Sterling Bank & Trust Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020


Sterling Bank & Trust checking account options

Sterling Eagle Checking account

An interest-earning checking account with killer ATM privileges.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.01%$0.01 - $500
0.11% (with direct deposit; 0.01% without)$500 - $1 million
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 (can be waived if a minimum balance of $500 is maintained, or with a regularly recurring direct deposit)
  • ATM fee: No fee at U.S. ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited refunds on any fees from other banks
  • Overdraft fee: $32

The biggest pluses for this account are the fact that it earns interest, has no ATM fees and refunds all ATM fees from outside banks. It also comes with unlimited check writing, free bill pay, online and phone banking, a free debit card, direct deposit capability and e-statements.

Account holders age 55 and older qualify for Sterling Club membership, which comes with the chance to earn a slightly higher rate on money market, savings and CD accounts, free checks and invitations to social events with fellow club members.

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on Sterling Bank And Trust, FSB’s secure website

Member FDIC

Sterling Freedom Checking account

This checking account comes with less bells and whistles than the bank’s other option.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: No fees at Sterling Bank ATMs; $3-$3.50 at outside ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $32

Unlike the bank’s other checking account option, this account does not have the ability to earn interest.

It does, however, come with unlimited check writing, free bill pay, online and phone banking, a free debit card, direct deposit capability and e-statements. Finally, this account doesn’t have any minimum opening deposit or balance requirements. There is no monthly fee, either, so if you’re simply looking for the peace of mind of not having to keep track of things like that, this account may be for you.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling Bank And Trust, FSB’s secure website

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How Sterling Bank & Trust’s checking accounts compare

As we say in our comparison of the best online checking accounts, the best products come with the ability to earn interest, ATM fee refunds, and a strong online and mobile interface. The Sterling Eagle Checking account does get check marks for all of those areas, and its higher rate tier just barely squeaks in to compete with the accounts on our list. However, the fact that it doesn’t come with any domestic ATM fees and will refund any outside bank’s ATM fees is a huge draw. If you can be sure that the rate in your area stacks up to the competition, we say give that account a fair shot.

Sterling Bank & Trust savings account option

Statement Savings

This account’s APY isn’t anything to write home about.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.40%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (can be waived if minimum balance of $100 is maintained)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $32

This account comes with the ability to earn interest. It also comes with an ATM card, direct deposit capabilities, 24/7 online and phone banking and e-statements.

If you are over age 55 and have opened a Sterling Eagle Checking account, you’re eligible for the Sterling Club rewards programs — it offers a slightly higher rate on this account, free checks and invitations to social events with other members. Like all savings accounts, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals and transfers up to six per month.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling Bank And Trust, FSB’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Sterling Bank & Trust’s savings account compares

This account does earn interest, but the rate is much lower than all of the accounts on our roundup of the best online savings accounts. Unless you qualify for one of the rewards programs, there aren’t really any perks that come with this account. It pretty much just comes with the basics you would expect of any bank account.

Sterling Bank & Trust CD rates

Certificates of Deposit

These CDs offer less-than-impressive rates.
TermAPY
1 month0.05%
3 months0.20%
6 months0.55%
12 months0.85%
18 months0.90%
24 months1.05%
30 months3.00%
36 months1.20%
48 months1.20%
60 months1.20%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest on terms of 1 year or less; 12 months’ interests on terms over 1 year

Sterling Bank & Trust’s CDs come in a wide range of term lengths, ranging from three months to five years — but its best rate is on its promotional 30-month CD.

If you are over age 55 and have opened a Sterling Eagle Checking account, you can sign up for the Sterling Club rewards programs. Sterling Club membership offers a slightly higher rate on these CDs and other perks, such as invitations to social events with other members.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling Bank And Trust, FSB’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Sterling Bank & Trust’s CD rates compare

While Sterling Bank & Trust boasts about competitive rates on its CDs, they simply don’t beat out or come close the competition on our list of the best CD rates — not even the promotional 30-month CD, which offers the highest rate of the bank’s 10 term lengths. Its minimum deposit requirements are on the low end, though, and fairly standard compared to others. Still, we suggest shopping around and finding a higher rate that’s truly worth your while and allow your savings to grow.

Sterling Bank & Trust money market account options

Money Market account

A run-of-the-mill money market account with a less-than-stellar rate.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.50%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (can be waived if minimum balance of $500 is maintained)
  • ATM fee: No fee at U.S. ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $32

This interest-earning account comes with no minimum balance requirement to earn the rate, which is compounded quarterly. However, you are required to maintain a balance of at least $500 in the account to avoid its monthly fee. This account also comes with free ATM withdrawals at any domestic ATM, bill pay, mobile and online banking, and e-statements.

Additionally, if you are over age 55 and have opened a Sterling Eagle Checking account, you can sign up for the Sterling Club rewards program, which offers a slightly higher rate on this account and other perks like free checks and invitations to social events with other members.

Because this is a savings account, it’s subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits withdrawals and transfers up to six per month.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling Bank And Trust, FSB’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Sterling Bank & Trust’s money market account compares

Although the minimum deposit and balance requirements for this account are minimal and easy to maintain compared to others, the APY on Sterling Bank & Trust’s money market doesn’t even come close to comparing to most of the accounts on our list of the best available money market accounts. There are definitely better rates to be had out there on accounts that likely offer the same low requirements, so do your research to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck to increase your savings.

Sterling Bank & Trust IRA options

IRA CD rates

The same products as the regular CDs but available within an IRA.
TermAPY
1 month0.05%
3 months0.20%
6 months0.55%
12 months0.85%
18 months0.90%
24 months1.05%
30 months3.00%
36 months1.20%
48 months1.20%
60 months1.20%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest on terms of 1 year or less; 12 months’ interests on terms over 1 year

Sterling Bank & Trust IRA CDs are virtually the same products as the regular CDs — the only difference is that you can open them within an IRA. The deposit, balance and early withdrawal restrictions are on par with many other accounts out there.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling Bank And Trust, FSB’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Sterling Bank & Trust’s IRA CD rates compare

Just like with the regular CDs, the rates on Sterling Bank’s IRA CDs for the most part don’t stack up against the offerings on our list of the best IRA CDs. If you’re saving for retirement, you want to make sure you’re giving your funds the best chance to grow, so we urge you to take the time to find a product with a higher rate.

IRA savings account

A standard IRA savings account that can be opened as a traditional or Roth IRA.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.40%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $300
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This interest-earning IRA can be opened as either a traditional or Roth IRA. It requires a low minimum deposit to open, and can earn the rate on any balance amount, though that rate is lower than those offered on the bank’s IRA CD accounts. As a savings account, it’s also subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits withdrawals and transfers up to six per month.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling Bank And Trust, FSB’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How to get Sterling Bank & Trust’s deposit accounts

In order to open any of the bank’s aforementioned accounts, you’ll have to visit one of Sterling Bank & Trust’s branch locations if you’re a resident of one of the four regions the bank serves. Visit the website to enter your ZIP code to see if there’s one near you.

Overall review of Sterling Bank & Trust’s deposit accounts

For the most part, none of Sterling Bank & Trust’s personal banking products are really anything to write home about. Most of the rates offered just don’t stack up against the competition, even if you qualify for any of the rewards programs that allow you to earn higher rates.

Even though there are a few perks here and there (e.g. the lack of ATM fees and unlimited ATM fee refunds on the Sterling Eagle Checking account), they just don’t make up for where the bank’s products fall short. Further, even if you do live near one of the few areas the bank serves in California, Michigan, New York and Washington, the fact that you can only open an account in person may be problematic.

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