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

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Founded in 1888 and headquartered in Montebello and Yonkers, New York, Sterling National Bank is part of Sterling Bancorp which serves consumers and business owners through their deposit and investment products. The bank currently has over 105 locations throughout New York state.

Currently, you can only open accounts at their brick-and-mortar locations, and information about their products cannot be found online. In this review, we’ll highlight their products, including fees and ways you may be able to save on them. But for information about the most recent interest rates, call the bank directly.

Sterling National Bank checking account options

Simple Checking

You don’t need to pay a monthly maintenance fee, but you’re also not earning any interest with this account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

The Simple Checking account is a non-interest bearing account that offers you free bill pay, a Mastercard debit card and mobile banking. If you decide to use an out-of-network ATM, there is a fee and you won’t get any other surcharges refunded.

You’re also limited to writing 15 free checks a month for free with this account. If you go over that amount, you will be charged $0.50 per check.

How to get the Simple Checking account

You can apply for the Simple Checking account in person at any one of their local branches. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number and other documents, such as a state-issued ID.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling National Bank (NY)’s secure website

Choice Checking

Sure, you get up to four ATM refunds a month, but it’s a non-interest bearing account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMS
  • ATM fee refund: Up to 4 a month
  • Overdraft fee: $35

The Choice Checking account is another non-interest bearing account that has a monthly account maintenance fee. To waive it, you can either set up direct deposit, make at least 10 debit card purchases, keep a $1,500 minimum daily balance or keep at least $3,000 across your Sterling National Bank deposit accounts.

Aside from ATM refunds, you also get your first free order of checks, bill pay, online and mobile banking.

How to get the Choice Checking account

You can open the Choice Checking account at a Sterling National Bank location. Customer service may ask you to provide documents, such as your state-issued ID or Social Security number.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling National Bank (NY)’s secure website

Premium Checking

You can get unlimited ATM refunds and the opportunity to earn higher rates.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited
  • Overdraft fee: $35

The Premium Checking account is best for those who intend on frequenting ATMs often as you get unlimited ATM refunds. You also earn a tiered interest rate, though to find out what those are, you’ll need to contact Sterling National Bank.

Other features of the account include unlimited free standard checks and check-writing capabilities. If you want to order premium checks, you can order those at a discount. You also get free bill pay, a Mastercard debit card and mobile banking.

There is a monthly maintenance fee, but you can get it waived if you maintain a $2,500 minimum average daily balance or at least $10,000 in combined balances across your Sterling National Bank deposit accounts.

How to get the premium checking account

You guessed it: You’ll need to head to a brick-and-mortar location to open a premium checking account. Bring your Social Security number and state-issued ID because you may need it.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling National Bank (NY)’s secure website

Smart Checking

Get some great benefits such as unlimited ATM refunds and credit toward other bank fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited
  • Overdraft fee: $35

The Smart Checking account offers a bunch of perks, plus tiered interest rates, though the features and fees we mention may have changed since we last contacted them on Oct. 22, 2018.

For both rate tiers, you get free standard checks, higher ATM withdrawal limits, higher rates on money market and CD accounts, e-statements, and online and mobile banking. As for tier one, which is any balance amount less than $25,000, you’ll get a $15 credit toward services such as overdrafts, refunds on out-of-network ATM surcharges and incoming wires.

For tier two, when your account balance reaches $25,000 and higher, you’ll get a $30 credit toward the same services, plus get unlimited ATM refunds and the monthly maintenance fee waived.

How to get the Smart Checking account

Opening an account is as simple as showing up at your nearest branch and providing documents, such as your Social Security number and state-issued ID.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling National Bank (NY)’s secure website

Student Checking

Students under 24 can take advantage of this account that offers no maintenance fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 for out of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Up to 4 a month
  • Overdraft fee: $35

If you’re a student at a qualifying educational institution and under 24 years old, you may want to consider this account, though you’ll need to contact Sterling National Bank to make sure you know how to qualify, as their policies (plus the fees you we mention in this section) may have changed since we last contacted them on Oct. 28, 2018.

With this account, there are no minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees. You can get free e-statements, a Mastercard debit card and mobile banking. Once you turn 24 years old, your account will either be converted to a Choice Checking or Simple Checking account.

How to get the Student Checking account

Go to your closest Sterling National Bank branch to apply for a student checking account. Bring your Social Security number, state-issued ID and something to show you’re enrolled in a qualifying school as the bank may ask for these documents.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling National Bank (NY)’s secure website

magnifying glass

How Sterling National Bank’s checking accounts compare

It seems like a bit of a hurdle to find out what Sterling National Bank’s rates are, so if you’re short on time and want to do your research online, you may be better off going to website that advertises their rates, such as the ones on our list of the best online checking accounts.

As for their features, we do like that you get ATM refunds, with the exception of the Simple Checking account. But other competitors also offer unlimited ATM refunds, often with no monthly maintenance fees and no low balance minimums.

Without knowing exactly what the rates are, we can’t tell you if these accounts are worth opening. Keep in mind that you can only open these accounts in person, so it’s pretty limiting to those outside the New York area.

Sterling National Bank savings account options

Choice Savings

You can waive the low monthly maintenance fee, but there is no ATM access.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Choice Savings account is meant as a basic account that helps earn some interest, though you’ll need to contact Sterling National Bank because they currently aren’t advertised on their site. The features and fees aren’t either when we last contacted them on Oct. 22, 2018, so it’s a good idea to contact them to get more current information.

You can waive the monthly maintenance fee if you can keep a minimum daily average of $500 in your account. You’re also allowed up to six certain debits a month due to Regulation D. The bank will charge you $10 per excessive transaction.

How to get the Choice Savings account

Head to the nearest Sterling National Bank location to open an account. Don’t forget to bring your ID and Social Security number, as you may need those.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling National Bank (NY)’s secure website

Premium Savings

This account offers a higher rate but you’ll need to have a Premium Checking account to qualify.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

In general, the Premium Checking account offers a higher APY than the Choice Checking account, but to find out what those are, you’ll need to contact Sterling National Bank. To be eligible to open this account, you’ll need to have an active Premium Checking account.

You don’t get ATM access, but if you link it to your checking, you can. Keep in mind that you’re allowed up to six certain debits because of Regulation D. If you go over that amount, you’ll need to pay the bank $10 per excessive transaction.

How to get the Premium Savings account

Bring your ID and Social Security number to your nearest location to open an account in person.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling National Bank (NY)’s secure website

Student Savings

You can qualify for this account if you’re younger than 24 years old.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Student Savings account is meant for those who are younger than 24 years old and currently enrolled in a qualifying school. Although there is no monthly maintenance fee, you’ll need to maintain the minimum balance in order to earn interest. These aren’t advertised on their site (nor are the requirements to qualify for this account) so it’s best to contact Sterling National Bank directly. As with all savings accounts, Regulation D allows you up to six certain debits a month, or else you’re looking at a $10 excessive transaction fee imposed by the bank..

Once you’re 24 years old, you’ll need to pay a $5 monthly maintenance fee while maintaining the minimum balance amount. You can also convert it to another savings account of your choice.

How to get the Student Savings account

The only way to open an bank account is to apply in person. Don’t forget to bring your state-issued ID, Social Security number and proof you’re enrolled in a qualifying school because Sterling National Bank may ask for these.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling National Bank (NY)’s secure website

magnifying glass

How Sterling National Bank’s savings accounts compare

Apart from rates, which we can’t comment on because they’re not advertised on their website, there really doesn’t seem like there’s much that make these savings accounts stand out. Sure, there are relatively low minimum opening deposits and no monthly maintenance fees with most accounts, but competitors offer similar options. Some banks even offer no minimum opening deposits.

If you can’t get to a Sterling National Bank or find it too inconvenient to see what their rates are, you’re better off going elsewhere, such as one of the banks listed on our list of the best online savings accounts.

Sterling National Bank CD rates

Certificate of deposit

These fixed-rate CDs require a high minimum opening deposit.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $10,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term, so you’ll need to contact the bank to find out their current policies.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much advertised on Sterling National Bank’s website — including rates and minimum opening deposits — except for one of their promotional rates. The catch is that you’ll need to have an active Sterling National Bank checking account and deposit new money (money not currently on deposit with the bank).

Interest earned is compounded daily and credited to your account differently depending on your CD term. Upon maturity your CD will be automatically renewed unless you make changes during the seven-day grace period. We encourage you to call customer service at to make sure these terms are still in effect.

How to get Sterling National Bank’s CDs

To open any of Sterling National Bank’s CDs, go to any one of their branches. You can call customer service at 516-327-7199 to confirm, but you’ll probably need to bring your ID, Social Security number and a way to fund the account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling National Bank (NY)’s secure website

magnifying glass

How Sterling National Bank’s CD rates compare

We like the fact that these are fixed-rate CDs — meaning you’re guaranteed a rate of return — but we can’t say for certain how all of their terms compare the best rates out there. Their 14 month promo CD is on par with some of the ones on our list of the best CD rates, but you need to open the account in person, which is pretty restrictive. Plus, all their CDs require a high minimum opening balance, which isn’t feasible for many people. Overall, you’re better off shopping around for other CD accounts.

Sterling National Bank money market account options

Money Market account

This account doesn’t have any monthly maintenance fees but does require a minimum balance to earn APY.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Money Market account offers five rate tiers, which means you could earn a higher APY the more you have on deposit. Sadly, these rates aren’t advertised on their website so you’ll have to find those out by calling Sterling National Bank.

There is no ATM access or check-writing capabilities. Whether you’re making transactions in person or online, remember that you’re limited to six debits a month, or else you’ll need to pay a $10 excessive transaction fee.

How to get Sterling National Bank’s money market account

To apply for the Money Market account, head to the nearest Sterling National Bank location. Customer service may ask you for your Social Security number, ID and a way to fund the CD.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling National Bank (NY)’s secure website

magnifying glass

How Sterling National Bank’s money market accounts compare

We like that that are five rate tiers, implying that there is a potential to earn higher rates, but we can’t know for sure if they’re among the best like the ones on our list of the best money market accounts. Other competitors also offer limited check-writing capabilities and a few have ATM access. Although some have higher minimum opening balances than Sterling Bank, it may still be worth it to consider these competitors, given the fact they openly advertise their rates and you can open an account online.

Sterling National Bank IRA account options

IRA CD rates

IRA CD

We can’t say much about these accounts, considering the bank doesn’t list details on their website.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term, though you’ll need to contact the bank to find out their current policies

Sterling National Bank does offer IRA CDs,and you can choose between traditional or Roth IRA. The IRS does pose limits on how much you can contribute each year, so check to see what they are. Also, if you make an early withdrawal, you may need to pay IRS penalties in addition to the ones Sterling National Bank imposes.

There is a wide range of terms for the IRA CD, so call the bank to see which one is the best fit. When we last contacted them on Oct. 22, 2018, the bank stated that interest you earn is compounded daily and credited to your account depending on the IRA CD term. You’ll also get a seven-day grace period, and if you do nothing, your IRA CD will automatically be renewed.

How to get Sterling National Bank’s IRA CDs

Applying for a Sterling National Bank IRA CD is as simple as showing up at the nearest branch. Don’t forget to bring items such as your state-issued ID and Social Security number.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling National Bank (NY)’s secure website

magnifying glass

How Sterling National Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

The minimum opening balance seems to be on par with what is being offer elsewhere, so it’s good that you know how much to set aside when opening an IRA CD account. However, we don’t like the hassle in opening an account, considering Sterling National Bank doesn’t advertise their rates.

In short, you may be better off going with another competitor, like the ones on our list of the best IRA CD rates.

IRA Money Market account

This could be a relatively safe place to house your retirement funds since it’s not as risky as other options.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

If you’re looking for a conservative retirement account option, this could be for you. However, we’re unsure of how much you could earn in interest since their rates aren’t advertised on their website — you’ll need to contact Sterling National Bank to find those out.

Otherwise, there’s not much to say about this account, except that you’re allowed up to six certain debits a month because of Regulation D. A Sterling National Bank representative stated that you’re looking at a $10 excessive transaction fee if you go over the limit.

How to get Sterling National Bank’s IRA money market account

Just like the IRA CD, you’ll need to head to a Sterling National Bank branch to open an IRA money market account. Items you’ll need to bring include your Social Security number, ID and a method to fund the account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Sterling National Bank (NY)’s secure website

Overall review of Sterling National Bank’s banking products

We’re not impressed with the fact that rates aren’t openly advertised on Sterling National Bank’s website, making it difficult for those who want to do some comparison shopping before opening an account. When we called, it took an average of 20 minutes before we were able to reach a customer service representative.

Aside from that, we do like the low minimum opening balance amounts for their checking and savings accounts. The Money Market account may be out of reach for most people since their minimum opening deposit seems a bit high.

Because we don’t have more insight into their rates, we can’t say for certain whether we’d recommend their banking products. Other online banks and credit unions offer more transparency and more convenient ways to open an account, so we suggest you consider those options.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Do you have a question?