Cross River Bank: 2023 Banking Review

This banker to fintechs also provides financial services primarily to residents in the Tri-State area.

Cross River Bank offers a full suite of deposit accounts with middle-of-the-road rates. The savings account earns a decent annual percentage yield, but as interest rates continue to rise, you can find competitive rates on checking, money market and certificate of deposit accounts at other banks. 

Cross River Bank
Cross River Bank

With only two branches in New Jersey and New York, Cross River is better known for being the bank behind such well-known financial technology firms as Quicken's RocketLoans and Stripe. Despite its involvement in the fintech industry, its online banking service is limited. Deposit accounts are opened in person, however the bank can accommodate you with a remote process if needed. But for the most part, Cross River caters to those who live or work in the Tri-State area.

Cross River Bank may back fintechs, but its personal banking side leaves much to be desired. Low rates, overdraft fees and limited mobile functionality are three reasons to float past this bank in search of deposit accounts with more competitive rates.

What we like

  • Free checking: There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.
  • Large ATM network: You can use any ATM in the MoneyPass network without incurring ATM fees.
  • ATM fee rebates: You'll receive a refund of up to $6 in out-of-network ATM fees each month.
  • Low minimum balance requirements: There's no minimum balance requirements to open a savings or checking account, but a low balance of $500 is required for a CD.

What we don't like

  • Low rates: The checking and money market accounts are interest-bearing, but higher rates can be found at other banks. 
  • Limited technology: Accounts can only be opened in person after which the mobile app can be downloaded.
  • Limited physical branches: There are only two retail branches -- one in New York and the other in New Jersey. The bank closes early on Fridays at 3 p.m. ET.

Who is Cross River Bank suited for? 

Residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut who live in or close to New York City will benefit from banking at Cross River. It offers a full suite of services and online banking functionality, however, accounts must be opened in person at one of its two branches. There isn't a residency requirement, but the bank tends to only serve people who live or work in the Tri-State area.

Checking account review

The free checking account is interest-bearing -- an account that earns additional money equal to a percentage of the amount deposited -- but the rate offered is lower than other higher-yielding options. Cross River participates in the MoneyPass network to expand the number of fee-free ATMs available. It also refunds up to $6 a month in out-of-network ATM fees. While there's no foreign transaction fee, you must alert the bank when you travel abroad, otherwise your purchases will be declined as part of its fraud protection measures. 

Checking account features

Account APY Minimum balance Monthly fee Overdraft fee
Connect Select Checking 0.10% $0 $0 $35

What we like

  • Free checking: There are no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements to avoid fees.
  • Large ATM network: In addition to a large network of ATMs through the MoneyPass network, you'll receive up to $6 a month in refunds for out-of-network ATM transactions.

What we don't like

  • Overdraft fee: A $35 fee is charged for any overdrafts.
  • Low rates: The checking account is interest-bearing, but higher rates for checking accounts can be found at other banks. 
  • Limited online functionality: You can't open an account online.

Savings account review

The savings account offers a fair APY that's more than 11 times the national average of 0.23% APY as reported by CNET's sister site, Bankrate. However, you can find better rates compared with many high-yield savings accounts at other banks. For online banking options, you can find a better rate with banks that don't require a branch visit to open an account. There are no maintenance fees and no minimum balance requirement, making it a good choice if you have limited cash in your account. 

  • APY: 2.60%
  • Minimum balance to open: $0
  • Monthly maintenance fee:  $0

What we like

  • No fees: There are no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements.
  • Large ATM network: In addition to a large network of ATMs through the MoneyPass network, you'll receive up to $6 a month in refunds for out-of-network ATM transactions.
  • Competitive rate: The bank's savings account offers a competitive 2.60% APY, although you can find higher rates at other banks.

What we don't like

  • Limited online banking functionality: You must visit a branch to open a savings account.

CD account review

Cross River Bank offers a standard CD with terms ranging from three months to four years. The rates, while higher than the national average, lag behind higher-yielding options available at other banks. The initial deposit requirement of $500 makes this an affordable option if you're just starting a savings strategy.

CD account features

CD term APY
3-month 0.60%
6-month 1.05%
9-month 1.45%
12-month 2.00%
18-month 2.25%
24-month 2.15%
36-month 2.00%
48-month 1.50%

What we like

  • Wide variety of terms: The CDs are available from three months to four years.
  • Low initial deposit required: The initial deposit of $500 is reasonable.

What we don't like

  • Low rates: Higher-yielding CDs are available at other banks. 
  • No specialty options available: Cross River Bank doesn't offer other types of CDs such as bump-up, step-up or no-penalty CDs.
  • Online banking access: CD accounts must be opened in person at one of Cross River's two bank branches.

Money market account features

Cross River's money market account earns a low 0.25% APY, much lower than its savings account. Unless you explicitly need the check-writing privileges, your money can grow faster with Cross River Bank's savings account. The overdraft fee is also higher than other banks, many of which are eliminating this fee or waiving it for overdrafts that fall below a maximum cap.

Money market account features

Account APY Minimum balance Monthly fee Overdraft fee
Money Market Account 0.25% $0 $0 $35

What we like

  • No minimum deposit: There's no minimum deposit required for a money market account. 
  • Large ATM network: In addition to a large network of ATMs through the MoneyPass network, you'll receive up to $6 a month in refunds for out-of-network ATM transactions.

What we don't like

  • Overdraft fee: A $35 fee is charged for any overdrafts.
  • Low rates: The money market account is interest-bearing, but higher rates can be found at other banks. 
  • Limited online functionality: Accounts can't be opened online.

Banking experience

Cross River Bank operates two branches, one in New York and the other in New Jersey. In most cases, a branch visit is necessary to open any deposit account in person. This generally limits retail customers to those who live or work in the Tri-State area. 

Overdraft fees

Cross River Bank charges $35 per item in overdraft fees.

Early withdrawal penalties on CDs range from 92 to 182 days' worth of dividends depending on the length of time the account has been open. 

Customer service

Customer support is available during normal banking hours Monday through Thursday and during reduced hours on Fridays. Banking through Cross River's mobile app or website is available 24/7 for account access once your account is opened. Although the bank has four ATMs, it offers fee-free ATM access through the MoneyPass network.

There are only two options to contact customer service: phone or email. Customer service representatives are available from Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET on Fridays. The phone number is 201-808-7000. You can also submit inquiries online

About Cross River Bank

Founded in 2008, Cross River Bank grew from a community bank in New Jersey to become a banker to fintech companies such as Quicken, Affirm and cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase. Cross River Bank is a New Jersey state-chartered FDIC-insured bank. In addition to offering a full suite of deposit accounts, personal and commercial lending services, the bank develops products and services for companies that provide marketplace lending such as Arix -- a loan validation tool -- and payment processing tools such as P2C, which distributes funds to debit cards.