Finding the right bank is about more than finding a place to store your money. It’s about finding a financial institution that understands your unique goals and needs. One institution that has gained attention for its broad product offerings and customer service is United Community Bank.
United Community Bank is a noteworthy competitor in the financial services realm for customers in the Southeast, and it is known for its commitment to providing excellent service and participating in community engagement.
Whether you’re considering opening a new account or curious about what this bank offers, read on to learn more about United Community Bank.
What Is United Community Bank?
United Community Bank (UCB) was founded in 1949 in Blairsville, GA as Union County Bank. It changed its name to United Community Bank (Georgia) in 1996 and was listed on Nasdaq in 2002.
Following its IPO, United Community Bank continued to acquire regional financial institutions until its geographical footprint spread across the Southeast. Today, United Community Bank has over 100 branches across North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Tennessee.
They specialize in personalized community banking services for individuals and businesses throughout their geographic region. These products and services include deposit accounts, mortgage loans, personal loans, commercial banking services, and wealth management.
United Community Bank: Checking Accounts
United Community Bank offers a staggering range of checking accounts, five in total.
Whether you’re looking for a standard account, a bare-bones account, or an account specific to your age group, they have options for you to choose from.
1. United Checking
The United Checking account is United Community Bank’s standard checking account to suit most customer’s needs. This day-to-day checking account has a modest entry point of $50, which makes it reasonable and accessible for most people.
While the account has an $8 monthly service charge, customers can bypass this fee by enrolling in eStatements or setting up monthly direct deposits. Additionally, this account grants free access to over 200 United ATMs and a vast network of Publix Presto! ATMs, allowing customers to access their funds easily and conveniently.
2. United Signature Checking
Designed as an exclusive, feature-rich checking account, the United Signature Checking account caters to the diverse needs of account holders. While the account requires a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open, this initial investment unlocks a host of benefits.
This account offers no charges for foreign or outside network ATM/debit card usage and provides customers with complimentary United Signature Banking checks. Plus, this account comes with a competitive interest rate for those looking to make the most of their deposits.
While this account does come with a $25 monthly service charge, customers have multiple avenues to waive the fee, although it often requires a high minimum balance across all accounts.
3. United Checking for 55+
As the name suggests, the United Checking for 55+ account is tailored to the financial needs of individuals approaching their golden years. This account only requires a $25 minimum opening deposit, which makes it accessible to all.
One standout feature of the account is the absence of a monthly fee, meaning account holders can enjoy their banking services without additional fees. It also does not incur charges for foreign or outside network ATM/debit card usage to provide flexibility to those who travel often. Customers can also enjoy one free order of standard wallet checks each year.
4. United Checking for Students
Similar to the 55+, the United Checking for Students account is made with the needs of students in mind. This account only requires a $25 minimum opening deposit to keep the account accessible for students looking to manage their finances.
This account also does not have a monthly service fee, which helps keep every precious dollar in the student’s account. Like the 55+ account, the Student account does not charge for foreign or outside network ATM/debit card usage, allowing for flexibility in travel and funds access.
5. United Essential Banking
The United Essential Banking account is a practical, no-frills account for those seeking fundamental banking services. This account offers a straightforward entry point with a $25 minimum opening deposit.
It also allows users to benefit from fee-free access to over 200 United ATMs and Publix’s network of 1,260+ Presto! ATMs. Despite a $5 monthly service charge, users can benefit from affordability and convenience with this account.
United Community Bank: Savings Account
United Community Banking offers three types of checking accounts, each cater to different demographics, such as students or children.
1. United Savings
The United Savings account is the standard savings account offered by United Community Bank and is suitable for most customers.
The account requires a minimum opening deposit of $100, which is a standard and reasonable requirement. The account comes with a quarterly service charge of $5, but it can be waived if you maintain a minimum $100 daily balance.
The United Savings account offers a tiered interest rate ranging from 0.10% APY to 0.20% APY depending on your balance. Customers are allowed up to six free withdrawals per quarter as mandated by the federal government.
2. United Student Savings
The United Student Savings account is a sister account to the United Checking for Students. This account is designed to empower students age 22 and younger as they embark on their independent financial journey.
The account requires only $5 to open, which allows students to establish a savings account without placing an extraordinary burden on their finances. The account stands out by offering competitive interest rates ranging from 0.10% APY to 0.20% APY. Account holders are limited to six withdrawals per quarter, which is the limit set by the federal government.
3. United Treasure Chest Savings
For parents who want to teach their children the importance of saving, the United Treasure Chest Savings account is a standout account. The account is available to savers 12 years old and younger, allowing them to start saving early.
There is no service charge associated with this account, which ensures that no money is lost to unnecessary fees. Like the other savings accounts, this account also features a tiered interest rate ranging from 0.10% APY to 0.20% APY. With the added benefit of six free withdrawals a quarter, this account is ideal for young savers as an introduction to financial literacy.
United Community Bank: CD Account
United Community Bank offers a certificate of deposit product for customers willing to lock up funds for a specified term in exchange for a guaranteed return. Customers can choose between terms of seven, nine, 11, 19, and 23 months. The corresponding interest rates will increase based on the term length, ranging from 3.50% APY to 4.75% APY.
Customers can open all of the CDs online apart from the 7-month CD, which must be opened in a branch. The minimum opening deposit for all CDs is $2,500, which is fairly standard for most certificate products. All CDs are subject to early withdrawal penalties and automatically renew on the maturity date unless otherwise specified.
United Community Bank: MMA Account
The United Community Bank money market account (MMA) is an excellent alternative to a traditional checking and savings account. It allows you to grow your wealth with higher interest rates than a checking account but provides more flexibility and liquidity than a conventional savings account.
One of the key features of the United Money Market account is its graduated interest rates. As your account balance grows, so does the interest you earn. The tiered interest rate structure ranges from 0.50% APY to 1.25% APY. Whether you are saving for a goal or want to make more on your regular spending balance, this feature ensures that your money doesn’t sit idly and actively contributes to your financial growth.
The United Money Market account has a minimum initial deposit of $1,500, which is standard for MMAs. You must also maintain a minimum daily balance of $1,500 to avoid the $12 service charge.
In addition to their standard deposit products, United Community Bank also has the following products:
- Home loans and mortgages
- Personal loans
- Auto loans
- Home equity loans
- Personal lines of credit
- Life insurance
- Credit cards
- Business checking and savings
- Business lending
- Real estate lending
- Treasury management
- Merchant services
- Business credit cards
United Community Bank has several features and differentiators that separate it from other banks and credit unions.
Here are some of their noteworthy features:
- Digital and Mobile Banking: To make banking more convenient, United Community Bank allows customers to manage their finances on their laptop or mobile device with online banking. Customers can check balances, transfer funds, pay bills, or deposit checks without having to visit a branch.
- Corporate Impact Efforts: Beyond banking, United Community Bank is committed to making a positive impact on the communities it serves. They have implemented several efforts and programs to reduce their environmental impact, such as intentional infrastructure and renewable energy financing. They also participate in corporate giving, volunteerism, and financial mentorship as part of their commitment to community.
- Military Benefits: United Community Bank provides SCRA benefits to eligible customers. The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is a federal statute that provides financial relief and protections to eligible military personnel serving on active duty. If you’re an active-duty service member, you may be eligible for interest rates no more than 6% on eligible loans.
- Robust Learning Center: United Community Bank’s learning center empowers customers to take charge of their financial education. This resource hub serves as a tool to offer insights into various financial topics. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just beginning your financial journey, the learning center equips you with knowledge to make informed decisions.
Pricing and Fees
No matter where you bank, you are likely to encounter fees for penalties, account activity, or services. United Community Bank charges some common fees, such as safe deposit box fees and monthly service charges.
Here are the fees that you are likely to encounter if you bank with United Community Bank.
Monthly Service Fee
One of the ways banks make money is through deposits. To encourage customers to place their money with them, banks like United Community Bank will charge account fees if your balance fails to reach a certain amount.
United Community Bank charges monthly service fees for accounts with less than the minimum threshold, but these fees can be avoided if you carry a high enough balance.
- United Checking: $8
- United Signature Checking: $25
- United Essential Banking: $5
- United Savings: $5 (charged quarterly)
- United Money Market: $12
United Community Bank provides overdraft protection in the form of a line of credit charges and transfers from a connected deposit account to cover overdrafted transactions. However, these services come with a $7.50 charge for each occurrence.
If you do not opt into United Community Bank’s overdraft protection, you will be charged $36 per overdraft transaction. The maximum charge is three overdraft fees per day per account.
Safe Deposit Box
If you choose to rent a safe deposit box at United Community Bank, you will be charged an annual fee that varies based on size.
- 2 x 5: $40.00
- 3 x 5: $40.00
- 4 x 5: $50.00
- 5 x 5: $60.00
- 3 x 10: $70.00
- 4 x 10: $80.00
- 5 x 10: $90.00
- 7 x 10: $100.00
- 10 x 10: $150.00
- Locker: $150.00
If you send or receive wired funds, you will be charged a fee accordingly. Incoming wire transfers, domestic and international, will incur a $14 service charge. Outgoing domestic wire transfers will earn account holders a $30 fee, and outgoing international wire transfers will come with a $50.
To become a United Community Bank customer, you will first need to explore the range of accounts offered by United Community Bank and decide which best aligns with your unique financial goals. Their featured accounts that are best for new customers include the United Checking account, the United Savings account, and the 11-month CD.
Once you’ve identified the best account for your needs, the next step is to initiate the account opening process. You can do this either online at UCBI.com or at one of their branches. Because you must fill out an application to open an account, you will need to provide some personal information, such as your name, address, Social Security number, and potentially even employment details. This information allows United Community Bank to verify your identity and prevent fraudulent account openings.
After they confirm your identity, United Community Bank will require you to make an initial deposit to establish your account. Once your deposit clears, you will be free to use your account.
United Community Bank does not usually offer promotions on its products or services.
United Community Bank places a high priority on security and confidentiality of customer information. To protect sensitive information, such as transaction data and personal details, the bank employs state-of-the-art cybersecurity measures, online banking features, encryption technology, and more.
In addition to cybersecurity monitoring and encryption, United Community Bank also allows customers to personalize their security settings in online banking and the mobile app. You can set custom alerts on account activity, so you can know immediately if an unauthorized purchase clears your account. The bank also continuously monitors account activities for suspicious transactions and notifies customers of potential security risks.
Additionally, United Community Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC.) As an FDIC member, United Community Bank provides deposit insurance to each customer up to $250,000. This provides an additional layer of savings to assure customers that their money is safeguarded.
If you need assistance with your account at United Community Bank, you can receive help in a number of ways.
One way you can receive help with your account is by visiting a United Community Bank branch. They have locations across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
You can also contact their customer support department Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. You can call them at 1-800-822-2651 or chat with them securely through your online banking platform.
United Community Bank doesn’t have quite as many online customer reviews as some large national banks, and reviews can look different depending on which branch you research.
That being said, here’s a range of United Community Bank reviews to give you a look into its customer service.
I came to this bank to open a new account. After doing some research online I had an idea of the type of account I wanted to open based upon my needs. Any associated fees are minimal at this bank compared to others.
United Community is always busy. The staff is friendly and helpful, and there is ATM access in the drive-thru.
Tom Google Reviews
Staff is always friendly, with a few exceptions. I really dislike that they are no longer open on Saturdays, however. Has me debating switching banks.
Max Google Reviews
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the pros and cons of banking with United Community Bank.
- Lots of account options: United Community Bank has a wide range of account options that cater to various financial needs. Whether you’re looking for a straightforward checking account or a money market account, United Community Bank has a variety of choices for different customers.
- Outstanding customer service ratings: As a testament to its commitment to customer experience, United Community Bank has outstanding ratings for its customer service. They have excellent ratings for their online banking services and mobile app, and customers report fantastic in-branch interactions.
- Extensive business banking capabilities: United Community Bank offers extensive banking capabilities for businesses of every size. From business checking accounts to tailored lending solutions, businesses across the Southeast can rely on United Community Bank to help them navigate the financial landscape.
- Lower than average interest rates: While United Community Bank excels in various aspects of banking, they tend to offer interest rates that are on par with or lower than the industry average.
- Monthly service fees on some accounts: While account fees are a common industry practice, customers should review the fee structure at United Community Bank to ensure that they align with their financial preferences and usage patterns.
Alternatives to United Community Bank
If you’re looking for comparable financial institutions to United Community Bank, there are several options available. Here are our picks for top alternatives to United Community Bank.
Bank of America
If you’re looking for a national bank instead of a regional one, Bank of America should be a top consideration. As the second largest bank in the United States, Bank of America offers a comprehensive and convenient financial experience. With an extensive network of branches and ATMs across the country, customers can easily get in-person help with their accounts when they need it. BofA also prioritizes technological innovation and has a cutting-edge online banking and mobile platform for on-the-go account management.
First Citizens Bank
First Citizens Bank is an excellent choice if you value a full-service bank with a strong regional presence. While the majority of First Citizens branches are in the Carolinas, the bank operates more than 600 locations across 22 states, including Hawaii, Oregon, New Mexico, and California. They offer everyday banking basics like checking and savings accounts, but they also offer more concentrated services like business banking and wealth management.
Resulting from a merger between BB&T and SunTrust Bank, Truist Bank is a top-ten financial institution in the U.S. They serve 17 states as well as Washington D.C., and they offer a full suite of financial products and services. From deposit accounts to investment and retirement services, Truist is an excellent choice for customers looking for a full-service financial provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is United Community Bank located?
United Community Bank is headquartered in Greenville, SC. They also have branch locations and ATMs across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Is United Community Bank a good company?
Yes, United Community Bank is considered a good company. They have an overall rating of A+ with the BBB, and they have a 4.7 star rating on both the App Store and Google Play.
Who is the current CEO of United Community Bank?
Lynn Harton is the current CEO and President of United Community Bank.
Is United Community Bank Best for Your Needs
For customers in the Southeast, United Community Bank is an excellent regional financial institution that stands at the intersection of community-centric values and a full-service financial experience. They offer a diverse range of accounts, excellent customer service, and extensive business banking capabilities.
While United Community Bank is a great choice for many, customers should be mindful of the less competitive interest rates for savings, CD, and money market accounts. Despite this, United Community Bank is a financial institution that is well worth consideration as a long-term partner.
The BankBonus editorial 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.