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

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Updated on Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

Free Checking

You don’t need to pay any monthly maintenance fee, but the low rates aren’t worth it.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1,500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $1 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $27.50

The Free Checking account doesn’t offer much in the way of interest, but you get perks such as no monthly maintenance fees, a Visa debit card, and online and mobile banking. If you’re 60 or older, you may qualify for the Senior Account which has the same features as the Free Checking account, but you also get two boxes of custom checks each year and money orders for free.

You can enroll in overdraft protection by linking your savings and checking accounts together. Austin Telco Federal Credit Union will make transfers in $50 increments and charge you $5 each time for this service. The bill pay feature lets you pay up to 15 bills each month, and then it’ll cost you $0.35 each afterwards.

How to get Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s Free Checking Account

You can apply for a Free Checking account in person or by completing an online application form. First, indicate how you’re eligible to become a member, then fill out personal details such as your name, address and Social Security number. After agreeing to open a Share Savings account to establish membership, you can then fund the account.

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on Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s checking account compares

There’s not much to say except that the rate earned on the Free Checking account is extremely low. You could also be paying a lot in ATM fees if you travel frequently and end up using a lot of out-of-network machines.

There are better alternatives among our list of checking accounts that offer higher rates, free checks and ATM refunds.

Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Regular Savings

All members need to open this account to establish membership.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.20%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Also called a Share Savings account, opening this account is mandatory for all Austin Telco Federal Credit Union members. Your $25 minimum opening deposit needs to remain in the account as long as you’re a member — that represents your ownership share in Austin Telco Federal Credit Union.

There is no ATM access unless you decide to open a Free Checking account, and you can also link these two together for overdraft protection. Don’t forget that Federal Regulation D limits you up to six certain withdrawals a month. If you go over that amount — with the exception of in-person or ATM withdrawals — Austin Telco Federal Credit Union will deny the transaction.

How to get Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s Regular Savings account

To open a Regular Savings account, head to your nearest branch or complete an online application form. After indicating how you qualify for membership, fill in details such as your name, address and Social Security number. Then provide a U.S. checking or savings account or a credit or debit card to fund the account.

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on Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s savings account compares

We like the low minimum opening balance and that there are no monthly maintenance fees, but the APY is a pittance compared to online competitors. That, plus this account requires a higher minimum balance to earn the advertised APY, whereas ones on our list of the best savings accounts don’t.

If you’re after a high-yield savings account, you’re better off looking elsewhere.

Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

Share Certificate

These CDs offer decent rates compared to other competitors
$1,000 minimum deposit
TermAPY
6 months0.40%
12 months0.50%
18 months0.55%
24 months0.65%
36 months0.70%
48 months0.90%
60 months0.95%
$95,000 minimum deposit (Jumbo Certificate)
TermAPY
6 months0.45%
12 months0.55%
18 months0.60%
24 months0.70%
36 months0.80%
48 months0.95%
60 months1.05%
$225,000 minimum deposit (Super Jumbo Certificate)
TermAPY
6 months0.50%
12 months0.60%
18 months0.65%
24 months0.75%
36 months0.85%
48 months1.10%
60 months1.16%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1000, $95,000 or $225,000, depending on the CD you wish to open.
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1000, $95,000 or $225,000 depending on the CD you have.
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term
    • 12 months or less – 90 days interest
    • More than 12 months – 180 days interest

The current APYs on these CDs aren’t half bad — some are on par or just slightly lower than online competitors. Interest is compounded and credited quarterly.

Upon maturity, you’ll receive a 15-day grace period where you can make changes such as making additional deposits, withdrawals or renewing for another term. Otherwise, it’ll automatically be renewed after the grace period. It’s best to double check with Austin Telco Federal Credit Union first, but most of their CDs give you the option to either transfer interest earned into your Regular Savings or Free Checking account, paid via check or kept in the CD.

How to get Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s CDs

Head to the nearest branch to open a CD. If you’re not a member, you’ll need to become one by opening a Regular Savings account with a $25 minimum opening deposit. Don’t forget to bring along important documentation such as your Social Security number, government-issued ID and a check to fund the account.

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on Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Austin Telco Federal Credit Union makes up for their checking and savings accounts by offering decent CD rates. Depending on the term, they’re comparable to competitors, either on par or falling a few basis points lower.

The downside is that there are restrictive membership requirements, so if you don’t want to open a savings account or live near a branch then you have no choice but to pick an alternative like our top CD account picks.

Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s money market account options

Money Market

There is no ATM or check writing capabilities, plus the rate is low.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$2,000
0.25%
$25,000
0.40%
$75,000
0.40%
$125,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Money Market account isn’t meant to be an everyday account considering the only way to access funds is via telephone banking, online transfers or going to a local branch. You can’t link it to a checking account for ATM access, and there is no check writing option. On top of that, these rates are low if you compare them with online competitors.

There are no limits as to how many withdrawals you can make per month in person, but Regulation D limits you up to six certain transfers a month via preauthorized transfers, telephone or online banking. If you attempt to make more using either of those methods, Austin Telco Federal Credit Union will deny your transaction.

How to get Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s Money Market account

You have two choices in opening these accounts: in person or online. If you choose to go the online route, go to their online application page and indicate how you qualify for membership. The rest of the application form will ask you to agree to open a Regular Savings account to establish membership ($25 minimum opening deposit) and for personal details such as your name, address, Social Security number. Once you complete this section, fund your new accounts.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

While it’s nice that you get a higher rate of return compared to the Share Savings or Free Checking account, we’re still not impressed. Other accounts we’ve reviewed offer much higher rates and some with lower minimum balance requirements. Many also offer ATM access and limited check writing capabilities.

Even if you’re using this account to stash away funds for a rainy day — meaning you don’t care about check writing and ATM access — you’re still better off finding another money market accounts, like these ones offering some of the best money market rates.

Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

IRA Share Certificate

The IRA CDs are essentially the same as the normal CDs, except there is no super jumbo option.
$1,000 minimum deposit
TermAPY
6 months0.40%
12 months0.50%
18 months0.55%
24 months0.65%
36 months0.70%
48 months0.90%
60 months0.95%
$95,000 minimum deposit (Jumbo Certificate)
TermAPY
6 months0.45%
12 months0.55%
18 months0.60%
24 months0.70%
36 months0.80%
48 months0.95%
60 months1.05%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 or $95,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000 or $95,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term
    • 12 months or less – 90 days interest
    • More than 12 months – 180 days interest

These retirement accounts are a decent option to consider if you want something that offers a guaranteed rate of return. You can choose from either a Traditional or Roth IRA CD. Like the normal CDs, interest is compounded and credited quarterly.

Once your IRA CD matures, your account will automatically be renewed unless you make changes. There is a 15-day grace period in which to do so, whether it’s making additional deposits, withdrawals or moving your money to a different type of retirement account. There may be restrictions when it comes to how much more you can deposit into an IRA account, so check with the IRS for the latest regulations. You’ll also want to be careful when it comes to withdrawals because you may have to pay a penalty and/or taxes on money you take out before you’re 59 ½ years old.

How to get Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s IRA CDs

You’ll need to open an IRA CD in person. Don’t forget to provide information such as your Social Security number and a method to fund your account. If you’re not an existing member of Austin Telco Federal Credit Union, you’ll need to establish membership by opening a Regular Savings account with a minimum $25 deposit.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

IRA Share Savings

This account offers a low minimum opening deposit and no monthly fees.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.35%
$25
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The IRA savings account can be a great option if you want some flexibility instead of tying up your money in an IRA CD. The low minimum opening amount makes it more accessible compared to the $1,000 minimum required for an IRA CD.

There is no ATM access but it doesn’t really make sense to make frequent withdrawals since this account is meant to help you stash retirement funds anyway. Remember that the IRS regulates how much you can deposit each year plus when you can make withdrawals, so check the current regulations before moving funds.

How to get Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s IRA savings account

To open an IRA savings account, head to the nearest branch. You’ll need to provide details like your Social Security number, government-issued ID and a way to fund the account. If you’re not an existing member, you’ll need to open a Regular Savings account to establish membership.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Unfortunately, these IRA CD rates fall short compared to the best IRA CD rates we’ve seen. As well, the minimum opening deposit is higher than other accounts we’ve reviewed. If you’re already a member of Austin Telco Federal Credit Union and do regular banking with them, it may make sense to open an IRA CD. For the rest, the restrictive membership requirements may not be worth it.

Overall review of Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s banking products

We think Austin Telco Federal Credit Union’s CDs are worth looking into as the rates are comparable to other places. However, the rest of their accounts leave much to be desired.

Sure, there are no monthly maintenance fees with their checking, savings and money market accounts, but the rates are a fraction of what you could be earning elsewhere. You’re also limited to a few hundred surcharge-free ATMs, making it hard to avoid fees if you want to use your debit card while traveling. If you want to open any account, you’re limited to strict membership requirements, including opening a savings account.

Overall, we’d give a pass on these products as there are better options elsewhere.

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