Banesco USA Review: Community Banking in South Florida

See what Banesco has to offer for your banking needs.

Banesco USA is a south Florida-based, FDIC-insured bank that was founded in 2006. The bank is a subsidiary of Banesco International, a global financial conglomerate with a presence in 15 countries. It provides customers with a range of financial services and products, as well as online and mobile banking. It also offers customers options for domestic and international banking, though international accounts require a higher minimum to open and a higher minimum account balance, and they incur heftier fees.

Here’s a quick look at what this Banesco USA review covers:

Who Is Banesco USA Best For?

Banesco USA is best for investors in south Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico, looking for high CD rates. The geographic recommendation is due to the fact that not all Banesco USA accounts can be opened online. Thus, unless you live near one of the bank’s six existing financial centers — located in south Florida and Puerto Rico — you’ll be hard-pressed to open an account. The CD recommendation is based on the high rates currently offered by the bank, among the best you can find in the U.S. Banesco may also be useful for U.S. citizens who often travel abroad, as they offer international accounts.

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Pros:

  • High CD rates
  • Unlimited checks
  • Online and mobile banking
  • Subsidiary of well-capitalized international bank

Cons:

  • Physical locations only in South Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Can’t open all accounts online
  • High fees if not waived through deposit or activity requirements
  • Website provides insufficient information about accounts

Who May Want To Skip Banesco Bank?

If you don’t live in the Banesco USA service area of south Florida or San Juan, Puerto Rico, you’ll likely be more comfortable with a different bank. Although you can access the bank’s high-rate CDs via an online account, that alone may not be enough to bank with Banesco USA. If you want anything from a simple checking or savings account to a loan, you’ll need to visit a branch or contact the bank via their website, which they will respond to between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Types of Accounts Available

Banesco USA offers services for both international and domestic customers. From checking and savings accounts to CDs, Banesco USA provides a variety of products that could work for you. Here’s a list of current offerings:

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Banesco Bank USA Product Line
Account APY Fees Features
Checking Contact bank $15 – $20 monthly fee for not meeting minimum balance Unlimited check writing
Savings Contact bank $5 – $20 monthly fee for balances under the minimum, $10 per transaction over six a month Free online & mobile banking
Money Market Contact bank $5 – $20 Visa check card access
CD Up to 0.75% $0 High rates
Loans Contact bank Contact bank Auto & boat loans available

Checking

Banesco USA offers customers domestic and international checking accounts. Both standard checking accounts come with the following:

  • Unlimited check writing
  • Visa check card
  • Online banking
  • No charge for electronic statements
  • Mobile banking

Account minimums are just $100 for domestic accounts, but that jumps to $3,000 for international accounts.

Pros:

  • Domestic and international options available
  • Debit/check card access
  • Unlimited check writing

Cons:

  • Cannot be opened online
  • No interest
  • High minimum opening deposit and daily balance for international accounts

Interest Checking

Banesco USA also offers domestic and international customers the option of interest checking through its NOW Accounts, which come with the same benefits as the standard accounts but with the ability to earn interest. Accounts require a daily minimum balance of $1,500 for domestic accounts or $3,000 for international accounts to avoid a below-balance maintenance fee. Although interest is paid on these accounts, you’ll have to contact the bank to learn the current rate.

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Pros:

  • Accounts earn interest
  • Domestic and international options available

Cons:

  • Cannot be opened online
  • High minimum balance requirement for international accounts

Savings

Banesco USA offers customers domestic and international savings accounts. Both standard savings accounts come with online banking and no charge for electronic statements, and both use BanescoMobile Banking. The domestic savings account requires $100 to open but $300 to avoid the monthly fee of $15. A $10 excess transaction charge is assessed for transactions exceeding six per month. For the international savings account, the minimum to open and to avoid the $20 monthly service charge is $3,000. The same excess transaction fee as the domestic account applies as well.

Banesco USA also offers the BanesGrow savings account online. Rates are only available by contacting the bank directly. The same transaction limit of six withdrawals applies to avoid the $10 excess transaction fee.

Pros:

  • Domestic and international accounts available
  • Online savings option available

Cons:

  • High monthly service fees if minimum balance is not maintained
  • No check card/ATM access with the basic savings accounts

Money Market

The BanesFlex Money Market account is another way you can save and earn interest at Banesco USA, although you’ll have to contact the bank for current rates. The features, benefits and restrictions on this account are very similar to the BanesGrow savings account. You can write up to six checks per month before triggering the $10 excess transaction fee, and you can access the account via the Banesco Visa check card. Online and mobile banking is available with this account, which comes in both domestic and international versions. For the domestic version, the minimum to open and avoid the $5 monthly fee is $2,500. For the international version, a $3,000 minimum is required to open the account and avoid the $20 monthly fee.

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Banesco also offers another Personal Money Market Account with a minimum daily balance of $2,500.

Pros:

  • Accessible via Visa check card
  • Interest-bearing account

Cons:

  • Monthly fees if minimum balance is not maintained
  • Excess transaction fee
  • Rates not disclosed on bank website

CD Rates

Banesco USA offers customers both domestic and international certificates of deposit. Term ranges go from 30 days to five years with flexible payout terms based on your preference or convenience: monthly, quarterly, semiannually or at maturity. All accounts require a minimum deposit, usually around $1,000, but to earn interest you must have at least $1,500 in the account. Banesco USA explicitly states that only U.S. residents may apply for CD accounts. Unfortunately, not all rates are disclosed on the bank’s website.

Pros:

  • High rates

Cons:

  • Limited maturities available
  • Relatively high minimum for a CD

Learn: Investing In Certificates of Deposit: The Ultimate Guide

Loans

Banesco USA offers loans for new and used boats and autos. It also offers residential loans. Although the bank promises competitive interest rates and payment terms, along with fast approval, information about loan specifics must be discussed with a loan officer. Information on rates and terms is not available on the bank’s website.

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Pros:

  • Auto, boat and residential loans available
  • Fast approval

Cons:

  • Information about rates and terms is only available by speaking directly with a bank loan officer

How To Bank With Banesco USA

Banking with Banesco USA isn’t the easiest, at least from an online perspective. The bank’s website is short on many details, including important information such as account interest rates, and most accounts can’t be opened online. With the exception of the bank’s CD line and a savings and money market account, you can’t open accounts online. You’ll have to either visit one of the bank’s five south Florida branches — or its sole outpost in San Juan, Puerto Rico — or fill out an online form and wait to be contacted to open an account.

Mobile Banking

Banesco USA’s mobile banking feature helps personalize your banking experience. Mobile banking affords customers flexibility and responsiveness when it comes to overseeing their accounts. The mobile app has a Digital Security Token that provides an extra layer of security when approving online transfers or ACH transactions. Either individuals or businesses can make check deposits using BanescoMobile check deposit. The mobile app also lets users locate a nearby Banesco USA branch or ATM.

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You can also monitor your account using Banesco USA’s check card alert, which notifies you about discrepancies with your card and account. Alerts include:

  • Denied transactions
  • Exceeding account balance
  • Purchases
  • Transfers between Banesco USA accounts

Select only the alerts you want to see, and adjust based on your needs.

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Fees

Monthly fees on the basic deposit accounts at Banesco USA are high, ranging from $5 to $20 for checking, savings and money market accounts. Those fees can be avoided by maintaining a minimum balance, but there are no zero-fee deposit accounts available.

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Miscellaneous fees can also be high at Banesco USA. If you close your account within six months after opening, for example, you’ll get hit with a $20 fee. A simple balance request at an ATM costs $3 per account, and non-network ATMs generate a $2 fee, on top of any third-party fees. NSF fees are $35 per item.

Availability of Funds

You can access your checking, money market and NOW checking accounts via the Visa check card. Once in your possession, you can use it fee-free at any one of Allpoint’s 55,000 ATMs worldwide, 43,000 of which are in the U.S. Features include:

  • Access to more than 390,000 ATMs in the U.S., 660,000 in South America and more than a million worldwide — fees might apply
  • Domestic and international pay services in Visa-affiliated stores, including nearly 6 million in the U.S. and more than 24 million worldwide
  • Zero-liability Visa protection

Daily cash withdrawals via an ATM are limited to $500, while point-of-sale transactions have a $5,000 daily limit.

Summary

Although Banesco USA provides both domestic and international customers with a range of banking services, banking with Banesco probably benefits local Floridians most, given its limited branch range. BanescoOnline and BanescoMobile are helpful for the customer on the go, but for those who prefer to bank local, Banesco USA has five branch locations in southern Florida and one in Puerto Rico. The checking and savings accounts come with some standard features, but international accounts have significantly higher minimum opening deposits and minimum account balances. Banesco’s CDs have competitive APYs, but rates for its other products are hard to come by. You’ll have to speak directly with a banker or loan officer to get information such as rates and terms for the bank’s checking, savings, money market and loan products.

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Sean Dennison contributed to the reporting for this article. 

Rates are updated periodically and subject to change. All other information on accounts is accurate as of March 18, 2020.

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article. All fees and rates are subject to change at the issuers’ discretion. Some interest rates might be short-term or promotional offers only, and it is possible additional terms and conditions must be met in order to obtain the interest rates listed. Rates and availability might vary by region. Verify terms and conditions before opening an account. 

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About the Author

John Csiszar

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

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