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Banking

Wells Fargo vs Bank of America

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements 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.

When you hear the phrase, “big bank,” Wells Fargo and Bank of America likely come to mind. Founded in 1852, Wells Fargo is a San Francisco-based bank which has almost 8,000 locations. The Bank of America brand, on the other hand, first came about in 1998 and is based in Charlotte, North Carolina. It has about 4,300 locations available to customers.Overall, they both provide the standard financial products and deposit accounts you’d expect from giants like these. For example, both offer savings and checking accounts as well as CDs, retirement accounts, credit cards and home and auto loans. As ubiquitous brands, they (as well as other big banks) stand in a category of their own, meaning they don’t really compete with the offerings you might find at an online bank, or even a credit union. So it’s important to shop around if you want to score the best accounts and rates.

Despite the similarities these two banks share, there are subtle differences in their offerings that will dictate which comes out on top for each individual’s circumstances.

Here’s how they stack up:

Wells Fargo vs Bank of America: How their rates compare

Interest rates are an important factor to consider when choosing a bank. Readers should be aware, however, that some offerings and products from both Wells Fargo and Bank of America will depend on your location. This includes interest rates. To keep things consistent, we’ve pulled information using the corresponding ZIP codes for each bank’s headquarters (Wells Fargo: 94104; Bank of America: 28256).

 Wells FargoBank of AmericaNational average*Online bank average*
Savings0.01% APY0.03% APY0.270% APY1.52% APY
Checking0.00% APY0.00% APY0.189% APY0.41% APY
1 year CD1.25% APY0.05% APY1.268% APY2.09% APY
5 year CDNot Available0.75% APY2.206% APY2.70% APY

Neither Wells Fargo nor Bank of America has accounts that come close to matching (let alone outpacing) the APYs for those from the average U.S. bank, as you can see from our table above.

The checking accounts from both banks, for example, do not pay out interest. And while the savings accounts do have an APY, those are extremely low within the context of the national average. Ultimately, neither bank is competing at the same level as others (especially online banks) when it comes to offering consumer-friendly interest rates.

Check out our roundups of the best savings, best CDs, and best checking accounts for better options.

Wells Fargo vs Bank of America: Which has better account options?

Overall, these two banks are fairly evenly matched. But Wells Fargo edges out Bank of America, particularly for those interested in the brick-and-mortar banking experience. Part of that is due to its size — Wells Fargo has almost double the amount of physical branches, which means it should be easier for the average American to access. (Of course the actual value of that increased availability will vary depending on your location and how often you travel.)

Another negative for Bank of America is its extremely low APYs. While it has an ever-so-slightly higher rate for its basic savings account than Wells Fargo (and it offers a five year CD while Wells Fargo does not), its overall offerings leave much to be desired. That’s especially true when you consider its CD products, which offer only an incrementally better return than its savings account. It’s one year CD, for example, falls short of the APY offered by online banks by more than two full percentage points. Wells Fargo, on the other hand, offers a rate higher than the national average for its one year CD. That difference that could mean a lot of lost interest earnings for those who opted for Bank of America.

Wells Fargo vs Bank of America: How they compare on fees

As noted above, a few of the offerings vary based on location. So we’ve used the banks’ respective headquarters’ ZIP codes for consistency.

 Wells FargoBank of America
Standard savings account$5 monthly service fee$5 per month

Standard checking account
$10 monthly service fee$14 per month maintenance fee per statement cycle
ATM fee$2.50 per transaction at a non-Wells Fargo ATM$2.50 for non-Bank of America ATMs
Overdraft fee$35 per item$35 per overdraft

These two banks are essentially evenly matched when it comes to fees (though Bank of America’s $14 monthly maintenance fee for its standard checking account is a bit higher than Wells Fargo’s.) So, at a surface level, Wells Fargo seems to come out just slightly ahead of Bank of America when it comes to fees.

However, it’s important to note that both banks offer consumers ways to avoid those monthly fees. In fact, both banks will waive the monthly fee for basic savings accounts for those who maintain a minimum balance of $300 (though there are other ways to do it, too). Both will waive the fee for basic checking accounts when customers maintain a daily balance of $1,500 or more, among other options.

Check out our round-up of the best free checking accounts.

Who should bank with Wells Fargo?

If you’re someone who wants the convenience of a widely accessible bank, and the humans who work inside those, Wells Fargo is likely a better option since it has a more dominant physical presence in the U.S. than Bank of America. It also carries with it the security of a household name, over 150 years in business, plus $1.9 trillion in assets at its disposal.

That can provide a small confidence boost for the bank-weary consumer. Considering that level of security, it’s not that surprising that Wells Fargo also provides customers with better rates for their CDs — a product which is inherently a guaranteed return on your investment — than you would see from the average national bank.

So for those who aren’t too concerned about making interest off their more basic products, like checking and savings accounts, but crave that kind of financial assurance, it’s a solid option.

Who should bank with Bank of America?

Bank of America is best for those who prefer a no-frills approach to banking. Provided interest earnings aren’t your top priority, these accounts get the job done. And in addition to the many banks and ATMs, there’s also an app (available through Google/Android and for Apple users) customers can use to quickly check out their balances, make transfers, do mobile check deposits and use its virtual financial assistant function to help you manage your finances.

That’s useful for those who find themselves frequently using their phone to conduct business, or do things like budget. Lastly, Bank of America may be a good option for those who want to get a CD, but can’t afford the steep $2,500 minimum that comes with a Wells Fargo CD. Bank of America’s minimum for a standard term CD is just $1,000, making it much more accessible for those with less cash to spare.

Alternatives

When it comes to brick-and-mortar banking, these two giants are classic choices — they’re households names and they’re equipped to provide face-to-face services to customers across the country. But if you’re looking for rewards, you might be better served looking elsewhere. Online banks, for example, often offer lower fees and better rates on basic accounts like checking and savings, meaning you could stand to profit more off of your basic banking needs. Those who are open to an online banking experience can compare the best online banks at MagnifyMoney to find the best option for them and their finances.

*National and Online bank averages and any fees mentioned in this article were compiled and are accurate as of the date of publishing.

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.

Devon Delfino
Devon Delfino |

Devon Delfino is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Devon here

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Reviews

MySavingsDirect Review: 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, statements 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 Established1850
Total Assets$5.8B
LEARN MORE MySavingsDirect’s secure websiteMember FDIC

Even though its parent Emigrant Bank has been around since 1850, you may not have heard of MySavingsDirect, its online-only banking division. This offshoot of the New York City-based financial institution offers a somewhat limited array of financial products, namely: personal savings, CDs and precious-metal investing. For the purposes of this review we’ll focus on the online bank’s savings account and CD options.

When put to the test, MySavingsDirect’s offerings were generally solid, offering high interest rates (for certain products) paired with consumer-friendly policies.

MySavingsDirect’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

2.40%

Savings

MySavingsDirect MySavings Account

2.10%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.40%

CD Rates

MySavingsDirect 6 Month My Term CD

2.75%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.30%

CD Rates

MySavingsDirect 30 Month My Term CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

MySavingsDirect’s savings account

High-interest savings account

A high-yield, fee-free account for those looking to higher returns on their savings.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
2.40%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Other fees: None

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly way to start saving money, MySavingsDirect’s online-only savings account is a great option. Once you have an account and make your first deposit, funds won’t be available for transfer or withdrawal for five business days. (You can also make your initial deposit by check, but that can take up to 10 days to credit to your account.) It usually takes between two and four business days to have your money transferred into your associated checking account, via ACH. Those time-buffers can be useful if you’ve found yourself dipping into savings on a whim in the past, but less so if you’re looking for quick access to your cash in an emergency. Interest is compounded daily and credited to your account monthly. This account limits you up to six certain transfers and withdrawals per month, as per Federal Regulation D. If you exceed that limit, your account may be closed. All of those features, plus the recurring transfer option, make this a solid set-it-and-forget-it account for new savers.

How to get MySavingsDirect savings account

To apply for and get a MySavingsDirect savings account, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid tax identification number, a legal address and a checking account at a U.S. bank.

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How MySavingsDirect’s savings account compares

This bank’s account is on par with the top savings accounts out there. Its combination of a high APR, low minimum deposit and lack of fees make it a great option for those who want to continually grow their savings — provided you don’t need the quick access often available to a savings account that’s directly linked to your checking account through the same bank. The MySavingsDirect savings account also doesn’t come with ATM access — so if you’re a fan of the convenience of brick-and-mortar banking, you should look elsewhere.

MySavingsDirect’s CD rates

MyTerm CDs

An above-average option for those interested in a short-term CD.
TermAPY
6 months2.40%
30 months1.30%
60 to 120 months1.65%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000, regardless of term length
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty for accounts under a year: up to 90 days of interest (whether earned or not)
  • Early withdrawal penalty for accounts equal to or more than one year: up to 180 days of interest (whether earned or not)

MyTerm CDs run the gambit from six-month sprints to 10-year marathons, with the APY falling into a few time-dependent buckets. Should you choose one of these CDs, you’ll first need to have a MySavingsDirect savings account. After that, you’re able to get a CD from which you can withdraw accrued interest at any time via your MySavingsDirect savings account. You’ll be notified at least 14 days before your CD matures. Upon maturation, there’s a 10-calendar-day grace period during which you can close your account without penalty; otherwise, the CD will automatically renew.

It’s probably best to go for the 6-month term — even if you’re looking for a hands-off investing option — since that will give you the highest APR. Plus, you’ll preserve the option to have access to your funds at shorter intervals than you would with a longer-term CD, should you need to use your initial deposit for something else.

How to get a MySavingsDirect CD

If you already have a MySavingsDirect savings account, you only need to click the “open account” tab to get the bank’s CD. Otherwise, you’ll first need to apply for a savings account, which carries its own requirements and may take a few days for approval, as detailed above.

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on MySavingsDirect’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How MySavingsDirect’s CD rates compare

Unlike many CDs, MySavingsDirect offers the best APY for its shortest term account option. This makes it ideal for people who can spare $1,000 for the immediate future, but also want the flexibility of being able to access their cash at shorter intervals. However, this CD also has fewer interest-rate options than many banks with similar terms. And if you’re willing to wait longer than six months at a time, there are higher-rate CD options out there — some of which have even lower minimum deposit requirements.

Overall review of MySavingsDirect’s banking products

MySavingsDirect doesn’t break the mold as far as its product features are concerned. But for new and digitally-savvy investors, its policies do provide a balance of structure and flexibility that can be hard to find.

If you’re looking to start saving beyond an emergency fund, the savings account is a great option. And although their CD options are a bit limited — and come with a higher bar to entry than other CDs — they could be a good option for those who already have a MySavingsDirect savings account.

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.

Devon Delfino
Devon Delfino |

Devon Delfino is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Devon here

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Reviews

Virginia 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, statements 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 Established1928
Total Assets$3.6B
LEARN MORE Virginia Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

Founded in 1928, Virginia Credit Union has grown into one of the 55 largest credit unions in the country with over 270,000 members and about $3.6 billion in assets. It has 18 branches within the state, 27 credit union ATMs and members have access to over 5,000 shared branches nationwide through a collective credit union partnership known as the CO-OP Network. And in addition to Virginia Credit Union ATMs, members are also entitled to use in-state ATMs at Wawa and Sheetz, fee-free.

There are many avenues to becoming a credit union member: If you live, work, study or worship in the Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell or Fredericksburg areas, you’re able to join. Employees or retirees of Virginia state agencies, universities or political subdivisions are also eligible. Members of certain organizations are able to join, as are people related to current members. But if none of those apply, you can join the Virginia Association for Career and Technical Education (at no charge) to become eligible for membership.

If you’re over 18, and a U.S. citizen or resident alien, you can apply for membership online and open a checking and savings account at the same time, as long as you’re eligible.Virginia Credit Union offers members an array of financial products, including mortgages, insurance and free educational seminars. We’ll focus on the credit union’s checking and savings accounts, as well as money markets, CDs and IRA accounts.

Virginia Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.05%

Savings

Virginia Credit Union Savings Account

2.10%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

NCUA Insured

2.01%

CD Rates

Virginia Credit Union 12 Month CD

2.75%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

NCUA Insured

2.36%

CD Rates

Virginia Credit Union 36 Month CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Virginia Credit Union’s checking account options

Regular Checking

A basic checking account with no real points of interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $20
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 once you’ve exceeded 4 withdrawals from non-VACU owned ATMs per month; the fee is not applicable at ATMs at Wawa and Sheetz in Virginia
  • ATM fee refund: Yes, up to $8 per month, if you meet certain requirements
  • Overdraft fee: For accounts overdrawn by more than $5, there’s a $20 fee for the first item of the year, then $35 for each additional occurrence and $5 a day for up to 6 days if your account remains overdrawn

Since the regular checking account doesn’t earn any interest, this account seems to be more of a placeholder than a lucrative or beneficial checking account. It does the job without charging a monthly fee (which works for people interested in a no-frills account). But it also doesn’t reward you like checking accounts from online-only banks might, so it isn’t a great option for those who want to maximize their banking dividends. Those who get this account should be aware that you can save money on the costlier overdraft fees by signing up for overdraft protection. The ATM fee refund can be useful if you plan on using out-of-union ATMs on occasion.

How to get Virginia Credit Union’s regular checking account

For members, opening a regular checking account can be accomplished online. Others, however, will have to first apply for membership, which comes with the requirements listed at the beginning of this review. Those who are interested should contact Virginia Credit Union for more information about this account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Virginia Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Extra Credit Checking

An option for young and underage bankers.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1
0.40%
$5,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $20
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 once you’ve exceeded 4 withdrawals from non-VACU owned ATMs per month; the fee is not applicable at ATMs at Wawa and Sheetz
  • ATM fee refund: Yes, up to $8 per month, if you meet certain requirements
  • Overdraft fee: For accounts overdrawn by more than $5, there’s a $20 fee for the first item of the year, then $35 for each additional occurrence and $5 a day for up to six days if your account remains overdrawn

The extra credit checking account is designated for people ages 13 to 22. The custodian, or parent, would designate when the account would transfer to the child (either at 18 or 21), and would be the one who is empowered to withdraw money, make deposits or close the account.

Though it carries the same low minimum opening balance requirement as the credit union’s other personal checking accounts, the rate leaves something to be desired when compared with rates from online banks. That’s especially true for people who don’t yet have $5,000 to spare. As with the other accounts, extra credit checking account holders can save money on the costlier overdraft fees by signing up for overdraft protection.

It’s worth noting, however, that the custodial option is also available for other accounts: Regular savings, money market savings, CDs, regular checking, checking plus and enhanced benefit checking. So people who are interested should compare rates and requirements of those accounts as well to ensure they select the right account for them and their child.

How to get Virginia Credit Union’s extra credit checking account:

For members, opening an extra credit checking account is easily accomplished online. (Applicants under 15 must have a joint owner on this account.) Others, however, will have to first apply for membership, which comes with the requirements listed at the beginning of this review. Those who are interested should contact Virginia Credit Union for more information about this account.

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on Virginia Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Checking Plus

A minor upgrade on the basic account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1
0.40%
$5,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $20
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2 once you’ve exceeded 4 withdrawals from non-VACU owned ATMs per month; the fee is not applicable at ATMs at Wawa and Sheetz in Virginia
  • ATM fee refund: Yes, up to $8 per month, if you meet certain requirements
  • Overdraft fee: For accounts overdrawn by more than $5, there’s a $20 fee for the first item of the year, then $35 for each additional occurrence and $5 a day for up to six days if your account remains overdrawn

Compared with the credit union’s regular checking account, the checking plus has one obvious draw: It earns interest, making it a better option for people interested in rewards-based banking. That benefit, however, isn’t particularly enticing when compared with rates from online-only banks, and it does come with a price (in the form of a monthly fee). Those who can maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $1,000, however, can avoid that monthly fee, making the account slightly more appealing. And, as is true of the credit union’s other accounts, you can save money on the costlier overdraft fees by signing up for overdraft protection.

How to get Virginia Credit Union’s checking plus account:

For members, opening a checking plus account can be done online. Others, however, will have to first apply for membership, which comes with the requirements listed at the beginning of this review. Those who are interested should contact Virginia Credit Union for more information about this account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Virginia Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Enhanced Benefit Checking

Checking Plus with a monthly fee and few extra benefits.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1
0.40%
$5,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $20
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 (can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2 once you’ve exceeded 4 withdrawals from non-VACU owned ATMs per month; the fee is not applicable at ATMs at Wawa and Sheetz
  • ATM fee refund: Yes, up to $8 per month, if you meet certain requirements
  • Overdraft fee: For accounts overdrawn by more than $5, there’s a $20 fee for the first item of the year, then $35 for each additional occurrence and $5 a day for up to six days if your account remains overdrawn

In many ways, this account is the same as the Checking Plus option: It earns the same interest for the same balance tiers, comes with ATM fee refunds on qualified transactions and has a low minimum opening deposit. Plus, as is true of the credit union’s other checking accounts, you can save money on the costlier overdraft fees by signing up for overdraft protection. This account, however, also requires you to maintain a steep minimum monthly average combined deposits total of $25,000 or more to avoid the monthly fee, which isn’t substantial but could easily be avoided by looking at accounts elsewhere.

How to get Virginia Credit Union’s enhanced checking account:

Unlike the regular or checking plus accounts, the enhanced checking account cannot be opened online. Instead, members will have to apply by visiting a local branch. Non-members will also have to first apply for membership, which comes with the requirements listed at the beginning of this review. Those who are interested should contact Virginia Credit Union for more information about this account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Virginia Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Encore Checking

An zero-interest account for people in financial-rebuilding mode.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $20
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $9.95
  • ATM fee: $2 once you’ve exceeded 4 withdrawals from non-VACU owned ATMs per month; the fee is not applicable at ATMs at Wawa and Sheetz in Virginia
  • ATM fee refund: Yes, up to $8 per month, if you meet certain requirements
  • Overdraft fee: For accounts overdrawn by more than $5, there’s a $20 fee for the first item of the year, then $35 for each additional occurrence and $5 a day for up to six days if your account remains overdrawn

Since account approval is at the credit union’s discretion, people who can’t get approved for a free checking option are able to use the Encore account to access checking services, regain good standing and get back on track. However, that privilege will cost you: The monthly fee is unavoidable, and the account does not earn interest. As with the credit union’s other checking accounts, you can, however, save money on the costlier overdraft fees by signing up for overdraft protection.

How to get Virginia Credit Union’s encore checking account:

Unlike the regular or checking plus accounts, the encore checking account cannot be opened online. Instead, members will have to apply by visiting a local branch. Non-members will also have to first apply for membership, which comes with the requirements listed at the beginning of this review. Those who are interested should contact Virginia Credit Union for more information about this account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Virginia Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Virginia Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Overall, Virginia Credit Union’s checking account options are somewhat lacking. The personal accounts offer members low returns, especially when compared with some of the best checking accounts out there. For people who plan on frequently using non-Virginia Credit Union ATMs, the fees can add up fast, though there are refunds available for qualified transactions. In general, though, there are better options which also provide that perk while delivering better rates.

Virginia Credit Union’s savings account options

Regular Savings

A low-rate option with minimal perks.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$100
0.30%
$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 from non-VACU owned ATMs; the fee is not applicable at ATMs at Wawa and Sheetz
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: $20 for the first item of the year, then $35 for each additional occurrence and $5 a day for up to six days if your account remains overdrawn

For people who want to gain entry into Virginia Credit Union and start saving money, this account is one option. The interest tiers are generously close, offering a comparatively substantial rate hike for those who can build up to $500. For savers under 23, there is no minimum to earn the first APY tier. There’s also no monthly fee associated and a very low minimum required to open this account. Even so, the rates are relatively low when compared with savings accounts from other banks. You’ll also need to open another account (within a year), and be sure to have at least $100 saved, to avoid the $5 savings-only fee. As per federal Regulation D, this account may be subject to a fee imposed by the credit union, closure or conversion to checking account in the event of excess withdrawals of six per month.

How to get Virginia Credit Union’s regular savings account:

For members, opening a regular savings account is easily accomplished online. Others will have to first apply for membership with Virginia Credit Union, which comes with the requirements listed at the beginning of this review. Those who are interested should contact the credit union for more information about this account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Virginia Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Health Savings Account (HSA)

A somewhat lacking account designed to help pay for medical expenses.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.50%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 from non-VACU owned ATMs; the fee is not applicable at ATMs at Wawa and Sheetz in Virginia
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: $20 for the first item of the year, then $35 for each additional occurrence and $5 a day for up to six days if your account remains overdrawn

For people with a high insurance deductible and anticipated medical costs, an HSA can be a great option since earnings on those are tax-deferred and tax-free when used to pay for qualified medical expenses. The Virginia Credit Union HSA comes as two accounts: an HSA savings account and an HSA checking account. So when you write a check to use some of your HSA funds, that amount is automatically transferred from your savings to the HSA checking account. There is, however, an annual service fee of $25 for this account. You can save money on the costlier overdraft fees associated with this account by signing up for overdraft protection. In accordance with federal Regulation D, this account may be subject to a fee from the credit union, closure or conversion to checking account in the event of excess withdrawals of six per month.

How to get Virginia Credit Union’s health savings account:

To be eligible for a health savings account, you have to be covered, exclusively, by a high deductible health plan (HDHP) and you can’t be enrolled in Medicare or be claimed as a dependent on someone’s tax return. Unlike the regular savings account, the health savings account cannot be opened online. Instead, qualified members should apply by visiting a local branch. Non-members will also have to first apply for membership, which comes with the requirements listed at the beginning of this review. Those who are interested should contact Virginia Credit Union for more information about this account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Virginia Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Virginia Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Compared with the best online savings accounts, Virginia Credit Union’s offerings leave much to be desired. Part of that is due to the minimum balance requirement, which, although pretty low, could be avoided by opening an account elsewhere. But the primary failing in these accounts is the low rates, which seem to echo the paltry offerings of savings accounts from five or ten years ago than living up to the best rates available now — and those rates oftentimes don’t come with the membership requirement that you’ll find in a credit union.

Virginia Credit Union’s CD rates

Savings Certificate

A so-so option for long-term savers with a lot of cash to stash.
Term APY Minimum opening deposit
 6 months1.30%
 $500
6 months1.30%
 $25,000
6 months1.45%
 $50,000
12 months1.85%
 $500
12 months1.85%
 $25,000
12 months2.01%
 $50,000
24 months2.05%
 $500
24 months2.05%
 $25,000
24 months2.21%
 $50,000
36 months2.20%
 $500
36 months2.20%
 $25,000
36 months2.36%
 $50,000
48 months2.40%
 $500
48 months2.41%
 $25,000
48 months2.56%
 $50,000
60 months2.65%
 $500
60 months2.66%
 $25,000
60 months2.81%
 $50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: The lowest tier option is $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Depends on the tier, which starts at $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Either half of the dividends that would have been earned for the days remaining on your CD, or $20, whichever is greater.

Like most CDs, the rates associated with Virginia Credit Union’s CDs tend to favor those who can afford to invest their money for a longer term and who have more money to save. There is, however, the option to get in for just $500, which is not that easy to find. These CDs come with a 10-day grace period following maturity, during which the account holder has the option to either cash out without penalty or automatically renew their CD. For those with a 6 or 12 month CD at Virginia Credit Union of at least $25,000, there is an add-on option to the original CD.

How to get Virginia Credit Union’s CDs:

For members, opening a CD can be done online. Others will have to first apply for membership, which comes with the requirements listed at the beginning of this review. Those who are interested should contact Virginia Credit Union for more information about this account.

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How Virginia Credit Union’s CD rates compare

For people who can afford to save large sums of money for five years, the rates for Virginia Credit Union CDs are fairly decent. However, for people who are willing to look elsewhere for a better CD, there are more options with higher rates and with fewer barriers to entry.

Virginia Credit Union’s money market account options

Premier Money Market Savings

A slight advantage for people with a small nest egg to build up.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$100
0.70%
$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: N/A
  • ATM fee: $1 from non-VACU owned ATMs; the fee is not applicable at ATMs at Wawa and Sheetz in Virginia
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: For accounts overdrawn by more than $5, there’s a $20 fee for the first item of the year, then $35 for each additional occurrence and $5 a day for up to six days if your account remains overdrawn

As is true for most money market accounts, there is a higher minimum opening deposit requirement than you might find with a savings account. In exchange for that, savers can snag a slightly higher interest rate than they would with the credit union’s regular savings account. Unlike those accounts, the Premier Money Market account comes with automatic overdraft protection as well. But this isn’t a good option for people who plan on using their cash any time soon, or who think they might dip below the $10,000 mark, since that would drop them to a significantly lower rate-tier. In accordance with federal Regulation D, this account may be subject to a fee from the credit union, closure or conversion to checking account in the event of excess withdrawals of six per month.

How to get Virginia Credit Union’s premier money market account:

For members, opening a premier money market account is easily accomplished online. Others, however, will have to first apply for membership, which comes with the requirements listed at the beginning of this review. Those who are interested should contact Virginia Credit Union for more information.

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on Virginia Credit Union’s secure website

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Premier Plus Money Market Savings

Subpar interest rates for big-time savers.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$100
1.00%
$25,000
1.05%
$50,000
1.25%
$100,000
1.50%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Depends on the tier
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: N/A
  • ATM fee: $1 from non-VACU owned ATMs; the fee is not applicable at ATMs at Wawa and Sheetz in Virginia
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: For accounts overdrawn by more than $5, there’s a $20 fee for the first item of the year, then $35 for each additional occurrence and $5 a day for up to six days if your account remains overdrawn

Like the credit union’s basic money market account, this account provides somewhat established savers with the chance to earn higher rates than they would with the regular savings account. But the premium version comes with more tiers, and higher potentials for dividends. Most of the rate tiers require double the minimum of the previous tier, meaning it’s increasingly more difficult to earn a higher rate if you’re starting at or near the bottom. So it’s really best for those who can afford to begin with a very substantial lump sum. This account also comes with automatic overdraft protection for checking. In accordance with federal Regulation D, this account may be subject to a fee imposed by the credit union, closure or conversion to checking account in the event of excess withdrawals of six per month.

How to get Virginia Credit Union’s premier plus money market account:

Members can open a premier plus money market account online. Others will have to first apply for membership, which comes with the requirements listed at the beginning of this review. Those who are interested should contact Virginia Credit Union for more information.

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on Virginia Credit Union’s secure website

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How Virginia Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

Like many other money market accounts, the best rates are available for those who can afford to maintain a high minimum balance. Although Virginia Credit Union does offer a few options for money market accounts, when compared with the best money market rates, these rates are well below the offerings available from other banks. They’re not rock bottom, but they are close to it.

Virginia Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

Individual Retirement Account CD
A decent option with a low barrier to entry for IRA investors.
TermAPYMinimum Opening Deposit
 12 month1.85%
$100
12 month1.85%
$25,000
12 month2.01%
$50,000
18 month (variable)1.70%
$100
18 month (variable)1.70%
$25,000
18 month (variable)1.85%
$50,000
24 month2.05%
$100
24 month2.05%
$25,000
24 month2.21%
$50,000
36 month2.20%
$100
36 month2.20%
$25,000
36 month2.36%
$50,000
48 month2.40%
$100
48 month2.41%
$25,000
48 month2.56%
$50,000
60 month2.65%
$100
60 month2.66%
$25,000
60 month2.81%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100, $25,000 or $50,000, depending on the tier
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100, $25,000 or $50,000, depending on the tier
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Either half of the dividends that would have been earned for the days remaining on your CD, or $20, whichever is greater, plus penalties assessed by the IRS

For people who can afford to invest in one of the longest-term, top-tier IRA CDs, the rates on these certificates can be above average. The low introductory tier means that even beginning investors can build a CD ladder, thereby creating a steady stream of returns on a shorter term while taking advantage of those higher rates.

But the steep difference in minimum-deposit tiers, plus the tendency for lower rates for short-term options, can be tricky for those who plan on retiring soon and who don’t yet have a hefty, established nest egg to invest. Customers who opt for the 18 month IRA CD should be aware that the rate is variable, so it will change with the market. That’s useful if rates increase, but could harm you if the market declines. IRA CDs, like the traditional CDs, come with a 10-day grace period following maturing, during which the account holder has the option to either cash out without penalty or automatically renew their CD.

How to get Virginia Credit Union’s IRA CDs

To get an IRA CD, you must also open an IRA (Virginia Credit Union offers both Roth and traditional IRAs). Unlike the credit union’s regular CDs, members cannot open an IRA CD online. Instead, they will have to call or visit a local branch for assistance. Non-members will also have to first apply for membership, which comes with the requirements listed at the beginning of this review. Those who are interested should contact the credit union for more information.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Virginia Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Virginia Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

For people who are willing to invest a large sum and still have many years before retirement, Virginia Credit Union’s offerings are almost on par with the best IRA CD offerings out there, though they do have slightly lower rates and higher minimum-deposit requirements to earn the top rates than you might find elsewhere. If you’re interested in shorter-term options, are nearing retirement or you want to maximize your earnings, you might be better served by looking outside of the credit union for savings certificates.

Overall review of Virginia Credit Union’s banking products

For people who qualify for membership, Virginia Credit Union offers a wide array of banking products. But overall, the accounts are underwhelming, with a few exceptions. The money market, checking and savings accounts, for example, have subpar rates and somewhat restricting requirements. But for those who are looking for a long-term investment option and have a lot of money to invest, the IRA CDs and regular CDs can be quite decent when compared with the best options.

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.

Devon Delfino
Devon Delfino |

Devon Delfino is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Devon here

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