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

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Year Established1948
Total Assets$2.3B
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American Heritage Credit Union was founded in 1948. The member-owned financial cooperative has over 170,000 members that are served by 35 locations across Montgomery, Delaware, Camden, Philadelphia and Bucks counties. With over $2.2 billion in assets, American Heritage Credit Union now ranks as one of the 100 largest credit unions in the U.S.

As a credit union, prospective customers must become members before they can open accounts at American Heritage Credit Union. Membership can be obtained through employment at one of the credit union’s Workplace Partners or by means of one of the following:

  • Working, worshipping, or attending school in Philadelphia or one of 16 other cities
  • If you live in the same household as a current or eligible member
  • If you’re an immediate family member of a current or eligible member
  • Making a donation to the Kids-N-Hope Foundation

Most American Heritage Credit Union accounts for adults can be opened online. The online application process takes about five minutes. To apply, you’ll need your complete physical and mailing addresses, your date of birth, Social Security number and a valid form of ID, such as a driver’s license, state ID, passport or other government-issued ID that has your current address. You’ll also need to open a Primary Share Savings account to be eligible to open additional accounts.

American Heritage Credit Union offers an extensive lineup of personal financial products. On top of the standard checking and savings, money market, CD and IRA accounts, the credit union offers various special savings accounts and accounts for minors. Here’s an in-depth look at all of American Heritage Credit Union’s account offerings, including information on fees, rates and other features.

American Heritage Federal Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.16%

Savings

American Heritage Federal Credit Union Primary Share Savings

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.26%

CD Rates

American Heritage Federal Credit Union 12 Month Share Certificate

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.76%

CD Rates

American Heritage Federal Credit Union 36 Month Share Certificate

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

3.11%

CD Rates

American Heritage Federal Credit Union 60 Month Share Certificate

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

American Heritage Credit Union’s checking account options

Totally Free Checking Plus

The credit union’s entry-level checking account carries additional features not usually seen in a fee-free offering.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 on American Heritage/Proprietary Machines; $0 on other machines up to 10 transactions per month; $1 per transaction thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $0 on 6 overdraft transfers per month from your primary Share Savings Account; otherwise, $25; with overdraft privilege fee, $24 for overdrafts greater than $25, $10 for overdrafts less than or equal to $25

Lots of checking accounts have no fees and no minimum balance requirements, but American Heritage Credit Union’s free checking account also offers the ability to earn interest with a relatively modest deposit of $1,000. The free checking account also offers these additional free benefits:

  • Debit card offering ScoreCard Reward points
  • Online teller
  • Phone teller and bill pay services
  • No per-check fees
  • Up to six free overdrafts per month, with transfers from a Share Savings account
  • Direct deposit
  • Payroll deduction

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VIP Checking

VIP Checking is American Heritage Credit Union’s middle-tier checking account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%$5,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 on American Heritage/Proprietary Machines; $0 on other machines up to 10 transactions per month; $1 per transaction thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $0 on 6 overdraft transfers per month from your primary Share Savings account; otherwise, $25; with overdraft privilege fee, $24 for overdrafts greater than $25, $10 for overdrafts less than or equal to $25

The VIP Checking account at American Heritage Credit Union is a step up from the credit union’s base checking account, but in terms of its opening deposit only. Whereas the credit union’s free checking account requires no minimum balance, the VIP Checking account requires $5,000 to start.

The account is touted as a way to earn high, money-market-like dividends with no restrictions, but currently, the APY on the account is the same as with the credit union’s free checking account. The extra services provided by the VIP Checking account are also identical to those offered by the free checking account, including a debit rewards card, free online and phone teller services, free checking and bill pay, free direct deposit and payroll deduction and six free overdraft transfers per month.

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Identity Protection Checking

A standard checking account with various identity theft countermeasures built in.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3
  • ATM fee: $0 on American Heritage/Proprietary Machines; $0 on other machines up to 10 transactions per month; $1 per transaction thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $0 on 6 overdraft transfers per month from your primary Share Savings account; otherwise, $25; with overdraft privilege fee, $24 for overdrafts greater than $25, $10 for overdrafts less than or equal to $25

The Identity Theft Checking account is similar to the credit union’s Totally Free Checking Plus account, but for a small fee, it adds various identity theft countermeasures. Protective features that come with the account include:

  • Card Patrol, a technology that scans the web for Social Security and debit/credit card numbers of the account holder
  • A fraud assist toolbox
  • Professional identity theft support services
  • Up to $2,500 in Identity theft insurance
  • Education services via the MyIDMatters™ website
  • Payment card protection

The account pays interest in a single tier and carries all the same ATM and overdraft fees and provisions of the credit union’s free checking account.

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Platinum Checking

Platinum Checking is American Heritage Credit Union’s premier checking account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.16%$7,500
0.21%$25,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $7,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 on American Heritage/Proprietary Machines; $0 on other machines up to 10 transactions per month; $1 per transaction thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $0 on 6 overdraft transfers per month from your primary Share Savings account;otherwise, $25; with overdraft privilege fee, $24 for overdrafts greater than $25, $10 for overdrafts less than or equal to $25

As American Heritage Credit Union’s top-tier account, Platinum Checking also has the highest minimum opening deposit requirement, at $7,500. Structurally, the account mirrors the credit union’s other checking accounts, offering perks such as free online and phone banking, a debit rewards card, free check writing and bill pay and six free overdraft transfers per month. The Platinum Checking account pays interest in two tiers, at rates that exceed those paid on the credit union’s other checking accounts.

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Cash Management Checking

With Cash Management Checking, American Heritage Credit Union customers can link a checking account to a brokerage account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.16%$7,500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $7,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 on American Heritage/Proprietary Machines; $0 on other machines up to 10 transactions per month; $1 per transaction thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $0 on 6 overdraft transfers per month from your primary Share Savings account; otherwise, $25; with overdraft privilege fee, $24 for overdrafts greater than $25, $10 for overdrafts less than or equal to $25

The features and benefits of the Cash Management Checking account are almost identical to American Heritage Credit Union’s Platinum Checking account. The primary difference is that the Cash Management Checking account is designed to be linked to a brokerage account at the credit union, a feature not offered by any other AHCU checking accounts. The other difference is that there is only one interest-rate tier on the Cash Management Checking account, for deposits of $7,500 or more.

How to get American Heritage Credit Union’s checking accounts

As mentioned above, you can obtain some of American Heritage Credit Union’s checking accounts online. Specifically, the Totally Free Checking, VIP Checking and Platinum Checking accounts are available online. For Cash Management Checking, which is linked to a brokerage account, and Identity Protection Checking, you’ll have to visit a branch or speak with a banker. Documents needed for an online application include your address, date of birth, Social Security number and valid form of ID, such as a state ID, passport, driver’s license or other government-issued ID with your current address.

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How American Heritage Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

American Heritage has five distinct checking accounts, all of which pay interest and have no monthly fees, with the exception of the feature-enhanced Identity Protection Checking account. All pay roughly the same rate, with the top rates found at the top tier of the Platinum Checking account. In all cases, rates paid are not that noteworthy, coming in close to the national average. Customers looking for no-fee checking accounts might be satisfied here, but those seeking the best available checking account rates should look elsewhere.

American Heritage Credit Union’s savings account options

Primary Share Savings account

The Primary Share Savings account is American Heritage Credit Union’s membership account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.16%$100
0.21%$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $15
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 on American Heritage/Proprietary Machines; $0 on other machines up to 10 transactions per month; $1 per transaction thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

A $15 opening deposit in a Primary Share Savings account is a requirement for membership in the American Heritage Credit Union. To earn interest, account holders must deposit $100 or more. Interest is paid in two tiers, with the best rates requiring a $10,000 deposit. The account comes with online and phone banking, along with a a mobile teller app. However, there is no overdraft protection with this account.

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High Yield Savings account

The High Yield Savings account is American Heritage Credit Union’s flagship savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
2.00%$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $0 on American Heritage/Proprietary Machines; $0 on other machines up to 10 transactions per month; $1 per transaction thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

The High Yield Savings account at American Heritage Credit Union lives up to its name. Although the account only pays interest in one tier and requires a minimum deposit of $10,000, the rate paid on all qualifying balances is high. Transactions, however, are limited to one preauthorized, internet or automatic transfer a month. Excess transactions face a $25 fee. The balance maximum for this account is $1 million. There is no overdraft protection for this account, and in order to avoid the $10 monthly maintenance fee, you must maintain a daily balance of at least $10,000.

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Identity Protection Savings

As with its sibling Identity Protection Checking, the Identity Protection Savings account offers proactive measures to guard against identity theft.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.16%$100
0.21%$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $15
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4
  • ATM fee: $0 on American Heritage/Proprietary Machines; $0 on other machines up to 10 transactions per month; $1 per transaction thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

The Identity Theft Savings account functions like a Share Savings account, but with active identity theft countermeasures in place for a small monthly fee. Features that come with the account include:

  • A web-crawling technology known as Card Patrol to monitor the internet for customer Social Security and debit/credit card numbers
  • A fraud assist toolbox
  • Professional identity theft assistance
  • Identity theft insurance of up to $2,500
  • An educational website known as MyIDMatters™
  • Payment card protection

The account pays interest in tiers and carries all the same ATM and overdraft fees and provisions of a traditional Share Savings account.

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Holiday Club account

The Holiday Club account pays out once per year to help encourage savings for year-end purchases.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.16%$100
0.21%$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $25

The Holiday Club account at American Heritage Credit Union is an annual contributory account that requires deposits of at least $5 per week. On Oct. 1, the entire balance is paid back, either via check or transfer to another account. You cannot normally make withdrawals from the account at any other time; however, if you really need the money, you can close the account and forfeit all accrued and unpaid dividends. This account has no ATM access and no overdraft protection.

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Vacation Club account

The Vacation Club account is an additional savings account that has no contributory requirements.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.16%$100
0.21%$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $25

The Vacation Club account at American Heritage Credit Union is essentially a second savings account. Unlike the Holiday Club account, there are no mandatory contribution requirements, and there is also no payout date. Typically, customers use this account to save for a specific goal, such as a vacation, wedding or other big event. This account has no ATM access and no overdraft protection.

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Little Patriots account

The first in a series of youth accounts at American Heritage Credit Union, designed for children aged 0 to 4 years old.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.16%$100
0.21%$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $15* (if depositing $5, American Heritage will contribute the remaining $10)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

The Little Patriots account is a youth account that must be opened by a parent or grandparent on behalf of a child aged 4 or younger. The account functions like a traditional savings account, but there is no ATM access or overdraft protection with the account. However, the account does earn interest.

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Pat & Lucy’s Money Club

This account is the second tier in the credit union’s Youth Account lineup, serving youths aged 5 to 12.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $15
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 on American Heritage/Proprietary Machines; $0 on other machines up to 10 transactions per month; $1 per transaction thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

Pat & Lucy’s Money Club is a traditional savings account for older children, designed to help them learn the basics of savings and money management. The account does come with a debit card, but it must be issued in the name of the sponsoring joint owner’s name.

ATM and overdraft fees are the same as the credit union’s traditional savings account, and there is no overdraft protection. This account does come with mobile, phone and online teller access, along with access to CD investments. The account also pays interest, but you can’t find the rates on the credit union’s website and will have to call or visit a branch.

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Benjamin’s Money Club

Benjamin’s Money Club is a more feature-rich youth account designed for young teenagers, aged 13 to 15.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $15
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 on American Heritage/Proprietary Machines; $0 on other machines up to 10 transactions per month; $1 per transaction thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

Benjamin’s Money Club is the third step up the ladder of American Heritage Credit Union youth accounts, and it is more like a full-fledged, regular savings account than the accounts for younger children.

This is the first account in the youth line that offers a debit card in the name of the child, rather than the guardian, although an adult joint owner is still required for the account. It also comes with a free checking account, online and phone banking, a mobile app with eDeposit and access to CD accounts.

As with the credit union’s other savings accounts, there is no overdraft protection for Benjamin’s Money Club. Interest is paid on this account, but rates are unavailable on the credit union’s website.

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Independence account

This savings account is for youths aged 16 to 17 years old.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $15
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 on American Heritage/Proprietary Machines; $0 on other machines up to 10 transactions per month; $1 per transaction thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

Designed for older teenagers, the Independence account is very similar to the Benjamin’s Money Club account. With the Independence account, teenagers receive a debit card in their own name and have access to a free checking account, online, phone and mobile banking, including eDeposit, and CD accounts. However, this account has access to over 5,300 shared branches nationwide. There is no overdraft protection option. Youths can earn interest on this account, but rates are not listed on the credit union’s website, so you would have to call to find out what they are..

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Young Adults account

The final step in the American Heritage Credit Union youth account ladder, the Young Adults accounts is for customers aged 18 to 22.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $15
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 on American Heritage/Proprietary Machines; $0 on other machines up to 10 transactions per month; $1 per transaction thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $25

Feature-wise, the Young Adults account is essentially the same as a Share Savings account at American Heritage Credit Union. This account provides access to all of the features that the credit union has to offer, from ATMs and checking accounts to CDs and nationwide shared branches.

Unlike the credit union’s other youth accounts, the Young Adults account also offers access to a Platinum Mastercard. No overdraft protection is available. The account earns interest, but you’ll have to contact the credit union to get current rates.

How to get American Heritage Credit Union’s savings accounts

Only some of American Heritage Credit Union’s savings accounts are available online. Specifically, you can open a Primary Share Savings and a High Yield Savings account online.

For the remainder of American Heritage Credit Union’s savings accounts, you’ll have to speak with a banker or visit a branch. Documents needed for an online application include your address, date of birth, Social Security number and valid form of ID, such as a state ID, passport, driver’s license or other government-issued ID with your current address.

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How American Heritage Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

American Heritage Credit Union offers a dizzying array of savings accounts, 10 in all, although five of those are dedicated youth accounts. With the exception of the Identity Protection Savings account, which offers additional services to guard against identity theft, all of the savings accounts are free of monthly fees, and all pay interest. For the most part, interest rates run slightly below the national average for savings accounts. The notable exception is the High Yield Savings account, which stands head and shoulders above the other offerings. Although a $10,000 minimum balance is required, customers can enjoy one of the best rates available on savings accounts nationwide.

American Heritage Credit Union’s CD account options

Certificates (CDs)

American Heritage Credit Union offers a standard range of CDs, along with various specials.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
0.80%$1,0003 months
0.90%$1,0004 months
4.00%$1,0004 months special
0.95%$1,0005 months
1.00%$1,0006 months
1.10%$1,0007 months
1.20%$1,0008 months
1.30%$1,0009 months
1.40%$1,00010 months
1.50%$1,00011 months
2.26%$1,00012 months
1.65%$1,00013 months
2.50%$1,00015 months
2.80%$1,00018 months
2.51%$1,00024 months
2.76%$1,00030 months
2.86%$1,00030 months Legacy Club Certificate
2.76%$1,00036 months
2.70%$1,00047 months Bump-Up Certificate
2.76%$1,00048 months
3.05%$1,00059 months Bump-Up Certificate
3.11%$1,00060 months
  • Minimum balance to open account: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ dividends for terms of 11 months or less; 180 days’ dividends for terms of 12 months to 35 months; 360 days’ dividends for terms of 36 months or longer

American Heritage Credit Union’s standard line of CDs carries a $500 investment minimum; however, to earn the best rates, you’ll need to deposit $1,000 or more, as the credit union’s $500 CDs pay 0.10% less.

The credit union currently offers a 4 month special CD at a high rate. Only one 4 month special CD is allowed per account, and it must be funded with new money that does not exceed $2,000.

The credit union also offers two “Bump-Up” CD specials, for 47 and 59 months, that allow you to “bump up” your dividend rate one time during the term of the CD. The credit union’s 30 month Legacy Club Certificate offers a slight increase in yield for its Legacy Club members, who are members aged 60 and above.

How to get American Heritage Credit Union’s CD accounts

Existing American Heritage Credit Union customers can use the OnLine teller feature to open a CD account. New customers must visit a local branch or call the credit union’s contact center at (215) 969-0777. When you apply, you’ll need to provide your address, Social Security number and date of birth. You’ll also have to bring valid ID with an up-to-date address.

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How American Heritage Credit Union’s CD accounts compare

American Heritage Credit Union offers an outstanding line of CD products. Even with its numerous maturities, not a single CD falls below the national average rate, and in some cases, the credit union’s CD rates pay nearly double the average. The current 4 month CD special blows away even the best CD rates available around the country, although the maximum deposit of $2,000 limits its appeal. Overall, however, rates are not that far from the best yields you can find at other institutions.

American Heritage Credit Union’s money market account options

Standard Money Market account

The first of three American Heritage Credit Union money market accounts, the Standard account requires the smallest deposit and pays the lowest yield.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.50%$2,000
0.66%$25,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $25

With this traditional money market account, you’re allowed to write checks or transfer money up to six times per month. You’ll be charged a $20 fee for every additional transaction thereafter. Each transaction must be for $500 or more. This account pays higher interest than the credit union’s savings accounts, in two tiers. At least $2,000 is required to earn interest, but the best yields are paid on deposits of at least $25,000.

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VIP Money Market account

The VIP Money Market account is the second-tier money market account in American Heritage Credit Union’s lineup.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.71%$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $25

The VIP Money Market is structured just like its counterpart, the Standard Money Market account. Both accounts have the same six-transaction restriction, with a minimum transaction size of $500. Additional transactions after six carry a fee of $20. The differences between the two accounts lie in the minimum balance requirement and the interest paid. For the VIP Money Market, a $50,000 deposit is required to open an account. Interest is paid in a single tier, with a rate higher than the Standard Money Market account.

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Platinum Money Market account

The Platinum Money Market is American Heritage Credit Union’s top-tier money market account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.76%$75,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $75,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $25

The Platinum Money Market account pays the highest yields available in an American Heritage Credit Union money market account. However, the account carries a steep $75,000 minimum opening deposit requirement. As with the credit union’s other money market accounts, checks and other transfers are limited to six per month, with a $20 fee for each additional transaction. One important difference with the Platinum Money Market account is that each withdrawal carries a $1,000 minimum.

How to get American Heritage Credit Union’s money market accounts

You can open the entire line of American Heritage Credit Union money market accounts online in about five minutes. You’ll have to provide information including your address, date of birth, Social Security number and a valid ID. Most official forms of ID that carry your current address will suffice, such as a passport, state ID, driver’s license or other government-issued ID.

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How American Heritage Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

American Heritage Credit Union offers a respectable line of money market accounts, with three different versions available to serve different customers. Even the entry-level money market account provides a rate just under double the national average, while the other two money market accounts pay slightly higher yields in exchange for higher minimum balance requirements. There’s still some work to be done, however, before the credit union can compete with best money market rates in the nation.

American Heritage Credit Union’s IRA options

Regular IRA Share account

The Regular IRA Share account is a deposit account for IRA funds not invested in other options, such as CDs.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.31%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This fee-free account is a place where customers can park their free IRA cash and still earn interest. There is no minimum deposit with this account, and no monthly fee is charged. However, there is no ATM access with this account, which also cannot be overdrawn.

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Platinum IRA Share account

American Heritage Credit Union’s Platinum IRA Share account pays a slightly higher yield than the base IRA savings account, in exchange for a higher minimum balance.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.36%$4,000

The Platinum IRA Share account is a top-tier version of the credit union’s Regular IRA Share account.

  • Minimum opening deposit: $4,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Account holders with larger balances can put that free cash to work in the credit union’s Platinum IRA Share account. This account functions just like the Regular IRA Share account, except it requires a higher $4,000 minimum opening deposit and pays a higher APY. There is no monthly fee with this share account, nor is there ATM access.

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IRA CD accounts

The American Heritage Credit Union IRA CD lineup is the same as the one found in the credit union’s non-retirement accounts.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
0.80%$1,0003 months
0.90%$1,0004 months
4.00%$1,0004 months special
0.95%$1,0005 months
1.00%$1,0006 months
1.10%$1,0007 months
1.20%$1,0008 months
1.30%$1,0009 months
1.40%$1,00010 months
1.50%$1,00011 months
2.26%$1,00012 months
1.65%$1,00013 months
2.50%$1,00015 months
2.80%$1,00018 months
2.51%$1,00024 months
2.76%$1,00030 months
2.86%$1,00030 months Legacy Club Certificate
2.76%$1,00036 months
2.70%$1,00047 months Bump-Up Certificate
2.76%$1,00048 months
3.05%$1,00059 months Bump-Up Certificate
3.11%$1,00060 months
  • Minimum balance to open account: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ dividends for terms of 11 months or less; 180 days’ dividends for terms of 12 months to 35 months; 360 days’ dividends for terms of 36 months or longer

American Heritage Credit Union offers the same line of CDs in its IRAs as it does in its taxable accounts. Standard CDs carry a $500 investment minimum, but deposits of $1,000 or more earn an additional 0.10% APY. The current CD special at the credit union comes in the form of a 4 month CD with an enhanced rate. This CD must be funded with new money, and it has a maximum deposit of $2,000.

The credit union has two “Bump-Up” IRA CD specials, with maturities of 47 and 59 months. With these CDs, you can “bump up” your APY one time during the term of the CD. Customers aged 60 and older can invest in the credit union’s 30 month Legacy Club Certificate, which pays a slightly higher rate than a regular 30 month CD.

How to get American Heritage Credit Union’s IRA products

You can’t open an American Heritage Credit Union IRA online. To open an account in a branch, bring your a valid form of ID and your personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number and your address.

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How American Heritage Credit Union’s IRA products compare

American Heritage Credit Union offers some good options for money deposited into an IRA. Both the Regular IRA Share account and the Platinum IRA Share account pay rates above the national average savings account rate, without any monthly fees. The credit union’s line of IRA CDs stands out, with all rates higher than the national average IRA CD rates, sometimes considerably so. Rates still need to tick a bit higher to approach the best available IRA CD rates, however.

Overall review of American Heritage Credit Union’s products

American Heritage is bursting with account options for customers. The credit union offers five checking accounts and 10 savings accounts, on top of money market accounts, CDs and IRA options. The checking account lineup is notable for charging no fees, but those seeking high yields might not be satisfied.

The standout account in American Heritage Credit Union’s entire lineup from a yield perspective is the High Yield Savings account, with an APY that’s among the very best you can find in the country. Yield seekers will also appreciate the credit union’s impressive line of CDs, both in and out of IRAs. Every CD in the credit union’s roster pays an above-average yield, which is impressive given the wide range of maturities offered. The current 4 month CD special pays an exceptional rate, but it has a low maximum allowable deposit. On the money market front, American Heritage Credit Union offers a line of three decent accounts, although yields still need to stretch more to make the credit union a top competitor nationally.

Overall, American Heritage Credit Union offers enough high-paying, low-fee accounts to recommend the institution. Those looking for a large choice of products will also be happy here. However, as with most banks and credit unions, you’ll have to pick and choose your spots to get the best yields.

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.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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Reviews

Affinity Plus Federal 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$2.2B
LEARN MORE on Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union was born amid the Great Depression. It was the creation of a group of Minnesota state employees who had an equal interest in a new, strong financial services firm. State Capitol Credit Union began in April 1930. As the credit union began to grow, it rebranded as Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in 1999. It now has 25-plus branch locations throughout Minnesota.

To qualify for membership today, you’ll need to work for the state of Minnesota, a state agency, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities or one of about three dozen businesses. You’re also eligible depending on where you live, work, worship or study, as well as if you make a one-time $25 payment to the Affinity Plus Foundation or if you’re a relative or roommate of a member or someone who is eligible to be one.

Customers can find all the typical personal financial accounts at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, including IRAs, CDs, money market accounts, checking accounts and savings accounts — and, in most cases, open them online.

Here’s a review of all the available Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union account offerings, including notable features and important standard information such as fees and rates.

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

1.00%

Savings

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union Membership Savings

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.25%

CD Rates

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union 12 Month CD

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.75%

CD Rates

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union 36 Month CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.50%

CD Rates

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union 60 Month CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

Better Than Free Checking

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s entry-level, no-fee checking account has a few neat perks.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to $210 a day; one fee waived per year; free with overdraft protection

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s free checking account has no minimum opening deposit or monthly fee. Customers have access to over 50,000 fee-free ATMs in the CO-OP, MoneyPass, and SUM networks. Also, Better Than Free Checking offers the same benefits that all the credit union’s checking account customers enjoy, including:

  • Visa debit card with EMV chip technology
  • Free online bill pay
  • Online and mobile banking
  • Free mobile check deposits via an app
  • Overdraft protection transfers from a savings account
  • Access to the Stash Your Cash program, which rounds up purchase amounts to the nearest dollar and deposits the excess into an Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union savings account
  • MyPlus Rewards points for debit card transactions

The MyPlusRewards™ program earns cardholders 1 point for every $6 in debit card transactions, or 2 points in any month with 30 or more such transactions. Customers can also earn 1.25 points per $1 spent with a Premier Select Rewards Visa®, or 1 point per $1 spent with a Visa® Platinum Rewards card. Points can be used for various rewards, ranging from charitable donations and gift cards to travel, merchandise, cash back, fee reversals and rate reductions. Terms apply.

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Interest Reward Checking

If you plan to keep at least $200 in checking, this account at least pays a little interest.
APY

Minimum Balance to Earn APY
0.13%$200
0.10%$25,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $200
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6; waived with balance of at least $200
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to $210 a day; one fee waived per year; free with overdraft protection

Interest Reward Checking requires a higher opening deposit than the Better Than Free Checking account at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, but all balances at that level or higher earn interest. The account charges a modest monthly fee, but that fee is easily waived with a balance at least as high as the opening deposit requirement. Beyond these differences, the account is very similar to the credit union’s free checking account, from the lack of an ATM fee to the high overdraft fee that is waived with overdraft protection. The account carries all the added benefits offered by the free checking account, from online and mobile banking to the Stash Your Cash and MyPlus Rewards™ programs.

How to get Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts

You can open both Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union checking accounts online. You’ll need to upload a photo of a valid ID, such as your driver’s license, state ID or passport. You’ll also need to provide your Social Security number and a source of funds for the account, such as your savings account number or a credit or debit card.

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How Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union offers a limited roster of checking accounts, but they all land in the low-fee camp, with either no monthly service charges or ones that are easily avoidable. The accounts have either no or low minimum balance requirements, and they carry no ATM fees. But only one account pays interest, and the rate is below the national average for checking accounts. Those looking for the best available national checking account rates can find much better options elsewhere.

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Membership Savings

Opening a Membership Savings account is required for membership at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union.
APY

Minimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%$10
0.10%$500+
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to $210 a day

Membership Savings is a basic savings account. For a small opening deposit and no monthly fee, account holders gain membership into the credit union and have access to an interest-bearing savings account that has no ATM fees.

Interest is paid in two tiers, but the highest rates are reserved for deposits of $500 or less. Interest accrues daily and is paid monthly. Certain withdrawals are limited by federal Regulation D up to six a month. Excess withdrawals are not permitted. Overdraft fees are high and cannot be reduced through overdraft protection.

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Shares II Savings

The Shares II Savings account is an additional basic savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to $210 a day

Customers looking to open additional basic savings accounts beyond the Membership Shares account can look towards the Shares II Savings account. This account carries the same fee structure as the Membership Savings account, with no monthly fees and no ATM fees. But watch out for a high overdraft fee that cannot be waived. Withdrawals from the Shares II Savings account are also limited to six a month. But the Shares II Savings account doesn’t offer the higher interest rate paid on balances of $500 or less that can be found with the Membership Savings account. Customers are allowed to open as many Shares II Savings accounts as they would like.

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WINcentive Savings

A unique, lottery-type account offered to residents of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
APY

Minimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to $210 per day

The WINcentive Savings account is essentially a basic savings account with a major twist. Every month that account holders increase their savings balance by at least $25, they’ll earn an entry (up to four a month) in a statewide drawing. The grand prize is $5,000, and drawings are held monthly, quarterly and annually. On top of these drawings, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union also holds its own monthly, quarterly and annual draws, increasing the opportunity to win.

How to get Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts

You can open any of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts online. As with the bank’s other accounts, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number, funding source and a copy of a government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license, state ID or passport.

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How Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Except for the relatively high interest rate paid on balances of $500 or less in the Membership Savings account, all savings accounts at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union pay the same low interest rate, which falls below the national average savings rate. The enhanced rate paid for small balances in the Membership Savings account is more of a competitor with the best rates available on savings accounts nationwide, but it still falls short of those lofty levels. On the plus side, none of the savings accounts carries a monthly maintenance fee.

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s CD account options

Certificates

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union has standard offerings, plus a CD designed for people just starting to save.
APY

Minimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
0.75%$5003 months
0.85%$5006 months
1.25%$50012 months
0.70%$112 month Wahoo
0.85%$10012 month Builder
1.35%
$50018 months
1.50%$50024 months
1.60%$50030 months
1.75%$50036 months
2.00%$50048 months
2.50%$50060 months
  • Minimum balance to open account: $500 for most accounts; $1 for Wahoo CD; $100 for Builder CD
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500 for most accounts; $1 for Wahoo CD; $100 for Builder CD
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest for terms 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest for terms of 13 to 36 months; 365 days’ interest for terms greater than 36 months

Basic Certificates at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union have a $500 minimum and terms from three to 60 months. Then the credit union has two additional products designed for people with smaller opening deposits.

Certificate Builder CDs have a 12-month term but allow for unlimited contributions until maturity. The minimum balance for these CDs is just $100.

Wahoo CDs have the smallest minimum deposit at just $1. Wahoo CDs have 12-month terms, but total contributions are limited to $25,000.

For all CDs at the credit union, interest accrues daily and is paid monthly. Likewise, all CDs are subject to the early withdrawal penalty outlined above.

How to get Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s CD accounts

You can open any Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union CD online. Applicants must provide their Social Security number and funding source, as well as upload a copy of their government-issued ID.

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How Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s CD accounts compare

Nearly all the CDs at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union pay rates above the national average. The exceptions are the Certificate Builder and Wahoo CDs, which pay below-average rates but carry special features. None of the rates at the credit union is competitive with the best CD rates available around the country.

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s money market account options

Capitol Money Market

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s entry-level money market account has the smallest minimum deposit.
APY

Minimum Balance to Earn APY
0.45%$2,000
0.50%$5,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to $210 a day

A traditional money market account, the Capitol Money Market account carries a $2,000 minimum opening deposit requirement and has no monthly fees. Interest accrues daily and compounds monthly, with deposits of $5,000+ earning the highest rates. The account has check-writing privileges but no ATM access. Certain withdrawals are limited by Regulation D up to six a month.

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A+ Money Market

The A+ Money Market account pays higher yields but requires larger deposits.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.60%$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $20; waived with $10,000 balance
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to $210 a day
The second tier in Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s money market lineup is occupied by the A+ Money Market account. This account carries the same basic features as the entry-level Capitol Money Market, but it carries a higher minimum opening deposit requirement and pays a higher interest rate. The A+ Money Market account also has a relatively large monthly fee that can be avoided by maintaining the minimum opening deposit balance. As with the Capitol Money Market account, there is no ATM access with this account, only check-writing. Withdrawals are limited to six a month. The overdraft fee remains high, with no overdraft protection services offered.

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Nova Money Market

The top-tier money market account offered at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union pays above-average rates.
APY

Minimum Balance to Earn APY
0.75%$25,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $20; waived with $25,000 balance
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $35, up to $210 a day

The Nova Money Market account at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union is for customers with high balances seeking the highest yields. The account has a very high minimum opening deposit requirement, and it also carries a steep monthly fee that can only be avoided by maintaining this high balance. Interest is only earned if the account balance remains above the opening deposit requirement. You can write up to six checks per month in this account, but there is no ATM access. Overdraft fees remain high, with no overdraft protection program reducing the fee.

How to get Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts

Only the Capitol Money Market account can be opened online. Unlike most other accounts at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, you’ll have to visit a branch to open an A+ Money Market or a Nova Money Market account. You’ll need your Social Security number, a funding source and a color copy or picture of your valid ID, such as a passport, driver’s license or state ID, to open an account.

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How Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

All three of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts provide standard services, such as check-writing. But none of the accounts has ATM access, and there is no way to reduce the high overdraft fee. Fees can be avoided, but only by maintaining high balances with the A+ and Nova Money Market accounts. But yields are above average for all accounts, with the Nova Money Market paying more than double the national average. Even the best rates, however, fall well short of the best available money market rates in the nation.

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s IRA options

IRA Savings Account

The IRA Savings account is a parking place for money that is not invested elsewhere, such as in the credit union’s CDs.
APY

Minimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0.01
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The IRA Savings account is where Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union customers can keep money that is not deployed elsewhere. There’s no minimum deposit or monthly fee, but there is also no ATM access. Interest is paid on all balances — at a rate that triples the credit union’s standard savings rate.

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IRA Certificates

Only a sampling of the CDs available in non-IRA accounts are IRA options at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
1.25%$50012 months
0.70%$112 month Wahoo
0.85%$10012 month Builder
1.75%$50036 months
2.50%$50060 months
  • Minimum balance to open account: $500 for most products; $1 for Wahoo CD; $100 for Builder CD
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500 for most products; $1 for Wahoo CD; $100 for Builder CD
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest for terms 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest for terms of 13 to 36 months; 365 days’ interest for terms greater than 36 months

Features of CDs in IRAs at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union are the same as in the credit union’s taxable accounts. But the CD roster is limited in the credit union’s IRAs. There are only three regular CD terms of 12, 36 and 60 months. The 12 month Wahoo and Certificate Builder CDs are still available in IRA format.

Basic Certificates still have a $500 minimum. Certificate Builder CDs, which allow unlimited contributions, have a $100 minimum opening deposit. Wahoo CDs carry a small $1 minimum but limit deposits to $25,000.

For all IRA CDs, interest accrues daily and is paid monthly. IRA CDs carry the same early withdrawal penalties as the credit union’s non-IRA CDs.

How to get Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s IRA products

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union IRAs cannot be opened online. You’ll need to bring your Social Security number, valid ID and funding source to a branch to open an IRA.

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How Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s IRA products compare

Most IRA CDs at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union pay rates above the national average. The exceptions are the Certificate Builder and Wahoo CDs, which pay below-average rates in exchange for their special features. On the whole, the IRA CD rates at the credit union can’t compete with the best available IRA CD rates.

Overall review of Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s products

Customers looking for free or low-fee checking accounts will appreciate the roster at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union since both accounts offer either no monthly service charges or ones that can be avoided with small balances. Like all Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union accounts, these checking accounts carry no ATM fees.

People seeking the highest possible yields on their accounts might want to take a pass on the checking accounts and instead move to the savings, CD or money market accounts. All these account types offer at least one option that tops the national average for APY. The best account, from a rate-paying perspective, is the Membership Savings account, which competes on a national level with APY — but only for balances of $500 or less. The credit union’s standard CDs and money market accounts all pay above-average rates across the board, although even higher rates can still be found at other institutions.

Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union offers a respectable lineup of accounts in all categories that are likely to appeal to the average customer. Many rates are above average, meaning local customers who appreciate the credit union’s regional focus may be happy here. But yield hunters might want to keep shopping for a more interest-oriented institution.

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.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

TAGS:

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Reviews

Central Florida Educators Federal 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 Established1937
Total Assets$1.9B
LEARN MORE on Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union traces its roots back to 1937, when 23 educators became the credit union’s charter members. The first services offered were basic savings accounts and small loans.

Today, Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union offers customers everything from savings and checking accounts to credit cards, loans, mortgages, investments, retirement accounts, and business services. The credit union has become one of the largest Central Florida credit unions, with approximately 140,000 members and more than $1.6 billion in assets.

Here’s our review of Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union's account offerings, including important information such as rates, fees and account features.

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.15%

Savings

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union Share (Savings)

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.80%

CD Rates

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union 12-23 Month Certificate

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.21%

CD Rates

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union 36-47 Month Certificate

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.02%

CD Rates

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union 60 Month Certificate

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

Vibrant Checking

A checking account for young credit union members, aged 13 to 17.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $1.75 at non-Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $35; $3 with overdraft protection

Vibrant Checking is a checking account for teenagers, but it still comes packed with additional features and benefits. In addition to the waived membership fee and the waived minimum share balance fee, the account comes with traditional checking benefits, a Visa debit card, 24/7 account access via mobile and online banking, bill pay, person-to-person transfers, and unlimited access to all Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union ATMs. A $500 secured Platinum credit card is also available, as long as a parent or guardian is willing to make the required security deposit.

Account holders can also participate in the Fun Bucks Savings program, which pays a 5.09% APY as of Dec. 6, 2018 on funds that can be held until the account holder turns 12, 15, or 18.

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Aspire Checking

A checking account specifically designed for college students.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $1.75 at non-Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: 4 fees refunded per month for foreign ATMs
  • Overdraft fee: $35; $3 with overdraft protection

Aspire Checking, designed for college students, is similar to the teen-oriented Vibrant Checking account, though with a few distinctions. Aspire Checking also comes with waived membership fees and waived minimum share balance fees, along with bill pay and person-to-person transfers.

However, the funding requirement for membership in the credit union — a $5 deposit in a Share Savings account — is funded by Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union itself, meaning no money is required at account opening.

This account also comes with 4 refunded monthly foreign ATM withdrawal fees. Account holders who complete an online financial literacy course become eligible to apply for a $500 partially secured Platinum credit card and a 0.15% auto loan rate discount.

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Choice Checking

Choice Checking is the credit union’s sole traditional checking account option.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0 (share membership required)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7.50; $0 with an open line of credit with Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union; an active Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union credit card or loan; a $250 cumulative average daily balance in checking, savings, money market (or combined deposits); a direct deposit to savings or checking of at least $500 monthly, or if you are under age 23
  • ATM fee: $0; $1.75 at non-Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $35; $3 with overdraft protection

Choice Checking is the standard checking account offered by Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union. It comes with common features, like the choice of check designs, online banking, bill pay, and person-to-person transfers. There’s a monthly fee with this account, but it can be waived through a variety of means.

Discounts of 0.10% for unsecured loans and 0.15% for auto loans are also available through this account; discounts can jump as high as 0.20% and 0.30%, respectively, if you have additional Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union loans and direct deposit.

Members aged 55 and older may also enjoy additional features through the credit union’s Heritage Benefits:

  • One free box of custom checks per year
  • A 25 percent discount on safe deposit box rentals
  • Free official checks
  • Free money orders
  • Participation in the SaveTopia Discount Program, which offers discounts at more than 80 local and national merchants via a mobile app

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Opportunity Checking

A second-chance checking account designed for those that need to rebuild or establish good credit.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0 (share membership required)
  • Monthly maintenance fee: $7.50; $0 with an open line of credit with Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union, an active Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union credit card or loan, a $250 cumulative average daily balance in checking, savings, money market, or combined deposits; a direct deposit to savings or checking of at least $500 monthly, or if you are under age 23
  • ATM fee: $0; $1.75 at non-Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $35

Those that may not have access to traditional checking accounts might need a credit-building account to start out. Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s Opportunity Checking account fits this need.

The account offers traditional checking account products and services, but it also has some restrictions. There is no check writing with this account, and there is no courtesy pay option to handle overdrafts. There are no ATM deposit capabilities, no mobile check deposit and no shared branch access.

To graduate to a Choice Checking account, you’ll need to complete an online financial literacy course.

As with the Choice Checking account, credit union members aged 55 and older opening an Opportunity Checking account are entitled to the additional features offered by the credit union’s Heritage Benefits program, including a free order of checks, free money orders and official checks, a safe deposit box rental discount, and participation in the SaveTopia Discount Program.

How to get Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts

To open any type of account at Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union, you’ll need to start by becoming a member. You can do this online by providing a valid government-issued ID, such as a passport, driver’s license or state ID, along with your complete physical address, email address and Social Security number.

To qualify for membership, you’ll have to pay a $10 membership fee and live, work, volunteer, worship, own a business or attend school in Orange, Seminole, Osceola or Lake counties. You must also open and deposit $5 into a share savings account via a credit card, check, or debit card. During that process, you can choose to add a Choice checking account. However, additional checking accounts cannot be opened online. You’ll need to visit a Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union branch or call the credit union’s contact center at (407) 896-9411 within or Orlando or (800) 771-9411 from outside Orlando.

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How Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union offers a decent range of checking accounts, totaling four in all. However, there’s only one traditional checking account, with the other options being niche accounts for youths and those with bad or nonexistent credit. Furthermore, none of the accounts pay any interest, so there’s no comparison to be made either to the national checking averages or the best available checking account rates.

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Share Savings Account

Share Savings is the basic membership account at Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union; it is required before any other accounts are opened.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$50
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7.50; $0 with an open line of credit with Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union, an active Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union credit card or loan, a $250 cumulative average daily balance in checking, savings, money market or combined deposits; a direct deposit to savings or checking of at least $500 monthly, or if you are under age 23
  • ATM fee: $0; $1.75 at non-Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $35; $3 with overdraft protection

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s Share Savings account is a standard savings account, but all Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union members must open one. In addition to the $5 minimum opening deposit, a one-time, $10 membership fee is also required.

The account allows for unlimited deposits and in-person withdrawals, although there’s a limit on certain transfers of six per month, per Regulation D. If you make certain transactions in excess of the limit, you’ll face account closure.

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Holiday and Summer Savings Account

These accounts are essentially secondary savings accounts, with a few minor modifications.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$50
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7.50; $0 with an open line of credit with Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union, an active Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union credit card or loan, a $250 cumulative average daily balance in checking, savings, money market or combined deposits; a direct deposit to savings or checking of at least $500 monthly, or if you are under age 23
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

In most ways, Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s Holiday & Summer Share accounts are identical to the bank’s traditional savings account. However, there is no minimum to open this account.

Unlike some club-type accounts found at other banks or credit unions, there is no mandatory distribution date for these accounts, nor is there a restriction on access. As long as you keep the minimum $50 balance in the account, you can continue earning interest.

You cannot access these accounts via an ATM; you must either visit a branch or move your money via online or mobile access. Certain transactions in excess of six per month will result in account closure.

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Youth Savings Account: Origin Savings

The Origin Savings account is a beginning savings account for kids aged 0 to 12 years old.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

Origin Savings is a starter savings account that is similar to the credit union’s Share Savings account, but with some tweaks. As with Share Savings, there’s a $5 minimum deposit to open this account, but there is no monthly fee with Origin Savings. However, there is also no ATM access.

Origin Savings account holders have access to the credit union’s Fun Bucks Program, which allows for additional earnings at a high rate — 5.09% APY as of Dec. 6, 2018 — on deposits of at least $10. These funds must be kept in the account until at least age 12 or the earnings are forfeited.

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Youth Savings Account: Vibrant Savings

The counterpart to the Vibrant Checking account, Vibrant Savings is a youth-oriented savings account designed for teenagers 13 to 17 years old.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s Vibrant Savings account is very similar to the Origin Savings account, with some modifications for its teenaged account holders. There’s still a $5 minimum opening deposit, and there are no monthly account fees or ATM access.

However, this account does have debit card access. A $500 secured credit card is also available with a deposit from a parent or guardian. Account holders have access to the credit union’s Fun Bucks Program, earning an APY of 5.09% as of Dec. 6, 2018, up until age 15; premature withdrawals forfeit earned interest.

Upon turning 18, account holders can switch their account to a Share Savings account.

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Health Savings account

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union offers a traditional Health Savings Account that pays interest at a higher rate than the credit union’s other savings accounts.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.40%
$50
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s Health Savings account has a small opening deposit and no monthly maintenance fee. It carries the same federal tax and eligibility restrictions as all health savings accounts do. To open this account, customers:

  • must participate in a valid high-deductible health insurance plan
  • cannot have additional first-dollar medical coverage (e.g. specific injury coverage, vision, dental, accident, disability, and long-term care insurance permitted)
  • cannot be enrolled in Medicare
  • cannot be claimed as a dependent on another’s tax return

All HSA accounts carry tax benefits, but you should consult your tax advisor regarding the consequences of both contributions and withdrawals.

How to get Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts

The process for opening a savings account online at Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union is the same as with any type of account. First, you’ll need to become a member using the online process. You can do this with a valid government-issued ID, such as a passport, state ID, or driver’s license, along with your physical address, email address, and Social Security number.

Members must pay a $10 membership fee and live, volunteer, work, worship, own a business, or attend school in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, or Lake County. You’ll have to fund a share account with at least $5 via a credit card, check, or debit card.

Additional savings accounts cannot be opened online. For those, you’ll need to visit a Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union branch or call the credit union’s contact center at (407) 896-9411 within or Orlando or (800) 771-9411 from outside Orlando.

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How Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union has a wide range of savings accounts, including two youth accounts, a health savings account, and a holiday club account, but it has just a single traditional option.

With the exception of the two youth accounts, all savings accounts pay interest, but the rate is below the national average in every instance. Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union is not a competitor when it comes to the best rates available on savings accounts nationwide.

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s CD account options

Term Share Certificates

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union offers three types of certificate accounts: standard term share certificates, a six-month Savings Builder CD, and a 10-month special rate certificate.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
0.20%
$1,0003 to 5 months
0.35%
$56-month Savings Builder Share Certificate
2.59%
$1,00010-month Fixed-Maturity Term Share Certificate
0.55%
$1,0006 to 11 months
0.80%
$1,00012 to 23 months
1.05%
$1,00024 to 29 months
1.06%
$1,00030 to 35 months
1.21%
$1,00036 to 47 months
1.66%
$1,00048 to 59 months
2.02%
$1,00060+ months
  • Minimum balance to open account: $1,000; $5 for 6-month Savings Builder Share Certificate
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ dividends for terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ dividends for terms greater than 12 but less than 25 months; 270 days’ dividends for terms greater than 25 months.

None of the certificates in the Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union CD lineup have any monthly service charges or fixed-rate dividends. The CDs all pay fixed-rate dividends that are compounded daily and credited monthly. All CDs require $1,000 to open, with the exception of the 6-month Savings Builder Share Certificate, which is also the only account that allows additional deposits. The 10-month CD offers a special rate. Early withdrawal penalties apply to all CDs.

How to get Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s CD accounts

You cannot open a Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union term certificate account online. You’ll need to visit a Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union branch or call the credit union’s contact center at (407) 896-9411 within or Orlando or (800) 771-9411 from outside Orlando.

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How Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s CD accounts compare

The standout CD from a yield perspective is the 10-month fixed-maturity term share certificate, with a yield more than double the national average and competitive with the best CD rates available around the country; the other rates don’t quite match up to the national average. If you don’t have enough cash to meet the $1,000 standard CD minimum, the share builder option, with a $5 opening balance requirement, is an alternate option.

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s money market account options

Insured Money Market Account

The Insured Money Market account is Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s sole money market account, with a tiered interest rate structure and better yields than the credit union’s savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%
$1,000
0.20%
$10,000
0.20%
$25,000
0.25%
$50,000
0.30%
$100,000
0.50%
$1,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7.50; $0 with an open line of credit with Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union, an active Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union credit card or loan, a $250 cumulative average daily balance in checking, savings, money market or combined deposits; a direct deposit to savings or checking of at least $500 monthly, or if you are under age 23
  • ATM fee: $0; $1.75 at non-Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $35; $3 with overdraft protection

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s Insured Money Market is designed to be a short-term investment account that still allows easy access to funds. Rates are tiered and vary according to current market conditions, with deposits of $1,000,000 and more earning the highest yields.

Deposits and in-person withdrawals are unlimited, but other specific transfers are limited to six per month, in line with federal Regulation D. Dividends are calculated from the date of deposit to the date of withdrawal; dividends are compounded daily and paid monthly.

How to get Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts

You cannot open a Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union money market account online. You’ll need to visit a Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union branch or call the credit union’s contact center at (407) 896-9411 within or Orlando or (800) 771-9411 from outside Orlando.

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How Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s money market account compares

Deposits of $1 million or more are paid higher-than-average interest rates, but most deposits into the Insured Money Market account earn less-than-average rates. None of the money market rates paid at Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union are near the best available money market rates in the nation. Feature-wise, there is nothing particularly noteworthy about the Insured Money Market account, as it provides standard money market features.

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s IRA options

IRA Savings Account

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s IRA Savings Account pays a respectable yield for an account that is essentially a slush fund.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.40%
$0
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

Customers that have money in a Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union IRA that is not destined for a true investment account can find a decent holding place in the credit union’s IRA Savings Account. There’s no minimum balance to earn the savings account yield, and money can be transferred at any time to a different investment, such as a CD.

There is no ATM access with this account. Although the savings account itself is liquid, as an IRA, there are IRS restrictions to taking money out of the account entirely. Withdrawals are subject to ordinary income tax and a possible penalty if account holders are below the age of 59.5.

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IRA Certificate accounts (CDs)

The certificates available in a Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union IRA are the same as in the credit union’s taxable accounts, both in terms of maturity, minimum balance, and APY, with one exception.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
0.20%
$1,0003 to 5 months
0.35%
$56-month Savings Builder Share Certificate
0.55%
$1,0006 to 11 months
0.80%
$1,00012 to 23 months
1.05%
$1,00024 to 29 months
1.06%
$1,00030 to 35 months
1.21%
$1,00036 to 47 months
1.66%
$1,00048 to 59 months
2.02%
$1,00060+ months
  • Minimum balance to open account: $1,000; $5 for 6-month Savings Builder Share Certificate
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ dividends for terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ dividends for terms greater than 12 but less than 25 months; 270 days’ dividends for terms greater than 25 months.

The CDs available in a Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union IRA are not a distinct product line from those in the credit union’s taxable accounts. You’ll find standard CDs from three months to 60 months in a Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union IRA, with the same $1,000 minimum. The one difference is that there is no promotional 10-month, Fixed-Maturity Term Share Certificate available in Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union IRA accounts. The six-month, $5 minimum Savings Builder Share Certificate, however, is still available in IRA form. Early withdrawal penalties remain the same. These CDs do come in an IRA wrapper, so you’ll potentially face IRS taxes and penalties if you take money out of the IRA as a whole.

How to get Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s IRA products

You cannot open a Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union IRA account online. You’ll need to visit a Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union branch or call the credit union’s contact center at (407) 896-9411 within or Orlando or (800) 771-9411 from outside Orlando.

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How Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s IRA products compare

As with the credit union’s non-IRA CDs, rates for Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s IRA CDs are slightly below average across the board and can’t keep up with the best available IRA CD rates. Lacking the 10-month fixed-maturity term share certificate that’s available in the credit union’s taxable accounts, there is no standout IRA CD from a yield perspective.

If you don’t have enough cash to meet the $1,000 standard CD minimum, the share builder option, with a $5 opening balance requirement, is an alternate option.

Overall review of Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union’s products

Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union offers a wide range of accounts, but none of the checking accounts pay interest, and the credit union’s savings accounts all pay below-market interest rates.

However, the credit union does offer a noteworthy CD account from a yield perspective, in the form of the 10-month fixed-maturity term share certificate; that yield is among the best you can find in the country.

If you’re looking for a money market account, you’ll need a huge deposit to earn even an above-average interest rate, and you still won’t approach the best rates you can find elsewhere. IRA accounts, meanwhile, have a decent basic savings option, but the CD rates don’t standout.

Overall, you’ll find no shortage of accounts to open at Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union, and you can avoid monthly fees on most accounts with a little effort. However, if you’re searching for a high yield, you’ll likely find that most of the offerings come up short compared to what’s available in the competitive market place.

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.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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Reviews

Consumers 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 Established1930
Total Assets$1.2B
LEARN MORE on Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

Consumers Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution that is open to anyone who contributes $5 to the Consumers Cooperative Association. This contrasts with many other credit unions that restrict membership to geographical regions or affiliation with member employers or institutions.

Headquartered in Lake County, Ill., Consumers Credit Union was founded in 1930 and is now among the largest credit unions in the state, with more than 100,000 members and more than $1.2 billion in assets. In addition to its headquarters, Consumers Credit Union has nine Chicago-area branch locations. As part of the CU Service Centers® Network, members have access to banking services at thousands of locations across the country.

Consumers Credit Union has one online application that applies to all account types, with the exception of the credit union’s free checking accounts and its IRAs. To continue with the online application process, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old and have a government-issued ID, like your driver’s license, and your Social Security number handy. You’ll also need relevant information from your funding source, such as your routing and account numbers if transferring money from a bank.

Customers wishing to open an account in person or who don’t otherwise qualify for an online account can visit one of the credit union’s branches or call customer support at (877) 275-2228.

Here’s a review of the types of accounts you can open at Consumers Credit Union, with an emphasis on the features, benefits and available rates for all of the credit union’s options.

Consumers Credit Union (IL)’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.05%

Savings

Consumers Credit Union (IL) Membership Share Savings

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.50%

CD Rates

Consumers Credit Union (IL) 1 Year CD

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.15%

CD Rates

Consumers Credit Union (IL) 3 Year CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.50%

CD Rates

Consumers Credit Union (IL) 5 Year CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Consumers Credit Union’s checking account options

Free Checking account

Consumers Credit Union’s Free Checking account offers a standard range of basic checking services in a free wrapper, but it doesn’t pay any interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0, but $1 for every ATM withdrawal exceeding six per month
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

The Free Checking account is a straightforward option for banking clients who need basic checking account access, but don’t want to pay any fees. Although the account doesn’t earn any interest, it has no minimum balance requirements and provides a number of free features and benefits, including the following:

  • Online and mobile banking access
  • Unlimited check writing
  • Online bill pay
  • Mobile pay via a linked debit card using Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay
  • Mobile remote deposit of checks via smartphone

The Free Checking account carries a steep overdraft fee, but that can be reduced by signing up for transfers from a backup funding account. ATM access is available via debit card, and withdrawals up to six times per month are free of charge.

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Student Choice Checking

This account is designed for younger customers from 13 to 17 years old. Accounts must be opened jointly with a parent or guardian who is legally responsible for all account activity.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0; $10 if maintained after age 19 and not converted to a Rewards Checking account
  • ATM fee: $0, but $1 for every ATM withdrawal exceeding six per month
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $25 per month
  • Overdraft fee: No overdrafts allowed

Consumers Credit Union’s Student Choice checking account is a starter account for minors, who must open the account with a designated adult.

Daily debit card withdrawals are limited to $310. No checks are included and no overdrafts are allowed. However, the account does provide a generous up to $25 maximum ATM fee monthly rebate for non-network ATMs, and it allows minors to apply for a Visa credit card through the account.

Other benefits include free electronic statements and online banking. As with the Free Checking account, however, no interest is paid on the Student Choice checking account.

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Free Rewards Checking

The Consumers Free Rewards checking account pays high rates of interest on smaller balances, but it has a complicated, multi-tier structure.
Tier A
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
5.09%
$0
0.20%
$20,000.01
0.10%
$25,000.01
Tier B
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
4.09%
$0
0.20%
$15,000.01
0.10%
$25,000.01
Tier C
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
3.09%
$0
0.20%
$10,000.01
0.10%
$25,000.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0, if basic service requirements met
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited, if basic service requirements met
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

Free Rewards account holders can earn high rates of interest but must clear certain hurdles earn the best rates. To qualify for Tier C, customers must ensure that each month, the following occurs:

  • Complete at least 12 debit/check card point-of-sale purchases of any amount (must be made without the use of a PIN code and must clear and post as a credit transaction by the end of the month)
  • Receive one direct deposit, pay one bill using the credit union’s online bill pay service, or make one ACH debit
  • Access online banking at least once
  • Receive bank correspondence (such as statements and notices) via the eDocuments service

Tier B customers must complete all of the above every month, and also spend $500 or more in Consumers Credit Union Visa credit card purchase transactions. Customers who spend $1,000 or more monthly on their Consumers Credit Union Visa credit card are bumped up to Tier A.

On top of the enhanced interest payments, the Free Rewards checking account offers the following additional benefits:

  • Reimbursement for any and all ATM fees, if Tier C or higher requirements are met
  • Online banking and bill pay
  • Mobile banking
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Unlimited check writing

If Tier C or higher requirements are not met, customers lose the fee reimbursement provision and are only paid interest at a 0.01% APY. To help customers keep on track, the credit union offers a service that shows activity such as monthly debit transactions and Visa spending.

How to open Consumers Credit Union’s checking accounts

As noted earlier, Consumers Credit Union has an online application for its flagship Free Rewards Checking account. Customers looking to open a Free Checking or Student Choice account can visit a branch or call the customer service line at (877) 275-2228.

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How Consumers Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Consumers Credit Union offers a no-frills Free Checking account, but since the enhanced Free Rewards Checking account has no monthly maintenance fee, it would generally be the better choice. This is particularly true for account holders who can meet the credit union’s activity requirements — these actions make the interest rate rise dramatically.

The best rates that the credit union offers not only smash the national average rate, they easily top the best national checking rates offered by competitors. The primary downside is that the rates paid are limited to deposits of no more than $20,000.

Consumers Credit Union’s savings account options

Membership Share Savings account

The Membership Share Savings account is Consumers Credit Union’s traditional savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0, but $1 for every ATM withdrawal exceeding six per month
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

A $5 deposit into a new Consumers Credit Union Membership Share Savings account is mandatory for any customers who want to be members of the credit union.

As required by Federal Reserve Regulation D, you are limited to up to six certain transactions each month from Consumers Credit Union’s Membership Share Savings or money market account. The credit union will assess a $5 fee for each additional transaction. Your account may also be closed, at the discretion of the institution.

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Christmas Savings account

The Christmas Savings account has limited access until the holiday period every year, but it does pay interest.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

The Christmas Savings account pays a higher interest rate than the credit union’s Membership Share Savings account, but funds must remain on deposit in the account from Nov. 1 through Oct. 31 of the following year, at which point money is automatically transferred into the account holder’s Membership Share Savings account.

The account requires a new $5 minimum deposit every year and automatically renews.

How to open Consumers Credit Union’s savings accounts

The credit union has a single online application for its accounts. Customers looking to open a Membership Share Savings or Christmas Savings account can also visit a branch or call the customer service line at (877) 275-2228

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How Consumers Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Consumers Credit Union’s savings accounts pay low interest rates. The primary savings account doesn’t even match the national average savings account rate, and it falls far below the highest online savings rates available, The Christmas Savings account has a better-than-average rate, but it too is no comparison to the best available at other institutions. The accounts do come free of any monthly maintenance fees, but they don’t provide any exceptional services or payouts.

Consumers Credit Union’s CD rates

Regular CDs

TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
91 days0.50%
$250
6 months1.00%
$250
1 year1.50%
$250
15 months*2.75%
$250
18 months1.75%
$250
2 years2.00%
$250
30 months2.10%
$250
3 years2.15%
$250
45 months*3.25%
$250
4 years2.20%
$250
5 years2.50%
$250
* indicates a promotional rate
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $250
  • Early withdrawal penalty: for terms of one year or less, 60 days’ dividends; for terms of longer than one year, 120 days’ dividends

Consumers Credit Union’s CDs range in maturity from 91 days to 5 years, with rates guaranteed for the duration of the term. After a minimum deposit of $250, dividends are compounded daily and posted monthly. Promotional rates are offered in the 15 month and 45 month maturities. Withdrawing funds before CDs mature will trigger an early withdrawal penalty of between 60 and 120 days’ worth of dividends.

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Jumbo CDs

Consumers Credit Union’s Jumbo CDs match the maturity schedule as the credit union’s regular CDs, but rates may vary.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
91 days0.50%
$100,000
6 months1.00%
$100,000
1 year1.60%
$100,000
15 months*2.85%
$100,000
18 months1.85%
$100,000
2 years2.10%
$100,000
30 months2.20%
$100,000
3 years2.25%
$100,000
45 months*3.35%
$100,000
4 years2.30%
$100,000
5 years2.60%
$100,000
*indicates a promotional rate
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: for terms of one year or less, 60 days’ dividends; for terms of longer than one year, 120 days’ dividends

Customers with $100,000 or more to invest have access to the credit union’s jumbo certificate rates, which are higher for some maturities than the credit union’s regular certificate accounts. Promotional rates are offered for the same 15 and 45 month maturities as Consumers Credit Union’s regular CDs. Dividends are credited daily and posted monthly, with rates guaranteed for the life of the CD.

How to get Consumers Credit Union’s certificate rates

Consumers Credit Union has one online application for all account types, including regular and jumbo CDs.

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How Consumers Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Although Consumers Credit Union offers additional interest on some CD maturities for jumbo deposits, the bump in rates isn’t particularly noteworthy. The best rates in Consumers Credit Union’s CDs are available on the two promotional maturities of 15 and 45 months, on both the regular and jumbo CDs. Overall, rates at Consumers Credit Union are far above the national average CD rates, and while these rates don’t approach the best CD rates available nationally, they are respectable. Early withdrawal penalties are fairly standard.

Consumers Credit Union’s money market account option

Money Market account

This account is Consumers Credit Union’s version of a traditional money market account, with larger balances earning higher interest rates.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$2,000
0.15%
$20,000
0.20%
$40,000
0.25%
$70,000
0.30%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,000+ (see above table)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

Consumers Credit Union’s Money Market account pays a higher rate than the credit union’s savings account, but offers more access than its CDs. Rates are tiered, with the highest APY paid for balances of $100,000 or more.

Federal Reserve Regulation D requires that an account classified as a “savings deposit” must not permit more than six transfers or withdrawals per month. In the case of Consumers Credit Union, account holders will be assessed a fee of $5 per instance each time they exceed that limit — in some cases, the credit union may close the account in response to excess withdrawals. The account has no ATM access.

How to get Consumers Credit Union’s money market account

As noted earlier, Consumers Credit Union has one online application for all account types, including the money market account.

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How Consumers Credit Union’s money market account compares

Consumers Credit Union’s sole money market account is just about average when it comes to interest rates. Deposits below $20,000 earn less than the national average for money market accounts, while deposits of $100,000 or more earn about double the national average. Rates for all tiers fall well short of the highest available money market rates at other banks. On the plus side, the account carries no monthly maintenance fee.

Consumers Credit Union’s IRA rates

IRA CDs

Consumers Credit Union pays the same rates on its IRA CDs as it does on its non-IRA accounts. Jumbo certificates are available in the credit union’s IRAs as well.

Regular IRA CDs

TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
91 days0.50%
$250
6 months1.00%
$250
1 year1.50%
$250
15 months*2.75%
$250
18 months1.75%
$250
2 years2.00%
$250
30 months2.10%
$250
3 years2.15%
$250
45 months*3.25%
$250
4 years2.20%
$250
5 years2.50%
$250
*indicates promotional rates
  • Minimum opening deposit: $250
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $250
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of one year or less, 60 days’ dividends; for terms of longer than one year, 120 days’ dividends

Consumers Credit Union’s IRA CDs follow the same format as the credit union’s non-IRA CDs. Minimum deposits are $250, and rates vary over the 91 day to 5 year maturity schedule. Higher rates are paid for the promotional maturities of 15 and 45 months. Early withdrawal penalties apply, at a cost of either 60 days’ or 120 days’ worth of dividends.

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Jumbo IRA CDs

TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
91 days0.50%
$100,000
6 months1.00%
$100,000
1 year1.60%
$100,000
15 months*2.85%
$100,000
18 months1.85%
$100,000
2 years2.10%
$100,000
30 months2.20%
$100,000
3 years2.25%
$100,000
45 months*3.35%
$100,000
4 years2.30%
$100,000
5 years2.60%
$100,000
*indicates promotional maturities
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of one year or less, 60 days’ dividends; for terms of longer than one year, 120 days’ dividends

For IRA customers with at least $100,000 to invest, jumbo CDs are available in Consumers Credit Union’s IRA products. Rates are higher for some maturities than the credit union’s regular IRA CDs. Promotional rates are available for maturities of 15 and 45 months. Dividends are credited daily and posted monthly.

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IRA Money Market account

Rates for the Consumers Credit Union IRA Money Market account are the same as the credit union’s regular money market account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$2,000
0.15%
$20,000
0.20%
$40,000
0.25%
$70,000
0.30%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,000+ (see table above)
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts from IRA Savings account

Consumers Credit Union’s IRA Money Market account has the same interest rates as its non-IRA money market account. It pays more than the credit union’s IRA savings account, but for the most part, rates are lower than its IRA CD rates. Tiered rates pay the highest APY on balances of $100,000 or more. There is no ATM access with this account.

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IRA Savings

The IRA Savings account pays the same interest rate on all balances above the minimum.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$10
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: $30, or $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts from IRA Money Market

The IRA Savings account at Consumers Credit Union is an interest-bearing account for cash that is not invested elsewhere, such as in the credit union’s CDs. The same rate is paid for every deposit above the account minimum of $10. There are no monthly fees with this savings account.

How to get Consumers Credit Union’s IRA rates

Consumers Credit Union requires applicants for IRA products to call (877) 275-2228 or visit a branch. No online application is available for an IRA product at the credit union.

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How Consumers Credit Union’s IRA rates compare

Rates for the money market and CD accounts in the credit union’s IRAs are the same as in the credit union’s non-IRA accounts. For the latter, this means that, overall, they are far above the national average CD rates, but well below the best IRA CD rates available nationally. Jumbo CD deposits earn slightly higher rates, but the promotional terms of 15 and 45 months are where investors will find the best rates at Consumers Credit Union. Rates are the same regardless of the size of deposit, with the exception of some jumbo maturities.

The credit union’s IRA savings account pays a modest amount of interest, above the national average savings rate.

Overall review of Consumers Credit Union’s banking products

Consumers Credit Union offers a mixed bag of banking options for customers. The clear highlight of the credit union’s entire roster is its Rewards Checking account, which pays an outstanding rate for balances of up to $20,000. However, the multi-tier structure of the account can be confusing, and it can take some doing to earn the best rate. For determined savers, however, it can be hard to find a better rate at any institution across the country.

The credit union also does well with its promotional CD rates, although they only come in two maturities. Other CD rates are respectable, but not noteworthy.

Beyond that, Consumers Credit Union’s other offerings are lackluster, with the savings accounts paying below-market rates and the money market account not leaping to new heights either.

Overall, Consumers Credit Union offers a wide range of products with low or no fees, which can be appealing to many consumers. With the exception of the exceptional flagship checking rate, however, better options can likely be found at other institutions.

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.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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Reviews

Golden 1 Credit Union Review of Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA 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 Established1933
Total Assets$12.0B
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Founded in Sacramento, California in 1933, Golden 1 Credit Union is now one of the largest credit unions in the country, with over $10 billion in assets and 900,000 members. The credit union serves members through with 80 branches in the Golden State and via the more than 30,000 CO-OP ATMs nationwide.

For most accounts, Golden 1 Credit Union allows customers to apply online. To continue with the online application process, you’ll need to have handy a government-issued ID, such as your driver’s license, and your Social Security number, along with your contact information.

Once you’ve become a member by opening a Regular Savings account, you can enroll in most additional accounts using your new online banking password. Some accounts, in particular some of the youth-oriented accounts, require customers to either visit a Golden 1 Credit Union branch or to call the Member Service Contact Center.

Here’s a look at the accounts offered by Golden 1 Credit Union, including notable features, benefits and rates paid, where applicable.

Golden 1 Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.15%

Savings

Golden 1 Credit Union Regular Savings

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.75%

CD Rates

Golden 1 Credit Union 12-17 Month CD

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.20%

CD Rates

Golden 1 Credit Union 36-39 Month CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.87%

CD Rates

Golden 1 Credit Union 60 Month CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Golden 1 Credit Union’s checking account options

Free Checking account

Golden 1 Credit Union’s Free Checking account is its bare bones, no-fee/no-interest checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 for in-network ATMs, $2 for non-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29.50, but free overdraft protection from a savings or loan account is available

Golden 1 Credit Union’s Free Checking account is a basic, free checking account. The account charges no fees unless you overdraw the account without a backup savings or loan account, or if you use a non-network ATM. However, 240 Golden 1 Credit Union and 30,000 CO-OP ATMs are available to use surcharge-free. The account does offer some limited additional features, including:

  • Online, mobile and text banking services
  • Free first box of Golden 1 Credit Union custom image checks
  • Debit card
  • Mobile deposit
  • Online bill payment service
  • Popmoney® personal payment service

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Student Checking

Student Checking is a free account designed for students age 17 years and older.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 for in-network ATMs, $2 for non-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29.50, but free overdraft protection from a savings or loan account is available

Golden 1 Credit Union’s Student Checking account is essentially the same account as the credit union’s Free Checking option, with slight differences. In fact, after five years, the Student Checking account automatically converts into a Free Checking account.

The Student Checking account offers the same benefits as the Free Checking account, including mobile, online and text banking, mobile deposit and online bill pay. Customers also receive one free order of checks and a debit card. Like the Free Checking account, the Student Checking account doesn’t pay interest.

To qualify for a Student Checking account, applicants must provide proof of enrollment, acceptance or attendance at any college or university.

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Freedom Checking

Golden 1 Credit Union’s Freedom Checking account is another free, non-interest-bearing account targeted toward youths ages 16-17 with better-than-average grades.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 for in-network ATMs, $2 for non-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29.50, but free overdraft protection from a savings or loan account is available

Limited to students ages 16 or 17, the Freedom Checking account also requires a B-grade average or higher. The account allows youths the ability to withdraw and deposit funds without the oversight of a parent or legal guardian. Additional features are similar to the credit union’s other free checking accounts, including online and mobile banking access, mobile deposit, online bill pay and a debit card. When the account holder reaches age 18, the account automatically converts to a Free Checking account.

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New Generation Checking

Golden 1 Credit Union’s New Generation Checking account is the credit union’s third youth-based, free checking account. This one is for minors ages 13 to 17 who have a parent or legal guardian as a joint owner.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 for in-network ATMs, $2 for non-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29.50, but free overdraft protection from a savings or loan account is available

As with the credit union’s other free checking accounts, the New Generation account comes with the same basic features, from online and mobile banking to debit card access and online bill pay. However, one twist with the New Generation checking account is that ATM access is limited. For youths between ages 13 and 15, daily ATM withdrawals are capped at $40. For those between ages 16 to 17, the daily ATM limit is capped at $100. The account pays no interest.

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Premium Checking

Premium Checking is Golden 1 Credit Union’s flagship checking account, and the only one that pays interest.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5; can be waived with direct deposit of a recurring retirement or pay check, the maintenance of a $1,000 balance in the account, an aggregate daily savings balance of $5,000, or enrollment in the credit union’s Golden Prestige program
  • ATM fee: $0 for in-network ATMs, $2 for non-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29.50, but free overdraft protection from a savings or loan account is available

Beyond the name, and the opening and maintenance requirements, Golden 1 Credit Union’s Premium Checking is similar to the credit union’s Free Checking account. In exchange for earning interest, the Premium Checking account drops the benefit of a free first box of checks.

Golden 1 Credit Union’s Golden PrestigeSM package is available to qualifying clients age 62 or older. Direct deposit of a recurring check, or $5,000 on deposit in any combination of savings accounts at the credit union, are enough to qualify, along with the age requirement.

How to open Golden 1 Credit Union’s checking accounts

As noted earlier, Golden 1 Credit Union has an online application for its Free Checking and Premium Checking accounts. Customers looking to open a Student, New Generation or Freedom Checking accounts can visit a branch or call the Member Service Contact Center at (877) 465-3361.

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How Golden 1 Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Although the Golden 1 Credit Union checking account roster is broad, it is not deep. While offering five types of checking accounts, three of those accounts are youth-focused twists on the credit union’s Free Checking account. Only the Premium Checking account pays interest, and the rate is low, falling well below the national average.

Golden 1 Credit Union’s Premium Checking account has opening and maintenance requirements that the credit union’s free checking accounts do not carry, and although those hurdles are not too high to clear, the rate paid may not justify the effort for many prospective customers. When compared with the best national checking rates offered by competitors, Golden 1 Credit Union comes up well short.

Golden 1 Credit Union’s savings account options

Regular Savings account

The Regular Savings account is Golden 1 Credit Union’s traditional savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 for in-network ATMs, $2 for non-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29.50, but free overdraft protection from a checking or loan account is available

A $1 deposit into a Golden 1 Credit Union Regular Savings account is a mandatory requirement for membership in the credit union, in addition to the California regional requirement. A deposit of $100 is enough to trigger dividend payments.

Although the account offers unlimited ATM withdrawals, there is an excess withdrawal fee of $3 attached to in-branch cash withdrawals or transfers exceeding three per month. The account can be used as a basis for overdraft protection on the credit union’s checking accounts, and there are no monthly maintenance or minimum balance fees. In line with Federal Reserve regulations, there is a limit of six withdrawals/transfers a month with savings accounts. If you exceed the limit, it can lead to account closure.

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FlexSavings account

The FlexSavings account is designed to help customers save for a particular goal, such as a wedding or a vacation.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $20, or $5 with automatic transfer from another Golden 1 Credit Union account or payroll deduction
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: $29.50, but free overdraft protection from a checking or loan account is available

Golden 1 Credit Union’s FlexSavings account is similar to holiday savings accounts at other financial institutions. After a small minimum opening deposit, the account pays interest on all balances until a date specified by the account holder. At that point, the money in the FlexSavings account is paid out to the member’s Regular Savings account at Golden 1 Credit Union. Payouts are on the first day of any month up to 20 years in the future. Withdrawals made before the specified date will result in the closure of the account.

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Youth Savings account

The Youth Savings account is designed to help those under age 18 learn how to handle their own money, although it must be opened with a joint account owner.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0 for in-network ATMs, $2 for non-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29.50, but free overdraft protection from a checking or loan account is available

The Youth Savings account at Golden 1 Credit Union allows minors to make withdrawals and deposits in their own savings account. The credit union will charge $3 per transaction for every in-branch withdrawal or transfer beyond three each month, Per Regulation D, six withdrawals/transfers is the limit per month. If you go over that, you may face account closure by the credit union.

Transactions can be made without the presence of a co-signer, although the account must have an adult joint owner until the youth reaches age 18. The account carries no monthly fee and pays dividends on all balances.

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Santa Saver account

The Santa Saver account at Golden 1 Credit Union is the FlexSavings account dressed up in a Christmas wrapper.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $20, or $5 with automatic transfer from another Golden 1 Credit Union account or payroll deduction
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

Golden 1 Credit Union’s Santa Saver account has the same requirements as the credit union’s FlexSavings account, with one specific difference: Santa Savers are required to take a distribution every year on Nov. 1. Other withdrawals or transfers are not allowed. This account also renews automatically every year.

How to open Golden 1 Credit Union’s savings accounts

Golden 1 Credit Union’s online application is available for all of the credit union’s savings accounts, if members have an online banking password. New members can sign up for the Regular Savings and Santa Savers account by joining the credit union online. Members can also open additional regular savings accounts as they wish using the online application process. Other options are to visit a branch or to call the Member Service Contact Center at (877) 465-3361.

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How Golden 1 Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Golden 1 Credit Union’s savings accounts all pay the same rate, and it’s a rate below the national average. The bank’s flagship savings account is its membership account, as the other savings accounts are variations of holiday or youth accounts. While many other banks and credit unions offer additional high-yield savings accounts, Golden 1 Credit Union does not. As a result, its rates are well below those customers can get from competitors that pay the highest online savings rates available. On the plus side, none of Golden 1 Credit Union’s savings accounts charge monthly maintenance fees.

Golden 1 Credit Union’s CD rates

Term-Savings Certificate account

The Term-Savings Certificate account offers only standard rates; no promotional rates are currently available.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
3-5 months0.30%
$1,000
3-5 months0.30%
$10,000
3-5 months0.35%
$25,000
3-5 months0.35%
$50,000
3-5 months0.40%
$100,000
6-11 months0.50%
$1,000
6-11 months0.50%
$10,000
6-11 months0.50%
$25,000
6-11 months0.50%
$50,000
6-11 months0.55%
$100,000
12-17 months0.75%
$1,000
12-17 months0.75%
$10,000
12-17 months0.75%
$25,000
12-17 months0.75%
$50,000
12-17 months0.80%
$100,000
18-23 months0.75%
$1,000
18-23 months0.75%
$10,000
18-23 months0.75%
$25,000
18-23 months0.75%
$50,000
18-23 months0.80%
$100,000
24-35 months1.00%
$1,000
24-35 months1.00%
$10,000
24-35 months1.00%
$25,000
24-35 months1.00%
$50,000
24-35 months1.05%
$100,000
36-47 months1.20%
$1,000
36-47 months1.20%
$10,000
36-47 months1.20%
$25,000
36-47 months1.20%
$50,000
36-47 months1.25%
$100,000
48-59 months1.55%
$1,000
48-59 months1.55%
$10,000
48-59 months1.55%
$25,000
48-59 months1.55%
$50,000
48-59 months1.60%
$100,000
60 months1.87%
$1,000
60 months1.87%
$10,000
60 months1.87%
$25,000
60 months1.87%
$50,000
60 months1.92%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of 3 months to 11 months, 90 days’ dividends; for terms of 12 through 23 months, 180 days’ dividends; for terms of 24 months or greater, 365 days’ dividends

Golden 1 Credit Union’s CDs range in maturity from 3 months to 5 years. Dividends are compounded and credited monthly. Rates are tiered, with balances of $100,000 or more earning the highest APY. The early withdrawal of CD deposits triggers an early withdrawal penalty of between 90 and 365 days of dividends. Golden 1 Credit Union’s CDs automatically renew, although there is a seven-day grace period after maturity during which account holders can withdraw their funds without a fee.

How to get Golden 1 Credit Union’s CD rates

Current members of Golden 1 Credit Union can open certificate accounts online by logging in to their account and clicking on the “Open an Account” tab. Non-members can either join the credit union and apply online, in-person at a branch, via the Member Service Contact Center at (877) 465-3361, or by mailing in a paper application.

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How Golden 1 Credit Union’s CD rates compare

CD rates at Golden 1 Credit Union are well above the credit union’s savings rates but can’t compare with the best CD rates available from other banks. For all maturities, Golden 1’s CDs are also below the national average rates. Rates are tiered, but they don’t increase until deposits hit the $100,000 figure, and then only by a small amount. Early withdrawal penalties can also be significant.

Golden 1 Credit Union’s money market account option

Money Market account

Golden 1 Credit Union’s Money Market savings account is a traditional money market account, which is something of a hybrid between a checking account and a savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%
$0
0.35%
$10,000
0%
$50,000
0%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5, $0 with monthly balance of $2,500+
  • ATM fee: $0; access at Golden 1 Credit Union ATMs only
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: $29.50, but free overdraft protection from a checking or loan account is available

Larger deposits into Golden 1 Credit Union’s Money Market pay a higher rate than the credit union’s savings account. The highest APY is paid on balances of $100,000 or more. The account has ATM access, but only at Golden 1 Credit Union ATMs.

Dividends are compounded monthly and are variable. Account holders are restricted to six withdrawals per month; otherwise, the account may be closed. Although dividends are paid on any amount, balances below $2,500 are assessed a monthly fee.

How to get Golden 1 Credit Union’s money market account

As noted earlier, Golden 1 Credit Union has one online application for most account types, and the Money Market savings account qualifies for an online application for existing members with an online banking password. New members will have to join the credit union first before being offered online access to the money market account application. Otherwise, customers can visit a branch or call the Member Service Contact Center at (877) 465-3361.

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How Golden 1 Credit Union’s money market account compares

Golden 1 Credit Union’s money market account rates are middle-of-the-road. Balances above $50,000 pay more than the national average money market rate, while smaller deposits earn below-average rates. The highest available money market rates at other banks are much higher than even Golden 1 Credit Union’s best rates, while minimum deposit levels are much lower at most of the best-paying banks.

Golden 1 Credit Union’s IRA rates

Regular IRA CDs

TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
3-5 months0.30%
$500
3-5 months0.30%
$10,000
3-5 months0.35%
$25,000
3-5 months0.35%
$50,000
3-5 months0.40%
$100,000
6-11 months0.50%
$500
6-11 months0.50%
$10,000
6-11 months0.50%
$25,000
6-11 months0.50%
$50,000
6-11 months0.55%
$100,000
12-17 months0.75%
$500
12-17 months0.75%
$10,000
12-17 months0.75%
$25,000
12-17 months0.75%
$50,000
12-17 months0.80%
$100,000
18-23 months0.75%
$500
18-23 months0.75%
$10,000
18-23 months0.75%
$25,000
18-23 months0.75%
$50,000
18-23 months0.80%
$100,000
24-35 months1.00%
$500
24-35 months1.00%
$10,000
24-35 months1.00%
$25,000
24-35 months1.00%
$50,000
24-35 months1.05%
$100,000
36-47 months1.20%
$500
36-47 months1.20%
$10,000
36-47 months1.20%
$25,000
36-47 months1.20%
$50,000
36-47 months1.25%
$100,000
48-59 months1.55%
$500
48-59 months1.55%
$10,000
48-59 months1.55%
$25,000
48-59 months1.55%
$50,000
48-59 months1.60%
$100,000
60 months1.87%
$500
60 months1.87%
$10,000
60 months1.87%
$25,000
60 months1.87%
$50,000
60 months1.92%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of 3 months to 11 months, 90 days’ dividends; for terms of 12 through 23 months, 180 days’ dividends; for terms of 24 months or greater, 365 days’ dividends

Golden 1 Credit Union’s IRA CDs follow the same maturity range and pay the same rates as the credit union’s non-IRA CDs, with the exception of the special offered on the 12 month CDs. Minimum deposits are $500, but rates are tiered, so deposits of $100,000 or more pay a higher APY. Early withdrawal penalties apply and can be significant.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Golden 1 Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

12 Month IRA Certificates

TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
12 months0.75%
$25
12 months0.75%
$10,000
12 months0.75%
$25,000
12 months0.75%
$50,000
12 months0.80%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $25
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 180 days’ dividends

Golden 1 Credit Union offers a special 12 month IRA certificate for account holders with smaller initial deposits. As opposed to the credit union’s traditional $500 IRA CD minimum, the special 12 month CD carries a minimum opening deposit of just $25. As with the credit union’s other CDs, rates are tiered, and a slightly higher rate is offered for deposits of at least $100,000. The early withdrawal penalty, if triggered, is significant.

LEARN MORE Secured

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NCUA Insured

IRA Savings account

The IRA Savings account at Golden 1 Credit Union is essentially a holding place for funds until they can be invested elsewhere for retirement.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

The IRA Savings account at Golden 1 Credit Union is an interest-bearing account for cash deposits. There are no interest rate tiers, so all deposits earn the same rate. The account carries no monthly maintenance fees.

How to get Golden 1 Credit Union’s IRA rates

IRA products at Golden 1 Credit Union are available to members only. However, new customers can join online, enroll in online banking and use the same online application available for other Golden 1 Credit Union accounts, as noted earlier. Applicants can also choose the mail-in option by obtaining a paper application from the credit union’s website. Applicants for IRA products can also call (877) 465-3361 or visit a branch.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Golden 1 Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Golden 1 Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Like their non-IRA counterparts, Golden 1 Credit Union’s IRA CD rates are disappointing. There is no significant boost in yield for making larger deposits, and the rates paid on the CDs are below both the national averages and the best IRA CD rates available from competitor institutions.

To be sure, the 12 month CD is unique in that it has a lower minimum balance requirement, but the rate is not much different than those available in the credit union’s regular CD schedule. The credit union’s IRA Savings account pays a moderate amount of interest but is more of a waiting place for funds until they can be invested in higher-rate options.

Overall review of Golden 1 Credit Union’s banking products

Golden 1 Credit Union has a broad range of products, from checking and savings accounts to a money market account and CDs. However, none of the individual accounts stand out as being particularly attractive. Fees are generally quite low, except for the possibility of overdraft charges, but the rates paid on the credit union’s entire roster of products, from checking and savings through to money market and CD accounts, is average at best, and in many cases, low. Without any noteworthy additional features or benefits offered by Golden 1 Credit Union’s accounts, customers can likely find better choices 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.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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Reviews

First National Bank of Pennsylvania Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA 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 Established1864
Total Assets$32.6B
LEARN MORE on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure websiteMember FDIC

First National Bank of Pennsylvania was founded in 1864 and is the largest affiliate of Pittsburgh’s F.N.B. Corp. First National Bank of Pennsylvania has total assets of more than $32 billion, with over 400 banking offices in Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and West Virginia. First National Bank of Pennsylvania has a single online application used to qualify applicants for accounts. Existing customers can open new accounts by logging into their online banking accounts, but new customers must provide personal information, such as their name, address and employment information, as well as answer various disclosure and security questions. After the basic application information is submitted, the bank discloses which accounts can be applied for online. Additional accounts can be opened in one of the bank’s branches or over the phone.

Here’s a review of the accounts you can open at First National Bank of Pennsylvania, including features, benefits and available rates for the bank’s options.

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.01%

Savings

First National Bank of Pennsylvania FirstRate Savings

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.55%

CD Rates

First National Bank of Pennsylvania 12 Month CD

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.00%

CD Rates

First National Bank of Pennsylvania 36 Month CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.30%

CD Rates

First National Bank of Pennsylvania 60 Month CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s checking account options

Freestyle Checking

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s Freestyle Checking account is a standard, no-fee checking account that the bank bills as “hassle-free.”
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50 to open online, $0 to open in a branch
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0 with e-statements
  • ATM fee: $0, but $2.75 for every out-of-network ATM transaction
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37, up to six items per day, plus an additional $12 every third business day that the account remains overdrawn; $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s Freestyle Checking account is the bank’s bottom-tier checking account that pays no interest but charges no fees. It offers a range of services, including:

  • Free e-statements
  • Free mobile banking
  • Free bill pay
  • Free Visa debit card
  • Free online banking
  • Free telephone banking
  • Unlimited check-writing and deposits

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

Mystyle Checking

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s Mystyle Checking account offers enhanced features and benefits over the bank’s Freestyle Checking account, but it carries a fee unless customers perform certain qualifying activities.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50 to open online; $0 to open in a branch
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8.95; $6.95 with online statements; $0 with $500 minimum balance or $5,000 in combined average balance across all First National Bank of Pennsylvania accounts, or recurring direct deposits or 10 point-of-sale debit card transactions per statement cycle
  • ATM fee: $0, but $2.75 for every out-of-network ATM transaction
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37, up to six items per day, plus an additional $12 every third business day that the account remains overdrawn; $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

The primary enhancement that the Mystyle Checking account offers over the Free Checking account at First National Bank of Pennsylvania is the free access to a 3-inch by 5-inch safe deposit box, subject to availability. The account also offers a free first order of checks. Beyond that, the account carries the same features as the Freestyle Checking account, including free online and mobile banking, free telephone banking and free bill pay.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

Lifestyle Checking

Lifestyle Checking is the first level of checking at First National Bank of Pennsylvania that pays interest on some balances.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.01%$2,500
0.01%$10,000
0.01%$15,000
0.01%$25,000
0.01%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50 to open online; $0 to open in a branch
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10; $9 with online statements; $0 with $1,000 minimum balance or $10,000 in combined average balance across all First National Bank of Pennsylvania accounts
  • ATM fee: $0, but $2.75 for every out-of-network ATM transaction
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37, up to six items per day, plus an additional $12 every third business day that the account remains overdrawn; $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s Lifestyle Checking account pays interest on balances of at least $2,500. Interest rates are tiered, with balances of $100,000 and more generally earning the highest rates. Currently, however, all tiers pay the same rate.

Except for the interest paid, the Lifestyle Checking account carries the same features and benefits as the Mystyle checking account, including the free first order of checks and the free 3-inch by 5-inch safe deposit box. The account has a monthly maintenance fee, but that can be waived by meeting minimum balance requirements.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

Premierstyle Checking

APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.01%$1,000
0.02%$10,000
0.02%$15,000
0.05%$25,000
0.08%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50 to open online; $0 to open in a branch
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25; $0 with $7,500 minimum balance or $25,000 in combined average balance across all First National Bank of Pennsylvania accounts
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $15 per month
  • Overdraft fee: $37, up to six items per day, plus an additional $12 every third business day that the account remains overdrawn; $0 if signed up for overdraft protection or a no-fee overdraft line of credit

Premierstyle is First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s flagship checking account, adding a host of additional features in exchange for a high monthly fee; the fee is avoidable with a minimum or combined balance. Tiered interest payouts are the highest for this account out of all of First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s checking accounts. On top of the benefits of the bank’s Lifestyle Checking account, including the free 3-inch by 5-inch safe deposit box, Premierstyle Checking offers the following enhanced benefits:

  • Fee-free overdraft line of credit/overdraft protection transfer, subject to credit approval
  • Free paper statements, if desired
  • Free check images in statements
  • Free stop payments
  • A free financial analysis review
  • Free custom checks

The account also eliminates out-of-network ATM fees and rebates up to $15 per month for additional ATM fees charged by other institutions.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

FNB-U Student Banking Package

The Student Banking Package is a free account with complimentary features designed to help the younger crowd.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50 to open online; $0 to open in a branch
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0, but $2.75 for every out-of-network ATM transaction
  • ATM fee rebate: Two per statement cycle
  • Overdraft fee: $37, up to six items per day, plus an additional $12 every third business day the account remains overdrawn; $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

This account has no minimum balance requirement when opened in a branch, but it still offers various freebies that can be of interest to students, such as the two-per-cycle ATM fee rebate. The account also includes the benefits of the Freestyle Checking, including free e-statements, a free first order of checks and the usual mobile and online banking access.

In partnership with Sallie Mae, the Student Checking account also offers access to the Smart Option Student Loan, which can help finance a bachelor’s or associate degree, or certificates at degree-granting schools.

How to open First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s checking accounts

As noted earlier, First National Bank of Pennsylvania has one online application that the bank uses to qualify applicants for accounts. Customers can also visit a branch or call the customer service line.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s checking accounts compare

First National Bank of Pennsylvania offers a checking account for seemingly any type of account holder, from students to fans of no-fee checking, as well as those who require broader services from a checking account. All accounts boast low opening requirements and a way to avoid monthly maintenance fees. However, for some accounts, such as the bank’s flagship Premierstyle Checking account, that fee is quite steep if high balance thresholds aren’t met.

The bank’s checking accounts also carry high overdraft fees that can be charged on up to six items per day. Even the reduced fee for overdraft transfers from a backup account are relatively high.

If you’re looking for a checking account that pays interest, First National Bank of Pennsylvania likely won’t be your first choice. Some of the bank’s accounts don’t pay any interest at all, and the high-end Premierstyle Checking account, which pays the highest rates, doesn’t approach the national average rate for checking accounts. Checking account rates at First National Bank of Pennsylvania are a far cry from the best national checking rates offered by competitors.

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s savings account options

FirstRate Savings

The FirstRate Savings account is the bank’s traditional savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.01%$0
0.01%$1,000
0.01%$2,500
0.01%$10,000
0.01%$25,000
0.05%$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50 to open online; $0 to open in a branch
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5; $0 with $500 average daily balance
  • ATM fee: $0, but $2.75 for every out-of-network ATM transaction
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37, up to six items per day, plus an additional $12 every third business day the account remains overdrawn; $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

The FirstRate Savings account is First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s only traditional savings account. A modest monthly maintenance fee can be avoided with a $500 average daily balance. The savings account pays a tiered interest rate that is compounded quarterly. Rates are highest for deposits of $50,000 or more. Unlike some other savings accounts, statements are mailed monthly or quarterly, if there is account activity, for no fee.

Federal Reserve Regulation D limits you to a combination of certain six transactions — deposits and/or withdrawals — monthly, if made by pre-authorized, telephone or automatic transfer, or if made by check, debit card or draft. The bank will assess a $15 fee for each such transaction in excess of six, although you’re allowed unlimited deposits or withdrawals in a branch or via an ATM. The bank also reserves the right to convert your interest-bearing account into a non-interest-bearing account if you violate these provisions.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

Health Savings

The Health Savings account is designed for customers who want a tax-advantaged way to set aside money for uncovered medical expenses.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$0
0.10%$1,000.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50 to open online; $0 to open in a branch
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0 if account holder has a First National Bank of Pennsylvania checking account
  • ATM fee: $0, but $2.75 for every out-of-network ATM transaction
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37, up to six items per day, plus an additional $12 every third business day the account remains overdrawn; $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s Health Savings account, like all HSAs, offers tax-free distributions for qualified medical expenses. It pays interest in tiers, with a balance of $1,000.01 or more earning the highest APY.

Existing First National Bank of Pennsylvania personal checking account holders pay no fee for this savings account. Interest is compounded monthly. Since there are additional tax ramifications involved with opening an HSA, the bank suggests that you may wish to consult with a tax adviser.

How to open First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s savings accounts

As noted earlier, First National Bank of Pennsylvania has one online application that the bank uses to qualify applicants for accounts. Customers can also visit a branch or call the customer service line.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s savings accounts compare

First National Bank of Pennsylvania only has one traditional savings product, the FirstRate Savings account. Rates paid on this account are extremely low. Even though rates are tiered, deposits of $50,000 or more can’t even earn the national average savings account rate, leaving First National Bank of Pennsylvania out of the discussion when compared to the highest online savings rates available.

The Health Savings account is good to have as an option but is just a standard account, paying just slightly higher rates than the savings account.

The accounts offer easy ways to waive their monthly maintenance charges, but still come with the same exorbitant overdraft fees of the checking accounts offered by the bank.

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s CD rates

Regular CDs

APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
0.20%$5003 months
0.25%$5006 months
0.55%$50012 months
0.45%$50018 months
0.50%$50024 months
1.00%$50036 months
1.30%$50048 months
1.30%$50060 months
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For maturities of 12 months or less, $25 plus 1% of the amount withdrawn; for maturities greater than 12 months, $25 plus 3% of the amount withdrawn

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s standard CDs range in maturity from three months to 60 months. Interest can be either paid out via check, credited to your certificate or credited to another First National Bank of Pennsylvania account. Interest is fixed and is compounded quarterly.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

Flex CD

APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
0.45%$5009-month Flex CD
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: $25 plus 1% of the amount withdrawn

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s Flex CD comes in a single 9 month maturity, and it requires only a $500 minimum to earn interest. The Flex CD is available for personal accounts only.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

Savers Goal CD

The Savers Goal CD is an automated savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
0.25%$10012-month Savers Goal
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum deposit to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty: $25, plus 1% of the amount withdrawn

Deposits are made automatically to a Savers Goal CD from a customer’s checking or savings account. The Savers Goal CD comes in a single 12-month maturity. When the CD matures, funds can be used at the customer’s discretion. Interest is compounded and credited quarterly, and the account automatically renews upon maturity if funds are not withdrawn. At $100, this CD carries a smaller opening deposit compared to the bank’s other CDs.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

CD Specials

First National Bank of Pennsylvania offers special terms ranging from 13 to 61 months.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
13 months2.40%$5,000
19 months2.80%$5,000
25 months2.85%$5,000
52 months3.00%$5,000
61 months3.00%$5,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Minimum deposit to earn APY: $5,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: $25, plus 3% of the amount withdrawn

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s CD specials are offered in branches only. But the rates are much improved over the bank’s regular CDs.

How to get First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s CD rates

As noted earlier, First National Bank of Pennsylvania has one online application for all account types, including CDs. Note, however, that CD specials can only be applied for in a First National Bank of Pennsylvania branch.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s CD rates compare

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s standard CDs come with middling yields, with rates below the national averages for all maturities. But the bank’s CD specials are better than respectable, in some cases approaching the best CD rates available nationally.

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s money market account option

FirstRate Money Market

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s traditional money market account pays higher interest rates on larger balances.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.04%$0
0.04%$10,000
0.05%$25,000
0.08%$50,000
0.08%$100,000
0.20%$1,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50 to open online; $0 to open in a branch
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10; $0 if $5,000 average daily balance
  • ATM fee: $0, but $2.75 for every out-of-network ATM transaction
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $37, up to six items per day, plus an additional $12 every third business day the account remains overdrawn; $10 if signed up for automatic transfer of funds to cover overdrafts

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s FirstRate Money Market account is a hybrid between a savings account and a checking account. The money market earns interest, but also allows customers the freedom to cut an occasional check. The account pays a decent rate for balances as low as $50,000, but saves its best rate for balances of $1,000,000 or more.

The account carries a relatively high monthly maintenance fee, which can only be avoided with a fairly high $5,000 average daily balance in the account. As an account covered by Federal Reserve Regulation D, holders are restricted to six certain withdrawals per month, otherwise First National Bank of Pennsylvania will assess a fee of $5 per instance. In some cases, the bank may close the account in response to excess withdrawals.

How to get First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s money market account

As noted earlier, First National Bank of Pennsylvania has one online application for all account types, including the money market account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s money market account compares

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s money market account rates are not very impressive, as even balances of $1,000,000 or more earn less than the national average for money market accounts. Rates for balances below that lofty level fall off quickly, distancing themselves even more from money market averages and not being in the same ballpark as the highest available money market rates at other banks. A fairly high monthly maintenance fee is assessed for customers who can’t maintain the minimum balance requirement.

First National Bank of Pennsylvania IRAs

IRA CDs

First National Bank pays the same rates on its IRA CDs as it does in its non-IRA accounts.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
3 months0.20%$500
6 months0.25%$500
12 months0.55%$500
18 months0.45%$500
24 months0.50%$500
36 months1.00%$500
48 months1.30%$500
60 months1.30%$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For maturities of 12 months or less, $25 plus 1% of the amount withdrawn; for maturities greater than 12 months, $25 plus 3% of the amount withdrawn

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s IRA CDs mirror their non-IRA CD counterparts, both in terms of available maturities and rates. CDs range from three months to 60 months, with $500 deposits required to earn interest. Interest is fixed and compounded quarterly. Early withdrawal penalties apply, increasing for maturities greater than 12 months.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s IRA CD rates compare

You won’t find specials in the bank’s IRA products. Regular IRA CDs offer middling yields, with rates coming up short compared to the best IRA CD rates available nationally. Early withdrawal penalties are a bit unusual, combining a flat fee with a percentage of the amount withdrawn.

IRA Savings

First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s IRA Savings account is an investment option for those not putting money into the bank’s IRA CDs.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

First National Bank of Pennsylvania offers an IRA Savings account for investors wishing to park money and still earn interest without committing to the longer-term CDs that are available. Interest is paid on any deposit, and there are no monthly fees attached to the account. You’ll have to ask the bank for the current rates as they cannot be found on the bank’s website. There is no checking or debit card access to the IRA Savings account.

How to get First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s IRA rates

As noted earlier, First National Bank of Pennsylvania requires applicants for IRA products to call or visit a branch. No online application is available for IRA product at the bank.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank Of Pennsylvania’s secure website

Member FDIC

Overall review of First National Bank of Pennsylvania’s banking products

First National Bank of Pennsylvania offers a fairly broad range of products, especially when it comes to its checking and CD account options. While functioning accounts can be found in every product category, customers seeking high yields should generally consider other options. With the exception of the bank’s special CD rates, the yields paid on the bank’s other offerings are low.

The bank’s flagship Premierstyle Checking account does offer some enhanced benefits, but its APY is still lacking and it carries some pretty high balance requirements to avoid the excessive monthly maintenance fee. All-in-all, customers can likely find any type of account they’d like at First National Bank of Pennsylvania, but many more attractive options are available.

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.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

TAGS:

Advertiser Disclosure

Reviews

First Republic Bank Review of Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRAs

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 Established2010
Total Assets$96.1B
LEARN MORE on First Republic Bank’s secure websiteMember FDIC

First Republic Bank was founded in 1985, focused on wealth management and relationship-based service. The company operates in several major cities throughout the country, including San Francisco, New York, Boston and Los Angeles.

On a personal banking level, First Republic Bank offers checking, savings, money market, CDs and IRAs to individual customers. First Republic Bank is somewhat unusual when it comes to account-opening procedures. Rather than having an online application for accounts, prospective customers must either visit a branch, call the bank’s customer service line, or fill out an online form and have the bank contact the customer directly in order to open an account.

Here’s a review of the various accounts available at First Republic Bank, including an examination of account features and rates. Note that as rates may vary by geographical region; rates below are quoted for the Southern California market.

First Republic Bank’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.15%

Savings

First Republic Bank Passbook Savings

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.50%

CD Rates

First Republic Bank 12 Month CD

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.60%

CD Rates

First Republic Bank 3 Year CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.85%

CD Rates

First Republic Bank 5 Year CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

First Republic Bank’s checking accounts

Basic Checking

Basic Checking is First Republic Bank’s basic, no-frills checking account, although it’s not a free account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, with a maximum of $120 per day; can be reduced to $3 per transfer with Overdraft Protection to linked account

Many banks offer a completely free basic checking account, but First Republic Bank’s Basic Checking does charge a nominal fee. However, the account doesn’t pay any interest.

The account is designed for First Republic Bank customers who don’t make a large number of transactions, as only eight checks are allowed to clear for free each month. After that, the bank charges $1 per transaction. However, First Republic Bank’s ATM transactions are fee-free.

The account does provide customers with certain basic services — not all free, however — that are available with all accounts, including:

  • ATM card and ATM/debit card
  • Student loan refinancing
  • Wire transfers
  • Online and mobile banking
  • Personal banking services

For example, the bank charges $30 for outgoing wire transfers. Overdraft fees are also extremely high.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First Republic Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Classic Checking

  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25; waived with minimum average balance of $2,500
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, with a maximum of $120 per day; can be reduced to $3 per transfer with Overdraft Protection to linked account

The most striking feature of the Classic Checking account is its monthly fee. At $25, that translates to $300 per year just in basic checking account fees. The fee can be waived, but the $2,500 balance requirement is substantial. The account does offer unlimited access to First Republic Bank ATMs, along with the other basic services afforded to the Basic Checking account. However, the account doesn’t pay any interest, and it carries the same high overdraft fee as the Basic Checking account.

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ATM Rebate Checking

ATM Rebate Checking is First Republic Bank’s flagship checking account product.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.01%
$3,500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25; waived with minimum average balance of $3,500
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited worldwide
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, with a maximum of $120 per day; can be reduced to $3 per transfer with Overdraft Protection to linked account

ATM Rebate Checking is the only checking account at First Republic Bank that pays interest, but the low rate means that this is a distinction in name only. Although rates are subject to change, at the current level, the highest-rate tier would earn only $5 annually on a balance of $100,000.

The true benefit of the ATM Rebate Checking account can be found in its name. Customers enjoy worldwide, unlimited rebates of ATM fees, in addition to no-fee withdrawals at all First Republic Bank ATMs. This can be particularly valuable to customers who travel overseas. Accounts that dip below the minimum balance threshold, however, get slapped with a substantial monthly fee. As with the bank’s other checking accounts, overdraft fees are also high, particularly for multiple transactions.

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Senior/Minor Checking (Massachusetts only)

This account is designed for seniors or minors who have basic needs and who do not maintain a high balance.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 per item

First Republic Bank’s Senior/Minor Checking account is only available to Massachusetts residents under age 18 or over 65. Minors need a parent or guardian to sign on as a joint account holder. Although there is no monthly fee, traditional charges are still levied for services such as issuing cashier’s checks, or violations such as processing insufficient funds. The account does have a significantly reduced overdraft fee when compared with the bank’s other checking and savings offerings.

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How First Republic Bank’s checking accounts compare

First Republic Bank’s checking accounts suffer from some significant limitations, both in terms of fees and interest rates. Although fees on the bank’s other checking accounts can be waived with minimum balance deposits, the bank’s Basic Checking account has no such waiver provision. For the other accounts, a dip below the required minimum balance results in a significant monthly fee assessment.

Overdraft fees are also extremely high across the board. Interest is only paid on a single First Republic Bank checking account, and the rate paid is essentially nonexistent, particularly when compared with national average checking account rates and the best checking account rates available nationwide.

First Republic Bank savings account

Passbook Savings

The Passbook Savings account is so traditional, it lacks ATM access.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$0
0.15%
$20,000
0.25%
$250,000
0.30%
$500,000
0.55%
$1,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, with a maximum of $120 per day; can be reduced to $3 per transfer with Overdraft Protection to linked account

First Republic Bank’s Passbook Savings account offers many of the desirable features for banking customers, including no monthly maintenance fee, access to free online banking, FDIC insurance and a competitive interest rate that compounds daily.

What the account lacks is ATM access. Customers must bring their passbook (remember those?) to a First Republic Bank branch to make both deposits and withdrawals. The account also carries an excess activity fee of $10 for transactions over the Federal Reserve Regulation D-mandated six monthly limit.

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How First Republic Bank’s savings account compares

First Republic Bank’s Passbook Savings account has significant limitations for those who need flexibility with their deposits and withdrawals, as no ATM or mobile access means that such transactions need to take place in a branch. However, for those seeking high interest rates in a savings account, the bank offers rates far above the national average for savings accounts. Rates aren’t in the same competitive arena as the best available savings rates nationally, but they are still respectable for a basic savings account. The $0 monthly maintenance fee is attractive, but the account is plagued with the same high overdraft fees that exist across the bank’s line of products.

First Republic Bank’s CD rates

Certificates of Deposit

First Republic Bank’s CDs offer a wide range of maturities, including two special terms with enhanced yields.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
30 days0.15%
$25,000
3 months0.35%
$10,000
6 months0.60%
$10,000
11 month special2.15%
$10,000
12 months1.50%
$10,000
18 months2.50%
$10,000
2 years2.55%
$10,000
3 years2.60%
$10,000
4 years2.60%
$10,000
5 years2.85%
$10,000
6 years2.95%
$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000 to $25,000, depending on maturity
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10,000 to $25,000, depending on maturity
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest for terms of one year or less; 15 months’ interest for terms of more than one year

First Republic Bank’s certificates of deposit offer a nice range of maturities to choose from but carry high minimums. When we contacted the bank on Oct. 15, the 14 and 20 month Special CD’s had the best rates — be sure to contact the bank for the most current rates. Early withdrawal penalties apply if money is taken out before a CD matures.

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Liquid Certificates of Deposit

The bank’s Liquid CDs may appeal to investors who could need access to their cash before maturity.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
0.25%
$10,00015 months
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest for terms of one year or less; 15 months’ interest for terms of more than one year

Liquid Certificates of Deposit at First Republic Bank get their name from their limited liquidity. Compared with traditional CDs, which don’t allow penalty-free withdrawals before maturity, First Republic Bank’s Liquid CDs allow penalty-free withdrawals every seven days. The trade-off for that liquidity, however, is that the interest rate paid on these CDs falls significantly below the rates available with the bank’s traditional CDs.

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How First Republic Bank’s CD rates compare

For the most part, First Republic Bank’s CD rates are at or above the national average for CD rates, in some cases significantly higher. The liquid CD option is an unusual offering not available at many other banks, but the trade-off is a significant reduction in APY. Minimum deposit requirements are fairly high, and there are no tiered rates, meaning larger deposits don’t earn higher yields.

First Republic Bank’s money market accounts

Money Market Savings

First Republic Bank’s Money Market Savings account offers an alternative to the bank’s old-school savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$0
0.15%
$20,000
0.20%
$250,000
0.25%
$500,000
0.50%
$2,000,000
0.70%
$5,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25; waived with minimum average daily balance of $5,000
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, with a maximum of $120 per day; can be reduced to $3 per transfer with Overdraft Protection to linked account

First Republic’s Money Market Savings account offers unlimited deposits, and ATM and in-person withdrawals, but it doesn’t offer check writing. Debits from point-of-sale transactions to online and telephone transfers are limited to six per month. Otherwise, an excess activity fee of $10 per transaction applies. Rates are tiered, with the highest tier paying an APY slightly above the best available rate with the bank’s Money Market Checking account.

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Money Market Checking

First Republic Bank’s Money Market Checking account is similar to the bank’s Money Market Savings account, but with the addition of check-writing capabilities.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0
0.10%
$20,000
0.15%
$250,000
0.20%
$500,000
0.45%
$2,000,000
0.65%
$5,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25; waived with minimum average daily balance of $5,000
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: $30 per item, with a maximum of $120 per day; can be reduced to $3 per transfer with Overdraft Protection to linked account

First Republic Bank’s Money Market Checking account offers unlimited deposits, and ATM and in-person withdrawals, in addition to check writing. Online and telephone transfers, along with debits, such as point-of-sale or check transactions, are limited to six per month. Otherwise, an excess activity fee of $10 per transaction applies. Rates are tiered, with the highest tier paying an APY above the best available rate with the bank’s Passbook Savings account.

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How First Republic Bank’s money market accounts compare

First Republic Bank’s money market rates straddle the national average, with half of the tiers falling below the national average for money market accounts and the upper tiers exceeding that average. The best available money market accounts pay about double the best rates on First Republic Bank’s money market accounts. The accounts’ features are straightforward, with no particularly notable bells or whistles. Minimum deposit amounts are fairly high, as are the overdraft fees.

First Republic Bank’s IRAs

Certificates of Deposit

First Republic Bank offers the same range of CDs in its IRAs as in its non-IRA accounts, with the exception of the Liquid CD, which is not available in IRA format.
  • Minimum opening balance: $10,000 to $25,000, depending on maturity
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $10,000 to $25,000, depending on maturity
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest for terms of one year or less; 15 months’ interest for terms of more than one year

First Republic Bank’s IRA CDs carry the same wide range of maturities and high minimums as the bank’s non-IRA CDs. Early withdrawal penalties apply and vary depending on the length of the original IRA CD maturity. First Republic Bank doesn’t publish its IRA CD rates on its website, so you’ll have to call the bank for current rates.

IRS regulations limit contributions to First Republic Bank IRAs. For 2018, for example, annual contribution limits to traditional and Roth IRAs are $5,500, plus an additional $1,000 for account holders over age 50. SEP-IRAs are available for taxpayers who run their own businesses.

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How First Republic Bank’s IRAs compare

First Republic Bank’s IRA CDs are similar to the bank’s regular CDs. One difference between the IRA CDs and the regular CDs is that the Liquid CD option is not available in IRA format. The minimum deposit requirements are fairly high compared to other IRA CDs. The bank doesn’t share its IRA CD rates online, so you may want to call the bank and do a comparison against these IRA CDs before making your decision.

How to get First Republic Bank’s products

As noted above, First Republic Bank does not have an online application for any products. CD customers must visit a branch, call the bank’s customer service line at (888) 408-0288 or fill out an online form and have the bank contact them directly. To open a First Republic Bank IRA, you’ll have to contact a Relationship Manager at (888) 408-0288, or visit a First Republic Bank branch.

Overall review of First Republic Bank’s banking products

First Republic Bank requires high minimum deposits, pays below-average interest rates and charges above-average fees. Prospective customers cannot open accounts online and must instead either contact the bank or visit a branch.

Compared with more customer-friendly bank options available in the marketplace, First Republic Bank falls short. The one bright spot is in the bank’s CD rates, which are above average, but even in that category, higher-paying options are available elsewhere. Unless First Republic Bank has a nearby branch to help minimize the inconvenience factor, customers can likely find better options 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.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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Reviews

Woodforest National Bank 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 Established1980
Total Assets$5.8B
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Woodforest National Bank is a privately owned community bank that serves 17 states with 700 branch locations across New York, Indiana, Florida, Alabama, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Ohio, North Carolina, Maryland, Texas, Georgia and South Carolina. Operating since 1980, the Texas-based bank — headquartered in the Houston suburb of The Woodlands — offers a broad range of consumer banking products, including checking, savings, money market and CD accounts.

Unlike at most institutions, no new accounts at Woodforest National Bank can be opened online. The bank provides a branch locator on its website. To open accounts, the bank requires identification with a photo and form of identification, such as a driver’s license or state-issued ID card. Opening deposits range from $25 to $100.

Here’s a look at the consumer product lines offered at Woodforest National Bank, highlighting features, benefits, fees and noteworthy characteristics, with information using the bank’s 77387 headquarters ZIP code in our review.

Woodforest National Bank’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.05%

Savings

Woodforest National Bank Personal Savings

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

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1.16%

CD Rates

Woodforest National Bank 1 Year CD

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

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1.51%

CD Rates

Woodforest National Bank 3 Year CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

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2.02%

CD Rates

Woodforest National Bank 5 Year CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

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Woodforest National Bank’s checking account options

Woodforest Checking

This is a no-frills, low-fee account for everyday checking needs, although it does not pay any interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6.95; can be waived with a $100 minimum daily balance
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29; can be reduced as outlined below

The Woodforest Checking account is the bank’s most basic, but it comes with a number of fees that many lower-tier accounts do not. For example, customers are charged a one-time, $15 debit card setup fee, in addition to a $25 account closing fee if the account is closed within 180 days of opening.

The monthly maintenance fee can be eliminated with a monthly direct deposit or the maintenance of a small minimum balance at all times. Customers wanting paper statements will be assessed an additional fee of $3 each cycle.

When it comes to overdrafts, customers have no fewer than five options as to how to process them:

  • No overdraft service, in which case drafts are declined and the non-sufficient funds fee is assessed
  • Overdraft transfer, in which a $5 fee is assessed to sweep funds from a backup account
  • An unsecured line of credit, in which a 15.99% APY credit line pays for overdrafts
  • A secured line of credit, in which a 7.99% APY credit line pays for overdrafts
  • Privilege Pay, which is a standard overdraft service in which drafts are paid and the full overdraft fee is assessed

As many as three overdraft fees can be charged per day.

The Woodforest National Bank checking account pays no interest to account holders. As with all of their accounts with ATM access, non-Woodforest National Bank ATM access triggers a fee.

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Second Chance Checking

Woodforest National Bank’s Second Chance Checking is a starter account for those who may have trouble opening a standard checking account due to prior financial difficulties.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $11.95 without monthly direct deposit; $9.95 with monthly direct deposit
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29; can be reduced as outlined below

Second Chance checking charges a significant monthly fee that cannot be avoided, although it can be reduced with a monthly direct deposit. The account has a similar fee structure to the bank’s Woodforest Checking account, including the $25 account closure fee (within the first 180 days), the $3 paper statement fee and the $15 initial debit card setup fee. However, this account levies an additional one-time account setup fee of $9.

Second Chance Checking offers customers the same five options as the Woodforest Checking account when it comes to overdrafts, and it also pays no interest.

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Choice Checking

Choice Checking is Woodforest National Bank’s standard checking account, with unlimited check writing and interest earned on qualifying balances.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, $7.50 or $0, based on daily balance (outlined below)
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29; can be reduced as outlined below

Choice Checking levies a $10 monthly fee if a customer’s account balance is below $100 on any day of the statement period. This fee drops to $7.50 when a balance is below $750 or zero with balances $750 and above.

The account pays interest on a daily balance of $1,000 or more. The interest rate is not tiered, so all qualifying balances earn the same rate.

Choice Checking’s basic fee structure mirrors that of the bank’s Woodforest Checking account, with a $15 one-time debit card setup fee, a $25 fee on accounts closed within 180 days and a $29 overdraft fee that can be addressed in one of five ways, as outlined above.

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Sterling Advantage

This account is an interest-bearing checking account designed for customers age 55 or older, and it has no monthly maintenance fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee:: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29; can be reduced as outlined below

The Sterling Advantage checking account is the only Woodforest National Bank checking account that charges no monthly fee by default. The account also pays interest on all balances of $1,000 or more. Most of the other fees and characteristics of the account are similar to the bank’s other checking accounts, including the ATM and NSF fee structures. However, another important distinction is that Sterling Advantage Checking doesn’t charge a $15 initial debit card setup fee.

Sterling Advantage also comes with custom wallet checks and no-fee cashiers checks, notary services and money orders. This helps set the account apart from the Woodforest Checking, Second Chance Checking and Choice Checking accounts.

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Platinum Plus Checking

Platinum Plus Checking is Woodforest National Bank’s top account, paying the highest rate of interest and requiring the biggest balance to waive the monthly fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.50%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25, can be waived with $10,000 minimum daily balance
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29; can be reduced as outlined below

The Platinum Plus Checking account is Woodforest National Bank’s premier checking product. The interest rate is the highest on any of the bank’s checking account, and it is paid on all balances, no matter how small.

The account’s monthly maintenance fee is steep at $25, and it can only be waived with a large, $10,000 minimum daily account balance. Platinum Plus Checking comes with the same fee-free additional features as the Sterling Advantage account, namely:

  • Custom wallet checks
  • Debit card
  • Cashiers checks
  • Money orders
  • Notary services

Overdraft protection options are the same as with the bank’s other checking accounts, meaning the $29 fee can be reduced to $5 using the sweep option from a backup account.

How to get Woodforest National Bank’s checking accounts

As mentioned above, customers cannot open Woodforest National Bank checking accounts online. All new Woodforest National Bank accounts must be opened inside a branch.

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How Woodforest National Bank’s checking accounts compare

Woodforest National Bank offers five types of checking accounts, more than most institutions. However, only three of those accounts pay interest, and rates are low. For the Sterling Advantage and Choice Checking accounts, rates are below the national average and are nowhere near the best rates for checking accounts available nationally. The Platinum Plus Checking account fares better compared with the national average, but still can’t compete with the top rates available elsewhere.

With the exception of the Sterling Advantage account, which carries no fee, Woodforest National Bank checking accounts can be expensive. Although the Woodforest Checking account fee can be waived with a small minimum balance, the fee is high for a “basic” checking account. The Second Chance Checking fee is also high and cannot be avoided, while the Platinum Plus fee is very high and requires a large minimum balance for a fee waiver.

On the benefits front, most of the Woodforest National Bank checking accounts offer basic services. The Sterling Advantage and Platinum Plus Checking accounts offer some nice fee-free services, such as cashier’s checks and notary services, but nothing exceptional.

Woodforest National Bank’s savings account options

Savings account

Woodforest National Bank’s standard personal savings account offers ATM access, and pays interest at rates that are tiered and vary based on deposit size.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01 - $9,999.99
0.10%
$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3; $0 with daily balance of at least $200
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29; can be reduced as outlined below

Woodforest National Bank’s savings account pays a higher interest rate on balances of $10,000 or more. However, all balances earn interest, regardless of how small.

The account’s $3 monthly fee can be avoided with a $200 minimum daily balance. ATM fees are the same as with the bank’s checking accounts, at $2.50 per non-Woodforest National Bank ATM withdrawal and free for in-network transactions. However, in the savings account, fee-free withdrawals are limited to three per month. After that, each debit is charged a $2 excessive withdrawal fee. As this account falls under Federal Reserve Regulation D, up to six debits are allowed per statement cycle, with excess withdrawals/transfers triggering a $10 fee.

The savings account otherwise has the same fee structure as most of the bank’s checking accounts, with a $3 paper statement fee, a $29 NSF fee (that can be reduced to $5 with overdraft protection), and a one-time, $15 setup fee for the debit card.

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Minor Savings account

The Minor Savings Account is Woodforest National Bank’s Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) account, set up by a custodian for account holders under age 18.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29 per item

Woodforest National Bank’s Minor Savings account is an under-18 account designed to help younger savers get familiar with banking and financial transactions. With a small opening deposit requirement and no monthly fee, it’s an ideal way for young account holders to get access to a savings account.

The bank does not recommend that customers choose an ATM card with this account, as it carries the same excess activity fee of $10 per transaction in excess of six per month. Further, there is no overdraft protection available for this account, meaning the $29 fee would apply to every overdrawn transaction. However, debit card access is available, and it carries the same ATM fee structure as the bank’s other savings accounts: $0 at Woodforest National Bank ATMs, and $2.50 at other ATMs. Those who choose the debit card option will face the same $15 debit card setup fee that is standard across most Woodforest National Bank accounts. The Minor Savings account also has a $3 paper statement fee.

How to get Woodforest National Bank’s savings accounts

As mentioned above, customers cannot open Woodforest National Bank savings accounts online. All new Woodforest National Bank accounts must be opened inside a branch.

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How Woodforest National Bank’s savings accounts compare

Woodforest National Bank’s standard Savings account is a traditional, straightforward account without a lot of bells and whistles. It carries a monthly fee that is easily waived, and an overdraft fee that can be dramatically reduced through overdraft protection. However, the initial setup fee for the debit card is a banking relic of the past that most institutions no longer charge.
Although all deposits earn interest, the rate paid is low. Even for the highest tier, rates are below the national average and not even in the same ballpark as the best available national savings rates.

Woodforest National Bank’s CD rates

Regular CDs

Woodforest National Bank’s certificates of deposit come in a standard range of maturities, but there are no promotional or special CD rates available.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm Length
0.10%
$5001 Month
0.25%
$5003 Month
0.50%
$5006 Month
1.16%
$5001 Year
1.26%
$5002 Year
1.51%
$5003 Year
1.76%
$5004 Year
2.02%
$5005 Year
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: By formula, (principal amount forfeited x interest rate)/(365 x number of days’ interest forfeited)

Woodforest National Bank’s CDs range in maturity from 1 month to 5 years. A low $500 minimum deposit is enough to open an account. Interest is calculated using the daily balance method. Rates are not tiered, and only a standard maturity schedule is offered. Jumbo deposits or other qualifying activities that commonly get higher rates at other banks are not available at Woodforest National Bank.

How to get Woodforest National Bank’s CDs

As mentioned above, customers cannot open Woodforest National Bank’s CDs online. All new Woodforest National Bank accounts must be opened inside a branch.

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How Woodforest National Bank’s CD rates compare

Woodforest National Bank’s CD rates are not competitive. For every maturity, the rates paid are well short of the national average CD rates, and there is no comparison at all with the best available national CD rates. Unlike many banks, Woodforest National Bank does not offer any promotional or enhanced CD rates, so customers are left to choose from a standard range of CD maturities with below-average yields. However, account minimums are reasonable, as are the early withdrawal penalties.

Woodforest National Bank’s money market account option

Big Account

The Big Account is a money market account that offers check-writing privileges and pays an interest rate on all balances. The Big Account does have a monthly fee that can be waived with a minimum account balance.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10; $0 with $1,000 daily minimum balance
  • ATM fee: $0; $2.50 at non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29 per item

The Big Account is similar to a savings account, except this money market product allows check writing. Monthly maintenance fees are assessed if account balances fall below $1,000. Overdraft and ATM fees are the same as with the bank’s basic checking and savings accounts; thus, non-Woodforest National Bank ATMs are hit with a $2.50 service charge, while overdrafts are $29 unless covered by an associated credit line or reduced to $5 through overdraft transfer protection.

Interest rates are paid on all money market balances in the Big Account, and rates are not tiered, so all customers get the same rate regardless of account size. As this account falls under Federal Reserve Regulation D, up to six debits are allowed per statement cycle, with excess withdrawals triggering a $10 fee. Paper statements cost $3 with this account, and there’s a $15, one-time debit card setup fee.

Additional features available at no extra charge with the money market account include online and mobile banking access, daily email balance notification and eStatements.

How to get Woodforest National Bank’s money market account

As mentioned above, customers cannot open Woodforest National Bank’s money market account online. All new Woodforest National Bank accounts must be opened inside a branch.

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How Woodforest National Bank’s money market account compares

Woodforest National Bank’s Big Account money market option offers some standard banking features, such as mobile and online access, free of charge. However, the account does have a moderate monthly fee if a minimum balance is not maintained. As is standard with most money market accounts, check writing is available for up to six transactions per statement cycle. The interest rate paid is low compared with the national average for money market accounts, and it’s a far cry from the best available money market rates nationwide.

Woodforest National Bank’s IRA options

IRA CDs

Woodforest National Bank’s IRA CDs have the same rates as the bank’s non-IRA CDs, but with limited maturity choices.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm Length
0.50%
$5006 Month
1.16%
$5001 Year
1.26%
$5002 Year
1.51%
$5003 Year
1.76%
$5004 Year
2.02%
$5005 Year
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: By formula, (principal amount forfeited x interest rate)/(365 x number of days’ interest forfeited)

Woodforest National Bank uses the daily balance method to determine the interest on its IRA CDs, just as with its non-IRA CDs. An early withdrawal penalty applies to money taken out before the end of a CD’s term.

How to get Woodforest National Bank’s IRA CDs

As mentioned above, customers cannot open Woodforest National Bank IRA CDs online. All new Woodforest National Bank accounts must be opened inside a branch.

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on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Woodforest National Bank’s IRA CDs compare

For every maturity, Woodforest National Bank’s IRA CDs are well below the national average CD rates. The best available national IRA CD rates are vastly superior to those offered at Woodforest National Bank, paying many times the rates offered by the bank. Account minimums are reasonable, as are the early withdrawal penalties.

Overall review of Woodforest National Bank’s products

Woodforest National Bank offers a fairly broad range of account types. Customers can open everything from checking and savings accounts to money markets, CDs and IRA CDs at the bank. However, rates paid across all products are low. In every category in which Woodforest National Bank has an account, the APYs can’t top the national average rates, and in no case are the interest rates paid on par with the best rates available from competitors.

On top of this, fees for many of the accounts are high, and oftentimes unnecessary or unusual. For example, many of Woodforest National Bank’s accounts charge a $15 setup fee for debit card usage, something not really seen at competitor banks. The account-opening process is also antiquated, with no option to open accounts online. Overall, customers can likely find a better alternative for their banking needs than what Woodforest National Bank 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.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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Reviews

Mountain America 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 Established1936
Total Assets$7.8B
LEARN MORE on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

Based in Utah and started during the Great Depression, Mountain America Credit Union ranks in the top 21 of credit unions nationwide by asset size, with more than $7.5 billion under management.

As a full-service financial institution, Mountain America CU offers a wide range of personal financial products, from checking and savings accounts to CDs, IRAs and money market accounts. The credit union’s 760,000 members and 90+ branches are spread out over the Mountain states, including Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho and New Mexico.

Here’s a review of all the consumer accounts the credit union has to offer, with a detailed look at account requirements, fees charged and benefits conferred.

Mountain America Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.10%

Savings

Mountain America Credit Union Primary Savings

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.60%

CD Rates

Mountain America Credit Union 12 Month Term Deposit

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

3.35%

CD Rates

Mountain America Credit Union 3 Year Term Deposit

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

3.51%

CD Rates

Mountain America Credit Union 5 Year Term Deposit

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Mountain America Credit Union’s checking account options

MyFree Checking

MyFree Checking is Mountain America Credit Union’s entry in the low-fee, no-frills checking account category.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2.50 for non-MACU/CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: up to $25

Mountain America Credit Union’s MyFree Checking tries to live up to its moniker by offering an account with no monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements or restrictions. The account also carries a number of free benefits, including:

  • Online and mobile banking
  • Unlimited check-writing privileges
  • Bill pay
  • Mountain America Visa® debit cards
  • eStatements
  • Free access to FICO® credit scores

This account does not pay any interest. Customers choosing to receive paper statements will be assessed a $2 monthly fee, and non-MACU ATM withdrawals also trigger a fee.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

MyStyle Checking

MyStyle Checking, Mountain America Credit Union’s rewards checking account, has a small but avoidable fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4; $0 with either $1,000+ in direct deposits each month, 10+ credit and/or debit card transactions each month, or an average daily checking balance of $2,500+ for the month, as well as for members who are less than 25 years old or at least 60 years old
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2.50 for non-MACU/CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: up to $25

Mountain America Credit Union’s MyStyle Checking offers an extensive rewards program with no minimum deposit requirement and a small monthly fee that can be waived in a number of ways. You receive awards points based on various account activities, ranging from using online bill pay or making a mobile deposit, to making a loan payment or using a Visa® Rewards credit card. Points can then be redeemed for hundreds of options, such as gift cards, cash back, travel rewards or event tickets.

The account offers most of the same free benefits as the MyFree Checking account, including online and mobile banking, a Visa® debit card and free access to your FICO® credit scores. An additional benefit not offered with Mountain America Credit Union’s free checking account is a 0.25 percent discount on auto, RV and personal loans. Like MyFree Checking, however, this account does not pay any interest.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Student Checking

Mountain America Credit Union’s Student Checking account is similar to its MyStyle, but for the under-24 cohort.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4; $0 for students ages 16 to 24
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2.50 for non-MACU/CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: up to $25

Student Checking allows younger savers the ability to enjoy all the benefits of Mountain America Credit Union’s regular checking accounts and even more, as the account comes with a rewards program.

Like the MyStyle rewards checking account, Student Checking has a $4 monthly fee, but it doesn’t require qualifying activity to have that fee waived — simply being a student ages 16 to 24 will do the trick. The account has no required minimum balance, and the rewards program is the same as offered with the MyStyle checking account.

Student Checking also comes with mobile banking features, a Visa® debit card, and a 0.25 percent discount on auto, RV and personal loans.

How to get Mountain America Credit Union’s checking accounts

The MyFree Checking and MyStyle Checking accounts can be opened online, by visiting a Mountain America Credit Union branch or by calling (800) 748-4302. For the Student Checking account, applicants must join the credit union at a branch.

The online application requires the opening of a membership savings account first. To get started, you’ll need a Social Security number, driver’s license and personal contact information.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Mountain America Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Mountain America Credit Union offers just three checking accounts, but they have a good range of services. With a free checking account, a rewards checking account and a student checking account, Mountain America Credit Union’s product line is likely to appeal to a wide range of customers.

The major drawback of all of these accounts is that none of them pay any interest. Thus, no comparison can be made between the rates on Mountain America Credit Union’s checking accounts and the national average rate, let alone some of the interest offered in our list of the best checking accounts available. All of the accounts also charge fees for usage of non-MACU ATMs.

Mountain America Credit Union’s savings account options

Traditional Savings

Mountain America Credit Union’s basic savings account, which customers must open to join the credit union.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2.50 for non-MACU/CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: up to $25

Mountain America Credit Union’s Traditional Savings account acts both as a membership account and as the credit union’s sole straight savings account. Minimum opening requirements are low, and there are no monthly fees. At least $5 must be kept in the account at all times to maintain membership in the credit union.

Interest is earned on balances of $100 or more, with the same rate paid on all qualifying balances. Money can be transferred to other accounts, which can be done either in person at a branch or using the credit union’s mobile app.

Secondary savings accounts, with the same account features and benefits, can be opened for specific goals, such as vacations or gifts. Secondary accounts earn interest starting from the first dollar.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Teen Savings

This account is essentially the Traditional Savings, but for those 13 to 17 years old.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%$25
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2.50 for non-MACU/CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: up to $25

The Teen Savings account is designed to help older kids become familiar with money-management skills. With a parent or guardian cosigner, this account grants access to a debit card, so teenagers can learn how to handle their money responsibly. The account also features free online and mobile features likely to appeal to younger customers.

Teen Savings has essentially the same financial parameters as the credit union’s Traditional Savings account, with a low minimum to open and no monthly fees.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Youth Savings

This account is targeted at the very youngest segment of Mountain America Credit Union’s customer base.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%$25
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

The Youth Savings account pays dividends and aims to help kids 12 and younger understand how money and savings work. However, there is no ATM access on this account.

The account requires an adult 18 or older to cosign, and it automatically converts to a Traditional Savings account when the child turns 18. As an added benefit, Mountain America Credit Union provides a free piggy bank with each new Youth Savings account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Christmas Club Savings

APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
2.60%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

The Mountain America Credit Union Christmas Club account requires a $5 opening deposit, has no monthly fees and pays an astoundingly high APY. Funds mature every Nov. 1, at which point the account automatically converts to a secondary savings account. Withdrawals cannot be made before the maturity date.

How to get Mountain America Credit Union’s savings accounts

Customers can open Mountain America Credit Union savings accounts either online, in-branch or by calling (800) 748-4302, with the exception of the Christmas Club account, which cannot be opened online. The online account-opening process is the same one for all new MACU accounts, requiring a Social Security number, driver’s license and personal contact information.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Mountain America Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Mountain America Credit Union’s Traditional Savings account is just what the name suggests, a basic savings account that pays interest and has no monthly fees. It’s also the membership account for the credit union.

The other savings accounts at Mountain America Credit Union are all specialty accounts, focusing on teen, youth or holiday savers. The Traditional and Teen accounts pay rates below the national average, and far below the APY available on the nation’s best savings accounts.

Mountain America Credit Union’s CD account options

Term Deposit

Mountain America Credit Union’s traditional CD account, with maturities ranging from six months to five years.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
6 Month1.50%
$500
12 Month2.60%
$500
18 Month2.65%
$500
24 Month2.75%
$500
30 Month2.90%
$500
3 Year3.35%
$500
4 Year3.25%
$500
5 Year3.51%
$500
  • Minimum balance to open account: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest on terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest on terms of 12 to 48 months; 365 days’ interest on terms greater than 48 months

Mountain America Credit Union’s standard CD accounts, dubbed Term Deposits, come in a wide range of maturities and pay relatively high rates. A $500 minimum is enough to earn the stated APY, which is fixed for the life of the term deposit, so long as there are no early withdrawals.

As is standard with credit unions, deposits are insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA. Term deposits at Mountain America Credit Union automatically renew upon maturity at the then-current rate offered by the credit union.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Term Deposit Plus

Term Deposit Plus has low minimums to open and allows customers to add funds at will.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
6 Month1.50%
$5
12 Month2.60%
$5
18 Month2.65%
$5
24 Month2.75%
$5
30 Month2.90%
$5
3 Year3.35%
$5
4 Year3.25%
$5
5 Year3.51%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $5
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest on terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest on terms of 12 to 48 months; 365 days’ interest on terms greater than 48 months

Term Deposit Plus accounts offer the same rates and maturities as Mountain America Credit Union’s standard Term Deposit accounts. However, the Term Deposit Plus account does require monthly automated deposits of at least $10 to open, though the minimum on the account is just $5.

Funds can be added at any time, which is unusual for a CD account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Term Deposit (Youth)

Like a Term Deposit Plus for those under 28, but with some different rates
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
12 Month2.85%
$5
24 Month3.00%
$5
36 Month3.60%
$5
48 Month3.51%
$5
60 Month3.75%
$5
  • Minimum balance to open account: $5
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $5
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest on terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest on terms of 12 to 48 months; 365 days’ interest on terms greater than 48 months

The Youth Term Deposit account only requires a small minimum to open. Additional deposits of up to $10,000 per year are accepted. There are no monthly fees with this account, and it pays the highest APY of any CD on offer at Mountain America Credit Union.

This CD automatically renews upon maturity, although there is a 10-day grace period after maturity to close the account without triggering early withdrawal penalties. When an account holder turns 28, the account automatically converts to a normal term deposit.

How to get Mountain America Credit Union’s CD accounts

Current members of Mountain America Credit Union can open a Term Deposit account online using their existing account information. New members must visit a branch to open a CD account. Term Deposit Plus and Youth Term Deposit accounts must be opened either in person or by calling (800) 748-4302.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Mountain America Credit Union’s CD accounts compare

Rates for Mountain America Credit Union CD accounts are high across the board. The Youth Term Deposit account is particularly attractive, paying the highest CD APY at Mountain America Credit Union and only requiring a $5 minimum deposit. However, even Mountain America Credit Union’s regular CD line offers yields that are competitive with the highest available CD rates and are far above the national average

Mountain America Credit Union’s money market account option

Money Market

Mountain America Credit Union’s Money Market account is its lone offering in this category.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$0
0.35%
$2,500
0.45%
$10,000
0.55%
$25,000
0.70%
$50,000
0.85%
$100,000
0.95%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2.50 for non-MACU/ CO-OP ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: up to $25

The Mountain America Credit Union Money Market account has a $2,500 minimum, but if your balance drops below this amount, you still earn interest on the account. The rate drops to 1% below the current savings account rate, but it will never be lower than 0.10%.

This account pays higher interest than a savings account but allows greater access than with a CD. Dividends are paid monthly, and funds can be withdrawn at any time, up to the federally mandated limit of six per month. Additional withdrawal requests may be denied by the credit union.

How to get Mountain America Credit Union’s money market accounts

Mountain America Credit Union’s Money Market accounts can be opened online, in a branch or by calling (800) 748-4302. The online application is the standard one for new MACU accounts, requiring the opening of a membership savings account in addition to any other desired accounts. The credit union requires a Social Security number, driver’s license and personal contact information to get started.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Mountain America Credit Union’s money market account compares

Interest rates start low with the Mountain America Credit Union Money Market account, but they climb above the national average once deposits of at least $10,000 are made. You can still probably get higher rates with the best available money market accounts, but rates at the highest Mountain America Credit Union tier are at least respectable. The money market product line at Mountain America Credit Union is not very diverse, however, as just the single account is available.

Mountain America Credit Union’s IRA account options

Money Market IRA

Mountain America Credit Union’s Money Market IRA operates like a traditional money market fund, except fund access is much more limited.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$0
0.35%
$2,500
0.45%
$10,000
0.55%
$25,000
0.70%
$50,000
0.85%
$100,000
0.95%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

Mountain America Credit Union’s IRA Money Market account is a clone of its non-IRA Money Market account. Both share the same tiered interest-rate structure, with the same rates paid at the various breakpoint levels. The minimum opening deposit remains at $2,500, although balances as low as $0.01 still earn interest.

The one distinction, of course, is that this is a tax-advantaged retirement account, and any money withdrawn from an IRA ahead of retirement may face IRS taxes and penalties.

How to get Mountain America Credit Union’s IRA accounts

IRA accounts at Mountain America Credit Union are contracted with LPL Financial. To open an IRA, customers must schedule a consultation with an LPL Financial adviser.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Mountain America Credit Union’s IRA account compares

Mountain America Credit Union’s IRA Money Market features the same rates as its non-IRA product, meaning they start low and rapidly climb to respectable levels. Top rates remain firmly above the national average. However, Mountain America Credit Union doesn’t offer its own IRA CDs, so no comparison can be made with the best IRA CD rates available nationwide. Also, as mentioned, investment products are handled through LPL Financial rather than directly by the credit union.

Overall review of Mountain America Credit Union’s products

Mountain America Credit Union offers some solid account options, though in some areas it comes up short.

The credit union offers three checking accounts that are reasonable in terms of what they provide, but don’t pay any interest, making them more suitable for existing Mountain America Credit Union customers looking for convenience. In the savings account department, Mountain America Credit Union offers specialty accounts for teens and youths, in addition to a membership savings account, but rates are below-average across the board.

On the other hand, the credit union’s Christmas Club savings account pays an extraordinary rate. The money market rates are generally above-average, but the star accounts at Mountain America Credit Union are its Term Deposit, or CD accounts, which pay rates that compete with the best in the nation.

Overall, Mountain America Credit Union has a solidly diverse lineup of accounts that can cover the basic banking needs of most customers. Those seeking high yields will likely be drawn to the credit union’s CD products.

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.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

TAGS:

Advertiser Disclosure

Reviews

Citizens Equity First Credit Union (CEFCU) 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 Established1937
Total Assets$6.0B
LEARN MORE on CEFCU’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

Based in Peoria, Ill., Citizens Equity First Credit Union was founded in 1937. CEFCU is now a full-service credit union offering everything from checking and savings accounts to IRAs, CDs and money market accounts. A financial cooperative owned by more than 330,000 members, CEFCU occasionally pays Extraordinary Dividends to its borrowers and savers; while not guaranteed, since 2000, the credit union has distributed more than $230 million back to its customers.

CEFCU offers a standard range of product types, including IRAs, CDs and checking and savings accounts. The credit union has a particularly broad roster of youth account options as well.

Most accounts can be opened online, with the exception of IRAs and youth accounts. A membership Savings account is required before all others, but additional accounts can then be added online. The account opening process online takes about 15 minutes and requires credit and identity authorizations. You’ll have to provide information such as your:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Address
  • Driver’s license or other identifying documentation

If you prefer, you can contact CEFCU at (800) 542-3328 Monday through Saturday, or visit a Member Center in either Illinois or California.

Here’s a review of the types of accounts you can open at CEFCU, along with important information such as minimum opening deposit requirements, fees and rates.

CEFCU’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.25%

Savings

CEFCU Savings Account

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.20%

CD Rates

CEFCU 12 Month Certificate

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.00%

CD Rates

CEFCU 36 Month Certificate

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.30%

CD Rates

CEFCU 60 Month Certificate

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s checking account options

Checking

CEFCU’s checking account is a standard, no-fee checking account that pays no interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $1 fee for each ATM transaction at non-Money Center 24® and non-CO-OP ATMs
  • ATM refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $30, up to $120 per day; $8 per day with Overdraft Transfer

With a low $25 opening deposit requirement, no monthly fee and no ongoing balance requirements, CEFCU’s checking account fulfils the basic needs of most checking customers. While not chock-full of features, the account does offer some standard, no-frills checking account basics, including the following:

  • Mobile app
  • Debit card (could be under adult’s name)
  • Access to more than 30,000 fee-free ATMs
  • Online check ordering
  • eStatements
  • Overdraft protection options

CEFCU’s eStatements allow online access to account details for up to seven years.

The Checking account’s overdraft fee is high, but simple overdraft protection can be applied to reduce that cost dramatically.

LEARN MORE Secured

on CEFCU’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Dividend Checking

Dividend Checking allows customers with larger balances to earn interest on their checking account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$2,500
0.10%
$5,000
0.10%
$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0; $6 if balance is below $2,500
  • ATM fee: $0; $1 fee for each ATM transaction at non-Money Center 24® and non-CO-OP ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30, up to $120 per day; $8 per day with Overdraft Transfer

With the exception of the dividend payout, CEFCU’s Dividend Checking account is essentially the same as the credit union’s non-dividend Checking account.

The minimum balance of $2,500 earns a dividend and waives the account’s $6 monthly maintenance fee. Dividends are paid out across three tiers, although rates are currently the same for all balances. Like CEFCU’s standard checking account, Dividend Checking offers mobile banking, a debit card, overdraft protection, online check ordering, eStatements and access to more than 30,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide. A modest $1 fee applies to non-network ATM transactions.

LEARN MORE Secured

on CEFCU’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Milestone Checking

Milestone Checking is a youth account designed for teens aged 13 to 15.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $1 fee for each ATM transaction at non-Money Center 24® and non-CO-OP ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30, up to $120 per day; $8 per day with Overdraft Transfer

Milestone Checking helps young customers learn to manage their finances until they qualify for standard accounts at CEFCU. Educational materials are provided with these accounts to help younger account holders understand banking basics.

Adults must sign on to these accounts, as minors cannot open their own accounts. Otherwise, the Milestone Checking account is the same as CEFCU’s basic Checking account, including fees and minimums.

LEARN MORE Secured

on CEFCU’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Capstone Checking

Capstone Checking is a youth account designed for older teens aged 16 to 17.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $1 fee for each ATM transaction at non-Money Center 24® and non-CO-OP ATMs
  • ATM refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $30, up to $120 per day; $8 per day with Overdraft Transfer

As with the Milestone Checking account, the Capstone Checking account is designed for younger investors who do not yet qualify for the standard checking account. Capstone Checking is for slightly older teens, but it is otherwise identical to the Milestone Checking account. Both accounts offer the same features, benefits and terms of CEFCU’s basic checking account, along with additional supplementary educational materials.

How to get Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s checking accounts

As mentioned above, you can open most CEFCU checking accounts online. For the youth accounts, you’ll have to contact CEFCU or visit a CEFCU member center. You can reach CEFCU Monday through Saturday at (800) 542-3328.

LEARN MORE Secured

on CEFCU’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

The CEFCU checking account roster is fairly broad. Investors can choose between a standard, no-frills account and a more premium checking account that pays interest. However, the rates paid on the Dividend Checking account are below the national average and are not competitive at all with the best rates for checking accounts available today. However, teenagers looking to open a youth account may find that CEFCU offers great educational resources and decent starter accounts.

Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s savings account options

Savings

The simply named Savings account at CEFCU is the credit union’s primary membership savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$5
0.20%
$1,000
0.25%
$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5, plus $1 one-time membership fee
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $1 fee for each ATM transaction at non-Money Center 24® and non-CO-OP ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None

You’ll need to open a Savings account at CEFCU as part of your membership; the $6 total cost includes a mandatory $1 membership fee. The account has the same ATM fee structure as the credit union’s checking accounts, but overdrafts are not permitted in CEFCU savings accounts.

While not boasting many additional features or benefits, CEFCU’s Savings account does come with online and mobile access, eStatements and direct deposit capability.

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My Use Savings

My Use Savings accounts are CEFCU’s secondary savings accounts, but it offers a low APY.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$0.01
0.20%
$1,000
0.25%
$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $1 fee for each ATM transaction at non-Money Center 24® and non-CO-OP ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None

Once you’ve opened your standard savings account at CEFCU, which serves as your membership account, you can open additional savings accounts as My Use Savings accounts. For example, if you want to open a separate account for a property purchase, a home remodeling project and a vacation, each of those would be its own My Use account.

You can open up to 35 individual My Use accounts, which are otherwise identical to standard savings accounts at CEFCU.

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Holiday Saver

This is a holiday club account that transfers money at the end of the year to a regular checking or savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$0.01
0.20%
$1,000
0.25%
$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $1 fee for each ATM transaction at non-Money Center 24® and non-CO-OP ATMs
  • ATM refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

Money in the CEFCU Holiday Saver account is automatically rolled to another CEFCU account by Oct. 1 or Nov. 1. However, unlike holiday club accounts at many other institutions, this account allows access throughout the year without penalty. You can also make deposits at any time.

Overdrafts are not allowed in the Holiday Savers account. Interest is tiered. However, current rates are the same on all deposits.

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Stepping Stone Savings

Stepping Stone Savings is designed for kids aged 3 to 12.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: None

As with the companion checking accounts, Stepping Stone Savings is the first “stone” in a series of savings account designed to get younger savers familiar with how financial services work.

The only “stone” account that doesn’t have a comparable checking account, Stepping Stone Savings is for the youngest account holders, aged 3 to 12. Stepping Stone Savings has the same structure as CEFCU’s standard savings account, with the exceptions of no debit/ATM card and additional educational information geared toward young customers. This account also earns interest, but you’ll have to call the credit union for current rates.

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Milestone Savings

Like the Milestone Checking account, Milestone Savings is targeted at teens aged 13 to 15.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $1 fee for each ATM transaction at non-Money Center 24® and non-CO-OP ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None
Milestone Savings is CEFCU’s basic savings account designed for younger teens, like its checking account companion Milestone Checking. Except for the educational component, Milestone Savings acts just like a standard savings account at CEFCU, including having an ATM card and earning interest. You’ll have to call the credit union for current rates.

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Capstone Savings

As with its companion product Capstone Checking, Capstone Savings is designed for older teens, aged 16 to 17.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; $1 fee for each ATM transaction at non-Money Center 24® and non-CO-OP ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Capstone Savings is the final “stone” in the CEFCU youth account roster, designed for older minors. In keeping with the other accounts in the stone program, Capstone Savings is essentially the same as CEFCU’s Savings account, with the same fee structure, ATM access and opportunity to earn interest. The credit union doesn’t publish these rates online, so you’ll have to call for current rates.

How to get Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s savings accounts

As mentioned above, you can open both primary CEFCU savings accounts online. For the youth stone accounts, you’ll have to call CEFCU or visit a CEFCU member center. You can reach CEFCU Monday through Saturday at (800) 542-3328.

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How Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s savings account compares

All of CEFCU’s savings accounts pay the same rates. Although rates are tiered, currently you won’t earn more on a higher balance. Across the board, rates are a bit below the national average, and well below the best available national savings rates. The accounts all come with basic savings features, with the exception of the Stepping Stone Savings account, which has no ATM access. Those looking for youth savings accounts, however, are well-served, with three options available at CEFCU.

Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s CD account options

Certificates

Certificates are CEFCU’s standard CDs, with maturities between three and 60 months.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
0.60%
$1,0003 months
0.85%
$1,0006 months
1.20%
$1,00012 months
1.40%
$1,00018 months
1.60%
$1,00024 months
2.00%
$1,00036 months
2.15%
$1,00048 months
2.30%
$1,00060 months
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: If withdrawn after six calendar days following the date of deposit, the penalty is up to 90 days’ dividends for terms of less than 12 months, 180 days’ dividends for between 12 and 24 month maturities, and all dividends, up to 365 days’ dividends, for maturities longer than 24 months

Certificates at CEFCU are fairly standard in nature, with $1,000 minimums and a range of common maturities. Terms are fixed, and no additional deposits are allowed.

Certificates are insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and they automatically renew at maturity. A grace period of six days exists after maturity, during which time funds can be withdrawn without triggering an early withdrawal penalty. There are no fees associated with CD accounts at CEFCU.

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Jumbo Certificates

Jumbo Certificates are for CEFCU customers depositing at least $100,000.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
0.65%
$100,0003 months
0.90%
$100,0006 months
1.25%
$100,00012 months
1.45%
$100,00018 months
1.65%
$100,00024 months
2.05%
$100,00036 months
2.20%
$100,00048 months
2.35%
$100,00060 months
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: If withdrawn after six calendar days following the date of deposit, the penalty is up to 90 days’ dividends for terms of less than 12 months, 180 days’ dividends for between 12 and 24 month maturities, and all dividends, up to 365 days’ dividends, for maturities longer than 24 months
With the exception of the $100,000 account minimum, features and benefits of CEFCU’s Jumbo CDs are the same as with its standard CDs. A six-day grace period exists before early withdrawal penalties are triggered; otherwise, CDs automatically renew into fixed terms. Jumbo CDs at CEFCU earn a slight interest premium over standard rates across all maturities. There are no fees associated with CD accounts at CEFCU.

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MySave Certificates

MySave Certificates are something of a hybrid between a savings account and a CD.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
1.20%
$512 months
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Early withdrawal penalty: All dividends, if withdrawn after six (6) calendar days following the date of deposit

The MySave Certificate at CEFCU is something like a slush fund that pays higher interest than a savings account but has withdrawal restrictions like a CD. Accounts can be opened with as little as $5, and additional funds can be deposited at any time. Withdrawals are not allowable for 12 months after deposit without triggering early withdrawal penalties. Dividends, however, can be withdrawn free of charge at any time, or automatically transferred to another CEFCU checking or savings account. MySave Certificates are limited to a maximum deposit of $1,000.

How to get Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s CDs

As mentioned above, CEFCU CDs can be opened online, after a membership account is established. Customers can also contact CEFCU at (800) 542-3328 Monday through Saturday, or visit a Member Center in either Illinois or California.

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How Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s CD rates compare

CD rates at Citizens Equity First Credit Union are competitive. For every maturity, CEFCU matches or beats the national average CD rate. The credit union still has some work to do, however, to reach the best available national CD rates. Although Jumbo Certificates earn a higher rate, the premium doesn’t amount to much. The MySave Certificate can be a good option for younger savers (depending on the type of established accompanied account) or those without significant amounts of money to invest.

Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s money market account options

Insured Money Market Account

The Insured Money Market Account is CEFCU’s only money market account option, and it fulfils the basic need for an account that’s a cross between a checking account and a savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.35%
$2,500
0.50%
$25,000
0.65%
$50,000
0.80%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15; $0 if balance remains above $2,500
  • ATM fee: $0; $1 fee for each ATM transaction at non-Money Center 24® and non-CO-OP ATMs
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30, up to $120 per day; $8 per day with Overdraft Transfer

CEFCU’s Insured Money Market account offers check writing and ATM access. Withdrawals are fee-free, although they must exceed $200 or CEFCU does assess a $15 fee. Deposits are insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Interest is tiered, with deposits of $100,000 or more earning the highest amount. The account shares the same ATM and overdraft fee structure as the bulk of the credit union’s checking and savings accounts.

How to get Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s money market account

As mentioned above, CEFCU’s Insured Money Market account can be opened online, after a membership savings account is established. Customers can also contact member services at (800) 542-3328, Monday through Saturday, or visit a Member Center in either California or Illinois.

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How Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s money market account compares

The APY on the CEFCU Insured Money Market rate is fairly high. Even the lowest interest-rate tier pays above the national average, with the top tier paying more than double the average rate. Still, customers can find higher rates elsewhere, as the best available money market rates nationwide are not to be found at CEFCU.

Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA CDs

CEFCU’s range of IRA CDs have smaller minimum balance requirements and a more abbreviated maturity schedule than the credit union’s non-IRA CDs.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
1.20%
$50012 months
1.60%
$50024 months
2.00%
$50036 months
2.15%
$50048 months
2.30%
$50060 months
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: If withdrawn after six calendar days following the date of deposit, the penalty is up to 90 days’ dividends for terms of less than 12 months, 180 days’ dividends for between 12 and 24 month maturities, and all dividends, up to 365 days’ dividends, for maturities longer than 24 months
CDs in CEFCU IRAs have a more straightforward term schedule, with maturities landing on complete years only, from one to five. For terms that overlap, IRA CDs have the same APY as CEFCU’s non-IRA CDs. All IRAs at CEFCU also share the same early withdrawal penalty terms.

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Jumbo IRA CDs

Jumbo IRA CDs have a more limited maturity schedule than the credit union’s non-IRA jumbos, but are otherwise similar.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APYTerm
1.25%
$100,00012 months
1.65%
$100,00024 months
2.05%
$100,00036 months
2.20%
$100,00048 months
2.35%
$100,00060 months
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: If withdrawn after six calendar days following the date of deposit, the penalty is up to 90 days’ dividends for terms of less than 12 months, 180 days’ dividends for between 12 and 24 month maturities, and all dividends, up to 365 days’ dividends, for maturities longer than 24 months
Jumbo CDs at CEFCU have the same minimum deposit of $100,000 as all jumbo CDs. Terms are from one to five years, in complete-year increments only. Rates are the same as the credit unions non-IRA jumbos for maturities that overlap. Jumbo IRA CDs also have the same early withdrawal penalty.

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IRA Savings Account

The IRA Savings account is an interest-bearing parking place for funds that are not invested elsewhere, such as in a CD.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Money that piles up in a CEFCU IRA can be invested in the IRA savings account, which pays the same rate as non-IRA savings accounts at the credit union. There is no ATM access or check writing available for this account, and it cannot be overdrawn. No monthly maintenance fees are assessed.

How to get Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s IRA accounts

As mentioned above, CEFCU IRA accounts cannot be opened online. You must either contact the credit union at (800) 542-3328, Monday through Saturday, or visit a branch.

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How Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s IRA accounts compare

IRA CD rates at CEFCU are generally near or above national average rates. As with the credit union’s non-IRA CDs, however, CEFCU can’t compete with the best available national IRA CD rates. The IRA Savings account is a nice option to have for otherwise uninvested funds, as you can still earn interest while you wait.

Overall review of Citizens Equity First Credit Union’s products

Citizens Equity First Credit Union, more commonly dubbed CEFCU, has a broad product line, and most accounts have no fees whatsoever. Account minimums are generally reasonable, and the high overdraft fee, where applicable, can be reduced with overdraft protection.

Those seeking accounts for minors are well-served at CEFCU, with plenty of checking and savings account options. Rates are a mixed bag at CEFCU. For the most part, you can earn a moderate rate on products ranging from savings accounts to CDs, with checking rates below average and money market rates above average. However, you can still earn a much higher APY at other institutions.

CEFCU might be best suited for Illinois-based customers who want to see a friendly face at a local branch and aren’t as interested in getting the absolute best yields on their accounts.

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John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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