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Reviews

Eastman Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1934
Total Assets$4.3B
LEARN MORE on Eastman Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

Eastman Credit Union calls northeast Tennessee home, but now has branches and membership eligibility in portions of western Virginia and eastern Texas as well. To join Eastman Credit Union, you must live, work, worship or study in one of those areas.

If you still do not meet any of these requirements, you may qualify for membership based on your employer, or if you have a family member who already banks with Eastman Credit Union.

Eastman Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.30%

Savings

Eastman Credit Union Share Savings Account

2.15%

CIT Bank Savings Builder

LEARN MORE Secured

on CIT Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.00%

CD Rates

Eastman Credit Union 1 to 2 Year Investment Certificate

2.55%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.40%

CD Rates

Eastman Credit Union 3 to 4 Year Investment Certificate

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.60%

CD Rates

Eastman Credit Union 5 Year Investment Certificate

3.00%

American Express National Bank 60 Month CD

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Eastman Credit Union’s checking account options

ECU Beyond Free Checking

A tiered checking account with very few fees.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0
0.10%
$10,000
0.15%
$25,000
0.20%
$50,000
0.25%
$100,000
0.30%
$200,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 or $30

The ECU Beyond Free Checking is not a bad account. It has no minimum balance requirements, no minimum opening deposit and won’t sock you with ATM fees when you use an out-of-network ATM unless they’re charged by the ATM owner.

The APY on this Eastman Credit Union account isn’t the best, but sometimes it can be exciting that a checking account offers dividends at all. Typically, you hold money in a checking account only to spend it throughout the month, so while you can find special deals and great rates outside of Eastman Credit Union, you will also find some financial institutions offering 0.00% APY on their checking accounts. The credit union’s rates are fairly standard though not the highest on the market.

Overdraft fees on all accounts at Eastman Credit Union are either $5 or $30. If you sign up for overdraft protection, you will be charged $5 every time the credit union has to pull funds from your savings account to cover your purchase. If you sign up for overdraft protection plus, you will be charged $30 every time you overdraw, but the credit union will allow you to make purchases until your account is -$500. Not that the $30 fee will reduce the amount available ($500) to pay other items. If you don’t sign up for any of these protections, you will be charged $30 every time you overdraw, and on top of it, Eastman will not allow the purchase to go through.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Beyond Free Checking

You can apply for Beyond Free Checking online or by visiting your local branch.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Eastman Credit Union’s checking account compares

The ECU Beyond Free Checking does not offer the best rates on the market, but they’re not the worst either. Aided by no minimum balance requirements and limited fees, this account is worthy of your consideration as you compare other checking accounts.

Eastman Credit Union’s savings account options

Regular Savings

This account is required to establish your membership at Eastman Credit Union.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 or $30

Eastman Credit Union’s Regular Savings account doesn’t offer even close to the highest APY on the market, but that’s not the real reason to open one of these accounts. In order to establish membership at the credit union, you must have a savings account to access any of their other accounts, making things like lackluster APY and relatively low fees a moot point.

Because it is a savings account, certain terms are dictated by federal regulation. Specifically, Fed Regulation D says that you can make up to six certain withdrawals/transfers from a savings account per month. If you do go over, Eastman Credit Union will charge you an $8 excessive withdrawal fee for any transaction over six in any given month. You also risk having your account shut down, which could result in a loss of membership with this particular account.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Regular Savings Account

You can open this account online or in person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Christmas Club Account

An account that empowers you to save for the holidays but recognizes you might need cash for early shopping.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Early withdrawal fee: $10, if you withdraw before September
  • Overdraft fee: $5 or $30

Saving for the holidays? It’s really easy to dip into that savings pot when something like a big back-to-school sale or an opportunity to take a long weekend trip pops up. The Christmas Club Account is built specifically with this situation in mind.

You can stash money in your Christmas Club Account all year, and then during the first week of November, everything you’ve saved will be disbursed to your regular savings account. To encourage you to keep money in your account throughout the year, you will be charged a $10 fee when you withdraw. The only exceptions are withdrawals made in September and October, for which there are no fees.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Christmas Club Account

You can open a Christmas Club Account online or at your local branch.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Stash Your Cash Account

A club account that allows you to save for more than just the holidays.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 or $30

The Stash Your Cash Account is similar to the Christmas Club Account, except that you can use the money you’re saving for any purpose, whether that be vacation or a wedding. You can also set the date that your funds will be released to your Regular Savings, making the account flexible to match your individual financial goals.

Remember that both this account and the Christmas Club Account are still savings accounts, so if you do have to make early withdrawals/transfers, make sure you’re planning ahead to avoid making more than six per month.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Stash Your Cash Account

You can open this account by visiting your local branch. If there is no branch local to you, call (800) 999-2328.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Health Savings Account

A tax-sheltered account for your health care costs.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 or $30

If you have a High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), you can put up to $3,450 into a Health Savings Account (HSA) in 2018 — $6,900 if your HDHP offers family coverage.

These contributions are tax-deductible, and earnings are tax-free when you take the money out for qualified health expenses. You can also enjoy tax-free withdrawals if you are disabled or at least the age of 65.

The fact that the credit union offers this type of account is fairly unique. If you have an HDHP and no other insurance, it’s a good way to shelter the dollars you spend on health care costs from the IRS, and since the money is carried over from year to year, it can also serve as an extremely tax-effective retirement account if you don’t end up needing the money for health-related expenses. Granted, if you open it with Eastman Credit Union, the dividends won’t be enough to keep your money from losing value to inflation.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Health Savings Account

To get the process of opening an HSA started, call (800) 999-2328.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Eastman Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Eastman Credit Union offers a pittance of an APY when compared with the best savings accounts on the market, yet each account it does offer serves a very unique purpose that may put it beyond dividend comparisons.

The Regular Savings account is required to open any type of account at Eastman Credit Union, whether or not you’re a fan of the APY. Christmas Club and special savings accounts exist to enforce self-discipline rather than to rake in extra money through dividends, and HSAs are a way to become more tax efficient with your health care spending.

Rather than comparing these accounts with those with the highest savings rates, you’ll be better off digging in deep and comparing them with accounts at other financial institutions that help you achieve the same goals.

Eastman Credit Union’s CD rates

Investment Certificates

Fairly competitive certificates with an opportunity to increase your APY.
TermAPYMinimum Opening Deposit
1-3 Months0.30%
$2,500
3-6 Months0.50%
$2,500
6-12 Months0.65%
$2,500
9 Months2.25%
$2,500
12-24 Months2.00%
$1,000
18-19 Months2.75%
$1,000
24-36 Months2.30%
$1,000
36-48 Months2.40%
$1,000
48-60 Months2.50%
$1,000
60 Months2.60%
$1,000
72 Months3.00%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: Varies based on desired term and APY
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Same as minimum opening deposit
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • The greater of 7 days’ worth of dividends or all dividends earned to date on certificates with terms of up to 6 months;
    • 90 days’ worth of dividends on certificates with terms between 6 and 23 months;
    • 180 days’ worth of dividends on certificates with terms between 24 and 60 months;
    • 1 years’ worth of dividends on certificates with terms of 72 months.

The dividend rates on Eastman Credit Union’s Investment Certificates — which are the equivalent of certificates of deposit or CDs — are fairly competitive. It should be noted that this is especially true as you extend the term; the 72 month certificates are far more competitive than the 12 month CDs.  Further, you can add 0.05% APY to your certificate to make it a jumbo certificate with all the same terms save a minimum balance requirement of $100,000.

Also know that if you make a withdrawal that brings you below your minimum opening deposit, you’ll not only incur an early withdrawal penalty, but you’ll also see your certificate shut down. You cannot keep this account open without earning APY, and you can’t continue to earn APY without keeping your minimum opening deposit intact. The only exception to this is jumbo certificates. If you fall below the $100,000 minimum balance threshold, your certificate will just revert to normal rates.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s CDs

You can open your investment certificate online or in person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Lifeline Savers Certificate

A low-yield certificate with an extremely low barrier to entry.
TermAPY
1 Year0.55%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ worth of dividends

In addition to the Investment Certificate, Eastman Credit Union also offers the Lifeline Savers Certificate. One unique feature compared with Eastman’s other certificate products is that you can add to the balance of this certificate at any time — even midterm. Your rate will be lower than with an Investment Certificate, but the barrier to entry is also far lower with only a $100 required deposit and balance.

That doesn’t mean that this account is competitive overall, though. At this term tier, you can find certificates from other financial institutions offering rates nearly five times higher requiring only about $400 more for a minimum opening deposit.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Lifeline Savers Certificate

You can open this account in person or via the online application.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Eastman Credit Union’s CD rates compare

At lower rate tiers, Eastman’s certificates are barely competitive. However, as you move up through the ranks of longer term periods, its certificates rival some of the best rates out there. Those should be considered as a viable option as you compare other CDs.

Eastman Credit Union’s money market account options

Money Market

A somewhat standard money market account with high minimum balance requirements for unsatisfying dividends.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$0
0.30%
$10,000
0.35%
$25,000
0.40%
$50,000
0.45%
$100,000
0.55%
$200,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0; $10,000; $25,000; $50,000; $100,000; or $200,000 depending on desired rate
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5-$30

The idea behind a credit union money market account is to pull more in from dividends than you would on your typical savings account. Traditionally, this has meant that there are larger minimum balance requirements in order to earn the higher APY.

Eastman Credit Union’s money market account does raise dividend rates as its tiered minimum balance requirements increase, but those rates are extremely low. If you have under $10,000 in your account, you’d be earning less APY than if you kept your money in a savings account at the credit union. But even at higher minimum balance requirements, the APY offered by Eastman Credit Union falls far short when compared with other options on the market.

Money market accounts are regulated by the federal government in the fashion of savings accounts, so remember that if you make more than six certain withdrawals/transfers from this account, you could be facing an $8 excessive withdrawal fee from the credit union per each instance. Beyond that, your account could even be shut down all together.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Insured Money Market account

You can open an Insured Money Market Account in person or via the online application.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Eastman Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

As mentioned above, traditionally money market accounts have required higher minimum balances in order to earn a higher APY. However, with the advent of online-only banks, we have seen a shift in this practice. Now, many internet banks offer a high APY on money market accounts with low or even no minimum balance requirements, rendering accounts like the one offered by Eastman Credit Union fairly obsolete.

To earn a dramatically higher APY with lower minimum balance requirements, be sure to check out the best money market accounts on the web.

Eastman Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

IRA Investment Certificate

Same rates as a certificate outside of an IRA make this account uncompetitive.
TermAPYMinimum Opening Deposit
1-3 Months0.30%
$2,500
3-6 Months0.50%
$2,500
6-12 Months0.65%
$2,500
9 Months2.25%
$2,500
12-24 Months2.00%
$1,000
18-19 Months2.75%
$1,000
24-36 Months2.30%
$1,000
36-48 Months2.40%
$1,000
48-60 Months2.50%
$1,000
60 Months2.60%
$1,000
72 Months3.00%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 or $2,500 depending on term
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Same as minimum opening deposit
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • All dividends on 1-month certificates;
    • 7 days’ worth of dividends on 3-month certificates;
    • 90 days’ worth of dividends on certificates with terms between 6 and 23 months;
    • 180 days’ worth of dividends on certificates with terms between 24 and 60 months;
    • 1 years’ worth of dividends on certificates with terms of 72 months.

Many financial institutions increase the interest rates offered on certificates when they are held within an IRA, though Eastman Credit Union keeps them static. If you have over $100,000 in an Investment Certificate, it turns into a jumbo certificate and you’ll see a rate hike of 0.05%, but it’s still not enough to compensate for the higher rates offered for lower minimum balances elsewhere.

While the early withdrawal penalties charged by Eastman Credit Union are listed above, remember that any time you take money out of an IRA, you could also owe penalties to the IRS, as well.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s IRA CDs

You cannot open IRA products with Eastman Credit Union online. Instead, you’ll have to open this account by visiting your local branch. If there is no branch local to you, call (800) 999-2328.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Accumulation Account

A competitive savings account within your IRA meant to be used before you retire.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%
$5.00
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Accumulation Account is a savings account inside your IRA and is meant to be used before your reach retirement age. Eastman Credit Union’s offered rates are not competitive for a portfolio holding of this class. You can find rates more than six times higher elsewhere.

Because you have to come in to fill out paperwork and make withdrawals, you will not be able to accidentally overdraw this account. You should also be aware that with few exceptions, should you make withdrawals from an IRA prior to reaching retirement age, you will have to pay penalties and fees.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Accumulation Account

Because Eastman’s IRA products are not available online, you will have to either call (800) 999-2328 to set up your account, or visit your local branch.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Access Account

A savings account within your IRA meant to be used in retirement.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Access Account is very similar to the Accumulation Account in its intent. It is a savings account within an IRA, though it is meant to be used as you approach retirement. When you reach retirement age, you will be able to take money out of this account — hence the name “access.”

There are higher minimum opening and balance requirements with this account, but that is because you are closer to retirement and will likely want to keep more of your retirement savings in more conservative accounts. The APY is also a little lower than the Accumulation Account, which obviously means this account does not offer a competitive APY either.

How to get Eastman Credit Union’s Access Account

To open any type of product within an IRA, you’ll have to either visit a branch or call (800) 999-2328.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Eastman Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Eastman Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

You can do better with your IRA certificate than accepting the low rates offered by Eastman Credit Union. Look for financial institutions that up their APY when offering certificates inside an IRA rather than keeping them static. Even if you have more than $100,000 to open a jumbo certificate and get the rate hike, the APY offered by the competitors still dwarfs the credit union’s offerings.

Overall review of Eastman Credit Union’s banking products

At the end of the day, with the potential exception of certain certificate tiers outside of an IRA, Eastman Credit Union’s products simply aren’t competitive with the best options on the market. To be sure, its savings accounts do offer a wide range of services that may help you reach your financial goals outside of APY earnings. For all other products, it’s more likely in your favor to look elsewhere.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

TAGS:

Advertiser Disclosure

Reviews

Northern Bank Direct Review of Money Market and CD Rates

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1960
Total Assets$2.1B
LEARN MORE on Northern Bank Direct’s secure websiteMember FDIC

Northern Bank Direct is the online offshoot of Northern Bank — a community bank based in Massachusetts that serves the New England region. You can only open an account with Northern Bank Direct online, but you can service the account in person by visiting a Northern Bank branch.

Visiting a branch to service your account is far from a mandatory requirement since these accounts are available nationwide, and you should be able to complete all necessary transactions online. If you hit any troubles and you’re not close to a branch, you can call customer service to get assistance.

Northern Bank Direct offers two types of banking products: CDs and money market accounts, which are detailed in this review.

Northern Bank Direct’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

1.51%

Savings

Northern Bank Direct Money Market Account

2.15%

CIT Bank Savings Builder

LEARN MORE Secured

on CIT Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.50%

CD Rates

Northern Bank Direct 12-month CD

2.55%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.55%

CD Rates

Northern Bank Direct 36-month CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.57%

CD Rates

Northern Bank Direct 60-month CD

3.00%

American Express National Bank 60 Month CD

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Northern Bank Direct CD rates

Certificates of Deposit

Low minimum deposit with lackluster interest rates.
TermAPY
12 months1.50%
24 months1.75%
30 months2.00%
36 months2.55%
48 months2.56%
60 months2.57%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: The early withdrawal penalty on 12- to 35-month CDs is 12 months’ interest. For 36- to 47-month CDs, it’s 24 months’ interest. If you have a term of 48 to 60 months, you will pay 36 months’ interest.

Northern Bank Direct’s CDs require a relatively low opening deposit. But the APY offered is far from competitive. While we don’t encourage you to withdraw money from your CD before maturation, it’s important to note that if you do, the fees for early withdrawals on these are high when compared to the competition.

How to get Northern Bank Direct’s CDs

You can only open a CD from Northern Bank Direct online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Northern Bank Direct’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Northern Bank Direct’s CD rates compare

Northern Bank Direct could stand to improve its CD offerings in light of the competition. You can find much higher CD rates elsewhere with lower penalties in the event you need to withdraw money from your certificate before its maturation date.

Northern Bank Direct’s money market account option

Money Market account

Northern Bank Direct’s Money Market account offers competitive rates and balance requirements, but comes with some extra fees and limitations.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.51%None
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1.50 if you use an out-of-network ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

If you look at just the APY and minimum balance requirement to earn that APY, Northern Bank Direct’s money market account is competitive. But it’s important to consider some key factors about this account before opening one.

While there is no monthly account maintenance fee, there is a $3 fee for transferring your money from Northern Bank Direct to an outside financial institution or account. While the fee isn’t likely to bust your budget, it is an additional cost that is not found among much of the competition. Also, when you’re transferring money out of your Northern Bank Direct Money Market account, you will be limited to a total of $5,000 per day and $25,000 per month.

Bear in mind that because money market accounts are savings accounts, they are governed by Federal Reserve Regulation D, which mandates no more than six in-person withdrawals per month from any given savings account. Exceed that regulatory limit and Northern Bank Direct will charge you a $20 fee for each excessive transaction.

If you are OK with those fees and limitations, Northern Bank Direct is a decent option for money market accounts, though you should still do some comparison shopping.

How to get Northern Bank Direct’s Money Market account

The only way to open any account with Northern Bank Direct, including money market accounts, is online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Northern Bank Direct’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Northern Bank Direct’s money market account compares

If you decide to open a money market account with Northern Bank Direct, you’ll be getting a competitive product, particularly given the lack of a minimum balance requirement. But you should still check on the best money market rates, as you will be able to find higher offers, particularly if you have enough money to throw into savings to maintain a higher minimum balance requirement.

If you’re putting a big chunk of money into your money market account and know you will need to make large transfers in the future, you may want to keep shopping. Northern Bank Direct’s daily and monthly withdrawal limitations are low for a money market account, and these limitations may cause headaches down the line if you need to move large sums.

Overall review of Northern Bank Direct’s banking products

Overall, Northern Bank Direct’s biggest draw is it low barrier to entry, whether you’re looking at minimum balance requirements on money market accounts or minimum opening deposit requirements on CDs.

There are some drawbacks, though. While the money market rate is competitive, it’s not the cream of the crop when compared to offers from competitors. Northern Bank Direct’s CD rates in particular rank below rivals, so if you’re looking for the highest rates, you’ll want to keep shopping.

Finally, there are the fees. Whether you’re being charged to transfer money out of your money market account or are in the unfortunate situation of having to withdraw money from your CD before its maturation date, you’re going to have to fork over some cash in excess of what other financial institutions would charge in a similar situation.

You’re not necessarily getting a bad product from Northern Bank Direct, but you should go into any of its online agreements with your eyes wide open, knowing that this is potentially a more expensive way to do your banking.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

TAGS:

Advertiser Disclosure

Reviews

Founders Federal Credit Union Reviews: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1961
Total Assets$2.3B
LEARN MORE on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

Founders Federal Credit Union was originally known as Springs Employee Federal Credit Union. It began as one room inside a plant in Fort Mill, S.C., after the president of the company realized his laborers were being taken advantage of by predatory lenders. As the credit union grew, it expanded to serve large swaths of the state.

Today, you can qualify for membership in many ways, including:

  • Living, working, worshipping, volunteering or studying in certain areas in South Carolina
  • Being a worker, volunteer, retiree or member of certain organizations
  • Having a family member who has an account with Founders Federal Credit Union

You can learn about qualification requirements by reviewing the credit union’s application.

But before joining, you should consider what the credit union offers its members. Here is a review of Founders Federal Credit Union’s products.

Founders Federal Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.15%

Savings

Founders Federal Credit Union Share/Savings

2.15%

CIT Bank Savings Builder

LEARN MORE Secured

on CIT Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.00%

CD Rates

Founders Federal Credit Union 12 Month Share Certificate

2.55%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.51%

CD Rates

Founders Federal Credit Union 36 Month Share Certificate

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

3.29%

CD Rates

Founders Federal Credit Union 60 Month Share Certificate

3.00%

American Express National Bank 60 Month CD

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Founders Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

Checking Account

A basic checking account with no minimum balance requirements.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
None
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Account maintenance fee: $2 per statement, unless you opt for electronic statements
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 if your purchase is between $1.01 and $5; purchases larger than $5 will incur a $32 overdraft fee

Founders Federal Credit Union’s Checking Account is fairly generic. It offers a small APY, which isn’t out of the norm for basic checking accounts in the industry. But it also requires no minimum balance or opening deposit and only charges a small maintenance fee if you want to receive paper statements. It is a basic option, but functional.

If you don’t have your Checking Account linked to a Founders Federal Credit Union Savings Account, home equity line of credit or personal line of credit for overdraft protection, you may be granted Founders Privilege automatically. Checking accounts with Founders Privilege will not have transactions turned down as long as that transaction puts your account at no more than $300 overdrawn. You will still be charged overdraft fees. This protection does not extend to ATM cash withdrawals or cashback transactions. You can opt out by calling 800-845-1614 or talking to someone at your local branch.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Checking Account

You can apply online or in person. Be prepared with your date of birth, Social Security number, address and government-issued ID.

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on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Founders Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Founders Federal Credit Union’s Checking Account isn’t atypical for brick-and-mortar financial institutions. But in the age of internet banking, you can find checking accounts that fall outside the norm in big ways. By shopping for the best checking accounts on the market, you can get rewarded with a notably higher APY.

Founders Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Savings Account

This is the account required to establish your credit union membership. It offers a low APY and no monthly maintenance fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 if your purchase is between $1.01 and $5; purchases larger than $5 will incur a $32 fee

The APY on the Savings Account isn’t high, but that’s not really the reason you open it. You open this account because it is necessary to establish and maintain your membership with the credit union. If your balance falls below $5, your membership will be in jeopardy.

If you want to take money out of your account fee-free, you will need to maintain a balance of $200. While this account has no maintenance fees, you will only be able to make two over-the-counter withdrawals per month if your balance falls below that $200 mark. After that, each withdrawal will cost $1.

Savings accounts at financial institutions are subject to federal rules. One such rule is Regulation D, which states that you can make up to six certain withdrawals from your savings account in any given month. If you don’t adhere to this rule, your account could be shut down or converted to a checking account.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Savings Account

You can apply in person or online with your date of birth, Social Security number, government-issued ID and address.

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on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Christmas Club Account

Save for the holidays with this low APY saving account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
None
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 if your purchase is between $1.01 and $5; purchases larger than $5 will incur a $32 fee

When you stash money in a Christmas Club Account, you’re setting it aside for the holiday season. This account is attractive as it has no minimum opening deposit or balance and no account maintenance fees. As you save throughout the year, your money will add up, and you can retrieve funds from this account throughout the year without penalty.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Christmas Club Account

Apply in person or online with your address, Social Security number, date of birth and government-issued ID.

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on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Founders Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Founders Federal Credit Union’s APY offerings on savings products are not competitive. But you have to keep at least $5 in the Savings Account to maintain membership with the credit union, and your goal with a Christmas Club Account may be self-discipline rather than high dividends.

If a higher APY is what you’re after, shop for the best savings rates on the market. Your savings will earn a noticeable amount more that way.

Founders Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

Share Certificates

The 60-month CD offered by Founders Federal Credit Union has a competitive rate, but its other terms may not be as good.
TermAPY
6 months0.40%
12 months1.00%
24 months2.52%
36 months1.51%
48 months2.02%
60 months3.29%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six-month certificates have a penalty equal to 90 days’ worth of interest; the penalty on 12-month certificates is 180 days’ worth of interest; and the penalty on certificates with terms of 24 months or more is 360 days’ worth of interest.

The APY on Founders Federal Credit Union’s certificates isn’t horrible, but it’s only competitive with the best offers on the market if the term is 60 months. All other terms offer rates noticeably lower than the competition. If you can put your money on hold for five years, this could be the certificate for you. Otherwise, it may not be worth locking away your money.

Keep in mind that this account requires you to keep $500 in your certificate. If you don’t, it will be shut down.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Share Certificates

You can open your certificate online or in person with your address, date of birth, Social Security number and government-issued ID.

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on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Loyalty Advantage Certificate

This 12-month certificate offers a great rate to savers.
TermAPY
12 Months3.03%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: The penalty on 12-month certificates is 180 days’ worth of interest

The Loyalty Advantage Certificate offers phenomenal rates for a 12-month product. On top of the great APY, you can add money to this certificate at any point until it reaches a balance of $3,000.

There is a catch to this certificate, though. To keep it open, your Checking Account must have a direct deposit of at least $300 established within 90 days of you opening your Loyalty Advantage Certificate. You’re getting the higher rate as a reward for keeping multiple accounts with the credit union.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Loyalty Advantage Certificate

To open this certificate, you will have to have already established membership with the credit union. After you have done so, you can open this certificate in person or via the online member portal.

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Youth Certificate

This CD offers one term length and a low APY, but it is a good starter account for children.
TermAPY
12 Months1.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: The penalty on 12-month certificates is 180 days’ worth of interest

The Youth Certificate, which is open to children 17 and younger, does not have a high yield. But it can be a good teaching tool, as not every financial institution offers certificates for children. It may be a big ask for them to come up with the minimum opening deposit if they’re younger, but teens could essentially lock away money they’re saving for a car, college or another big goal, protecting their savings from themselves — at least for a year.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Youth Certificate

To set up this account, your child will need to apply for membership to the credit union. Because they are a minor, this is best done in person at your local branch.

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How Founders Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Founders Federal Credit Union’s certificates are hit or miss. When they hit, they hit big. The rates on the 60-month Share Certificate and 12-month Loyalty Advantage Certificate are some of the highest on the market.

But the Youth Certificate and Share Certificates with terms less than 60 months don’t really compare. Make sure you shop around to make sure you find the right CD for your savings goals.

Founders Federal Credit Union’s money market account options

Money Market Plus

This account yields low dividends, even on high balances.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.35%
$1,000
0.45%
$25,000
0.55%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 if your purchase is between $1.01 and $5; purchases larger than $5 will incur a $32 fee

This money market account does not have competitive dividend rates no matter what your balance is. While it is nice that there is no account maintenance fee, your money is not going to grow as quickly as it could with another financial institution.

Money market accounts are technically savings accounts, so they fall under Regulation D. Make sure you don’t make more than six certain withdrawals per month or you could be facing account closure.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Money Market Plus

You can open this account in person or online. Come prepared with your date of birth, address, Social Security number and government-issued ID.

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on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Founders Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

Founders Federal Credit Union’s Money Market Plus doesn’t compare to the best offers on the market. Even among the lowest rates on our ranking of the best money market accounts, Founders Federal Credit Union’s highest rate is several tenths of a percentage point away, and requires a significantly higher balance. You may want to consider looking elsewhere for your money market needs.

Founders Federal Credit Union’s IRA account options

Fixed Rate IRAs

Competitive rates on IRA certificates, but not competitive enough to be the best on the market.
TermAPY
12 Months1.10%
24 Months2.63%
36 Months1.61%
48 Months2.12%
60 Months3.39%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: The penalty on 12-month certificates is 180 days’ worth of interest; the penalty on certificates with terms of 24 months or more is 360 days’ worth of interest

Founders Federal Credit Union does up the APY on certificates when they are held inside of an IRA, but it doesn’t up them quite enough. While a 60-month Share Certificate outside an IRA offers one of the best rates on the market, the same cannot be said for the 60-month certificate inside the IRA. That’s not to say rates are horrible; they’re competitive. They’re just not the best around.

As you evaluate the early withdrawal penalties on this account, remember that most withdrawals will incur taxes and an IRS penalty on top of what Founders Federal Credit Union charges. There are some exceptions to these added outside costs, most notably when you have reached retirement age.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s IRA CDs

Founders Federal Credit Union’s IRA product must be opened in person. Be sure to bring two forms of ID. One must be a picture ID, but a Social Security card suffices for the second. You will also need to bring a bill with your physical mailing address on it.

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on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Founders Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Founders Federal Credit Union’s rates are competitive, but not the best on the market. It’s important to do some heavy comparison shopping with this account. Rates fluctuate for each financial institution, so there is a chance Founders Federal Credit Union will come out on top eventually. But for right now, you can find better IRA CD rates elsewhere.

Overall review of Founders Federal Credit Union’s banking products

The only product that is competitive at Founders Federal Credit Union is its CDs, and even then certain variables affect this fact. The credit union’s checking and savings accounts don’t bear high enough dividends to compete with other financial institutions. This is the same case for its money market account.

But Founders Federal Credit Union’s 60-month Share Certificate and the Loyalty Advantage Certificate offer competitive rates on the market. Lower-term Share Certificates are not competitive, though. While IRA certificates aren’t the most competitive, that may change in the near future, so keep an eye out on those CDs as well.

You will need to evaluate each product carefully and consider whether your financial needs align with what this credit union offers.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Reviews

UNIFY Financial Credit Union Reviews: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1963
Total Assets$2.9B
LEARN MORE on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

In the late 1940s, the organization that would become Unify Financial Credit Union was established under the name Western Air Federal Credit Union. The financial institution aptly served employees of Western Air through the 1980s, when the airline merged with Delta. At that point, the credit union started partnering with different employers across the country to expand membership availability to a wider swath of people.

Western rebranded to UNIFY Financial Credit Union in 2016 and now serves communities across the country, including in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Michigan, Utah and Virginia. You may also qualify for membership based on your employer, regardless of where you live. If you do not meet either of these requirements, UNIFY is quick to point out that any resident of the U.S. over the age of 18 can join simply by paying a $25 fee to become a member of one of its two partner organizations, California’s Surfrider Foundation or Arizona’s Friends of Hobbs State Park.

This review will cover UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s checking, savings, CD, IRA and money market accounts.

UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.10%

Savings

UNIFY Financial Credit Union e-Savings

2.15%

CIT Bank Savings Builder

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on CIT Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.75%

CD Rates

UNIFY Financial Credit Union 12 Month Share Certificate

2.55%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.25%

CD Rates

UNIFY Financial Credit Union 36 Month Share Certificate

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.55%

CD Rates

UNIFY Financial Credit Union 60 Month Share Certificate

3.00%

American Express National Bank 60 Month CD

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s checking account options

eChecking

A dividend-bearing checking account with ATM fee refunds.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $20 per month if you do not log into eBanking once per month, do not make at least eight transactions each month and are not enrolled in eStatements.
  • ATM fee: $1 if you use a non-CO-OP ATM
  • ATM fee refund: 100% of fees from other financial institutions or ATM owners refunded monthly
  • Overdraft fee: $30

UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s eChecking account offers dividend-earning potential, though the APY is quite low when compared to the competition, especially when you take into account minimum balance requirements. This is also the credit union’s only account that offers outside ATM fee refunds. It is important to note that the fees UNIFY Financial Credit Union charges you will not be refunded; it is only fees charged by other financial institutions and ATM owners that will make their way back into your account at the end of the month.

You do not have to pay a monthly fee if you meet all the account requirements. You’ll have to make sure you’re signed up for eStatements, ensure you log in to eBanking once per month, and you’ll need to make eight transactions each month. If you do not meet every single one of these conditions, you will be charged a fairly steep monthly maintenance fee.

How to get UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s eChecking account

You can sign up for your eChecking Account online.

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on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

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Premier Checking

Free checks in exchange for double the minimum balance requirement.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$2,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 if your balance falls below $2,000
  • ATM fee: $1 if you use a non-CO-OP ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Premier Checking is quite similar to eChecking, save for three major differences. The first is that this is UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s only account that provides paper checks free of charge. In exchange for that service, you will earn the same APY but with double the minimum balance requirement. If you fall below that higher balance, you will be charged a monthly maintenance fee, which is admittedly lower than that of the eChecking Account. You also won’t have to face mandatory transaction requirements or electronic service requirements.

This account is only likely to be a benefit if you consistently keep a relatively high balance in your checking account. It’s not for you if you routinely live paycheck-to-paycheck.

How to get UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s Premier Checking account

You can open an account by visiting your local branch or completing the process online.

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Free Checking

A no-frills checking account with no monthly maintenance fee, but also no interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 if you use a non-CO-OP ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s Free Checking account comes with no monthly maintenance fees. However, the tradeoff is that it also earns zero dividends. This account is going to be best for those who don’t want to worry about meeting certain deposit or minimum balance requirements in order to avoid monthly maintenance fees, but they can also expect absolutely no rewards in the form of APY.

While you will be able to use an ATM card and checks with this account, you will have to pay extra for those paper checks. You won’t have to pay extra fees to use them; you’ll just have to pay to get them printed.

How to get UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s Free Checking account

If there is a branch near you, you can go in to open a Free Checking account. However, you can also easily do so online.

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on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

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Right Start Checking

A checking account to help you rebuild your banking history.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 if you use a non-CO-OP ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

The Right Start Checking option is nearly identical to the Free Checking account. You won’t earn any interest, you won’t pay monthly maintenance fees and you will have to pay for paper checks to be printed.

However, Right Start Checking is geared specifically toward those who may have a troubled banking history. If you have a bad history of overdrafts or other negative actions with other financial institutions, you may have ended up in the CHEXSystem and tagged as a risk. When this happens, you essentially end up blacklisted with many financial institutions, which pushes you out of the traditional banking system.

UNIFY Financial Credit Union wants to give those who find themselves in this predicament a second chance. It does this through the Right Start Checking account. Bear in mind that this account does cap your overdraft capabilities at -$250, which is probably a good thing. You don’t want to owe anyone money — especially not your financial institution. By capping your overdraft, the credit union is really just protecting you.

How to get UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s Right Start Checking account

You can either open this account online or at a local branch.

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on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

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How UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

If you’re looking at APY and minimum balance requirements alone, UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s checking accounts don’t even begin to compare with the best checking accounts on the market. On the “Best” list, even the account with the lowest APY is still twice the yield offered by UNIFY Financial Credit Union, and it comes with zero minimum balance requirements, which is quite the contrast to this credit union’s requirements.

The one account UNIFY Financial Credit Union has that may be worth opening is Right Start Checking. Yes, it yields no dividends, and no, ATM fees won’t be refunded to you at the end of the month. But if you’re flagged in the CHEXSystem, Right Start Checking can help you get your foot back in the door so you will actually be able to consider signing up for one of the better accounts further down the road.

UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s savings account options

Regular Savings account

Lackluster APY and fees may leave you wanting the credit union’s other savings accounts.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$200
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $200
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $1 per month you do not meet the $200 minimum balance requirement
  • ATM fee: $1 if you use a non-CO-OP ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s first savings account is not its best. The Regular Savings account offers the same APY as all the others from this financial institution, a rate that is well below that of its competitors. In addition, the minimum balance requirement to earn that APY, and the associated fee should you fall below that minimum, make this account doubly unattractive. Another fee to consider is a $1 monthly charge you’ll incur should you not elect to receive your statements electronically.

Savings accounts regulated by the federal government fall under Federal Reserve Regulation D which mandates that you make up to six certain withdrawals per month from any given savings account. If you go over the six-transaction limit, your account could be closed or converted into a checking account. This rule applies to all savings accounts at the credit union..

How to get UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s Regular Savings account

You can either open this account online or at a local branch.

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on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

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eSavings

Same APY as Regular Savings, but with no minimum balance requirements or fees.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
None
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 if you use a non-CO-OP ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

If you’re considering a savings account at UNIFY Financial Credit Union, eSavings is a far better choice than Regular Savings. You won’t have to maintain a minimum balance to earn your APY and, as a result, you won’t be hit with fees for not meeting a minimum balance. It’s essentially the same account, just cheaper.

However, with this account you will be hit with a $1 monthly fee if you don’t enroll to receive eStatements exclusively — just like you would with Regular Savings.

How to get UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s eSavings account

Sign up for eSavings online.

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on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

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Special Savings

A low-cost account to save for specific goals, though it pays you a low APY.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
None
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 if you use a non-CO-OP ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

If you’re saving for vacation, a down payment, a car or any other specific savings goal, UNIFY Financial Credit Union has built its Special Savings account for you. The lowest-fee savings account it provides, this account comes with no minimum balance requirements, no monthly fees and no additional fees should you not opt into eStatements.

While this account is low-fee and can give you a specific place to set aside money for singular savings goals, you can do the same thing with any savings account. There are better options on the market when you take this account’s low APY into consideration, so be sure to shop around at different financial institutions before making the definitive decision on where to stash your money.

How to get UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s Special Savings account

You can open this account online or at a local branch — whichever is more convenient for you.

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on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

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Club account

A savings account with built-in early withdrawal fees meant to inspire self-discipline.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
None
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: none
  • ATM fee: $1 if you use a non-CO-OP ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Maybe you want to save money, but you know that you don’t have a lot of self-discipline. You might have tried this whole savings thing before, but find yourself withdrawing money from your account the next time your favorite musician comes to town. Whatever the temptation, you’re not alone. Keeping your savings in your savings account requires telling yourself “No,” and that’s not always an easy feat.

In recognition of this, many credit unions offer club accounts. With UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s version, you can pick a term of six, 12 or 18 months. If you make a withdrawal prior to the end of that term, you will be charged a $10 fee. The idea is that you’ll want to avoid that $10 fee, and therefore won’t make the withdrawal.

Club accounts are commonly used for holiday shopping, savings for summer vacations or savings to distribute seasonal pay more evenly throughout the year.

How to get UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s Club account

To open a Club account, you can log in online or visit a branch in person.

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Youth Savings

Earns a little bit of interest to teach and encourage good savings habits.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
None
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: none
  • ATM fee: $1 if you use a non-CO-OP ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

If you want to teach your child about savings while they’re young, you may consider opening up a Youth Savings account. The fees are the same as on the Special Savings Account, which is a positive, as there are very few. You could end up paying a small fee if you or your child uses an ATM not in the CO-OP-network, but other than that you’ll be banking for free.

To be sure, the APY on this account is extremely low. If teaching your child about savings and interest is what you’re after, you may be better off opening an account at another financial institution where rates are higher and your child will see more of a reward at a faster clip.

How to get UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s Youth Savings account

Sign up online or visit a branch.

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on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

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How UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s savings rates simply aren’t in the same league as the competition. The best rates on the market are about 20 times higher than those you’ll find at this credit union. Be sure to comparison shop before you commit to a savings account as missing out on the higher APY could be a major mistake — especially if you’re putting a lot of money into your savings account.

You’ll can find other credit unions among the financial institutions offering the best savings rates. If supporting a community and smaller businesses is important to you, you can still get great rates without going to one of the bigger banks.

UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s CD rates

Share Certificates

Decent certificate products with low early withdrawal fees.
Initial DepositTermAPY
$1,000-$40,0003 Months1.00%
$40,000-$100,0003 Months1.06%
$100,000+3 Months1.11%
$1,000-$40,0006 Months1.40%
$40,000-$100,0006 Months1.45%
$100,000+6 Months1.50%
$1,000-$40,00012 Months1.75%
$40,000-$100,00012 Months1.91%
$100,000+12 Months1.96%
$1,000-$40,00024 Months2.05%
$40,000-$100,00024 Months2.15%
$100,000+24 Months2.20%
$1,000-$40,00036 Months2.25%
$40,000-$100,00036 Months2.35%
$100,000+36 Months2.40%
$1,000-$40,00048 Months2.40%
$40,000-$100,00048 Months2.45%
$100,000+48 Months2.50%
$1,000+60 Months2.55%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 3 months’ worth of interest

Share certificates are where UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s financial products start to get interesting. The rates on its share certificates — which you might recognize as the credit union equivalent of a certificate of deposit or CD — are far more competitive than the rates on its checking accounts or savings accounts. That doesn’t mean they’re the best on the market, but it does mean they’re competitive enough to be worth a second look.

Another attractive thing about UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s share certificates are the early withdrawal penalties. While most financial institutions up the early withdrawal penalty depending on the term, here it’s the same regardless of term length. This isn’t great news if you’re opening a 3 month certificate, but is encouraging if you’re getting something closer to the maximum term of 60 months.

That said, it’s better to not make an early withdrawal from a certificate, but if something happens and you need to access that money, at least you know the fees are going to be more than fair.

How to get UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s CDs

You can open your certificate online or at your local branch.

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on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

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How UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Simply put, there are better CD rates available if you’re willing to shop at other financial institutions. However, UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s rates on its certificates are far more competitive than they are on other products like its checking and savings accounts. If you’re nervous about opening a certificate, as your money will be inaccessible for the term of your CD, UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s lower early withdrawal rates may help put your mind at ease, despite the lower APY. Keep in mind, though, that this would likely pan out to be a win in your mind rather than in your wallet in the long run.

UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s money market account option

Money Market account

Poor rates, but no monthly maintenance fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.45%
$2,500
0.50%
$10,000
0.55%
$50,000
0.55%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 if you use a non-CO-OP ATM
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s Money Market account, much like its savings accounts, is simply not competitive when it comes to APY. While you will not have to pay any monthly maintenance fees — even if you fall below the minimum balance — you won’t be able to earn any dividends should you fall below that minimum balance, either. The balance requirements are a bit high, especially when considered in conjunction with the extremely low rates.

Remember that money market accounts fall under the same classification as savings accounts, which means they are also subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D. If you make more than six withdrawals per month, with the exception of ATM or in-person withdrawals at your local branch, your account could be shut down at the credit union’s discretion.

How to get UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s Money Market account

You can open your Money Market Account online or in person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s money market account compares

The best money market offers on the market provide somewhere around double to quadruple the APY you’ll find at UNIFY Financial Credit Union. There is little incentive to open a money market account here with so many other good options around.

As you’re shopping, be sure to consider not just the APY, but also any minimum balance requirements and monthly maintenance fees. If you end up getting charged for falling below any given minimum balance requirement, that may start to eat away at the advantage you’ve built by choosing a financial institution that offers a higher APY.

UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s IRA options

IRA CD rates

IRA Share Certificates

Fairly standard IRA certificate product with low early withdrawal fees for longer terms.
Initial DepositTermAPY
$1,000-$40,00012 Months1.75% Fixed
$40,000-$100,00012 Months1.91% Fixed
$100,000+12 Months1.96% Fixed
$1,000-$40,00018 Months2.63% Variable
$40,000-$100,00018 Months2.63% Variable
$100,000+18 Months2.63% Variable
$1,000-$40,00024 Months2.05% Fixed
$40,000-$100,00024 Months2.15% Fixed
$100,000+24 Months2.20% Fixed
$1,000-$40,00036 Months2.25% Fixed
$40,000-$100,00036 Months2.35% Fixed
$100,000+36 Months2.40% Fixed
$1,000-$40,00036 Months2.74% Variable
$40,000-$100,00036 Months2.74% Variable
$100,000+36 Months2.74% Variable
$1,000-$40,00048 Months2.40% Fixed
$40,000-$100,00048 Months2.45% Fixed
$100,000+48 Months2.50% FIxed
$1,000+60 Months2.55% Fixed
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 3 months’ interest plus potential fees and penalties per the federal government

Just as with its regular certificate products, UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s IRA certificates offer far more competitive rates than its other checking and savings products. Yet, these rates are not the best on the market.

The minimum balance requirements are reasonable, and the early withdrawal penalty is attractive — especially to those opening longer-term certificates within their IRA. However, if it’s a bad idea to withdraw money early from a normal certificate product, it’s a doubly bad idea to do so when you’re keeping your certificate within your IRA. That’s because you won’t only have to worry about early withdrawal penalties from your financial institution, but you’ll also have to worry about early withdrawal penalty fees and taxes from the IRS.

How to get UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s IRA CDs

You will have to open this account in person.

LEARN MORE Secured

on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

While UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s rates on certificate products are much closer to being competitive than its rates on other checking and savings products, they are still not the best around. Be sure to do some comparison shopping on IRA CDs, as it could reward you with a couple of extra percentage points in APY.

IRA Savings account

Fair rates on an extremely conservative retirement product.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%
$5.00
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

An IRA savings account is simply a savings account within your IRA. In most cases, it’s the most conservative investment you could have within your portfolio, and therefore isn’t going to offer a very high yield.

However, UNIFY Financial Credit Union actually offers a competitive rate on this product. Among those financial institutions that offer IRA savings accounts, rates are sometimes a little higher, or they can be dramatically less. It’s also nice that this account does not tack on monthly maintenance fees, though you should note that any withdrawals you make will be subject to IRS regulation. That means you’ll be paying fees and tax penalties for early withdrawals, even though they’re not charged by the credit union.

How to get UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s IRA Savings account

Open this account at your local branch.

LEARN MORE Secured

on UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Overall review of UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s banking products

Unless you’ve been flagged in the CHEXSystem and are looking at opening a Right Start Checking account, we cannot think of a good reason to open a checking, savings or money market account with UNIFY Financial Credit Union. You will have to maintain one in order to secure your membership with the credit union, but aside from that, there are simply too many other financial institutions offering significantly better rates to seriously consider any of this credit union’s products as a competitive option.

If, however, you are looking at share certificates or CDs, UNIFY Financial Credit Union is worth closer examination. Rates are somewhat competitive, and its low early withdrawal fees are attractive. This is especially true if you’re opening up a share certificate outside of an IRA, as you won’t have cause to worry about IRS-imposed fees and penalties for early withdrawal.

If you are opening a deposit account within an IRA, though, perhaps UNIFY Financial Credit Union’s best overall financial product is its IRA Savings account. Here rates are the most competitive, and minimum balance requirements are more than reasonable. If you’re looking for a conservative product for your portfolio, this account is not a bad place to start.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Reviews

Colorado Federal Savings Bank Review of Savings and CD Rates

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1990
Total Assets$1.9B
LEARN MORE on Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s secure websiteMember FDIC

Colorado Federal Savings Bank started out in 1990 primarily as a mortgage lender, working through brokers with deposits from institutional investors. Saved from insolvency in the 2008 financial crisis, the bank changed its focus from institutions to individual depositors, eschewing brick-and-mortar locations and operating only through its online platform, offering savings accounts and certificates of deposit.

Let’s take a look at those deposit accounts for individuals, and see how they can (or can’t) benefit you as a consumer.

Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

1.25%

Savings

Colorado Federal Savings Bank High Yield Savings

2.15%

CIT Bank Savings Builder

LEARN MORE Secured

on CIT Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.51%

CD Rates

Colorado Federal Savings Bank 12 Month CD

2.55%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.63%

CD Rates

Colorado Federal Savings Bank 36 Month CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.90%

CD Rates

Colorado Federal Savings Bank 60 Month CD

3.00%

American Express National Bank 60 Month CD

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s savings account options

High Yield Savings

Offering lower-than-average rates but with great minimum deposit and balance requirements.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.25%
$1
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: No ATM service available
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $25

With an interest rate that would have been enviable just a few years ago, there are better options out there. It is no longer difficult to find an account with low or no minimum deposit and account balance requirements and rates up to an entire percentage point higher than Colorado FSB’s High Yield Savings — especially if you’re shopping online-only financial institutions.

If you do choose to open this account, be aware that as with all savings products, you will be limited to six certain withdrawals per month per Federal Reserve Regulation D. If you exceed this limit, CFSB will charge a $25 fee every time. If you do it too often, the bank will close down your account.

How to get Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s High-Yield Savings

As an online-only bank, you can only open this account online. Have the following information ready:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Drivers license or state ID information
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Information about the account you’d like to use to fund your high-yield savings

LEARN MORE Secured

on Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Premier Savings

Great interest rates with sky-high minimum deposit and balance requirements.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.90%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $50,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: No ATM service available
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $25

While the APY on Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s Premier Savings is extremely competitive, the minimum opening deposit requirement makes it a no-go. Simply put, $50,000 can earn a higher interest rate at other financial institutions — whether that’s in a higher-yield savings account with a lower minimum deposit requirement or through a more lucrative certificate of deposit.

Remember that Regulation D and all associated fees and consequences apply to this account just as they do to the High-Yield Savings.

How to get Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s Premier Savings

You can only open a Premier Savings account online. Have the following information ready:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Drivers license or state ID information
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Information about the account you’d like to use to fund your high-yield savings.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s savings accounts compare

To be sure, Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s savings accounts don’t hold a candle to the best savings accounts on the market — especially considering it’s an internet-only financial institution. Free of the overhead costs of brick-and-mortar locations, online banks tend to offer higher interest rates to consumers. Not here.

The High Yield Savings simply doesn’t have a high enough APY to be competitive. While the APY on Premier Savings is attractive, the $50,000 minimum opening deposit and required minimum balance are so high that the account is not useful for most consumers.

Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s CD rates

A standard certificate of deposit option that sits squarely in the middle of the pack.
TermAPY
6 Months2.05%
12 Months2.51%
18 Months2.40%
24 Months2.60%
36 Months2.63%
60 Months2.90%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6- and 12-month CDs have an early withdrawal penalty of 3 months’ interest. All other CDs have a penalty of 6 months’ interest.

CFSB offers certificates of deposits with competitive rates and a middle-of-the-road minimum opening deposit amount. Overall, it’s a reasonable product, but isn’t for those who only have smaller amounts as they get started with savings. The relatively competitive rates, however, make this account worth a peek if you’re looking to open a larger CD.

How to get Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s CDs

The only way to open a CD with Colorado Federal Savings Bank is online. You’ll need to have the same information available as when you’re opening a savings account: your name; Social Security number; date of birth; drivers license or state ID information; address; email; mother’s maiden name; and account information for your funding source.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s CD rates compare

Compared to other CDs on the market, Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s options fall in the middle of the pack. Rates are high enough to be competitive, but they don’t beat the top CD contenders. The opening deposit amount is fairly standard, though you will be able to find some CDs with higher interest rates and lower minimum deposits.

Shopping around for the best rate is still smart, but if you’re suffering from decision fatigue and just can’t shop anymore, you can rest a bit easier knowing that a CD from Colorado Federal Savings Bank isn’t the worst product around. It’s just not the best.

Overall review of Colorado Federal Savings Bank’s banking products

Colorado Federal Savings Bank is in a far better situation than it was 10 years ago in 2008, but that doesn’t mean you should scramble to sign up for one of its deposit accounts. The savings accounts in particular are undesirable, as the APY offered on the High Yield Savings isn’t high enough when compared with other online-only financial institutions, which routinely offer the highest interest rates on the market.

Meanwhile, the APY on Premier Savings accounts is high enough to be labelled “competitive” but the required minimum opening deposit amount is too high for many.

The bank’s CDs offer much better. While the offered APY isn’t the highest out there, it is high enough to be slightly better than average. You’re not making a bad decision if you open a CD with Colorado Federal Savings Bank, but you may be able to do better by doing some more comparison shopping before deciding to lock your money away for the term of your certificate.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Earning Interest

Top 10 Jumbo Money Market Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Jumbo money market accounts
iStock

What is a jumbo money market account?

When you’re saving money, you want to make sure you’re stashing it in the right place. Ideally, that will be in an account with a high rate of return. While savings accounts tend to offer a higher return than checking accounts, money market accounts  — which are FDIC-insured up to $250,000, unlike money market funds — may yield an even higher rate of return.

That’s if you know where to find the best rates.

The money market accounts that offer the highest returns are known as jumbo money market accounts. In the past, these high-yielding accounts could have minimum initial deposits as much as $100,000, but today, you can get these higher rates with a much lower initial investment and sometimes there’s no minimum at all.

In this roundup, we’ll explore the top rates.

Capital One 360, 1.85% APY, $10,000 Minimum Deposit

Capital One
Capital One offers savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs), individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and, of course, money market accounts.

If you open a 360 Money Market Account and deposit at least $10,000, your money will earn 1.85% APY. While there is technically no minimum amount required to open one of these accounts, if you have less than $10,000, you will only earn 0.85% APY. You can find higher paying basic savings accounts elsewhere or another good option to consider would be their 360 Savings Account which earns 1.00% APY regardless of balance, until you are able to hit the $10,000 threshold.

While 360 Money Market Account does not come with any fees, it also does not come with any checks. It does come with a debit card, which you can get after the account has been opened. You may withdraw money through an ATM. Just keep in mind that you’ll be restricted to six certain transfers and withdrawals per month due to federal law. You can easily access your account through Capital One’s online portal, mobile app, or you can call to speak to one of their representatives.

LEARN MORE 

Member FDIC

BankPurely, 2.25% APY, $25,000 Minimum Deposit

BankPurely
BankPurely is a division of Flushing Bank. Built to attract conscious consumers focused on an ethical lifestyle, this division attempts to build the “community” aspect of a community bank online rather than in person. One of their social initiatives is planting one tree for every new account opened.

To open a PurelyMoneyMarket account with BankPurely, you must have an initial deposit of $25,000. You will be required to keep your account balance at or above $25,000 to earn the account’s 2.25% APY. You will be able to withdraw money using online services and a debit card, but remember to keep it below the six withdrawal per month limit.

LEARN MORE Secured

on BankPurely’s secure website

Member FDIC

KeyBank, 2.20% APY, $25,000 Minimum Deposit

KeyBank
KeyBank offers one of the highest APY money market accounts — at least during the initial twelve-month promo period. During the first year, money market accounts with balances between $25,000 and $2,000,000 earn an APY of 2.20%. Unfortunately, this rate may not be available in all markets, so make sure you enter your zip code to get the rate that pertains to your location. Also, you must open a checking account with KeyBank to qualify for this promotion.

After the promotional period is over, your rates will drop to 0.12% APY for balances over $25,000 as long as you have an average of at least one deposit and eight withdrawals from your KeyBank checking account during the past three statement periods. At this point, amounts under $25,000 will earn 0.10% APY.

Whether you’re in the promotional period or not, you will be charged an $18 monthly maintenance fee. You will also be charged a $15 fee every time you make more than six withdrawals from your money market account in any given statement period.

LEARN MORE Secured

on KeyBank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Bank7, 2.05% APY, $5,000 Minimum Deposit

Bank 7
Bank7 is based in Oklahoma but has branches in Texas and Kansas as well. It also offers access to its deposit products online nationwide.
To open a high-yielding money market account at Bank7, you must have a minimum deposit of at least $5,000. From there, your account will earn 2.05% APY until your balance reaches $1 million. Then, you’ll stop earning interest. If your daily balance drops below $5,000, you will be charged a $15 fee per month.
To take money out of your account, you can use a debit card or online transfer. As with all of the accounts on our list, you will only be able to make six withdrawals/transfers per month. If you make more than six withdrawals in a monthly statement cycle, Bank7 will charge you a $3 fee each time you take out more money.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Bank 7’s secure website

Member FDIC

North American Savings Bank, 2.02% APY, $50,000 Minimum Deposit

North American Savings Bank

North American Savings Bank is headquartered in Missouri, but offers products online nationwide. The minimum deposit on North American Savings Bank’s money market account is only $1,000, but if you want to earn the 2.02% APY on your balance, you must keep it at or above that $50,000 threshold. If you do deposit the minimum amount, you can still earn a decent APY of 1.77%. If you balance grows anywhere between $25,000 and $49,999, the APY will increase to 2.02%. You will have online banking capabilities for withdrawals — up to six per month. This account comes with no monthly maintenance fees as long as you maintain a minimum balance of $1,000.

It is important to note that this account is an online only special and is subject to change without any notice.

LEARN MORE Secured

on North American Savings Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

VirtualBank, 2.01% APY, $100 Minimum Deposit to Open

eMoneyMarket from Virtual BankVirtualBank is based in Louisiana but mainly offers access to its deposit products online nationwide.

To open a high-yielding money market account at VirtualBank, you must have a minimum opening deposit of at least $100. From there, your account will earn 2.01% APY for the first year. Then, the APY will drop to 0.80%. If your daily balance drops below $100, you will be charged a $5 fee per month.

To take money out of your account, you can conduct an online transfer. As with all of the accounts on our list, you will only be able to make six withdrawals/transfers per month. If you make more than six withdrawals in a monthly statement cycle, VirtualBank will charge you a $15 fee each time you take out more money.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Virtual Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Sallie Mae, 2.12% APY, No Minimum Deposit

Sallie Mae Bank
Sallie Mae is probably best known for underwriting mortgages and student loans. However, they also offer deposit accounts direct to consumers.

For example, their high-yield money market account pulls in 2.12% APY with no monthly maintenance fees and no minimum upfront deposit. You can write checks from this account, but keep in mind that you’ll have to stay below six withdrawals per month. If you don’t you’ll be charged a $10 excessive transaction fee. This fee will be applied for each withdrawal after six in a statement period, up to $70 per period. If you make more than seven excessive transactions, the additional $10 fees will be applied to the following month’s statement.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Sallie Mae Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

CIT Bank, 1.85% APY, $100 Minimum Deposit

CIT Bank
CIT Bank focuses on banking for businesses, but it does also have consumer products via its online portal and a series of brick-and-mortar locations in Southern California. One of the consumer products accessible online is their high-yield money market account.

With a low minimum deposit of $100, CIT Bank’s money market account still earns a respectable 1.85% APY. You can withdraw your money through People Pay — a free service which allows you to direct the money toward a specific email address or phone number. But remember, you can only make six withdrawals per month. If you go over this amount, you will be charged $10 for each additional withdrawal in a statement cycle, up to $50.

There are no monthly maintenance fees with this account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on CIT Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

ableBanking, 1.85% APY, $250 Minimum Deposit

ableBanking
AbleBanking is an offshoot of Northeast Bank, which is based in the state of Maine. While Northeast Bank has been in business since 1872, ableBanking — which has no physical locations and is based completely online — was launched in 2012.

With no monthly maintenance fees, any amount saved in one of ableBanking’s high-yield money market accounts will earn 1.85% APY. To open one of these accounts, you only need a minimum initial deposit of $250.

If you take money out of your account more than six times in a statement cycle, you will be billed a $10 excess fee for each additional withdrawal. If you do this more than twice within a 12-month period, ableBanking may close your account. You can make these withdrawals online, or pay a $20 fee for a wire transfer.

When you join ableBanking as a new customer, the institution will make a $25 donation out of their own pocket to a charity of your choice. To claim this perk, fill out this form, designating which 501(c)(3) you would like to receive the donation.

LEARN MORE Secured

on AbleBanking’s secure website

Member FDIC

State Bank of Texas, 1.85% APY, $100,000 Minimum Deposit

State Bank of Texas (SBT)

State Bank of Texas is a family owned and operated bank with a rich history. This bank was built by a man who immigrated to America from India in the hopes of attaining the American Dream. Once he overcame the challenge of acquiring enough capital to open the bank, he opened the bank’s doors on October 19, 1987 – a day known as Black Monday due to the crash of the stock market. With only one employee on the payroll, and a lot of help from his family, the bank successfully made it through one of the worst economic times in history. Today, the bank has thrived with its lending solutions and is quickly becoming a competitor in the deposits space.

To open a jumbo money market account with State Bank of Texas, you must have an initial deposit of $100,000. You will be required to keep your account balance at or above $100,000 to earn the account’s 1.85% APY. You will be able to withdraw money using online services, but remember to keep it below the six withdrawal per month limit.

LEARN MORE Secured

on State Bank Of Texas (SBT)’s secure website

Member FDIC

How these jumbo money market accounts’ rates compare with regular money market rates

Jumbo money market accounts are typically called jumbo because they require a significant deposit to earn the top rate. You may have noticed that many of these accounts do not necessarily have the label “jumbo” attached to them. This is because with the advent of online banking, more and more financial institutions are passing along the savings they incur from not having to maintain brick-and-mortar locations on to their customers via higher returns on products like money market accounts.

For that reason, you’ll notice that many of the highest-yielding accounts on this list can also be found on our Best Money Market Rates & Accounts lineup.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

TAGS: ,

Advertiser Disclosure

Personal Loans

The Best Credit Unions for Personal Loans

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.


A personal loan from a credit union (sometimes called a signature loan) can offer borrowers terms that can often beat those of traditional or online banks. Because credit unions don’t have to answer to anyone but their members, they are often more willing to work with borrowers and offer reasonable terms.

This is important to note for consumers who are seeking emergency funds or looking for an affordable way to consolidate debt, two of the most common uses for personal loans. It’s even more important for borrowers with a poor or limited credit history to shop carefully for these types of loans. Although there are plentiful online loan options for these types of borrowers, they can often come with exorbitant fees and high APRs that can greatly increase the cost of borrowing.

In a new study, MagnifyMoney analysts looked at 50 of the largest credit unions in the country to see which in particular can offer its members one or more of these features.

To determine the rankings, MagnifyMoney compared:

  • Loan terms offered
  • Annual percentage rates for personal and signature loans offered
  • How quickly the funds for the loan become available once the loan is approved
  • If the credit union offered any discounts for using a payroll or automated repayment plan

Rates as of 9/18/2018

Best overall credit unions for personal loans

These credit unions offer their qualifying members the triple crown of personal loans: A lower-than-average APR, same-day funding of the loan and a discount for automating your loan repayment via payroll or share account deductions.

Ent Credit Union

Ent Credit Union was founded in 1957 to serve a Colorado Air Force base named after World War II Gen. Uzal Girard Ent. Today, the credit union serves a large geographic community, including anyone who lives, works, worships or studies in the counties of Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Fremont, Jefferson, Pueblo and Teller, along with parts of Weld County (Firestone, Frederick, Dacono, Fort Lupton, Mead and Erie). You can also qualify for membership if you are civilian or military personnel of the Colorado Air National Guard, Colorado Army National Guard or Buckley Air Force Base. If you qualify for membership, so do your family members.

Once you’ve determined you qualify for membership, you will be able to apply for one of Ent Credit Union’s personal loans. These loans come with no application fee and no early payoff penalties. Terms range from 48 to 72 months, and you can take out as little as $500.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Ent Credit Union’s secure website

Visions Federal Credit Union

Based in New York state, Visions Federal Credit Union is a 50-year-old organization that serves parts of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. You are eligible for membership if you live, work, worship or study in any of the following areas:

  • Broome, Chenango and Tioga counties, N.Y.
  • Syracuse, N.Y.
  • Select parts of Chemung, Rockland and Schuyler counties, N.Y.
  • Select parts of Rochester, N.Y.
  • Bradford County, Pa.
  • Select parts of south Westmoreland and north Fayette counties, Pa.
  • Select parts of Reading, Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, Pa.
  • Bergen and Passaic counties, N.J.
  • Select parts of Essex, Hudson and Union counties, N.J.

You can also qualify if you work for one of the employers listed on the “Eligible Groups” tab. If your parent or sibling is a member, you qualify for membership, too, regardless of where you live or work.

There are no prepayment penalties for either of Vision Federal Credit Union’s personal loans. The general personal loan allows you to borrow $1,000 to $30,000. If you have good credit and sufficient income, you may qualify for the Any Purpose Signature Loan, which allows you to borrow between $10,000 and $40,000, though it does come with a higher interest rate.

Your APR will vary depending on where you live, but the 0.25% autopay discount will be there for you regardless.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Visions Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Logix Federal Credit Union

Logix Federal Credit Union also has ties to aviation. In 1937, the Burbank, Calif.-based financial institution opened to serve employees of Lockheed. Over the years, it has expanded to serve residents of California, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Washington D.C., New Hampshire, Nevada and Virginia. You can also qualify if you have family with membership, though all members must go through a special process if they’ve moved and are now trying to get a personal loan outside of one of these geographic areas. You’re not guaranteed to be approved as the credit union may not be able to legally lend in your state, but you do still have a shot.

Personal loans through Logix Federal Credit Union come with no prepayment penalties and have terms up to 84 months. Logix’s AutoPay discount is the most generous around. If you set up automatic payments on your loan every month, your APR goes down an entire percentage point.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Logix Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Members 1st Federal Credit Union

Members 1st Federal Credit Union is in central Pennsylvania, though you have to do more than live in the region to qualify for membership. You must work for a select employer, go to a select school or attend a select church to qualify.

Or you can become a member through affiliation with the AACA Museum, Army Heritage Center Foundation or Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum. The cheapest option is the Army Heritage Center Foundation, which offers membership for as low as $25.

If your family member or domestic partner belongs to Members 1st, you automatically qualify for membership.

Personal loans at Members 1st Federal Credit Union come in two different tiers. If you are borrowing $25,000 or more, you will pay the interest rate listed above and have terms somewhere between 12 and 60 months. If you are borrowing less than $25,000, your interest rate could be a couple of percentage points higher, with the same terms available.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Members 1st Federal Credit Union’s secure website

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

SchoolsFirst FCU serves employees in the field of education in California. You qualify for membership if you work for a public elementary or secondary school, the County Superintendents of Schools, a community college, an authorized college or university, an authorized education foundation, or a private elementary or secondary school — as long as it is listed in the state’s Department of Education School Directory. You can also qualify if you are a pension- or annuity-collecting retiree of one of these educational institutions, or if you are related to a member.

You can borrow between $500 and $50,000 on SchoolsFirst’s no-application-fee personal loans. You will also not be charged any prepayment penalties, and terms go as high as 60 months depending on how much you borrow.

LEARN MORE Secured

on School First FCU’s secure website

Best credit unions for short-term loans

Using payday loans or credit cards to handle an unexpected expense such as a car repair can be a be a difficult treadmill to exit. But many credit unions offer smaller short-term loans at favorable rates that may be safer when you need to fill a short-term funding gap. Below are five credit unions that offer short-term loans (less than 12 months) for less than $1,000.

Security Service Federal Credit Union

Security Service Federal Credit Union was founded in 1956 to serve members of the U.S. Air Force Security Service. Based in San Antonio, the credit union serves service members in select branches, as well as residents, workers, worshippers, volunteers and students in the following areas:

  • San Antonio, Austin, El Paso, Rio Grande Valley and Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Fort Collins, Loveland, Boulder and Broomfield, Colo.
  • Salt Lake and Utah counties, Utah

If you are a member, those in your family also qualify.

Security Service Federal Credit Union’s personal loans come with no prepayment penalties and terms from 2 to 66. Rates will vary depending on where you live, and the amount you can borrow ranges from $250 to $50,000.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Security Service Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Wright-Patt Credit Union

Located in Ohio’s Miami Valley, Wright-Patt Credit Union serves a wide array of individuals and groups. You can qualify based on your employer or if you live, work, worship or study in one of the following Ohio counties: Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Darke, Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Licking, Madison, Miami, Montgomery, Pickaway, Preble, Union and Warren.

Both military and civilian employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base also qualify, along with any military and government personnel in the region who may not have a credit union available to them. If you are retired from a position with the U.S. government, you qualify regardless of place of residence — whether you were employed through the military or as a civilian. Students at Wright State University also qualify. If you are a member, your spouse and children qualify for membership as well.

Wright-Patt’s personal loans are available at an astonishingly low minimum of $100. No other credit union offers such a low minimum, and credit unions are known for offering lower minimums than banks. The interest rates are competitive, and depending on how much you borrow, loan terms can be as high as 60 months.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Wright-Patt Credit Union’s secure website

Navy Federal Credit Union

Founded in 1933, Navy Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union, with more than 15 million member accounts. To become a member of this massive organization, you must be an active-duty member of the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, Navy or Coast Guard. Other service members that qualify include those in the Air or Army National Guards, those in the Delayed Entry Program, Department of Defense Officer Candidates, those in the ROTC, Department of Defense reservists, veterans, retirees and those who collect any annuity from the Department of Defense or its affiliated branches.

If you’re a civilian, you can qualify for membership if you’re a Department of Defense employee, a contractor with the Department of Defense assigned to a government installation, a government employee assigned to a Department of Defense installation, a Department of Defense retiree or if you collect an annuity from the Department of Defense. If you’re a family member of someone with a Navy Federal Credit Union account, you qualify, too.

You can take out a personal loan with Navy Federal Credit Union for as little as $250 and as much as $50,000. Terms are up to 60 months, but you can get a longer term if you’re borrowing money for home improvements. As long as you’re borrowing at least $25,000, your term can extend up to 84 months on these home improvement personal loans, and can be as long as 180 months if you’re borrowing $30,000 or more.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Navy Federal Credit Union’s secure website

ESL Federal Credit Union

ESL stands for Eastman Savings and Loan Association, in reference to the legendary George Eastman, who used profits from the company he built — Kodak — to serve as a boon to the local Rochester, N.Y., community. In 1920, he launched Eastman Savings, specifically to serve the financial needs of his employees with a strong emphasis on helping them toward homeownership. In 1996, Eastman Savings became ESL Federal Credit Union.

To become a member of ESL Federal Credit Union, you must live, work, worship or study in Rochester. You can also qualify if you work for any of these employers, or if you are a member, employee, volunteer or retiree of the George Eastman Museum. Individual membership at the museum is $65, though you can gain membership for only $60 if you’re older than 65 or $25 if you’re a student. If your family member belongs to ESL Federal Credit Union, you qualify for membership, too.

ESL’s personal loans have decent rates, though they aren’t the lowest on the market. These rates also go up the longer your term is, which can be up to 120 months. But the lowest amount you can borrow is $250, which is extremely attractive for those who don’t want to borrow and pay interest on more than they need.

LEARN MORE Secured

on ESL Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Patelco Credit Union

Patelco Credit Union was established in 1936 as a financial institution for AT&T employees. Back then, it wasn’t known as AT&T — it was the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co., which is where the credit union gets its name.

To become a member, you must live, work, worship or study in one of the following California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Marin, Merced, Napa, Placer, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus and Yolo.

You can also qualify if you live in Bakersfield, McKinleyville, Santa Cruz or Eureka. Others who qualify include students at San Francisco State University; the University of California, Berkeley; and California State University, East Bay, along with employees and members of Patelco’s sponsor organization. You can check to see if your employer is one of them here. The final group that qualifies is the family of existing Patelco members.

While Patelco offers the highest minimum loan amount in the rankings, it also offers the lowest potential APR. But this rate is only available if you are borrowing money to pay for back-to-school expenses, with a max loan term of 36 months. If you’re borrowing money to buy a computer or another electronic device, the lowest APR available is 8.80% and loan terms extend to 60 months. Loans for debt consolidation or any other purpose also have a maximum term of 60 months, but the minimum APR is 9.90%.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Patelco Credit Union’s secure website

Best credit unions with automatic payment discounts

“Set it and forget it” is certainly best for keeping your loans current and your credit rating in good shape. And many credit unions offer discounts that knock off as much as a whole percentage point from the rate of your loan. Below are six credit unions offering the deepest discounts for setting up automatic payments.

State Employees’ Credit Union of N.C.

There is a litany of ways to join the State Employees’ Credit Union in North Carolina, and all but one of them are tied to your employer. You qualify for membership if you work for or retired from:

  • The state of North Carolina
  • The federal government, and your job requires you to work together with the state
  • A North Carolinian public board of education
  • The North Carolina National Guard
  • Any North Carolina county as long as your job is in the field of health, mental health, social services or civil defense
  • An agency or department that holds you accountable to North Carolina’s State Personnel Act

You can also qualify as a family member of someone who has an account with the State Employees’ credit union.

While this credit union does offer a fairly steep APR discount for autopay or even having your payment deducted from your paycheck, the starting rates are not incredibly competitive — even if you account for that discount. The lowest rate you could possibly get on a personal loan from this credit union is 10.75% APR as of Sept. 13, 2018.

LEARN MORE Secured

on State Employees' Credit Union (NC)’s secure website

OnPoint Community Credit Union

OnPoint Community Credit Union serves communities in northwestern Oregon and southern Washington. You qualify for membership if you live or work in Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Lane, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington or Yamhill counties in Oregon, or in the counties of either Clark or Skamania in Washington state. If your family member qualifies, so do you.

This credit union does give you a good APR discount for signing up for automatic payments, but even with the discounts, the rates are nothing to write home about. As of Sept. 13, 2018, they range from 10.00% to 16.00% APR — and that’s after accounting for the discount. Terms are up to 60 months, and you can borrow up to $25,000.

LEARN MORE Secured

on OnPoint Community Credit Union’s secure website

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union

If you are an active or retired police officer or firefighter who serves or served in Philadelphia, you qualify for membership at the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union. So do your family members. In fact, the credit union issues referral coupons that can earn both you and your family member $400 each when they join.

If neither you nor any of your family members meet these criteria, you can check to see if your employer is one of Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s member groups, which would also qualify you for membership.

While it is encouraging to see the larger APR discount for setting up automatic payments, it should be noted that personal loans at this credit union come with a higher APR than the best on the market. As of Sept. 13, 2018, the best rate you’d be able to get after applying the autopay discount is 9.90% APR on loans up to $30,000. The max term available is 60 months.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Police And Fire Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Digital Federal Credit Union

DCU, or Digital Federal Credit Union, was chartered in 1979. Today, it’s the largest credit union in New England, but it serves members far and wide outside of its Massachusetts home. You are eligible for DCU membership if you live, work, study or worship in Lowell, Worcester, the northern portion of Chelmsford or the western portion of Tewksbury in Massachusetts. In the state of Georgia, Cumming, Gainesville and Norcross are also eligible locales.

Other ways to qualify for membership include working for an eligible employer or living in specific condominium communities. DCU also works with several Massachusetts-based organizations to offer banking services to those organizations membership. If you want to join the credit union but don’t qualify in any other way, the least expensive way to do so is by getting a $10 membership with a nonprofit called Reach Out for Schools.

DCU’s APR on personal loans starts at 9.00%, and that’s only if you have direct deposit set up on your DCU checking account, which would be used for automatic payments. If you don’t, your potential rates would start at 9.50% APR. Terms can be as long as 60 months, and there are no prepayment penalties.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)’s secure website

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union earned a spot in our best overall list partly because of its generous auto pay discount. Scroll above to learn more about SchoolsFirst.

Logix Federal Credit Union

This credit union has the most generous discount of all, which helped earn it a spot in our best overall credit union list. Scroll up to read more.

Methodology

MagnifyMoney collected the rates and terms from the 50 largest credit unions by assets in July 2018. To determine the rankings, MagnifyMoney compared loan terms, the annual percentage rates for personal and signature loans offered, how quickly the funds for the loan become available once the loan is approved, and if the credit union offered any discounts for using a payroll or automated repayment plan.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit October 2018

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

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If you have bad credit, it can be difficult to get approved for loans and credit cards. But it is not impossible. Even people with bad credit have options – which we will now explain.

What exactly is a bad credit score? When we’re talking about obtaining credit via credit cards, the magic number is somewhere between 620 and 650. If your credit score falls below 650, you’re going to have a difficult time obtaining credit from some of the larger lending institutions, and if it’s below 620, you’re going to have a difficult time obtaining credit from anyone — including smaller financial institutions like credit unions and independent marketplace lenders.

There are, however, some products for which you’ll have an easier time qualifying. Before you apply, make sure you’re prepared to be responsible with your new line of credit so you can boost your score and credit history rather than damaging it further. The best way to do this is to spend within your means by creating a budget and sticking to it. Here are some helpful tools to help you do just that. Remember to always pay your bill off in full on or before the due date each month to establish good credit.

Here are the products and topics we’ll be discussing today:

Check if You’re Pre-qualified

Before you apply for a credit card check if you’re pre-qualified from a variety of institutions. This does not hurt your credit score and is a good first step when looking to apply for credit. You can read our complete guide to getting pre-qualified for a credit card here.

Build Credit with Secured Credit Cards

If you are trying to rebuild your credit, one of the best approaches is to get a secured credit card. In order to get the card, you will have to write a check to deposit with the credit card company. This money will be your line of credit.

In order to effectively rebuild your credit, you must actually use the card, and we recommend not charging more than 20% of your credit line. For example, if you have a $500 credit line, you should not charge more than $100. Then, pay off your balance in full every single month. You can even build credit with $10 a month on a secured card and see your credit score rise.

After you’ve consistently managed your secured card well over a period of time, you may be able to increase your credit line beyond your initial deposit or migrate to an unsecured credit card. With most companies, this is a tedious process that you’ll have to initiate. You also aren’t guaranteed to get results even after you’ve made a request.

Discover operates differently than most companies in this realm, making it our number one pick for secured cards.

Discover it® Secured

If you’re looking for a secured credit card, look no further than the Discover it® Secured. On top of being great for people with a bad credit score, Discover will also accept applicants who have no credit history at all. Discover offers great ways for you to rebuild your credit and be on the way to an unsecured card.

Discover it® Secured

APPLY NOW Secured

on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® Secured

Annual fee
$0
Minimum Deposit
$200
Regular APR
24.99% Variable
Credit required
bad-credit
Poor/New to Credit

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Bankruptcies May Be OK If you have a Chapter 7 bankruptcy on your credit report, it won’t automatically disqualify you from getting approved for a Discover it® Secured. However, there are no guaranteed approvals. This is a positive if you’ve had trouble getting a credit card in the past.
  • Helps You Rebuild Your Credit This is a legitimate way to rebuild your credit when you don’t qualify for other cards, or the agreement you are offered by another company is laden with fees and high interest rates.
  • Offers a Rewards Program Not only can you rebuild your credit, but you’ll also earn rewards points as you do so. This is a great feature that many secured cards don’t offer and is a reason why we consider Discover number one. Earn 2% cash back at restaurants or gas stations up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus 1% cash back on all other credit card purchases. During your first year, Discover will also match your cash back.
  • Easy to Get a Credit Increase Every eight months, Discover reviews your account to see if you’re eligible for an increase on your line of credit. This is typically a process you’d have to initiate with other lenders. So rest assured that Discover will give you an updated line of credit reflective of your changing situation.
  • Easy to Transition to an Unsecured Card Some companies will make it difficult to transition from a secured to unsecured card. Not Discover. They assess your eligibility during that eight-month checkup. This helps facilitate you from a secured to unsecured card.

Cons Cons

  • Rewards Limited The higher 2% reward tier is limited to the first $1,000 you spend at restaurants and gas stations each quarter. Regardless, that’s $20 back, which is a great reward when your goal is to increase your credit score.
  • Be Careful Not to Overspend As with the other cards in this review, you have to be careful that the rewards program doesn’t entice you to overspend. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging your credit score further. Make sure that your primary goal, to raise your credit score, precedes the urge to spend too much money in order to get rewards.
Bottom line

Bottom line

The Discover it® Secured is a fantastic product for those with bad credit. Pay your balance in full by the end of every statement period and your financial life is almost guaranteed to get rosier. You’ll even have the added benefit of rewards — just be careful not to let the rewards program lure you into overspending. With proper practices, you’ll be on your way to an unsecured card and a better credit score.

Read our full review of the Discover it® Secured

Also Consider

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card from Capital Bank N.A.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

This card does not do a credit check, and no bank account is needed to apply. This is beneficial for those with low credit scores or no access to a bank account. If you’ve filed for bankruptcy, you’re in luck because they don’t care to know, unlike other institutions. However, OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card charges a $35 annual fee, which the Discover it® Secured does not. This can be a deal breaker if you don’t want to pay a fee, since there are many secured cards without fees.

Read MagnifyMoney’s full Secured Credit Card Guide.

Our Credit Union Favorite

If you’re looking to open a credit card with bad credit, it can be hard to find a card you qualify for. That’s where credit unions come in. They are sometimes more accepting of your credit history and have cards especially designed for people with low credit scores — helping your approval chances.

Visa® Classic from Georgia's Own Credit Union

Georgia’s Own Credit Union offers a variety of credit cards all with low interest. The Visa® Classic from Georgia's Own Credit Union is positioned toward those who need to rebuild credit and boasts a low APR. When you apply for a credit card on Georgia’s Own website you are directed toward an application that is for all credit cards they offer. This means that depending on your creditworthiness, you may not be directed to the Visa® Classic from Georgia's Own Credit Union as an option. Therefore, if you want to apply directly for the card, the best bet is to speak with a loan officer who will tell you if you’re pre-approved for the Visa® Classic from Georgia's Own Credit Union.

Visa® Classic from Georgia's Own Credit Union

APPLY NOW Secured

on Georgia's Own Credit Union’s secure website

Read Full Review

Visa® Classic from Georgia's Own Credit Union

Annual fee
$0
Regular Purchase APR
13.99%–18.99% Variable
Credit required
fair-credit
Fair

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Good chance of getting approved Georgia’s Own tailored this credit card toward those needing to rebuild or re-establish their credit history. This gives those with bad credit a greater chance of being approved. Also, if your score is above 620, you are more likely to be approved.
  • Fair APR This card has a fair APR ranging from 13.99%–18.99% Variable. This is significantly lower compared to other cards targeted to people with less than perfect credit, with APRs as high as 19.99%. Although your goal is to pay every bill in full and on time each month, if you keep a balance, this low APR won’t accrue as much interest as other cards.

Cons Cons

  • Have to join the credit union In order to get this card, you have to join Georgia’s Own Credit Union. Anyone can become a member regardless of residence. If you don’t qualify for Georgia’s Own free eligibility options, you will have to join the GettingAhead Association, which has a $5 annual membership fee. The best bet is to speak to a loan officer (404-874-1166) and see if you’re pre-approved for the credit card, and if pre-approved, you can join GettingAhead while completing your credit card application. All members will also need to keep $5 in a savings account that must remain in the account while you have the card open.
  • Foreign transaction fee of 2% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction Make sure to leave this card at home when you travel abroad as you’ll be charged a foreign transaction fee of 2% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction. This is slightly lower than most cards, which charge a 3% foreign transaction fee, yet high enough to increase your bill significantly if you make purchases abroad.
  • No rewards program There is no rewards program for this credit card. Georgia’s Own offers several other cards that have rewards programs, but you may have a harder time qualifying if you don’t have a good credit score.
Bottom line

Bottom line

The Visa® Classic from Georgia's Own Credit Union is a good option for people who have a bad credit score. If you don’t mind joining a credit union and plan on practicing proper credit behavior, you can rebuild your credit score. Later on, you’ll be able to qualify for other credit cards that have rewards programs.

Read our full review of the Visa® Classic from Georgia's Own Credit Union

Best for Cash: Personal Loans

If you’re looking to get some cash in your pocket, credit cards in general aren’t your best answer. Cash advances are not ideal, and putting a purchase you can’t currently afford onto a credit card with a high interest rate attributable to your not-so-great credit score is going to be an expensive venture.

Instead, you’ll want to consider personal loans. They’re admittedly a little more work up front with the application process, but the savings can be worth it. You can check to see if you are prequalified without impacting your credit score at most lenders. And LendingTree (the parent company of MagnifyMoney) has created a tool that lets you compare rates from dozens of lenders at once, without impacting your score.

LendingTree

LendingTree, our parent company, offers a one-stop tool that can help borrowers find numerous personal loan offers. After entering some basic information, you can receive offers from lenders in a matter of minutes. If you prefer to go directly to the lender’s site you can use one of the options listed below.

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

LendingTree is our parent company

LendingTree

Loan Amount
up to $35,000
Term
24 to 60 Months
APR Range
5.99%-35.99%
Origination Fee
Varies
Credit Required
Bad or Could be Better/Average/Good/Excellent
Soft Pull
You can get your rate without hurting your score.

LendingTree is our parent company. LendingTree is unique in that you may be able to compare up to five personal loan offers within minutes. Everything is done online and you may be pre-qualified by lenders without impacting your credit score. LendingTree is not a lender.

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Check Multiple Offers at Once You can check personal loan offers from a wide range of lenders including Avant, LendingClub and Best Egg. The entire process happens online for free and is fast and easy.
  • Soft Pull on Your Credit LendingTree performs a soft pulll on your credit in order to give you accurate loan offers. This does not affect your credit score and can give you a good picture of what to expect if you’re approved for a loan.

Cons Cons

  • Need to Create and Account to View Offers The only way to view your personal loan offers is to create and account at LendingTree. This is a minor step, but it does allow you the ease of saving your offers so you can review them later.
Bottom line

Bottom line

LendingTree offers a great tool that lets you easily check your rates for a variety of lenders, all in a matter of minutes. This is a great way for you to see what rates you may get and allows you to shop around for the best offer, without the hassle of going to multiple websites.

Avant

Avant offers personal loans even to those with less-than-desirable credit. Because there is no prepayment penalty, you can pay off your loan before the end of your term without consequence.

SEE OFFERS Secured

on LendingTree’s secure website

Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

Avant

Loan Amount
$2,000 – $35,000
Term
24 to 60 Months
APR Range
9.95%-35.99%
Origination Fee
Up to 4.75%
Soft Pull
Checking your Loan Options will not affect your credit score.

Avant is an online lender that offers personal loans ranging from $2,000 to $35,000. ... Read More

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Apply Online The entire Avant application process happens online. This saves you the hassle of filling out paperwork and visiting a local branch.
  • Check Your Loan Options Before You Apply Avant allows you to check your Loan Options that you would be offered with a soft pull on your credit. This will not impact your credit score. This is helpful if you’re shopping around for different rates and gives you a realistic picture of what to expect should you choose Avant.
  • Could Save Money over Subprime Credit Cards Depending on the interest rate and upfront fee percentage you are offered, a personal loan from Avant could save you money over putting purchases on a subprime credit card. The ability to preview your interest rate can also help you compare between personal loans and other possible options.

Cons Cons

  • High Interest Rates Because you’re a subprime borrower, you’re not likely to qualify for the lowest interest rate offered. You’re more likely to be offered something closer to the 35.99% rate. This is a very high rate, and it’s important that you make all of your payments on time to avoid paying interest and damaging your credit score.
Bottom line

Bottom line

While there’s only one con for Avant’s personal loans, it’s a pretty big one. The interest rate can be extremely high, so do your math before deciding if this is a good product for you. And be sure to take advantage of the fact that they’ll let you check your interest rate before officially submitting your application. Use this feature to shop around for best offers and check if you qualify for a better loan

OneMain Financial

Avant is easier to apply for as the application process will take place online, but if you’re willing to go somewhere in person, you can also apply with OneMain Financial. Its application is also online, but in order to be approved, you’ll have to show up at a local branch with documentation backing the information you submitted at home.

OneMain Financial

Loan Amount
$1,500 – $30,000
Term
24 to 60 Months
APR Range
16.05%-35.99%
Origination Fee
Varies

If you have a credit score below 600, OneMain Financial is one of the few lenders that you can use to get a personal loan.... Read More


Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our standard credit criteria (including credit history, income and debts) and the availability of collateral. Loan amounts subject to state specific minimum or maximum size restrictions. Collateral offered must meet our criteria. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered by the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral. CA minimum loan amount is $3,000. GA minimum loan amount is $1,500 for present customers and $3,100 for others.

Magnify Glass Pros

  • Same-day funds when you get a prepaid debit card or check, up to $10,000
  • No prepayment penalties
  • Several locations across 44 states

Cons Cons

  • High rates up to 35.99%
  • 5% late payment penalty
Bottom line

Bottom line

If you have a lower credit score and are limited in your options to take out a personal loan, OneMain Financial could provide you with a solution. However, be sure you understand the loan terms and the full cost of the loan.

Last Resort: Subprime Credit Cards

Subprime credit cards are those that lending institutions issue to those with “bad” credit. They are not a good solution to your credit woes. They almost always come with high interest rates and a litany of fees — both of which make it difficult to use this product responsibly.

For example, First Premier makes a business out of lending to subprime borrowers with bad credit. Most of their applicants are only awarded a $300 line of credit. That’s after they pay a $95 fee just to apply (which is not a common practice in the credit card industry) and a $75 annual fee. If you are approved for a higher credit limit, your annual fee for the first year may be higher ($79-$125). In the second year, the annual fee drops ($45-$49), but at this point you are charged a $6.25-$10.40 account servicing fee every single month.

The cherry on top? The card’s APR is 36%. Heaven forbid you are ever late on a payment — your balance will skyrocket with the insanely high interest rate. Don’t forget about the late payment fee — up to $38.

Another example is Credit One Bank — not to be confused with Capitol One Bank, though their logos do look eerily similar. Not every Credit One Bank credit card comes with outrageous fees. In fact, there are 26 separate possible card agreements. But if you are a subprime borrower, you’re likely to qualify for higher rates.

Your credit may not be great, but that doesn’t make subprime credit cards a “fair” product. You may qualify for other, better options that aren’t as laden with fees. That’s why we recommend you first check if you’re pre-qualified for offers then look at store cards and personal loans before choosing a subprime credit card.

Bad Credit FAQs

Store cards can be used as payment anywhere the credit card company, such as MasterCard or Visa, is accepted. Private label cards can only be used at the branded company’s store. For example, if you get a private label card for New York & Company, you can only use it for purchases at New York & Company. You would not be able to use it at any other store.

Your best bet is to ask. If you are applying online, pick up the phone and call or use the company’s online chat if available.

If you have a physical card in front of you, you’ll notice that store cards always have the associated credit card company shown on the front, whether that be Visa, American Express, MasterCard, or another.

Private label cards tend not to display this information, though a major financial institution that a lot of companies work with for their private label cards is Comenity. If you have a card associated with Comenity Bank, it is likely a private label card.

No. Most businesses have an online application for their store cards.

Personal loans are typically issued by more reputable lenders who aspire to more transparency than those in the payday loan space. Payday loans are often advertised as having interest rates somewhere between 10% and 30%, but that interest is charged over a short period of time, making their effective APR (annual percentage rate) much higher. Some payday loans have an effective APR of 400% or more.

The lender isn’t likely to tell you that, though. Many businesses in this space are predatory. Payday loans also tend to come with outrageous fees.

While rates and fees on personal loans for those with bad credit aren’t ideal, they’re more than substantially lower than those of payday loans. Make no mistake about it: despite enticing advertising promises of deceptive payday lenders, personal loans are an infinitely better option.

Borrowing cash from your credit card company often comes with a fee of 1%-5%. That may not seem terrible when you look at the upfront fees of many personal loans, but you also have to account for interest.

Unlike purchases you charge to your card, interest on cash advances starts accruing immediately. You do not get to wait for your next statement to be issued. The interest rate for cash advances is also often higher than that of regular purchases.

A personal loan is an installment loan with a balance that will go down if you pay the minimum payment each month. This makes it far easier to manage than debt accrued via a cash advance. If you only pay the minimum payment on a cash advance each month, your balance will go up at a quick pace, potentially spiraling out of control.

First of all, the less you charge, the easier it will be to pay back. Since you have a bad credit score, you may have had issues with charging too much in the past and being unable to pay it off.

Secondly, around 30% of your credit score is made up of your credit utilization ratio. You find this ratio by dividing the amount of credit extended to you by the amount you have borrowed. By borrowing only 20% of your available credit, you reduce the risk of having your current balance negatively impacting your credit score.

It can sometimes take a year or more to see your score improve by 100 points if you are doing everything correctly and responsibly.

Yes, but only if you use them responsibly, paying the balance off in full every month. Keep in mind your credit utilization ratio here, too.

Potentially. Ten percent of your credit score is made up of something called “credit mix.” You don’t need to have every single type of credit in your credit report, but you should have more than one type. Here are the five that count:

  • Credit cards
  • Installment loans
  • Retail accounts
  • Finance company accounts
  • Mortgage loans

Conceivably, if you have a mortgage or business debt tied to your Social Security number or EIN, you might be able to get away with rebuilding your score through a personal loan (which is an installment loan). The key is to manage all of those debts well — and to do so consistently — especially since you already have bad credit.

No. Transactions on prepaid debit cards do not get reported to the credit bureaus. Also, it’s important to remember than many prepaid cards come with a ton of fees.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
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Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Best of

20 Credit Cards with No Cash Advance Fees

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Credit Cards with No Cash Advance Fees

 

If you have a credit card, your financial institution has likely mailed you checks for cash advance purposes. Understanding this aspect of your available credit is incredibly important, as it can be much more expensive than simply making a purchase.

Taking a cash advance gives you money now in cases where you can’t use a credit card (perhaps paying rent), or have otherwise maxed out your purchasing power. Many financial institutions will charge you a fee between 1% and 5% just for making this transaction.

But some cards have no fees for cash advances.

The catch is, interest starts accruing immediately on cash advances, meaning that even if you pay your statement balance in full by the due date, you will still incur interest charges in the interim. So if you do a cash advance, try to pay it off as quickly as possible, even before the due date, to minimize the interest you pay.

Best Cards with No Cash Advance Fees

These credit unions offer no cash advance fees on all their credit cards. While you’ll pay interest from the day you take out the cash, as a last resort it’s a better bet than paying an upfront fee. These are all credit unions anyone can join, but many of them require excellent credit to qualify for a card.

 

PenFed Credit Union

PenFed Credit Union-CDs Pentagon Federal Credit Union, commonly known as PenFed, offers five different credit cards with no cash advance fees. None of them charge a foreign transaction fee, and all interest rates are the same for purchases and cash advances.

Anyone can join PenFed Credit Union simply by making a one-time donation of $17 to either Voices for America’s Troops or the National Military Family Association.

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

11.49%-17.99%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

PenFed Promise Visa® Card

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

11.49%-17.99%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

PenFed Gold Visa® Card

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

8.99%-17.99%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on PenFed Credit Union’s secure website

American 1 Credit Union

American 1 Credit Union American 1 Credit Union offers four different credit cards with no cash advance fees. Interest rates on purchases and cash advances are the same, though there is a foreign transaction fee of 1%.

Anyone can join American 1 Credit Union by joining Community 1 Cooperative. You pay $3 for membership, which includes a litany of discounts on consumer products and services across an array of industries.

American 1 Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

9.49%-18.00%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on American 1 Credit Union’s secure website

CapEd Federal Credit Union

 CapEd Federal Credit Union CapEd Federal Credit Union offers one card with no cash advance fees. It also carries the same interest rate for purchases and cash advances, but does have a foreign transaction fee that varies depending on if the transaction is in USD or requires conversion into a foreign currency.

To join CapEd, all you have to do is make a one-time $20 donation to the Idaho CapEd Foundation.

CapEd VISA® Platinum Credit Card

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

7.59%-13.59%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital Educators Federal Credit Union’s secure website

First Tech Federal Credit Union

First Tech Federal Credit Union First Tech Federal Credit Union offers three different cards that come with no cash advance fees. The interest rates on these transactions will be higher than the interest rates on regular purchases, however. There are no foreign transaction fees.

Anyone can join First Tech through membership in the Financial Fitness Association, which costs $8 per year, or a digital membership to the Computer History Museum, which will run you $15 per year.

Odyssey™ Rewards World Elite MasterCard® from First Tech FCU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$75 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

12.74%-18.00%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on First Technology Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Platinum Rewards MasterCard® from First Tech FCU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

11.74%-18.00%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on First Technology Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Choice Rewards World MasterCard® from First Tech FCU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

11.74%-18.00%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on First Technology Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Platinum Secured Mastercard® from First Tech FCU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Minimum Deposit

$500

Regular Purchase APR

17.50%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on First Technology Federal Credit Union’s secure website

ISU Credit Union

ISU Credit Union ISU Credit Union offers two cards that have zero cash advance fees. Interest rates on cash advances are higher than those on regular purchases for the first year only, and there is a foreign transaction fee of 1%.

To join ISU Credit Union if you don’t live, work or study in Southeastern Idaho, you can qualify through paid membership at a number of Southeastern Idaho organizations including humane societies and educational cause groups. Also, ISU has a $1.00 membership fee and a minimum deposit of $25.00 which represents your share of ownership in the credit union . You must maintain a share balance of $25 while your account is open.

 Platinum MasterCard® from ISU CU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

8.25%-15.50%

Variable

Platinum Plus MasterCard® from ISU CU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

9.25%-16.50%

Variable

Mid-Illini Credit Union

Mid-Illini Credit Union Mid Illini Credit Union offers two different cards that come with no cash advance fees. Interest rates for purchases and cash advances are identical, and there is a foreign transaction fee of 1%.

Anyone can join Mid Illini Credit Union by making a one-time $1 donation to the Mid-Illinois Dollars for Scholars, an organization that provides scholarships to students of McLean County, Illinois.

Visa Classic Card from Mid Illini CU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

14.99%-18.99%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on Mid Illini Credit Union’s secure website

Visa Platinum Card from Mid Illini CU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

8.99%-9.99%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on Mid Illini Credit Union’s secure website

Stanford Federal Credit Union

Stanford Federal Credit Union Stanford Federal Credit Union offers several cards with no cash advance fees for which the general public qualifies. There are no foreign transaction fees, and rates are the same for purchases and cash advances.

To join Stanford Federal Credit Union, you can become a member at the Museum of American Heritage or join Friends of the Palo Alto Library.

Visa® Platinum Cash Back Rewards Card from Stanford FCU

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

10.49%-17.99%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on Stanford Federal’s secure website

Digital Credit Union

Digital Credit Union Digital Credit Union offers two cards with no cash advance fees. While interest rates are the same for both cash advances and regular purchases, foreign transaction fees will vary based on the need for currency conversion.

You can join Digital Credit Union by donating to any number of organizations that match your interests. The most common organization new members choose is Reach Out for Schools, which only requires a one-year membership at the cost of $10.

DCU Visa® Platinum Credit Card

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

10.00%-18.00%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)’s secure website


DCU Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Regular Purchase APR

12.75%-18.00%

Variable

APPLY NOW Secured

on Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)’s secure website

Other Options with Restricted Membership

There are other credit unions that offer no cash advance fees, however they have restricted membership based on your residence or other factors. Here are some other cards that can be an option depending on where you live.

  • United Federal Credit Union offers two cards for people who live or work in Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oklahoma or have an immediate family member who is a member of United FCU:

Alternatives to Cash Advances

While cards that offer no fees on cash advances are cheaper, that does not mean these transactions are cheap. You should only take a cash advance as a last resort in a true emergency. In order to avoid becoming one of the American households that can’t cover $400 financial hardships, start building an emergency fund today. When you withdraw money from your own savings account, you have to pay zero interest and zero fees.

If you don’t have an emergency fund, but you do have a credit card, it is wiser to charge emergency expenses as a purchase rather than taking money out as a cash advance if at all possible. Even when interest rates are identical for these two different types of transactions, cash advances will start charging you those rates immediately, while purchases won’t require you to pay interest until after the first statement is issued.

Payday loans are another alternative. However, they’re not necessarily a good one. They often come with numerous fees and aren’t as hassle-free as some lenders make them out to be. If you don’t pay off your loan at the end of the term (often about two weeks), you risk incurring fees that can add up to more than your loan. This can translate into effective interest rates in the triple digits. If they’re your only option, be extremely careful. Above all, make sure you fully understand the terms and costs.

Foreign travelers will also want to charge purchases whenever possible for this same reason. If you must use cash, a cash advance is a safer alternative to withdrawing money from your bank account abroad, but it is also wise to pay it off using your financial institution’s online services as soon as possible to avoid paying more interest than you have to.

Cash advances aren’t ideal, so if you can avoid them you should. However, they are a much better option than turning to the alternative lending industry where you’ll find predators and payday loans.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Reviews

HSBC Direct Review of Savings and CD Rates

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established2004
Total Assets$178.6B

As one of the world’s largest financial organizations, HSBC Bank has more than 3,900 offices around the globe, including the U.S. It was founded in 1865, financing trade between Asia and other countries. The bank serves more than 38 million customers worldwide.

HSBC Bank offers a wide range of products and services including bank accounts, loans and investment products. In July of 2018, HSBC launched an online division named HSBC Direct. This review will focus on HSBC Direct's savings and CD accounts.

HSBC Direct’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

2.01%

Savings

HSBC Direct HSBC Direct Savings

on HSBC Direct’s secure website

Member FDIC


HSBC Direct’s savings account option

Direct Savings

Great rates with extremely high minimum balance requirements.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
2.01%
$0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: No debit card issued with this account
  • ATM fee refund: No debit card issued with this account
  • Overdraft fee: None; you cannot overdraft this account

The HSBC Direct Savings account was reintroduced in July 2018 after eight years off the market. Since July, the offered APY on this account has been steadily rising, and it is now one of the best on the market. A new account requires new money — transfers from an existing HSBC Direct account are not permitted to initially fund the account.

While HSBC Direct will not let you overdraw this account, you should be aware that as a savings account, it is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which states that you cannot make more than six withdrawals per month. If you do, HSBC Direct may shut down your account or convert it into a checking account, which would make you lose the high APY that makes Direct Savings so attractive in the first place.

How to get HSBC’s Direct Savings account

You can get the application process started online. Applicants need to be at least 18 years of age and have a Social Security number. Along with those requirements, you need to have a current U.S. residential address for the past three years. For identification, you can use a driver’s license, non-driver identification card, learner’s permit, passport or Permanent Resident Card/Green Card.

LEARN MORE Secured

on HSBC Direct’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How HSBC Direct’s savings account compares

HSBC Direct’s savings account offers one of the highest rates on the market. If you’re looking to grow your liquid savings, you should absolutely consider this account as a top contender.

It’s important to seek out information about HSBC Direct’s competition before you open your account — even if you’re not concerned about meeting the balance requirements.

HSBC Direct’s CD rates

Direct Certificates of Deposit

These CDs do not have competitive rates. Look elsewhere for your certificates.
TermAPY
6 Months0.75%
9 Months0.01%
12 Months0.95%
18 Months0.05%
24 Months1.30%
36 Months0.10%
48 Months0.15%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 30 days’ worth of simple interest on 6, 9 and 12 month CDs; 90 days’ worth of interest on 18 and 24 month CDs; 180 days’ worth of interest on 36 and 48 month CDs

In contrast with its excellent savings rates, HSBC Direct’s CDs offer low rates when compared to the competition. If you make an early withdrawal on these CDs, you will be charged a standard penalty. But what really stings about these certificates is that if your balance dips below the $1,000 minimum requirement, your certificate will stop earning any interest.

This is not atypical for a certificate. In fact, everything about HSBC Direct’s CDs is fairly average. But you don’t want average rates on your certificate when there are better options out there.

How to get HSBC Direct’s CDs

Should you decide to open an HSBC Direct CD, you can find the application online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on HSBC’s secure website

Member FDIC

magnifying glass

How HSBC Direct’s CD rates compare

HSBC Direct’s certificates of deposit pale in comparison to the competition. Even the highest rates offered are half, and sometimes even just one-third, of the best rates on the market. If you’re opening a certificate, you’re not going to be able to access your money for the entire length of the term without paying a penalty. Make sure the wait is worth it by scoring a higher APY on your CD.

Overall review of HSBC Direct’s banking products

HSBC Direct offers a mixed bag for new customers. You wouldn’t be missing much if you overlooked its CD offerings, as the rates are simply not competitive. However, it would not be wise to skip over the Direct Savings account.

With one of the highest APY offers on the market, the Direct Savings account can be a good way to earn a decent return on your savings. As good as the account is, we always recommend shopping around to see if there’s anything better found elsewhere.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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