Peoples Bank of Alabama (PBAL) is a trusted community bank that serves local families and businesses in North Central Alabama.
Headquartered in Cullman, Alabama, PBAL has all the conventional offerings you’d expect of a medium-sized bank, including deposit accounts, mortgages, auto loans, and retirement planning. Regionally, the bank has a reputation for friendly customer service, an attractive range of savings products, and providing stress-free personal checking accounts.
Committed to offering affordable banking, Peoples Bank of Alabama offers fee-free and low-free products and provides community outreach for financial literacy.
What Is Peoples Bank of Alabama?
Founded in 1977 as Peoples Bank of Holly Pond, the bank was created to meet the underserved financial and banking needs of Cullman County community members. Seven years later, the bank expanded and opened its first branch location in Cullman.
Over the decades, PBAL’s presence has grown throughout the Northern and Central regions of Alabama, primarily in the Birmingham area. While its footprint has expanded, the bank’s commitment to affordability, convenience, and service has remained constant.
Today, Peoples Bank of Alabama has over $1.27 billion in total assets which includes $1.16 billion in deposits. It is the 11th-largest bank in the state of Alabama and the 826th-largest bank in the nation. PBAL has nearly 300 employees that service customers across its 28 locations.
Peoples Bank of Alabama: Checking Accounts
The bank offers three (3) checking accounts to meet the different needs of its customers.
1. Simple Checking
The bank’s base-level checking account, the Simple Checking account has no monthly maintenance fees, no-fee overdraft protection, a free ATM or debit card, and free Anywhere Banking Tools. These tools include online banking, mobile banking, Zelle, MyCardRules, photo deposit, and budgeting tools.
Account holders get free eStatements, or can opt for paper statements for a $4 monthly fee.
The account is designed for you to access funds via debit card. Paper checks can be written, but there is a fee assessed for each check paid including bill pay.
2. Peoples Choice Checking
Similar to the Simple Checking account, Peoples Choice Checking has no monthly maintenance fees, free eStatements, free Anywhere Banking Tools, and a free debit or ATM card.
Peoples Choice Checking does offer Courtesy Overdraft Privilege or Overdraft Sweep, where the bank will cover transactions that overdraw your account or transfer funds from an eligible linked account.
Additionally, this account offers free check writing with no limitations on how many checks can be processed each month. Free custom checks are available for customers aged 62 or older.
3. Performance Checking
Performance Checking is PBAL’s top-tier checking account. Balances of $1,000 or greater earn interest at a tiered rate. The bank doesn’t publish these rates, but third-party sources state that the balances above $1,000 earn an APY of 0.10%.
There is a $10 monthly service charge, but the bank will waive the fee for maintaining an average monthly balance of at least $1,000.
Like the Peoples Choice Checking, it has free check writing and free checks for consumers 62 or older, overdraft protection options, and free Anywhere Banking Tools.
Peoples Bank of Alabama: Savings Accounts
PBAL offers two (2) different traditional savings deposit options and a Christmas Club Savings account.
1. Peoples Choice Savings
This account offers a simple way to build your emergency savings or keep an extra spend cushion.
An initial $50 deposit is needed to open an account, and there is a $5 monthly service fee. You can avoid the fee by maintaining a minimum balance of $50.
Interest is compounded quarterly and the bank issues quarterly account statements.
Up to six (6) withdrawals per statement cycle can be made free of charge each month. There’s a $2 fee per statement cycle for each subsequent transaction.
2. Youth Savings
This account is similar to the Peoples Choice Savings, except it’s designed for children and has easier requirements to meet.
A $10 minimum deposit is needed to open an account, it has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, and interest is compounded quarterly.
Withdrawals are permitted fee-free up to six (6) transactions per month, after that the fee is $2 per withdrawal.
3. Christmas Club
This holiday savings account makes it easy for customers to save year-round for Christmas and other seasonal-adjacent holidays.
Unlike other Christmas Club accounts commonly found at other banks and credit unions, PBAL’s Christmas Club account pays interest on the balance.
Customers can set up an account at any time with a $25 minimum opening deposit, funding it with weekly, biweekly, or monthly recurring deposits. The balance is automatically transferred to the primary linked spending account in November.
This account is free, however, early withdrawals are not permitted and there is a $20 early closeout fee.
APY rates are not published on the bank’s website for any of their savings accounts, but third-party review forums state that the savings interest rate for Peoples Bank of Alabama is 0.10% APY.
Peoples Bank of Alabama: CD Accounts
Certificates of deposit (CDs) are a safe way to save and grow your money. Depositors get a guaranteed rate of return, and like other deposit accounts a CD is FDIC-insured up to $250,000.
Customers get a locked-in APY rate based on the CD’s terms or how long it will take the CD to reach maturity and deliver its full guaranteed return. Maturities range from 30 days to 60 months, and a $1,000 minimum deposit is required.
CD rates are not published on the www.peoplesbankal.com website, however, third-party customer review sites state that the rates range from 1.00% to 2.75%.
All CDs are automatically renewable for term lengths, although the APYs are subject to change. Early withdrawals are permitted, but they will invoke a substantial penalty.
Peoples Bank of Alabama: MMA Accounts
The bank also offers money market accounts (MMAs) for customers looking for a checking-savings hybrid type account.
An MMA offers a higher rate of interest than a traditional savings account, but it has the flexibility of a checking account and is designed for customers who carry a high daily balance but still need to access cash for daily spending.
1. Peoples Choice Money Market
The bank’s entry-level money market account, the Peoples Choices MMA, requires a minimum opening deposit of $1,000.
Customers must maintain a $1,000 minimum balance in order to avoid a $10 monthly service charge.
Customers can write checks from this account, however, they are limited to six (6) per month. This also includes any other removals of funds.
2. Relationship Money Market
Up to six (6) fee-free account withdrawals or transfers are allowed per statement cycle with a Relationship MMA.
To open an account, the minimum required deposit is $2,500. There is a $10 monthly account maintenance fee if the balance falls below that amount.
Interest on an MMA balance is paid out in tiers, for balances up to $25K, up to $50K, up to $100K, and balances above $100K.
MMA rates are not published on the bank’s website. Third-party, customer review sites state that MMA interest for balances greater than $10K, earns an APY of 0.10%.
Beyond deposit accounts, MMAs, and CDs, Peoples Bank of Alabama offers many other bank products and services.
- IRAs (retirement savings)
- Cash-back and rewards credit cards
- Secured credit card
- Personal loans
- Commercial loans
- Mortgages and home equity lines
- Small business banking
- Commercial cash management services
- Online and mobile banking
- Interactive Teller Machines (ITMs)
- Branches locations throughout the region: 28 locations in North Central Alabama, including the Central, Coosa Valley, Metro Central, and Tennessee Valley Regions.
- Digital app: Banking app is available in Google Play and iTunes. It has solid reviews on Google (4.3 stars) and more mixed reviews in iTunes (3.3 stars) but to date, it has very few reviews from Apple.
- ATMs: 38 locally owned ATMs to offer fee-free access to cash.
- ITMs: Machines that are a friendly, more high-tech take on ATMs. They enable video banking in real-time with a live human teller at a central bank location.
- Friendly customer service: Live phone support or in-person branch support is available six (60 days a week during traditional weekday business hours and half-days on Saturdays.
Pricing and Fees
Peoples Bank of Alabama has a menu of fees for NSFs, debit card replacements, and other related services. It charges fewer fees than most national banks or regional banks and at similar or lower rates.
Fees to be aware of:
- Overdraft Paid Item Fee: A fee of $22 will be charged for each item that is presented or re-presented and paid when the account balance lacks sufficient funds. A maximum of eight (8) overdraft items will be paid per day, or no more than $176. There is no overdraft fee for an item that creates an overdraft of $10 or less. Similarly, overdraft items of $1 or less will not incur any charges.
- Return Item Fee: A fee of $22 will be assessed for each item presented or re-presented that the bank returns unpaid to the merchant.
- Overdraft Continuation Fee: If an account has a continuous negative balance, an overdraft continuation fee will be charged. For every fifth (5th) business day that the account remains overdrawn, the bank will assess a $5 fee.
- Stop Payment: For a stop payment request, via check or debit card, the bank will charge a $25 fee. This charge is for the bank’s attempt to prevent the transaction from posting and is not a guarantee it will be successful.
- Staff Assisted Telephone Transfer: There is a $5 fee for a staff banker to assist consumers with an account transfer via telephone. Transfers that are done through online banking, the banking app, or automated telephone banking are free.
- Wire Transfers: PBAL assesses charges for both incoming and outgoing wire transfers. It’s a $15 fee for domestic transfers and a $45 fee for international transfers.
- Cashier’s Checks: Customers can request a bank-issued cashier’s check at any branch location for a $5 fee per check item.
- Replacement Debit Cards: There is a $5 fee for a replacement debit card. Cards are sent via regular U.S. mail with no listed option for expedited or overnight shipping.
- Account Dormancy Fee: An inactivity or dormancy fee of $10 will be charged when a checking account becomes dormant and the balance falls below $500. A checking account is considered dormant after six (6) months of no activity in the form of debits or credits. Savings accounts are considered dormant after 18 months. Youth Savings accounts, however, are not assessed a dormancy fee.
- Paper Statement Fee: For paper statements mailed to a physical address, there is a $4 fee. There is no charge for electronic or eStatements.
- Out-of-Network ATM Fees: Peoples Bank of Alabama charges a $1 out-of-network ATM fee. The fee is $1 for any withdrawal, funds transfer, or balance inquiry made at a non-bank-owned ATM.
- Legal Processing: There is a $50 charge for any court-mandated order the bank must carry out on your account, including garnishments, liens, or levies. The fee is $50 per order.
A bank account can be opened at a branch store or online at PeoplesBankAL.com.
There are no state residency requirements; any legal U.S. resident aged 18 years or older with a valid Social Security number (SSN) and government-issued ID is eligible.
Seven different accounts may be opened online:
- eSimple Checking
- ePeoples Choice Checking
- ePerformance Checking
- ePeoples Choice Money Market
- eYouth Savings
- eChristmas Club
Add the account(s) you want to open to your “cart,” and then proceed to check out. You’ll be prompted to provide your name and mobile phone number, and then scan your driver’s license or fill out a related form.
Then you’ll be prompted to provide other account information like your address and an external banking source to fund your account.
Peoples Bank of Alabama employs a range of measures to ensure the security of your funds and your personal data.
The bank is a member FDIC institution and an equal housing lender. These designations mean the bank is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation of the United States. So funds you have deposited at Peoples Bank of Alabama are insured by the government up to $250,000 per account type per account owner.
In terms of data privacy, PBAL uses a number of industry-recognized best practices to protect your data. This includes VeriSign-issued digital ID for the bank’s Internet service provider, Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol for data encryption, and firewalls.
For the Peoples Bank of Alabama mobile app and online banking security, the bank uses Multifactor Authorization (MFA) authorization codes. Here, a login code may be sent to your mobile device that you will need to log into your account.
There are a number of ways to reach a banker or bank customer support with questions about your account.
You can visit any branch during regular business hours. A branch locator map is on the bank’s website. Other contact options include:
- Phone: 1 (877) 788-0288 with reps available Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Web form: Leave a message in the online web form with your name, email, and phone number. A representative will follow up.
- Customer support FAQs: Common customer FAQs may help you troubleshoot some of the most common issues, like what to do for a “forgot password” or missing debit card.
Pros and Cons
As with any bank, there are pros and cons to weigh out when considering Peoples Bank of Alabama.
- Friendly: Community bank with strong ties to the area Chamber of Commerce, civic groups, and local schools and nonprofits.
- Security: Deposits are backed by the FDIC for up to the maximum limit.
- Affordability: Variety of low-fee and no-fee deposit accounts and banking products and services, from financing a couple’s first home to saving for retirement.
- Mobile and online banking: Easy-access way to view, transfer, send, or deposit funds from your laptop or mobile device.
- Open to all U.S. residents: Not restricted to Alabama or area residents; open to consumers nationwide.
- Limited branch locations: No physical stores outside of North Central Alabama.
- Limited customer service: No chat support, no email support, and phone support is offered six (6) days a week during limited hours.
- Website could be more user-friendly: Layout is not always intuitive and the search bar feature could be better.
- No promotions: No rewards for opening a new account, referring friends, or other incentive bonuses to promote bank products and services.
Alternatives to Peoples Bank of Alabama
Beyond Peoples Bank of Alabama, here are some other banks to consider.
Another Alabama-based bank, Regions Bank is a great local bank option for those who want a community-centered bank with greater location convenience and more customer service hours.
Regions has over 1,5000 branches and 2,000 ATMs in 16 states throughout the South and Midwest regions. This includes over 190 locations in Alabama.
Banking giant Wells Fargo is a great option if you’re looking for the breadth of products and services that only a huge big-box can provide. Nationwide, the bank has over 4,500 branches in 37 states and a global network of ATMs.
The Wells Fargo NSF fee of $35 is at the highest end of what U.S. banks charge for overdrafts and it has an extensive schedule of other consumer banking fees and penalties. But for consumers who do not frequently overdraw their accounts and who set up direct deposit, Wells Fargo is a free and ultra-convenient option.
If you prefer a digital banking experience and don’t need a physical branch, then CIT Bank could be a strong contender. An online-only bank, it offers interest ratings for savings, MMA accounts, and no-penalty CDs that are among the nation’s most competitive.
In addition to high-rate CDs and MMAs, CIT Bank also offers other financial services like mortgages and business banking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that consumers have about Peoples Bank of Alabama.
Who Owns Peoples Bank of Alabama?
People’s Bank of Alabama is owned by its holding company, Altrust Financial Services, Inc. Altrust is a privately held financial services company with headquarters in Cullman, Alabama.
How Do I Contact the Peoples Bank of Alabama?
For live customer support, call 1 (877) 788-0288. Telephone banking is available 24/7 and can be reached by dialing 1 (888) 537-8772.
Is Peoples Bank of Alabama Open on Saturday?
Yes, People’s Bank of Alabama is open on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, along with Sundays and legal holidays, are not considered banking days though. Deposits or payments received on a Saturday are typically processed on the next business day.
What is the Most Popular Bank in Alabama?
Regions Financial Corp. (“Regions Bank”) is the most popular bank in Alabama with the highest market share at 25%. BBVA USA Bank and Wells Fargo have 11.55% and 9.68% market share in the Yellowhammer State.
In terms of total deposits, Wells Fargo is number one. It has just over $ 8.2 billion in total assets from Alabama-specific deposits and over $ 1 trillion in deposit assets from all consumers everywhere.
Is Peoples Bank of Alabama Best for Your Needs?
If you live in North Central Alabama and want the convenience of in-person service, along with online and mobile banking, then Peoples Bank of Alabama could be a good fit.
PBAL offers no-fee and low-fee accounts, and there are easy ways for account holders to get the fees waived.
The bank offers friendly, local customer service but is large enough to be a one-stop shop for most consumers as it offers auto loans, mortgages, and a range of products that meet the daily banking needs and longer-term savings goals of most consumers.
While any resident in the U.S. aged 18 or older is eligible to open an account at Peoples Bank of Alabama, if you don’t live in-state, it may not be the best option. Other online-only banks offer better interest rates and a more flexible range of product offerings.
But for Alabamans who want an online bank with local-branch convenience, Peoples Bank of Alabama is a solid and secure choice.
The BankBonus team has analyzed dozens of banks to provide our readers with thoroughly informed and accurate reviews.
We evaluate digital financial platforms, online banks, regional banks, and national banks across several metrics.
Our assessment of each bank factors in these considerations:
- Product lineup: We review the types of accounts, loans, and services offered by each bank, as well as the number of accounts.
- Fees and pricing: We also consider each institution’s fees, including monthly maintenance fees and other service charges.
- Account features: To compare banks, we take a close look at the features, limits, and capabilities each one has to offer.
- Interest: Along with these features, we consider whether or not the bank offers interest-bearing accounts and compare their rates to industry averages.
- Brand reputation: The bank accounts we recommend have been carefully vetted to ensure they are legitimate, secure, and backed by FDIC insurance.
- User experience: Additionally, we consider the ease of use and availability of resources on each bank’s website and factor in reviews of the mobile app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
- Branch and ATM access: To gauge convenience, we also look at each bank’s branch and ATM availability and consider their ATM reimbursement policies.
- Customer service: In our review process, we also explore banks’ customer service channels, hours of availability, and third-party reviews