Amalgamated Bank Review: Socially Responsible Banking in 2021

Amalgamated Bank is America’s largest mission-driven, socially responsible bank that doesn’t fund fossil fuel extraction. It offers checking accounts, savings accounts, and credit cards. However, the bank has few branches and a poorly rated mobile app. Learn if it’s the best socially responsible banking option for you.

SustainFi November 8, 2021

Some of our posts may contain links from our affiliate partners. However, this does not influence our opinions or ratings. Please read our Terms and Conditions for more information.

Rating: Excellent (4.3 / 5)

Pros

  • A politically active bank that doesn’t fund fossil fuels
  • Low minimum deposit
  • No minimum balances
  • No monthly service fees for online accounts
  • Access to 40,000+ free ATMs

Cons

  • Only six branches
  • Poorly rated mobile app
  • No sign up bonus

Summary

CredentialsB Corp, GABV
Impact areasClimate change and sustainability (100% carbon-neutral in operations), immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, criminal justice, workers’ rights, gun safety, and reproductive rights
Minimum balance$0
Account maintenance fees$0
Interest• Online Checking Account: 0.10% on balances up to $2,500; 0.20% on balances over $2,500
• Online Savings Account: 0.40%
ATMs• 40,000 free in-network ATMs nationwide (Allpoint network)
• $2.5 per transaction fee to use out-of-network ATMs
AppLow-rated app
Accounts offered• Checking and savings accounts
• Investment accounts
• IRAs
• Credit cards
LocationsNew York, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Francisco

This Amalgamated Bank review focuses on personal banking products (checking and savings accounts.)

What is Amalgamated Bank?

New York-based Amalgamated Bank is a mission-driven, socially responsible bank. It was founded by a labor organizer in 1923. Since then, the bank has championed access to banking for underserved communities. Today it is one of the best-known socially responsible banks with over $7.6 billion in assets. It focuses on serving niche markets like nonprofits, political organizations, and social enterprises. In 2021, Amalgamated Bank acquired the Amalgamated Bank of Chicago (no affiliation), another labor union-founded bank with a long history.

Amalgamated Bank is the country’s largest B Corp-certified bank and a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV). Amalgamated Bank is also the only U.S. ESG-focused bank listed on a stock exchange.

Unlike most other banks, Amalgamated Bank is openly political, donating to progressive causes it supports. Some of the issues the bank cares about include:

  • Climate justice
  • Immigrant rights
  • LGBTQ+ rights
  • Anti-violence and gun safety
  • Criminal justice
  • Workers’ rights
  • Reproductive rights
  • Voting rights
  • Racial justice
  • Economic justice

Amalgamated Bank has over 400 employees, 60% of whom are women or people of color. The bank has also raised its minimum wage to $20/hour.

The Bank is strongly committed to the environment. Its operations are 100% carbon-neutral, and it has pledged not to invest in or lend to fossil fuel companies. The bank also provides hundreds of millions of dollars in solar financing annually.

Amalgamated Bank offers checking and savings accounts, which pay up to 0.20% and 0.40% in interest annually. You can open an account online or in person if you live in New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, or San Francisco. Online accounts have no monthly maintenance fees.

In addition to personal banking services, Amalgamated Bank offers ESG investment management (including a 100% fossil fuel free portfolio), mortgages, and home equity lines of credit.

Unfortunately, the mobile app is disappointing, with only a 2-star rating in the Apple App Store.

Amalgamated Bank checking accounts

Amalgamated Bank offers three checking accounts, though you can open only one of them online. To open Affordable Checking or Convenience+ Checking accounts, you need to visit a local branch in New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, or Boston. All accounts come with a Mastercard debit card, and two of them pay interest.

Online Checking Account 

APY• $0 – $2,500 account balance: 0.1%
• > $2,500 account balance: 0.2%
Minimum deposit$100
Monthly service feeNone

The online checking account has a low minimum deposit and no monthly maintenance fees. Two out-of-network ATM charges are waived each statement cycle. This account can only be opened online.

Convenience+ Checking Account

APY• $0 – $500 account balance: 0.01%
• > $500 account balance: 0.05%
Minimum deposit$0
Monthly service fee$0 (with a qualified direct deposit, otherwise $10)

You need to go to an Amalgamated Bank branch to open a Convenience+ Checking Account. Although there is no minimum to open the account, you need to set up a direct deposit to avoid the $10 monthly fee. Interest is lower than on the Online Checking Account. The bank will waive two out-of-network ATM surcharges each statement cycle and one overdraft fee each year.

However, opening the account makes you eligible for the Donate the Change program, so that every time you spend $10 or more with your Donate the Change Enhanced Debit Mastercard, Amalgamated Bank will donate 10 cents to the WNBPA Social Impact Fund. The Fund supports organizations working for social, racial, economic, and gender justice issues, such as Black Voters Matter and SisterSong, an organization dedicated to reproductive justice for women of color.

Affordable Checking Account

APYNone
Minimum deposit$0
Monthly service feeNone

This checking account has no minimum deposit and no monthly fee, but you need to go to the branch to open it. It also doesn’t earn interest.

Amalgamated Bank savings accounts

Amalgamated Bank offers two savings accounts. You can open one of them online.

Online Savings Account

APY0.40%
Minimum deposit$100
Monthly service feeNone

You need only $100 to open this account, which has no monthly fee and pays a 0.40% APY, which is OK, though not spectacular.

Convenience Savings Account

APY• $0 – $100 account balance: 0.01%
• > $100 account balance: 0.05%
Minimum deposit$0
Monthly service feeNone

You need to go to the branch to open the Convenience Savings Account. However, there is no minimum deposit and no maintenance fee. But, interest rates are much lower than on the online equivalent.

How many branches does Amalgamated Bank have?

Amalgamated Bank has six branches in New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Boston. There will be additional branches in Chicago.

How many ATMs does Amalgamated Bank have?

Customers can access a network of over 40,000 free ATMs nationwide through the Allpoint network.

There is a $2.5 per transaction fee for transactions at non-Amalgamated Bank and international Allpoint ATMs.

Amalgamated Bank credit cards

Amalgamated Bank offers several credit cards issued in partnership with First Bankcard, a division of the First National Bank of Omaha. Read the review of Amalgamated Bank credit cards.

Is Amalgamated Bank FDIC-insured?

Yes, Amalgamated Bank is a Member FDIC, and your deposits are insured for up to $250,000.

Amalgamated Bank vs. Aspiration

Both Amalgamated Bank and Aspiration are B Corp certified, socially responsible financial institutions that promise not to fund fossil fuels. Both provide checking and savings accounts and credit cards. However, there are some key differences. See how the two compare:

Online Checking Account

Online Savings Account

Spend & Save Account

Monthly Service Fee

None

Monthly Service Fee

None

Monthly Service Fee

Pay What Is Fair ($7.99 for Aspiration Plus)

APY

Up to 0.20%

APY

0.40%

APY

Up to 5.00%

Minimum deposit

$100

Minimum deposit

$100

Minimum deposit

$10

Sign on bonus

None

Sign on bonus

None

Sign on bonus

Up to $200

Free ATMs

40,000+

Free ATMs

40,000+

Free ATMs

55,000+

Deposits

Never fund fossil fuels

Deposits

Never fund fossil fuels

Deposits

Never fund fossil fuels

FDIC insured?

Yes, up to $250,000

FDIC insured?

Yes, up to $250,000

FDIC insured?

Yes, up to $250,000

🔔 Interested in other sustainable bank accounts? Check out our guide to socially responsible banks.

Make an impact with your money. Sign up for our newsletter

Read more

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Amalgamated Bank black-owned?

No. Amalgamated Bank is a publicly traded company listed on NASDAQ under the ticker AMAL. The largest shareholder is Workers United, a labor union.

Is Amalgamated Bank a credit union?

No, Amalgamated Bank is a bank, not a credit union.