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

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Updated on Wednesday, July 1, 2020

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%$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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NCUA Insured

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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.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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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
0.40%$5003 months
0.55%$5006 months
0.75%$50012 months
0.60%$112 month Wahoo
0.65%$10012 month Builder
0.85%
$50018 months
0.85%$50024 months
1.05%$50030 months
0.90%$50036 months
1.10%$50048 months
1.25%$500 60 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
0.50%$2,000
0.60%$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
0.75%$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
1.00%$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
0.50%$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
0.75%$50012 months
0.60%$112 month Wahoo
0.65%$10012 month Builder
0.90%$50036 months
1.25%$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.

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