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

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INOVA Federal Credit Union checking account options

Shield Checking

An account that goes the extra mile on personal security and allows you to earn high dividends to boot.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
3.00%
$15,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5
  • ATM fee: None from INOVA FCU ATM, Alliance One or CO-OP Network ATM; $2 for using any other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

This account is loaded with perks and is a great option to earn high interest if you’re able to maintain a balance of $15,000. If you’re able to do that with no problem, the $5 monthly maintenance fee is likely negligible.

As an added bonus, this account comes with IDProtect®, an identity theft monitoring service that includes up to $10,000 in identity theft reimbursement coverage in the event that your identity is stolen. There’s also a cell phone protection feature when you pay your monthly bill through this account.

Other perks include unlimited check writing with no fees, a free Visa debit card and online banking services. You’ll also receive a thank-you gift when you open this account. Finally, INOVA Federal Credit Union will buy back your unused checks and debit card from another bank for up to $10.

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Simply Free Checking

A basic, non-interest earning account with minimal requirements.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None from INOVA FCU ATM, Alliance One or CO-OP Network ATM; $2 for using any other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

Although this account doesn’t have the ability to earn interest, it could be a good option for members who want a simple checking account without having to worry about hidden fees or balance requirements. Like the Shield Checking account, this free account also comes with a thank-you gift at opening, the opportunity to sell the credit union your old checks and debit cards for $10, as well as unlimited check writing, online banking services and a free Visa debit card.

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on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Performance Checking

A interest-earning checking account with minimal requirements.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.07%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0.01
  • ATM fee: None from INOVA FCU ATM, Alliance One or CO-OP Network ATM; $2 for using any other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

If you can’t meet the high minimum balance requirement to earn the APY on the Shield Checking account, this checking account is the one to get. It doesn’t have a monthly service charge or a minimum balance requirement to earn interest; all you have to do is make sure you have one direct deposit or make one automatic payment each month.

In addition to online banking services and a free Visa debit card, this account also offers unlimited check writing capabilities with no fees, a free thank-you gift at opening and the option to sell the credit union your old checks and debit cards from your previous bank.

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on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Advantage 50 Checking

A checking account exclusively for credit union members age 50 or older.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.07%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0.01
  • ATM fee: None from INOVA FCU ATM, Alliance One or CO-OP Network ATM; $2 for using any other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

Although this account is available exclusively to credit union members age 50 and over, its offerings, fees and other details are mostly the same as with the Performance Checking account, down to to the APY.

As with the Performance Checking account, you do have to make sure you have one direct deposit or make one automatic payment per month with this account. The only added perk with this account is that you can get 50 free personalized checks at any given time, while the Performance account has a fee for the checks.

This account also doesn’t have a monthly fee or minimum balance requirement. It comes with online banking services, a free Visa debit card, unlimited check writing with no fee, as well as a thank-you gift at opening and the option to sell the credit union your old checks and debit card from your previous bank.

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on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Elite Checking

Tiered dividend levels makes this checking account ideal for those able to maintain higher balances.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.11%
$0.01-$1,999.99
0.25%
$2,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $10
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7.50 (can be waived with a maintained balance of $2,000 or more)
  • ATM fee: None from INOVA FCU ATM, Alliance One or CO-OP Network ATM; $2 for using any other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

Like the Shield Checking account, this account is also more suited for those who can maintain higher account balances. However, its minimum balance requirement to earn a higher APY is much lower than the other account. This account does have a low monthly fee, but you have the ability to waive it if you maintain a balance of at least $2,000, the same balance you need to be able to earn that higher rate. It also comes with online banking capabilities, a free Visa debit card and free personalized checks, along with a thank you gift at its opening and the chance to sell the credit union your old checks and debit card from your previous bank.

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on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How INOVA Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

If you’re able to maintain the minimum balance requirements on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s Shield and Elite checking accounts, you’ll have the opportunity to earn a great APY rate. However, despite the lack of fees and requirements for the credit union’s more basic accounts, when you take a look at the rates, they just don’t compare to some of the best checking account options out there. The bonuses like thank-you gifts and check buyback are a nice touch, but don’t do much in the long term.

INOVA Federal Credit Union savings account options

Membership Savings

Anyone joining the credit union is required to opening this account.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.01%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5, plus a one-time $10 membership fee
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: $29

Opening this savings account is a requirement to join INOVA Federal Credit Union and open any of its other products. That’s not really such a bad thing, though, as it only requires a $5 deposit to open and has no monthly fee. It doesn’t really come with any added perks, though, aside from online banking capabilities. And, like all savings accounts, this account is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals up to six per month.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Special Savings

A simple savings account that allows you to save for a goal with no requirements.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.01%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None from INOVA FCU ATM, Alliance One or CO-OP Network ATM; $2 for using any other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

If you’ve got funds you want to stash aside for, say, a new car or vacation, this account is a great way to do it while earning interest. This account comes with no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements and has online banking capabilities. As with other savings accounts, it’s subject to Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals up to six per month.

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on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Christmas Club

A savings account specifically for holiday-related expenses.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.01%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None from INOVA FCU ATM, Alliance One or CO-OP Network ATM; $2 for using any other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

This account is similar to the Special Savings account; the key difference is that it’s specifically intended for holiday-related expenses. This interest-earning account doesn’t have any monthly fees or minimum balance or deposit requirements. You can make deposits at any time up until Oct. 31 of a given year before funds are transferred to your Member Savings account.

Keep in mind that this account does have an early withdrawal fee of $10 if you dip into it before Nov. 1. And as with other savings accounts, this account is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, limiting certain withdrawals up to six per month.

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How INOVA Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

None of INOVA Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts offer spectacular rates, so we wouldn’t recommend joining the credit union for a savings account alone — though it is a requirement to open any other product. While we like the idea behind the Special Savings and Christmas Club accounts, they offer the same APY as the required Members Savings account, so it seems a little redundant to open both. If you’re simply in search of a savings account with great rates, we suggest looking elsewhere, as there are much better savings account options to be had out there.

INOVA Federal Credit Union certificate rates

Certificates

These offerings give you the opportunity to earn higher rates than with a savings account.
TermAPYMinimum Balance Requirement to Earn APY
30 day0.05%
$200
60 day0.05%
$200
91 day0.15%
$200
5 month2.15%
$200
6 month0.20%
$200
7 month2.10%
$200
14 month 2.25%
$200
14 month 3.00%
($50,000 or more of new money)
18 month0.50%
$200
30 month0.65%
$200
30 month3.25%
($50,000 or more of new money)
1 year0.30%
$200
2 year0.60%
$200
3 year0.70%
$200
4 year0.75%
$200
5 year0.80%
$200
6 year0.85%
$200
  • Minimum opening deposit: $200
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Varies
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Terms of less than 90 days is 30 days’ dividends; terms of 90 days to one year is 90 days’ dividends; terms of longer than 1 year is 180 days’ dividends

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Step Up Certificates

These certificates offer you a one-time chance to increase your rate.
TermAPYMinimum Balance Requirement to Earn APY
91 day0.15%
$200
6 month0.50%
$200
14 month2.00%
$200
18 month0.50%
$200
30 month0.65%
$200
1 year0.30%
$200
2 year0.60%
$200
3 year0.70%
$200
4 year0.75%
$200
5 year0.80%
$200
6 year0.85%
$200
  • Minimum opening deposit: $200
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $200
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Early withdrawal penalty: Terms of less than 90 days is 30 days’ dividends; terms of 90 days to one year is 90 days’ dividends; terms of longer than 1 year is 180 days’ dividends

NOVA Federal Credit Union offers share certificates with fixed rates that are higher than its regular savings account products, and those rates get higher the longer the term you select (available terms range from 30 days to 6 years). These certificates require a minimum deposit of $200 to open, lower than many other offerings out there.

The credit union also offers flexible Step Up certificates that allow you to increase your rate once during the term if you see rates go up on its regular products. Lastly, there is a chance to earn a higher rate on the 14-month and 30-month certificates if you deposit at least $50,000 in “new money” that is not currently on deposit in any other INOVA Federal Credit Union accounts.

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How INOVA Federal Credit Union’s certificate rates compare

When you compare INOVA Federal Credit Union’s certificate rates to the best CD rates out there, you’ll see that, for the most part, these rates don’t stack up. Still, if you prefer a much smaller minimum deposit than many other options out there, then these might be a good fit for you.

Generally speaking, though, we would suggest holding out for a better rate when you have more funds to deposit, or simply opening a CD with the same term length and a higher rate from an online-only bank.

INOVA Federal Credit Union’s money market account options

Gold Money Market

An account offering a decent rate and minimal requirements, other than a high minimum deposit.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.25%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None from INOVA FCU ATM, Alliance One or CO-OP Network ATM; $2 for using any other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

This account does offer a competitive rate in exchange for a high minimum deposit requirement of $50,000. On the plus side, it doesn’t come with a monthly service charge and does have online banking capabilities. Since this is a savings account, you are allowed to make up to six certain electronic transactions per month, as per Federal Reserve Regulation D.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Platinum Money Market

The bank’s other money market account option, offering a higher rate and an even higher minimum balance requirement.
APY`Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.35%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None from INOVA FCU ATM, Alliance One or CO-OP Network ATM; $2 for using any other ATMs.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

This is INOVA Federal Credit Union’s other money market account option, which also offers a high APY rate with a high minimum deposit and balance requirement. As with the Gold Money Market account, this account has no monthly fee, comes with online banking services, and limits you up to six certain transactions per month, as per Federal Reserve Regulation D.

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on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How INOVA Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

INOVA Federal Credit Union’s money market account rates are on par with some of the best money market accounts out there. The main difference is that most others don’t require such a high minimum opening deposit and minimum balance requirement, which can be a limiting factor for many people. If you don’t have that much cash saved up to put aside, you can easily find another option from another financial institution with just as good a rate (if not better) and more flexible requirements.

INOVA Federal Credit Union IRA Certificate options

IRA Certificates

These offer the same terms and conditions as the credit union’s regular certificates, it’s just the rates that vary.
TermAPYMinimum Balance Requirement to Earn APY
91 day0.15%
$200
6 month0.20%
$200
7 month2.35%
$200
14 month2.25%
$200
14 month3.25%
$50,000 in new money
18 month0.50%
$200
30 month0.65%
$200
30 month3.50%
$50,000 in new money
1 year0.30%
$200
2 year0.60%
$200
3 year0.70%
$200
4 year0.75%
$200
5 year0.80%
$200
6 year0.85%
$200
  • Minimum opening deposit: $200
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: Varies
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Terms of less than 90 days is 30 days’ dividends; terms of 90 days to year is 90 days’ dividends; terms of longer than 1 year is 180 days’ dividends

SEE DETAILS Secured

on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Step Up IRA CDs

As with the regular Step Up certificates, these allow you to increase your rate once during the term.
TermAPYMinimum Balance Requirement to Earn APY
91 day0.15%
$200
6 month0.75%
$200
18 month0.50%
$200
30 month1.10%
$200
1 year0.30%
$200
2 year0.60%
$200
3 year0.70%
$200
4 year0.75%
$200
5 year0.80%
$200
6 year0.85%
$200
  • Minimum opening deposit: $200
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $200
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Terms of less than 90 days is 30 days’ dividends; terms of 90 days to year is 90 days’ dividends; terms of longer than 1 year is 180 days’ dividends

Aside from the varying rates, INOVA Federal Credit Union’s IRA certificates don’t differ much from its regular certificate products. As with the regular certificates, these offer fixed rates and terms that range from 91 days to six years.

These certificates require a minimum deposit of $200 to open, which is lower than many other offerings out there. There is also the option to open flexible Step Up IRA certificates, which allow you increase your rate one time during the term if you see the rates go up on the regular certificates.

Lastly, you have the opportunity to earn a higher rate on the 14-month and 30-month IRA certificates if you deposit at least $50,000 in “new money,” or funds that are not currently on deposit in any other INOVA Federal Credit Union accounts.

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on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How INOVA Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

There’s no getting around it — compared to the best IRA CD rates out there, INOVA Federal Credit Union’s rates are pretty low. The wide range of term lengths and the minimum required deposit might appeal to some people, but, again, we say hold off until you have a bit more cash to deposit so you can take advantage of being able to earn a much higher rate.

INOVA Federal Credit Union IRA options

IRA Savings

This IRA offers a very low rate compared to the credit union’s other offerings.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.01%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

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on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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IRA Money Market Savings

A slightly better rate than the traditional IRA savings account, but still not the best out there.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

SEE DETAILS Secured

on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

IRA Financial Management Account

This account allows you to earn higher dividends with higher balances.
APYMinimum Balance Amount
0.01%
$0.00 (up to $10,000)
0.10%
$10,000.01 to $25,000
0.20%
$25,000.01 to $50,000
0.25%
$50,000 to $100,000
0.25%
$100,000.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.00
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

INOVA Federal Credit Union’s regular IRA savings accounts currently offer the same rates as its regular savings account, with no opening, monthly or yearly fees to boot. Its IRA Money Market Savings and IRA Financial Management Accounts, meanwhile, offer higher rates, especially if you make a larger deposit into the latter account.

While there is no minimum deposit or balance requirement on any of these accounts, you can only contribute up to $5,500 per year, with an additional $1,000 “catch up” deposit allowed for account holders ages 50 and over. Some differences between the traditional and Roth IRAs are:
The traditional has no income limits to open, while the Roth does; and, the earnings on the Roth IRA are 100% tax-free at withdrawal, while the traditional account’s earnings are not. Both accounts allow withdrawals to begin at age 59½, although the traditional IRA requires you to begin making withdrawals by age 70½, while the Roth has no limits on making contributions as long as you’re still earning income.

Early withdrawals on all accounts are subject to a penalty and possible taxes, although certain instances such as healthcare expenses and buying a first home qualify as exceptions. Penalty amounts vary depending on how much you have in the account and how long it’s been open. All accounts are subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transfers and transactions up to six per month.

How to get INOVA Federal Credit Union’s banking products

If you are over 18 years of age and meet one of the eligibility requirements, you can easily apply for membership at INOVA Federal Credit Union and open any of the above mentioned products online, once you agree to also open a Membership Savings account. You’ll need to provide personal information such as your name, address, Social Security number, government-issued ID number (e.g., drivers license or passport), as well as a debit or credit card or check from another financial institution to fund the account. You can also open an account at one of the credit union’s seven branch locations, or by calling 800-826-5465.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on INOVA Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How INOVA Federal Credit Union’s IRA rates compare

Of INOVA’s IRA three account options, it’s the IRA Financial Management Account that shines, even with its higher balance requirements to earn higher dividends. As with the credit union’s IRA CD rates, the wide range of term lengths and the minimum required deposit might appeal to some people.

Overall review of INOVA Federal Credit Union banking products

Most of INOVA Federal Credit Union’s personal banking products offer rates far below similar products at other institutions. The more flexible minimum balance and deposit requirements on the certificates might appeal to some people, but we would still advise you to do your research and hold out for better offerings. Meanwhile, the rates on its money market accounts are definitely competitive, but the high deposit and balance requirements could be a limiting factor to many people.

All in all, we would say take the time to comparison shop to make sure you get the best rate out there while still reaping the benefits of minimal fees and flexible requirements.

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