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Essex Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Essex Bank’s checking account options

Free Checking

This is a basic account that requires no monthly maintenance fees and three ATM refunds each month.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: 3 per month
  • Overdraft fee: $35

If you don’t care about anything else other than an account to help you pay bills and write checks, the Free Checking account is a decent choice as there are no monthly maintenance fees. You also get a free Visa check card, bill pay, e-statements, online and mobile banking. Right now, not all Essex ATMs accept deposits, but the bank is currently in the process of upgrading their machines.

Other features of the account include discounts on certain Essex Bank loans (subject to approval), free safe deposit boxes and notary services.

How to get the Free Checking account

Open a Free Checking account by heading to your nearest branch. Don’t forget to bring along your government-issued ID, Social Security number and a second form of ID like a pay stub. Also, bring your checkbook to fund your new account.

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Cash Back Checking

The minimum balance seems high considering the low APY.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$1,500
0.20%
$25,000
0.30%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $9.95 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: Up to 5 per month
  • Overdraft fee: $35

The Cash Back Checking account is best if you intend to use your debit card often, since you’ll get rewarded for your efforts. For each online or signature-based debit card transaction you make, you can earn up to 1% cash back, up to $10 each month. Aside from five ATM refunds a month, you also get free e-statements, bill pay, notary services, mobile banking, free cashiers checks and a 3×5 safe deposit box. Other perks include your first order of checks free and discounts on certain loans.

To waive the monthly maintenance fee, you’ll need to maintain a $1,500 minimum average daily balance or make a $500 minimum direct deposit each month.

How to get the Cash Back Checking account

You can apply for a Cash Back Checking account in person. Essex requires anyone opening an an account to provide their government-issued ID, a second form of ID like a utility bill and your Social Security number. You’ll also need a check or another approved method to find your new account.

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How Essex Bank’s checking accounts compare

We’re not impressed with either of Essex Bank’s checkings accounts as they offer low (or no) interest. However, the 1% cash back offer for the Cash Back Checking account is a decent perk — if you can consistently maximize it to earn the $10 a month. We also like that both checking account options offer perks like discounts on loans, free safe deposit boxes and notary services.

If you’re only after the highest rate, then you’re better off with one of the alternatives we suggest on our list of the best online checking accounts.

Essex Bank’s savings account options.

Prosperity Savings

Even the highest tier offers a low rate when pitted against competitors.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1,000
0.10%
$5,000
0.15%
$25,000
0.35%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Quarterly account maintenance fee: $3 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Prosperity Savings account won’t exactly make you rich, considering the rates are a pittance compared with what you’d find elsewhere. What we do like is that you can request an ATM card, making it more convenient to access your money. However, you are limited to 18 withdrawals per quarter, or else you’ll be charged a $5 excess transaction fee. If you want to waive the quarterly maintenance fee, make sure you maintain a $100 minimum daily balance in your account.

How to get the Prosperity Savings account

Head to the nearest Essex Bank branch and bring along your Social Security number, two forms of ID, plus a way to fund the account.

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on Essex Bank’s secure website

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E-Kids

Help your child save with this account that requires a low opening deposit and no monthly maintenance fees.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is for children under the age of 18, and an adult will need to be the joint account owner. Interest is posted quarterly to the account. Unlike the Prosperity Savings, you don’t get ATM access — you’ll need to access your money in person or through online transfers. Because of Regulation D, you’re limited up to six certain withdrawals each month. Essex Bank limits imposes a limit of 18 withdrawals per quarter and your transaction may be denied if you go over.

Once the minor turns 18, the account will be converted to a Prosperity Savings account.

How to get the E-Kids savings account

You and your child will need to head to the nearest branch to apply for an account. You’ll both need to provide our Social Security number and the adult will also need to provide a two pieces of ID.

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Christmas Club

You can earn a higher rate than the Prosperity Savings account, but you can’t access the money as readily.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Christmas Club account is meant to help you save up for the holiday season — but you can technically use this account for any short-term savings goal you wish. According to Essex Bank, there isn’t a specific time you need to open the account but you can’t take funds out until mid-October. If you do, your account will be closed, you’ll forfeit all interest earned and be subjected to a $5 early closure fee.

You can make deposits any time by check, automatic transfer from an Essex Bank account or direct deposit.

How to get the Christmas Club account

Bring two pieces of ID plus your Social Security number and head to the nearest branch to open an account.

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on Essex Bank’s secure website

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How Essex Bank’s savings accounts compare

We’re disappointed in the rates Essex Bank’s savings accounts are offering. They’re extremely low compared with other accounts out there, like the ones on our list of the best online savings accounts. Many competitors offer no minimum balances and the ability to open an account online, making it extremely convenient for those who can’t physically get to a branch.

Essex Bank’s CD rates

Certificate of deposit

You can open an account with as little as $500, but these rates aren’t very competitive.
TermAPY
182 days2.02%
365 days1.55%
13 month special2.35%
19 month special 2.45%
36 months1.85%
60 months1.90%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest

Instead of a Christmas Club account, a CD may be a better choice if you’re looking to earn a higher rate — though competitors are currently offering better rates. The rates you see above assume you’ll keep all interest — which is compounded and credited quarterly— in the account until maturity.

You have a 10-day grace period once the CD matures where you can make changes, or else the CD will automatically be renewed.

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on Essex Bank’s secure website

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No Penalty CD

You can make withdraw any amount without facing penalties with this CD.
TermAPY
365 days1.20%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: None

The No Penalty is just that — a no-penalty CD. Essex Bank allows you to make withdrawals — with no limits on how much you can take out — on the principal without paying any fees but you’ll only earn interest if you keep the minimum balance. Like the regular CDs, interest is compounded and credited to your account each quarter. Upon maturity, your CD will automatically renew unless you make changes during the 10-day grace period.

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on Essex Bank’s secure website

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Steady Saver and Flex CD

These CDs offer a lower minimum opening deposit and the ability make additional deposits.
TermAPY
365 days (Steady Saver)0.90%
14 months (Flex)1.00%
18 months (Flex)1.70%
24 months (Flex)1.75%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25 for (Steady Saver) and $500 for (Flex)
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $25 (Steady Saver) $500 (Flex)
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest

These CDs are best for people who don’t have a lot of money to set aside, as they each have low opening deposit requirements. You can also make additional deposits after account opening. The difference is that you need to make a minimum deposit of $25 each time for the Flex CD and only $5 each time for the Steady Saver CD.

Interest is compounded and credited to your account quarterly. Your CD will also renew automatically at maturity unless you make changes during the 10-day grace period.

How to get Essex Bank’s CDs

You guessed it — head to an Essex Bank branch to apply for a CD. Remember to bring along two pieces of ID, your Social Security number and a way to find your account.

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on Essex Bank’s secure website

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How Essex Bank’s CD rates compare

The low opening deposit requirements for both the Flex and Steady Saver CDs are affordable for people who don’t have a lot of money to set aside. We also like that you can make deposits at any time and in fairly small amounts. Some of the rates for Essex Bank’s CDs are on par with other competitors but the Flex and Steady Saver are half of those compared with ones on our list of the best CD accounts.

If you’re concerned about meeting a high minimum deposit, the Flex or Steady Saver CD may make sense but go elsewhere if you’re after the best rates.

Essex Bank’s money market account options

Prosperity Money Market

Account holders get free checks and ATM access with this account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
0.10%
$5,000
0.15%
$25,000
0.25%
$50,000
0.35%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (can be waived if minimum balance of $500 is maintained)
  • ATM fee: No fee at U.S. ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $32

You get both ATM access and limited check-writing capabilities with the Prosperity Money Market account — but the rates aren’t exactly what we’d call competitive. To earn the highest rate, you need to meet an extremely high balance requirement, which is more than other competitors.

Features of the account include free checks, e-statements, an ATM or debit card, online and mobile banking. You can also waive the monthly fee if you maintain a $2,000 minimum daily balance. Because this is technically a savings account, Regulation D limits you up to six certain transactions each month, or else you’ll need to fork over $5 each time you make an excessive withdrawal.

How to get the Prosperity Money Market account

You need to go in person to open an account. Bring information such as your Social Security number and two pieces of ID to the branch, plus a way to fund your new account.

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on Essex Bank’s secure website

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Maximum Money Market

You can earn an extremely competitive APY but the minimum balance requirements are steep.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.26%
$250,000
1.76%
$1,000,000
2.00%
$5,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $250,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

We like the rates for the Maximum Money Market, but it comes with a cost — you need to meet their extremely high minimum balance requirements. Aside from the high rates, this money market account has the same features and terms as the Prosperity Money Market. You get limited checking-writing capabilities and ATM access. There are also free checks, e-statements and online and mobile banking. Waiving the monthly maintenance requires you to keep a $2,000 minimum daily balance.

Remember, you’re limited up to six certain withdrawals a month because of Regulation D. If you go over, you’ll be charged $5 for each excessive withdrawal.

How to get the Maximum Money Market account

You have to apply for the Maximum Money Market account in person. Essex Bank will ask you for your Social Security number and two pieces of ID so don’t forget to bring those when you apply.

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How Essex Bank’s money market accounts compare

The Maximum Money Market account offers rates on par with the best offerings out there but you need to have a huge amount of money to qualify for those rates — at least $5 million for the highest tier. We know that’s not attainable for most people. The Prosperity Money Market has a more reasonable minimum balance but the rate is low compared with other money market alternatives.

Even though you get ATM access and limited check-writing capabilities, neither of these accounts are worth it.

Essex Bank’s IRA account options

IRA CD

We’re not impressed with these rates.
TermAPY
182 days 1.75%
365 days1.90%
13 month special2.35%
19 month special2.45%
Flex IRA CD
TermAPY
14 months1.00%
18 months1.70%
24 months1.75%
36 months1.85%
60 months1.90%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest

These retirement accounts are best for those looking for a guaranteed rate of return on their investment. Choose from a Roth or traditional IRA — talk to a professional to learn about your options. Interest is compounded and credited quarterly to your CD and the rates you see above assume you’ll leave the entire balance in your account until maturity.

The Flex IRA CD allows you to make additional deposits — in $25 increments — after account opening. However, IRS regulations limits you to a maximum amount you can deposit each year, so check their guidelines to ensure you’re compliant.

Once your CD matures your account will automatically renew unless you decide to make changes within the 10-day grace period. These changes include making additional deposits, renewing for another term or rolling your funds into another retirement account.

How to get Essex Bank’s IRA CDs

Go to the nearest branch to open an account. Remember to bring two pieces of ID, your Social Security number and your checkbook so you can fund your new IRA CD.

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on Essex Bank’s secure website

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How Essex Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

Essex Bank’s IRA CD rates are not what we’d consider the best out there. They’re much lower — some by at least one percentage point — than the competitors we’ve featured on our list of the best IRA CD accounts. If you want to deposit additional funds, the Flex IRA CD is a good choice. But if you want to maximize your retirement savings, check out alternative options.

Variable Liquid IRA

This is Essex Bank’s version of an IRA savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.40%
$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

You can open this account either as a traditional, SEP or Roth IRA — it depends on whether you want tax-deferred savings. Consider this account if you want to be able to withdraw funds whenever you want or you have retirement funds you’re saving to put into an IRA CD.

Regulation D limits you up to six certain withdrawals/transfers a month and your transaction may be denied if you try to go over that amount. You may also be subjected to tax penalties, so be careful before proceeding.

How to get the Variable Liquid account

Go to an Essex Bank branch to apply for a Variable Liquid account. You’ll need to bring two pieces of ID and Social Security number to do so.

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on Essex Bank’s secure website

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Overall review of Essex Bank’s banking products

Most of Essex Bank’s accounts fall flat when it comes to their rates.

The Maximum Money Market account does offer a competitive rate, but you need a substantial amount to qualify. The Cash Back Checking account offers a nice reward if you make purchases with your debit card, but the low rates aren’t worth it. Furthermore, the Flex and Super Saver CD are great options for those who want to make additional deposits but you have to sacrifice much higher APYs for the privilege.

All in all, we’re going to have to give these products a hard pass.

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.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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Reviews

Univest Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Univest’s checking account options

Blue Checking

You don’t have to worry about minimum balance requirements or maintenance fees with this option.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for non-Univest ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35 per item; linked savings or money market: $8

The Blue Checking account is a noninterest-bearing account that does offer some perks. Aside from no monthly maintenance fees, you get a free debit card, email alerts, bill pay and mobile banking. You also get Univest-style checks for free if you’re at least 55.

This account also comes with a courtesy overdraft limit of $750 — money the bank uses to help cover transactions if you have insufficient funds in the checking account. This is only available once you’ve had your account for 30 days (if you’ve maintained a positive balance throughout this period). It doesn’t cover ATM or debit card transactions unless you opted to have those covered.

Another option is to opt for overdraft protection by linking your savings or money market account. Instead of the $35 overdraft fee, you’ll be charged $8 per transfer.

More perks include a discount on a LifeLock — an identity theft protection service — account and a 0.25% discount on select loan products. To qualify for the discount, you’ll need to enroll in automatic payments from a Univest checking or savings account.

How to get the Blue Checking account

Opening a Blue Checking account can take about 10 minutes if you fill out an online form. You’ll need to fill in your personal details such as your name, address and Social Security number. After that, you can fund the account.

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on Univest Bank And Trust Co.’s secure website

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Gold Checking

This interest-bearing account offers more access to surcharge-free ATMs, but you’ll need a hefty balance to avoid the monthly maintenance fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

If you intend on accessing an ATM more often or are interested in earning interest, the Gold Checking account might be a good fit. The rates aren’t publicly advertised, so it’s best to call customer service at 877-723-5571 to ask.

You do pay a $5 monthly maintenance fee, but you can get that waived if you maintain a $10,000 minimum daily balance across combined Univest accounts. Other features of the account include your first order of basic checks, a debit card, email alerts, bill pay and mobile banking. If you’re 55 or older, you’ll receive Univest-style checks for free. You also get access to Univest ATMs and over 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs through the Allpoint network.

Like the Blue Checking account, you also get a discount on LifeLock identity theft protection services and a 0.25% rate discount on select Univest loan products. Getting the rate discount requires you to enroll in automatic payments from either your Univest checking or savings account.

You have a few features when it comes to overdrafts. This account comes with courtesy overdraft limits — $1,250 to be exact, and it will kick in after 30 days if you maintain a positive balance in that time. Otherwise, you can link a Univest savings or money market account and you won’t be charged a fee when a transfer is made. If your account is overdrawn by $10 or less, Univest won’t charge any overdraft fees.

How to get the Gold Checking account

You can open an account by completing an online form in about 10 minutes. Once you enter your personal information such as your name, address and Social Security number, you’ll be asked to fund your new account.

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on Univest Bank And Trust Co.’s secure website

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All in One Checking

This noninterest-bearing account is for those between 16 and 24.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

The All In One Checking account is meant to help those between 16 and 24 learn how to use a bank account and to begin saving. You can’t open this account if you’re going to turn 25 within 60 days of opening the account. If you’re younger than 18, a parent or legal guardian needs to be a joint owner. The adult can opt for the child to receive an Allpoint debit card — giving them access to Univest ATMs and over 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs through the Allpoint network. If you’re 18, you may be able to qualify for a 0.25% rate discount on some Univest loan products when you enroll in automatic payments from your Univest checking or savings account.

Once you turn 25, the All In One account will be automatically converted to a Blue Checking account.

How to get the All In One Checking account

You’ll need to head to a Univest branch to open an account. If you’re older than 18, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number and government-issued ID. If you’re opening an account with someone younger than 18, you and the minor will both need to provide your Social Security number and government-issued ID.

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on Univest Bank And Trust Co.’s secure website

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How Univest’s checking accounts compare

We like that there is no minimum opening deposit amount and no ATM fees for the Gold and All In One checking accounts. The discounted LifeLock membership for the Gold and Blue checking accounts — and the loan rate discounts for all three — is pretty nice if you intend on taking advantage.

But the stipulations to get the monthly maintenance fee waived for the Gold Checking account seem pretty steep. Competitors have lower account minimums, if at all. Unless you intend to keep a lot of cash, we think you’re better off looking elsewhere, including the ones on our list of the best online checking accounts.

Univest’s savings account options

Statement Savings

This account offers an ATM card and a low monthly maintenance fee that can be waived.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $2.50 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for non-Univest ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is helpful if you’re looking for a savings account that offers you ATM access so that you have better access to your cash. As for how much you could earn in interest, you’ll need to contact Univest as its rates aren’t publicly advertised. There is a $2.50 monthly maintenance fee, but you can get it waived if you maintain a $100 minimum daily balance.

Aside from ATM access, you can also make transactions in person or via online and mobile banking. Regulation D does limit account holders up to six certain withdrawals — Univest doesn’t charge an excessive withdrawal fee but may deny your transaction. If you continually make excessive transactions, Univest will send you a written notification that your account will be converted to a Blue Checking account.

How to get the Statement Savings account

Getting an account can take about 10 minutes if you fill out an online form. Fill in personal details such as your name, address and Social Security number, then fund the account.

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on Univest Bank And Trust Co.’s secure website

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Online Savings

An online-only savings account that offers ATM access.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for non-Univest ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

There doesn’t seem to be much of a difference in features between this and the Statement Savings account, except you can only access this account online — meaning you can’t make transactions in person. The advantage of the Online Savings account compared to Statement Savings is that you don’t need to pay any monthly maintenance fees. You do earn interest but that isn’t made public. You’ll want to call Univest to find out its rates.

You can access your cash by logging in to your account online or using Univest’s mobile app or your ATM card. Remember that Regulation D limits you up to six certain withdrawals a month. Univest doesn’t impose an excess transaction fee, but your account may be converted to a Blue Checking account if you keep making more than six withdrawals each month.

How to get the Online Savings account

If you’re a U.S. resident, you can apply for an account in about 10 minutes. Head to Univest’s online form and fill in details such as your name, date of birth and Social Security number. Afterward, you’ll need to fund your account.

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Youth Savings

This account is for those younger than 18.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $1.50 for non-Univest ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

If you want to start teaching your child the value of a dollar, consider opening this savings account to show them how to make bank transactions — and earn interest. As for how much interest your child could earn, you’ll need to contact Univest as its rate aren’t advertised.

Your child can get an ATM card if you approve of one. It might be a good idea to remind your child that Regulation D limits savings accounts up to six certain withdrawals a month. If there are continuous excessive withdrawals, Univest may convert your account to an All In One Checking account.

The account will be converted to a Statement Savings account once your child turns 18.

How to get the Youth Savings account

Take your child to the nearest Univest to open an account. Don’t forget to bring your government-issued ID, your child’s personal information (including their Social Security number) and a way to fund the account.

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on Univest Bank And Trust Co.’s secure website

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How Univest’s savings accounts compare

While it’s great that Univest’s savings account have low to no monthly maintenance fees and ATM access, we don’t see much else that stands out. If you’re just looking for a place to park your money or you want overdraft protection with a Univest checking account, it could be a good option if you can earn a high APY. That being said, we don’t know because Univest doesn’t advertise its savings accounts rates online.

While you’re deciding if these savings accounts are the right choice for you, it can pay to shop around, including looking at the ones on our list of the best online savings accounts.

Univest’s CD rates

Certificates of deposit

You get a pretty competitive APY with the promo CDs, but it needs to be with new money.
Promo rates
TermAPY
7 months1.50%
13 months1.65%
25 months1.75%
59 months2.50%
Standard rates
TermAPY
91 days0.05%
26 weeks0.10%
18 months0.55%
30 months0.85%
36 months1.10%
48 months1.15%
72 months1.30%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on the length of the term:
    • 91 days to five months: Seven days’ interest or all interest accrued (whichever is higher)
    • Six to 12 months: 180 days’ interest
    • 13 months or more: 360 days’ interest

The promo rates for Univest’s CDs are pretty comparable to other online banks, but you do need to open an account with new money — funds not on deposit with Univest. Interest for all CDs is compounded daily. You can choose how you want your interest paid — either monthly or at maturity in a Univest account, via check or rolled back into the CD.

When your account matures, you have a 10-day grace period where you can decide what to do with CD. Otherwise, it’ll renew for the same term for the standard CDs.

For the promo rates, the renewal terms are as follows (the rates for some of these terms are not available online, so check with the bank):

  • The seven-month CD renews to a 26-week CD
  • The 13-month CD renews to a 12-month CD
  • The 25-month CD renews to a 24-month CD
  • The 59-month CD renews to a 60-month CD

How to get Univest’s CDs

Opening any of the promo CDs can be done online by completing an application. You’ll need to select the term, then fill in personal details such as your name, address, Social Security number and a method to fund the account.

For the standard CDs, you’ll need to head to a local branch. Click here to find a location closest to you.

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on Univest Bank And Trust Co.’s secure website

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How Univest’s CD rates compare

The promo rates are comparable to some of the best rates out there. Univest also wins points with us for having a low minimum opening deposit amount — some places require twice that. If you’re looking to maximize your savings, there are slightly better rates out there. Check our list of the best CD rates.

Univest’s money market account option

Gold Money Market

This account offers check-writing capabilities, but you’ll have to contact the bank for rate details.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

According to Univest, the Gold Money Market checking account offers a higher rate than its savings accounts, but these rates aren’t publicly listed. We recommend that you contact Univest to find out before opening an account. You’ll notice there is a $10 monthly maintenance fee. But if you don’t want to pay that, you’ll need to maintain a $1,000 minimum daily balance in the account.

Even if you’re using this account for long- or short-term savings goals, it’s nice to know that you can access your cash online, on Univest’s mobile app, in person or by writing a check. There are rules from Regulation D that limit you up to six certain withdrawals a month. If you make more, your transaction could be denied. If you keep abusing the regulation, Univest will send you a notice in writing that your account will be converted to a checking account.

How to get the Gold Money Market account

If you’re a U.S. resident and older than 18, head to Univest’s website and complete an online form. It’ll ask you for personal information such as your name, address and Social Security number. Afterward, provide a method to fund the account.

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How Univest’s money market account compares

Univest has lower minimum opening deposit requirements than some of its competitors, which is great news if you don’t have a lot of money to spare. If you look at our list of the best money market accounts, you may also notice that Univest has lower minimum balance amounts than most.

Unfortunately, we can’t comment on the rates because they’re not publicly advertised, so check those and compare them with other places before making your decision.

Univest’s IRA account options

IRA CDs

These IRA CD rates are quite low compared to what’s out there.
TermAPY
91 days0.05%
26 weeks0.10%
12 months0.45%
24 months0.75%
36 months1.10%
48 months0.85%
60 months0.95%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on the length of the term:
    • 91 days to five months: Seven days’ interest or all interest accrued (whichever is higher)
    • Six to 12 months: 180 days’ interest
    • 13 months or more: 360 days’ interest

The IRA CDs are classified as retirements — these are either tax-deferred or tax-sheltered depending on whether you choose a traditional or Roth IRA. Any interest you earn is compounded daily. It’s paid out monthly or when it matures.

Once the CD matures, you’ll receive a 10-day grace period where you can make changes, including renewing for another term, making additional deposits or moving it to another account. Remember that the IRS has regulations on when you can make withdrawals for IRAs, so keep in mind that you may need to pay penalties or taxes on money you take out.

If you don’t do anything once the CD matures, it’ll automatically renew after the grace period is over.

How to get Univest’s IRA CDs

The only way to open this account is by going to a Univest branch. Don’t forget to bring your government-issued ID and a way to fund the account.

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How Univest’s IRA CD rates compare

Sadly, these rates fall way short compared to what else is out there. Sure, you don’t need a lot of cash to open one of these IRA CDs, but it’s worth it to find another competitor that offers equally low minimum opening requirements. Many of the ones on our list of the best IRA CD rates offer rates at least twice what you’d get with Univest and you don’t need a lot of money to open one either.

Overall review of Univest’s banking products

We think Univest’s promo CD rates are worth taking a look. The bank has competitive rates and requires a low minimum opening deposit. If you want to set aside money for some long-term goals and don’t need liquid access, these accounts are a good choice.

The checking and savings accounts are nice in that, for the most part, they don’t have minimum balance requirements. With the Blue and Gold checking accounts, you get that loan rate discount and lower fees for LifeLock identity protection. But the rates may be lower than competitors, so we can’t say for sure that it’s worth opening these accounts.

If you’re looking to save money with CDs, you can’t go wrong with Univest. Otherwise, do some comparison shopping with all other accounts before making a decision.

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.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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Reviews

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

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Desert Financial Credit Union’s checking account options

Free checking

There are no monthly maintenance fees with this account, but you don’t earn any interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: none
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: none
  • ATM fee: Up to two free withdrawals at a CO-OP or Visa ATM. Afterwards, it’s $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: $35

Desert Financial Credit Union’s free checking account doesn’t earn any interest and is best for those looking for a simple everyday account to conduct transactions. You get a Visa debit card, online and mobile banking. With the mobile app, you can make check deposits, do bill pay, view statements and use either Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay.

The credit union offers a Relationship Rewards program where members can get added perks such as rate discounts, ATM refunds and free custom checks. The program is based on a points system, where you earn points for having certain products and higher deposit amounts as well as on the number of transactions you make. If you reach the Achieve or Prosper level, you may qualify for cashback bonuses.

How to get Desert Financial Credit Union’s checking account

You can open an account by filling out an application form online. You’ll need to be at least 18 years old and qualify to become a member by proving you live, work or attend school in an approved county. The form will first ask you for your full name and ema il address, then you’ll need to agree to open a Membership savings account to establish membership. The form will also ask you for other details such as your Social Security number and a way to fund the account.

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How Desert Financial Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

We’re disappointed that the only checking account offered doesn’t earn you any interest. Other competitors offer interest-bearing accounts, no monthly fees and ATM refunds. Considering Desert Financial Credit Union has restrictive membership requirements – including the fact that you need to open a savings account – you might be better off looking elsewhere. You may consider our list of the best online checking accounts.

Desert Financial Credit Union’s savings account options

Membership savings

All members need to open this account to establish membership.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10% $25
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: You can get up to two free withdrawals through the CO-OP and Visa network. Afterwards you’ll need to pay $2 for out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

We’re not loving the rate for this account, but anyone who wants to become a member of Desert Financial Credit Union needs to open one. One advantage is that you do get ATM access – free transactions at Financial Credit Union ATMs and up to two free ATM withdrawals a month through the CO-OP and Visa network. You also get free electronic statements, online and mobile banking.

There is a monthly maintenance fee but it can be waived if you have a checking or titled loan account, are under 22 or you’ve achieved either the Grow, Achieve or Prosper level with the credit union’s Relationship Rewards program.

You can also open a secondary savings account which gives you online and mobile banking access. This account doesn’t require a minimum balance nor does it have a monthly maintenance fee. For both types of savings accounts, you’re limited up to six certain withdrawals a month because of Regulation D or else you’ll be charged $5 in excessive withdrawal fees.

How to get Desert Financial Credit Union’s Membership savings account

Applying for membership and opening a savings account can take as little as 10 minutes when you fill out an online application form. After entering your full name and email address, you’ll need to show how you qualify for membership. Finish the application by providing additional details such as your Social Security number and a way you’ll fund your new account.

If you want to open a secondary savings account, you’ll need to open a Membership savings account to establish membership and then head to the nearest branch.

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Holiday savings

There isn’t much of a difference between this and other savings accounts.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: none
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: none
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Holiday savings account is meant to help you set aside money for a specific purpose – whether it’s specifically for the holidays or other big ticket items you’re saving for. According to Desert Financial Credit Union, you can open the account at any time of the year and you can take out money whenever you want. However, Regulation D limits you up to six certain withdrawals a month, so you’ll need to pay a $5 excess transaction if you go over that amount.

There is no ATM access – only online and mobile banking. This may be useful if you don’t want to be tempted to use the money you set aside since you may not be able to access your cash immediately.

How to get the Holiday savings account

You can open a Holiday savings account at any one of Desert Financial Credit Union’s branches. Don’t forget to provide a government-issued ID and your Social Security as you’ll need these to open an account. If you’re not a member, you’ll need to open a membership savings account as well.

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on Desert Financial Credit Union’s secure website

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How Desert Financial Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Sadly, these rates are extremely low compared to some of the best accounts out there. Many other online savings accounts, like the ones on our list, offer much higher rates, no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. We do like that you get ATM access with Desert Financial Credit Union’s savings accounts, but these low rates aren’t worth it.

Desert Financial Credit Union’s CD rates

Savings certificate

Both the regular and jumbo CDs don’t offer the most competitive rates.
Regular rates
TermAPY With Minimum $1,000 Opening Deposit
6 months0.80%
1 year1.00%
18 months1.11%
2 years1.61%
3 years1.92%
4 years2.02%
5 years2.12%
Jumbo rates
TermAPY With Minimum $100,000 Opening Deposit
6 months0.85%
1 year1.06%
18 months1.16%
2 years1.66%
3 years1.97%
4 years2.07%
5 years2.17%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 or $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000 or $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term
    • Up to and including one year – $25 or 90 days interest, whichever is higher
    • More than one year – $25 or 180 days interest, whichever is higher

These are fixed-rate CDs which are great for those who want to know the interest rate is locked for the entire agreed term. All interested is compounded monthly, starting when your deposit goes into your account and it’ll be credited each month to your account. You can log into your account online anytime to check your electronic statements or by calling customer service at 1-602-433-7000.

Desert Financial Credit Union will send you a notice 30 days before your account matures. The CD will automatically renew upon maturity unless you decide to make changes within the 10-day grace period.

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College savings certificate

You can help your child set aside savings for when they graduate high school.
TermAPY
1 year1.06%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 180 days interest or $25, whichever is higher. Penalty waived if you can provide proof your child reached 18 years old or is graduating high school.

This CD is meant to help parents or guardians save for their child’s education. The account will be opened in the child’s name with you as the joint owner. Unlike the regular CD, you’ll need to make a deposit of at least $25 each month. If you make a $5,000 opening deposit, or when your CD has a $5,000 balance, you can stop these transfers. All interest earned is compounded and credited to monthly to the account.

If your child is under 18 years old upon account maturity, the CD will be automatically renewed at the current jumbo CD rate. If you want to make changes like make additional deposits or withdrawals, you’ll need to do so during the 10-day grace period.

Once your child turns 18, Desert Financial Credit Union will help you make arrangements to transfer the funds into another account.

How to get Desert Financial Credit Union’s CDs

You can open these CDs at a branch – bring your government-issued ID and Social Security number. If you’re opening the college savings CD, you’ll need to provide both your Social Security numbers. If you’re not an existing member, you’ll need to open a Membership savings account to qualify to open a CD.

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on Desert Financial Credit Union’s secure website

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How Desert Financial Credit Union’s CD rates compare

The rates for Desert Financial Credit Union’s CDs aren’t anything to write home about. Their minimum opening deposit is right around what other places require but their competitors offer slightly higher rates. We like that there is a CD that is specifically for college savings, but you can use a regular CD for that purpose as well if you time it right.

To maximize your savings, you may be better off going with one of these options on our list of the best CD rates.

Desert Financial Credit Union’s money market account options

Money market

This account offers ATM access and limited check writing capabilities.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%$2,000
0.35%$10,000
0.55%$25,000
0.70%$50,000
0.90%$100,000
1.05%$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee:

This money market is great if you’re looking for a higher APY than what the savings account offers and you want better access to your cash. You’ll get a Visa debit card and limited check writing capabilities. Be careful – if you make more than six transactions a month, you’re looking at a $10 excess transaction fee.

To waive the monthly fee, all you have do is maintain a $2,000 minimum daily balance.

How to get Desert Financial Credit Union’s money market account

You need to be a member of the credit union to open a money money market. You can open both online in around 10 minutes when you fill out an online application form. You’ll need to provide your full name and email address, then chose the account you want to open. After entering more details such as your Social Security number, you’ll need to fund both accounts.

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on Desert Financial Credit Union’s secure website

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How Desert Financial Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

The highest-tiered rate is comparable to some of the best money markets out there. However, you need an extremely high minimum balance – $250,000 to be exact – to qualify for that rate. Many competitors offer higher rates with lower minimum balance requirements. Frankly, you’re better off looking elsewhere, such as at the ones on our list of the best money market accounts.

Desert Financial Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA certificate

The rates and terms are the same as the regular CDs.
TermAPY
6 months0.80%
1 year1.00%
18 months1.11%
2 years1.61%
3 years1.92%
4 years2.02%
5 years2.12%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term
    • Up to and including one year – $25 or 90 days interest, whichever is higher
    • More than one year – $25 or 180 days interest, whichever is higher

These IRA CDs are essentially the same as the regular CDs except you can’t get the jumbo rates. You can choose between opening a traditional or Roth IRA CD and you’ll earn a fixed rate of return. Any interest you earn is compounded and credited to your account monthly. You can check your account anytime you want by logging in online or via your mobile device.

Once your account matures, Desert Financial Credit Union will automatically renew your CD unless you decide to roll it into another type of IRA account. If that’s the case, you can do so during the 10-day grace period. You can make other changes such as make additional deposits and renewing your IRA CD for a different term.

How to get Desert Federal Credit Union’s IRA CDs

You can open an account in person at any of Desert Federal Credit Union locations. Don’t forget that you’ll be asked to provide your Social Security number and state-issued ID, plus a way to fund the account.

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on Desert Financial Credit Union’s secure website

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How Desert Financial Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

These rates are low when compared side by side with other competitors. Other places like the ones on our list of the best IRA CD rates also offer lower minimum opening deposit amounts, making them the more affordable choice if you don’t have a lot of cash to set aside for savings. That, plus the fact that there are restrictive membership requirements, means we give these IRA CDs a hard pass.

IRA savings account

You’re not going to earn much with this account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.35%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: none
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: none
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is a good option if you’re looking for a place to put your IRA funds where you can access it anytime. It’s a more flexible option than an IRA CD where you’re locked into a specific amount of time. There is no minimum balance requirements and no monthly fees is a nice touch.

Since there is no ATM access, the only way to access your funds is to initiate a transfer through the credit union. Keep in mind you may face IRS penalties if you make withdrawals before 59 1/2 years old.

How to get Desert Financial Credit Union’s IRA savings account

Head to the nearest Desert Financial Credit Union branch to open an account in person. You’ll need your Social Security number and government-issued ID to do so.

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on Desert Financial Credit Union’s secure website

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Overall review of Desert Financial Credit Union’s banking products

We’re not excited about any of the products Desert Financial Credit Union offers. The CD rates are comparable to some of the best ones out there, but you have to become a member to open an account – it’s got pretty restrictive requirements. Both the checking and savings accounts offer really low rates, if any at all. While the money market account has a fairly high rate, you need to have a ton of cash on deposit to qualify.

We appreciate the incentives the credit union offers to recruit loyal members via their Relationship Rewards program, but given how these products aren’t anything to write home about, we think you might be off with another financial 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.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here