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NEFCU 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.

NEFCU’s checking account option

Go Green Checking account

This account pays a decent bit of interest at three different tiers.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%$0.01 (rate drops to 0.50% on balances above $25,000)
2.00%$0.01 (rate drops to 0.50% on balances above $25,000)
3.00%$0.01 (rate drops to 0.50% on balances above $25,000)
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None at Allpoint ATMs; first eight out-of-network ATM transactions are free, then $1 each
  • ATM fee refund: Up to $15 per month on non-NEFCU ATMs
  • Overdraft fee: $30, unless you have a debit card and the overdraft is pulled from a safety line or savings account, in which case, it’s $3. If you have courtesy pay enabled, the fee is $10.

This account allows you to earn a decent amount of interest at three different tier levels on any amount up to $25,000. The tier level you qualify for depends on your overall relationship with the credit union. You’ll need a deposit and loan balance of more than $25,000 to get the 2% APR, and the loan balance itself needs to be more than $25,000 to get the 3% rate. This free account also comes with online and mobile banking services, Voice Banking with Amazon and Google devices and a Visa debit card. As an added bonus, you can get up to $15 per month in ATM fee refunds.

How to get NEFCU’s checking account

Once you’ve proven how you qualify for membership and applied to open your Share Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5, you can open this checking account online or in person. To do so, you’ll need to have your government-issued ID and Social Security number handy.

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How NEFCU’s checking account compares

If you’ve determined you qualify for the second or third rate tiers on this account, it’s definitely worth your while. Between that and the lack of fees and balance requirements, easy-to-navigate online interface and the ability to get ATM fee refunds, you’ve really got a winner here that easily stacks up against those on our list of the best online checking accounts.

NEFCU’s savings account option

Share Savings account

This account is required to open any of the credit union’s other personal accounts.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30% $20.28
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $20.28
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None on Allpoint ATMs; first eight out-of-network ATM transactions are free, then $1 each thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30, unless you have a debit card and the overdraft is pulled from a safety line or savings account, in which case, it’s $3. If you have courtesy pay enabled, the fee is $10.

This savings account is your gateway to opening any other NEFCU personal accounts, as your deposit of $5 represents your share in the credit union. Other than an OK rate and access to mobile and online banking products, this savings account doesn’t offer much else. As a savings account, it is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transfers and withdrawals to six per month. Transactions beyond that will face a $10 fee.

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Holiday, Camp or Vacation account

This account allows you to save and designate funds for a special occasion.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%$20.28
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $20.28
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This sub-savings account is a great way to sock away funds for a special purchase or occasion, earning interest all the while. The fact that it doesn’t come with ATM access makes it easy to avoid touching this money before you intend to. As a savings account, this is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transfers and withdrawals to six per month. Additional transactions will include a $10 fee.

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on NEFCU’s secure website

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Tuition Builder

This higher-yielding account is designed to put money away for your education.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.19% $100
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This interest-bearing account is meant to serve as a savings fund for expenses such as college tuition and room and board. It comes with a low opening deposit requirement, as well as mobile and online banking capabilities. It can only be accessed from June 1-20 and Dec. 1-30 without otherwise incurring a penalty. As a savings account, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transfers and withdrawals to six per month. More than that, and you’ll pay a $10 fee per transaction.

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Dollar Dog Kids account

This account can be opened for a child at any age up to 10 years old, after which it will convert into an Elements Teen Club account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%$20.28
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $20.28
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This interest-bearing youth account allows young customers easy access to their money at branch locations, as well as through the credit union’s online and mobile banking platforms. It comes with a free membership card, a complimentary gift at opening and with every subsequent deposit and a fun, an age-appropriate quarterly newsletter. As a savings account, this is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transfers and withdrawals to six per month. More than that, and you’ll pay a $10 fee.

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on NEFCU’s secure website

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Elements Teen Club account

This account can be opened for children ages 11 to 17, after which it will turn into a Share Savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00% $20.28
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $20.28
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: If account holder also has a Go Green Checking account with a debit card, no fees on Allpoint ATMs; first eight out-of-network ATM transactions are free, then $1 each thereafter
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30, unless you have a debit card and the overdraft is pulled from a safety line or savings account, in which case, it’s $3. If you have courtesy pay enabled, the fee is $10.

The credit union’s teen account is very similar to the kids’ account as far as its requirements, interest rates and perks are concerned. In addition to the characteristics listed above, the teen account also comes with the ability to open a Go Green Checking account with a debit card. As a savings account, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transfers and withdrawals to six per month. After that, there’s a $10 fee.

How to get NEFCU’s savings accounts

NEFCU’s Share Savings account can be opened online or in person once you’ve established that you qualify for membership; the Holiday, Camp and Vacation accounts can only be opened over the phone or at a branch location. You’ll just need to provide your Social Security number and government-issued ID. The youth accounts and Tuition Builder must be opened in person with those documents from a parent or guardian, who must serve as a joint owner on the Dollar Dog account, or on the Go Green Checking account with debit card for kids under age 17.

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How NEFCU’s savings accounts compare

Rates-wise, none of these accounts really stand up to those on our list of the best online savings accounts. While it wouldn’t hurt you to open any of them if you’ve become a member of the credit union for one of its other products, we wouldn’t seek out NEFCU for any of these products alone. Consider one of the accounts on our list instead to get the most bang for your buck.

NEFCU’s CD rates

Certificates

The credit union’s CDs offer decent rates on its longer term lengths.
TermAPY
3 months0.50%
6 months1.10%
7 months2.00%
1 year2.00%
18 month penalty-free2.45%
2 years2.25%
3 years2.40%
4 years2.50%
5 years2.60%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: On maturities of less than 1 year at account opening or account renewal, it’s 90 days’ worth of dividends on the amount withdrawn; on maturities of one year to less than three years at account opening or account renewal, it’s 180 days’ worth of dividends on the amount withdrawn; on maturities of 3 years or more at account opening or account renewal, it’s 270 days’ worth of dividends on the amount withdrawn.

These CDs are pretty run-of-the-mill as far as their opening deposit requirements and early withdrawal penalties are concerned. They renew automatically once the term is completed, but please note that the 7 month term will renew to only 6 months.

How to get NEFCU’s CDs

Once you’ve determined that you qualify to become a member and have opened a Share Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5, you can open a CD online or in person. You’ll need your Social Security number and valid government-issued ID to do so.

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How NEFCU’s CD rates compare

Compared to the CDs on our list of the best available CD rates, NEFCU’s rates are pretty mediocre. You can easily find CDs with the same requirements and penalties that offer a much more competitive rate. Shop around or consider one on our list instead.

NEFCU’s money market account option

Money Market account

The credit union’s money market account allows account holders to earn interest at five different tier levels.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.40%$2,500
0.45%$25,000
1.65%$50,000
1.85%$100,000
2.00%$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies; see table
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

NEFCU’s money market account allows you to earn a small amount of interest at five different tier levels, while offering the same online and mobile banking capabilities as its other products. As a savings account, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain transfers and withdrawals to six per month. After that, you’ll pay a $10 fee per transaction.

How to get NEFCU’S money market account

As with most of the credit union’s other personal banking products, you can open its money market account online after proving you qualify to become a member and opening its Share Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5. To do so, you’ll need to provide your government-issued ID and Social Security number, as well as other personal details.

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on NEFCU’s secure website

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How NEFCU’s money market account compares

When comparing the rates on this account to those on our list of the best money market account rates, NEFCU’s account doesn’t even come close. NEFCU also requires a sky-high minimum balance requirement to earn the highest rate tier. Some of the accounts on our list offer twice these rates on much lower balance amounts, so we strongly advise considering one of those instead.

NEFCU’s IRA options

IRA CD rates

IRA certificates

The same CDs are available to open within an IRA with a lower opening deposit.
TermAPY
3 months 0.50%
6 months1.10%
7 months2.00%
1 year2.00%
18 month penalty-free2.45%
2 years2.25%
3 years2.40%
4 years2.50%
5 years2.60%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: On maturities of less than 1 year at account opening or account renewal, it’s 90 days’ worth of dividends on the amount withdrawn; on maturities of one year to less than three years at account opening or account renewal, it’s 180 days’ worth of dividends on the amount withdrawn; on maturities of 3 years or more at account opening or account renewal, it’s 270 days’ worth of dividends on the amount withdrawn.

These IRA CDs are virtually the same as the regular CDs, with the exception of the fact they require a lower opening deposit ($500). This, along with the early withdrawal penalty, are pretty standard as far as IRA CDs are concerned. If you open a 1 year certificate, you’ll have the opportunity to bump up the rate if it increases at one point during your term.

How to get NEFCU’s IRA CDs

Once you’ve determined that you qualify to become a credit union member and have opened your Share Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5, you can open an IRA CD online through the IRA Service Center. Just be sure to have your Social Security number and government-issued ID handy to be able to do so.

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How NEFCU’s IRA CD rates compare

The opening deposit requirements and early withdrawal penalties fare pretty similarly in comparison to the accounts on our list of the best IRA CD rates, but that’s where the similarities end — NEFCU’s IRA CD rates don’t even come close. You’ll want to do your due diligence and take your time shopping around when it comes to saving for your retirement, so consider one of the CDs on our list instead.

Liquid Savers IRA

This savings account is available to opened as a traditional or Roth IRA.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.50% $4.09
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $4.09
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This is NEFCU’s IRA savings account, which can be opened as a traditional or Roth IRA. As a savings account, this one is subject to Federal Reserve Regulation D, which limits certain withdrawals and transactions to six per month. After that, there’s a $10 fee.

How to get NEFCU’s IRA savings account

Just like with the IRA CDs, once you’ve determined that you qualify to become an NEFCU member and have opened your Share Savings account with a minimum deposit of $5, you can open an IRA CD online through the IRA Service Center. You’ll need your government-issued ID and Social Security number to do so.

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on NEFCU’s secure website

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Overall review of NEFCU’s banking products

NEFCU’s checking account pays competitive rates, but beyond that, this credit union’s deposit accounts don’t come close to beating out the competition. But even with the checking account, you’ll want to make sure you qualify for those special relationship-based rates after becoming a member. If it turns out that you don’t, it’s safe to say we give all of these accounts a hard pass.

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.

Emilia Benton
Emilia Benton |

Emilia Benton is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Emilia here

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Reviews

Apple Card 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.

The information related to Apple Card and Uber Visa Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Apple aims to redefine credit card usage with the launch of the Apple Card, which debuted in March 2019. In addition to providing a simplified application process and not charging any fees, the Apple Card encourages members to pay less interest and provides special privacy and security features. Customers also receive a percentage of every Apple Card purchase amount in the form of Daily Cash.

Cardholders earn 2% Daily Cash every time they use Apple Card with Apple Pay. 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store and for Apple services, and using Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats and 1% daily cash on store, website or app that doesn't take apple pay.

Daily Cash, which is automatically added to your Apple Cash card in the Wallet app on your iPhone, can be used like cash to make purchases, send money to your bank account, pay down your Apple Card balance and more.

If you have an iPhone 6 or later, you may be eligible for the Apple Card. To apply, simply update your iPhone to iOS 12.4, open the Wallet app and tap the plus (+) sign. Once approved, you can begin using your Apple Card instantly via Apple Pay.

You will also be issued a physical, titanium card to use at locations where Apple Pay is not yet accepted. Purchases made using the titanium Apple Card will earn 1% Daily Cash.

In this review, we’ll break down the pros and cons of the Apple Card as well as show how it compares to the Uber Visa Card.

Where the Apple Card stands out

Rewards rate. The Apple Card offers 2% Daily Cash every time they use Apple Card with Apple Pay. 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store and for Apple services, and using Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats and 1% daily cash on store, website or app that doesn't take apple pay.

No fees. You will not be charged additional fees to use the Apple Card. In addition to a $0 annual fee, the Apple Card comes with a $0 returned payment fee, a $0 late penalty fee (although you will incur interest charges) and no foreign transaction fees.

Smart payment suggestions. To help you make informed decisions when paying your card bill, the Apple Card will estimate the interest charges you will incur (in real time), based on the amount you decide to pay.

Also, the Apple Card offers smart payment suggestions to encourage you to pay down your balance more quickly.

Privacy and security. A unique card number is created on your iPhone for your Apple Card. This means that each purchase made using your iPhone is protected by Face ID or Touch ID authorization, as well as a one-time unique dynamic security code.

Additionally, the issuer of the Apple Card, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, does not share or sell your data to third parties for marketing and advertising purposes.

Additional Apple Card benefits

  • Titanium card for places that don’t accept Apple Pay
  • Ability to contact Apple Card support 24/7 by sending a text from Messages
  • Real-time views of your latest transactions and balance via the Wallet app
  • Weekly and monthly spending summaries

Where the Apple Card falls short

No sign-up bonus. The Apple Card does not come with a sign-up bonus.

Application restrictions. If you’re an Android cellphone user, you’re out of luck. The Apple Card is only available if you have an iPhone 6 or later that runs the latest version of iOS.

How it compares with the Uber Visa Card

If you want to earn bonus cash back in popular spend categories without paying an annual fee, there are other credit cards to consider. The Uber Visa Card, for example, offers 4% back on dining, including UberEats, 3% back on hotel and airfare, 2% back for online purchases, Uber and music streaming services, and 1% on everything else.
Additionally, the card also comes with a $0 annual fee and doesn’t require an iPhone to apply.

See how the Uber Visa Card compares to the Apple Card in the table below.

 Apple CardUber Visa Card
Annual fee$0$0
Sign-up bonusN/AEarn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days.
Rewards
  • 2% Daily Cash every time they use Apple Card with Apple Pay. 3% Daily Cash on all purchases made directly with Apple, including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store and for Apple services, and using Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats and 1% daily cash on store, website or app that doesn't take apple pay.

  • 4% back on dining, including UberEats, 3% back on hotel and airfare, 2% back for online purchases, Uber and music streaming services, and 1% on everything else.

Intro APR on purchasesN/AN/A
Regular purchase APR12.99%-23.99% Variable17.74% - 28.49% Variable
Foreign transaction feesNone0% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

Unlike the Apple Card, the Uber Visa Card allows you to earn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days. Additionally, the Uber Visa Card offers a higher cashback rate on dining, hotels and airfare.

That said, the Uber Visa Card offers a slightly lower cashback rate on Uber purchases than the Apple Card: The Uber Visa Card offers 2% back on Uber purchases, compared with 3% with the Apple Card. The caveat is you must pay for your Uber purchases via Apple Pay to earn the 3% rate with the Apple Card.

The bottom line

If you’re an iPhone user who wants to earn cash back on every purchase and take advantage of tools that encourage responsible card usage, the Apple Card is a solid option. However, if prefer a card that comes with a sign-up bonus and a higher rewards rate on dining and travel purchases, the Uber Visa Card is the better choice.

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.

Tracy Brackman
Tracy Brackman |

Tracy Brackman is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Tracy here

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Best of, Reviews

The Top 7 Second Chance Bank 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.

Some banks don’t like giving second chances to customers who have less-than-stellar financial histories, especially since it could expose them to expensive risks. A record of bounced checks or debit card overdrafts could easily lock you out of the conveniences of modern banking.

Fortunately, banks also like making money, and some offer special “second chance” accounts that minimize their risk while allowing consumers to stay in the banking system. A second chance bank account gives customers with troubled records a fresh opportunity to demonstrate they can bank responsibly.

When it comes to a second chance account, fees are an unfortunate reality. But some accounts offer customers a better deal than others, and we’ve researched our database to find the second chance accounts with the most reasonable fee structures, while also factoring in whether they provide online and mobile banking, and how accessible accounts are throughout the country.

Account Name

Monthly Fee

Minimum to open

Availability

Chime$0$0Nationwide
Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking$4.95 $30Nationwide
Radius Essential Checking$0$10Nationwide
Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts$10, can be waived if you meet requirements$25All 39 states (plus Washington D.C.) that has a Wells Fargo location.
BBVA Easy Checking$13.95$25Nationwide, with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii
Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking$9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit; $11.95 without a direct deposit$25Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia
First National Bank and Trust Company Renew Checking $9.95; $7.95 with direct deposit$25Select areas of Wisconsin and Illinois

Second chance account basics

With a second chance bank account, customers shut out of traditional bank accounts get the opportunity to win their way back into a bank’s good graces. Similar to credit bureaus, financial services company ChexSystems maintains records of consumers’ banking histories. Bounced checks, overdrawn accounts or instances of fraud can all end up on your ChexSystems record; if you accumulate enough black marks on ChexSystems, banks could deny your application to open a new account.

Because second chance accounts are meant for customers who have demonstrated bad banking behavior, some lack features of traditional accounts, such as overdraft protection. In the eyes of the bank, you represent too much of a risk for them to extend you such courtesies.

Nobody likes paying fees, and we generally advise consumers to avoid needless banking fees due to the many fee-free banking options available. But fees are the price you pay for access to banking when you have a poor record. Plus, the second chance accounts listed below give you access to online and mobile banking, which is always a plus.

The 7 best second chance bank accounts

1. Chime

Chime

Fintech app developer Chime is not a bank, however their online checking account product is open to everybody no matter how bad your record is with ChexSystems. Chime does not check on applicants with ChexSystems, plus they offer lots of non-traditional features to help you get your financial life back on track. Best of all is the fact that they charge no fees at all, and require neither a minimum opening deposit or a minimum balance.

Chime account features:

  • No opening balance or minimum balance requirements.
  • Set up direct deposit for your paycheck, and the funds from each pay period will be deposited as soon as the transaction is initiated, giving you access to your pay up to two days earlier than conventional checking accounts.
  • Automatic savings features to help you save in your connected Chime Savings account.
  • The app sends you daily bank account balance notifications, and sends transaction alerts every time you use your debit card.
  • You can disable the debit card from the app.
  • Send 15 fee-free “friend transfers” P2P payments each month.
  • Nominal 0.01% APY on all deposits.

Fees to watch out for:

  • Chime’s service is almost entirely fee-free: No monthly charges, no ACH transfer fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no ATM fees if you withdraw funds from MoneyPass or Visa Plus Alliance network ATMs.
  • If you make an ATM withdrawal outside of these networks, there is a $2.50 fee.
  • Overdrafts are not permitted, so there is never an overdraft fee.

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on Chime’s secure website

Member FDIC

2. Peoples Bank Cash Solutions Second Chance Checking

Peoples Bank Cash Solutions

This Texas-based bank offers a second chance bank account that is available nationwide, and so long as you don’t have a record of bank or checking fraud on your record, you should be approved for this account. You’ll need to deposit at least $30 before the bank activates your account and provides you with checks and a debit card.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $4.95 monthly maintenance fee
  • $27.50 overdraft fee
  • $27.50 nonsufficient funds fee
  • $3.95 printed statement fee (which can be avoided with electronic statements)
  • $2.00 ATM withdrawal fee at machines not owned by Peoples Bank
  • $25 stop payment fee
  • $20 account closure fee (if within 90 days of opening account)

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on Peoples Bank Cash Solutions’s secure website

Member FDIC

3. Radius Essential Checking

Radius Bank

Products from online bank Radius are available to customers nationwide, and accessibility is a strong point in its favor. This second chance bank account only requires customers to deposit $10 to open an Essential Checking account, which is lower than some other accounts on this list.

Account Features:

  • A free debit card
  • 24/7 mobile and online banking
  • Access to Radius’s budgeting and personal finance tracking apps
  • Eligibility to upgrade to Radius’s Reward Checking account after 12 months of positive banking history

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9 monthly maintenance fee
  • $25 per item non-sufficient funds fee (waived on all overdraft items $5 or less)
  • $5 daily overdraft fee

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on Radius Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

4. Wells Fargo Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts

Wells Fargo Bank

Wells Fargo’s Opportunity Checking and Savings Accounts are tailor-made for folks with a lackluster credit or banking history. With a $25 opening deposit, you’ll get access to a second chance bank account that offers most of the bells and whistles of a traditional bank account. The account does come with a monthly fee, although it’s possible to waive it if you meet a few requirements (see below).

Account features:

  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free transfers are available between Opportunity Checking and Savings accounts
  • You can choose to opt into overdraft protection
  • Free access to bill pay
  • “My Spending Report with Budget Watch” is available if you want to pay extra attention to where your money is going
  • Free debit card with access to more than 13,000 Wells Fargo ATMs throughout the country

Fees to watch out for:

  • $10 monthly service fee, waived if any of the following are true:
    • You make 10 posted debit card purchases or payments
    • You keep a minimum daily balance of $1,500 in the account
    • You receive $500 total in direct deposits each statement cycle
  • $35 overdraft and returned item fee
  • $12.50 overdraft protection transfer fee
  • $15 fee for excess activity (exceeding withdrawals from your savings account)
  • 3% foreign transaction fee with your debit card
  • $5 for money orders
  • $31 for stop payments

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on Wells Fargo Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

5. BBVA Easy Checking

BBVA
BBVA’s Easy Checking product is available as a second chance account to customers in the Lower 48 (sorry, residents of Alaska and Hawaii, you’ll have to look elsewhere). Note that you must open the account at one of the bank’s branch locations, or by phone outside of the branch network footprint; you cannot open this account via their website. There is a $13.95 monthly service charge to maintain the account. You can request that BBVA upgrade your account one of their regular checking products after 12 months — and ditch that high monthly fee — so long as the Easy Checking account remains active and has a positive balance.

BBVA Easy Checking features::

  • Online and mobile banking, customized alerts, and a free debit card (with option to personalize)
  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free BBVA ATM withdrawals

Fees to watch out for:

  • $3 fee for out-of-network ATM withdrawals
  • $38 insufficient funds fee ($32 in California)
  • $15 deposit item returned fee
  • $32 stop payment fee made over the phone or in person ($30 in California); $25 if made online
  • No fee for closing your account within 180 days of opening

LEARN MORE Secured

on BBVA’s secure website

Member FDIC

6. Woodforest National Bank Second Chance Checking

Woodforest National Bank

This regional bank has a checking account aptly named Second Chance Checking, to help people rejected by other banks access — provided they live in one of the 17 states where a physical branch exists and can meet the $25 minimum opening deposit requirement. Those states are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9.95 monthly maintenance fee if you use a direct deposit (or $11.95 without a direct deposit), $3.00 monthly paper statement fee (which can be avoided if you sign up for electronic statements)
  • $9 one-time account set-up fee
  • $2.50 ATM withdrawal fee when used at a non-Woodforest network ATM
  • $15 debit card set-up fee
  • $29 overdraft fee (for each charge)

LEARN MORE Secured

on Woodforest National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

7. First National Bank and Trust Company Renew Checking

First National Bank and Trust Company (WI)

First National Bank and Trust Company’s second chance bank account offering is called Renew Checking. You’re eligible for a new account if you live near the bank’s Beloit, Wisc. headquarters, in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Account Features:

  • No monthly minimum balance
  • $25 minimum deposit to open
  • Free online and mobile banking, bill pay, and e-statements
  • Access to 70,000 no-fee ATMs worldwide through Allpoint and MoneyPass
  • Eligible to upgrade account after twelve months in good standing

Fees to watch out for:

  • $9.95 monthly service fee, or $7.95 with direct deposit
  • $30 early account closure fee (if closed within 90 days of opening)
  • $34.50 overdraft fee
  • $34.50 insufficient funds fee
  • $34.50 stop payment fee

The fee schedule for personal accounts at First National Bank and Trust Company is here.

LEARN MORE Secured

on First National Bank And Trust Company (WI)’s secure website

Member FDIC

Alternatives to a second chance bank account

Get a prepaid debit card

Tired of the traditional banking experience? You could opt for a prepaid debit card instead. With a prepaid card, you can load money onto it and spend at merchants that accept major credit and debit cards. But if you try and spend more money than what’s on the card, the transaction is declined — although this prevents you from accruing any overdraft or insufficient funds fees. This is useful if you feel you may still have trouble managing your spending and need an extra layer of security to prevent you from getting into trouble.

Some prepaid cards offer extra perks like advance direct deposit and free ATMs so long as you stay in their network.

Open a secured credit card

You may also have better luck applying for a secured credit card if your credit score is in good enough shape. Usually, this requires depositing cash with the lender, who then gives you the credit card for the same amount. Each month that you make on-time payments, the bank will report that good behavior to the credit bureaus, helping you boost your credit score. At the end of the payment period (generally 12 months, though it varies by banks), you’ll get the full deposit back.

Secured cards can come with high interest rates and many don’t feature the enticing rewards other high-end cards do, but they get the basic job done for consumers who don’t need a card with a high credit limit.

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Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at [email protected]

James Ellis
James Ellis |

James Ellis is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email James here