People’s United Bank Review: Plenty of Options for Clients

This regional bank is chock full of full-service accounts.

People’s United Bank is a regional subsidiary of the giant, publicly traded People’s United Financial, which boasts $59 billion in assets. The bank draws on the strength of its parent company to offer more than 400 branches and 600 ATMs across Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Maine and New Hampshire. People’s United also has 148 Stop & Shop branch locations in New York and Connecticut, allowing banking transactions seven days a week. All rates and products quoted below are based on a New York location. 

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Who Is People’s United Bank Best For?

People’s United Bank only operates in the Northeast, making residents of the bank’s six-state service area its target market. Here’s a look at additional pros and cons of People’s United Bank to help potential customers make informed decisions about whether to open an account there.

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Pros:

  • Wide range of deposit products, loans and services
  • Tiered checking, savings and money market accounts

Cons:

  • Low annual percentage yields on deposit accounts
  • Potentially high fees on checking accounts
  • High overdraft fee

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Who Might Want To Choose People’s United Bank?

Obviously, you’ll want to be a resident of the bank’s service area before deciding to choose People’s United. Beyond that, those looking for comprehensive banking services will be most happy here. People’s United offers nearly every conceivable type of deposit, investment and loan product, and it offers relationship banking privileges as well. 

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Who Might Want To Skip People’s United Bank?

People’s United Bank has a surprising array of fees across its deposit accounts — some of which are as high as $30 per month. Although there are ways to avoid these fees, customers looking for a true no-fee experience will want to skip this bank. Yield hunters will likely be happier elsewhere as well. The People’s United Bank lineup offers moderate yields on some accounts, but it can’t compete with the sky-high APYs found at many online competitors. 

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See: Best Regional Banks of 2020

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Types of Accounts Available

One of the main strengths of the People’s United Bank is its diverse range of product types. Here’s an overview of all of the types of accounts you can open at People’s United Bank:

People’s United Bank Accounts
Account APY Fees
Checking  0%-0.15% $0-$30
Savings 0.02% $0
Money Market 0.03%-0.50%  $0
CDs 0.15%-1.00%  N/A
Investments N/A Variable
IRAs Variable $0
Loans Variable Variable

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Checking Accounts

People’s United Bank offers three traditional checking accounts and two specialized accounts. Here’s a quick look at their similarities and differences: 

People’s United Bank Checking Account Features by Account Type
Checking Account Monthly Fee APY Minimum Balance ATM Fees
Plus $0 N/A $0 $0
Advantage Plus $25 0.15%
$0 ($7,500 to avoid fee) $0
Premier Advantage $30 o.15% $0 ($75,000 to avoid fee)
$0
Student Plus $0-$10 N/A $0 ($1,o00 to avoid fee) $0
ePlus $10 N/A $0 $0

You won’t be charged a fee on domestic ATM transactions with any of People’s United Bank’s standard checking accounts. The top-tier Premier Advantage Checking account also rebates third-party ATM fees — even internationally. On the downside, you’ll pay upwards of $30 in monthly maintenance fees for the Premier Advantage account unless you keep at least $75,000 on deposit at People’s United Bank. The standard overdraft fee at People’s United is $37. 

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All standard checking accounts include the following benefits:

  • Mobile banking and remote check deposit
  • Online banking and bill pay
  • Unlimited ATM rebates
  • Free first order of checks
  • Cash-back rewards
  • Preferred rates for CDs
  • 0.25% home equity line of credit discount

Advantage Plus Checking adds free ID theft protection, cashier’s checks and U.S. dollar wire transfers. In addition to the free international ATM withdrawals and rebates, Premier Advantage customers enjoy a $55 discount on safety deposit box rentals. 

The ePlus Checking account is a specialized, basic checking account with no balance requirements, but it still provides cash-back rewards. The $10 monthly fee can be waived with at least 10 monthly electronic payment transactions. The ePlus Checking account has ATM access but earns no interest. 

The Student Plus Checking account is another specialized checking account with no monthly fees for customers under age 24. Those 24 and older face a $10 monthly service fee unless they maintain a balance of at least $1,000. This account also has free domestic ATM access and waives fees on two non-network ATM transactions per month. No interest is earned on the Student Plus Checking account. 

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Pros:

  • No ATM fees; international ATM fee rebates available with some accounts
  • Range of extras for certain accounts, such as discounts on loans and safety deposit box rentals
  • Some accounts pay a 0.15% APY
  • Specialized accounts available

Cons: 

  • Very high monthly fees for top-tier checking accounts, though these can be waived
  • Top-tier checking requires $75,000 in deposits to avoid $30 monthly fee
  • High $37 overdraft fee

See: Best Checking Accounts of 2020

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Savings Accounts

People’s United Bank offers three savings accounts: Plus Savings, Advantage Savings and Premier Advantage Savings. None of the accounts have a service charge and all have the same $50 minimum opening deposit. Each account also pays the same 0.02% APY.

Savings accounts come with the following features: 

  • Mobile banking
  • Mobile check deposit
  • 24/7 online banking
  • e-statements
  • Local branch access
  • Online transfers to checking account

You’ll need to open a corresponding checking account with all of the savings options. For example, to open a Premier Advantage Savings account you also need to open a Premier Advantage Checking account. Similarly, to open an Advantage Savings account you must open an Advantage Checking account. For Plus Savings accounts, you must open either a Plus Checking, ePlus Checking, Interest Plus or Student Plus Checking account. Note that if you close a corresponding checking account and your savings account balance falls below $500, you’ll be hit with a $5 monthly service charge.

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All savings accounts have an excess transaction fee of $15 on each check, ACH or point-of-sale transaction after the first six per month. Here are some pros and cons of the People’s United Bank savings accounts:

Pros:

  • Three savings account options
  • No service charges
  • Low opening deposit

Cons:

  • Low APY compared with other banks
  • Must open a corresponding checking account
  • High $15 excess transaction fee

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Money Market Accounts

The three money market accounts at People’s United Bank are structured similarly to its savings accounts, even sharing the same names of Plus, Advantage and Premier Advantage. As with the savings accounts, each money market account requires a corresponding checking account to be opened, such as Premier Advantage Checking for Premier Advantage Money Market and Advantage Checking for Advantage Money Market.

People’s United money market accounts have no service fees and a $2,500 minimum to open. Interest rates are tiered, as follows:

People’s United Bank Money Market Account Rates
Account $0 – $2,499.99 $2,500 – $9,999.99 $10,000 – $24,999.99 $25,000 – $49,999.99 $50,000 – $74,999.99 $75,000 – $99,999.99 $75,000 – $99,999.99 $100,000+
Plus Money Market APY  0.03%  0.03% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.10%
Advantage Money Market APY 0.05% 0.05% 0.10% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05%
Premier Advantage Money Market APY 0.05% 0.05% 0.15% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05% 0.05%

As with the savings accounts, all People’s United Bank money market accounts have the same excess transaction fee of $15 on each check, ACH or point-of-sale transaction after the first six per month. 

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Pros:

  • Three options to choose from
  • No monthly maintenance fees

Cons:

  • APYs can be low compared with other banks
  • Requires at least $25,000 and a premium relationship account to get the top yields
  • $15 excess transaction fee

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CDs

Certificates of deposit at People’s United Bank have different rates and terms at different branches, so check with your local branch to find out what it offers. Passbook and Statement CDs are referred to on the bank’s “Schedule of Fees” as having $1,000 minimums, but no further information about them is available on the bank’s website. To open a Plus CD at the bank, customers must have an existing consumer checking account. 

People’s United offers an impressive array of Plus CDs, with no fewer than 16 maturities ranging from 91 days to five years. Plus CDs require a $500 minimum opening deposit.

All CDs automatically renew after the 10-day grace period following maturity. Withdrawals before maturity are subject to an early withdrawal penalty, as follows:

  • If you withdraw seven to 31 days before maturity, the penalty is all interest earned in the account.
  • If you withdraw 32 days to one year before maturity, the penalty is 1% of the amount withdrawn plus $25.
  • If you withdraw a year or more before maturity, the penalty is 3% of the amount withdrawn plus $25.

Currently, the top available rate is the 1.00% APY on the 18-month Plus CD.

Pros:

  • Special rates may be available at individual branches

Cons:

  • Rates are not very high compared with other banks

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Read: Investing In Certificates of Deposit: The Ultimate Guide

Investments

People’s United Bank offers two general categories of investment options: digital and personal. Those who are comfortable with the robo-advisor approach might want to choose the digital investment option, which uses technology to create an investment portfolio matching your risk/reward profile. Accounts are automatically rebalanced to keep the portfolio in line with your investment objectives and risk tolerance. 

The personal advisor approach is the more traditional method of investment management, in which a professional advisor develops wealth management solutions tailored to your individual needs. The bank’s People’s United Advisors division handles its personal wealth management accounts. 

Working with a private financial advisor is nearly always the more expensive route to take when it comes to financial management. In exchange, you’ll get a comprehensive, human-based analysis of your complete financial situation. 

Pros:

  • Both robo-advisor and professional financial advisor options available

Cons:

  • No self-directed investment accounts available

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IRAs

People’s United Bank offers both traditional and Roth IRAs and also accepts rollover IRAs. If you are inheriting an IRA, the bank suggests you consult with one of its financial advisors. Retirement CDs are available at the bank for a $1,000 minimum, but you’ll have to contact a branch to determine rates and availability as they are not described on the bank’s website.

Pros:

  • Traditional and Roth IRAs available
  • Can work with a financial advisor for investment and tax advice with IRAs

Cons:

  • No basic savings account in IRAs

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Loans

People’s United Bank offers four types of loans: mortgages, home equity loans, personal loans and home equity lines of credit. 

The People’s United website offers a host of information about the home mortgage process, whether you are refinancing, building or buying your home. Available mortgages include the following:

  • 15- to 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, with annual percentage rates (APR) ranging from 3.648% to 3.897%
  • 15- to 30-year jumbo fixed-rate mortgages, with APRs from 3.207% to 3.547%
  • 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 adjustable-rate mortgages, including interest-only options, with APRs from 3.18% to 3.292%
  • 15- and 30-year fixed-rate FHA/VA loans, with APRs from 5.206% to 5.356%
  • 15- and 30-year fixed super-conforming high-balance rates, with APRs from 3.83% to 3.895%
  • 30-year PAM rates at a 4.284% APR
  • 30-year HomeReady loans at a 4.278% APR

Sample rates are based on a number of assumptions. For example, fixed-rate mortgages assume a 40% down payment, while jumbo rates and super-conforming loans assume a credit score of at least 740. You’ll have to speak with a People’s United loan representative for specific details on each type of loan. Rates and terms can vary considerably based on your credit score and financial situation.

Pros:

  • Wide range of loans available
  • Low rates available for those with top-tier credit

Cons:

  • Most rates assume high credit scores and/or large down payments
  • No vehicle loans available

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People's United Bank
How To Bank With People’s United Bank

You can open a People’s United Bank account at one of the bank’s physical branches, online or via the mobile app. For online and mobile applications, you’ll have to provide the following:

  • Personal information such as your name, Social Security number and date of birth
  • A valid state ID or driver’s license, which you can scan if you are using the mobile app

You’ll have to be at least 18 years of age to open an account with People’s United Bank.

To fund your account, you’ll need to either scan a check for deposit using your mobile app or provide your bank account login credentials, ABA number and account number to move money over from your existing bank account. 

You can contact the bank at 877-735-0279 if you need additional help in opening an account.

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Mobile and Online Banking

You can manage your People’s United Bank accounts either online or via the bank’s mobile app. The mobile app includes some of the account management features that are available online. However, some features are only available on the app, including the following:

  • Mobile check deposit
  • Debit card control
  • Person-to-person payments
  • Real-time account alerts
  • Enable Touch and Face ID on your Apple device
  • Money management tool

Apps are available on the App Store and via Google Play.

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Fees

Overall, the fee structure at People’s United Bank is not too bad, but you might have to work to avoid a checking account fee. Even the bank’s Student Checking and basic ePlus Checking accounts have $10 monthly fees unless you engage in qualifying activities. Meanwhile, the bank’s top-tier Premier Advantage Checking account will saddle you with a $30 monthly fee unless you keep a balance of at least $75,000. Deposit accounts also come with a $37 overdraft fee that can only be reduced to $12 through the use of overdraft protection. 

On the plus side, the bank doesn’t have any domestic ATM fees, and some accounts offer reimbursements for out-of-network or even international ATM transactions. Most non-checking accounts — including savings, money market and CD accounts — also have no monthly fees.

Miscellaneous fees to watch out for include a $5 monthly dormant account fee, a $10 cashier’s check fee, a $30 stop payment fee and the already-noted $15 excess transaction fee. The bank also charges $30 for outgoing domestic wires, $40 for outgoing international wires and $15 for all incoming wire transfers. 

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Availability of Funds

For deposits, most funds will be available the following business day after they are received by People’s United Bank. You can get same-day availability of funds for the following items:

  • Cash deposits
  • Wire transfers
  • Preauthorized credits, including payroll and Social Security payments
  • Funds from electronic direct deposits

In some cases, funds might be held longer, such as if you have repeatedly overdrawn your account or if the deposit is more than $5,000.

Access to your funds with your ATM or debit card might be limited based on the type of account you have at People’s United Bank. This table breaks down the differences: 

People’s United Bank ATM/Debit Card Limits
Card/Account Type Total Daily Card Limit Daily ATM Withdrawal Limit Daily Point-of-Sale Limit Account Required
ATM Card $410 $410 $0 None
Debit Card $4,510 $510 $4,000 Plus Checking
Debit Card $10,000 $1,010 $10,000 Advantage Checking

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People’s United Bank at a Glance

If you live or work in People’s United Bank’s six-state service area, the bank might be a good choice. It offers numerous deposit, savings, investment and loan options, and delivers most of these products with additional perks and without monthly fees. Potential drawbacks include the bank’s limited service area, potentially high checking account fees, high overdraft fees and low APYs compared with online competitors.

Up Next: Best New Bank Promotions and Bonuses

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Rates and fees are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of May 1, 2020. 

This content is not provided by People’s United 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 People’s United Bank.

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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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