Valley National Bank Review - Everything You Need to Know
Community Branch Banking With Big Bank Perks
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Who Is Valley National Bank Best For?
Valley National Bank, which rebranded as simply "Valley" in October 2018, serves personal and business banking customers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and Alabama. The bank offers branch banking services are more than 230 locations, as well as online and mobile banking. It could be a good for people who want to:
- Earn competitive rates on money market and CD accounts
- Open a checking account that offers cash rewards
- Grow retirement savings using an IRA
- Have access to banking products to fit every life stage
Low minimum opening deposits for checking, savings and money market accounts
Savings and checking options with no monthly fee
Relatively high rates for money market and CD accounts
Only residents of certain states may open an account
Some accounts do charge monthly fees
Limited ATM locations
Types of Accounts
Valley National Bank offers the following types of accounts:
- Checking Accounts
- Savings Accounts
- Money Market Accounts
- Certificates of Deposit Accounts
- Individual Retirement Accounts
- Loans and Credit Cards
- Business Accounts
Valley offers a wide range of checking account options, designed for just about every life stage. Each account has different benefits and requirements. This table offers a comparison of each one:
|Account Name||Designed For...||Mimimum to Open||Account Details|
|All Access Rewards Checking||People who want simple checking||$100||No balance requirement; get $20/month for one year when you receive $750 in qualifying direct deposits monthly|
|My Choice Checking||Young adults aged 17 to 25||$25||No monthly service fee; Free Valley ATM transactions and a rebate of up to $20 for ATM fees from non-Valley ATMs|
|My Loyalty Checking||People who have a mortgage with Valley||$100||Receive up to $10 in non-Valley ATM fee rebates per month; receive a $250 reward when you have a Valley mortgage and schedule three recurring online bill payments or recurring qualifying direct deposit of $750 or more within 90 days of account opening|
|My Choice Teen Checking||Teens aged 13 to 16||$25||Receieve a $25 Reward when you sign up for a debit card; no monthly service fee if the account is linked to a parent/guardian checking account or, if the account receives a monthly recurring direct deposit or, if you maintain a daily ledger balance of $1,000 per month|
|Milestone Checking||Seniors 55 and older||$0||No minimum blaance requirement; no monthly fee|
|Interest Checking Plus||People who want to earn interest on checking||$100||No service fee if you maintain an average daily balance of $1,000 per month|
|Community Checking||People who need basic checking with low balance requirrements||$25||Available only to New York and New Jersey residents; low $3 monthly service fee|
|Prestige Checking||Frequent travelers aged 50 and older||$10,000 (combined across all Valley accounts)||Includes group travel and tour opportunities; get special rates on CD accounts|
Some accounts, such as Community Checking, can only be opened at a branch location.
All of Valley's checking accounts come with these features and benefits:
- Online and mobile banking access
- Mobile wallet capability
- Visa debit card
Valley offers a variety of savings account options, including:
- All Access Savings
- Kids First Savings Club
- Holiday Savings Club
- My Health Savings
The All Access Savings Account is a standard savings account that earns interest. A minimum deposit of $100 is required to get started with an account and it comes with a free ATM card so you can access your savings if needed. There's no monthly service fee if you maintain an average daily collected balance of $300 per month.
The other three accounts are specialty accounts. The Valley Kids First Savings Club allows kids to start saving with as little as $1, with no monthly service charge. To encourage the savings habit, Valley matches your child's first deposit, up to $20.
The Holiday Savings Club Account offers a way to save for holiday spending. You can open an account with $10, $20, $25 or $50. A free gift is available when you open your account with $20 or more. You can easily grow your holiday savings by setting up a weekly automatic deposit of up to $50.
My Health Savings is a Health Savings Account you can open to save for medical expenses if you're enrolled in a high deductible health plan. This account has a low monthly fee of $3.
This chart breaks down how rates compare for these four accounts:
|All Access Savings||0.03%|
|Kids First Savings Club||0.05%|
|Holiday Savings Club||0.05%|
|My Health Savings||N/A|
Money Market Accounts
Money market accounts combine the best features of savings accounts and checking accounts. That is, you can earn interest on your deposits while also having a debit card and/or check-writing abilities for easy access to your money.
There are two money market options with Valley: Tiered Money Market Savings and the Premium Money Market Account. Here's how they stack up, side-by-side.
|Money Market Accounts|
|Account Name||Minimum Deposit||APY||Account Details|
|Tiered Money Market Savings||$2,000||1.25%||No service fee if you maintain an average daily collected blanace of $10,000 per month; a $25 maintence fee apllies when this requirement isn't met; free debit card|
|Premium Money Market||$25,000||1.80% or 2.05% when you open a Select Checking Account||No monthly maintenance fee with an average daily collected blance of $10,000; a $25 maintenance fee applies when this requirement isn't met|
The Premium Money Market Account is designed for people who maintain a large balance in their MMA. The Select Checking Account you're required to open to earn the higher 2.05% APY requires:
- A minimum deposit of $100
- A monthly qualifying direct deposit of $1,000
There's no monthly maintenance fee for Select Checking when you have a daily ledger balance of $99. Otherwise, a $15 monthly fee applies.
Whether you need to save for a short- or long-term goal, Valley has plenty of CD options to help. Depending on the maturity term, the minimum deposit to open a CD account is either $500 or $100,000, which caters to both big and small savers.
In terms of rates, here's what you can expect to earn with a Valley CD:
|6 month special||1.90%||$500|
|18 months floating||2.60%||$500|
|25 months step up||2.00%||$500|
|66 month stepped rate||1.77%||$500|
|66 month stepped rate||2.02%||$100,000|
No interest will be paid during the grace period if your CD account is closed. Valley may impose early withdrawal penalties when you withdraw money prior to a CD's maturity date, which could reduce the principal.
Individual Retirement Accounts
Individual retirement accounts or IRAs offer a tax-advantaged way to save for retirement. As of 2019, you can contribute up to $6,000 to an IRA, along with an additional catch-up contribution of $1,000 if you're aged 50 or older.
Valley offers both traditional and Roth IRAs. With traditional IRAs, contributions may be tax-deductible and withdrawals are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate in retirement. Roth IRAs don't offer a tax deduction but qualified withdrawals are tax-free.
You can choose between an IRA money market account or an IRA CD. Both earn interest, at varying rates. Here's how the rates and minimum deposits compare.
|Individual Retirement Accounts|
|Tiered Money Market IRA ($0 to $4,999)||0.05%||$0|
|Tiered Money Market IRA ($5,000 to $24,999)||0.10%||$5,000|
|Tiered Money Market IRA ($25,000 to $49,999)||0.15%||$25,000|
|Tiered Money Market IRA ($50,000 to $99,999)||0.20%||$25,000|
|Tiered Money Market IRA ($100,000 to $499,999)||0.25%||$100,000|
|18 months floating||2.57%||$250|
Remember, withdrawing from an IRA before age 59 ½ may trigger a tax penalty unless the withdrawal qualifies for an exception. And if a withdrawal does qualify, you may avoid a penalty but still be required to pay regular income tax on early IRA distributions.
Loans and Credit Cards
In the loan department, Valley offers home purchase loans, refinance loans and home equity lines of credit.
The home equity line of credit product features a 3.49% APR for the first 12 months, with a variable APR as low as 5% afterward. The maximum credit line offered is $250,000 and a $75 annual fee applies.
In addition to home loans, Valley also offers auto loans and life insurance loans if you own a whole life policy. You can use one of these loans to borrow up to $5 million, depending on the value of your policy, and the interest may be tax-deductible.
If you need a credit card, Valley offers a mix of Visa and Mastercard options, including Visa Select, Visa Classic and MasterCard Gold-Variable Rate. While some of these cards offer a generous credit limit and no annual fee, you may want to check out other options if your main goal is earning miles, points or cash back on purchases.
In addition to personal banking, Valley offers business banking services and products, including:
- Business checking
- Business savings and money market accounts
- Business CDs
- Treasury services
- Business loans and lines of credit
- Business credit cards
Business owners can also take advantage of additional benefits, such as payroll processing and legal services.
How to Bank With Valley National Bank
Depending on the type of account you're opening, you may be able to get started with Valley completely online. Some accounts, will however, require a visit to a branch.
To open an account, you'll need to give Valley your:
- Social Security number
- Driver's license, government or state-issued ID
- U.S. mailing address
You have to be at least 18 to open an account, unless you're opening a My Choice or My Choice Teen Checking Account. You'll also need to have your initial deposit ready to go.
Once your account is open, you can manage it online, through the Valley National Bank mobile app, at a branch location or at a Valley ATM.
Checking your balance or making withdrawals at a non-Valley ATM will cost you $2 per transaction. The fee climbs to $5 per transaction at international ATMs.
If you need customer service help, Valley has an online form you can use to submit an e-mail request. You can also get help by calling 1 (800) 522-4100. Valley is also available on social media through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
In terms of online and mobile banking, you have access to the tools and features you'd expect, including:
- Paperless statements
- Mobile wallet
- Push notifications
- Bill payment services
- Same-day loan payments
- Direct deposit
Valley's mobile app is equipped to sync with your smartwatch for banking access right from your wrist. If you'd rather go lo-tech, Valley also offers phone and text banking.
About Valley National Bank
Valley National Bank was founded in 1927 as the Passaic Park Trust Company. In 1976, the bank's name was changed to Valley National Bank following the acquisition of the Bank of Wayne. With $30 billion in assets under management, the bank rebranded to the name "Valley" in late 2018.
Valley is a community bank with a large regional footprint in New York and New Jersey. The bank emphasizes personalized customer service and has never produced a losing quarter since 1927. Valley currently has an A- rating with the Better Business Bureau. Valley was one of the financial institutions impacted by the Heartland Payment Systems data breach in 2009.
The Bottom Line
Valley National Bank offers the community feel of a smaller bank with all the features, products and services of a larger bank. The APY you can earn with some of Valley's CD and money market products is very generous, compared to what you'll find at other banks. The wide variety of checking, savings, money market, and CD accounts makes it possible to find the banking products that fit where you are in life. With low minimum deposits and minimal fees, Valley's accounts are designed to fit just about anyone's budget.
The biggest drawback may simply be that Valley's geographic reach is limited compared to larger banks and online banks. Depending on where you live, visiting a Valley branch or ATM may not be convenient and while you can use another bank's ATM, Valley will charge you a fee for doing so. The lack of personal loan products may be perceived as another downside if you're in the market for a loan.