Police and Fire Federal Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

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Updated on Thursday, October 1, 2020

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s checking account options

Free PFFCU Checking

A high APY and low fees make this one of the best checking accounts on the market if you keep a relatively small balance.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$0.01
0.10%
$5,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: 12 free out-of-network transactions per month. Each subsequent transaction will be accompanied by a $1 fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $6 if you overdraw on a debit card purchase; $19 if you overdraw via check or an ACH transaction.

If you are eligible for membership with Police and Fire Federal Credit Union, you’re fortunate enough to qualify for one of the best checking accounts on the market. The interest on this account is phenomenal, especially for a brick-and-mortar financial institution. Many of the best rates today come from online-only financial institutions that have much smaller overhead costs and then pass on the savings to consumers. Police and Fire Federal Credit Union is one of the shining exceptions. Just bear in mind that your APY will go down if your balance hits over $5,000.

The low fees on this account also make it extremely attractive. There is no monthly maintenance fee, and you have to go through a lot of out-of-network transactions before incurring any costs at the ATM. On top of that, the overdraft fees at Police and Fire Federal Credit Union are some of the lowest around. You have to opt into the “Courtesy Overdraft” program when you sign up for the account to receive the service, but that’s as simple as checking a box.

If you are a new member, you can open a checking account with your initial membership application. Be prepared to provide your Social Security number, current address, date of birth and government-issued ID. If you are already a member, you will have to open your account over the phone or in person.

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on Police And Fire Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s checking account compares

Free PFFCU Checking ranks right up there with the best of the best checking accounts. High dividends and low fees make it one of the most competitive offers on the market.

That being said, if you plan on keeping more than $5,000 in checking, this may not be the account for you, as dividends drop after you hit that threshold. But if you’re living paycheck to paycheck like most Americans, this account is likely one of the best choices for you.

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s savings account options

Savings

There’s nothing too exciting about this mandatory savings account which establishes your credit union membership.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: 12 free out-of-network transactions per month. Each subsequent transaction will be accompanied by a $1 fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $6 if you overdraw on a debit card purchase; $19 if you overdraw via check or ACH transfer.

While Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s checking account is exciting, its savings account is decidedly not. You will need to open this account in order to establish your credit union membership, though. The $5 you put in to open the account will have to stay there so you can maintain your membership.

Dividends on this account are decidedly low. While the fees are also low or even nonexistent, this isn’t the best account to stash your savings in. You can get much better rates elsewhere.

You can open this account online, over the phone or in person with your Social Security number, date of birth, current address and government-issued ID.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Police And Fire Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Holiday & Vacation Club Accounts

Extremely flexible — but bear no interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0.01
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: N/A
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: 12 free out-of-network transactions per month. Each subsequent transaction will be accompanied by a $1 fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $6 if you overdraw on a debit card purchase; $19 if you overdraw via check or ACH transfer.

Club accounts are used to save for specific purposes. Traditionally, you would set aside a certain amount of money every month, and then your financial institution would release your funds to your checking account on a set date. For example, on a holiday club account, your funds may be transferred on Nov. 1. For a vacation club account, those funds may be released to you sometime in the late spring. If you decided to withdraw money early, you’d be hit with a penalty fee.

But Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s club accounts don’t work that way. Instead, they’re a simple savings account with 0% APY from which you can withdraw money at any time with no fees. Your money will not automatically be transferred to checking at any time. Essentially, they’re accounts that allow you to organize your savings rather than penalizing you for touching that savings.

These accounts are subject to federal Regulation D. This means that you are allowed to make up to six certain debits per month. If you go over this transaction limit enough times, Police and Fire Federal Credit Union will talk to you about converting this account to a checking account in order to stay compliant with federal regulations.

You will have to be an established member to open this account. If you are, you can open this account online, over the phone or in person with your Social Security number, phone number and email address.

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on Police And Fire Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

While no or low fees make Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts appealing, that’s about where the benefits end. The interest is extremely low or nonexistent, and the fact that you can withdraw from a humdrum account at any time removes the main purpose of the account.

You will need the savings account to establish your membership. But after you’ve done that, look at this guide to high-interest savings accounts for your basic savings account needs.

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s CD rates

Certificates

Average dividends make shopping around a smart idea.
TermAPY
3 Months0.30%
6 Months0.35%
9 Months0.40%
12 Months0.50%
15 Months0.55%
18 Months0.60%
24 Months0.70%
30 Months0.75%
36 Months0.80%
48 Months0.90%
60 Months 1.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 3 month certificates will lose all dividends; 6 month certificates will be charged a penalty equal to 90 days’ worth of dividends; certificates with terms of 9 to 24 months will be charged the equivalent of 180 days’ worth of dividends; 30 to 60 month certificates will incur a penalty equal to 360 days’ worth of dividends.

Both the dividends and fees on Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s certificates are fair, but nothing more. While rates aren’t terrible and fees are on par with what you’ll find at other financial institutions, you can find a higher APY elsewhere.

You can open your certificate online, in person or over the phone with your member number, Social Security number, phone number and email address.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Police And Fire Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

While rates aren’t tragically low, you’ll still be able to find better offers on certificates of deposit from other financial institutions. When you’re locking away your money for a set period of time, you want to make sure it’s earning the highest return possible, making shopping around a good idea.

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s money market account options

Money Market Plus

Dismally low rates mean you should feel comfortable passing on this money market account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Money market accounts have traditionally offered higher interest rates or dividends than your typical savings account in exchange for a higher deposit. While Money Market Plus does not require any set minimum deposit to open the account or earn its APY, this positive is canceled out by the fact that its interest is catastrophically low.

Believe it or not, you can find savings accounts with dramatically higher APY offerings. If you don’t have a ton of money to stash away, go for the higher rates with a savings account at another financial institution rather than buying into the label of “money market” at Police and Fire Federal Credit Union.

Bear in mind that both Money Market Plus and Premium Yield savings are subject to Regulation D, which means you are allowed to make up to six certain debits per month on either account.

Should you choose to open this account, the quickest way to do so is online. However, you can also open it over the phone or in person at your local branch. Be prepared to provide your member number, email address, phone number and Social Security number when you apply.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Police And Fire Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Premium Yield Savings

If you can afford the minimum balance required for the second-tier APY, your dividend rates will be close to competitive.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.26%
$2,500
0.26%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Compared with Money Market Plus, Premium Yield Savings is far more competitive. Despite that fact, it’s important to keep the high minimum deposit requirement in mind. You will have to maintain this amount if you wish to continue receiving interest at all.

However, if you do have a large amount of money you’d like to see grow, the second APY tier of this account is competitive with the market. It’s not the highest rate around, but it’s close to breaking its way in.

While this account falls under Regulation D, Police and Fire Federal Credit Union actually puts even stricter withdrawal rules on Premium Yield Savings than the federal government does. You are only allowed two free withdrawals per month; every subsequent withdrawal will garner a $10 fee.

You will have to establish membership before opening this account. Once you have, you can apply online, in person or over the phone with your member number, Social Security number, phone number and email address.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Police And Fire Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

Each of Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts are separate beasts. On the one hand, Money Market Plus shouldn’t even be a candidate when you’re considering accounts to help you build your savings. Its interest rates are simply too low.

On the other, Premium Yield Savings pays a halfway decent APY, though its most competitive rates are only available to people who have $50,000 or more in savings.

Either way, you should shop around for other money market accounts before making any final decisions. You will find better offers with either higher APY offerings, lower minimum balance requirements or both.

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA certificate rates

These rates are on par for the course, but you and your retirement account can do better.
TermAPY
3 Months 0.30%
6 Months0.35%
9 Months0.40%
12 Months0.50%
15 Months0.55%
18 Months0.60%
24 Months0.70%
30 Months0.75%
36 Months0.80%
48 Months0.90%
60 Months1.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 3 month certificates will lose all dividends; 6 month certificates will be charged a penalty equal to 90 days’ worth of dividends; certificates with terms of 9 to 24 months will be charged the equivalent of 180 days’ worth of dividends; 30 to 60 month certificates will incur a penalty equal to 360 days’ worth of dividends.

The barrier to entry on Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s IRA certificates is on the low side, which is a good thing for consumers looking to save for retirement when they don’t have a lot of cash. However, IRA CDs are by their very nature a conservative investment. Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s rates currently lag behind those of the competition, making this already conservative investment not the best bet.

To open an IRA, you usually have to visit a branch in person. However, Police and Fire Federal Credit Union lets you jump-start the process by filling out some basic information online, and then allowing you to print your forms out so you can send them in via snail mail.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Police And Fire Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Just as Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s traditional certificates don’t carry the highest rates we’ve seen, certificates inside of an IRA aren’t the most lucrative place to stash your money. You can find worse offers out there, but there are also plenty of financial institutions offering better. While it’s always important to check rates before making a commitment to a deposit account, the red tape and paperwork behind an IRA makes it even more important to shop around for other IRA CDs and get it right the first time.

IRA Money Markets

This account’s APY almost earns it a spot in the top 10.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.26%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0.01
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s IRA Money Markets account comes with no fees and no minimum balance requirements. To top things off, the rates aren’t shabby. When we look at APY in isolation, this account is just shy of being in the top ten offers on the market. It is important to remember that a savings or money market account inside of an IRA is just about the most conservative investment you could make. You may want to shop around as the difference in APY could add up over time.

You can open this account in person or by printing out and mailing paperwork, which can be found on Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s website.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Police And Fire Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Overall review of Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s banking products

When you take all of Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s products into consideration, they come out quite average, with just slightly disappointing rates. Its certificates give you ho-hum returns, and the same goes for its IRA accounts and Premium Yield Savings.

Almost making up for these deficiencies is Free PFFCU Checking, an account that offers great rates on your checking account with no maintenance fees and some of the smallest overdraft fees we’ve seen.

Ultimately, your decision to bank with Police and Fire Federal Credit Union will depend entirely on your banking needs. Those seeking their best rates on savings will want to look elsewhere, but those seeking a checking account with great returns can safely call Police and Fire Federal Credit Union home.

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