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

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s checking account options

Free Checking

A free checking account that isn’t so free, after all.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 (can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Free Checking from MIDFLORIDA Credit Union bears no interest. While the account is advertised as not having a minimum balance requirement, you will be charged a $5 monthly maintenance fee if you don’t have a linked savings account with a balance of at least $100–an amount double that of Free Checking’s minimum opening deposit requirement. You will also be charged a $2 fee if you choose to receive paper statements rather than electronic.

All said and done, this account has quite a few fees for a free account, and it doesn’t offer any dividends to compensate.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Free Checking Account

The best way to open this account is online, but you can also do so in person at your local branch. Be sure to come prepared with your social security number, government-issued ID and information about the account you’ll be drawing from to make your opening deposit. If your current address does not match the address on your ID, you will also need to bring a piece of mail or other proof of your current residence.

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Relationship Checking

Free checks, free cashier’s checks and a safe deposit account discount are more attractive incentives than this account’s APY.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1,500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12, though this fee can be waived
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

If you have a little more money you’d like to keep in checking, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Relationship Checking does offer dividends, though they are extremely low. Other perks of this account include free checks, free cashier’s checks and a 25% discount on any safe deposit box rentals.

This account does come with a $12 maintenance fee. The fee can be waived if you maintain a minimum balance of $1,500 in Relationship Checking or if you have at least $10,000 worth of combined business with MIDFLORIDA Credit Union across all of your deposit and loan accounts. You will also be hit with the $2 paper statement fee if you don’t opt into electronic statements, though this fee will be waived if you are age 65 and over.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Relationship Checking Account

You can open this account in person or online. You will need:

  • Your social security number.
  • Your government-issued ID.
  • Proof of address such as a bill if your current address does not match the one on your ID
  • Account information for the account you’d like to use to initially fund Relationship Checking.

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Investor Checking

Competitive rates with a couple of fees to watch out for.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%
$0.01
1.00%
$1,000
0.05%
$10,000.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6 if your balance falls below $1,000
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Investor Checking does offer a competitive interest rate, which isn’t very common for checking accounts offered by brick-and-mortar financial institutions. Usually, you find the best rates with online-only banks which don’t have as many overhead costs.

While rates are competitive, there are a few fees you’ll need to watch out for. If your balance falls below $1,000, you’ll have to pay a monthly maintenance fee of $6. On top of that, you’ll be charged an extra $2 per month if you do not enroll in electronic statements.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Investor Checking Account

You can take advantage of MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Investor Checking’s competitive rates by opening an account online or in person. You will need your social security number, government-issued ID and funding account information. If your address does not match the one listed on your ID, you will also need to present a utility bill or some other proof of address.

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Rated T for Teen Checking

Truly fee-free checking for young adults ages 10-18.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Quite a few of MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s accounts are advertised as fee-free, but Rated T for Teen Checking follows through. There is no monthly maintenance fee, and while there is a $2 monthly fee for receiving paper statements, the fee is waived for everyone 18 and under, making it irrelevant.

This account does not earn any interest, but is truly a fee-free product for teens to get hands-on experience managing their own checking account.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Rated T for Teen Checking Account

Those ages 10 through 15 will have to open this account in person at their local branch. They will need to go in with their parents, who must have a Florida driver’s license or ID. The minor must have a Florida ID, military ID or passport. They can also present a school ID, but they will not be able to get a debit card with this form of identification.

Those ages 16 to 18 will be able to open their account online or in person. They do not need a parent to open the account, but they will have to present a Florida driver’s license or another form of ID.

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Freedom Banking

An opportunity to for people with poor banking histories to re-enter the banking system.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4, though this fee can be waived
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

If you have a less-than-perfect banking history, you may have found yourself in CHEXSystems. When you’re in CHEXSystems, it can be very difficult to find a financial institution willing to let you open a deposit account at all.

That’s precisely why MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Freedom Checking exists. This account does not bear interest, but it will allow you to re-establish banking history and have a place to cash your checks without the relentless fees that accompany cash checking services. There is a $4 monthly fee, but it can be waived if you make at least 20 debit card transactions throughout the month. There is also an additional $2 monthly fee if you don’t opt into electronic statements.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Freedom Checking Account

You can open this account online or in person by filling out an application and presenting your social security number, government-issued ID, account funding information and proof of address if your current residence differs from that listed on your ID.

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on MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s secure website

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How MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s checking accounts are a mixed bag. On one hand, you have not-so-free Free Checking which bears no dividends and Relationship Checking which bears very small dividends with a litany of contingencies.

On the other hand, you have an extremely competitive checking account in Investor Checking, and truly fee-free checking for teens with Rated T for Teens Checking. The fact that Freedom Checking gives those with a spotted banking history a second chance is also a positive.

In the end, you will just have to take each account into consideration on its own merits, then compare it to options from other financial institutions. You can check out the competition with our list of the best checking accounts.

Before you make your decision, you should know that currently, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union is running a promotion for those who open a Free Checking, Relationship Checking or Investor Checking account are rewarded with a $200 signup bonus. Certain terms and restrictions apply. This makes all three accounts more impressive, but Investor Checking still comes out on top.

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s savings account options

Regular Savings

This no-frills, low-yield account is required to establish a credit union membership.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 if balance falls below $100
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Regular Savings is a mandatory account which you must open before doing any other business with MIDFLORIDA Credit Union. The $5 opening deposit establishes you as a shareholder member of the credit union, and your balance cannot fall below $5 without putting that membership — and all your other accounts — in jeopardy.

While the account is mandatory, it’s not anything to write home about. The dividends offered are extremely low, and it does come with a monthly maintenance fee of $5 if your balance doesn’t meet $100 every month. While you are technically only required to open the account with $5, effectively depositing $100 would be a wiser financial choice so your balance is not eaten away by fees.

All savings accounts fall under federal Regulation D, which limits the amount of withdrawals which can be made in any given month. Specifically, you are allowed up to six certain withdrawals per month before you will be charged a $25 excessive withdrawal fee.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Regular Savings Account

You can open this account in person or online with your government-issued ID, social security number, account funding information and proof of address such as a utility bill if your current address does not match that listed on your ID.

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Holiday Club

Save a little bit every month at a high dividend rate to prepare for holiday shopping.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
2.00%
$0.01
0%
$4,000.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $20
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

The Holiday Club account allows you to save for holiday shopping at an extremely competitive APY, though that APY does drop when your balance hits $4,000.01. MIDFLORIDA Credit Union encourages members to save at least $20 per month in this account, though there are no consequences if you don’t — other than not having as much money saved for the holidays as you could have.

There is a penalty, however, if you make any withdrawals prior to November 1, which is the date your savings will be automatically deposited into your checking account. If you make any withdrawals before this date, you will be subject to a $5 fee for each withdrawal.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Holiday Club Account

Open this account online or in person with your social security number, government-issued ID, account funding information and a utility bill or other proof of address if your current residence does not match that listed on your identification card.

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on MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s secure website

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Relationship Savings

Rock bottom rates do not justify the high minimum balance requirements.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
0.05%
$10,000
0.05%
$100,000.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12 if balance falls below $10,000
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Relationship Savings is not a great savings account. It currently offers an extremely low APY and comes with a monthly maintenance fee if you don’t keep your balance at or above $10,000. You can get the same APY with Regular Savings with a much lower requirement to dodge the monthly maintenance fee: $100.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Relationship Savings

Should you decide to open this account, you’ll be able to do so online or in person with your government-issued ID, proof of address if your current address doesn’t match said ID, social security number and account funding information.

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on MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s secure website

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Extreme Yield

“Extreme” may be a tad strong of a descriptor for the yields on this account, but the APY you can earn isn’t half bad.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.50%
$0.01
1.50%
$10,000
1.50%
$25,000
1.50%
$50,000
1.50%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 if balance falls below $10,000
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

While the APY on this account isn’t half bad, it isn’t quite one of the best offers on the market. You may notice that the rates are not as high as they are on Holiday Club accounts, but with this account you don’t only save for a year. You can also save in excess of $4,000 and still get the same APY without having it lowered — unlike the Holiday Club account.

Do be mindful of the monthly maintenance fee you will incur, though, should your balance fall under $10,000.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Extreme Yield Savings Account

You can open this account in person or online with your government-issued ID, proof of address if your current address doesn’t match what’s listed on your ID, account funding information and social security number.

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Youth Savings

A solid APY offering for children up to 18 years old.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%
$0.01
0.05%
$5,000.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Children under age 18 can open a Youth Savings account which rewards them with a decent APY. There’s more in the way of rewards, too: If your child is 9 years old or younger, they will receive a prize every time they make a deposit of $20 or more. With no fees and a competitive APY for a youth account, this is a good place for your child to stash their money and learn about savings at a young age.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Youth Savings Account

You and your child can open this account online or in person. Be sure to have your identifying information prepared before you apply.

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on MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s secure website

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How MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Once again, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union has both accounts that are incredibly desirable and accounts that can be looked over. In the first category is the Holiday Club account, which has the highest APY on a club account that the writer of this piece has ever seen. The Youth Savings account also offers a good APY and additional incentives to get children to build a savings habit, and aside from the high balance requirement to avoid the monthly fee, Extreme Yield Savings is an overall solid account, too.

However, when you start looking at Regular and Relationship Savings, the dividend rates plummet to an unacceptable level. Nothing can be done about this for Regular Savings as it is a required account, but Relationship Savings should be taken off the table with current rates. You may want to check our list of more competitive savings accounts.

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s CD rates

Flex Certificates

Very low certificate rates mean you should get your CD elsewhere.
TermAPY
3 Months0.50%
6 Months0.75%
12 Months1.00%
13-18 Months1.00%
19-24 Months1.25%
25-36 Months1.50%
37-48 Months1.40%
49-60 Months1.60%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: MIDFLORIDA Credit Union uses a complex formula to calculate early withdrawal penalties including factors such as your term and the amount you would like to withdraw.

Disappointingly, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Flex Certificate rates aren’t remotely competitive. You can find much better rates not only at online-only financial institutions, but also at other brick-and-mortar credit unions. These CDs also cannot be funded online if you are bringing in money from an outside financial institution. If you open one online, you’ll have to provide the funding through a MIDFLORIDA Credit Union account or visit your local branch within one business day of filing your application.

Rates for certificates vary by region. For this article’s purposes, we used the zip code where MIDFLORIDA Credit Union is based to determine current rates: 33802. Your rates may vary depending on where you live. Check your regional rates here.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Flex Certificates

You can apply for these certificates online, though because of funding requirements, it may be simpler to apply in person if you are using money held outside of the credit union to fund your Flex Certificate. Either way, you will need your government-issued ID, proof of address if your current address differs from the one listed on your identification, social security number and account funding information.

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College Savings Certificates

Rate bump for youth with a MIDFLORIDA checking account.
TermAPY
12-60 Months Call MidFlorida Credit Union for current rates.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: A customer service representative told MagnifyMoney that MIDFLORIDA Credit Union uses a complex formula to calculate early withdrawal penalties including factors such as your term and the amount you would like to withdraw.

While MIDFLORIDA Credit Union does not advertise College Savings Certificate rates online, it does note that these CDs are only available to those with a Youth Checking account. It also notes that members who qualify to open a College Savings Certificate will be rewarded with higher rates than those traditionally offered on its certificate products. On top of these benefits, you will be able to add money to your certificate at any point in time. This is something you cannot do with Flex Certificates or IRA Certificates issued by MIDFLORIDA Credit Union.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s College Savings Certificate

You cannot open this account online, but you can open it in person at your local branch. You will need to demonstrate your identity and hold a Youth Checking account with MIDFLORIDA Credit Union in order to qualify.

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How MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s CD rates compare

With the information available to us, we know that Flex Certificates at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union are lackluster. If you want to open a basic CD, shop for better CD rates somewhere else. If the College Savings Certificates offer a rate that is roughly two basis points above that of Flex Certificates, these CDs may be more on par with the competition. However, with the limited information available to us it is impossible to make that assertion with any certainty. Call your local branch to learn current rates on this CD for youth.

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s money market account options

Money Market Account

Extremely low rates make this account a no-go.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
0.05%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired APY
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

The APY offered on MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Money Market Account is entirely too low. Not only does it not offer the higher rates which are the classic hallmark of money market accounts, but in some cases, the rates are lower than those the credit union offers on savings accounts.

If you decide to open this account despite the extremely low dividends, it is important to note that money market accounts also fall under Regulation D. That means that should you make more than certain six withdrawals per month, you will be subject to the $25 excessive withdrawal penalty from the credit union.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s Money Market Account

You will have to open this account in person. Bring your photo ID, proof of address if your current address does not match the one listed on your ID, account funding information and your social security number.

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How MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s money market accounts don’t hold a candle to the competition. The rates are simply far too low. If you are interested in earning more money on your savings — especially if you have a higher balance — be sure to check out current best money market offers on the market. You’ll find that you can get a lot more bang for your buck elsewhere.

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

IRA Certificates

Dismally low rates will have you wanting to look elsewhere for your IRA CD needs.
TermAPY
3 Months0.50%
6 Months0.75%
12 Months1.00%
13-18 Months1.00%
19-24 Months1.25%
25-36 Months1.50%
37-48 Months1.40%
49-60 Months1.60%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: A customer service representative told MagnifyMoney MIDFLORIDA Credit Union uses a complex formula to calculate early withdrawal penalties including factors such as your term and the amount you would like to withdraw.

The best rates on IRA CDs tend to be a bit higher than those found outside of an IRA. However, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union carries over its Flex Certificate rates into its IRA without an APY bump. These rates are low outside of an IRA; within the IRA they’re too low to consider seriously.

These rates — like the Flex Certificates — are also regional. Be sure to check rates for your zip code before making any final decisions.

How to get MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s IRA Certificates

This account can only be opened in person. Should you decide to move forward, make sure to schedule an appointment before your visit.

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How MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s IRA certificate rates are simply too low to be taken under serious consideration. That being said, you should check rates in your zip code to see if there are better offers in your area.

If there are not, know that you do have other options out there. A CD is already a conservative investment in your portfolio; don’t stunt growth more by taking lower rates than you have to. Instead, shop the best IRA CD offers on the market.

Overall review of MIDFLORIDA Credit Union’s banking products

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union is in many ways a credit union worth banking with. In particular, its Investor Checking, Rated T for Teen Checking, Freedom Checking, Holiday Club, Youth Savings and in some instances Extreme Yield Savings accounts are worth a second look. Competitive offers on checking and savings accounts aren’t necessarily the forte of brick-and-mortar financial institutions, which makes this credit union noteworthy.

However, not all checking and savings options are created equal. On top of that fact, certificate and money market rates offered at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union are low. Before banking with this credit union, you really will have to take each individual account under consideration. Some offers are not worth passing up, while others offer rates that make the corresponding deposit accounts irrelevant.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

Brynne Conroy is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brynne here

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Credit Cards, Reviews

American Express Gold Card: Good Travel Rewards for a Fee

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

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The American Express® Gold Card is an upgraded American Express charge card without a pre-set spending limit. It’s also a card that rewards cardholders with American Express Membership Rewards® Points for airfare, dining, gas, and grocery spending.

A charge card is one that you need to pay off completely each billing cycle, so there’s no interest. However, since there’s no pre-set spending limit either, you need to keep an eagle eye on spending activity to make sure you can pay off the statement in full at month’s end. Making a late payment can cause you to forfeit Membership Reward points earned during that billing cycle.

In this post, we’ll discuss the American Express® Gold Card terms and how to redeem points. Keep reading for an overview on:

  • American Express® Gold Card basics
  • How to redeem Membership Rewards points earned
  • The fine print details
  • The benefits and protections
  • The pros and cons

The basics of the American Express® Gold Card

3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).

$100 airline fee credit.

You can get up to $100 airline fee credit on your statement each calendar year to cover incidentals charged by an airline of your choosing. Qualifying incidentals are charges separate from your airline ticket like baggage fees and not ticket upgrades.

American Express® Gold Card

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Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

American Express® Gold Card

Annual fee
$250
Rewards Rate
3X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com and 4X points at restaurants worldwide and U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

How to redeem Membership Rewards® Points earned

Through Membership Rewards®, cardholders can transfer points to participating travel and lodging loyalty programs or redeem points for travel bookings, gift cards, statement credits, and other rewards. The value of your points varies depending on how you choose to use them.

Flights, hotels, and vacations

You can pay with points for flights, hotels, and vacations on the American Express Travel site. Using points for flights offers excellent value.

Here’s the point value breakdown on travel and accommodations:

  • Flights: $10 per 1,000 points
  • Hotels, cruises, and vacation packages: $7 per 1,000 points

Transferring your Membership Rewards® Points

If you choose to transfer your points to another program, generally, 1,000 Membership Rewards® Points will transfer as 1,000 miles, points, or credits.

However, transfers that have a different value include (as of the publication date of this article):

  • British Airways and Iberia: 250 Membership Rewards points = 200 Avios
  • El AL Israel Airlines: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 20 Matmid points
  • Hilton: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 1,500 HHonors points
  • JetBlue Airways: 250 Membership Rewards points = 200 JetBlue TrueBlue points
  • Starwood Preferred Guest: 1,000 Membership Rewards points = 333 Starpoints
  • Virgin America: 200 Membership Rewards points = 100 Elevate points

Occasionally, there are transfer specials for participating loyalty programs.

Statement credit and gift cards

Using points to put a dent in your credit card bill won’t be the best use of your points. 1,000 points equals just $6 in a statement credit.

Several of the gift cards through Membership Rewards® will give you more in cash value. For example, 1,000 points can get you a $10 gift card at restaurants, retail stores, and hotels including:

  • Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
  • Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
  • Maggiano’s Little Italy
  • Seasons 52
  • Banana Republic
  • Crate and Barrel

There’s an entire list of the redemption values for gift cards on the Membership Rewards® site.

Other rewards

Using points for shopping, charitable donations, and entertainment are other redemption options. But, again, these options won’t give you as much value for your points as redeeming for flights and gift cards.

The value of 1,000 points ranges from $5 to $7 when shopping at retailers through Membership Rewards® or at Ticketmaster, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, or Newegg.com.

The fine print

The American Express® Gold Card has an annual fee of $250. If you spend a lot of money on the card, the fee can be worthwhile. However, if you don’t spend a lot, you might want to consider a no fee option.

In addition – when you transfer points to a U.S. frequent flyer program, there’s a $0.0006 fee charged per point to compensate for the federal excise tax. Although this fee has a lot of zeros in it, the cost may still be impactful if you’re transferring a lot of points. For instance, 100,000 points transferred will cost you $60.

On the plus side, this card has no foreign transaction fee.

Benefits and protections

Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance

If you pay for a qualifying car rental with your American Express® Gold Card, the rental car is covered against damage and theft after declining the collision damage waiver. Rentals that won’t qualify for coverage are trucks, off-road vehicles, full-size sport vehicles, and exotic cars.

Purchase Protection

If an item you purchase is lost, stolen, or damaged within 90 days of purchase, you may be reimbursed for it.

Pros and cons

Pro: 3X points on travel. If you fly often for work or play, this card rewards you well each time you use it.

Con: The fee. The biggest con here is the annual fee. But, since there are several ways you can earn points in the 3X and 2X categories, you may be able to easily cover this fee throughout the year.

Pro: Membership Rewards. This card is enrolled in the Membership Rewards® Points program and gives you many options for point redemption. The Membership Rewards® site is also incredibly easy to navigate, and there’s no ambiguity in point value. The rewards portal shows examples of exactly what your points are worth for each redemption option.

Con: The fee to transfer points. The ability to transfer points to another program is a pro, but being charged for U.S. frequent flyer program transfers is a tiny gotcha in the fine print.

Pro: No foreign transaction fees. One area in the fees where you do catch a break is with foreign transaction fees. This aspect of the card is fitting since it’s one that rewards you for planning travel.

Who will benefit most from the American Express® Gold Card?

Your ability to earn enough points to surpass the fee will determine whether this is a good card for you.

And if you’re shopping around for a rewards program that will give you the most value for travel, Chase Ultimate Rewards® is an option you should compare to American Express Membership Rewards®.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card*, in particular, is part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards® program and allows you to transfer points to other travel partners as well. Plus, it has an offer that gives 1.25 cents per point for travel. This is slightly more value than what you get for flights with American Express Membership Rewards® since 1,000 points per $10 works out to 1 cent per point.

Before signing up for any rewards card, you should do this type of comparison shopping to figure out which offer will give you the most value for your spending habits.

*The information related to Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here

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Earning Interest, Reviews

Discover Bank CD Rates Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Discover Bank
Most people know Discover as a credit card company, but it also operates an online bank and offers some of the best rates and terms on checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs).

Savings account bonus offer: Earn up to $200 on your first Discover savings account

As a bank, Discover offers some of the best products on the market. Currently, they’re offering a major deal on their online savings account, which currently earns 1.80% APY. If you apply for their savings account for the very first time by 12/02/19 and deposit a balance of at least $15,000 by 12/16/19, you can earn a $150 bonus. If you deposit a balance of at least $25,000 by the same date, you can earn a $200 bonus. Applying for the account is easy as you don’t need to go to a branch. Bonuses will be credited to your account by 12/30/19. You can apply online or over the phone. Just be sure to enter or mention the promo code MM1119 when you apply.

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If you’re looking for CDs in particular, Discover is currently considered to have some of the best CDs due to their customer service and digital tools.

Discover Bank CD rates

CD term

Annual Percentage Yield (APY)

3 months

0.35%

6 months

0.65%

9 months

0.70%

12 months

2.10%

18 months

2.10%

24 months

2.15%

30 months

2.15%

3 years

2.15%

4 years

2.15%

5 years

2.20%

7 years

2.25%

10 years

2.30%

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How do Discover Bank CD rates compare?

While Discover Bank CD rates aren’t always the highest available, they are consistently among the top offers across all terms. However, you may be able to find a similar or even better rate with a CD that has a lower minimum deposit than Discover’s $2,500 requirement. Currently, several nationwide banks offered a 12-month CD at a rate higher than Discover’s 12-month CD APY, while requiring a lower minimum deposit. For example, at the same time the above rates were available at Discover, there were 12-month CDs with rates as high as 2.10% APY with a lower minimum balance amount to earn the APY.

It’s always great to go for the highest interest rates possible, but keep your CD investing strategy in mind. If you’re investing in CDs using the ladder strategy, it might be easier to keep everything in one bank since you’ll be switching in and out of CDs frequently.

Discover also stands out from its competition in the CD space with its mobile app and 24/7 U.S.-based customer service. If you value such features, keep those particulars in mind when weighing Discover CD rates against others’.

What you need to know about Discover Bank’s CDs

Discover Bank is very transparent in terms of fine print. It’s not difficult to understand what’ll happen with your money after you invest it. We’ll cover the basics here about what you need to know to invest in Discover Bank’s CDs.

How to open a CD

It’s very simple to open up a CD with Discover Bank. Go to their CD webpage and click on the orange “Open an Account” button near the top right of the page. You can then choose which accounts you’d like to open. Select “CD,” choose a CD term and enter how much you’d like to deposit.

You’ll then need to complete the application by providing your name, address, date of birth, phone number, Social Security number, employment status and possibly even your driver’s license. Once your application is complete and accepted, you’ll need to fund the account.

How to fund the CD

You’ll need to fund it within 45 days of submitting your application, which you can do in one of three ways:

  • Transfer funds from another bank account over the phone. (You can only do this when you first fund your account.)
  • Transfer funds from another bank via online transfer.
  • Write a check to yourself and send it to the following address:Discover Bank
    P.O. Box 30417
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

The minimum deposit amount for each of Discover Bank’s CDs is $2,500. Once you open a CD, you can’t deposit more money later, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have all the cash you want to invest before you open the account.

Withdrawing funds from the CD

When you want to withdraw money from your CD, the biggest thing to consider is whether that CD has matured yet, or finished its term.

If your CD has not matured, you’ve got options: You can take the interest out penalty-free at any time, or you can withdraw the principal (or the money you deposited) at any time as long as you pay an early-withdrawal penalty. This penalty varies depending on the original term of your CD:

  • less than one year: three months’ worth of simple interest
  • one year to less than four years: six months’ worth of simple interest
  • four years: nine months’ worth of simple interest
  • five years to less than seven years: 18 months’ worth of simple interest
  • seven years or longer: 24 months’ worth of simple interest

If your CD has finished its term, you can withdraw your money penalty-free, allow the CD to renew or roll it into a CD of a different term length. (More on that in a bit).

Earning interest on a Discover CD

Your CD will start earning interest on the same business day that you fund the account. The interest will be added to your account once each month, however.

When it comes to what to do with your interest, you have two options: The default option is to allow it to compound within the CD (meaning you’ll earn interest on that interest), or you can have it automatically deposited each month into another Discover bank account.

What happens once the CD matures?

You’ll get a heads-up notice about a month before your CD matures so you can decide what to do with the money. You have two main options: Either reinvest it into another CD (of the same term length or a different term length), or withdraw the money from the CD and put it into another account (such as a checking or savings account, or perhaps a CD at a different institution).

If you don’t let Discover know what you want to do with the maturing CD, the CD will automatically renew into another one of the same term length. You have a nine-day grace period after your CD automatically rolls over to make any changes or withdrawals penalty-free.

The bottom line

As far as big-name banks go, Discover offers great CD products. Wells Fargo, for example, only offers interest rates as high as 1.55% APY on a $5,000 deposit for a 58-month CD. Chase Bank offers even lower maximum rates — an abysmal 1.05% APY, and only if you can commit a minimum of $100,000 for 10 years.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to keep your finances in one place, Discover also has great credit cards, as well as competitive online savings and checking accounts. No matter how long you’re considering putting money in a CD, Discover is worth a look. Even if it doesn’t have the best available rate, it’s usually within several basis points of the top offerings and well above the average APY.

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

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Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Lindsay VanSomeren
Lindsay VanSomeren |

Lindsay VanSomeren is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Lindsay here