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

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Updated on Thursday, October 1, 2020

Chartway Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

LifePlus Checking

These low rates won’t help overcome high minimum balance requirements and fees.
APY Minimum Balance to Earn APY
0.02%$1,500
0.05%$10,000
0.05%$50,000
0.05%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $15
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6, though this fee can be waived with regular direct deposits, 10 monthly debit card purchases or $500 average monthly balance.
  • ATM fee: $1 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Available upon written request.
  • Overdraft fee: $6 if you sign up for overdraft protection; $30 if you do not.

LifePlus Checking comes with low dividend rates on large minimum balances for a checking account. If you’re going to stash away tens of thousands of dollars, a checking account may not be the best place to put it to begin with, especially when APY offerings are so low. Instead, you may want to turn to a savings or money market account — and you might even want to look at a certificate, depending on when you need to access the money.

This account does come with a $6 monthly maintenance fee, though this fee can be waived in one of three ways. The first option is to set up regular direct deposit with at least one deposit per month. An alternative is maintaining an average daily balance of $500, and your final option is to make at least 10 purchases with your debit card each month.

You will automatically be granted overdraft privilege, which will charge you $30 for each overdraft; if your account is only overdrawn by $10 or less, there will be no fee. You can also choose to request overdraft protection. Under this program, Chartway Federal Credit Union will transfer money from another one of your accounts or a line of credit in order to cover the difference between your withdrawal and your actual balance. There is a $6 fee every time the financial institution makes a transfer like this for you, though.

How to get Chartway Federal Credit Union’s LifePlus Checking

You can open this account online or at your local branch. You will need to provide your name, date of birth, current address (and previous address, if you have moved in the past two years), government-issued I.D. number, Social Security number and work address in order to apply.

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on Chartway Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Chartway Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

If you want your checking account to earn you a decent amount of interest, LifePlus Checking isn’t a good option. The accounts on our list of the best checking accounts include ones with higher APY offerings than LifePlus Checking’s highest rate tier, at a lower balance and without all the fees. The combination of fees and lack of perks makes this checking account rank fairly low when held up to the competition.

Chartway Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Prime Share Savings

This account is mandatory, but the dividends are low.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05% $100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6, though this fee can be waived with regular direct deposits, 10 monthly debit card purchases, $200 average monthly balance or possessing a qualifying Chartway Federal Credit Union account or product.
  • ATM fee: $1 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Available upon written request.
  • Overdraft fee: $6 if you sign up for overdraft protection; $30 if you do not.

This account is required to establish your credit union membership and represents your ownership share. While the dividend offering is low and the minimum balance requirement a bit high, you don’t really have a choice. If you want to open any other account with Chartway Federal Credit Union, you’re going to have to open this one first (a standard practice at credit unions).

The good news is that the minimum opening balance requirement is incredibly reasonable. Even if you choose to keep the bulk of your savings with another financial institution where it could earn a higher yield, you don’t need that much to keep this mandatory account open.

In fact, if you’re going to have this account open, it’s wise to pair it with another. That’s because the monthly maintenance fee can be waived if you have both a Prime Share Savings account and another deposit or loan product with the credit union. This fee can also be waived if you maintain an average daily balance of $200 or more or if you set up direct deposit.

Prime Share Savings, along with all savings accounts at all American financial institutions, is governed by federal Regulation D. This rule says that you can only make six withdrawals from your savings account in any given month without penalty imposed by the credit union. If you exceed this limit, you may be charged an excessive withdrawal fee, have your account converted into a checking account or even have the account shut down altogether.

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on Chartway Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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CustomShare Savings

Set up separate savings accounts for separate savings goals, but don’t expect a high yield.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Available upon written request.
  • Overdraft fee: $6 if you sign up for overdraft protection; $30 if you do not.

Custom Share Savings is available to people who want to open an additional savings account. The APY on this account is even lower than Prime Share Savings, so dividends would not be a great reason to open it up. However, if you want to have several savings accounts in order to keep track of several independent savings goals, opening this account can be a good way to go about it if you don’t care about your returns.

How to get Chartway Federal Credit Union’s Savings Accounts

You can open these accounts online or in person. For Prime Share Savings, even if you apply online, you’ll be prompted to open this account before all others as it is required for membership. Before you apply, prepare personal identifying information such as your name, current address, any past addresses over the past two years, Social Security number, date of birth, government-issued I.D. number and work address.

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How Chartway Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Chartway Federal Credit Union’s dividend offerings on savings accounts are extremely low. While you are required to open a Prime Share Savings account in order to gain membership into the credit union, it would be wise to keep your savings somewhere else if you’d like to see it grow through a higher APY. You can find accounts that help you do just that by checking out our list of the top savings accounts on the market.

Chartway Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

Share Certificate

This CD offers average rates, but its low opening deposit requirements and penalty-free withdrawals are nice.
TermAPY
12 Months0.10%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: None

The current rate offered on this 12-month certificate is just OK. It’s not the highest, but it’s not the lowest, either. The strength of this certificate does not lie in its APY, though. Nor is it the low minimum opening deposit and balance requirements. Rather, the biggest draw of this account is the fact that it’s penalty-free, meaning you can withdraw your money without incurring any restrictive fees.

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on Chartway Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Flex-Term Share Certificate

Competitive rates and flexible term lengths make these certificates attractive.
TermAPY
6-11 Months0.25%
12-17 Months0.40%
18-23 Months0.45%
24-35 Months0.50%
36-47 Months0.55%
48-59 Months0.60%
60-71 Months0.65%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Contact Chartway Federal Credit Union for exact penalties on your specific certificate.

Dividend rates on Chartway Federal Credit Union’s Flex-Term Share Certificates are competitive. You could sleep at night knowing that you got a fair rate if you chose to open one of these accounts.

These certificates also come with a low minimum opening deposit, which may make them more accessible to a larger swath of consumers. The flex-term offerings mean that you don’t have to choose between a 12-month and 18-month term if your savings goal is 15 months away. You can pick the exact term to match your ideal financial circumstances.

How to get Chartway Federal Credit Union’s Share Certificates

You can open share certificates by visiting a branch or applying online. Be sure to have your government-issued I.D.’s number, Social Security number, date of birth, home address, work address and any additional addresses you’ve lived at over the course of the past two years.

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on Chartway Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Chartway Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Certificates are Chartway Federal Credit Union’s most competitive deposit account offering. With small minimum deposit requirements, the barrier to entry is lower than it would be at other financial institutions. On top of that, dividend rates on Flex-Term Certificates are up there with some on our list of the best CD offers on the market, and you get to choose your own term, even if it doesn’t fall on a six-month interval.

Chartway Federal Credit Union’s money market account options

Money Market Account

Low fees don’t compensate for low APY offerings.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$2,500
0.05%$5,000
0.05%$10,000
0.05%$25,000
0.10%$50,000
0.10%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 at out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: Available upon written request.
  • Overdraft fee: $6 if you sign up for overdraft protection; $30 if you do not.

Chartway Federal Credit Union has a minimum balance requirement that’s below many other money market accounts, but unfortunately you won’t be earning competitive dividends when you keep your money in this account. Traditionally, money market accounts have offered higher rates than savings accounts, but in recent years that gap has quickly closed. That means that not only can you find money market accounts with better rates, you also can find savings accounts at other financial institutions that will offer you a higher yield.

Money market accounts fall under Regulation D just like traditional savings accounts — which means you’ll only be able to make six withdrawals per month before potentially incurring negative consequences like excessive withdrawal fees, conversion of your account into a checking account or closure of your account altogether.

How to get Chartway Federal Credit Union’s Money Market Account

You can open this account online or in person with your address, date of birth, government-issued I.D. number, Social Security number, any additional addresses where you’ve lived over the past two years and your work address.

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on Chartway Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Chartway Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

Money market rates at Chartway Federal Credit Union are not competitive. You can find significantly higher APY offerings on our list of the best money market accounts. Really, you could even find far more competitive rates via savings accounts, and these accounts tend to have lower minimum balance requirements than money market accounts.

Chartway Federal Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA Share Certificates

These offer competitive rates, especially on terms of at least five years.
Term  APY
6-11 Months0.25%
12-17 Months0.40%
18-23 Months0.45%
24-35 Months0.50%
36-47 Months0.55%
48-59 Months0.60%
60-71 Months0.65%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Contact Chartway Federal Credit Union for exact penalties on your specific certificate.

Rates on IRA Share Certificates are the same as Flex-Term Certificates, and just as competitive. On 60 month to 71 month certificates, this financial institution actually sits near the top of the charts. There is a bit more competition for other terms, though.

Minimum deposits and balances are reasonable on this account as well. It is important to note that should you make a withdrawal from your IRA Share Certificate, you won’t just face early withdrawal penalties. You’ll also have to pay taxes and penalties to the IRS in most situations if you are under the age of 59 ½.

How to get Chartway Federal Credit Union’s IRA Share Certificates.

You can apply for this account in person or get the process started online. While Chartway Federal Credit Union is likely to request further paper documentation from you, it is unique that you can apply for this account online at all.

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on Chartway Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Chartway Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Chartway Federal Credit Union is competitive in this arena. In fact, on 60- to 71-month IRA Share Certificates, you will find that this financial institution offers one of the highest APYs at the time of this writing. For all other terms, it would be advisable to check out our list of the top IRA CD rates. Chartway Federal Credit Union’s rates certainly aren’t abysmal across these terms, but they’re not the absolute highest either.

IRA savings account

Low rates on an already conservative investment.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25% $100
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

An IRA savings account is an extremely low-risk, and therefore conservative, portfolio holding. Because your returns are going to be low, you want to make sure you don’t further hinder yourself by opening an account with an uncompetitive APY.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what you’d be doing by opening an IRA savings account with Chartway Federal Credit Union. You can find dramatically higher rates with other financial institutions.

How to get Chartway Federal Credit Union’s IRA savings account

Unlike many other financial institutions, you can start the application process for your IRA savings account online. There will likely be more documentation that will be requested in hard copy after you’ve initiated your application, but it is nice to have an option in addition to visiting a physical branch in person.

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on Chartway Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Overall review of Chartway Federal Credit Union’s banking products

The only products worth further examination at Chartway Federal Credit Union are its certificates, whether they’re in an IRA or not. These certificates are the only deposit account products from the credit union to offer competitive rates, and they do so while keeping minimum balance requirements low and terms flexible.

Otherwise, you’re going to want to shop elsewhere for your banking needs. There’s just too big of a gap between what Chartway Federal Credit Union offers in ways of dividends and the best APY offers by other financial institutions.

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