Provident Bank Review 2024

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Provident Bank

8.6

BankBonus.com rating

Expert Take

Provident Bank is a solid option for New Jersey residents who want to go with a local institute offering brick-and-mortar locations, free ATMs, and solid digital banking. Provident lacks high-yield savings products but offers full-service banking solutions and good overall convenience.

Pros

  • Frequent promotions
  • Low monthly service fees
  • Low minimum opening deposits

Cons

  • Low APYs
  • Limited branch presence
  • Limited customer support hours

Bonus Offers

10.0

Product Variety

10.0

Customer Experience

6.6

Iterest-Bearing Accounts

10.0

Fees

5.0

Free ATM Access

10.0

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Learn More

at Provident Bank

Provident Bank is a full-service bank headquartered in New Jersey that offers consumers a complete suite of financial products and services. This includes savings accounts, checking accounts, mortgage products and loans, credit cards, CDs, IRAs, and brokerage accounts.

Most deposit accounts are low-fee, and Providet’s base-level checking account has no monthly maintenance charges.

Customers can access banking services at branch locations or through the bank’s website or mobile app. APY rates are not competitive with other financial institutions, and Provident lacks the rewards perks that most bigger banks offer.

Still, Provident is a strong, stable, and reliable bank that offers online and in-person flexibility for New Jersyeans.

What Is Provident Bank?

Founded in 1839 in New Jersey, Provident Bank is one of the nation’s oldest banks in continuous operation. Its headquarters remain in Jersey City, and Provident has the second-highest share of all bank accounts among New Jersey-chartered institutions.

It has over 90 branch locations in the Garden State and its New York and Pennsylvania neighbors.

Provident Bank holds more than $10 billion in assets, including $7 billion in customer deposits.

The bank is a fully-owned subsidiary of Provident Financial Services, Inc., traded on the stock exchange with the ticker PFS.

Provident Bank: Checking Accounts

Provident offers a variety of checking accounts to meet the spending habits and financial goals of its customers.

1. NJ Consumer Checking

A low-fee account that meets basic checking account needs. An initial deposit of $50 is required to open an account, and a minimum balance of at least $1 must be kept to keep the account open.

It has a maximum $3 monthly service fee, and comes with eight (8) free withdrawals by check per statement cycle, along with unlimited free deposits and in-person withdrawals.

2. NY Basic Checking

Another low-fee checking account, the NY Basic Checking account is similar to the NJ Consumer Checking but requirements are slightly less stringent.

An opening deposit of $25 is required, and a minimum balance of $0.01 is needed to maintain the account. The account has a maximum $3 monthly service fee, and allows account holders up to eight (8) free withdrawals by check per month, along with unlimited withdrawals in person and free deposits.

3. Provident Basic Checking

The Provident Basic Checking account offers free direct deposit, free online banking with bill payment, free remote deposit, unlimited ATM deposits, and a Provident Debit Mastercard.

Up to six (6) paid checks are free each month, and a savings account may be linked to the Provident Basic Checking to avoid NSF or overdraft fees.

A $50 deposit is due upon account opening, but otherwise, the account has no minimum balance requirements.

A monthly $2 fee is charged if the account holder selects paper statements in place of electronic statements.

4. Provident Cash Back Checking

An unlimited cash-back checking account, account holders earn 0.50% cash back on eligible point-of-sale (POS) transactions. Cash back rewards are credited monthly when qualification requirements are met.

The checking account comes with free online bill payment and ProvidentConnect online banking, free eStatements, free mobile banking, and free mobile check deposit, no monthly minimum balance requirements, and ATM fee reimbursements for transactions at out-of-network ATMs in the U.S.

To be eligible for ATM refunds and 0.50% cash back, account holders must meet the following requirements per statement period:

  1. Complete at least 10 signature-based, point-of-sale transactions using your Provident Debit Mastercard.
  2. Receive at least one (1) direct deposit or complete at least one (1) automatic ACH debit.
  3. Set up and maintain online banking account access through ProvidentConnect.
  4. Opt-in to electronic account statements delivered via ProvidentConnect.

There are no monthly balance requirements, but an opening deposit of $25 is required to open an account.

5. Provident Platinum Checking

The Provident Platinum Checking account offers tiered rates of interest, with higher yields for higher balances. It comes with ProvidentConnect Online Banking, bill payment, free basic checks, a free Provident Debit Mastercard, a bonus APY of 0.15% on any certificate of deposit (CD), and no ATM fees. Those fees are refunded at the end of each statement cycle.

Interest is paid on balances of at least $25. Provident does not publish the rates online; it advises consumers to call a bank branch for rate information.

A minimum combined account balance of at least $10,000 is required to avoid a $25 monthly balance penalty fee. The $10,000 combined balance may come from total deposit or loan balances on all deposit accounts, mortgage loans, or other lines of credit with Provident Bank.

6. Provident Senior Checking

Designed for seniors age 62 or older, the Provident Senior Checking account comes with great perks.

Account holders get a free debit Mastercard, free online banking with bill payment, free paper statements or eStatements, free mobile banking including mobile check deposits, free standard checks, and unlimited ATM transactions.

This account may be linked to an eligible savings or deposit account to avoid any overdraft or non-sufficient funds fees.

There is no minimum account balance required, but an initial deposit of $50 is required to open a Provident Senior account.

7. Provident Smart Checking

A high-interest checking account, the Provident Smart Checking account pays an APY of 3.25% for balances up to $15,000.

The account has no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. It comes with a free debit Mastercard, free Provident Online Banking and bill payment, free electronic statements, free mobile banking with remote deposit, and ATM fee reimbursements when monthly account requirements are met.

In order to earn the 3.25% APY and receive domestic ATM surcharge refunds, the following conditions must be met every month:

  • Complete at least 10 signature-based, POS purchases using your Provident Debit Mastercard.
  • Receive at least one (1) direct deposit or process at least one (1) automatic ACH debit.
  • Establish and maintain a ProvidentConnect Online Banking
  • Sign up to get account statements delivered digitally through ProvidentConnect.

Balances of $15,001 to $25,000 will receive an APY of 3.20%. Balances greater than $25,000 will receive an APY of 0.10%.

8. Provident Prestige Checking

Provident also offers a Provident Prestige Checking account. It’s designed to be paired with the Provident Money Market Account for the Provident Prestige Suite bundle.

Prestige checking comes with free eStatements, a free debit Mastercard, free basic checks, unlimited check writing, free mobile banking with mobile check deposit, unlimited domestic ATM fees, and a 0.25% bonus APY on CDs.

There is a $25 fee, per statement cycle, for the Prestige account, but the fee will be waived if you receive one direct deposit per month or at least one automatic debit per month clearing your account.

This account must be opened at a branch location.

Provident Bank: Savings Accounts

Provident offers three traditional deposit savings accounts, including one designed for general consumers and the other for children and teens.

1. Statement Savings Account

This is a traditional, no-free bank savings account. A $50 opening deposit is required, and account holders must maintain a balance of at least $50 to avoid a monthly service fee of $3.00.

Provident does not publish APY rates on its website, but customer forums and third-party review sites state the Statement Savings Account has an APY of 0.05%.

2. Platinum MoneyManager Account

This premium savings account is for Provident Platinum Checking account holders. It’s a high-yield savings account with free ATMs, free ProvidentConnect Online Banking, free unlimited balance transfers, and no withdrawal penalties.

A minimum deposit of $50 is required to open a Platinum MoneyManager account, and you must maintain a combined minimum balance of $5,000 to avoid monthly fees.

The bank does not publish APY rates online; rather it directs customers to call the branch directly. There is, however, a current 3.75% APY promo being advertised for the Platinum MoneyManager account.

3. Young Savers Account

An account for customers under the age of 18, Young Savers is designed to teach kids about money. There is no monthly minimum balance and there are no monthly maintenance fees. At least $1 is required for the opening deposit, and balances of $0.01 or greater earn interest.

Provident Bank: CD Accounts

Provident Bank offers certificates of deposit (CD) accounts with varying terms that range from 91 days to 60 months. An opening deposit of $500 is required. CD rates from an APY of 0.25% to 1.50%.

Provident Bank: Money Market Account

Provident has a Prestige Money Market Account (MMA) for customers who hold a Provident Prestige Checking account.

Designed for high-balance account holders who want to earn competitive APYs for balances ranging from $15,000 to $500,000. The MMA has free statements, free unlimited balance transfers, and no penalties for withdrawals.

Balances earn a tiered APY rate ranging from 0.1% to 1.0%, with a current 4.00% APY bonus promotion now running. The account must be opened at a branch location.

Additional Products

Beyond Provident’s checking, savings, money market, and CD accounts, it has a full range of other products and services which include:

  • Mortgages and home equity loans
  • Student loans
  • Consumer credit cards: Rewards, cash back, secured, student
  • Investment services, brokerage accounts, and wealth management
  • IRA accounts: Traditional, Roth, SEP
  • Retirement planning
  • Tax planning
  • Estate planning
  • College savings
  • Insurance: Life, long-term-care, disability
  • Financial Wellness Center: Free financial literacy resources
  • Business services —Commercial loans, merchant services, treasury management

Features

  • New Jersey accessibility: 94 branch locations with 87 in the Garden State.
  • Highly-rated mobile app: App has a 4.5-star rating in the Google Play Store and a 4.7-star rating in iTunes.
  • Wide range of deposit accounts: Provident offers a large variety of consumer options, including 11 checking and savings accounts.
  • One-stop financial shop: Consumers can keep their entire banking and financial relationship within Provident, as the bank offers deposit accounts, loans, investments, retirement planning, wealth management, business services, and beyond.

Pricing and Fees

Provident does have a schedule of fees for different services related to deposit and investment accounts. Its schedule of fees for consumer accounts is not published online; only its business services schedule of fees is made available.

Our editorial team has reached out to Provident’s customer support team via email and received a fee schedule that was last updated on September 18, 2023.

More Common Fees for Consumers to Take Note of:

  • Overdraft Fees: A $35 fee is charged for any debit card, check, or other transaction that overdraws your account and brings the balance into the negative.
  • Overdraft Protection: Provident Bank does have no-fee overdraft protection. If your checking or spending account balance is overdrawn, there is no charge if funds in a linked account can cover the amount. There is no fee for this funds transfer.
  • Stop-Payment Orders: There is a $35 fee for any stop-payment order that a customer requests for ACH, EFT, checks, or other transactions. The fee is assessed for the bank’s intervention attempt and is charged even if they are not successful in stopping the payment from going through.
  • Legal Process Order: Provident charges a fee for any legal process order they must execute. There is a $100 service fee for any civil subpoena or a $150 fee for any lien or levy order.
  • Dormant Account Fee: There is a $5 per month dormant account fee. An account is considered dormant if there is no activity on an account for three (3) or more years.
  • Official Checks: Provident will provide official bank or cashier’s checks upon request. Checks are issued directly at a bank location and there is a $10 fee per check.
  • Replacement Debit or ATM Card: There is a $5 fee to replace a lost or stolen debit card or ATM card.
  • Wire Transfers: Provident Bank assesses fees for any incoming or outgoing wire transfers. There is a $15 fee for any incoming wire, domestic or international. For outgoing wires, the fee is $30 for domestic transfers or $45 for outgoing. For some currencies, account holders may be able to make an outgoing, international wire in foreign currency.
  • Excessive Withdrawal Fee: There is a $15 fee for excessive pre-authorized withdrawals from money market and statement savings accounts. The fee is $15 per check.
  • Statement Copies: Provident charges a $10 to $15 fee to process a copy request for a 1099 form or other tax documents, a copy of a paid check, or a copy of a periodic account statement.
  • Paper Statement Fee: There is a $2 fee to receive paper statements in place of electronic statements for Provident Basic Checking accounts.
  • Coin Counting Fee: Provident offers coin machine counting for a  fee of 10% of total coinage, but the fee is waived for customers who have a bank loan or deposit account and coins totaling less than $500.

Getting Started

You can get started with Provident Bank by visiting a branch location during regular business hours, or by calling 1 855-643-5626.

You can also open many deposit accounts online. You will need to provide your name, address, Social Security number (SSN), and mobile phone number. You may also need to provide a photocopy of your driver’s license or government-issued ID.

Additionally, you will need to provide external bank account information (routing number and account number) to fund your new Provident account.

Promotions

Provident Bank does offer occasional consumer promotions for referring friends or opening featured accounts.

Right now customers can earn a $25 reward for referring a friend who opens a new consumer deposit account. There is a $50 reward for referring a friend who opens a qualifying new business account.

Security

Deposits at Provident Bank are secure and insured by the FDIC for up to $250,000 per depositor. Additional coverage is possible for different account types and for jointly held accounts.

In terms of digital and information security, Provident uses numerous best practices to safeguard customer information including firewalls, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and 256-bit SSL encryption.

The Provident Bank Personal Data Security page also shares helpful tips and resources for consumers so they can avoid scams and keep their data safe across all devices.

Customer Support

Provident offers customers a number of ways to reach a customer service representative. Account holders can visit a brick-and-mortar bank location during business hours, or use any of the following methods to reach customer support:

  • Phone: Call 1 800-448-7768. Customer service agents are available Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Email: Send messages to provident@provident.bank.
  • Online contact form: Fill out a contact form on the “Contact Us” page. You’ll need to provide your name, email, and phone number.
  • General FAQs: This page covers common bank account questions customers have. Many questions can be answered by reading through these Q&As.
  • Mail: Send postal correspondence to Provident Bank, 239 Washington Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Low minimum opening deposits: Starts at just $25 so it’s easy to get started.
  • Low monthly service fees: Waived for meeting basic requirements.
  • Convenience: 94 branch locations throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania
  • Security: Provident is a member FDIC financial institution
  • Frequent promotions: Ongoing member referral bonuses and introductory-rate APY bonuses for many savings deposit products.

Cons:

  • Low APYs: Most accounts offer APY savings rates well below the national average. Higher-interest rate accounts have 5-figure minimum balance requirements that are hard for most consumers to meet.
  • Limited branch presence: No branch locations outside of New Jersey and Pennsylvania
  • Limited customer support hours: Offered on weekdays and half days on Saturdays.

Alternatives to Provident Bank

In addition to exploring Provident Bank, it’s worth taking a look at a few other banks in the area to see how they stack up in comparison.

Santander Bank

Santander Bank is another convenient option for Garden State residents if they’re looking for a financial institution that has a community feel and convenient locations. Santander has over 20 branch locations throughout New Jersey and a network of 2,000+ free ATMs in the United States.

The bank boasts some attractive products, like the Ultimate Cash back card that gives 3% cash back on purchases and a 0% introductory APR rate for the first 12 months.

PNC Bank

Like Provident Bank, PNC is another long-established American bank. Established in 1845, it has over 2,600 branches throughout the United States, including 227 store locations and network ATMs in New Jersey.

As a larger financial institution, the bank offers a broader range of banking and investment services and additional digital tools like the Virtual Wallet.

Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union

A credit union may be another great option to meet your banking needs in the Tri-State region. Greater Alliance has three customer financial centers in New Jersey, offering many attractive personal and business banking products. This includes interest-bearing checking accounts and flexible CDs with above-average APY rates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Provident Bank a Good Bank?

Provident Bank is a decent option for consumers looking for a financially solid bank that has brick-and-mortar locations in New Jersey. The bank offers interest-bearing checking accounts and first-time customer promos with attractive APYs.

Provident has low fees on many deposit accounts and easy ways to waive them, however, the bank could be a bit more transparent on its overall schedule of fees for consumer accounts.

Does Provident Bank Use Zelle?

Yes, Provident uses Zelle to offer its customers a fast, easy, and safe way to send money to trusted friends and family. This option is available for customers aged 18+. To use this feature, download and log into the Provident Bank app and select the option to “Send Money with Zelle.”

What is the Limit on Zelle for Provident Bank?

Provident does not set an incoming limit for how much you can receive in your account through Zelle, however, the daily outgoing limit is $1,500. Any incoming limit would be determined by the sender’s institution limits.

Is Provident Bank Best for Your Needs?

If you live in New Jersey, then it could be a good fit. Provident Bank is one the nation’s oldest and most respected banks and has been in continual operation for nearly 200 years. It offers a wide range of attractive bank products, including cash-back checking, high-interest checking, and a range of products designed to work together to streamline consumer spending and savings.

APYs are quite low for traditional savings accounts, customer service hours are limited, and there are no branches if you travel outside of the NJ-NY-PA region.

Still, if you’re looking for a local community bank that offers online and mobile banking and a flexible line-up of products, Provident is a strong contender.

Our Methodology

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
  • 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

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