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Review of Paypal Prepaid Mastercard

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 strength of the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard lies in its connection with its parent company, PayPal. One of the innovators in online money transfers, PayPal’s prepaid card can link up directly with a PayPal account to provide instant access to funds.

Beyond that feature, which can be a huge benefit to PayPal account holders, the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard is somewhat run-of-the-mill. As a prepaid card, it does offer access to cash and allows you to make purchases, at least up to the amount you’ve got on deposit. Additionally, you can avoid the overdraft charges you’ll find with most checking or savings accounts and the interest charges that come with credit card accounts.

Like some other prepaid cards, however, the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard has a host of fees and expenses that can add up in a hurry and overwhelm the benefits of using the card. In addition to paying fees just to own the card, you can expect that any transactions you make will cost you money. You might even run into some unexpected fees for activities or transactions that you might expect to come free of charge.

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard features

Instantaneous transfers from your PayPal balance. Without question, the primary benefit of the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard is the ability to transfer funds from your PayPal balance directly to your card free-of-charge and instantaneously.

Early access to funds. Using the no-fee direct deposit feature, you can have access to your funds up to two days faster than with a traditional bank.

No credit check required. Because the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard is a prepaid debit card, not a credit card, there’s no credit check required at the time of application.

Spend or shop anywhere Mastercard is accepted. You can use the PayPal prepaid card to make purchases anywhere that debit cards are accepted, including online.

Savings account option. With an optional connected savings account, you can earn up to a 5% APY on balances of up to $1,000.

High card limit. You can have up to $15,000 on your card at any time.

High ATM withdrawal limit. The daily limit on ATM withdrawals is $940, although no single ATM transaction can exceed $325.

Free mobile app. Access your PayPal Prepaid Mastercard account 24/7. Use the mobile app to check your balance, review transactions, receive real-time activity alerts, and more.

Perks: You can opt-in to receive special offers and cash back rewards with certain merchants when using the PayPal prepaid card. Additionally, if you refer a friend who activates and loads at least $10 onto their card, you’ll each earn a $5 bonus.

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard fees and fine print

The PayPal prepaid card has a whole host of fees that can take some time to read through and absorb. The most noteworthy are the common fees that one can expect while using a prepaid card, such as monthly plan fees and ATM fees.

Most of the other fees listed by the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard are for less-common scenarios, like if you need to request checks or a replacement card. However, the long list of charges can make it feel as though you’ll get dinged with a fee for doing just about anything.

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard Fees
TypeFeePro tip
Card purchase feeUp to $4.95Buy the card online from PayPal to avoid the card purchase fee.
Plan fee$4.95 per monthN/A
Over-the-counter cash withdrawal fee$2.50Select “debit” and use your PIN to get cash back at various retailers, including grocers, to avoid having to go into a branch and pay a fee to access your cash.
Over-the-counter cash withdrawal fee from a Netspend reload network locationVarying fee will be assessed by the network operator, not by PayPalN/A
ATM cash withdrawal fee (domestic)$1.95, plus ATM owner surcharge, if anyAvoid surcharge fees by using an Allpoint ATM
ATM cash withdrawal fee (international)$1.95, plus ATM owner surcharge, if any, plus foreign transaction surchargeIncluded in transaction fee
ATM transaction decline fee (domestic)$1Avoid fees by only withdrawing the amount you have in your account; There’s no fee to check your balance online, by email or phone
ATM transaction decline fee (international)$1
Mobile check load fee$0 for 10-day processing; to get money in minutes, 1% for payroll and government checks and 5% for all other checks
Balance inquiry fee (domestic ATM)$0.50 plus ATM owner fee, if anyCheck your balance online or via email or phone for free
Balance inquiry fee (international ATM)$0.50 plus ATM owner fee, if anyCheck your balance online or via email or phone for free
Foreign transaction surcharge2.5% of transaction
Check request fee$5.95 each
Additional statement mailing fee$5.95 each
Additional card fee$0
Replacement card fee$5.95
Card delivery fee (7-10 business days)$0
Card delivery fee (3 business days)$20
Card delivery fee (1-2 business days)$25
Account maintenance fee$0
Stop payment$10
Custom card fee$3.95

In a nutshell, you can expect to pay a $4.95 monthly fee for using the card, which amounts to $59.40 per year. This fee includes all of your PIN and signature-required transactions. You’ll also face ATM fees of $1.95 per transaction, plus any surcharges from terminal operators or from the foreign transaction surcharge.

In the prepaid card world, a monthly fee is to be expected, and $4.95 is in the middle of the road when it comes to competitor cards. Although some prepaid cards don’t charge any monthly fee, others charge $9.95 per month. The fact that this monthly fee includes transaction expenses is a benefit, as some cards charge both monthly fees and individual transaction fees. The ATM fee is also a bit below the $2.50 commonly charged by prepaid card issuers.

When it comes to reloading your card, PayPal doesn’t charge any fees at all, which is refreshing. However, you will still face charges from individual retailers if you reload via any other method than direct deposit or via your PayPal account.

As long as you don’t stray outside the lines of typical debit card usage, you won’t face a ton of additional fees with the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard. But you should expect to pay for nearly any other additional service, from ordering checks to making foreign transactions.

Using the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard app

PayPal Prepaid Mastercard app
Source: iTunes/Screenshot

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard app allows you to access your account 24/7, much like with a regular bank account. You can review your recent transactions, check your current balance, find a nearby reload location, receive real-time activity alerts and load checks using your smartphone.You can use the mobile check deposit option in the app to get cash in minutes. However, you’ll have to pay for this privilege. For payroll and government checks with a pre-printed signature, the standard fee to get your money in minutes is 1% of the amount of the check. For all other accepted checks, the fee jumps up to 5% of the amount of the check.

You can, however, avoid mobile check deposit fees if you’re willing to wait 10 days for your cash to become available.

Opening a PayPal Prepaid Mastercard account

Source: Screenshot

You can get a PayPal Prepaid Mastercard online at https://www.paypal-prepaid.com/. To start the process, you’ll need to enter your name, address, and email address. You’ll also choose if you want to sign up for direct deposit, and the card design that you would like.

The next step in the process is to validate your ID by providing your date of birth and some type of government identification, such as your driver’s license. You’ll also need to provide your Social Security number, to help prevent the card from being used for illegal purposes.

Because the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard is a prepaid debit card, not a credit card, there’s no credit check required at the time of application. In fact, when you apply for the card, you’re only subject to identity verification, although you must also activate the card before you can use it. Once you open your account, you’ll receive your card in about 7 to 10 business days.

One interesting thing to note is that this card is not available to residents of Vermont.

How to reload your Paypal Prepaid Mastercard

The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard offers two ways to reload the card free of charge: direct deposit and PayPal balance transfers. PayPal balance transfers offer the additional benefit of being real-time, meaning you can access your cash as soon as you transfer it.

You can also use one of more than 130,000 Netspend reload locations to deposit cash or checks to your PayPal Prepaid Visa Card. A fee will apply that varies depending on the individual retailer. You can use the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard website to find the nearest reload location.

Cash reloads have a daily limit of $2,500; the limit for ACH/bank transfers is $7,500. The maximum value you can have on the card at any time is $15,000.

Who could benefit from the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard?

Prepaid cards aren’t usually the option of choice for banking customers, and the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard is no exception. Although it has some traditional banking features, it also has a host of fees and expenses for the most basic banking services.

On the plus side, the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard offers important basic features, including ATM access, purchase capability, and the ability to transfer funds. The true highlight of the card for PayPal customers is the ability to instantaneously transfer money to the card from your PayPal balance, free of charge.

However, you’ll have to pay just to open the card, and if you want to access your cash, that will cost you money as well.

Overall, you should understand that even fees that seem low add up over time. Although not the highest in the industry, the $4.95 monthly fee takes nearly $60 out of your pocket every year. Even if you sign up for the PayPal 5% APY savings account and deposit $1,000, the $50 you’d earn won’t even cover your annual fee on the card.

The lower-than-normal $1.95 ATM fee can also easily eat up hundreds of dollars per year in charges, simply for accessing your money.

In a world full of banks that charge no monthly or ATM fees, using the PayPal Prepaid Mastercard as your primary banking option is less than ideal. However, if you’re forced to use a prepaid card for whatever reason, this card might have some appeal, particularly if you are already a PayPal customer.

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.

John Csiszar
John Csiszar |

John Csiszar is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email John here

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Earning Cashback, Reviews

Chase Freedom or Discover it: Who is the King of 5% Bonus Cash?

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 credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Chase Freedom or Discover it: Who is the King of 5% Bonus Cash?

If you’re going to use a credit card, choosing one that rewards you for spending is a given. Choosing the right card? That’s another story. With so many cards offering similar cash back programs and terms it can be difficult to choose one over another.

For example, should you get the Chase Freedom® or Discover it® Cash Back?

Both offer 5% cash back categories that change each quarter, with that 5% limited to your first $1,500 in spending on those categories each quarter. Where they differ is in the actual 5% bonus categories, the introductory bonus offer, and some fine print.

In this post, we’re going to dissect both cards and how they stack up against each other.

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

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

Chase Freedom®

Regular Purchase APR
16.49% - 25.24% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

With Chase Freedom®, you can Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

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Rates & Fees

Discover it® Cash Back

Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

You earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like grocery stores, gas stations, Uber and Lyft, restaurants, and Amazon.com up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. The 5% is limited to $1,500 spending per quarter, 1% after that.

  • January – March 2020 – Grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS
  • April – June 2020 – Gas Stations, Uber and Lyft, wholesale clubs
  • July – September 2020 – Restaurants and PayPal
  • October – December 2020 – Amazon.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com

All other purchases get unlimited 1% cash back, automatically. You can redeem cash back for gifts cards, statement credits, charitable donations, deposits to an account or merchandise.

Aside from the cash back program, Discover it® has special introductory offers. There’s an intro APR of 0% for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers. There is a 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*.

Pros and Cons

Now, let’s dive into the pros and cons of both cash back programs.

Chase Freedom®

Pro: A competitive intro bonus for small spenders. Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
This sign-on bonus is great perk for new customers.

Pro: Flexible points. While you can always use your points for cash back, the Freedom earns Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. That means you can also use them for travel, gift cards, and other items. In addition, if you have another card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards® points you can combine the points for more reward opportunities.

Con: You need to activate your 5% bonus. Another negative of the Chase Freedom® card is the 5% bonus category requires activation each quarter. If you forget to subscribe to the program, you’ll only get 1% cash back for all spending, so this is a card that you’ll have to actively manage. Plus, the 5% bonus categories are announced quarterly, so it can be difficult to plan ahead.

Discover it® Cash Back

Pro: A good introductory offer for big spenders. You can get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically (new cardmembers only). That can really add up if you tend to be a big spender, though the catch is that bonus double cash back doesn’t hit your account until the very end of your first year. The Chase Freedom®‘s introductory offer hits your account after just 3 months worth of spending.

Con: You need to activate your 5% bonus. Like the Chase Freedom® card, Discover it® makes you subscribe to the 5% bonus place each quarter. You can set up email reminders, but it’s still a hassle to actively opt-in instead of being about to set that on auto pilot. So, again, this isn’t a card where you can passively earn cash back.

When to Consider Both Cards

Now, it’s possible to have the best of both worlds if it makes sense.

You can get both cards and alternate use throughout quarters so you can take advantage of both card’s 5% bonus categories to get 5% on more of your spending.

Of course, you’ll have to remember to activate each bonus category and label the cards in your wallet to know which one to use at what time.

But, if you spend in these areas anyway why not earn cash back for doing so?

There’s no annual fee for either card.

Other Cash Back Card Options

Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union

Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union

Regular Purchase APR
11.00% - 15.00% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 3 bonus points, or 5% cash back, respectively, for every dollar they spend on purchases for movies, restaurants, and home improvements (up to $1,500 per quarter).

The Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from Nusenda Credit Union let you Earn 3 bonus points, or 5% cash back, respectively, for every dollar they spend on purchases for movies, restaurants, and home improvements (up to $1,500 per quarter). Rates are 11.00% - 15.00% Variable APR with no balance transfer fee. There’s an intro 5% APR Intro Rate for all Balance Transfers (first six cycles after card opening).

Even better, you don’t have to activate the categories each quarter. Here are the 5% cash back categories in detail:

  • January to March – Groceries and gas expenses
  • April to June – Movies, restaurants and home improvement
  • July to September – Gas and education expenses
  • October to December – Restaurants, hotels and airfare

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Regular Purchase APR
15.74% - 25.24%* (Variable)
Annual fee
$0*
Rewards Rate
5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!

The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card has a rewards program that’s a little different than all three offers above. With this card you can earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!

Which Card Will Benefit You the Most?

Overall, the Chase Freedom® and Discover it® Cash Backare similar cards. Both earn 5% cash back in revolving categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter you activate). If you’re making a choice of one over the other, your choice would ultimately depend on your spending habits, so you can use the card (or a combination of both cards) to maximize your regular purchases.

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.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

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

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Reviews

GTE Financial Reviews: 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.

GTE Financial’s checking account options

Go Premium with GTE Secure

Hands-down one of the highest-yielding checking accounts on the market. Just make sure you can meet deposit and transaction requirements.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%
None (Max: $3,000)
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4.95 if you do not deposit at least $500 a month, enroll in eStatements and make at least 15 transactions per month that don’t involve using your debit PIN.
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMS
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

GTE Financial’s Go Premium with GTE Secure checking account comes with a phenomenal dividend rate for all balances less than $3,000. The account also provides fraud-fighting and resolution services, prescription drug and vision savings, and a points reward program. To earn those dividends without a monthly maintenance fee, though, you want to make sure you cross all your t’s and dot your i’s.

First, you need to ensure you deposit at least $500 a month. Those with a regular paycheck should be able to do this by setting up direct deposit. You will also have to enroll in eStatements, and make sure you’re making at least 15 transactions a month.

If you can meet all these requirements, this is one of the highest-yielding checking accounts on the market.

How to get GTE Financial’s Go Premium checking account

You can easily open this checking account online, though if you live close to a branch, you can open it in person, too.

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Go Full Access

This is a bare-bones checking account that bears no dividends.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $4.95 unless you are enrolled in eStatements and do one of the following: deposit $500-plus per month or have 15 transactions per month that don’t involve using your debit PIN.
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMS
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

Go Full Access is your standard checking account, but it doesn’t bear any dividends. You must be enrolled in eStatements to avoid a monthly maintenance fee, but unlike Go Premium accounts, you only have to deposit $500 a month or make 15 transactions. If you can do both, you’d be far better off opting for the Go Premium account, though.

How to get GTE Financial’s Go Full Access checking account

As with all of GTE Financial’s checking accounts, you can open a Go Full Access checking account either in person or online.

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Go Student

An account for students that waives many common fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: One per month from outside financial institution
  • Overdraft fee: $35

While GTE Financial’s Go Student checking account does not yield any dividends, it does waive a lot of fees as students get comfortable managing money on their own. It’s the only checking account at this credit union without any monthly maintenance fee. It also comes with one waived nonsufficient funds or overdraft fee per month, and it is the only account here that offers any refund of ATM fees charged by outside financial institutions or ATM owners.

How to get GTE Financial’s Go Student checking account

Students can open their account at a branch or online.

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Go Further

An account to help you reboot your financial life.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $9.95 if you are not enrolled in eStatements. You must also make a minimum of $500 in deposits per month and make 15 transactions that don’t involve using your debit PIN each month if you want this fee waived.
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

If you’ve had a spotty banking history in the past — whether due to circumstances in or beyond your control — your financial institution may have added you to the CHEXSystem. Once in the CHEXSystem, it can be extremely difficult to get another bank account. Because credit unions are community-focused, some offer checking accounts specifically to give you the opportunity to prove you can do better and re-enter the mainstream banking system.

GTE Financial is one of those credit unions, and the Go Further checking account is their account to help. It does not come with any dividends, but it does allow you full access to a traditional checking account without any check-cashing fees. It has a $9.95-a-month maintenance fee, which will be waived if you enroll in eStatements, make a minimum of $500 in deposits per month or make 15 non-debit card/PIN transactions per month.

If you’re meeting all these requirements anyways, after you rebuild your banking reputation you may even be able to qualify for those high APY rates on the Go Premium account.

How to get GTE Financial’s Go Further checking account

You can easily open your Go Further checking account online or in person.

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How GTE Financial’s checking accounts compare

In a world of online banks, most often it’s the financial institutions with no brick-and-mortar overhead costs that can offer the highest rates. GTE Financial’s checking account options buck that norm.

With rates that top even the best online checking accounts, Go Premium checking is one of the best on the market. While the Go Student checking account doesn’t offer any dividends, it is extremely generous in the fees it waives as young people learn how to responsibly manage their finances, and Go Further checking gives a second shot to those who would normally be shut out of the conventional financial system.

While the Go Full Access checking account doesn’t carry the same bragging rights as GTE Financial’s other checking accounts — especially as it bears no dividends — it is nice that the credit union offers a checking account with more flexible ways to evade the monthly maintenance fee.

GTE Financial’s savings account options

Member Owner Share

A standard savings account necessary to establish credit union membership. Also standard is the small dividend earned.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

When you join GTE Financial, your Member Owner Share savings will anchor your membership. You will not earn any APY until you reach a balance of $100, and even then, the rate isn’t anything to write home about. But this account does avoid monthly maintenance fees.

Opening this account is a requirement of membership, so it doesn’t matter if you’re in love with the APY. You have to have it.

You also must know that savings accounts, in general, are regulated by the federal government. Specifically, Regulation D dictates that you are allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals per month from your savings account, unless they’re made in person, at an ATM or as part of a GTE Financial loan payment. If you exceed the six withdrawal-per-month limit, GTE Financial will not let you make any further transactions that month unless you’re doing so at an ATM, in person or via fax. This rule applies to all savings accounts and not just Member Owner Share account.

How to get GTE Financial’s Member Owner Share savings account

You will be prompted to open this account when you sign up for membership, whether you do so online or at your local branch.

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Special Savings

An additional share savings account to set aside money for an independent goal.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

If you want to set aside money for a specific goal — such as a wedding, new car or holiday gift purchases — you can do so by opening an additional share savings account. This Special Savings account is identical to regular share savings in terms of APY and fees, though there is no minimum opening deposit requirement.

While setting up a second account with GTE Financial may be convenient, it’s not your best option. You can get far higher rates elsewhere, and unlike the Member Owner Share savings product, this is not a mandatory account.

How to get GTE Financial’s Special Share Savings

Should you opt to open a Special Share Savings account, you can do so online or in person.

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Future Change Savings

Round up your purchases to throw extra money at your loans.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

Future Change Savings is a unique account. At first glance, it looks identical to the Special Savings account, but under the hood there’s a lot more going on.

This account links with your checking account to round up your daily purchases to the nearest dollar. The extra change is then deposited into your Future Change Savings account. With the account’s corresponding app, you will then be able to view how applying the money from this savings account to your GTE Financial auto loan or mortgage would affect your finances long term.

If you do decide to apply the savings from this account toward your debt, remember that you are allowed up to six certain withdrawals/electronic transfers per month or you risk violating Regulation D.

How to get GTE Financial’s Future Change Savings

To open this account, you will have to download the app from Google Play or the iTunes App Store. From there, you’ll be prompted to enter your checking account and loan information to link to your new account.

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Early Saver

GTE Financial offers higher rates for children who save.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%
$0.01
0.10%
$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

If you want to teach your child about savings, GTE Financial offers an option for that. Children younger than 17 can open an Early Saver account, which offers a much higher APY on balances up to $500 before reverting to the same rate as a regular share savings account.

This higher rate is encouraging as it will better illustrate how interest works for your child, though it will be a bummer when they turn 18 and the account converts into a regular share savings account with a lower rate of return.

How to get GTE Financial’s Early Saver Account

Accounts for children ages 12 and younger must be opened in person, but children 13 through 17 can open an account online.

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How GTE Financial’s savings accounts compare

Funnily enough, kids are the only ones getting a decent rate out of GTE Financial savings accounts. The Early Saver Account rates are extremely competitive, though that doesn’t much help the adults in the room.

The dividends on adult accounts also pale in comparison to the competition. You will need some money in your regular share savings to maintain membership, and the Future Change Savings account is an innovative product. But at the end of the day, you’re getting the short end of the stick with GTE Financial’s offered APY and terms on savings. Shop around to find better savings account rates.

GTE Financial’s CD rates

Share Certificates

A fairly competitive certificate product with a low barrier to entry.
TermAPY
6 Months1.26%
12 Months2.02%
18 Months2.27%
24 Months2.53%
30 Months2.68%
60 Months3.04%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • 3 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms up to 12 months
    • 6 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms greater than 12 months

Share Certificates are the credit union equivalent of certificates of deposit, or CDs. GTE Financial’s rates are relatively competitive, but they’re not the best on the market, either. One thing that does make them abundantly attractive, though, is that the minimum opening deposit is on the far low end for CDs offering similar rates of return.

How to get GTE Financial’s CDs

You can open your Share Certificate at a branch or online. If your opening balance will be $5,000 or more, you’ll be required to make that in-person visit or call 888-871-2690, ext. 40535.

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Jumbo Share Certificates

Even more competitive rates but with a high barrier to entry.
TermAPY
6 Months1.51%
12 Months2.27%
18 Months2.53%
24 Months2.78%
30 Months2.94%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • 3 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms up to 12 months
    • 6 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms greater than 12 months

Have some extra money to throw at your Share Certificate? If you can get a balance of $100,000 or more, you will qualify for Jumbo Share Certificate rates on terms of up to 30 months, which are 0.25% higher than those of regular Share Certificate. This small bump is enough to start closing the gap between GTE Financial and the competition, though with a $100,000 minimum, the pool of people who will be able to access this increased rate will be small.

How to get GTE Financial’s Jumbo Share Certificate

All Jumbo Share Certificates must be opened in person or via phone by calling 888-871-2690, ext. 40535.

LEARN MORE Secured

on GTE Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Youth Share Certificate

Teach your child valuable money lessons on the cost of APY.
TermAPY
12 Months0.75%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 3 months’ worth of interest

Youth Share Certificates offer extremely low rates, but also allow your child to open a certificate with as little as $100. They will also be able to add up to $6,000 in additional funding throughout the 12-month term. Opening a Youth Share Certificate is likely something you’d do as a hands-on lesson for your child rather than a gift. The yield simply isn’t high enough unless you’re taking the hit to impart an experiential lesson.

How to get GTE Financial’s Youth Share Certificate

Your child can open a Youth Share Certificate at a branch or online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on GTE Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How GTE Financial’s CD rates compare

Overall, GTE Financial’s certificate options are just all right. While rates on Share Certificates and Jumbo Share Certificates are relatively competitive, they’ve got some stiff CD competition. Given the fact that the competition doesn’t always have the same low minimum deposit requirement as GTE Financial, though, regular Share Certificates may be able to take a small hit in APY and remain competitive.

Youth Share Accounts aren’t a great product if you’re looking only at yield, but if you’re trying to give your child their own financial experiences before they leave home, it can be a good product to achieve that goal.

GTE Financial’s money market account options

Money Market

Low rates and excess maintenance fees make it acceptable to overlook this money market option.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.15%
$2,500
0.25%
$10,000
0.35%
$50,000
0.55%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: Varies depending on desired rate
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $6 every month your account has no activity
  • ATM fee: $3 at all out-of-network ATMS
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $35

GTE Financial’s Money Market account is lackluster. First of all, the rates are not competitive. In fact, they’re extremely low. On top of that, GTE Financial is one of the few financial institutions that charge maintenance fees on its money market accounts without minimum balance restrictions. If you have no account activity, you’ll get charged. You cannot set and forget your money market account with this credit union.

You also need to remember that money market accounts are technically savings accounts, and are thus subject to the same rules and restrictions under Regulation D. That means you are allowed to make up to six certain withdrawals from your money market account per month — even if you’re trying to keep it active to avoid that monthly maintenance fee.

How to get GTE Financial’s Money Market Account

Should you choose to open a money market account with GTE Financial, you can do so at a branch or online.

LEARN MORE Secured

on GTE Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How GTE Financial’s money market account compares

Frankly, GTE Financial’s Money Market account isn’t in the same league as the best options on the market. By shopping around for other money market accounts, you’ll be able to find rates that are up to seven times greater than that offered by this credit union, and many of these accounts offer these higher rates without any maintenance fee.

GTE Financial’s IRA options

IRA CD rates

IRA Share Certificates

GTE Financial’s certificate rates start to look less attractive when placed into the realm of IRA certificates.
TermAPY
6 Months0.65%
12 Months1.00%
18 Months1.26%
24 Months1.41%
30 Months1.46%
60 Months1.76%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • 3 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms up to 12 months
    • 6 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms greater than 12 months

GTE Financial’s Share Certificates aren’t a bad choice when you’re looking outside of your IRA. But their rates are carbon copied into the credit union’s IRA certificate, where they start looking a bit less competitive. The low minimum balance requirement is still attractive, but it only goes so far when you’re looking at long-term growth on an already conservative portfolio holding.

How to get GTE Financial’s IRA CDs

To set up an IRA Share Certificate, call 813-871-2690.

LEARN MORE Secured

on GTE Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Youth Share Certificate

Low rates on tax-advantaged accounts for children.
TermAPY
12 Months0.75%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $100
  • Early withdrawal penalty:
    • 3 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms up to 12 months
    • 6 months’ worth of interest for certificates with terms greater than 12 months

Yes, even your child can open an IRA — a Roth IRA specifically. Your child must have earned income to contribute. Keep in mind that if they’re using baby-sitting or landscaping income, they’ll have to report it to the IRS on a Schedule C to use it toward their Roth IRA contributions.

While they will be able to withdraw earnings from their Roth IRA to pay for qualified educational expenses without paying a penalty, they may have to pay income taxes on their earnings when they make this kind of withdrawal. Because this account will be custodial with a parent or guardian, it could also adversely affect their chances for financial aid.

On top of it all, the rates on GTE Financial’s Youth Share Certificates leave much to be desired. A Roth IRA is not the place to teach lessons about certificates. If you’re going to open a custodial account anyways, you might as well look at other options and find an account with a higher yield.

How to get GTE Financial’s Youth Share Certificates

All IRA products must be opened by calling 813-871-2690.

LEARN MORE Secured

on GTE Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How GTE Financial’s IRA CD rates compare

Youth Share Certificates and Share Certificates are not a great way to go when it comes to IRA CDs. But rates on Jumbo Share Certificates are relatively competitive if you have the money to finance one for the higher rates. Regardless, be sure to shop around to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible on an IRA CD.

Overall review of GTE Financial’s banking products

GTE Financial is a mixed bag when it comes to personal deposit accounts. Its money market accounts can be passed over, as can a couple of its savings accounts. Its IRA certificates are only worth investigating at the jumbo level, and certificates outside of an IRA barely squeak by as competitive.

But most of the credit union’s checking accounts are worth a closer look, whether they’re offering some of the best rates on the market, limiting fees on young people or welcoming back those who have been pushed out of the traditional banking system. It also has some innovative products, such as Future Change Savings, and offers children great rates on their savings accounts.

GTE Financial has some interesting products. Definitely include it in your search, but make sure you investigate each product individually before deciding it’s the right match for you.

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Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

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