Southside Bank Review 2020: Is This Bank Right For You?

Does this Texas bank have the right products for you?

Southside Bank is a Texas-based bank that offers a variety of basic and interest-bearing accounts. The bank’s holding company, Southside Bancshares, Inc., is headquartered in Tyler, Texas, where it oversees 60 branches in the state as well as online and mobile banking options. Since 1960, Southside Bank has been servicing customers in Texas and beyond, with more than 60,000 affiliated ATMs across the United States.

Texas residents should consider Southside Bank if they’re interested in the diverse range of savings and checking accounts to go along with an in-person banking experience. Continue reading to see what Southside Bank may offer that suits your financial needs.

Who Is Southside Bank Best For?

Southside Bank is best for Texas residents who prefer a traditional banking experience but want the option of online and mobile app banking. With a network of 60 Texas branches and 80-plus local ATMs (as well as their live interactive teller machines, or ITMs), Southside is conveniently accessible and offers special accounts for seniors and youths.

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Pros and Cons of Banking With Southside Bank
Pros Cons
Interactive teller machines (ITMs) with extended hours of operation beyond normal banking hours No physical locations outside of Texas 
More than 60,000 fee-free ATMs available for Southside Bank customers around the U.S. Online banking, mobile deposits and other promoted features are now commonplace among larger national banks
Offers specialized accounts for seniors and younger customers, as well as health savings accounts Rates are not extremely competitive with other national online banks and credit unions

This bank may be best suited for customers who prefer a traditional banking experience or new banking customers under the age of 18 or over the age of 60 who can take advantage of Southside’s specialized accounts. If you appreciate choice, Southside offers eight kinds of checking accounts, three kinds of savings accounts and a variety of retirement options.

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Who May Want To Skip Southside Bank?

Southside Bank may not be right for those who prefer modern banking and live outside the state of Texas. While Southside offers online banking, there are few reasons to choose this bank over its national competitors who have larger networks and offer similar services that come standard with most banks today. Customers looking for diverse CD offerings and lending options might want to pass.

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Types of Accounts Available

Southside Bank offers a variety of account types. Depending on your account balance and other financial preferences, some account types are more worthy of your consideration.

Consider the account types, features, fees and rates before opening an account.

Types of Available Southside Bank Accounts
Account Type Features Rates Fees Comparative Rates
Basic Checking Account 
  • Classic Checking
  • Prime Checking: Additional benefits include roadside assistance  and cellphone protection
  • Veterans Checking: For active-duty and retired military service members
  • NEXT Checking: To restore checking history
  • Spirit Checking: For teenagers ages 13 to 17 
These accounts do not accrue interest 
  • Monthly account fees range from $0 to $9.95.
  • All accounts require a minimum $50 initial deposit. 
Citibank’s Basic Checking Account does not require a deposit.
Interest Checking
  • Relationship Checking: Safe deposit box, refund of ATM fees up to $10 per month
  • Checking Plus: No monthly fee at $1,000 minimum account balance
  • Senior Checking: Only for customers 60 years or older
0% to 0.25% APY
  • Relationship Checking: Requires $7,500 minimum balance to waive $15 monthly fee
  • Checking Plus: Requires $1,000 minimum balance to waive $9 monthly fee
  • Senior Checking: No monthly fee 
Ally Bank’s Interest Checking account earns 0.10% APY for accounts with a balance below $15,000 and 0.50% APY for accounts with a balance of or above $15,000.
Savings Accounts
  • Health Savings Account (HSA): Open in-person only
  • Personal Savings: Comparable to other banks’ basic savings
  • Youth Savings: For teenagers ages 13 to 17 
0% to 0.30% APY
  • HSA: $3 fee each time account balance falls below minimum of $500
  • Personal Savings: $3 fee each time account balance falls below minimum of $300
  • Youth Savings: No monthly fee
Wells Fargo’s savings accounts range from 0.01% to 0.10% APY.
Money Market Account
  • Platinum Advantage Investment Money Market
0.02% to 0.40% APY $10 fee each time account balance falls below minimum of $2,500 TIAA Bank has both a higher minimum and higher maximum APY.
CDs
  • 1-month to 2-year terms
0.10% to 0.38% depending on term length CDs require $100,000 minimum deposit to open  U.S. Bank requires a minimum of $1,000 to open a basic CD account.
Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) Traditional IRA, Roth IRA This depends on your investments and other factors unique to your financial situation. Early withdrawal fees may apply. There are no minimum fees to open or maintain these accounts.  N/A
Investment (Nonbank) Options 
  • Customized Investment Management 
N/A Fees vary based on your unique financial situation. N/A
Loans 
  • Southside Bank customers access unique mortgage perks including low-rate protection, $200 off closing cost, 0.125% off rate with qualifying banking details
  • Personal and auto loans are offered
Rates vary  Fees vary  N/A

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Checking/Interest Checking

Southside Bank offers a high number of different types of checking accounts — eight in total, including Classic, Relationship, Checking Plus, Senior, Prime, Veterans, NEXT and Spirit. Three (Senior, Checking Plus and Relationship) are interest-bearing accounts.

Features

  • Online banking with bill pay and overdraft privileges for 6 out of 8 account types 
  • Four accounts which favor niche groups (veterans, customers over 60, customers ages 13 to 17, customers looking to reestablish checking history)
  • Access to all Southside-affiliated ATMs across the country, as well as their interactive teller machines (ITMs) for Texas residents

Pros

  • Prime Checking offers many benefits for just a $5 monthly fee, much of which can be waived with eStatements and other purchasing behaviors.
  • For customers between 13 and 17 years of age, the Spirit Checking account features no monthly fee and transfers easily to Classic once the customer turns 18.

Cons

  • All interest-bearing checking accounts require at least a $50 minimum initial deposit. 
  • Comparatively low APY and interest rates across all account types
  • Narrow demographics are able to benefit from their various checking accounts.

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Savings/Online Savings

All of Southside Bank’s savings accounts are interest-bearing, including its basic Personal Savings. Consider whether or not to place your money in these or to choose a high-yield savings account instead.

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Features

  • Southside’s health savings account (HSA) comes with online banking, bill pay and an Advantage check card.
  • Youth Savings earns a locked-in rate of 0.15% APY.

Pros

  • No minimum balance or monthly fees on Youth Savings

Cons

  • There are fees for going below average daily balances for both HSA and Personal Savings.
  • Low APY compared to similar banks
  • Minimum initial deposits of at least $50 for HSA and Personal Savings accounts

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Money Market Account

Southside Bank’s Platinum Advantage Investment Money Market Account offers higher yields. Weigh Southside Bank against some of the best money market accounts offered by other financial institutions.

Features

  • Easy access through online and mobile banking
  • Check imaging and limited Advantage Check Card usage

Pros

  • No monthly fee when you maintain an average daily balance of $2,500

Cons

  • No overdraft privileges 

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CDs

Southside Bank offers one type of certificate of deposit (CD) account, in terms ranging from one month to two years.

Features

  • Variable term lengths

Pros

  • For those looking for quick returns on investment, one-month terms are available 

Cons

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Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

Southside Bank offers standard retirement plans that could make sense based on your financial situation. Southside offers accounts with no fees to open or maintain and no minimum initial deposits or balances are required.

Features

  • Traditional IRA — You can invest in this account, but not pay taxes until withdrawal. Contributions to this account are able to be tax deductible.
  • Roth IRA — As you invest in this account your contributions will be taxed, so withdrawals from this account are tax-free.  

Pros

  • No fees to open or maintain account
  • No minimum required balance or initial deposit amount

Cons

  • As with other IRA accounts nationwide, penalties can be incurred upon early account withdrawal.

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Investment (Nonbank) Options

Southside Bank offers customized investment management, though the bank is relatively vague on what that management entails and how diverse one’s portfolio can be. As with most investments, these are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., are not bank guaranteed and are subject to risk. Contact Southside Bank in order to obtain more information about the features, pros and cons of the bank.

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Loans

Personal and auto loans and mortgage solutions are available at Southside Bank. 

Features, Pros and Cons

  • Personal and Auto Loans
    • Pro: Wide variety of loans available, including tractor, boat, RV and more
    • Con: Only available in East Texas
  • Mortgages
    • Pro: Benefits include $200 off closing costs, lowest rate protection and 0.125% off your rate
    • Con: You must have an existing relationship with Southside Bank in order to access any of these benefits.

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How To Bank With Southside Bank

For those residents of East Texas, banking in person is simple. For anyone living outside of Texas, access to Southside Bank’s mobile app, touch-tone banking and online features are available 24/7. These are the three main ways to bank with Southside.

  1. Mobile app and online banking
  2. Call a customer service representative at 877-639-3511 
  3. For Texas residents, there are 60 branches available for in-person banking

Technology

Southside Bank has all of the standard online and mobile app banking features that modern customers have come to expect from their financial institutions. Its most interesting technology is its ITMs. There are 16 ITMs across East Texas where customers may access a live teller via video beyond the usual bank hours of operation.

Fees

There are a range of fees depending on which type of account you are looking to open with Southside Bank. Many can be waived by keeping an account minimum balance or utilizing eStatements and not letting the account go inactive.

Checking:

  •  Classic Checking
    • No monthly fee
  • NEXT Checking
    • $9.95 monthly fee
    • Cannot be waived
  • Veterans Checking
    • No monthly fee
  • Spirit Checking
    • No monthly fee
  • Prime Checking
    • $5 monthly fee
    • Reduced by $1 with eStatements; reduced by 10 cents for each debit card purchase
  • Relationship Checking
    • $15 monthly fee
    • Waived with average daily balance of at least $7,500 or multi-account combination of at least $50,000
  • Checking Plus
    • $9 monthly fee
    • Waived with average daily balance of at least $1,000
  • Senior Checking
    • No monthly fee

Savings:

  • Personal Savings Account
    • No monthly fee
    • Minimum daily balance must be above $300 or incur $3 fee for each occurrence
  • Youth Savings
    • No monthly fee
    • Excess debit fee of $2 for each withdrawal over the second withdrawal of each month
  • Health Savings Account (HSA)
    • No monthly fee
    • Minimum daily balance must be above $500 or incur $3 fee for each occurrence 

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Availability of Funds

The availability of funds depends on how, when and for how much you deposit into your account.

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In Conclusion: Southside Bank

If you’re looking for an in-person banking experience in East Texas, Southside Bank should be on your radar. Otherwise, its low interest and APY rates, lack of high-yield options and high minimums for CDs and interest-bearing checking accounts keep it from being competitive. While its savings accounts are all interest-bearing and it has a wide swath of checking account options, Southside Bank does not offer high enough rates in any of those accounts to warrant your attention if that’s what you’re looking for. Southside Bank feels like a successful local institution, with its Youth Savings and Spirit Checking accounts and ITMs. Texas residents should explore their lending, investment and banking options here if they are veterans, over 60 or under 18. Otherwise, there are many other attractive options to be found.

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Rates are updated periodically and subject to change. All other information on accounts is accurate as of March 20, 2020.

This content is not provided by Southside 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 Southside Bank.

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About the Author

Jared Nigro

Jared Nigro is a writer based in Los Angeles. His experience includes covering a range of personal finance topics for GOBankingRates, specializing in offering actionable advice for banking customers. In addition to writing about personal finance, he has written for environmental and socioeconomic organizations like The Daniel & Susan Gottlieb Foundation and InsideOUT Writers.

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