Peoples Bank: North Carolina Bank Review 2020: Is This Bank Right For You?

Peoples Bank might have good options for local customers.

Peoples Bank-North Carolina, commonly known as Peoples Bank, is a community bank headquartered in Newton, North Carolina, and owned by Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina. The bank traces its roots to 1912 and currently operates 19 full-service offices, two loan production offices, two administrative offices and one ancillary office, all in the Tar Heel State. Most of its operation is centered in the southwestern part of North Carolina, with offices in Catawba, Lincoln, Iredell, Alexander, Mecklenburg and Wake counties. Its stock trades on the Nasdaq under the symbol PEBK.

Peoples Bank markets itself as a “full service, hometown, community bank with an extensive array of products and services for your personal and commercial banking needs.” Keep reading to learn more about Peoples Bank and determine if it’s the right bank for you.

Who Is Peoples Bank Best For?

Because Peoples Bank is a community-oriented bank with a limited geographic area, it’s best for folks who actually live in one of the six North Carolina counties it serves. Customers who prize personalized service on a smaller scale will find that Peoples Bank is a good fit — especially customers who want to avoid the big banks located in and around Charlotte, a major banking center that doubles as the hometown of Bank of America and Truist (formed after the merger of SunTrust and BB&T), and where Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank also have large operations.

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Pros and Cons of Banking With Peoples Bank
Pros Cons
Personalized service tailored to local customers Limited service area
Wide selection of checking and savings accounts to choose from Website provides very little information about interest rates, annual percentage yields (APY) and annual percentage rates (APR) on various accounts and products
Full lineup of online and mobile banking options Very few accounts have no monthly service fee

Peoples Bank offers a decent lineup of checking accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, loans and insurance products for both individuals and businesses. It also has the usual online and mobile banking options, as well as its own network of ATMs.

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Who Might Want To Skip Peoples Bank?

Obviously, if you live outside of North Carolina — or even outside of southwestern North Carolina — you probably want to skip Peoples Bank. Without a branch nearby, it’s hard to take advantage of the personal service, and Peoples Bank doesn’t offer the high annual percentage yields (APY) you’ll find at the best online banks or the lucrative sign-up bonuses being promoted by larger banks.

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Types of Accounts Available

Peoples Bank offers a full slate of checking, savings and loan options for both business customers and individuals. Its website doesn’t offer much information on APY for interest-bearing accounts, so you’ll need to contact the bank for that. Read on to learn more about the personal accounts you can choose from.
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Checking Accounts

Individuals can choose from six different personal checking accounts at Peoples Bank. Each offers free online and mobile banking as well as overdraft protection options:

Features

  • $100 minimum to open each of the accounts
  • Same-day credit on deposits made at teller window until 5 p.m. on business days
  • Free e-statements with check images
  • Paper statements available at $2 per statement

Pros

  • Student Checking Account and Senior Checking Account have no monthly maintenance fees.
  • Preferred Checking Account and Premium Checking Account have access to BaZing, which provides hundreds of deals and savings through the Peoples Saves Mobile App.

Cons

  • Only three options for interest-bearing accounts
  • No APY information on website

Find Out: Best Checking Accounts of 2020

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Savings Accounts

Peoples Bank offers several different savings options for individuals, including a money market account and certificate of deposit (CD).  The three traditional savings accounts all offer free online banking, mobile banking, mobile check deposits and electronic statements.

Features

  • Tiered interest rates
  • Minimum deposits to open range from $10 for Youth Savings Account to $500 for e.Savings Account
  • Same-day credit on deposits made at teller window until 5 p.m. on business days
  • Paper statements available at $2 per statement

Pros

  • Youth Savings Account has no monthly maintenance fee
  • Six free withdrawals per quarter

Cons

  • e.Savings and Statement Savings accounts both have maintenance fees, though they can be waived if you meet the requirements
  • No APY information on website

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Money Market Account

Peoples Bank’s Max Money Market account provides several tiered interest-rate ranges and provides easier access to funds than a CD.

Features

  • Same-day credit on deposits made at teller window until 5 p.m. on business days
  • $1,000 minimum to open
  • Paper statements available at $2 per statement
  • Interest with tiered rates in the following ranges:
    • $0-$999.99
    • $1,000-$14,999.99
    • $15,000-$49,999.99
    • $50,000-$99,999.99
    • $100,000-$249,999.99
    • $250,000-$499.999.99
    • $500,000-$999,999.99
    • $1 million and above

Pros

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  • Six free withdrawals per month

Cons

  • $12 maintenance fee that can only be waived by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $1,000
  • No APY info on website

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Certificates of Deposit (CDs)

CDs are good options for customers who want slightly higher interest rates and don’t mind having less access to their money.

Features

  • Terms from 180 days to five years
  • Variable and fixed rates
  • Automatic renewal or single term maturity
  • Interest payments available
  • $500 minimum to open

Pros

  • FDIC-insured up to $250,000
  • Access multimillion-dollar FDIC insurance when you enroll in the CDARS program
  • Low risk

Cons

  • Penalties may apply for early withdrawal
  • No APY info on website

Peoples Bank also offers a health savings account (HSA) to customers who are enrolled in high-deductible health plans and want to set aside tax-free savings for qualified medical expenses. This account offers free online banking, mobile banking and electronic statements.

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Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

IRAs are offered as a way to supplement 401(k) plans and other long-term retirement accounts. While your money is in the account, you don’t pay current income tax on the interest, dividends or capital gains earned. Peoples offers two types of IRAs.

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Features

  • Traditional IRA
    • Taxes only paid on your money when you withdraw it in retirement
    • Fixed-rate terms of six months, 12 months, 18 months, 30 months, 36 months, 48 months and 60 months
    • $2,500 opening deposit for fixed-rate IRAs
    • Contributions can be made throughout the year
    • Interest compounded daily and credited quarterly
    • Rollover options available
  • Roth IRA
    • Taxes paid on money that goes into account so that future withdrawals are tax-free
    • No distribution requirements
    • Contributions allowed after age 70 1/2
    • Rollover options available

Pros

  • No maintenance or service fees
  • No minimum balance requirements

Cons

  • Traditional IRA distributions must begin at age 70 1/2
  • Penalties may apply for early withdrawals, distributions or account closures

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Loans

Peoples Bank offers the standard lineup of loan products and credit cards for both businesses and individuals. Terms will depend on a variety of factors, including your credit score and financial situation.

Features

  • Home Loans: There are several ways you can finance a new home or tap into the equity in your existing one at Peoples Bank:
    • Fixed-rate mortgages designed for homebuyers who want the same interest rate for the life of the loan
    • Adjustable-rate mortgages that typically start out fixed and then adjust every so often to reflect market conditions
    • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Promotion: As of March 2020, Peoples Bank is promoting a 3.24% annual percentage rate (APR) fixed introductory rate for 12 months on its HELOC. After the introductory period, the rate converts to a variable rate as low as 4.25% APR.
    • Mortgage refinancing available to customers who want to get lower interest rates or smaller monthly payments
    • Construction loans for customers who want to build their own homes while keeping payments on the low side
    • Affordable housing assistance programs available to first-time homebuyers, veterans, community partners such as law enforcement officers, educators, healthcare workers, firefighters and other first responders
  • Personal loans 
    • No prepayment penalty
    • Secured and unsecured loans available

Pros

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  • Numerous home loan options available
  • HELOC promotion has a low APR

Cons

  • Very little APR info on website

Helpful: Tips To Get Your Mortgage Payments as Low as Possible

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How To Bank With Peoples Bank

You can open a new account at People’s Bank either online or by visiting one of its branches. Once you’ve opened an account, there are several different ways to bank with Peoples:

To contact Peoples Bank with customer service or other questions, you can fill out an online form or call one of these numbers 24/7:

  • Online and Mobile Banking Support: 877-802-1212
  • Debit Card Support: 877-802-1212
  • Lost or Stolen ATM or Debit Card: 800-523-4175

The Peoples Bank website is simple enough to navigate, but there isn’t a whole lot of information about APY or available interest rates. Your best bet for that kind of information is to contact a branch directly.

Fees

Maintenance and service fees at Peoples Bank are pretty low compared with other banks, and most can be waived if you meet the requirements. The table below tells you all you need to know.

Peoples Bank Account Fees
Account Monthly Fee
Basic Checking $3, but waived by maintaining a minimum monthly average balance of $100
Preferred Checking Powered by BaZing $6
Premium Checking Powered by BaZing $10, but waived if you receive e-Statements, have 10 qualifying debit card transactions during the monthly cycle, have at least one direct deposit or electronic draft during the cycle and maintain a minimum monthly average balance of $1,500
Rewards Checking $8, but waived when you receive e-statements, have 10 qualifying debit card transactions during the monthly cycle and have at least one direct deposit or electronic draft during the cycle
Student Checking None
Senior Checking $6, but waived by receiving one direct deposit each month
e.Savings $15 per quarter, but waived by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $500
Statement Savings

 

$15 per quarter, but waived by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $200
Youth Savings
 
None

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Availability of Funds

According to the Funds Availability page on Peoples Bank’s website, its policy is “to make funds from your cash and check deposits available to you on the first business day after the day we receive your deposit. Electronic direct deposits will be available on the day we receive the deposit. Once the funds are available, you can withdraw them in cash and we will use the funds to pay checks that you have written.” A business day is defined as every day except Saturday, Sunday and federal holidays.

For many of Peoples Bank’s personal accounts, you can get same-day credit on deposits made at the teller window until 5 p.m. on business days.

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Should You Bank With Peoples Bank?

If you live in one of the North Carolina counties served by Peoples Bank, there are plenty of good reasons to bank there. You can choose from a variety of different accounts, loans and other products, and you’ll probably get more personalized service than at larger banks that have a lot more customers to deal with. On the flip side, Peoples Bank is probably not the right choice if you live outside of the service area and are searching for ultra-high interest rates or whiz-bang promotions.

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Rates are updated periodically and subject to change. All other information on accounts is accurate as of March 25, 2020.

This content is not provided by Peoples 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 Peoples Bank.

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