popular Bank’s website and fill out an application form. You’ll be asked to provide details such as your name, address and Social Security number. Then you’ll need to fund the account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Popular Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Popular Bank’s savings account compares

Popular Bank’s savings account really isn’t that great when comparing it with other choices out there. Sure, you can waive the monthly maintenance fee, but you need to qualify for the bank’s reward programs in order to do so. You do get ATM access but so do other banks and credit unions.

To maximize your savings, you’re probably better off looking at the ones on our list of the best online savings accounts instead.

Popular Bank’s CD rates

Certificates of deposit

These are some of the highest rates we’ve seen.
TermAPY
13 months2.65%
21 months0.30%
25 months0.40%
3 years0.50%
4 years0.60%
5 years0.90%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: None
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on CD term:
    • Less than 91 days – 98 days’ simple interest
    • 91 days up to 12 months – 120 days’ simple interest
    • 12 to 36 months – 270 days’ simple interest
    • 36 to 60 months – 365 days’ simple interest
    • 60 months and up – 730 days’ simple interest

Popular Bank’s CDs are fixed-rate, meaning anyone who wants a guaranteed return on investment will probably like these. Interest is compounded daily and you can choose to have it deposited into your account monthly, quarterly or when it matures.

Upon maturity, you’ll get a 10-day grace period where you can make any changes, such as making additional deposits, withdrawals or renewing for another term. Otherwise, your CD will automatically be renewed.

How to get Popular Bank’s CDs

To open a Popular Bank CD, head over to its CD accounts page and choose the term you want. The application process typically takes anywhere from five to 10 minutes and you’ll need to provide details such as your name, address and Social Security number. Afterward, you can fund your account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Popular Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Popular Bank’s CD rates compare

Popular Bank’s CD rates are among some of the highest currently being advertised out there. If you’re looking for terms shorter than 13 months, then you may not want these CDs, but those looking for long-term ones are in luck.

That said, there may be higher rates, so you may want to check out our list of the current best CD rates.

Popular Bank’s money market account option

Optimum Money Market

Earn one of the best rates advertised, but only if you have $10,000 to spare.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0%$0.01
0.55%$10,000
0.55%$25,000
0.55%$50,000
0.55%$100,000
0.55%$250,000
0.55%$500,000
0.55%$1,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Although you do get a decent rate with this account, you’ll need a high deposit amount to qualify. According to Popular Bank, money you put into the account will earn interest at the highest rate currently advertised by the bank for the first six months. Afterward, it’ll be set at whatever the current standard rate is at that time. If you are part of the Popular Rewards program, your rate would currently sit at 1.75% APY for those who qualify for the silver rewards and 1.70% APY for those who qualify for the gold level.

To access your cash, you can do so at any branch, with your ATM card or via check, though are limited to six withdrawals per month as per Federal Reserve Regulation D. Otherwise, you’ll be charged $15 per excess withdrawal. You can also waive the monthly maintenance fee if you maintain a $10,000 minimum average balance.

How to get Popular Bank’s money market account

The application process to open an account online takes around five to 10 minutes. To apply, head over to Popular Bank’s website and fill out an application form by providing details such as your name, address and Social Security number. Then, fund your account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Popular Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Popular Bank’s money market account compares

The rates for this money market are slightly lower than the ones on our list of the best money market account rates. While that’s not a total deal breaker, one of the shortcomings is that it does require a high deposit amount in order to waive monthly fees and earn the advertised APY. Sure, you get ATM access and limited check writing capabilities, but it may not be worth it if you don’t have that much to open an account.

In that case, you could be better off doing some comparison shopping with any one of the banks or credit unions on our list of the best money market rates.

Popular Bank’s IRA options

IRA CD rates

Structured similarly to the bank’s regular CDs.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500 or $100 for the IRA CD special
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: None
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on CD term:
    • 12 to 36 months – 270 days’ simple interest
    • 36 to 60 months – 365 days’ simple interest
    • 60 months and up – 730 days’ simple interest

These IRA CDs are best for those who are looking for a conservative retirement account. These accounts are for new money only, which Popular Bank defines as money that’s not currently on deposit in any Popular Bank account. Interest is compounded daily and credited to your account monthly, quarterly or upon maturity. You’ll have to call the bank to learn what rates are currently being offered for each term.

There are fixed-rate IRA CDs ranging from three months to 10 years and an 18 month special IRA CD currently on rotation. The minimum opening deposit is lower and you can make additional deposits unlike with the regular IRA CD. You can make additional deposits — in $100 increments — throughout the term up until the IRS limitations.

Since this is a retirement account, you may be penalized by the IRS if you’re under 59½ and make an early withdrawal on top of the penalties imposed by Popular Bank. Once you’re 70 1/2 or older, you can make withdrawals without any penalties.

When your account matures, you have a 10-day grace period where you can make any necessary changes such as making withdrawals or additional deposits or renewing the CD to another term. If nothing is done, your IRA CD will be renewed automatically.

How to get Popular Bank’s IRA CDs

You’ll need to head to the nearest branch to open an IRA CD.

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on Popular Bank’s secure website

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How Popular Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

Popular Bank’s IRA CDs have a minimum opening deposit that is much lower compared to ones on our list of the best IRA CD rates which is great if you don’t want to invest a huge chunk of your cash right now.

Overall review of Popular Bank’s banking products

Popular Bank offers some pretty good options in terms of its CD and IRA CD products. Its rates are some of the best we’ve seen out there and the opening deposit amounts aren’t too high. Popular Bank’s money market account also offers a competitive rate, but you need to make a $10,000 initial deposit, which may not be an easy ask for everyone.

Also, we’d probably take a pass on its checking and savings accounts because of their low rates — that is, if you earn any interest at all. These accounts do offer ATM and check writing capabilities, but so do other competitors. For those looking for great CDs, Popular Bank is a decent choice. If not, then you may want to do some shopping around.

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