4.2 / 5

Ridgewood Savings Bank review: Standout regional bank but beware of fees

A great community-focused bank for New York residents

Becca Stanek

By

Becca Stanek

Becca Stanek

Insurance Expert

Becca Stanek has worked as an editor and writer in the personal finance space since 2017. She previously served as the managing editor for investing and savings at LendingTree and as an editor at SmartAsset focused on financial advisor content.

Published|5 min read

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If you're looking for a community-focused, regional bank and call the New York City metropolitan area home, Ridgewood Savings Bank is worth a look. We determined it to be the best regional bank in our rankings of the best banks and credit unions in 2022, with Ridgewood garnering an overall score of 4.2 out of 5. Aside from its account fees, the bank landed top marks across every other category because of its high savings APY, multiple account options, great customer support offerings, and a well-reviewed mobile app.

Ridgewood Savings Bank

OVERALL

4.2

4.2

THE GOOD

    check mark

    Competitive APYs, particularly for its online savings account

    check mark

    Numerous account offerings including checking, savings, money market, CDs, and youth accounts

    check mark

    Access to 90,000+ fee-free ATMs

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    Highly rated mobile app and easy access to customer support

THE BAD

    X mark

    Account fees if you don't meet minimum requirements

    X mark

    Physical branch locations limited to New York City metropolitan area

THE BOTTOM LINE

New York-based Ridgewood Savings Bank offers an impressive suite of accounts with competitive APYs, though you'll need to meet minimums to avoid monthly fees on most accounts.

Savings APY

See our Methodology section at the bottom of the page for more details.

10.0

Offerings

See our Methodology section at the bottom of the page for more details.

10.0

Mobile app

See our Methodology section at the bottom of the page for more details.

10.0

Fees

See our Methodology section at the bottom of the page for more details.

2.0

Support

See our Methodology section at the bottom of the page for more details.

10.0

The good

Competitive APYs

While the APYs on a number of Ridgewood Savings Bank's accounts are decent, the real standout is its Smart Move Online Savings account, which offers an APY of 0.45%. This puts Ridgewood in the running with some of the best online savings accounts currently available. Plus, this rate is offered on balances from just $0.01 up to $249,999.99.

The bank's certificates of deposit (CDs) also are worth a look, with rates ranging from 0.30% for a 3-month CD to 0.80% for a 7-year CD. For comparison, the current national average APY for a 3-month CD is 0.05%, per the FDIC. [1]

Numerous account offerings

Ridgewood Savings Bank offers a wide array of accounts, with additional options within each account category. There are four different checking accounts to choose from, two of which are interest-bearing and another that is specifically designed for students. The bank offers three savings accounts, including an online account that earns a standout APY. Youth savings accounts are also available.

Beyond checking and savings, Ridgewood Savings Bank offers money market accounts, retirement accounts, and CDs. CD terms range from 90 days to 7 years, and all require a minimum opening deposit of $100.

Additionally, there's even a Vacation and Holiday Club Savings Account to help you save up for special occasions.

Broad ATM network 

Ridgewood Savings Bank may be a regional bank, but its ATM network boasts an impressive reach. Customers have fee-free access to their account at over 90,000 AllPoint and MoneyPass ATMs throughout the world.

Plus, those with Premier Checking can get out-of-network ATM fees charged by Ridgewood waived twice per month, while Student Advantage account holders can get these fees waived up to eight times per month.

Highly rated mobile app & easy access to customer support

Ridgewood Savings Bank's mobile app has better ratings than some of the big banks out there, garnering a score of over 4.5 out of 5 stars on the Google Play app store and the Apple App Store.

A stellar app isn't your only way to interact with the bank either — it also offers a variety of avenues to get in touch with customer support if needed. You can choose from phone, email, chat, an in-person appointment at a branch, or Ridgewood's numerous social media accounts, which include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Ridgewood Savings Bank in the news

  • In June 2021, Ridgewood Savings Bank announced its partnership with the non-profit Lessons for My Daughters to teach young girls how to be financially responsible.

  • In January 2021, Ridgewood Savings Bank revealed its plans to celebrate its 100th anniversary with a year of festivities and sweepstakes for the local community. The bank got its charter in 1921, starting out as a single branch in Queens.

The bad

Fees if you don't meet minimums

Perhaps Ridgewood Savings Bank's biggest drawback is the monthly fees you'll run into if you don't meet certain account requirements each month, such as maintaining a certain account balance or receiving a specified amount through direct deposits.

While there is no monthly fee for the student checking account, and the basic Ridgewood Good checking account has a fairly low fee of $3, the rate gets steeper for the bank's interest-bearing checking accounts. The Checking with Interest account carries a $10 monthly fee, while Premier Checking charges a $15 service fee.

Limited branch locations

As a regional bank, Ridgewood Bank's branch locations are limited in geographical scope. It has just 35 branches in total, which are spread across the New York City metropolitan area in Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester.

Reputation

Ridgewood Savings Bank was originally founded in 1921 as The Savings Bank of Ridgewood out of a converted taproom in Ridgewood, Queens. The mission of the bank's 14 founders was to establish a bank that fulfilled their belief that a bank should be an active participant in its community. Today, Ridgewood Savings Bank is the largest mutual savings bank in the state of New York with $6 billion in assets, and it remains community-focused.

The bank has earned numerous industry accolades. In 2020, it was named a best-in-state bank by Forbes, snagging the second spot in the state of New York based on customer surveys. Also in 2020, Ridgewood was recognized with two Banking Choice Awards as one of the top five banks in New York City and Long Island. [2]

Methodology

To compare Ridgewood Savings Bank with other options and determine the best banks and credit unions of 2021, we collected quantitative data on more than 50 major U.S. financial institutions. Specifically, we looked at savings account APYs, product offerings, fees, mobile app satisfaction, and customer support. We rated each aspect on a scale from 1 to 5, then averaged the five scores into a single rating. Here’s a detailed breakdown of each scoring matrix.

Savings account APY

We rated the highest APY that each bank or credit union offers on a savings account (excluding accounts or rates with a minimum balance requirement greater than $1,000).

Rating

Best Savings APY

1

Less than 0.1%

2

0.10%-0.19%

3

0.20%-0.29%

4

0.30%-0.39%

5

0.40%+

Offerings

We counted how many product lines each institution offers, since many people enjoy the convenience of keeping multiple accounts at the same bank. We included deposit accounts (checking, savings, money market, certificates of deposit), credit cards, loans (personal, student, auto, home equity), mortgages and mortgage refinancing, retirement accounts, and investment accounts as distinct qualifying offerings.

Rating

Offerings

1

1 offering

2

2 offerings

3

3 offerings

4

4 offerings

5

5+ offerings

Mobile app satisfaction

Since mobile apps are increasingly becoming the primary way people manage their bank accounts, we consulted the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Banking Mobile App Satisfaction Study. For any banks or credit unions that weren’t included in the study, we used mobile app customer ratings from the Google Play store.

Rating

J.D. Power Score

App Store Score

1

Less than 840

Less than 3.0

2

840-849

3.0-3.4

3

850-859

3.5-3.9

4

860-869

4.0-4.4

5

870+

4.5+

Fees

We consulted every bank’s fee schedule and terms and conditions to search for any of the following: monthly maintenance fee, overdraft fee, insufficient funds fee, debit card replacement fee, account closure fee, and stop payment order fee.

Rating

Qualifying Fees

1

4+ fees

2

3 fees

3

2 fees

4

1 fee

5

0 fees

Customer support

Since different people prefer different support options at different times, we counted how many customer support channels each bank offers, including telephone, email, online chat, mobile app, online forums, online learning center, and physical branches.

Rating

Support Channels

1

1 option

2

2 options

3

3 options

4

4 options

5

5+ options