Founders Federal Credit Union Reviews: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Founders Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

Checking Account

A basic checking account with no minimum balance requirements.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.00%
None
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Account maintenance fee: $2 per statement, unless you opt for electronic statements
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 if your purchase is between $1.01 and $5; purchases larger than $5 will incur a $32 overdraft fee

Founders Federal Credit Union’s Checking Account is fairly generic. It offers a small APY, which isn’t out of the norm for basic checking accounts in the industry. But it also requires no minimum balance or opening deposit and only charges a small maintenance fee if you want to receive paper statements. It is a basic option, but functional.

If you don’t have your Checking Account linked to a Founders Federal Credit Union Savings Account, home equity line of credit or personal line of credit for overdraft protection, you may be granted Founders Privilege automatically. Checking accounts with Founders Privilege will not have transactions turned down as long as that transaction puts your account at no more than $300 overdrawn. You will still be charged overdraft fees. This protection does not extend to ATM cash withdrawals or cashback transactions. You can opt out by calling 800-845-1614 or talking to someone at your local branch.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Checking Account

You can apply online or in person. Be prepared with your date of birth, Social Security number, address and government-issued ID.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Founders Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Founders Federal Credit Union’s Checking Account isn’t atypical for brick-and-mortar financial institutions. But in the age of internet banking, you can find checking accounts that fall outside the norm in big ways. By shopping for the best checking accounts on the market, you can get rewarded with a notably higher APY.

Founders Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Savings Account

This is the account required to establish your credit union membership. It offers a low APY and no monthly maintenance fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 if your purchase is between $1.01 and $5; purchases larger than $5 will incur a $32 fee

The APY on the Savings Account isn’t high, but that’s not really the reason you open it. You open this account because it is necessary to establish and maintain your membership with the credit union. If your balance falls below $5, your membership will be in jeopardy.

If you want to take money out of your account fee-free, you will need to maintain a balance of $200. While this account has no maintenance fees, you will only be able to make two over-the-counter withdrawals per month if your balance falls below that $200 mark. After that, each withdrawal will cost $1.

Savings accounts at financial institutions are subject to federal rules. One such rule is Regulation D, which states that you can make up to six certain withdrawals from your savings account in any given month. If you don’t adhere to this rule, your account could be shut down or converted to a checking account.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Savings Account

You can apply in person or online with your date of birth, Social Security number, government-issued ID and address.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Christmas Club Account

Save for the holidays with this low APY saving account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
None
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 if your purchase is between $1.01 and $5; purchases larger than $5 will incur a $32 fee

When you stash money in a Christmas Club Account, you’re setting it aside for the holiday season. This account is attractive as it has no minimum opening deposit or balance and no account maintenance fees. As you save throughout the year, your money will add up, and you can retrieve funds from this account throughout the year without penalty.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Christmas Club Account

Apply in person or online with your address, Social Security number, date of birth and government-issued ID.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Founders Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Founders Federal Credit Union’s APY offerings on savings products are not competitive. But you have to keep at least $5 in the Savings Account to maintain membership with the credit union, and your goal with a Christmas Club Account may be self-discipline rather than high dividends.

If a higher APY is what you’re after, shop for the best savings rates on the market. Your savings will earn a noticeable amount more that way.

Founders Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

Share Certificates

The 60-month CD offered by Founders Federal Credit Union has a competitive rate, but its other terms may not be as good.
TermAPY
6 months0.50%
12 months0.75%
24 months0.75%
36 months1.00%
48 months1.00%
60 months1.26%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Six-month certificates have a penalty equal to 90 days’ worth of interest; the penalty on 12-month certificates is 180 days’ worth of interest; and the penalty on certificates with terms of 24 months or more is 360 days’ worth of interest.

The APY on Founders Federal Credit Union’s certificates isn’t horrible, but it’s only competitive with the best offers on the market if the term is 60 months. All other terms offer rates noticeably lower than the competition. If you can put your money on hold for five years, this could be the certificate for you. Otherwise, it may not be worth locking away your money.

Keep in mind that this account requires you to keep $500 in your certificate. If you don’t, it will be shut down.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Share Certificates

You can open your certificate online or in person with your address, date of birth, Social Security number and government-issued ID.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Loyalty Advantage Certificate

This 12-month certificate offers a great rate to savers.
TermAPY
12 Months3.03%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: The penalty on 12-month certificates is 180 days’ worth of interest

The Loyalty Advantage Certificate offers phenomenal rates for a 12-month product. On top of the great APY, you can add money to this certificate at any point until it reaches a balance of $3,000.

There is a catch to this certificate, though. To keep it open, your Checking Account must have a direct deposit of at least $300 established within 90 days of you opening your Loyalty Advantage Certificate. You’re getting the higher rate as a reward for keeping multiple accounts with the credit union.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Loyalty Advantage Certificate

To open this certificate, you will have to have already established membership with the credit union. After you have done so, you can open this certificate in person or via the online member portal.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Youth Certificate

This CD offers one term length and a low APY, but it is a good starter account for children.
TermAPY
12 Months0.75%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: The penalty on 12-month certificates is 180 days’ worth of interest

The Youth Certificate, which is open to children 17 and younger, does not have a high yield. But it can be a good teaching tool, as not every financial institution offers certificates for children. It may be a big ask for them to come up with the minimum opening deposit if they’re younger, but teens could essentially lock away money they’re saving for a car, college or another big goal, protecting their savings from themselves — at least for a year.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Youth Certificate

To set up this account, your child will need to apply for membership to the credit union. Because they are a minor, this is best done in person at your local branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Founders Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Founders Federal Credit Union’s certificates are hit or miss. When they hit, they hit big. The rates on the 60-month Share Certificate and 12-month Loyalty Advantage Certificate are some of the highest on the market.

But the Youth Certificate and Share Certificates with terms less than 60 months don’t really compare. Make sure you shop around to make sure you find the right CD for your savings goals.

Founders Federal Credit Union’s money market account options

Money Market Plus

This account yields low dividends, even on high balances.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$1,000
0.35%
$25,000
0.45%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $5 if your purchase is between $1.01 and $5; purchases larger than $5 will incur a $32 fee

This money market account does not have competitive dividend rates no matter what your balance is. While it is nice that there is no account maintenance fee, your money is not going to grow as quickly as it could with another financial institution.

Money market accounts are technically savings accounts, so they fall under Regulation D. Make sure you don’t make more than six certain withdrawals per month or you could be facing account closure.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s Money Market Plus

You can open this account in person or online. Come prepared with your date of birth, address, Social Security number and government-issued ID.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Founders Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

Founders Federal Credit Union’s Money Market Plus doesn’t compare to the best offers on the market. Even among the lowest rates on our ranking of the best money market accounts, Founders Federal Credit Union’s highest rate is several tenths of a percentage point away, and requires a significantly higher balance. You may want to consider looking elsewhere for your money market needs.

Founders Federal Credit Union’s IRA account options

Fixed Rate IRAs

Competitive rates on IRA certificates, but not competitive enough to be the best on the market.
TermAPY
12 Months0.75%
24 Months0.75%
36 Months1.00%
48 Months1.00%
60 Months1.26%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: The penalty on 12-month certificates is 180 days’ worth of interest; the penalty on certificates with terms of 24 months or more is 360 days’ worth of interest

Founders Federal Credit Union does up the APY on certificates when they are held inside of an IRA, but it doesn’t up them quite enough. While a 60-month Share Certificate outside an IRA offers one of the best rates on the market, the same cannot be said for the 60-month certificate inside the IRA. That’s not to say rates are horrible; they’re competitive. They’re just not the best around.

As you evaluate the early withdrawal penalties on this account, remember that most withdrawals will incur taxes and an IRS penalty on top of what Founders Federal Credit Union charges. There are some exceptions to these added outside costs, most notably when you have reached retirement age.

How to get Founders Federal Credit Union’s IRA CDs

Founders Federal Credit Union’s IRA product must be opened in person. Be sure to bring two forms of ID. One must be a picture ID, but a Social Security card suffices for the second. You will also need to bring a bill with your physical mailing address on it.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Founders Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Founders Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Founders Federal Credit Union’s rates are competitive, but not the best on the market. It’s important to do some heavy comparison shopping with this account. Rates fluctuate for each financial institution, so there is a chance Founders Federal Credit Union will come out on top eventually. But for right now, you can find better IRA CD rates elsewhere.

Overall review of Founders Federal Credit Union’s banking products

The only product that is competitive at Founders Federal Credit Union is its CDs, and even then certain variables affect this fact. The credit union’s checking and savings accounts don’t bear high enough dividends to compete with other financial institutions. This is the same case for its money market account.

But Founders Federal Credit Union’s 60-month Share Certificate and the Loyalty Advantage Certificate offer competitive rates on the market. Lower-term Share Certificates are not competitive, though. While IRA certificates aren’t the most competitive, that may change in the near future, so keep an eye out on those CDs as well.

You will need to evaluate each product carefully and consider whether your financial needs align with what this credit union offers.