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

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American Southwest Credit Union’s checking account options

Classic Checking

A free, noninterest-bearing checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on American Southwest Credit Union and Allpoint network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None on amounts of $10 or less; $25 on amounts from $10.01 to $100; $28 on amounts of $100.01 or more

This no-frills, fee-free checking account does not earn interest. While there aren’t any true bonuses or perks that come with this account, that convenience alone might be enough to customers looking for a headache-free way to manage their money. This account also offers low-cost duplicate checks, a Visa® debit card, overdraft protection from your savings account and for checks, Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers and recurring debit card transactions, and free online banking and bill pay.

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Prestige Checking

Another noninterest-earning checking account with slightly stricter requirements.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None on American Southwest Credit Union and Allpoint network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None on amounts of $10 or less; $25 on amounts from $10.01 to $100; $28 on amounts of $100.01 or more

Despite what its name suggests, this checking account doesn’t offer much more than the basic checking account, except for a $10 monthly fee and a somewhat high $2,000 balance requirement to be able to waive it. This account also doesn’t earn interest, minimizing its appeal. But it does offer free credit union checks, a Visa® debit card, overdraft protection from your savings account and for checks, ACH transfers and recurring debit card transactions, and free online banking and bill pay.

How to get American Southwest Credit Union’s checking accounts

If you meet the requirements to become a member and open a Share Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5, you can open either of American Southwest Credit Union’s checking accounts online. To do so, you’ll need to provide your Social Security number and a form of government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license.

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How American Southwest Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

As we mention in our roundup of the best online checking accounts, the best products will earn interest, as well as have no account and ATM fees and a user-friendly online interface. These two checking accounts win on a couple of these fronts, but not enough to make them must-have accounts. We say consider one of the accounts on our list to be able to earn interest on your funds without any added hassle.

American Southwest Credit Union’s savings account options

Share Savings

This account is required to become a member of American Southwest Credit Union.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$50
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on American Southwest Credit Union or Allpoint network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: None on amounts of $10 or less; $25 on amounts from $10.01 to $100; $28 on amounts of $100.01 or more

This account is a requirement for anyone interested in joining American Southwest Credit Union and wanting to open any other personal banking products. It earns a very small amount of interest on amounts over $50. It also comes with a Visa® debit card and online banking. As a savings account, it is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals and transfers up to six a month.

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on American Southwest Credit Union’s secure website

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Savings Safari Club for Young Savers

A simple savings account for children younger than 13.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: N/A
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is designed to help kids learn how to save. It doesn’t earn interest, nor does it have ATM access. Account holders will receive a special gift when they open the account and have the chance to win a $10 deposit to their account every month. As a savings account, it’s subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals up to six a month. A parent or guardian must be an existing American Southwest Credit Union member for a child to open this account. Once the account holder turns 13, this account will turn into a regular Share Savings account.

How to get American Southwest Credit Union’s savings accounts

If you qualify to be a member of American Southwest Credit Union, you’ll have to open the Share Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5 before opening any other products. You’ll need your Social Security number and a valid form of ID to do so. To open the Safari Club account, you’ll need to visit the credit union to open it with a parent or legal guardian.

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on American Southwest Credit Union’s secure website

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How American Southwest Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Although American Southwest Credit Union’s Share Savings account earns dividends, it’s not competitive compared to those on our list of the best online savings accounts. Sure, it has a very low deposit requirement and no monthly fees, but it offers virtually nothing in the way of additional perks. If you’re not ultimately after one of the credit union’s other products that require you to open this account, we wouldn’t recommend seeking this account alone. The Safari Club is a nice bonus for parents who are members and want to teach their kids about savings, but it also isn’t a must or a reason to seek out American Southwest Credit Union specifically.

American Southwest Credit Union’s CD rates

Term Share Certificates

CDs offering two tier levels with mediocre rates.
TermAPY
6 months1.35% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.60% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
12 months1.50% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.80% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
18 months1.55% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.85% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
24 months1.70% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.90% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
30 months1.90% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.10% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
36 months2.05% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.25% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
48 months2.10% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.30% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
60 months2.35% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.35% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Early withdrawal penalty: It depends on how long the certificate has been opened and the amount that it’s worth. Contact American Southwest Credit Union for specific details.

Aside from the second tier having a high minimum deposit requirement, these are run-of-the-mill CDs. They come in term options ranging from six months to five years, with no monthly service charges and the ability to have their monthly dividends compounded or transferred to one of your share accounts with the credit union.

There is a potential added perk in that American Southwest Credit Union offers the opportunity for relationship pricing, in which you can earn an additional 0.05% APY if you have a checking account with the credit union and have a direct deposit or otherwise regularly recurring deposit set up with it. A credit union representative can provide more information on this potential perk.

How to get American Southwest Credit Union’s CDs

As with American Southwest Credit Union’s other personal accounts, these CDs can be opened online once you’ve verified that you qualify to become a member and open your Share Savings account. You’ll need to be sure you have your Social Security number and government-issued ID on hand to do so.

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on American Southwest Credit Union’s secure website

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How American Southwest Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Despite American Southwest Credit Union boasting of offering competitive rates on its certificates, these CD rates don’t stack up against those on our list of the best CD rates. Not only that, but the minimum deposit amount on the higher tier is astronomical compared to the rate it offers. We say give these CDs a hard pass and take the time to find something that will provide you with a bigger bang for your buck.

American Southwest Credit Union’s money market account option

Money Market

A basic, tiered account offering subpar rates.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.85%
$2,000
1.00%
$20,000
1.05%
$50,000
1.10%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account allows you to earn interest at four tiers. Interest earned with this account comes only from credit union funds. As with all savings accounts, it’s subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transfers and withdrawals up to six a month.

How to get American Southwest Credit Union’s Money Market account

After establishing membership and opening a Share Savings account, customers can open American Southwest Credit Union’s Money Market account online. You’ll need a valid government-issued ID such as a driver’s license and your Social Security number to do so.

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on American Southwest Credit Union’s secure website

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How American Southwest Credit Union’s money market account compares

Many banks and credit unions these days are offering very low rates on money market accounts, and American Southwest Credit Union is no exception. You can earn about double these rates on some of the accounts on our list of the best money market rates, with virtually the same or better requirements. We’d advise you to strongly consider one of those instead.

American Southwest Credit Union’s IRA options

IRA CD rates

IRA Term Share Certificates

The credit unions CDs, available to open within an IRA.
TermAPY
6 months1.35% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.60% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
12 months1.50% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.80% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
18 months1.55% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.85% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
24 months1.70% with a minimum deposit of $500; 1.90% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
30 months1.90% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.10% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
36 months2.05% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.25% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
48 months2.10% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.30% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
60 months2.35% with a minimum deposit of $500; 2.55% with a minimum deposit of $10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Early withdrawal penalty: It depends on how long the certificate has been opened and the amount that it’s worth. Contact American Southwest Credit Union for specific details.

These are virtually the same as the Term Share Certificates, just with the ability to open within an IRA. They come in term options ranging from six months to five years, with no monthly service charges and the ability to have their monthly dividends compounded or transferred to one of your share accounts with the credit union. But one bonus is that American Southwest Credit Union offers the opportunity for relationship pricing, in which you can earn an additional 0.05% APY if you have a checking account with the credit union and have a direct deposit or otherwise regularly recurring deposit set up with it. A credit union representative can provide more information on this potential perk.

LEARN MORE Secured

on American Southwest Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How American Southwest Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

As with the regular certificates, the rates on American Southwest Credit Union’s IRA CDs don’t compare to those on our list of the best IRA CD rates, even with the potential bonus. When you’re saving for retirement, you want to make sure you’re giving your funds the best possible opportunity to grow. We urge you to do your research to find the best IRA product, which could include one on our list.

Regular IRA Shares

This account can be opened as a traditional or Roth IRA.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.70%
$50
    Minimum opening deposit: $5

  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50
  • Annual account maintenance fee: $10
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This is a basic IRA savings account, which can be opened as a traditional or Roth IRA. It also allows you to earn a bit of interest on all amounts over $50. While it doesn’t have a monthly maintenance fee, there is a $10 annual fee on this account. Like with all savings accounts, this IRA is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals and transfers up to six a month.

How to get American Southwest Credit Union’s IRA products

Just like with all of American Southwest Credit Union’s other personal products, you can open one of its IRAs online after becoming a member and opening a Share Savings account. You’ll need to be sure to have your government-issued ID and Social Security number ready to get started.

LEARN MORE Secured

on American Southwest Credit Union’s secure website

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Overall review of American Southwest Credit Union’s banking products

Not surprisingly, none of American Southwest Credit Union’s personal banking products is a standout. While any associated fees and requirements are on the low end, the rates don’t come close to many of the better offerings out there. If you’re on the hunt for a product that will help you to grow your funds, take the time to do your research to find the best one to suit your needs. It likely isn’t one offered at American Southwest Credit Union.

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Emilia Benton
Emilia Benton |

Emilia Benton is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Emilia here

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