Mountain America 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 may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Written By

Updated on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Mountain America Credit Union’s checking account options

MyFree Checking

MyFree Checking is Mountain America Credit Union’s entry in the low-fee, no-frills checking account category.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2.50 for non-MACU/CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: up to $25

Mountain America Credit Union’s MyFree Checking tries to live up to its moniker by offering an account with no monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance requirements or restrictions. The account also carries a number of free benefits, including:

  • Online and mobile banking
  • Unlimited check-writing privileges
  • Bill pay
  • Mountain America Visa® debit cards
  • eStatements
  • Free access to FICO® credit scores

This account does not pay any interest. Customers choosing to receive paper statements will be assessed a $2 monthly fee, and non-MACU ATM withdrawals also trigger a fee.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

MyStyle Checking

MyStyle Checking, Mountain America Credit Union’s rewards checking account, has a small but avoidable fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4; $0 with either $1,000+ in direct deposits each month, 10+ credit and/or debit card transactions each month, or an average daily checking balance of $2,500+ for the month, as well as for members who are less than 25 years old or at least 60 years old
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2.50 for non-MACU/CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: up to $25

Mountain America Credit Union’s MyStyle Checking offers an extensive rewards program with no minimum deposit requirement and a small monthly fee that can be waived in a number of ways. You receive awards points based on various account activities, ranging from using online bill pay or making a mobile deposit, to making a loan payment or using a Visa® Rewards credit card. Points can then be redeemed for hundreds of options, such as gift cards, cash back, travel rewards or event tickets.

The account offers most of the same free benefits as the MyFree Checking account, including online and mobile banking, a Visa® debit card and free access to your FICO® credit scores. An additional benefit not offered with Mountain America Credit Union’s free checking account is a 0.25 percent discount on auto, RV and personal loans. Like MyFree Checking, however, this account does not pay any interest.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

Student Checking

Mountain America Credit Union’s Student Checking account is similar to its MyStyle, but for the under-24 cohort.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4; $0 for students ages 16 to 24
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2.50 for non-MACU/CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: up to $25

Student Checking allows younger savers the ability to enjoy all the benefits of Mountain America Credit Union’s regular checking accounts and even more, as the account comes with a rewards program.

Like the MyStyle rewards checking account, Student Checking has a $4 monthly fee, but it doesn’t require qualifying activity to have that fee waived — simply being a student ages 16 to 24 will do the trick. The account has no required minimum balance, and the rewards program is the same as offered with the MyStyle checking account.

Student Checking also comes with mobile banking features, a Visa® debit card, and a 0.25 percent discount on auto, RV and personal loans.

How to get Mountain America Credit Union’s checking accounts

The MyFree Checking and MyStyle Checking accounts can be opened online, by visiting a Mountain America Credit Union branch or by calling (800) 748-4302. For the Student Checking account, applicants must join the credit union at a branch.

The online application requires the opening of a membership savings account first. To get started, you’ll need a Social Security number, driver’s license and personal contact information.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

magnifying glass

How Mountain America Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Mountain America Credit Union offers just three checking accounts, but they have a good range of services. With a free checking account, a rewards checking account and a student checking account, Mountain America Credit Union’s product line is likely to appeal to a wide range of customers.

The major drawback of all of these accounts is that none of them pay any interest. Thus, no comparison can be made between the rates on Mountain America Credit Union’s checking accounts and the national average rate, let alone some of the interest offered in our list of the best checking accounts available. All of the accounts also charge fees for usage of non-MACU ATMs.

Mountain America Credit Union’s savings account options

Traditional Savings

Mountain America Credit Union’s basic savings account, which customers must open to join the credit union.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2.50 for non-MACU/CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: up to $25

Mountain America Credit Union’s Traditional Savings account acts both as a membership account and as the credit union’s sole straight savings account. Minimum opening requirements are low, and there are no monthly fees. At least $5 must be kept in the account at all times to maintain membership in the credit union.

Interest is earned on balances of $100 or more, with the same rate paid on all qualifying balances. Money can be transferred to other accounts, which can be done either in person at a branch or using the credit union’s mobile app.

Secondary savings accounts, with the same account features and benefits, can be opened for specific goals, such as vacations or gifts. Secondary accounts earn interest starting from the first dollar.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

Teen Savings

This account is essentially the Traditional Savings, but for those 13 to 17 years old.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$25
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2.50 for non-MACU/CO-OP network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: up to $25

The Teen Savings account is designed to help older kids become familiar with money-management skills. With a parent or guardian cosigner, this account grants access to a debit card, so teenagers can learn how to handle their money responsibly. The account also features free online and mobile features likely to appeal to younger customers.

Teen Savings has essentially the same financial parameters as the credit union’s Traditional Savings account, with a low minimum to open and no monthly fees.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

Youth Savings

This account is targeted at the very youngest segment of Mountain America Credit Union’s customer base.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$25
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

The Youth Savings account pays dividends and aims to help kids 12 and younger understand how money and savings work. However, there is no ATM access on this account.

The account requires an adult 18 or older to cosign, and it automatically converts to a Traditional Savings account when the child turns 18. As an added benefit, Mountain America Credit Union provides a free piggy bank with each new Youth Savings account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

Christmas Club Savings

APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.55%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

The Mountain America Credit Union Christmas Club account requires a $5 opening deposit, has no monthly fees and pays an astoundingly high APY. Funds mature every Nov. 1, at which point the account automatically converts to a secondary savings account. Withdrawals cannot be made before the maturity date.

How to get Mountain America Credit Union’s savings accounts

Customers can open Mountain America Credit Union savings accounts either online, in-branch or by calling (800) 748-4302, with the exception of the Christmas Club account, which cannot be opened online. The online account-opening process is the same one for all new MACU accounts, requiring a Social Security number, driver’s license and personal contact information.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

magnifying glass

How Mountain America Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Mountain America Credit Union’s Traditional Savings account is just what the name suggests, a basic savings account that pays interest and has no monthly fees. It’s also the membership account for the credit union.

The other savings accounts at Mountain America Credit Union are all specialty accounts, focusing on teen, youth or holiday savers. The Traditional and Teen accounts pay rates below the national average, and far below the APY available on the nation’s best savings accounts.

Mountain America Credit Union’s CD account options

Term Deposit

Mountain America Credit Union’s traditional CD account, with maturities ranging from six months to five years.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
6 Month0.30%
$500
12 Month0.40%
$500
18 Month0.45%
$500
24 Month0.65%
$500
30 Month0.70%
$500
3 Year2.90%
$500
4 Year3.00%
$500
5 Year3.10%
$500
  • Minimum balance to open account: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest on terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest on terms of 12 to 48 months; 365 days’ interest on terms greater than 48 months

Mountain America Credit Union’s standard CD accounts, dubbed Term Deposits, come in a wide range of maturities and pay relatively high rates. A $500 minimum is enough to earn the stated APY, which is fixed for the life of the term deposit, so long as there are no early withdrawals.

As is standard with credit unions, deposits are insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration, or NCUA. Term deposits at Mountain America Credit Union automatically renew upon maturity at the then-current rate offered by the credit union.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Term Deposit Plus

Term Deposit Plus has low minimums to open and allows customers to add funds at will.
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
6 Month1.50%
$5
12 Month2.60%
$5
18 Month2.65%
$5
24 Month2.75%
$5
30 Month2.80%
$5
3 Year2.90%
$5
4 Year3.00%
$5
5 Year3.10%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $5
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest on terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest on terms of 12 to 48 months; 365 days’ interest on terms greater than 48 months

Term Deposit Plus accounts offer the same rates and maturities as Mountain America Credit Union’s standard Term Deposit accounts. However, the Term Deposit Plus account does require monthly automated deposits of at least $10 to open, though the minimum on the account is just $5.

Funds can be added at any time, which is unusual for a CD account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Term Deposit (Youth)

Like a Term Deposit Plus for those under 28, but with some different rates
TermAPYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
12 Month0.50%
$5
24 Month0.75%
$5
36 Month0.90%
$5
48 Month0.95%
$5
60 Month1.00%
$5
  • Minimum balance to open account: $5
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $5
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ interest on terms of 12 months or less; 180 days’ interest on terms of 12 to 48 months; 365 days’ interest on terms greater than 48 months

The Youth Term Deposit account only requires a small minimum to open. Additional deposits of up to $10,000 per year are accepted. There are no monthly fees with this account, and it pays the highest APY of any CD on offer at Mountain America Credit Union.

This CD automatically renews upon maturity, although there is a 10-day grace period after maturity to close the account without triggering early withdrawal penalties. When an account holder turns 28, the account automatically converts to a normal term deposit.

How to get Mountain America Credit Union’s CD accounts

Current members of Mountain America Credit Union can open a Term Deposit account online using their existing account information. New members must visit a branch to open a CD account. Term Deposit Plus and Youth Term Deposit accounts must be opened either in person or by calling (800) 748-4302.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

magnifying glass

How Mountain America Credit Union’s CD accounts compare

Rates for Mountain America Credit Union CD accounts are high across the board. The Youth Term Deposit account is particularly attractive, paying the highest CD APY at Mountain America Credit Union and only requiring a $5 minimum deposit. However, even Mountain America Credit Union’s regular CD line offers yields that are competitive with the highest available CD rates and are far above the national average

Mountain America Credit Union’s money market account option

Money Market

Mountain America Credit Union’s Money Market account is its lone offering in this category.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0
0.10%
$2,500
0.10%
$10,000
0.10%
$25,000
0.15%
$50,000
0.15%
$100,000
0.15%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0; up to $2.50 for non-MACU/ CO-OP ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: none
  • Overdraft fee: up to $25

The Mountain America Credit Union Money Market account has a $2,500 minimum, but if your balance drops below this amount, you still earn interest on the account. The rate drops to 1% below the current savings account rate, but it will never be lower than 0.10%.

This account pays higher interest than a savings account but allows greater access than with a CD. Dividends are paid monthly, and funds can be withdrawn at any time, up to the federally mandated limit of six per month. Additional withdrawal requests may be denied by the credit union.

How to get Mountain America Credit Union’s money market accounts

Mountain America Credit Union’s Money Market accounts can be opened online, in a branch or by calling (800) 748-4302. The online application is the standard one for new MACU accounts, requiring the opening of a membership savings account in addition to any other desired accounts. The credit union requires a Social Security number, driver’s license and personal contact information to get started.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

magnifying glass

How Mountain America Credit Union’s money market account compares

Interest rates start low with the Mountain America Credit Union Money Market account, but they climb above the national average once deposits of at least $10,000 are made. You can still probably get higher rates with the best available money market accounts, but rates at the highest Mountain America Credit Union tier are at least respectable. The money market product line at Mountain America Credit Union is not very diverse, however, as just the single account is available.

Mountain America Credit Union’s IRA account options

Money Market IRA

Mountain America Credit Union’s Money Market IRA operates like a traditional money market fund, except fund access is much more limited.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0
0.10%
$2,500
0.10%
$10,000
0.10%
$25,000
0.15%
$50,000
0.15%
$100,000
0.15%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0
  • ATM fee: n/a
  • ATM fee refund: n/a
  • Overdraft fee: n/a

Mountain America Credit Union’s IRA Money Market account is a clone of its non-IRA Money Market account. Both share the same tiered interest-rate structure, with the same rates paid at the various breakpoint levels. The minimum opening deposit remains at $2,500, although balances as low as $0.01 still earn interest.

The one distinction, of course, is that this is a tax-advantaged retirement account, and any money withdrawn from an IRA ahead of retirement may face IRS taxes and penalties.

How to get Mountain America Credit Union’s IRA accounts

IRA accounts at Mountain America Credit Union are contracted with LPL Financial. To open an IRA, customers must schedule a consultation with an LPL Financial adviser.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Mountain America Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

magnifying glass

How Mountain America Credit Union’s IRA account compares

Mountain America Credit Union’s IRA Money Market features the same rates as its non-IRA product, meaning they start low and rapidly climb to respectable levels. Top rates remain firmly above the national average. However, Mountain America Credit Union doesn’t offer its own IRA CDs, so no comparison can be made with the best IRA CD rates available nationwide. Also, as mentioned, investment products are handled through LPL Financial rather than directly by the credit union.

Overall review of Mountain America Credit Union’s products

Mountain America Credit Union offers some solid account options, though in some areas it comes up short.

The credit union offers three checking accounts that are reasonable in terms of what they provide, but don’t pay any interest, making them more suitable for existing Mountain America Credit Union customers looking for convenience. In the savings account department, Mountain America Credit Union offers specialty accounts for teens and youths, in addition to a membership savings account, but rates are below-average across the board.

On the other hand, the credit union’s Christmas Club savings account pays an extraordinary rate. The money market rates are generally above-average, but the star accounts at Mountain America Credit Union are its Term Deposit, or CD accounts, which pay rates that compete with the best in the nation.

Overall, Mountain America Credit Union has a solidly diverse lineup of accounts that can cover the basic banking needs of most customers. Those seeking high yields will likely be drawn to the credit union’s CD products.

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.

Do you have a question?