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

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Updated on Sunday, November 1, 2020

Apple Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

A+ Checking

We give this account a C because it doesn’t offer any interest or ATM fee refunds.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $15
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1.50 per out-of-network ATM use
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: If you don’t opt in for overdraft coverage, you won’t pay anything and all potential overdraft charges will be declined. If you link up a savings account or line of credit, you’ll pay $2.50 per transfer. If you opt to have the credit union pay any overdrafts, it’ll charge you a $29 penalty (up to 4 per day).

Apple Federal Credit Union’s A+ Checking is its most basic-level checking account for adults. There are no balance or monthly requirements as with its other adult checking accounts, but it also doesn’t come with anything fancy.

You get to use in-network ATMs for free, and you can access all of the features that come with every other checking account, such as online access, unlimited check writing and a debit card. You even get to choose your own debit card design (also possible with any other debit card you get from Apple Federal Credit Union).  

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Advantage Checking

You can earn interest and pay no out-of-network ATM fees with this account, but you’ll want to make sure you can meet the requirements to avoid the monthly fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $15
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10, unless you meet requirements to waive the fee
  • ATM fee: No ATM fee for in-network and out-of-network ATMs. You may owe a surcharge fee charged by the ATM’s owner, however.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: The default option is no overdraft coverage. In that case, any bounced charges will be declined and you won’t owe any fee. You can link your savings account or a line of credit to cover overdrafts for a $2.50 per-transfer fee. You can also opt to have the credit union pay the overdraft, and you’ll be charged a $29 fee (up to 4 per day).

Apple Federal Credit Union’s next level-up checking account has several nice features. You can use any ATM you want without paying a fee (not counting the surcharge fee from the ATM’s owner), and you’ll earn a small amount of interest. You even get a free box of checks once a year.

But watch out for the hefty $10 monthly fee that comes with this account. You can avoid the fee in one of three ways:

  • Have at least one direct deposit per month ($1,000 minimum)
  • Have an open Summer Pay account, designed for teachers who might be worried about making it through the summer without a paycheck
  • Have at least $20,000 in combined Apple Federal Credit Union savings and loan accounts

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Student Checking

This basic checking account is well-designed for students, but you can still find a free, interest-bearing student account elsewhere.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: No fee for in-network ATM use. You’ll get 2 free out-of-network ATM transactions per month (but you may have to pay a surcharge fee from the ATM’s owner). After that, it’ll be $1.50 per transaction for out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: If you don’t opt into overdraft protection, any bounced charges will automatically be declined and you won’t be charged a fee. If you link up a savings account or line of credit, you’ll be charged $2.50 per transfer.

Apple Federal Credit Union’s Student Checking account has a lot of student-friendly features. There’s no monthly fee, and you get two free out-of-network ATM transactions each month. You also aren’t eligible to have Apple Federal Credit Union pay your overdraft fees; you’ll either need to link up a savings account yourself, or risk having transactions declined at embarrassing times (although that might be a good way to teach you to better keep an eye on your money).

Still, there are a few complaints. It’d be nice if all out-of-network ATM transactions were free, and if Apple Federal Credit Union would offer ATM surcharge fee refunds as some other banks do. After all, many students choose to go to college far away from their parents, and it’d be nice to have more ATM options in these situations. Also, this account doesn’t come with any interest payments either.

How to get Apple Federal Credit Union’s Student Checking account

To qualify for this account, you’ll need to be a full-time student between the ages of 12 and 23. If you’re under age 18, a parent or guardian needs to be with you to sign up; they will be a joint owner on the account. You’ll also need to agree to receive eStatements before you can sign up.

Finally, opening a Share savings account (and funding it with at least $5) is standard before you can open any other Apple Federal Credit Union accounts, including this one.

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Investors Checking

You can earn a fantastic interest rate on your money with this checking account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%
Up to $19,999.99
0.05%
Over $20,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $15
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: No ATM fees for both in-network and out-of-network ATMs. However, you may still have to pay a surcharge fee from the ATM’s owner.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: If you don’t sign up for any overdraft services, any potential overdraft charges will be declined and you won’t owe any fees. If you want the credit union to pay the charges, there’ll be a $29 fee, up to 4 times per day. If you instead want to link up a savings account or line of credit, you’ll pay a $2.50 per-transaction transfer fee.

If you’ve got at least $25,000 invested with the credit union’s Apple Financial Services investment wing, you’re eligible to open this account.

The primary advantage is a smokin’ hot interest rate on the first $19,999.99 in your checking account. Above that level, you’ll just earn the regular checking account interest rate. You also get free ATM transactions wherever you go, but you’ll still have to pay any ATM surcharge fees yourself. Finally, you get a free box of checks once a year with this account.

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How Apple Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

If you’re looking for a high-yield checking account, one thing’s for sure: Apple Federal Credit Union isn’t the right place for your money, unless you can pony up $25,000 to put into an investment account so that you’re eligible for its Investor Checking account. The rest of its accounts pay little, if any, interest at all.

Instead, if you’re interested in earning the best rates possible on your checking deposit and for less hassle, we recommend one of these top online checking accounts instead.

Apple Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Share Savings

You’ll need to open this account with at least $5 to establish your membership with Apple Federal Credit Union.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: No fee for in-network ATM use. $1.50 per transaction if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

There’s no two ways about it: You’ll need to open this account first to unlock any other Apple Federal Credit Union accounts. You only need to put in $5, but make sure to perform some transactions occasionally or keep more than $500 in the account. If this account goes more than 24 months without a transaction and a balance under $500, Apple Federal Credit Union will charge you a $5 monthly “inactive account fee” (although if you’re 30 or under, or have at least one other open account, Apple Federal Credit Union will waive the fee).

Additionally, if you set up a regular automatic transfer from your Share Savings account to another account, Apple Federal Credit Union will charge you a $2.50 per-transaction fee. You also are limited to just six transactions per month with this account, according to Federal Reserve Regulation D.

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eXtras Student Savings

People age 23 and younger can earn a fantastic rate under $1,500 in this account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%
Up to $1,499.99
0.05%
$1,500+
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: No fee for in-network ATM use. $1.50 per transaction if you use an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

It’s hard to get kids and teens excited about saving money when they’ll hardly see any growth on their account with Apple Federal Credit Union’s Share Savings account. That’s why this account is better for the younger set: they’ll see their account grow quickly since there’s a sky-high interest rate for funds less than $1,500.

The only catch is that the account requires a parent or guardian as a joint owner. This means the adult has access to the account as well, and can deposit (or withdraw) money at his or her discretion. In addition, you can only make six withdrawals/transfers out of the account per month, as per Federal Reserve Regulation D.

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Education SuperSaver

This education savings account offers a top-notch interest rate.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
2.00%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

If you’ve been wanting to save for education-related expenses — tuition, books or anything else — this is a great account to choose. Educational expenses for children and adults qualify for this account. You’ll earn a fantastic interest rate, and it’s not limited to a certain balance tier like with some of Apple Federal Credit Union’s other savings accounts.

The only catch is that you must use the funds for education-related expenses, and submit receipts to the credit union to prove it. If you use the money for non-educational expenses or fail to provide a receipt or invoice, you’ll pay a 2% fee on the money you withdraw.

Since this is a savings account and governed by Federal Reserve rules, you can’t make more than six withdrawals in a month. Finally, you won’t be able to access this account using an ATM — you’ll either have to transfer the money to your checking account yourself for each purchase, or submit a receipt or invoice to Apple Federal Credit Union to have it transfer the money.

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Vacation Club

This account helps you save for fun vacations.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5.00
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

If there’s one thing that puts a damper on your vacation, it’s coming home to find out you racked up a ton of debt on your credit card. If that’s ever happened to you, this account can help.

The way it works is this: you open this account and can make as many deposits into it as you want. For best results, you can set up automatic monthly deposits. That way, you’re guaranteed to keep growing your account.

You can withdraw the money in the account twice a year for free, typically timed with your vacation. If you make more than two withdrawals per year, each additional withdrawal will cost you $10.

This idea is that the money stays in separate accounts, earning a higher interest rate than Apple Federal Credit Union’s Regular Savings account, until you’re ready to use it. The fees are to discourage you from using that money for other purposes. Finally, this account does not come with an ATM card.

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Holiday Club

This account will help you save up for the holidays.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

If you find yourself in debt frequently after going on shopping sprees for year-end holiday gifts, consider opening this account. Just like the Vacation Club account helps you save for vacations, this account will help you save up for the holidays.

You can make deposits into this account as often as you’d like, but again, to take full advantage of this account, you should set up monthly automatic transfers. This account also pays a higher interest rate than Apple Federal Credit Union’s Regular Savings account.

Each year on Nov. 1, the full balance of this account will be deposited into your checking or savings account — just in time for holiday shopping. If you need to make a withdrawal before then, Apple Federal Credit Union will charge you a $10 fee. One heads-up: If you want to withdraw any money, you’ll need to do it in person at a branch or online, since this account doesn’t come with an ATM card. The account will also renew each year unless you close it.

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Summer Pay

This account helps teachers and other school system employees ration out their pay to last over the summer.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

Apple Federal Credit Union was first started to help educators, and so it only makes sense that it would also have an account designed to help them last through the no-pay summer months. This account is open to any teachers or other school employees within Apple Federal Credit Union’s membership ranks who have at least $1,000 per month of pay deposited into an Apple Federal Credit Union checking account.

The way the account works is this that you first calculate on the credit union’s website how much money you’ll need over the summer months. This calculator will tell you how much you need to set aside per month so that you’ll have enough to last through the summer. Then, you set up regular automatic transfers at the end of each month for at least this amount. You can deposit up to $1,000 each month into your Summer Pay savings account.

Between June 30 through Aug. 30, you can choose from one of three options to have your money paid out:

  • One lump sum at a date of your choice
  • Biweekly
  • Monthly

You can change your contribution amount at any time. You can also make one free early withdrawal per year, but each early withdrawal after that will come with a $10 penalty. If you do need to make an early withdrawal, you’ll either need to do it in person at a branch or online, because this account doesn’t come with an ATM card.

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How Apple Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

There’s a lot to like about Apple Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts … and, there’s also much not to like.

First off, we really like the range of savings accounts that Apple Federal Credit Union offers. Having separate savings accounts — with rules that discourage you from tapping into them early — for things like summer pay (for educators), vacations and holidays, is quite beneficial.

However, most of these accounts offer very low interest rates (with the exception of the eXtras Student Savings, Education SuperSaver and Summer Pay accounts). If you’re looking to earn the highest interest rates possible on your savings account, we instead recommend checking out these top online savings accounts.

Apple Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

Share Certificates

Apple Federal Credit Union offers some very long terms.
TermAPY
6 months0.35%
12 months0.60%
15 months0.60%
24 months0.65%
36 months0.70%
48 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
84 months0.95%
120 months1.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty:Early withdrawal penalty: Certificates from less than 6 months: 90 days’ dividends; 6 months to 60 months: 180 days’ dividends; 60 months: 1,095 days’ dividends.

Apple Federal Credit Union offers higher rates on its certificate accounts, which is good news, since its savings accounts don’t really offer that much. You also get to choose from a wide range of term lengths, including some that are very long. Most banks and credit unions don’t offer CDs and certificates past 60 months, however Apple Federal Credit Union’s certificates go out to 120 months — a whopping 10 years.

When you open the CD, you’ll have to specify what you want done with the dividends you earn. You can opt to have them paid out to another account at Apple Federal Credit Union (such as your checking account), paid to you via check or have them continue to accrue inside of the CD. You also won’t be able to make any withdrawals from the CD without paying an early withdrawal penalty, even if you just withdraw dividends — all withdrawals come with a penalty.

Apple Federal Credit Union assumes that you’ll leave the dividends in the account to accrue for the life of the certificate, so if you opt to have the interest paid out, you might not earn the stated APY.

Once your certificate matures, it’ll automatically renew for another term. Apple Federal Credit Union will give you a 10-day grace period to make any withdrawals or changes to the account.

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Step-Up Certificate

If interest rates rise after you open this certificate, Apple Federal Credit Union will let you bump up your interest rate once per term.
TermAPY
36 monthsContact the credit union for the current rate.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 180 days’ worth of dividends.

It’s no secret that interest rates are rising these days. This means that you might be trapped in a lower-earning certificate if interest rates rise after you open your account. This Step-Up Certificate gets around that inconvenient likelihood by allowing you to increase your interest rate when Apple Federal Credit Union hikes the rate on similar certificates. Choose wisely; you can only do this once per term.

You can also choose to withdraw your dividends automatically via check or bank account transfer. Any withdrawals that you initiate after opening the CD — whether of dividends and/or principal — will cost you an early withdrawal penalty fee.

When this certificate matures, it’ll automatically renew for another 36 month Step-Up Certificate. If you’d rather do something else with the money, you have a 10-day grace period after the certificate matures to withdraw the money or make any other changes penalty-free.

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Jumbo Certificates

If you’ve got a lot of spare cash laying around, you can earn slightly higher rates with one of these Jumbo Certificates.
TermAPY
12 months0.65%
36 months0.75%
60 months0.95%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $50,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 180 days’ worth of dividends

Apple Federal Credit Union already offers its highest interest rates on its Share Certificates. But if you’ve got at least $50,000 to put away, you can earn even higher rates still with one of these Jumbo Certificates.

As with the rest of the credit union’s certificates, you can opt to have dividends paid out to you via check or bank account transfer instead of rolling back into the account. If you do have dividends paid out, however, you won’t earn the full APY stated above. You also aren’t allowed to make any withdrawals at all (aside from the automatic dividend payments, if you choose them) without paying an early withdrawal penalty. This includes dividends too — you cannot withdraw these at any time without paying an early withdrawal penalty.

When it comes time for your certificate to mature, it’ll automatically renew. It comes with a 10-day grace period, however, in case you still want to withdraw the money or change the certificate’s terms.

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How Apple Federal Credit Union’s CDs compare

Admittedly, Apple Federal Credit Union doesn’t offer the best rates on CDs. They’re certainly not the worst — don’t get us wrong — there are many, many banks offering rates that are just a fraction of those from Apple Federal Credit Union.

However, the credit union does allow you to keep your certificate open for as long as 10 years, if you choose. That’s a long time to keep your money on deposit, especially when you can earn higher interest rates for a much shorter period with one of these top CDs.

Apple Federal Credit Union’s money market account options

Money Market

This account pays a higher interest rate than the regular savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
Up to $2,499
0.20%
$2,500-$19,999
0.25%
$20,000-$49,999
0.35%
Over $50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

You can still earn slightly higher rates on your money if you can bring at least $2,500 to the table with this account. Once open, you can drop the balance on your account as low as you want and still earn interest (just not as much).

Since this account is also governed by Federal Reserve Regulation D, you are allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals from the account each month. Still, if you do need to withdraw money, you’ll either need to do it in person, online or by mail since this account doesn’t come with an ATM card.

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Super Money Market

You can earn an even higher rate still if you make a very large deposit into this account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
Up to $99,999
0.45%
Over $100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

To be sure, $100,000 cash is a lot of money to pony up at one time, but if you can manage it and want to keep your money relatively accessible at any time, this account might be your best option at this credit union. You’ll earn a premium rate on balances above this level, but you can still drop the balance on this account as low as you want and still earn a higher interest rate than the regular savings account.

As with all money market and savings accounts under Federal Reserve Regulation D, you are allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals per month from this account. This account also doesn’t come with an ATM card.

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How Apple Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

Apple Federal Credit Union’s money market account rates are laughably low compared with its top money market competitors. To earn anything even remotely worthy of your time, you’d need to deposit a huge sum of money. Even then, there are accounts offering higher interest rates at other banks, and with no minimum opening deposit stipulations to boot. We recommend looking elsewhere if earning top-dollar rates on your money is what’s most important to you.

Apple Federal Credit Union’s IRA options

IRA CD rates

If you really like Apple Federal Credit Union’s Share Certificates, you can also open them up within an IRA.
TermAPY
6 months0.35%
12 months0.60%
15 months0.60%
24 months0.65%
36 months0.70%
48 months0.80%
60 months0.90%
84 months0.95%
120 months1.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Certificates from less than 6 months: 90 days’ dividends; 6 months to 60 months: 180 days’ dividends; 60 months: 1,095 days’ dividends.

Apple Federal Credit Union’s IRA certificates are basically the same as its regular Share Certificates. There are only two real differences:

  • You can open these IRA certificates within a traditional IRA, Roth IRA or SEP IRA. Any IRS-specific rules for IRA accounts will apply to these IRA certificates as well.
  • Apple Federal Credit Union won’t charge you any early withdrawal penalties on money it distributes early if you’ve reached retirement age.

When your account matures, it’ll automatically renew into another IRA certificate of the same type, but with the new interest rate of the day. You will have a 10-day grace period to withdraw the money after it renews, or make any other changes to the account penalty-free.

How to get Apple Federal Credit Union’s IRA certificates

Members can apply for an IRA certificate online or by mail through Apple Federal Credit Union’s IRA Service Center, which will guide you through the correct information you’ll need to open your account.

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How Apple Federal Credit Union’s IRA certificates compare

Apple Federal Credit Union again misses the mark when it comes to offering excellent IRA CD rates. It’s important to earn the highest interest rates possible when opening an IRA CD because long-term investments are at risk of having their value chipped away by the cost of inflation over time. Sadly, these CDs just don’t compare to the best IRA CDs out there.

IRA Share

You can open this IRA savings account as either a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%
Up to $19,999
0.25%
$20,000-$49,999
0.35%
$50,000-$99,999
0.55%
Over $100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

Thankfully, Apple Federal Credit Union offers a higher interest rate for its IRA savings accounts than for its regular savings account. Still, to earn the highest rates possible, you’ll need to deposit quite a lot of cash into this account; the highest-level interest rate tier starts at $100,000. You can open this account as either a traditional IRA or as a Roth IRA.

You’re allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals out of this account per month, since this account is still governed by Federal Reserve Regulation D. Any withdrawals will need to be made through the credit union, since this is not an ATM-linked account.

How to get Apple Federal Credit Union’s IRA Share account

If you’re interested in opening an IRA Share account, you’ll need to head online. You can apply directly through Apple Federal Credit Union’s IRA Service Center. If that won’t work for you, you can also request an IRA Kit that will allow you to open up this account by mail.

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Overall review of Apple Federal Credit Union’s banking products

We like Apple Federal Credit Union for several of its savings accounts. This credit union  — like many many of its peers — claims to be focused on bettering its members’ financial well-being, and the types of savings accounts it offers certainly seems to reflect this. Whether you need a special account to plan ahead for educational, holiday, summer pay or vacation purchases, Apple Federal Credit Union has you covered.

However, Apple Federal Credit Union leaves members out in the cold in terms of interest rates that it offers on the majority of its accounts. While the credit union doesn’t offer particularly bad rates on its accounts, they’re certainly far from the highest out there.

That’s why we generally recommend skipping Apple Federal Credit Union in favor of some other bank or credit union, unless one of the special savings accounts appeals to you. Even then, we recommend shopping around a bit, because you may be able to find much better interest rates on these same types of accounts elsewhere.