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Community Bank Review

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Community Bank Community Bank 11-Month Special CD
0.75% APY

Community Bank operates in small towns from northeast Pennsylvania through upstate New York, and into Vermont. While it does not have especially high interest rates on its deposit accounts, it places an emphasis on providing a positive customer service experience.

This can be seen in its basic checking and savings accounts options. It has a number of accounts that have no automatic fees and no minimum balance requirements. So while it may not be the best bank if you are looking to maximize your return on deposits, it is a good place to start banking if you want to avoid the service fees charged at many other banks.

Products Offered

Product Key Details
Savings Accounts
  • No minimum balance or monthly fees on FREE Savings account
  • Premium Savings account pays slightly higher interest
  • Waivable monthly fee on Premium Savings account
Certificates of Deposit
  • $1,000 minimum deposit to open CDs of six months or longer
  • Higher minimums for shorter CDs
  • Interest rates vary depending on term length
Money Market Accounts
  • $1,000 minimum opening deposit
  • Prime Money Market Account earns higher interest
  • Minimum balance of $25,000 to avoid $10 fee Prime Money Market Account
Checking Accounts
  • Minimum opening deposit of $50
  • No monthly fees

Community Bank Interest Rate Comparison

Community Bank Overview

Community Bank has been doing business in the Northeast for over 150 years. It has locations in Upstate New York, eastern Pennsylvania, Vermont and Massachusetts.

The bank’s slogan is “Bank Happy.” It offers personal and commercial banking services. For its personal banking customers, it aims to provide a smooth experience, with the goal of keeping its customers happy. Features like no minimum balances or monthly fees on most accounts are a part of that effort - read on to learn more.

Community Bank Account Features

Community Bank offers a no-fee, no-minimum-balance version of most deposit accounts. There is a free savings account option and a free checking account. While these accounts do have minimum opening deposits of $50, there is no requirement to maintain any particular balance thereafter. The tradeoff is that, in general, interest rates on Community Bank’s deposit accounts are quite low. 

Other standard account features include a Visa debit card, and free online and mobile access. While ATM use at Community Bank ATMs are free, there is a fee charged for use of other ATMs, in addition to fees charged by the ATM owner.

Compare Community Bank to Other Competitive Offers

Community Bank FREE Savings and Premium Savings Accounts

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Savings Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees
  • FREE Savings: No monthly fee
  • Premium Savings: $5 monthly fee, waivable with $5,000 minimum balance 
Current Terms and Rates
  • FREE Savings: 0.03% APY
  • Premium Savings: 0.07% APY

As with its interest checking accounts, Community Bank offers two savings account options: a low-fee version, and a premium version with a monthly fee and a minimum balance. 

The low-fee version has a minimum deposit of $50, but otherwise there is no minimum balance requirement. If you have a few hundred bucks beneath your mattress that you would like to put someplace a little safer while earning a bit of interest, this is the option for you.

The premium account has a $5 monthly service fee, waived for accounts with a balance of at least $5,000. The upside is that it comes with a slightly higher interest rate — and we do mean slightly. None of the interest rates offered on Community Bank’s savings accounts are especially high, though they are somewhat higher than those offered at national banks like Chase and Bank of America.

That being said, if you are interested in earning a higher return on your savings, one of Community Bank’s other deposit account options, such as a certificate of deposit, would be a better choice.

Community Bank Certificates of Deposit

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • Less than 30 Day: $25,000
  • 30 - 181 Day: $2,500
  • 182 Day and over: $1,000
Access to Your CD Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly fees. Penalties for early withdrawal of funds.
Current Terms and Rates
  • 12 Month: 0.75% APY
  • 24 Month: 1.15% APY
  • 36 Month: 1.51% APY
  • 48 Month: 1.76% APY
  • 60 Month: 2.77% APY

A certificate of deposit requires less flexibility with your money than a typical savings account, but offers a higher return. By promising to set aside your money for a fixed amount of time, you are guaranteed a certain return on your savings. 

Minimum deposit amounts in Community Bank CDs depend on the length of the term of your CD. For CDs of more than six months (which is most CDs), the minimum deposit is $1,000. Rates can be as high as 2.77% for the longest CD, which has a five-year term. While this is higher than the largest national banks, there are better CD options available from other banks, including online banks.

Community Bank does offer more CD options, but you will have to call the bank or visit your local branch for these terms and rates.

Community Bank Money Market Account and Prime Money Market Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit
  • Money Market Account: $1,000
  • Prime Money Market Account: $25,000
Access to Your Money Market Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees Prime Money Market Account: $10 monthly fee, waivable with $25,000 minimum balance.
Current Terms and Rates Prime Money Market Account
  • Account balances of $2,500 - $24,999.99: 0.36% APY
  • Account balances of $25,000 and over: 0.41% APY

A money market account can offer somewhat higher interest rates than a savings account, with added features such as limited check writing. 

At Community Bank, rates on money market accounts are not particularly high. The Prime money market account has rates of 0.41% on deposits of over $25,000, while a basic money market account will likely have rates somewhat lower than that. (You need to talk to a banker at your local branch to get exact rates for that account.) The Prime account also has a higher deposit requirement: you need to maintain a minimum balance of at least $25,000 to avoid monthly fees on that account.

Community Bank Carefree Checking Account

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees No monthly fee

Unlike many banks, Community Bank does not have monthly fees or minimum balance requirements for its most basic checking account option, which it calls Carefree Checking. While there is a $50 minimum deposit required to open the account there is no requirement once your account is open. So even if you only have $100 that you want to put away, a Community Bank checking account is an option.

With that account you get free online and mobile banking, as well as a Visa debit card. The debit card has free access to any Community Bank ATM, which you can find in Community Bank’s footprint, which stretches from northeast Pennsylvania, through Upstate New York and Vermont, into western Massachusetts. Withdrawals from other ATMs will cost a $2 fee in addition to any other fees charged by the ATM owner.

We should note that Community Bank’s Direct Interest Checking account shares all of these features, but also earns a little bit of interest, so is probably a better option if you are planning on opening a checking account anyways — see below.

Community Bank Direct Interest Checking and Premium Interest Checking

Key Features Details
Minimum Deposit $50
Access to Your Checking Account Online, mobile, ATMs and physical branches.
Security FDIC insurance up to the maximum amount allowed by law. 
Fees
  • Direct Interest Checking: No monthly fee
  • Premium Interest Checking: $8 monthly fee, waivable with $1,500 minimum balance
Current Terms and Rates
  • Direct Interest Checking: 0.02% APY
  • Premium Interest Checking
    • Account balances below $1,500: 0.02% APY
    • Account balances of $1,500 and over: 0.03% APY

Looking to earn a little return on your checking account? Community Bank has a few options for interest-earning checking accounts. Don’t expect to get rich off of these accounts, however — the interest rates are quite low.

The most basic interest checking account (Direct Interest Checking) earns an interest rate of just 0.02%. The upside is that there is no monthly service fee or minimum balance requirement for the account. In fact, there’s no clear reason not to open one of these accounts if you are opening a checking account with Community Bank. Direct Interest Checking shares all other features with the basic, non-interest Community Bank checking account.

There’s another type of interest checking available at Community Bank: Premium Interest Checking. This pays slightly higher interest on deposits above $1,500. The downside is that there is an $8 service fee charged to accounts that fall below that threshold, so you should really only open this kind of account if you plan on keeping deposits above that level.

Another type of fee to watch out for is overdraft fees. If you write or check or make a transaction that pulls your account balance below zero, you will be charged a $32 fee. Unlike many banks, Community Bank does not offer standard overdraft fee protection.

Where Can I Find Community Bank?

It’s headquarters are based near Syracuse, New York, and most of the branches are located in Vermont, northeast Pennsylvania and the Adirondacks and Finger Lakes regions of New York. There’s also a location in Springfield, Massachusetts. Notably, the bank does not have any locations in Syracuse or Albany.

What Can You Do Online With Community Bank?

Community Bank’s website and mobile app allow you to manage your bank accounts without stepping foot in a brick-and-mortar location. You can check account balances, transfer money between accounts, pay your bills and review transactions online. 

The mobile app also has a check deposit feature, allowing you to deposit checks by taking a picture of the front and back of the check. That being said, the app has a very low rating on the Apple app store, 1.9 stars out 5, indicating a low customer satisfaction with the app.

How Do I Access My Money?

As described above, the website and mobile app are useful for checking account balances, transferring money between accounts and making bill payments. If you want to withdraw cash, a Community Bank ATM is your best bet. These are generally found at branches, with some additional ATMs throughout the banking region. Note that you will be charged a $2 fee for use of other ATMs, in addition to the fees collected by the ATM owner.

How Can I Save More Money With Community Bank?

Community Bank does not emphasize high returns on its deposit accounts, so if you are hoping to increase your savings, a savings account, money market account or certificate of deposit with Community Bank is not the best way to do so. However, if you are just getting started in banking and don’t have much money to put away, Community Bank’s low fees will at least allow you to maintain your savings.

What’s the Process for Opening an Account With Community Bank?

You can apply for an account online through Community Bank’s website. Before applying, you’ll want to have some information handy, including: your driver’s license, Social Security number, email address and a funding source, such as a credit card or information for another bank account. 

The minimum deposit for most account types is $50, though some accounts have higher minimums. After selecting an account type, you will be required to confirm your identity, fund your account and e-sign legal documents relating to your account.

There is also the option to open an account at your local Community Bank branch. You will need the same information as required for the online process, though you will have the pleasure of interacting with a real person rather than a computer screen.

What’s the Catch?

As described above, Community Bank’s interest rates on deposit accounts are fairly low. There are certainly higher-interest options at other banks, including national and online-only banks. If getting the best possible return on your savings is your most important consideration, Community Bank is not the bank for you.

Bottom Line

Community Bank’s slogan is “Bank Happy,” and this is its approach to personal banking. While it doesn’t offer the highest rates around, the bank compensates for it with a variety of low-fee, no-minimum-balance account options and strong customer service. If a smooth banking experience is a priority for you, and you are located near one of Community Bank’s branches — they are spread through northeast Pennsylvania, Upstate New York and Vermont — you should consider opening an account with Community Bank.

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