Colony Bank Review 2020: Is It the Right Bank for You?

Find out if Colony Bank is the right banking choice.

Founded in 1975, Colony Bank offers personal, mortgage and small business banking for a variety of customers. With home, business and agricultural loans, Colony Bank provides an alternative to traditional banking for Georgia residents. As a conventional brick-and-mortar bank, there are 29 total branches in Georgia, in addition to a loan production office. However, the website and mobile app makes it easily accessible at any time.

This ultimate guide to Colony Bank will cover:

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Who Is Colony Bank Best For?

As the largest community bank headquartered outside Atlanta, Colony Bank’s 300-plus team members are ready to deliver high-quality service and financial products. It’s a traditional brick-and-mortar bank that offers a free checking account to all of its customers with no monthly service charge.

For those who prefer to bank on their phone, Colony’s mobile app has been received incredibly well with 4.8 stars out of five in the App Store. The app provides 24/7 account access to manage your accounts, transfer money, change/cancel payments or find an ATM or branch location near you.

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Colony Bank also provides expert financing options when it comes to agricultural and crop production loans, which is a unique lending opportunity not offered by most medium banks. Farm management solutions include small business specialty lending, crop production, farmland, livestock and agriculture equipment.

Colony Bank Pros and Cons
ProsCons
  • Free checking account
  • No monthly service charge
  • Competitive interest rates
  • $50 minimum to open
  • Monthly maintenance fees for savings accounts that fall below minimum daily balance
  • $3 activity fee for each savings withdrawal in excess of six per month

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Who May Want To Skip Colony Bank?

In spite of its unique set of benefits, Colony Bank won’t suit every type of customer. Customers who prefer a predominantly online or mobile banking experience should look at larger online banks that provide service nationwide. Colony Bank is very much a “hometown” bank and focuses its efforts on the brick-and-mortar locations in central and southern Georgia. If you do not reside within this region, Colony Bank might not be a great fit.

 

Colony Bank: Who’s It For?
Best for customers:Worst for customers:
Seeking in-person customer serviceSeeking an online banking experience
Who want no monthly service chargesUnwilling to pay for monthly maintenance fees
Seeking agriculture loans and financing optionsWho withdraw large amounts of cash
Looking for a hometown bank feelWho do not reside in the state of Georgia
Who like straightforward and easy account optionsWho want more than basic account types

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Types of Accounts Available

Although it doesn’t offer a comprehensive lineup of accounts, Colony Bank does provide basic account types of accounts that many customers seek. Here’s a look at the bank’s current product lineup.

Colony Bank Accounts 
ProductAPYMinimum to OpenMonthly Service Charge
Free CheckingN/A$50$0
Convenience Interest CheckingCompetitive$50$0
Premium 50+ Interest CheckingCompetitive$50$0
Preferred Interest CheckingCompetitive$50$0 for balances over $1,500
Regular SavingsCompetitive$50$0 for balances over $100
Student SavingsCompetitive$50$0
Money Market AccountTiered based on balance$50$0 for balances over $1,500 and less than six transfers/withdrawals
CD AccountCompetitiveN/AN/A

Here’s a closer look at each individual product area offered by Colony Bank.

See: The Best Banks of 2020

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Checking

Colony Bank’s free checking account provides no monthly service charges or minimum balance requirements. Its website also touts a free gift when opening an account. A free checking account with Colony Bank includes:

  • Free debit card
  • Free online banking
  • Free bill pay
  • Free mobile banking with mobile deposit
  • Free eStatements with online check images
  • Free first box of personalized checks
  • Three free ATM surcharge fees waived automatically per month
  • Colony Bank will buy back unused checks and debit cards from other financial institutions up to $10.

This checking account also comes with online and mobile app convenience. Colony Bank has quite a few checking accounts with competitive rates. It’s important to call or visit a local branch to learn more about your options.

Pros

  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance requirements
  • Free online and mobile capability

Cons

  • ATM surcharge fees
  • $50 minimum to open

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Interest Checking

The Convenience Interest Checking Account has a lot of the same features as the regular checking account, including the free debit card, online banking, bill pay, among other things. However, this account will allow you to earn interest through direct deposit or an automatic payment. The Convenience Interest Checking Account offers no minimum balance, no monthly charges and competitive interest rates to match. What’s more, you’ll receive a free gift just for opening the account.

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Savings

Colony Bank offers both a regular and student savings account, and you only need a $50 minimum deposit. The regular savings account earns interest on the average daily balance and is credited quarterly. There is no monthly maintenance fee for accounts with a daily balance of $100; however, if your balance happens to fall below $100, you will need to pay an $8 monthly maintenance fee. Additionally, there is a $3 activity fee for withdrawals in excess of six per month.

The student savings account is designed for consumers under 18 years old. It has the same features of the regular savings account, but is geared toward a younger demographic. Luckily, there is no monthly maintenance fee regardless of balance or withdrawal penalty.

Pros

  • Competitive interest rates
  • No monthly maintenance fees for accounts with a daily balance of $100
  • Additional savings account geared toward students

Cons

  • $50 minimum deposit
  • $8 monthly maintenance fee for balances below $100
  • $3 activity fee for withdrawals in excess of six per month

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Money Market

Colony Bank boasts a money market account that is “perfect if you want a savings account with check-writing capabilities.” Like the other accounts offered by Colony Bank, there is a $50 minimum deposit to open. You can earn interest based on a tiered platform of average daily balance:

  • Less than $1,000
  • $1,000-$9,999.99
  • $10,000-$24,999.99
  • $25,000-$49,999.99
  • $50,000-$74,999.99
  • $75,000 and above

Unfortunately, the Colony Bank website does not go into detail on the APYs for each tier. There is no monthly maintenance or activity fee for accounts with a minimum balance of $1,500 and less than six withdrawals and/or transfers. However, there is an $8 fee if your balance falls below this amount, or you exceed the number of transfers/withdrawals. Interest is also credited monthly, which is ideal for money market account holders.

Pros

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  • No monthly maintenance or activity fees with minimum balance of $1,500
  • Earn interest on a tiered system
  • Interest is credited monthly

Cons

  • $8 fee if balance falls below $1,500 or exceeds the withdrawal amount
  • $50 deposit to open

Check Out: Best Money Market Accounts

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CDs

Colony Bank does offer CDs; however, there aren’t a large number of details offered for these specific accounts on its website. The CDs offered do have flexible terms from seven days to 72 months with an option to automatically transfer any interest directly to a checking or savings account. Consumers can choose whether they want their interest paid monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually.

Pros

  • Flexible term lengths
  • Automatic transfer of interest
  • Choose when interest is paid out

Cons

  • Customers will need to consult with a bank representative for more details on these accounts

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Individual Retirement Accounts

Colony Bank offers an FDIC-insured IRA, which provides tax advantages for long-term retirement savings. The Colony Individual Retirement Term Account is a fixed-market rate IRA with a $500 minimum opening account deposit. Interest is compounded monthly and paid monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually. A variety of terms are available for this particular account, and there is a penalty for withdrawing early.

Pros

  • Interest is compounded monthly
  • Variety of term lengths

Cons

  • $500 minimum opening account deposit
  • Penalty for withdrawing early, like other IRAs

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Investment (Nonbank) Options

At this time, Colony Bank does not offer any investment options.

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Loans

Colony Bank offers a wide range of lending services, including auto, personal, small business, agriculture, mortgage and real estate loans. Here are some of the features of these loans:

Colony Bank Loans
Loan Type Key Features
Auto Loans
  • New and used car financing
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Pre-approval available
  • Refinance current auto loan
Personal Loans
  • Favorable rates
  • Convenient repayment terms
  • Fixed monthly payments
  • Lines of credit available
Small Business Loans
  • Low interest rates
  • Financing for working capital, inventory, equipment, etc.
  • Various repayment options
Agriculture Loans
  • Includes crop production, farmland, livestock and agriculture equipment
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Flexible financing options
Real Estate Loans
  • Mortgage team available
  • Home equity line of credit
  • Commercial real estate options
  • Construction and small lot options

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How To Bank With Colony Bank

You can open an account online with Colony Bank by following these steps:

  1. Click “Enroll” in the top right-hand corner of the homepage.
  2. Choose “Type of Account” in the drop-down menu.
  3. Enter your account number.
  4. Fill out the rest of the form with the required personal information (Social Security number, PIN number, date of birth, etc.)
  5. Enter and confirm your email address.
  6. Click “Begin Enrollment” at the bottom of the page once you’ve completed the form.

Learn: Best Regional Banks of 2020

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Fees

The only fees outlined on the website are the $8 monthly maintenance fee when the daily balance is too low and the $3 penalty for withdrawing in excess of six times a month. These fees are only associated with savings, money market and retirement accounts.

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Availability of Funds

Colony Bank makes funds from cash and check deposit accounts available on the first business day after funds are received. Colony Bank outlines “business days” as strictly weekdays, excluding federal holidays. If you deposit funds after business hours, the deposit will be considered on the following business day.

Electronic deposits of any kind are available the day the funds are deposited. As soon as the funds are available, you will be able to withdraw or transfer as needed. Please be aware that this policy only applies to transaction accounts.

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Should You Bank With Colony Bank?

Colony Bank offers its customers an in-person, hometown feel when providing financial services. Residents of central and southern Georgia have a bank that is dependable, with considerable options for banking and lending alike. Agriculture loans are a unique feature offered here and could be a benefit to those in the industry.

Benefits

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  • In-person customer service
  • Mobile banking
  • Free checking accounts with interest options
  • Agriculture loans

Drawbacks

  • Exclusive to Georgia residents
  • Maintenance and activity fees
  • Not for customers looking for an online bank experience

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Rates and fees are accurate as of March 3, 2020, and are subject to change. This content is not provided by Colony Bank. 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 Colony Bank.