Pen Air Federal 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

Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s checking account option

Checking

We’re a bit disappointed as this is the credit union’s only checking account and it doesn’t offer any interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $2 for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $29

Pen Air Federal Credit Union only offers one checking account, and sadly it’s non-interest-bearing. In any case, you’re not required to have a minimum balance or pay a monthly maintenance fee. Account holders also get online and mobile banking, plus access to more than 5,000 shared branches (including surcharge-free ATMs) through the CO-OP network.

If you open an account in person, you’ll instantly get your debit card. No matter how you open the account, you’ll be able to get debit card alerts and have access to the Our Share It™ program, where Pen Air Federal Credit Union will donate 1 cent to a local school district for every debit card transaction you make.

You can also use your debit card for the Round It program, which rounds debit card transactions to the nearest dollar. The difference will then be deposited into a dedicated savings account to help you save money.

How to get Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s Checking account

You can open an account online by filling out an application on Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s website. Once you agree to its disclosures and indicate how you’ll qualify for membership, the form will ask you to provide details such as your name, employment information and Social Security number. You’ll also need to open a Share Savings account to establish membership. Afterward, you’ll need to fund both accounts by mailing a check or making a transfer from another account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s secure website

magnifying glass

How Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s checking account compares

Other accounts — including the ones from our list of the best online checking accounts — are much better because you may be able to earn some interest. Other competitors also offer perks such as rate bonuses and ATM refunds. We love the idea that you can give back to a school district every time you make a purchase with your Pen Air Federal Credit Union debit card, but we’re giving this account a hard pass.

Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Share Savings

All members are required to open this account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.30%
$25
0.30%
$5,000
0.45%
$25,000
0.45%
$75,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Besides it being mandatory for all Pen Air Federal Credit Union members, the Share Savings account does earn a bit of interest. The higher the tier, the higher the interest. Although there is no ATM access, you can link it to a checking account if you want to access your funds that way.

If you do link your Share Savings account to your Checking account, you can also open an account for the Round It program — you don’t earn any interest with this account. Whenever you make purchases with that debit card, it’ll round up your purchase to the next dollar. The difference will then be transferred to a secondary savings account.

For this account, you’ll face a $29 excessive transaction fee per withdrawal from Pen Air Federal Credit Union if you make more than six each month as part of federal Regulation D.

How to get Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s Share Savings account

You can open the Share Savings account by filling out an online form. You’ll need to agree to the disclosures and indicate how you qualify for membership. Then you’ll enter your personal details such as your name, employment information and Social Security number. Once that’s complete, you’ll need to fund your account either by making a transfer from another bank account or mailing in a check.

To take part in the Round It program, you can log in to your account online, call customer service at 877-473-6247 or visit a Pen Air Federal Credit Union location.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Christmas Club

This account requires a lower minimum opening deposit, but you may be better off with a CD if you want a higher rate.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.50%
$25
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Anyone who’s looking to set aside money for a short-term goal may want to consider this account, even though there are much higher rates elsewhere. You can put in funds — any amount is fine after you make the initial opening deposit — anytime until November, when the money you accumulate will be transferred to a savings account.

You’re not allowed to make any withdrawals. If you need to access your funds, you’ll need to close the account. If you do so, you’ll be charged a $10 fee, unless you close the account within seven days of the account being opened. Also, you’ll be charged a $15 inactivity fee if there isn’t any activity for 12 months.

If you keep the account open and you wish to renew it, you’ll need to make a deposit before March 1 of the following year.

How to get Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s Christmas Club account

To open a Christmas Club account, you’ll need to qualify and open a Share Savings account to establish membership. First, go to Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s online form. Once you agree to the disclosures and indicate how you qualify for membership, fill in your personal information such as your name, address and Social Security number. Then you can fund both accounts.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Penny Savers ClubSM/My2Cents

These are both minor accounts that help earn a bit of interest, as well as prizes for savings goals.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.70%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: 1 cent
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Both the Penny Savers Club and My2Cents account are for minors and can only be opened if an adult is a joint owner. The main difference is that the Penny Savers Club is for those up to 11 years old, while My2Cents is for youths ages 12 to 18.

Both help the minor account holder to earn prizes whenever they reach certain milestones. There are also events and contests throughout the year. If you make more than six withdrawals a month, you’ll need to pay a $29 excessive transaction fee from Pen Air Federal Credit Union, as part of federal Regulation D.

How to get Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s Penny Savers Club/My2Cents accounts

Both the adult and minor will need to head to a local branch to open an account. You’ll both need to bring your Social Security card and provide details such as your name and address, among other things. If the adult is not already a member, you’ll need to establish membership by opening a Share Savings account and meeting the eligibility requirements.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

magnifying glass

How Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Sad to say that none of these accounts is likely worth considering. They all have much lower rates than what’s being offered out there. Plus, most online competitors offer no minimum balance amounts and no monthly maintenance fees. Even the Round It program isn’t that unique as other places also offer something similar, many of which link it to a bank debit card.

What we’re getting at is you’re most likely better off doing some shopping. You can even consider ones on our list of the best online savings accounts.

Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

Share Certificates

Fixed-rate accounts in which a special Jump Start Certificate is offered.
TermAPY
6 months0.60%
10 months1.00%
12 months0.90%
12 months (Jump Start Certificate)1.10%
13-month special1.60%
18 months0.95%
24 months1.05%
36 months1.15%
48 months1.25%
60 months1.35%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500 (except for the Jump Start Certificate)
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on the length of the term:
    • Less than 12 months: 90 days’ interest
    • 12 months or more: 180 days’ interest

These CDs are fixed-rate accounts, meaning that you’ll be guaranteed a rate of return as long as you keep all funds in the account until it matures. The interest you earn will be compounded and credited monthly. You can choose to have the interest kept in your CD, transferred to another account or paid out via check, although if you choose the last two options, there will be no compounding.

The Jump Start Certificate is also a fixed-rate option, but it’s meant to help those who may not have a lot of money to put into a CD. There is no minimum opening deposit, so it may be a great choice if you want to deposit less than $500 into an account.

When your account matures, it’ll automatically be renewed unless you decide to make changes within the seven-day grace period. You can withdraw funds, make additional deposits or renew for another term during this time.

Pen Air Federal Credit Union also offers jumbo certificates that require a $100,000 opening deposit. The rates are not on the website, so contact the credit union for more details.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Add On Share Certificates

This CD allows you to make additional deposits.
TermAPY
15 months (Add On CD)0.90%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on the length of the term:
    • Less than 12 months: 90 days’ interest
    • 12 months or more: 180 days’ interest

The Add On CD has slightly different features than the fixed-rate CDs. This CD gives you the opportunity to make additional deposits throughout the term in any amount you choose. This CD compounds and credits interest to your account each month. Upon account maturity, you’ll have a seven-day grace period where you can make changes — renew for another term or make withdrawals or additional deposits — or else it’ll automatically be renewed.

How to get Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s CDs

You’ll need to first qualify for and establish membership by opening a Share Savings account. You can do so by filling out an online application. The first page will ask you how you qualify for membership and to agree to its disclosures. Then you will personal details such as your name, address and Social Security number. Afterward, fund both your accounts.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

magnifying glass

How Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

These CD rates aren’t the highest we’ve seen — they’re a bit lower than some of the best out there. Many of the competitors on our list of the best CD rates offer the same minimum opening deposit, as well as a wider range of terms. For example, the longer terms with Pen Air Federal Credit Union are fairly on par with other rates, whereas all the others ones are lower. If you’re after the best rates, you may want to consider going elsewhere if you’re interested in shorter terms.

Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s money market account option

Money Market

This account offers limited check-writing capabilities.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.45%
$2,500
0.60%
$25,000
0.60%
$75,000
0.60%
$200,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Money Market accounts do offer higher rates than the Share Savings account, but you need a much higher minimum deposit amount to be eligible. Although there is no ATM access, you do have limited check-writing capabilities — you can write up to three checks a month. Because of federal Regulation D, you are allowed up to six certain withdrawals a month. If you try to go over that total, you’ll need to pay a $29 excessive transaction or it could be denied outright.

To waive the monthly maintenance fee, you’ll need to maintain a $2,500 daily balance.

How to get Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s Money Market account

You can open an account by filling out an online form. First, you need to indicate how you qualify for membership and agree to its disclosures, including opening a Share Savings account to establish membership. Then, you’ll fill in personal details such as your name, address and Social Security number. Afterward, fund both accounts.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

magnifying glass

How Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s money market account compares

Sadly, these rates are quite low compared to other accounts offered by competitors. Plus, the tiered balance amounts are high, making it difficult for many to even qualify for the higher APYs. Many online counterparts only require low minimum balance amounts.

You may be better off doing some comparison shopping, such as looking at lists like ours featuring the best money market accounts.

Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

Certificate IRA

Some of these rates are on par with what’s being offered out there.
TermAPY
6 months0.60%
10 months1.00%
12 months0.90%
13-month special1.60%
15 months (Add On CD)0.90%
24 months1.05%
36 months1.15%
48 months1.25%
60 months1.35%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on the length of the term:
    • Less than 12 months: 90 days’ interest
    • 12 months or more: 180 days’ interest

These IRA CDs may be a good way to store some of your retirements safely, especially if you’re not a fan of risky investments. Except for the Add On IRA CD, you can only make a deposit at the beginning of the term and when it matures, assuming you want to renew the IRA CD. The Add On CD allows you to make additional deposits in any amount throughout the term. For both these types of IRA CDs, interest earned is compounded daily and credited monthly.

Once your account matures, your account will automatically be renewed unless you make changes during the seven-day grace period. This can include making additional deposits, renewing for another term or withdrawing funds.

How to get Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s IRA CDs

You’ll need to head to a branch to open an account. Call customer service at 877-473-6247 to confirm, but you’ll need to bring your government-issued ID and Social Security card with you. You’ll need to meet its membership requirements before opening an account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

magnifying glass

How Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Some of Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates are somewhat similar to the most competitive IRA CDs out there. They don’t have an extremely high minimum opening deposit amount, which makes it accessible to many people. But if you don’t want to open another savings account — which is required for all Pen Air Federal Credit Union members — you may want to look elsewhere. There are quite a few online competitors that let you open a CD account without restrictive membership requirements.

IRA Share Savings

This account requires a low minimum opening deposit and offers tiered rates.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.40%
$25
0.40%
$5,000
0.60%
$25,000
0.60%
$75,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The IRA Share Savings account may be a good place to park your funds if you want some liquidity to your retirement savings, compared to the IRA CD account, where you tend to be locked into a set period. This account has a low minimum opening deposit. You can add money anytime, although there are limits imposed by the IRS.

You also can make withdrawals anytime, but you are allowed up to six certain withdrawals per month because of federal Regulation D. If you try going over that amount, you’ll be charged a $29 excessive transaction fee from Pen Air Federal Credit Union, and you may need to pay IRS penalties if you make withdrawals when you’re younger than 59 1/2.

How to get Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s IRA Share Savings account

You’ll need to head to a branch to open an account. Call customer service at 877-473-6247 to confirm, but you’ll need to bring your government-issued ID and Social Security card with you. You’ll need to meet its membership requirements before opening an account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Overall review of Pen Air Federal Credit Union’s banking products

The only two products we believe are worth considering are the CD and IRA CD accounts. They both offer somewhat competitive rates, and there are options to either make additional deposits or request a rate increase.

The rest of these accounts are sadly not worth it. Considering the low rates (some of the accounts offer nothing), there are better products to be had elsewhere.

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?