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

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Affinity Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

Affinity Checking

A free checking account with no minimum balance requirement. It comes with a debit card and plenty of free ATMs through the CO-OP network, but it doesn’t earn interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at Affinity Federal Credit Union and CO-OP ATMs; $2.25 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $33

Affinity Federal Credit Union offers a free, basic account: Affinity Checking. This account has no minimum balance requirement. You can launch for any amount. After you open, this account will not charge a monthly fee regardless of your balance.

The Affinity Checking account does not earn interest. It comes with a debit card, online banking and ATM access. You can make free withdrawals from Affinity Federal Credit Union ATMs, as well as ATMs in the CO-OP network. If you make an out-of-network transaction, Affinity Federal Credit Union will charge a $2.25 fee — and it will not refund any fees from the ATM owner.

You can’t open an Affinity Checking account without first becoming a member of Affinity Federal Credit Union. You can apply for membership online, by phone or at a branch. During this application, you have the option to launch your Affinity Checking account as well.

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MoreChecking

The basic features and interest rate for this account aren’t great, but you can qualify for extra benefits and a higher rate through Affinity Federal Credit Union’s loyalty program.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.25%
$1,000 (no status)
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fees: None at Affinity Federal Credit Union and CO-OP ATMs; $2.25 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs; Affinity Federal Credit Union waives its fee on eight transactions a month for accounts with More status and on all transactions for accounts with EvenMore status
  • ATM fee refunds: None for accounts with no status or More status; up to $10 a month for accounts with EvenMore status
  • Overdraft fees: $33 per transaction

The Affinity Federal Credit Union MoreChecking account does not have an opening deposit requirement, but when your balance falls below $1,000, this account charges a $7 monthly maintenance fee. It’s free as long as you stay above $1,000.

You also need at least $1,000 in the account to earn interest. The base rate for MoreChecking isn’t very high, but it does offer a loyalty program where you can qualify for better rates. Every month, Affinity Federal Credit Union tracks the products and services you use, as well as the amount of time you’ve been a member. They then give you points based on each category. For example, having any checking account gives you 75 points and making 16 or more debit transactions gives you another 100 points. In this case, you would have 175 points.

It takes 200 points to qualify for More status and 400 to qualify for EvenMore. If you have More status, Affinity Federal Credit Union adds 0.10% to your interest rate for the next month; if you have EvenMore status, it adds 0.20%.

You also qualify for additional benefits through the status. With More status, Affinity Federal Credit Union waives its fee on up to eight out-of-network ATM withdrawals a month and doesn’t charge a fee on money orders or cashier’s checks.

With EvenMore status, Affinity Federal Credit Union stops charging its out-of-network ATM fee and will refund up to $10 a month in charges from the ATM owners. It also includes other benefits such as free checks, free paper statements, a 25% discount on a safety deposit box and a double rewards rate on its credit card.

Before you can open a MoreChecking account, you need to join Affinity Federal Credit Union, either at a branch or online. You can set up your MoreChecking account as part of your membership application. You can add money now, but you don’t have to since this account doesn’t have a minimum opening deposit requirement.

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How Affinity Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

The quality of Affinity Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts depends on whether you have loyalty status. With no status, its MoreChecking account is a mediocre option with a low interest rate, no ATM fee refunds and a monthly maintenance fee, unless you meet the balance requirement.

With More or EvenMore status, the account becomes more respectable thanks to the rate bonus and other extra benefits. If you don’t want to figure out the loyalty program, you can use its free Affinity Checking account — but that means not earning any interest.

We feel like Affinity Federal Credit Union makes you do a lot of work to qualify for benefits that top online checking accounts automatically include. With these checking accounts, you receive an even better interest rate, ATM refunds and no monthly fee. Best of all, you don’t need to deal with a loyalty program to qualify.

Affinity Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Affinity Savings

This savings account is free and pays (a little) interest on all balances.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.20%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at Affinity Federal Credit Union and CO-OP ATMs; $2.25 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $33 per transaction

This is a no-frills savings account intended for smaller deposits. It does not have a minimum opening or balance requirement, and there is no monthly fee.

The Affinity Savings account pays interest on all balances. But the rate is below average for a savings account and never changes. You won’t earn more for depositing more and there’s no way to get a rate bonus through the loyalty program.

You’re limited up to six certain transactions a month, per federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll face a $25 fee imposted by the credit union.

If you want to open an Affinity Savings account, you first need to become an Affinity Federal Credit Union member. Fortunately, there’s no extra work involved to set up this account because you can launch one as part of the membership application, using the same information.

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MoreSavings

There’s no minimum balance needed to avoid a monthly fee — but trying to earn any interest is a different story.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.45%
$5,000
0.65%
$100,000
1.05%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at Affinity Federal Credit Union and CO-OP ATMs; $2.25 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs; Affinity Federal Credit Union waives the fee on eight transactions a month for accounts with More status and on all transactions for accounts with EvenMore status
  • ATM fee refunds: None for accounts with no status or More Status; up to $10 a month for accounts with EvenMore status
  • Overdraft fees: $33 per transaction.

This is Affinity Federal Credit Union’s standard savings account for people who use the credit union as their primary financial institution. It does not charge a monthly fee, regardless of how low your balance gets.

If you want to earn interest though, you need at least $5,000 in the account. The base rate is quite low. It starts to get a little better once you have more than $100,000 in the account, but that’s a lot of money to earn a rate that’s still barely above average.

You’re limited up to six certain transactions a month, per federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll face a $25 fee from the credit union.

The MoreSavings account is eligible for Affinity Federal Credit Union’s loyalty program. Every month, Affinity Federal Credit Union tracks your accounts, transactions and the amount of time you’ve been a customer. It gives you points for each category. For example, having a deposit balance of $10,000 earns you 75 points.

If you have at least 200 points by the end of the month, you qualify for More status. With 400 points, you receive EvenMore status. When you have More status, Affinity Federal Credit Union adds 0.10% to your rate. It adds 0.20% when you have EvenMore status. Still, that’s a maximum of 1.00% on a balance of more than $250,000, which is below the market rate.

Like with all the Affinity Federal Credit Union products, you need to become a member before you can sign up for a MoreSavings account. You can apply for this account while filling out the membership application, using the same information. You don’t need to add money, though, unless you want to since there’s no deposit requirement.

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Club Savings

The Club Savings account is meant to help you save for specific goals during the year.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.20%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at Affinity Federal Credit Union and CO-OP ATMs; $2.25 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $33 per transaction

Affinity Federal Credit Union describes its Club Savings account as a way to save for specific goals during the year, such as a vacation or holiday shopping. You pick a date on the calendar for when you’ll need the money. Then you save throughout the year using your club account. Once you reach the goal, Affinity Federal Credit Union pays out the balance to your regular checking or savings account so that you can spend it.

There is no minimum opening deposit to launch an Affinity Federal Credit Union Club Savings account. Also, this account does not charge a monthly fee. It earns interest on all balances, but the rate is very low.

You’re limited up to six certain transactions a month, per federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll face a $25 fee from the credit union.

The Club Savings account is available through the membership application, so you can launch one while joining Affinity Federal Credit Union. After you’re a member, you can also open one by logging in to online banking.

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How Affinity Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

We would not recommend any of the Affinity Federal Credit Union savings accounts as they are designed. While they each have some decent features, none of them is a complete package. For example, we like that the Affinity Savings and Club Savings accounts pay interest on all balances, but both rates are way too low.

The MoreSavings account has some decent interest rates and gives you the opportunity to earn a bonus through its loyalty program. The problem is you need at least $5,000 to earn any interest — and $100,000 to start earning a competitive rate.

If Affinity Federal Credit Union combined the best features into one account, it would be worth a look. Until then, you are better off with these excellent savings accounts. They pay even higher rates — and you don’t need a six-figure balance to qualify.

Affinity Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

Certificates

Affinity Federal Credit Union offers a ton of variety in its certificates, and the regular rates are above average.
TermAPY
30 days0.20%
3 months0.25%
6 months0.85%
7 months0.85%
9 months1.10%
12 months1.70%
14 months (promotional offer with $2,500 deposit)1.95%
14 months (promotional offer with $50,000 deposit)2.05%
14 months (promotional offer with $100,000 deposit)2.15%
15 months (with “bump-up” offer)1.10%
18 months1.70%
22 months (promotional offer with $500 deposit)1.95%
22 months (promotional offer with $50,000 deposit)2.05%
22 months (promotional offer with $100,000 deposit)2.15%
24 months1.80%
30 months (with “bump-up” offer)1.25%
36 months1.80%
48 months1.85%
60 months1.95%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of one year or less, the penalty is 90 days’ dividends; for terms over one year, the penalty is 182 days’ dividends

Affinity Federal Credit Union’s certificates range from as short as 30 days to as long as five years. You need to deposit at least $500 to open the regular certificates, and you must maintain that much in the account. If your balance falls below $500, it’ll close your certificate.

Besides its standard certificates, Affinity Federal Credit Union has some special promotions. First, its 15-month and 30-month certificates have a “bump-up” option. With this offer, you start with a lower rate but have a one-time option to request an increase during your certificate term. This could come in handy if you think rates will go up in the future.

Affinity Federal Credit Union also has two certificate promotions for new money: 14 months and 22 months. You can only open these accounts with funds that either aren’t at Affinity Federal Credit Union or were deposited within 30 days of applying for the certificate.

You need at least $2,500 to open the 14-month promotional certificate, while the 22-month certificate is the normal $500. Both promotions increase their rates for larger deposits. One band starts at $50,000, while the highest promotional rate starts at $100,000. At the end of the promotional term, Affinity Federal Credit Union will automatically renew you into one of its regular certificates. You can’t reuse the promotion unless you deposit new funds.

The certificate accounts are only available for members of Affinity Federal Credit Union. If you aren’t a member yet, you can apply online, by phone or at a branch. During the membership application, you can open the regular and “bump-up” certificates. But the promotions aren’t on this application. You can open these after you’re a member through the online banking portal or at a branch.

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How Affinity Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

The most generous offers by far at Affinity Federal Credit Union are its promotions for new deposits. This makes sense, as it puts its best foot forward to attract new customers. The promotional rates are extremely competitive, and we like that you can earn more for larger balances. With many other lenders, we’ve seen promotional rates stay the same no matter how much you deposit.

Once you get past the intro offer though, the rest of the Affinity Federal Credit Union certificates are just OK. They aren’t bad options by any means. They pay above-average rates, and there are plenty of terms from which to choose. But they are also a level below the very best CDs on the market today.

If you’d like to take advantage of Affinity Federal Credit Union’s generous intro offers and then move onto something else, that could be a good move. Or if you’d like a high-paying CD that you can renew as many times as you want, check out this list with the best CD rates . We’ve tracked down the very best CD rates for every term.

Affinity Federal Credit Union’s money market account option

Money Manager

You need $50,000 to start earning a decent return. Even then, the top rate isn’t that great.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.35%
$2,500
0.40%
$20,000
0.45%
$35,000
0.60%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (waived with balance of at least $2,500)
  • ATM fees: None at Affinity Federal Credit Union and CO-OP ATMs; $2.25 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $33 per transaction

This account does not have a minimum opening deposit, but don’t let this fool you into thinking this is a good option for small balances. The Money Manager account charges a $10 monthly maintenance fee whenever your balance is below $2,500. It’s free so long as you stay above this limit.

You also need a minimum balance of at least $2,500 to earn the money market rates. You earn the maximum rate, which is OK, with a balance of $50,000.

You’re limited up to six certain transactions a month, per federal Regulation D. After that, you’ll face a $25 fee from the credit union.

The Money Manager account is listed as an option on Affinity Federal Credit Union’s membership application, so you can set this up at the same time as joining the credit union. While you don’t have to make an opening deposit, keep in mind you could owe the monthly fee for not having $2,500 in the account.

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How Affinity Federal Credit Union’s money market account compares

The Affinity Federal Credit Union money market account is not an attractive choice because the rates will be too low for most customers. If you have a large balance, $50,000 or more, you start to earn a respectable return, but anything below that earns very little. Below $50,000, the rates are more what you’d expect on a savings account.

This is an issue because, with a money market account, you’re dealing with high balance requirements and fees. That’s the case with Affinity Federal Credit Union. If your balance ever falls below $2,500, you are hit with a $10 monthly fee. This might be worth it if it were easier to earn its top interest rate, but that’s not the case.

Unless Affinity Federal Credit Union loosens its balance requirements for interest, we would stay away. These top money market accounts pay excellent rates and you don’t need to make a massive deposit to qualify. With some of these options, you can outearn even Affinity Federal Credit Union’s top rate with a low deposit.

Affinity Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates

IRA Certificates

These could be worth a look, especially with the special promotional offers.
TermAPY
30 days0.40%
3 months0.45%
6 months1.05%
7 months1.05%
9 months1.30%
12 months1.90%
14 months (promotional offer with $2,500 deposit)1.95%
14 months (promotional offer with $50,000 deposit)2.05%
14 months (promotional offer with $100,000 deposit)2.15%
15 months (with “bump-up” offer)1.30%
18 months1.90%
22 months (promotional offer with $500 deposit)1.95%
22 months (promotional offer with $50,000 deposit)2.05%
22 months (promotional offer with $100,000 deposit)2.15%
24 months2.00%
30 months (with “bump-up” offer)1.45%
36 months2.00%
48 months2.05%
60 months2.15%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: For terms of one year or less, the penalty is 90 days’ dividends; for terms over one year, the penalty is 182 days’ dividends

If you’d like to open a retirement plan, all the Affinity Federal Credit Union certificate accounts can be used through an IRA. The terms range from 30 days to five years. You must deposit a minimum of $500 to open an IRA certificate and keep at least this much in the account to earn the APY.

The promotional certificates are also available for the IRA CDs. First, the 15-month and 30-month IRA certificates have a “bump-up” option. They start at a lower rate but give you a one-time option to request a rate increase during your term.

Affinity Federal Credit Union also offers its 14-month and 22-month promotional certificates for new money. You can only open these IRA certificates with funds that aren’t already at Affinity Federal Credit Union or that you deposited within 30 days of applying for the IRA Certificate.

The 14-month promotional IRA Certificate needs a deposit of at least $2,500, while the 22-month IRA Certificate takes the usual $500. Both promotions pay out a higher rate for larger deposits. At the end of the IRA Certificate term, Affinity Federal Credit Union will renew you into one of its regular IRA Certificates unless you tell it otherwise. The only way to access the higher promotional rates again is by depositing additional new funds.

Before you can open an IRA Certificate account, you need to become a member of Affinity Federal Credit Union. These accounts aren’t listed on the initial membership application, so you’ll need to join first before you can apply. Once you’re a member, you can sign up through the Affinity Federal Credit Union Retirement Central portal online or at one of its branches.

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IRA Money Manager

If you want more access to your money, you can also use Affinity Federal Credit Union’s money market account in an IRA. Once again, the downside is you need a large balance to earn a decent interest rate.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.35%
$500
0.40%
$20,000
0.45%
$35,000
0.60%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

Affinity Federal Credit Union also offers its money market account through an IRA. There is no minimum opening deposit needed to start an IRA Money Manager account. This account also does not charge a monthly fee, regardless of the size of your balance. This is different than the regular Money Manager account, which does charge a fee if your balance falls below $2,500.

With the IRA Money Manager account, you need a balance of at least $500 to earn the higher money market rates. Once again, this is better than the regular money market account, which needs $2,500 to start earning the APY. But the interest rates on the IRA Money Manager account are low until you have at least $50,000.

The IRA Money Manager account gives you more access to your funds than with an IRA Certificate. You aren’t committing to leave your money with Affinity Federal Credit Union for a set period. Each month, you can make up to six withdrawals out of the account. If you make more than six, Affinity Federal Credit Union will charge a $25 penalty on each additional transaction.

The IRA Money Manager account is only available for members of Affinity Federal Credit Union. After you join, you can sign up at a branch or online through its Retirement Central website. The IRA application will ask for your Social Security number and the personal information of a beneficiary.

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IRA Accumulator Savings

A starter retirement account you can earn interest on with just $50.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.20%
$50
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

If you can’t meet the $500 balance requirements for the other Affinity Federal Credit Union IRA accounts, you could open its IRA Accumulator Savings account. This account only requires $50 to earn interest. But the interest rate is very low for a retirement plan and will not increase for larger deposits.

Each month, you can make up to six withdrawals out of the IRA Accumulator Savings account. If you make more than six, Affinity Federal Credit Union will charge a $25 penalty on each additional transaction.

You can apply for an IRA Accumulator Savings account online or at a branch, but only after you’re a member of Affinity Federal Credit Union. The IRA application will ask for your Social Security number, the contact information of a beneficiary and the type of IRA you want to open.

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How Affinity Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

If you want variety for your IRA, Affinity Federal Credit Union is the place to go. It offers a huge selection of IRA Certificates, including some special promotions. Its regular IRA CD rates are above average, while its promotional rates are terrific. The only problem is the promotions are for new money only, so they aren’t something you can repeat unless you keep transferring over funds from somewhere else.

The IRA money market account pays an OK rate for something with more flexible access, but we’ve seen similar products that pay much more. The IRA savings account lets you earn interest with a smaller amount of money, just $50. But it pays very little — so you should move to something else as you have enough saved up.

With all these choices, you can find a suitable product for your retirement plan at Affinity Federal Credit Union, especially with the promotions. But since those are only available for new funds, you may want to check out some other options instead. These IRA CDs pay rates that are as good as anything at Affinity Federal Credit Union, but there’s no limit to how often you can renew.

Overall review of Affinity Federal Credit Union’s banking products

The Affinity Federal Credit Union banking products have some quality features and the potential to be great, but they fall short because of their restrictions and complicated rules. With its checking and savings accounts, you can get a half-decent interest rate and ATM refunds, but only if you get status through the Affinity Federal Credit Union loyalty program. Without status, you don’t get any of these benefits.

Its savings and money market accounts pay above-average rates at the higher tiers, but you need to have a huge balance to qualify: $50,000 for the money market and $100,000 for the savings account. Finally, its promotional certificates and IRA Certificates pay excellent rates, but they are only available for new funds. This makes them a one-time offer unless you keep transferring money over.

If Affinity Federal Credit Union made it easier for people to qualify for its top benefits, they have the potential to be a good choice for your money. But as it is for now, it’s too much effort for too little reward.

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David Rodeck
David Rodeck |

David Rodeck is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email David here

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