Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

Smart Rewards Checking

This non-interest-bearing account has a monthly service fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6
  • ATM fee: Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are always free. The first 3 transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are also free. After 3 monthly transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs, balance inquiries are $0.50 each and withdrawals are $1.00 each.
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: $28

The Smart Rewards Checking account is Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s basic checking option and comes with a monthly account maintenance fee that can’t be waived, which isn’t ideal. However, it does have a low minimum opening deposit requirement.

There are some benefits that come with this checking account. You’ll get unlimited free ATMs with Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union, as well as 3 free monthly transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs. Access to all of Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s online and mobile banking options comes with this account too, including free online bill pay and free direct deposits; debit cards are also free.

Finally, you’ll get perks like cell phone protection and roadside assistance. Both of Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s Smart Rewards checking accounts come with BaZing benefits, a mobile app that brings users coupons and discounts for retailers and restaurants in their area.

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Smart Rewards Premium Checking

The monthly fee on this checking account can be waived by maintaining a minimum balance. It doesn’t earn interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6 (can be waived by meeting certain requirements, specified below)
  • ATM fee: Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are always free. The first 3 transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are also free. After 3 monthly transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs, balance inquiries are $0.50 each and withdrawals are $1.00 each.
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: $28

While this checking account also comes with a monthly service fee, it can be waived if you maintain a balance of at least $1,500 in your checking account or keep an average balance of $10,000 across all of your accounts with Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union. This might be easy for some members to achieve, but accounts with no monthly service fees are preferable.

The Smart Rewards Premium checking account comes with all of the benefits of the Smart Rewards checking account, including 3 free monthly transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs, cell phone protection, discounts with local retailers, and roadside assistance. You’ll also get purchase protection and free coin machine usage.

Given that this account has the same minimum opening deposit requirement as the first account but comes with more benefits and the ability to waive the monthly service fee, it might be a better option.

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Members Choice Plus Checking

Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s most popular checking account has no monthly maintenance fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are always free. The first 3 transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are also free. After 3 monthly transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs, balance inquiries are $0.50 each and withdrawals are $1.00 each.
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: $28

The Members Choice Plus Checking is a free checking account and Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s most popular option. There’s a small minimum opening deposit required, but you don’t have to maintain any balance in order to keep the account open.

Members Choice Plus Checking account holders can open a safe deposit box starting at just $20 per year, and you can also order checks. Check printing services vary in price depending on the style and quantity you order, but they aren’t free with this account. This account doesn’t earn interest.

While this account doesn’t come with extra perks like price protection and roadside assistance; these are benefits you might already have on one of your credit cards. In the end, it’s worth sacrificing these perks for a checking account with no monthly service fee.

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Prime Checking

Members age 50 and over can enjoy extra benefits with a Prime Checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3 (waived if you meet certain requirements, outlined below)
  • ATM fee: Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are always free. The first 3 transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are also free. After 3 monthly transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs, balance inquiries are $0.50 each and withdrawals are $1.00 each.
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: $28

While this account comes with a monthly account maintenance fee, it is quite low. It can also be waived if you maintain a balance of more than $10,000, although this is difficult for many.

The Prime Checking account is designed for members age 50 and over and comes with a handful of extra benefits. You’ll get a 5% discount on safe deposit boxes and free use of the bank’s coin machine. This account also includes one free box of standard checks per year, which is helpful if you tend to pay your bills using checks.

As with all Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union checking accounts, you’ll get free unlimited use of Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs as well as 3 free transactions at outside ATMs per month. You won’t get ATM fee refunds if the owner of an outside ATM imposes a charge.

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You Choose Debit Account

This bare bones debit account has no monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are always free. The first 3 transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are also free. After 3 monthly transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs, balance inquiries are $0.50 each and withdrawals are $1.00 each.
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: $28

Designed for people who have never had a bank account, as well as people who have struggled to stay on top of their banking in the past, the You Choose Debit account is basic and fee-free. You won’t have to pay any monthly maintenance fee, and although there’s a small minimum opening deposit required, you don’t have to maintain a balance in your account.

However, you won’t have access to checking account features such as the ability to write checks or pay bills online. This account is solely a debit card that allows you to make purchases and complete ATM transactions. This also means that you can’t overdraw your account, so you don’t have to worry about overdraft fees piling up.

While this account lacks some important features for people who prefer to pay their bills online and write checks, it’s a great, fee-free option for folks who have struggled with keeping their bank accounts in good standing in the past.

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Youth Account

The Youth Account is designed to help teens learn financial responsibility without paying a monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are always free. The first 3 transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are also free. After 3 monthly transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs, balance inquiries are $0.50 each and withdrawals are $1.00 each.
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: $28

Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s Youth Account is open to teens age 13 to 18 and has no monthly maintenance fee. You’ll need to fund it with a small minimum opening deposit, but after that, there is no minimum balance requirement.

In addition to getting access to most of the checking account features offered by other accounts, your teen will also get to use the bank’s coin machine for free. The account also gives you the option to add direct deposit capability when you apply.

In order to get teens learning about financial responsibility early on, this account also offers the option to apply for a MasterCard® credit card. Overall, this is a solid, fee-free checking account for young folks.

How to get Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts

You can apply for all Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts can be applied for and opened online, except for the Youth Account. In addition to opening an account online, you are also able to speak with an Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union representative on the phone or by visiting a branch location.

For the Youth Account, a primary applicant — and a co-applicant, if applicable — can apply jointly online, though it must be opened at a branch or by phone.

In order to apply your membership must be confirmed, and you will also have to provide personal information, including your date of birth, address and Social Security number. You may also need to give information that would be present on a government I.D., such as a driver’s license or passport.

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How Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

We tend to prefer checking accounts with no monthly maintenance fees. There are several checking options at Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union that don’t come with monthly fees. While these accounts are fairly basic, they offer most of what you’d need in a checking account.

The ATM fee and overdraft fee policy at Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union is more generous than what you’d typically find at a larger national bank, especially given that you get three free transactions per month at out-of-network ATMs. However, none of the accounts offer interest or overdraft fee waivers.

When compared to the best online checking accounts, Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union does pretty well but ultimate falls short of the competition. Most of these online checking accounts have no monthly service fee and no minimum balance requirement, but on top of that, they also offer interest. Several even offer free ATMs worldwide, including unlimited ATM fee reimbursements.

Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Savings (Share) Account

A standard savings account that earns interest and charges no monthly fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.35%
$5.00
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5, plus a $1 one-time membership fee
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are always free. The first 3 transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are also free. After 3 monthly transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs, balance inquiries are $0.50 each and withdrawals are $1.00 each.
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: $28

This savings account will earn you interest, but the APY is low enough that you probably won’t notice it accrue. That being said, this savings account isn’t a bad choice if you prefer to bank with Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union. It doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee, and the minimum opening deposit is very low.

You’ll get access to automatic deposits from your paycheck at no charge and payroll deduction with this savings account. Keep in mind that, as per Federal Reserve Regulation D, you’re allowed up to six certain withdrawals or transfers per month from a savings account. After that, Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union reserves the right to prohibit further transactions for the month or charge a fee.

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Christmas Club Account

This add-on savings account offers a higher APY to help you save for the holidays.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.45%
$5.00
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5 in your regular Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union savings account
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are always free. The first 3 transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are also free. After 3 monthly transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs, balance inquiries are $0.50 each and withdrawals are $1.00 each.
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: $28

You must have a regular savings account with Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union in order to open a Christmas Club account. This add-on savings account allows you to deposit money into a separate account with a slightly higher interest rate throughout the year to be spent at the end of the year.

It’s worth noting that the increased APY is still low enough that you’re unlikely to earn much on interest. However, this can be a handy way to separate out your money for the holidays and save more, as you can set up automatic transfers or deposit a percentage of your paycheck into this account.

Your savings are held until late October when they’ll be released into your regular Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union savings account for you spend on holiday shopping. It’s important to note that if you need to withdraw your money from this account before the scheduled release date, you’ll have to pay a $10 fee.

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Kirby Kangaroo Club Account

Open to children 12 and under, the Kirby Kangaroo Club account comes with games and stories that teach kids how to save.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5, plus a $1 one-time membership fee
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are always free. The first 3 transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are also free. After 3 monthly transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs, balance inquiries are $0.50 each and withdrawals are $1.00 each.
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: $28

This basic savings account is open to children 12 years of age and younger. It does earn interest, but you’ll have to call the credit union for the most updated rates. Kids who open a Kirby Kangaroo Club account can join the Kirby Kangaroo website and download the mobile app to access engaging games and stories that teach them about saving money.

They’ll also get to choose a prize from a treasure chest each time they come in and make a deposit, and kids will get an annual birthday card from Kirby Kangaroo himself.

The Kirby Kangaroo Club account has the same low opening deposit requirement as the rest of Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts and does not come with a monthly maintenance fee.

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Youth Savings Account

This interest-bearing savings account is designed for teens ages 13 to 18.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5, plus a $1 one-time membership fee
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are always free. The first 3 transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are also free. After 3 monthly transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs, balance inquiries are $0.50 each and withdrawals are $1.00 each.
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: $28

A great accompaniment to the Youth Checking account, Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s Youth Savings account is for 13- to 18-year-olds who are ready to start learning sound financial habits. Your teen will earn interest on this account, and you can call the credit union for the latest rates. The Youth Savings account comes with no monthly maintenance fee and a very low minimum opening deposit requirement.

This account gives you the option to access online banking, direct deposits and e-statements. And while it may not earn much interest, it’s not a bad option for teenagers looking to start building a savings early on.

How to get Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts

You can apply for all Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts can be applied for and opened online, by phone or by visiting a branch, except for the Kirby Kangaroo Club, which can only be opened by phone or by visiting a branch.

In order to apply your membership must be confirmed, and you will also have to provide personal information, including your date of birth, address and Social Security number. You may also need to give information that would be present on a government I.D., such as a driver’s license or passport.

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How Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Overall, Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union offers decent savings account options for folks who are mainly concerned with avoiding monthly maintenance fees and high minimum balance requirements. You don’t need to have much to open any of this credit union’s savings accounts.

They also offer some variety. Where there’s only one option for adults, the add-on Christmas Club savings account is a unique product that could prove useful to people who need to save a little extra for the holidays. Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s savings products for teens and children are also excellent choices for getting your kids started on the right path financially.

Although Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts are low-maintenance and low-fee, they’re also low interest. This credit union falls really short of the competition when it comes to their APY. It’s worth considering that some of the best online savings accounts offer rates that are 10x higher than what Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union offers.

Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

Share Certificates

Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s Share Certificates range from 3 months to 5 years.
$1,000 to $99,999$100,000 and more
TermAPYTermAPY
3 month0.50%
3 month0.55%
6 months0.60%
6 months0.65%
9 months0.70%
9 months0.75%
12 months0.80%
12 months0.85%
18 months0.90%
18 months0.95%
24 months1.00%
24 months1.06%
36 months1.11%
36 months1.16%
48 months1.16%
48 months1.21%
60 months3.03%
60 months1.26%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 (except the 12 month certificate, which can be purchased for $500)
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000 (except the 12-month certificate, which earns APY starting at $500)
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 91 days of interest (the 9 month certificate allows for a one-time penalty free withdrawal)

Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s Share Certificates come in terms ranging from three months to five years and offer competitive rates, even if you have a relatively low balance. Their minimum opening deposit is one of the lowest, and they also offer the option to purchase a 12 month certificate with an even lower deposit.

There’s also some flexibility when it comes to the penalty. If you think you might need to make a withdrawal, you can purchase their 9 month certificate, which allows you to do a one-time withdrawal without paying a penalty.

They don’t offer a 30 month certificate, but other than that, there’s a lot of flexibility built into this product. It’s also nice to see that although the interest is tiered, the lower tier earns almost the same as folks with large deposits.

How to get Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s Share Certificates

You can get started on opening a share certificate with Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union by giving them a call or visiting a branch.

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How Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union CD rates compare

The share certificates at Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union offer competitive rates and great flexibility. While some of the best CD rates are slightly higher, Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s rates are comparable. In fact, the rates on their 3 month, 6 month, and 9 month certificates beat the competition by a sizeable margin.

In terms of minimum deposit amounts, Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s requirements are lower than or equal to the deposits required by their competition. On top of that, the 12 month certificate has an even lower minimum deposit requirement. If you’re looking for added flexibility, the 9 month certificate offers the unique ability to do a one-time penalty-free withdrawal, a feature we don’t often see.

Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s money market account options

Money Market

This money market account has a minimum balance requirement and no monthly fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.60%
$1,500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are always free. The first 3 transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs are also free. After 3 monthly transactions at non-Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union ATMs, balance inquiries are $0.50 each and withdrawals are $1.00 each.
  • ATM fee refund: No
  • Overdraft fee: $28

The money market accounts at Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union come with no monthly service fee. For a money market account, the minimum opening deposit and minimum balance required to earn interest are low, making this account relatively accessible. These accounts also offer more flexibility than CDs and IRAs, allowing you to withdraw and transfer money electronically up to 6 times per month.

However, the rates offered by this account are only slightly higher than those offered by their regular savings account. These are still not high enough to make a noticeable difference when it comes to your savings.

How to get Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s Money Market account

You can apply for a money market online. The online application requires you to include a form of identification, your social security number, and address, so have those ready.

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How Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

It’s important to find a money market account with no monthly fees, and Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts are free. They also have lower minimum balance requirements than many other money market accounts out there, although it’s not too difficult to find others with similar or lower minimum balance amounts.

However, the most important feature of a money market account is its rates; unfortunately, when compared to the best money market rates, Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s money market rates are quite low. You can find other fee-free money market accounts with rates five or six times higher than these rates, although they tend to have significantly higher opening deposit amounts. However, a few of these high interest money market accounts have low or no minimum balance requirements and don’t charge monthly maintenance fees.

Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA Term Certificate

Earn interest on Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s IRA Certificates, which come in term lengths ranging from 12 months to 5 years.
$1,000 to $99,999$100,000 or more
TermAPYTermAPY
12 months0.80%
12 months0.85%
18 months0.90%
18 months0.95%
24 months1.00%
24 months1.06%
36 months1.11%
36 months1.16%
48 months1.16%
48 months1.21%
60 months3.03%
60 months1.26%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 91 days of interest

The IRA term certificates available at Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union come with the same highly competitive rates you’ll get on their share certificates. While the minimum opening deposit might be difficult to achieve for some, it’s lower than what many banks require. On the flip side, if you have a large sum of money to deposit, you’ll get a slightly higher interest rate — although rates for deposits in the lower tier are almost as good.

The early withdrawal penalty on Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s IRA term certificates is relatively generous, although you shouldn’t open an IRA term certificate unless you plan to keep your money parked for the full term.

How to get Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s IRA Certificates

You can call or visit Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union to open an IRA term certificate.

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How Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

When you look at the best IRA CD rates, Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s IRA term certificates don’t quite make the list — but they come pretty close. All of their IRA term certificates offer rates that are at or near the competition, and with an early withdrawal penalty that’s less harsh than some.

If you’re looking for a short-term IRA term certificate, Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union doesn’t offer anything under 12 months, whereas other institutions offer terms as short as three months. While their minimum opening deposit requirement is fairly low, you can find other institutions with even lower requirements.

Overall review of Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union’s banking products

Credit unions tend to offer members great products with low fees and high returns, and Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union is no different. While their regular savings and money market accounts can’t compete with the best online savings accounts when it comes to interest rates, their CDs are where they really shine.

They also offer a couple different low-fee checking options, including accounts for children and teens. While you can find lower fee checking options online, some folks might be interested in using their checking account to build a relationship with Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union for future lending needs.

If you live near a branch and qualify for membership, Army Aviation Center Federal Credit Union is an excellent banking option, especially if you prefer banks with brick-and-mortar locations. However, don’t forget that taking advantage of online banks can often get you lower fees and some of the highest interest rates out there.

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