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Auto Loan, Reviews

Capital One Auto Loan Review

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If you’re going into a dealership without first shopping around for an auto loan, then you may be leaving money on the table. That’s because the dealership may not offer the best rate, so you may be driving your newly financed car with a less-than-attractive APR.

The prevalence of online lenders makes the preapproval process super simple. If you do get preapproved, you’ll increase your chances of negotiating a better price for the car you want, and the dealership may even try to beat other loan offers. With any loan, shopping around is always recommended. Here we’ll look at the Capital One auto loan, its details and how it compares to others. We’ll also go over how to apply for one.

What is Capital One?

Richard D. Fairbank founded Capital One in 1988, and the bank is headquartered in McLean, Virginia. Capital One is now one of the largest banks in the U.S. based on deposits, and it offers personal banking products including deposit accounts, credit cards and loans, as well as small business and commercial banking products.

Capital One auto loan details

Capital One’s Auto Navigator program offers APRs for new cars as low as 3.99% and used cars as low as 4.33%. The rate you receive will depend on the loan term, your credit history and loan-to-value ratio. Financing terms range from 36 to 72 months (three to six years). You can finance depends on the value of the car you intend to purchase from $4,000 - $40,000. This amount could include the sales price, tax, licensing fees and other optional products like an extended warranty from the dealer.

Capital One’s loan program serves people who want to purchase a new or used vehicle, including minivans, SUVs and light trucks intended for personal use. It does not allow borrowers to finance other types of vehicles such as RVs, boats or motorcycles, as well as certain makes of vehicles. The car you intend on purchasing must have less than 120,000 miles on it, and the model year has to be 2006 or newer, with the exception of some states where it needs to be at least a 2008 model.

To get a loan, first request prequalification, and if you get it, present this offer to the dealer. You’ll then fill out a credit application at the dealer so Capital One can match the loan terms, once the participating dealer submits it. To prequalify, you need to be at least 18 years old with a valid U.S. address and a minimum monthly income of $1,500 or $1,800, depending on your credit situation.

How it stacks up

Where Capital One auto loans stand out

  • Competitive rates: Capital One offers rates on par with other major retailers. Though its rates are slightly higher than what credit unions offer, it’s important to remember that some of those institutions have strict membership requirements.
  • Range of terms: You get a choice of four financing terms ranging from 36 to 72 months.
  • Choice of dealerships: You can choose from 12,000 participating dealerships to purchase a vehicle of your choice.
  • No prepayment penalties: You can pay more than the minimum balance due and won’t face any fees. If you choose, you may be able to shorten the loan term if you pay off your remaining balance.
  • Online preapproval: Capital One offers an easy to follow application process to find out how much you could finance.

Where Capital One falls short

  • Low maximum loan amount: Other competitors offer loans up to $100,000, which could come in handy if you’re looking to purchase a pricy vehicle.
  • Financing only valid at eligible dealers: Capital One doesn’t finance vehicles bought through private party sellers or auto brokers. You also can’t use financing for a lease buyout.
  • Can only borrow a maximum of 80% of the vehicle value: Borrowers need to have a loan-to-value ratio of 80% or less.
  • Not all vehicles qualify: You can’t finance recreational vehicles, including motorcycles, ATVs and RVs. Capital One also doesn’t finance vehicles for commercial use.

How to apply

To get auto financing through Capital One’s Auto Navigator program, first fill out an application to see if you prequalify for a loan. On the first page of the form, it’ll remind you of the terms of the loan, such as the minimum and maximum loan amount and the condition of the car you’re looking to purchase. You’ll need to fill in your personal information such as name, birthday and Social Security number. Then you’ll be asked to provide employment and residence information before submitting the form. Documents you may need to provide include a utility bill in your name dated within the last 30 days as proof of residence and a recent pay stub as proof of income.

Once you’re qualified, you can head to more than 12,000 participating dealers to search for cars. You can browse online and save the listings for your favorite cars for up to 30 days. For most listings, you’ll be able to see the advertised price and financing terms. Those terms are based on what you prequalified for, and you get to see the APR and monthly payments specific to you. You can customize loan options such as the down payment amount, loan term and even your monthly payments.

At the dealership, you can negotiate the price of the vehicle and tally up the total costs including taxes, sales price and licensing fees. You can still make any changes to your loan offer and review the financing terms before completing a credit application at the dealer.

Capital One will keep your prequalification offer for 30 days. You can use your offer at the dealership up to the date of expiry. After that, you’ll need to submit another application form.

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The fine print

Capital One makes information readily available on its website. It clearly outlines the application process from start to finish, including terms related to loan amounts and other financing terms. On its auto loan page, Capital One has a detailed frequently-asked-questions section that offers transparent information. Before you even decide whether to get preapproval, you can use the calculator on their auto loan page to see how much you could be paying.

Here are also a few other things to note:

  • You can’t purchase Oldsmobile, Daewoo, Saab, Suzuki or Isuzu vehicles with Capital One financing.
  • Auto financing is based on a simple interest loan. Your payments will be applied to interest first, then the principal. If you pay more than the minimum monthly payment, the money will go toward interest, outstanding fees then the principal.
  • You may need to provide additional documents before finalizing your loan. Capital One offers borrowers the option to upload these items before going to the dealer, or bring them along when purchasing the vehicle.
  • The Auto Navigator website can’t guarantee that the dealer will have the actual car and sale price advertised. You’ll need to ask the dealer about availability.
  • Once you purchase a vehicle, it’ll become a retail installment contract, stating that the dealer is the original creditor.
  • You may need to put down cash if the total cost of the vehicle is more than your maximum loan amount. This includes the amount after you trade in a vehicle, if applicable.

Comparable auto loans

LendingTree

With LendingTree, you can fill out one short online form and see real interest rates and approval information at once. There are hundreds of lenders on LendingTree ready to compete for your business. Some lenders will do a hard pull on your credit and this is normal within the auto lending space. Keep in mind that multiple hard pulls will only count as one pull, so it is smart to have all your hard pulls done at one time.

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PenFed

This credit union requires you to become a member in order to apply for an auto loan, but it’s easy to join. All you need to do is to make a one-time donation to the National Military Family Association for $17 or the Voices for America Troops for $17. Then, you’ll need to fund your share account with a minimum of $5.

PenFed offers rates as low as 2.49% APR for new cars and as low as 3.49% APR for used auto loans, both loan amounts are from $500 - $100,000. Terms range from 36 to 84 months for used vehicles and 36 to 72 months  for new ones. Rates depend on how much you finance and what term you choose.

If you’re looking for lower monthly payments, PenFed offers a Payment Saver auto loan for new and used vehicles. You can make a lower payment than a conventional auto loan, but at a higher interest rate. You’ll pay back the remaining balance at the end of your loan. For new vehicles, they must never have been titled and be the current or prior model year. For used vehicles, it can be anywhere from the prior two years up to the current model and can’t exceed 15,000 miles per year.

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Lightstream

A division of SunTrust Bank, Lightstream offers loans for new and used cars with terms ranging from 24 to 84 months (two to seven years). It offers APRs from 3.34% with a loan amounts $5,000 - $100,000. This APR only applies to those who are enrolled in automatic payments. If you don’t enroll in autopay, you’ll pay an extra 0.50% APR. Your actual rate will depend on the financing term, the amount you take out and your credit history.

You can use the funds for any type of vehicle, with no restrictions on the dealership or the model, make or mileage on the car. You can also use the loan to purchase new or used motorcycles, lease buyouts and vehicles from individuals. Unfortunately, you can’t get a preapproval, meaning you’ll need to complete and submit a loan application online. The benefit is that if you’re approved, you may be able to receive the money within one business day.

Lightstream offers a guarantee that you’ll love their service. If not, they’ll email you a questionnaire for you to fill out within 30 days of loan closing. Once completed, they’ll deposit $100 into your account.

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Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the U.S. and it provides a wide variety of banking, investing and loan products and services. Their auto loan program is for dealer purchases, lease buyouts and purchases from another individual. You can’t use their financing for recreational or commercial vehicles. If you’re not purchasing a vehicle from a private party, Bank of America only allows you to purchase cars from franchise dealers or one of their approved independent dealers.

Rates for their loans start from 3.39% APR for new cars, 3.89% for used cars. If purchasing a car from an individual, you can apply for a private party loan by visiting a financial center. Preferred Rewards clients are eligible for a rate discount. Gold customers get a 0.25% discount Platinum 0.35% and Platinum honors a 0.50% discount. You can choose from loan terms from 12 to 75 months, but you can only choose either a 48-, 60- or 72- month option online. Once you submit your application, you can contact Bank of America to request a different loan term.

You will need to borrow a minimum of $5,000 (or $7,500 if you reside in Minnesota or South Carolina). The vehicle you intend to finance can’t have more than 125,000 miles, be older than 10 calendar years or valued below $6,000. Once you apply, Bank of America claims you’ll get a response within 60 seconds. If approved, your rate remains valid for up to 30 days.

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U.S. Bank

US Bank offers loans for new and used vehicles with rates starting at 4.59% APR for online and branch applications. If you are an existing U.S. Bank customer and set up automatic payments from a U.S. Bank consumer checking package account, you’re eligible for a 0.50% rate discount. For used cars, you can only finance a car six years old or newer and with no more than 100,000 miles.

If you intend on purchasing an eco-friendly car, you may be able to save some money by taking advantage of the Green Auto Loan Rate discount. This is only for new or used EPA-certified SmartWay vehicles. These include hybrids or high gas mileage cars. You will get a 0.50% rate reduction once you set up automatic payments from a U.S. Bank package and complete the Green Vehicle Affidavit. You can find out which cars qualify by using the EPA Green Vehicle Guide.

With all loans, you do need to pay an origination fee, which can be anywhere from $50 to $125 or up to 1% of the financed amount, depending on your state.

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Bottom line

Capital One’s Auto Navigator program is best for those who want a competitive rate on new or used vehicles. For those who have a good credit history and are in a sound financial situation, there’s the added benefit of no prepayment penalties. That way, if you choose to pay off your loan early, you won’t need to pay extra. If you already have a car in mind, Capital One is still a great option to consider, as long as the dealership is on their approved list. With its easy online application process and the ability to tweak the terms of the loan, Capital One offers great terms and rates. However, if you’re not considering buying from an approved dealer, or if you’re looking at commercial or recreational vehicles, you’ll want to look 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.

Sarah Li Cain
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Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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Credit Cards, Reviews

Blispay Credit Card Review: 2% Cash Back Card, if You’re Careful

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Credit Card Review

When it comes to cash back cards, the competition is fierce. Blispay is a new Visa credit card that offers 2% cash back with no restrictions and a financing option for large purchases. Although 2% cash back with no cap is decent, the special financing promotion incentive could easily do more harm than good. In this post, we’ll help you determine if the Blispay credit card should be in your wallet.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • The Blispay Visa® Card offer
  • How cash back works
  • The fine print details
  • The pros and cons

The Offer  

1. Enjoy 2% Cash Back on all purchases!

There’s no revolving categories or spending limits. The Blispay Visa® Card gives you unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, no spending caps and no strings attached.

2. Special financing for 6 months

Beyond the 2% cash back deal, Blispay offers a financing option for big spending. You get an introductory 0% on all purchases over $199 if paid in full in 6 months. However, if the balance of that purchase is not paid off within 6 months, retroactive interest will be charged at 19.99% APR from the day the transaction posted to your account. That’s a big catch: you’re interested isn’t waived, it’s retroactive. Failing to pay off the purchase in 6 months means the 19.99% APR that’s been accumulating will all get tacked onto your balance.

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A Closer Look at Blispay 2% Cash Back

How to earn cash back

Cash back can be earned at any merchant where Visa is accepted. Purchases made through Apple Pay, PayPal or a digital wallet with a Blispay credit card will count for 2% cash back as well. Occasionally, Blispay may offer special cash back promotions where you can earn even more from your spending. For an example, if you spend $5,000 on your card for the year, you have the potential to earn $100 in cash back, which is a 0.02% cash back value.

How to redeem cash back

The draw of the Blispay cash back program is you won’t need to do anything beyond pay for a purchase to earn and redeem cash back. Each month, the cash back tallies up and automatically applies as a credit to your statement balance when the billing period ends. The application process is also quick. You can apply online and start using your account right away.

The Fine Print

Simple way to earn rewards: The 2% cash back on all purchases with no cap is an uncomplicated way to earn a reward from using the Blispay Visa® Card. However, the fine print comes in with the special financing. The “no payment, no interest” promotion seems like a deal upfront, but it can really be a trap if you’re not careful.

Understand the consequences of deferred interest: This special financing is really just deferred interest and means interest accruing on your balance will be charged at a later time. If you rely on the promotion to avoid making payments right away on many purchases, you can easily run into trouble when 6 months expires on each one. The way Blispay includes the interest-free period as a promotion alongside the 2% cash back deal could be a way to lure you into spending more money than you can pay off before interest hits.

Cash back is worthless if you don’t pay off your bill in full: If you choose to use this card, understand that earning 2% cash back is worthless if you keep getting charged 19.99% APR later on. You want to avoid interest entirely to get the most benefit from a cash back card. Otherwise, you may pay more in interest than you even earn in cash back.

The Blispay Fee Structure

The Blispay Visa® Card has a $0 annual fee. So, if you choose this card and pay off your balances diligently, it is possible to earn cash back for free. But, you will have to pay more for purchases made internationally since there’s a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction after it is converted to US dollars. Lastly, there’s a minimum interest charge of $2.00 and the late payment fee is $35.

Pros and Cons

Pro: No restrictions on the 2%. You can earn 2% cash back without adjusting your spending habits or paying attention to categories. There’s also no cap. You’ll earn 2% cash back no matter how much you purchase.

Con: Special financing is retroactive interest. If you rely on the financing for many large purchases, you can fall behind on payments and get charged retroactive interest. When that happens you won’t see much, if any, return from 2% cash back. The no-interest financing option could be a trap, so be cautious.

Pro: $0 annual fee. You won’t need to earn a certain amount of cash back to compensate for an annual cost of this card because there is none.

Con: High fees. Although there’s a $0 annual fee, the interest rate and other fees such as the 3% of each transaction after it is converted to US dollars foreign transaction fee are ones that need your attention. If your credit score is good to excellent, you may be able to get a lower interest rate with another card that doesn’t have the special financing element. For instance, the APR on the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is 15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable) as opposed to19.99% APR.

(No matter what cash back card you decide on, it’s best to pay off your balances entirely to skip interest altogether. But a lower interest rate is ideal in case you do need to revolve a balance.)

Pro: Automatic statement credit. Each statement period your cash back will appear as a credit on your account. You won’t have to initiate the redemption of cash back. This card requires hardly any maintenance.

Alternative

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Regular Purchase APR
14.99%-25.99% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 12 months
Intro BT APR
0% for 12 months
Annual fee
$95
Rewards Rate
6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

If you need to finance new purchases or transfer a balance from another non-Amex card, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers an intro 0% for 12 months on purchases and an intro 0% for 12 months on balance transfers (after, 14.99%-25.99% Variable APR). This is a decent amount of time for your to finance purchases interest-free and can save you money on interest payments, compared to carrying a balance on a high interest card. This card also comes with a rewards program where cardholders earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases. Take note that there is a $95 annual fee with this card, but it may be worthwhile.

Who Will Benefit Most from the Blispay Visa® Card

The Blispay Visa® Card gets a low score from us because of the financing angle included in the promotion. Reeling you in with deferred interest can hurt you more than 2% cash back can help if you fall off track. But, if you plan to avoid the 6 month special financing, you may be able to reap the benefits of cash back while steering clear of the pitfall.

Why trust us...

Fact Checked By: Alexandria White

Reviewed By: Alexandria White

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

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Best of, Earning Cashback, Reviews

QuickSilver or Venture: Which Capital One Card Should You Pick?

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

QuickSilver or Venture: Which Capital One Card Should You Pick

Comparing cards from differing financial institutions is a tough decision, but what do you do when you’re looking at two cards from the same provider? They have identical interest rates, points never expire on either card, and they both have great bonuses.

I’ll tell you what you do: you do some math to figure out which one provides the better value. That’s exactly what we’ve done with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. If cash back is your goal, rather than travel rewards, we’ve found a clear winner.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. There are no rotating categories; every dollar you spend will earn 1.5 cents, redeemable in cash. At publication, it comes with a One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

This card has a $0 annual fee, and comes with an 0% intro on purchases for 15 months and a 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months (3% BT fee applies), then an APR of 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable).

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day
Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card operates differently. While you can get cash back, the best way to use points earned is for travel. For every dollar you spend, you earn 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. When you redeem Venture points to pay for travel, you get $1 in value for every 100 points. However, if you choose to redeem those points for cash, you will only get half that ($0.50 back per 100 points)

This means if you’re only looking for cashback, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is the better deal.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card comes with a One-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel, but worth only $250 if you opt to use the cash back method. In order to qualify for this bonus, you must meet a $3,000 minimum spend in the first three months of your account opening.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

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Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Rewards Rate
2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Pros & Cons

Both cards are nice additions to your wallet if you use credit responsibly, but you’ll want to look over the pros and cons of each before choosing one the one that is best for you.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Pro: Higher points for cashback. The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card’s rewards come in at a higher value when you redeem for cashback.

Con: Other options in the industry offer more. In this matchup, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card clearly comes out on top, but when you compare it to other cards in the cashback niche, such as Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, its return isn’t stellar.

Pro: Simplicity. While other cashback cards may have a higher yield, you often have to spend money on certain items during specific months to see those yields. You also typically have to register for each higher earning category. With the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you earn 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day.

Pro: Less expensive. While we don’t advise carrying a balance on your card, the introductory 0% interest rate makes this card less expensive than its competition in this head-to-head. To add insult to injury, it also doesn’t come with an annual fee, making the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card the cheaper option.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Pro: The bonus is bigger. Even at lower redemption levels, the One-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel, or $250 in cash, is larger than the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card‘s bonus offer. However, the cashback offer on the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a better deal simply because you don’t have to spend as much proportionately to earn it.

Con: It will cost you more to earn the bonus. When you spend $3,000 to earn 50,000 points, you are essentially spending $3,000 to earn $250 (or $500 if you use the points for travel). Contrast that with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card’s offer to earn a One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, and you can clearly see that Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card’s deal offers a better value, even though it’s smaller.

Pro: More value if you’re a traveler. If you redeem your points for travel, you’re earning 2% cash value from your spending, 0.5% more more than the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card’s cashback offer, and a full 1% than if you opted to use your points for non-travel purchases on the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.

Con: More expensive. The annual fee is a an $0 intro for first year; $95 after that. This means that the card will earn back the annual fee after you’ve spent $2,950 if you plan to use the points for travel. Interest fees are also not waived for the first year.

When to Use Both Cards

If you like to travel, but also like getting cash to pay your monthly bills, it can be advantageous to use both cards in conjunction. Where you put your spend will depend on your immediate goals. For example, maybe you have a wedding to attend, and two nights at the hotel will cost you a total of $400. You’d want to take advantage of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card’s signup bonus, One-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel. You’d even have $60 in travel credit leftover to take care of fun things like hospitality taxes and potential resort fees.

On top of booking accommodations, you also have to buy a gift. You decide to charge every additional penny to your Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card card, paying it off every month. At the end of three months, you’ve spent $6,000: $3,000 on your Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, and $3,000 on Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. Because you’ve spent over $500 on your Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card card, you get the one-time bonus, plus an additional $45 in cashback rewards, more than enough to purchase a wedding gift.

Other Cash Back Card Options

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card‘s 1.5% return is far from the best on the market. [ps name=’card.78.name’]offers 5% back at different places up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Then, 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.

Discover it® Cash Back

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Rates & Fees

Discover it® Cash Back

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.
Regular APR
13.99% - 24.99% Variable
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good Credit

Read our full review of the Discover it® Cash Back here.

If you frequently shop at U.S. supermarkets, then the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a great alternative. Cardholders earn a high cashback rate on U.S. supermarket spending: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases. There is a $95 annual fee, but if you spend $1,584 a year at U.S. supermarkets, you can earn enough cash back to recoup the annual fee.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Regular Purchase APR
14.99%-25.99% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 12 months
Intro BT APR
0% for 12 months
Annual fee
$95
Rewards Rate
6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer also does 2% back on all purchases, Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay
Regular Purchase APR
15.49% - 25.49%* (Variable)
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent, Good

Just keep in mind, all of these cash back options are only valuable if you pay off your card on time and in full each month. Once you start paying interest it voids the return of earning cash back.

Cash Back Winner

If you don’t plan to use your rewards for travel, and are only looking at cash back, the numbers don’t lie. Spending on Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card will earn you 1.5%, while Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card only garners 1%. Unless you’re a traveler, Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers you more value for your spend, and it does so with a $0 annual fee.

promo-cashback-wide

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.

Brynne Conroy
Brynne Conroy |

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

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Reviews

Victoria’s Secret Angel Credit Card Review

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Victoria’s Secret Angel Credit Card Review

If you’re a big Victoria’s Secret shopper, the Angel credit card may be one you’ve considered signing up for especially since the holidays are right around the corner. The Angel card gives members the opportunity to earn Victoria’s Secret rewards, free shipping, and other gifts.

You can swipe the Angel card at Victoria’s Secret and PINK stores and Bath & Body Works (in-store only). But, you’re only able to earn and redeem points at Victoria’s Secret and PINK stores.

The Angel Rewards Program has three rewards tier levels including Angel, Angel VIP, and Angel Forever. A rewards level is assigned to you based on the points you earn from the card. We’ll discuss the benefits of each tier in this post along with:

  • The credit card basics
  • How to redeem points
  • The fine print details
  • How to qualify for the card
  • The pros and cons
  • The basics of the Angel credit card
  • Victoria’s Secret Angel Credit Card Basics

1. Earn 1 point per dollar when you purchase non-bra items.

Victoria’s Secret stores sell perfume, clothes, panties, and many other items besides bras. For these items, you earn 1 point for every dollar you spend.

2. Earn 3 points per dollar on bra purchases.

Victoria’s Secret gives you a special bonus when you shop for bras. On bras, you earn 3 points per dollar including ones that are on sale.

3. Extra benefits such as free shipping.

Cardholders also get free standard shipping for orders that include a bra purchase. All cardholders get a birthday gift as well. According to Angel credit card services, the birthday gift is a $10-off shopping coupon.

Redeeming Victoria’s Secret rewards

The Angel Rewards Program is multifaceted. You get extra opportunities to earn more points than the basic 1 point per dollar spent, and there’s a tiered rewards system that determines what exclusive offers you qualify for.

How to earn bonus points

Besides earning 3 points per dollar on bras, cardholders will be notified of special promotions where they can earn extra points for other items.

In addition, each cardholder can choose a triple point day or days. Triple point days are days you select throughout the year where you will get 3 points per dollar on all purchases, no restrictions.

The number of triple point days you can choose depends on your rewards tier.

Angel Rewards Program tiers

The Angel card has three rewards tiers:

Angel – no point requirement

Angel VIP – cardholders must earn 500 points to reach this level

Angel Forever – cardholders must earn 1,000 points to reach this level

You’ll be bumped up automatically to the next tier if you earn the amount of points required during the 12-month Angel Rewards Program year. The program year goes from February 1 to January 31.

If you get moved up to the second level, Angel VIP, you stay on that level until you earn enough points to reach Angel Forever status. You will never be demoted back to the Angel tier.

If you attain Angel Forever status, you’ll stay there for the entire program year you earned 1,000 points and one year after. However, the following year, you need to requalify by earning another 1,000 points. Otherwise, you’ll be taken down to the Angel VIP tier.

Cardholders at the very lowest tier (Angel) can choose 1 triple point day per program year. Angel VIP cardholders can choose 2 triple point days per year. Angel Forever cardholders get to choose 3 triple point days per year.

Exclusive benefits for Angel VIP and Angel Forever members include access to exclusive event invitations (like store promotions). Angel Forever cardholders also get a special thank-you gift each year.

Redeeming points

Every time you earn 250 points you receive a reward that’s essentially a store coupon. Angel and Angel VIP members get a $10-off reward. Angel Forever members get a $15-off reward.

The reward will be mailed to you within 3 to 6 weeks of earning it. It expires 90 days after it’s issued, so be sure to use it right away.

You cannot use points earned for statement credit, for cash redemption, or to purchase gift cards.

The fine print and fees

The Angel card has no annual fee. However, the red flag is in the interest rate. The interest rate is 25.99% variable APR, which is pretty high. Carrying forward a balance on this card will be counterintuitive if you want to benefit from the rewards program because you’ll pay quite a bit in interest charges.

The Angel card is standard in regard to other fees. The late fee is up to $37, and the returned payment fee is up to $25.

Qualifying for the Angel credit card

You can apply for the Angel card at a Victoria’s Secret or PINK store. You can also apply online. A credit check will be performed to determine your creditworthiness. Like most store cards, you can apply and get approved within minutes at the store checkout counter. Just know that any time your credit is run for a new credit card application, it will ding your credit score. 

However, there is a way to see if you are pre-qualified for a Victoria’s Secret credit card without hurting your credit. Getting pre-qualified is simply a company’s way of telling you that you could qualify for a credit card if you decide to apply for it. You are not actually signing up for a credit card if you are pre-qualified. This is simply a way to make sure you will qualify for the offer if you apply, so you don’t ding your credit score for nothing.

Here’s how: 

 

Step 1: Go to checkout with an item in your cart (you don’t need to buy anything in order to get pre-approved).

Step 2: Enter your name, address and phone number. Be sure to use the address you typically use for bills so they can match it up.

step1

Step 3: Continue to the payment and offers page

Step 4: If you’re pre-approved for a credit card, you will see a pop-up message with your initial credit limit and a link to apply (for real this time). You can then go on to open an account.

step4

If additional information is needed to make a decision, you may have to wait up to 30 days before you’re officially approved for the card. Victoria’s Secret doesn’t have a preset credit score requirement that’s used to qualify (or disqualify) applicants.

Current cardholders report getting approved for the card with a credit score in the mid-500s and higher. The high interest rate is also an indicator this card may be open to those with fair credit.

Pros and Cons

Pro: No annual fee. There’s no annual fee, so Victoria’s Secret shoppers will get rewarded for spending without having to worry about that extra expense.

Con: The interest rate. The interest rate for this card is high. If you carry an account balance, any reward earned (free shipping, coupons, or gifts) will be diminished by the amount you pay in interest charges.

Pro: No cap. You can earn an unlimited amount of points. You’ll automatically get a coupon whenever you reach the 250 point threshold.

Con: The restrictions. Even though there’s no cap, there are a few restrictions in other areas. Points expire 12 months from the date that you earn them. You’re also restricted in how you can use points. There’s no way to cash out other than making a new purchase with your rewards coupon.

Pro: Extra benefits. Beyond the $10 and $15 rewards given for points earned, you get free shipping on purchases that include a bra. Victoria’s Secret may occasionally offer more points for certain purchases as well. You also get a special birthday gift.

Other rewards cards

Ultimately, a store card won’t be worthwhile if you don’t have a reason to spend in that store often. Here are a few cards that will reward you for all spending:

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Regular Purchase APR
14.99%-25.99% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 12 months
Intro BT APR
0% for 12 months
Annual fee
$95
Rewards Rate
6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 1% cash back on other purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Chase Freedom®

APPLY NOW Secured

on Chase Bank’s secure website

Read Full Review

Chase Freedom®

Regular Purchase APR
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Intro BT APR
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
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.
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Chase Freedom® – The Chase Freedom® card is a cash back card with revolving quarterly categories. 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.

For 2018, the bonus categories are:

January to March – Gas stations & Internet/Cable/Phone Services

April to June – Grocery Stores (not including Walmart & Target), PayPal and Chase Pay

July to September – Gas Stations, Lyft, and Walgreens

October to December – Department Stores, Wholesale Clubs, and Chase Pay®

The quarterly maximum for the bonus category is $1,500. All other purchases on your Chase Freedom® card earns unlimited 1% cash back. You can use cash back for statement credit, direct deposit into a savings or checking account, gift cards, or travel.

Who will benefit the most from the Angel credit card?

Unless you shop heavily at Victoria’s Secret and PINK stores, getting a card that will only reward you for spending at these retailers is not a good idea. And since the credit card reward is a coupon for more shopping, taking part in the program may even cause you to spend more than necessary.

Be careful if you’re thinking about opening this credit card just for holiday shopping. Buying now with the intent to pay later can cost you. Accumulating interest charges may outweigh any benefit that you would get from free shipping, rewards points, or birthday gifts. 

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

Chime Bank Review: A Fee-Free Bank Account

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

If you can’t recall the last time you walked into one of your bank’s physical branches, are sick of bank fees and want a no-brainer way to save more money, you may be interested in opening an account with San Francisco-based fintech start-up, Chime. Chime offers a mobile-first approach to banking. The full features of its no-fee service are offered through the free Chime app, making Chime an option to consider for individuals banking on the go.

Chime Bank account: At a glance

Chime calls its everyday checking account a “spending account.” The major selling point of Chime is that it charges almost no fees, as you can see from the list above. We can almost forgive the fact that it doesn’t offer any interest on this account because fee-free checking accounts are harder to find these days. However, there are certainly low-fee checking accounts that pay interest, so check out our roundup of checking accounts here.

Upon account opening, Chime will issue you a VISA debit card to use at the ATM and to make purchases everywhere VISA is accepted.

Noteworthy features

  • No minimum deposit amount to open
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • No overdraft fee
  • No monthly fee
  • No ACH transfer fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Send 15 fee-free ‘Friend transfers’ (P2P) each month
  • Doesn’t earn interest
  • Can’t request an additional card for another user.
  • Limited to $500 in ATM withdrawals per day

Get your paycheck early
If you set up direct deposit to your Chime spending account, you may gain access to your funds up to two days early. That’s because Chime makes the money available to you as soon as your employer deposits it. Generally speaking, that’s about two days before you’d see your paycheck deposited to your account with most banks. This is a common feature of prepaid debit cards, but not seen with many traditional bank accounts.

ATM access
Use MoneyPass ATMs and you’ll incur no ATM fees. If you go to an out-of-network ATM, the fee is $2.50. ATM withdrawals are capped at $500 per day and card purchases that require a signature and PIN are capped at $2,500 per day.

No overdrafts
There are no overdraft fees to worry about because Chime won’t allow you to make a charge that will overdraft your spending account. If a transaction will overdraft your spending account, the company will refuse to process the payment. If your spending account becomes negative for whatever reason and remains negative for 15 days, Chime will transfer money from your savings account to bring the account back to a positive balance.

Chime Bank account vs. Aspiration Summit checking account

As Chime Bank is one of a growing number of fintech banking challengers, we wanted to see how it compares with its new peers, specifically the Aspiration Summit account.

Rates. Unlike the Aspiration Summit account, a Chime Spending account does not earn interest (although the optional Chime Savings account does). With the Aspiration account, you will be paid 1.00% on balances up to $2,499.99 and 1.00% on the entirety of balances of $2,500 or more.

Fees. The Aspiration Summit account offers no-fee ATM use anywhere, while Chime will charge an ATM fee unless account holders locate and use a fee-free ATM as designated by Chime. Neither bank charges a monthly account fee, however, Chime takes the lead here with no strings attached. Aspiration offers a somewhat complicated, usage-based fee pricing structure which may or may not charge a fee, depending on the user.

Overdrafts. The Aspiration account charges an overdraft fee, whereas Chime account does not – the bank will simply refuse to process the transaction if adequate funds are not in the account. Aspiration’s account is targeted toward middle-class users, whereas Chime seeks to appeal to the millennial or youthful demographic and pushes mobile account access as the norm, as opposed to simply an option to access an account.

Access. The Aspiration Summit account can only be opened by invite and when responding, an applicant may receive an email that they’ve been added to a “waitlist” and to “stay tuned for updates.” However, anyone who meets the basic account opening requirements can apply to open a Chime Spending account.

The bottom line: For individuals who want free global ATM access, Aspiration Summit account is the way to go. For someone who wants to perform most of their banking from the palm of their hand on a mobile device – a Chime Bank Spending account is the better alternative.

Who Chime Bank is best for

Chime is ideal for someone who is tech savvy, maintains a low bank balance and wants to avoid fees and save money without thinking (too much) about it.

Someone who wants a fee-free prepaid alternative
Because Chime doesn’t run a credit check to open an account and offers early access to your paycheck at no extra cost, it may be a viable alternative to using prepaid debit cards, which commonly offer early direct deposits but often come with hidden fees.

Someone looking for a solution to overdraft fees
The bank requires no minimum deposits and avoids overdraft fees, which can be beneficial to anyone who generally maintains a low checking account balance and regularly incurs overdraft fees as a result.

Someone who wants to save money automatically
The account’s automatic saving feature makes it easy to save money for anyone who isn’t used to regularly saving a chunk of their paycheck or wants to save a little bit more money with each purchase.

Someone who won’t miss brick-and-mortar branches
Chime doesn’t have any physical branches, which can be an inconvenience to some individuals. Additionally, Chime’s customer service hours are limited to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST most days. If you’d prefer to have a physical branch to walk into in case you need help with your account or 24-hour customer service, you may be better off banking elsewhere.

Chime Bank savings account

Chime Savings Account

APY

Minimum Balance Amount

0.01%

$0.01

As of 12/12/2018

Only after opening a Chime spending account will you be permitted to open a Chime savings account. The account requires no minimum deposit to open. However, if you maintain a zero balance for nine continuous months, your account may be closed.

At a measly 0.01% variable APY, the interest on Chime’s savings account isn’t impressive compared with other high-yield savings account options currently available. However, the savings account comes with some attractive features that may make up for the poor interest rate.

Noteworthy features

Save as you spend
Once you open a savings account, you can enroll in Chime’s automatic savings program, called “save when I spend.” Chime will automatically round up every purchase made with your Chime VISA card to the nearest dollar and transfer the amount from your spending account to your savings account for you. You can turn automatic savings on or off anytime using the Chime app or on the Chime website.

Automatically stash away 10%
Chime’s “save when I get paid” feature makes it easy to pay yourself first. Not only can you access funds from your paycheck up to two days early, but you can also set the app to automatically transfer 10% of your check to your savings account each time you’re paid. You can enable the feature using the Chime app.

No excessive withdrawals fee
Like most savings accounts, under federal Regulation D you are limited up to six certain withdrawals or transfers from the savings account per statement cycle. However, Chime won’t charge you a fee once you hit your limit like other banks will; it simply won’t allow you to make any more than your six withdrawals.

Chime’s partner The Bancorp Bank, an FDIC member, insures Chime deposit accounts up to $250,000.

Chime mobile app

Chime users can use the full features of Chime via the free Chime mobile app on iPhones and Android devices. The Chime app comes packed with full banking features. The app includes mobile deposits and notifications directly from the app, but also a few features exclusive to Chime users, like an in-app P2P system and the ability to send checks.

Notifications. The app will let you know how much money you have left to work with each day with daily account balance and a transaction notification each time you swipe your debit card.

Mobile check deposits. Just snap a photo of your check and it will get deposited into your account. Mobile check deposit is only available for Chime users who have their payroll direct deposited to their spending account.

Security. The account’s security features allow you to toggle on and off the ability to make domestic and international transactions. This is useful if you lose your card and need to block it ASAP so no one else can use it, or if you simply want to restrict your own use of your debit card.

Send money to friends with Chime. You can send money to your friends who use Chime using the in-app “Pay with Friends” feature. The P2P payments option can come in handy if you need to split dinner with friends or bills with roommates. You can send money to other Chime users using their name, Chime nickname, phone number, email or by selecting them from your contacts.

Pay with Friends also works with popular P2P payments app, like Venmo, in case your friends don’t use a Chime account. Just select pay with Venmo after entering the amount you’d like to send and Chime will launch the Venmo app.

Chime’s Pay with Friends caps users at $2,000 or 15 transfers per month. Transfers to Chime members will immediately post in the recipient’s Chime account, while transfers from recipient’s Venmo account to their external bank account may take up to two business days.

ATM Map. Chime built its ATM map right into the app, so you can find an ATM easily on the go. Chime is in network with more than 30,000 MoneyPass ATMs. Chime allows you to withdraw up to $500 per day, only from your spending account.

Send a check. Chime won’t issue you a checkbook, but it will mail a check to whomever you owe on your behalf from the app. Enter the recipient (business or individual) and the amount you want to send, and Chime will take care of mailing the check for you. You can send and unlimited number of checks, up to $5,000 per check.

How to open a Chime Bank account

Signing up for a Chime account is relatively simple and easy. Chime says it takes less than two minutes to enroll.

You can sign up using the free Chime iPhone or Android app, or by visiting Chime‘s website. You must be at least 18 years old and either a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid Social Security number to be eligible to open a Chime account. Chime uses a third-party service to verify your information before approving your account. Chime does not run a credit check for approval or require any other forms of identification like a driver’s license number to apply.

The initial enrollment only opens a Chime spending account and so you will still need to open a savings account if you want one. Chime will present you with the option to open a savings account after your spending account is set up, but if you don’t want to do that right away, you can always do it later online or through the app.

Your Chime VISA debit card should arrive within 10 business days after you open a spending account. As of this writing, Chime does not offer joint accounts.

Linking an external account
You can link an external bank account you own to your Chime spending account in the Move Money section of the Chime app or by logging into your account online. Under Move Money, select Transfers and you will then be prompted to enter your other bank’s login credentials. Your external bank account will be instantly linked to your spending account.

How to fund your Chime account

There are currently five ways Chime allows you to put money into your chime account. As of this writing, Chime does not support wire transfers, but says it may later add the feature.

  1. Set up direct deposit with your employer. Funds will post when Chime receives them (that may be up to two days earlier than your payday!)
  2. Initiate a transfer to your Chime account from an external bank. Chime says this is the fastest way to move money from your external account to a Chime account. If you use a debit card to transfer funds to your Chime account, the funds will be made available within minutes. There are no limits on direct deposits, but if you use a debit card, the minimum transfer you can make is $25 and the maximum is $200 per day.
  3. Initiate a transfer from an external account using Chime. After linking an external bank account, you can transfer up to $200 per day, or $1,000 per month to your Chime spending account. It may take up to five business days for the funds to be made available for use.
  4. Use the mobile app to deposit a check. Chime users can use the app to deposit checks using their mobile devices.The feature is only available to users who receive payroll direct deposit to their Chime spending account.
  5. Deposit cash at a one of over 60,000 Green Dot locations. Visit a Green Dot location and ask to add the cash to your Chime spending account. You can deposit up to $1,000 within 24 hours, or $10,000 per month. Green Dot may charge up to $4.95 to make a cash deposit to your Chime spending account. Find a location near you here.

Overall review of Chime

Overall, Chime offers fairly standard checking and savings accounts, but it’s mobile-first approach to banking and robust mobile app features make it stand out from others in mobile banking. If you aren’t super excited to use the Chime banking app and aren’t afraid to do a little extra work, you can achieve most of the same features with a higher-yield checking or savings account offered 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.

Brittney Laryea
Brittney Laryea |

Brittney Laryea is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Brittney at brittney@magnifymoney.com

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Reviews

Georgia’s Own Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1934
Total Assets$2.5B
LEARN MORE on Georgia's Own Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

Georgia’s Own Credit Union was founded in 1934 by six Atlanta Telco employees with $160 between them. It’s grown slightly since then: The credit union now has over 184,000 members and over $2 billion in assets. Members have access to 20 locations, plus over 5,000 shared branches and 85,000 surcharge-free ATMs through the CO-OP network.

To become a member, you must live or work in certain central Georgia counties, work at one of the credit union’s partner companies, attend or work at Georgia State University or have a relative who’s already a member. If none of these apply, you can qualify by joining the Getting Ahead Association with a $5 annual fee or Georgia’s Own Foundation with a one-time $10 or $200 donation.

If you’re interested in finding out if their deposit accounts are worth opening, read on to find our review of their checking, savings, CD money market and IRA accounts.

Georgia's Own Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.10%

Savings

Georgia's Own Credit Union Regular Savings

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.90%

CD Rates

Georgia's Own Credit Union 1 Year CD

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.50%

CD Rates

Georgia's Own Credit Union 3 Year CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.10%

CD Rates

Georgia's Own Credit Union 5 Year CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s checking account options

All Access Checking

This is Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s basic checking account option.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.02%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: none
  • ATM fee: $1 (balance inquiries and account transfers) or $2 (withdrawals) for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $33

This is Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s no-frills checking account. You get features such as a debit card, e-statements and online and mobile banking. If you choose, you can link your account to a savings or money market account for overdraft protection.

To get the $2 paper statement fee waived, elect to receive e-statements instead.

How to get the All Access Checking account

You can apply for an account by filling out an online application form. You must indicate how you qualify for membership and agree to open a Primary Savings account with a $5 opening deposit. Then fill in personal details such as your name, address and Social Security. Afterward, fund both accounts.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Georgia's Own Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Perks+ Checking

You can earn a higher rate, but you need to pay a monthly maintenance fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.02%
$0.01
0.03%
$1,500
0.05%
$2,500
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5.95
  • ATM fee: $1 (balance inquiries and account transfers) or $2 (withdrawals) for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $33

Yes, you need to pay a monthly maintenance fee, but Georgia’s Own Credit Union claims the fee is worth paying for considering the discounts you’ll get. First, there’s access to the BaZing app, which offers discounts from local and national retailers. There’s also cellphone protection service, which can give you up to $800 year to repair or replace your phone if you use your checking account to pay for cellphone bill. Other perks include 24/7 roadside assistance and up to $2,500 in personal identity theft services.

You do get tiered rates, but they’re much lower than what you’d find elsewhere.

How to get the Perks+ Checking account

Go to Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s website and fill out an online application form. After indicating how you qualifying for membership and agreeing to their disclosures — including opening a Primary Savings account — provide information such as your name, address and Social Security number. Then fund both accounts.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Georgia's Own Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

i[check]

This low-fee account is for people between the ages of 14 and 25.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.02%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 (balance inquiries and account transfers) or $2 (withdrawals) for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $33

This account is best for teens who want a checking account they can use into adulthood, as the account is good until 25 years old. Features of the account include free e-statements, balance alerts and online and mobile banking.

On your 25th birthday, the account will be converted to an All Access Checking account.

How to get the i[check] account

You and your child will need to head to the nearest Georgia’s Own Credit Union branch to open an account — your child can go by himself if he is 18 years or older. Either way, make sure to bring along a state-issued ID, Social Security number and a way to fund the account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Georgia's Own Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Golden Bell Checking

This account is available if you’re at least 50 years old or retired.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.02%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: None (although the out-of-network ATM may impose a surcharge)
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

The Golden Bell checking account program offers special perks for people 50 years and older. You get a Visa check card and online and mobile banking. Extra perks include free checks, cashier’s checks and up to five free microfilm copies of canceled checks.

How to get the Golden Bell Checking account

You’ll need to go in person to apply for this program. If you’re an existing member, you may fill out this form and mail it back to Georgia’s Own Credit Union, but it’s best to call customer service at 1-800-533-2062 to make sure.

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Resolution Checking

This account is for people who aren’t eligible for a regular checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8
  • ATM fee: $1 (balance inquiries and account transfers) or $2 (withdrawals) for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $33

The Resolution Checking account is meant for people who aren’t eligible for other checking accounts or have credit problems in the past. You need to keep this account in good standing for a minimum of one year before you switch to another one — stop by a branch or call customer service at 1-800-533-2062 to make the request.

Although you get free online and mobile banking, you have to pay $0.50 for each check you write.

How to get the Resolution Checking account

You need to apply for this account in person. Don’t forget to bring along information like your government-issued ID and Social Security number. You’ll also need to open a Primary Savings account if you’re not an existing member.

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How Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

We won’t beat around the bush — these checking accounts have abysmal rates. They’re essentially what you’d find at most major banks. We also don’t like that you need to pay a monthly maintenance fee for the Perks+ account and there’s no ability to waive it. Competitors such as the ones on our list of the best checking accounts have much higher rates and no minimum balance amounts. Many also don’t require monthly maintenance fees.

In other words, we think it’s best you go elsewhere.

Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s savings account options

Regular/Primary Savings

Everyone needs to open this account to establish membership.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$5.01
0.13%
$50,000
0.18%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1 (balance inquiries and account transfers) or $2 (withdrawals) for out-of-network ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account doesn’t have the best rate, but all members are required to open one in order to establish and maintain membership. This represents your share in Georgia’s Own Credit Union. You can access your funds via online or mobile banking. The credit union will give you an ATM card upon request but customer service representatives tend to discourage members from requesting one because of how many withdrawals you’re allowed. Regulation D limits you up to six certain withdrawals/transfers a month, and beyond that, you’ll need to pay a $5 excessive transaction fee.

How to get the Regular/Primary Savings account

You can open an account by filling out an online application form. First, indicate how you qualify for membership and provide information such as your name, address and Social Security number. You can then fund your new account.

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Coindexter Club

Help your child learn to save money with the Coindexter program and its incentives.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$5.01
0.13%
$50,000
0.18%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is for children up to 13 years old. Account holders can enroll in the Coindexter Club program, a website encouraging financial literacy. Your child will also receive quarterly newsletters and birthday cards.

Georgia’s Own Credit Union helps encourage your child to save by offering incentives. Once the account reaches $250, the credit union will give your child a gift, plus a second gift when the account reaches $500. It’s a good idea to remind your child that Regulation D limits account holders up to six certain withdrawals/transfers a month, or else there’ll be a $5 fee imposed by the credit union.

How to get the Coindexter Club savings account

You and your child will need to head to the nearest branch to open an account. Remember to bring along information such as both of your Social Security numbers and a way to fund the account. If you’re not already a member, you’ll need to become one by opening a Primary Savings account.

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Holiday Savings/Club Account

You can open this account any time of the year for short-term savings goals.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$5.01
0.13%
$50,000
0.18%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

Both the Holiday Savings and Holiday Club accounts are meant to be opened as a separate savings account to help set aside money for your short-term goals. You can open either club account at any time of the year and you can make withdrawals whenever you want — but funds in the account will automatically be transferred to a Primary Savings account on Nov. 1. However, you are limited up to six certain withdrawals/transfers per month because of Regulation D, or else you’ll need to pay a $5 excessive transaction fee to the credit union.

How to get the Holiday Savings/Club account

You can open either the Holiday Savings or Club account by filling out an online application form. If you’re not an existing member, you’ll also need to open a Regular Savings account. On the form, first indicate how you qualify for membership, then provide personal details such as your name, address and Social Security number. Afterward, fund your new accounts.

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How Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

Just like their checking accounts, Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s savings accounts offer extremely low rates. We like that there are no monthly maintenance fees and you do get ATM access, but alternatives also offer the same benefits, plus much higher rates.

You’re better off going with accounts like the ones we suggest on our savings account list.

Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s CD rates

Certificate of Deposit

Even with the tiered rates, these are some pretty low APYs.
$500 minimum balance
TermAPY
6 months0.65%
1 year0.90%
2 years1.30%
3 years1.50%
4 years1.56%
5 years2.10%
$10,000 minimum balance
TermAPY
6 months0.65%
1 year0.90%
2 years1.30%
3 years1.50%
4 years1.56%
5 years2.10%
$25,000 minimum balance
TermAPY
6 months0.65%
1 year0.90%
2 years1.30%
3 years1.50%
4 years1.56%
5 years2.10%
$50,000 minimum balance
TermAPY
6 months0.66%
1 year0.92%
2 years1.33%
3 years1.55%
4 years1.61%
5 years2.15%
$75,000 minimum balance
TermAPY
6 months0.66%
1 year0.92%
2 years1.33%
3 years1.55%
4 years1.61%
5 years2.15%
$125,000 minimum balance
TermAPY
6 months0.66%
1 year0.92%
2 years1.33%
3 years1.55%
4 years1.61%
5 years2.15%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term
    • 12 months or less – 90 days’ interest
    • 13 to 24 months – 180 days’ interest
    • 25 to 36 months – 270 days’ interest
    • 37 to 48 months – 360 days’ interest
    • 49 to 60 months – 450 days’ interest

The more you put in, the higher rates you will earn — but they’re still lower than many competitor accounts. How the interest is compounded and earned isn’t that straightforward either. The interest for the 6 month, 1 year, 3 year and 5 year CDs are either compounded and credited quarterly to your account, or not compounded at all and credited monthly. The 2 year and 4 year CDs are compounded and credited quarterly. If you choose to have interest sent to another account, interest earned won’t be compounded.

Once your account matures, your CD will automatically renew unless you decide to make changes during the 10-day grace period. This can include making additional deposits, withdrawals or renewing for another term.

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Own Your Rate CD

Account holders get the opportunity to raise their rate.
TermAPY
22 months0.95%
44 months1.20%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term
    • 22 months – 180 days’ interest
    • 44 months – 360 days’ interest

The Own Your Rate CD offers you the chance to increase your rate — once for the 22 month term and twice for the 44 month term. Account holders are responsible for contacting Georgia’s Own Credit Union to request the rate increase if the advertised rate goes up.

Interest is compounded and credited quarterly to your CD. You can choose to keep the interest in the CD or transferred to another account. If you choose the latter, interest won’t be compounded.

Your CD will automatically renew upon maturity unless you make changes during the 10-day grace period.

How to get Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s CDs

You’ll need to apply for a CD account in person. If you’re not already a member, you’re required to become one by opening a Primary Savings account. Make sure you bring along information like your state-issued ID and Social Security number.

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How Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s CD rates compare

These rates aren’t exactly the best we’ve seen. We like that there is an option to bump up your rate with the Own Your Rate CD, but all of these accounts offer half the APY compared with other financial institutions. We’re going to assume you want to maximize your savings, so it’s probably best to seek alternative CDs like some of the ones we’ve researched.

Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s money market account options

Money Market

You can earn some pretty competitive rates, but you’ll need to maintain a high minimum balance.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.60%
$2,500
0.70%
$10,000
0.80%
$25,000
0.85%
$50,000
0.93%
$100,000
0.98%
$250,000
1.00%
$500,000
1.09%
$1,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • 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 Money account offers higher rates than the savings account. However, you need to deposit a large sum of cash in order to qualify for those rates, and that could be unattainable for most people. The monthly maintenance fee can be waived if you maintain a $2,500 minimum balance. You’re also limited up to six certain withdrawals/transfers a month because of Regulation D. If you write more than three checks or make more than six withdrawals a month, you’ll need to pay a $10 excess withdrawal fee to the credit union.

How to get Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s money market account

You can open an account by filling out an online application form. You’ll need to indicate how you qualify for membership and agree to open a Primary Savings account. Fill in personal details such as your name, address and Social Security number, then fund your account.

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Money Market Index

Earn a healthy APY if you can meet Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s requirements.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.88%
$0.01
0.60%
$250,000
*A lower APY will be applied if you don’t meet the qualifications for the rates above.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25,000
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $15 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is best for those who want to earn more and already have a checking account with Georgia’s Own Credit Union. That’s because one of the requirements to qualify for the higher APY is that you need to have a personal checking account with them. You’ll also need to make at least five point-of-sale transactions with your debit card each month and deposit new money into the account.

To waive the monthly maintenance fee, you’ll need to maintain a $25,000 daily minimum balance. You’re also looking at a $10 excessive withdrawal fee from the credit union if you go over six certain withdrawals or transfers each month, per Regulation D.

How to get the Money Market Index account

Head over to Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s website and fill out an online application form to open an account. If you’re not a member, you’ll need to open a Primary Savings account to establish member. First, indicate how you qualify for membership then fill in details such as your address and Social Security number. Afterward, fund both accounts.

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How Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

Both money market accounts offer some pretty competitive rates — they’re some of the highest we’ve seen like the ones on our list of the best money market rates. What we don’t like are the minimum balance requirements for the Money Market Index account. it’s high, and you need to meet their rules in order to qualify for the high rates. If you can meet the minimum balance plus their other requirements, these accounts aren’t a bad choice. Otherwise, we suggest you do some comparison shopping.

Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

IRA CD

These rates are pretty low, just like the regular CDs.
$500 minimum deposit
TermAPY
1 year0.90%
18 month0.75%
2 years1.28%
3 years1.51%
4 years1.56%
5 years2.11%
$10,000 minimum deposit
TermAPY
1 year0.90%
18 month0.75%
2 years1.30%
3 years1.51%
4 years1.56%
5 years2.11%
$25,000 minimum deposit
TermAPY
1 year0.90%
18 month0.75%
2 years1.30%
3 years1.51%
4 years1.56%
5 years2.11%
$50,000 minimum deposit
TermAPY
1 year0.92%
18 month0.77%
2 years1.30%
3 years1.56%
4 years1.61%
5 years2.16%
$75,000 minimum deposit
TermAPY
1 year0.92%
18 month0.77%
2 years1.33%
3 years1.56%
4 years1.61%
5 years2.16%
$125,000 minimum deposit
TermAPY
1 year0.92%
18 month0.77%
2 years1.33%
3 years1.56%
4 years1.61%
5 years2.16%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term
    • 12 months or less – 90 days’ interest
    • 13 to 24 months – 180 days’ interest
    • 25 to 36 months – 270 days’ interest
    • 37 to 48 months – 360 days’ interest
    • 49 to 60 months – 450 days’ interest

These fixed-rate retirement accounts offer a low minimum opening deposit but the rates are lower compared with what you’d find elsewhere. As for how interest is earned, it depends on the term you choose. For the 18 month term, interest earned is compounded and credited monthly, and interest is compounded and credited quarterly for all other terms.

When your CD matures, you’ll have a 10-day grace period where you can make changes or else it’ll automatically be renewed.

How to get Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s IRA CDs

Go to a branch to open an account. You need to open a Primary Savings account as well if you’re not already a member. Bring along information such as Social Security number when you go open those accounts.

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How Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Just like their regular CDs, Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s IRA CD have much lower rates than some of the best offerings out there. We like that there is a fairly low opening deposit requirement but so do other banks and credit unions. Instead of choosing these IRA CDs, we suggest checking out alternative IRA CDs to see what you could be earning.

Club IRA

These are the same rates as the Primary Savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$5.01
0.13%
$50,000
0.18%
$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Club IRA account can be a great idea if you’re in between IRA CD accounts or if you want a more flexible option. Interest is compounded quarterly. Although Georgia’s Own Credit Union won’t charge you an excess withdrawal fee if you go over six a month (as mandated by Regulation D), you may face IRS penalties if you take money before you’re 59 1/2 years old.

How to get the Club IRA account

You need to apply for the Club IRA account in person. Remember to bring along information such as your Social Security number and state-issued ID. If you’re not already a member, you need to become one and agree to open a Primary Savings account.

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Overall review of Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s banking products

We like that anyone can join Georgia’s Own Credit Union — there aren’t restrictive requirements such as living in a specific geographic location. Their money market accounts stand out as offering some of the best rates out there. However, you need to meet a few requirements and have quite a large sum on deposit to qualify for the higher rates.

Otherwise, the rest of Georgia’s Own Credit Union’s products are lackluster at best. The rates are low and there aren’t much perks offered, like free checks for all account holders. There are other places that offer higher rates, low minimum balance and you’re not required to open a savings account like at this credit union.

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.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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Reviews

SAFE Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1940
Total Assets$2.9B
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Sacramento’s SAFE Credit Union has grown from humble beginnings, from 10 founding members to more than 200,000 today. The credit union has also expanded physically to serve 12 counties surrounding the Sacramento area.

There are membership requirements to join SAFE Credit Union, but they aren’t difficult to fulfill if you live in the area. You must live or work in one of the counties in which they operate, be an employee or member of one of their partner companies and organizations or have someone in your family who is a member. In order to establish your membership, you’ll need to open a savings account with a minimum deposit of $5. After that, you can open any of their other personal banking options.

We evaluated all of their personal deposit products and compared them with the best high-rate, low-fee banking options out there. Surprisingly, a few of SAFE Credit Union’s accounts were able to hold their own against the competition, but others didn’t fare as well. Here’s how they all stack up.

SAFE Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.10%

Savings

SAFE Credit Union Share Savings

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.85%

CD Rates

SAFE Credit Union 12 - 23 Month CD

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.26%

CD Rates

SAFE Credit Union 36 - 47 Month CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.71%

CD Rates

SAFE Credit Union 60 - 72 Month CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

SAFE Credit Union’s checking account options

Perfect Cents Checking

This checking account bears interest and charges a waivable monthly service fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%First $1,000
0.01%$1,000.01 and more
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5, can be waived
  • ATM fee: No charge at 30,000 CO-OP ATMs nationwide. Each non-CO-OP ATM transaction will be charged a $2 fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

The Perfect Cents Checking account offers tiered, split-rate interest. The portion of your balance that falls in the first tier earns a higher interest rate, while the portion of your balance that exceeds that tier earns the lower interest rate. In order to earn dividends, you have to be actively enrolled in e-statements and have at least 10 debit or credit card purchases post on your monthly statement.

In order to waive the monthly fee that comes with this account, you must meet those same requirements, or you must have direct deposits of at least $500 coming into your account each month. If you’re under age 21, these requirements are waived.

We prefer accounts with no monthly fees. We also prefer checking accounts that offer ATM fee refunds, although with a network of 30,000 fee-free ATMs, it shouldn’t be too hard to avoid fees. Plus, you’ll earn a generous interest rate on your first $1,000 in this account as long as you meet the requirements. If you’re a fairly active account holder and know you’ll use your debit card more than 10 times each month, this checking account is a good offer.

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Prestige Checking

Earn interest at no monthly fee if you can maintain a high daily balance.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%Under $2,000
0.10%$2,000 - $9,999.99
0.15%$10,000 - $24,999.99
0.20%$25,000 - $49,999.99
0.25%$50,000 and over
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $8, can be waived
  • ATM fee: No charge at 30,000 CO-OP ATMs nationwide. Each non-CO-OP ATM transaction will be charged a $2 fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

Like the Perfect Cents Checking account, the Prestige Checking offers interest and comes with a monthly fee. You might be able to earn more interest with this account if you have a higher balance, but it also comes with a higher monthly service fee. Rather than waiving the monthly service fee by meeting a certain number of monthly transactions, you must maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $1,000. Alternatively, you can get the monthly fee waived if you have a combined deposit and loan balance of at least $5,000. Capitol Club and Premier Club members will have the monthly fee automatically waived.

This account comes with the same ATM fees and free CO-OP ATM usage as SAFE Credit Union’s other checking accounts. You’ll also get one box of free checks per calendar year.

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Capitol Checking

Earn the highest checking account interest rates SAFE Credit Union offers.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%First $25,000
0.10%$25,000.01 and more
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: No charge at 30,000 CO-OP ATMs nationwide. Each non-CO-OP ATM transaction will be charged a $2 fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

This checking account charges no monthly fee and receives the highest interest rate of any of SAFE Credit Union’s checking accounts. However, there are some requirements you must meet in order to open this account and receive interest.

The Capitol Checking account is exclusive to Capitol Club members. In order to be eligible to join the Capitol Club, you must have a checking account with SAFE Credit Union and hold a combined balance of $100,000 between deposit and loan balances. A minimum of $25,000 must be maintained in deposit accounts. Joining will give you access to this account, waive the monthly fee on one checking account and get you a range of other perks such as premium dividends on certificates, prioritized service and free checks.

In order to receive interest on this account, you must be actively enrolled in e-statements, have monthly direct deposits of $500 or more, and process at least 12 debit or credit purchase transactions on a monthly basis.

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Freedom Checking

A basic, no monthly fee checking account that doesn’t earn interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: No charge at 30,000 CO-OP ATMs nationwide. Each non-CO-OP ATM transaction will be charged a $2 fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

The Freedom Checking account is great for folks who want a no-frills checking account that doesn’t charge a monthly fee. While this account doesn’t earn any interest, you’ll still get access to 30,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide, and you don’t have to worry about maintaining a minimum balance or meeting a certain number of monthly transactions.

It’s worth noting that you won’t get any free checks with this account, and the price of check orders varies. However, if you don’t use checks regularly, free checks shouldn’t be a priority. Finally, if you want paper statements, you’ll be charged a $2 fee each month that you receive them.

How to get SAFE Credit Union’s checking accounts

You can apply for a SAFE Credit Union checking account online by filling out a brief application form. If you’re already a member, simply log into your SAFE Credit Union account to open a new checking account. If not, you’ll have to select your membership eligibility and open up a Share Savings account along with the checking account of your choice.

The only checking account that can’t be opened online by new members is the Capitol Checking account, as it requires you to first become a Capitol Club member. To become a Capitol Club member, you’ll want to discuss your qualifications with a representative over the phone or in person.

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How SAFE Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

We like the variety of options offered by SAFE Credit Union’s checking accounts, from a basic, free checking account that doesn’t bear interest to premium accounts that earn a generous APY if you can keep a high enough balance.

That being said, many of the best online checking accounts come with no monthly fees and no ATM fees. On top of that, most of them bear interest with no minimum balance amount, and the rates are often equal to or higher than the highest APYs offered by SAFE Credit Union’s checking accounts.

SAFE Credit Union’s savings account options

Share Savings account

This interest-bearing savings account charges a waivable monthly fee and earns premium dividends if it’s linked to a Perfect Cents Checking account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%$0.01
APY for Perfect Cents Checking customersMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.00%First $1,000
0.10%Over $1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5, can be waived
  • ATM fee: No charge at 30,000 CO-OP ATMs nationwide. Each non-CO-OP ATM transaction will be charged a $2 fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

SAFE Credit Union’s savings accounts are flexible, give you immediate access to your funds when you need them, and earn interest. Although, in most cases, the interest you earn will be minimal. One unique and helpful feature of their Share Savings Account is the ability to open additional Special Share savings accounts with custom names under their “You Name It” feature. This allows you to categorize your funds based on different savings goals.

The main drawback of this account is that it charges a monthly service fee if you’re 21 years of age or older. While the fee is low and can be waived, it’s still easier to go with a fee-free savings account. The fee is waived for the first six months of your account. After that, you’ll need to either have a combined average daily balance of at least $300, an active loan, monthly direct deposits of at least $25, at least 10 purchase transactions per month or a non-dividend savings account. Alternatively, if you’re actively saving as part of their Perfect Cents Savings program, you can also have the monthly service fee waived.

The Perfect Cents Savings program is for customers with both a SAFE Credit Union debit card and a savings account. Each time you make a purchase with your debit card, your purchase will automatically be rounded up to the next dollar, and the spare change will be deposited in your savings account.

How to get SAFE Credit Union’s savings accounts

You can apply for a SAFE Credit Union savings account online by filling out a brief application form. You’ll have to select your eligibility and the accounts you’d like to open, and then submit personal information, including a government-issued ID, address and Social Security number.

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How SAFE Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

SAFE Credit Union’s savings accounts offer great flexibility and also come with some useful programs for helping you save more money. They also bear interest, and if you pair the account with their Perfect Cents Checking, you’ll even get a boost in APY.

However, the credit union doesn’t offer any fee-free savings accounts. When you look at the best online savings accounts, not only do most of them not charge monthly fees, but they also offer significantly higher interest rates. You can even find a few that offer free ATMs nationwide or worldwide.

SAFE Credit Union’s CD rates

Certificates

These CDs come in a wide range of terms and include attractive certificate specials.
TermAPY for balances of $500 - $24,999.99APY for balances of $25,000 or more
3-5 months0.35%0.40%
6-11 months0.55%0.60%
12-23 months0.85%0.95%
24-35 months1.00%1.26%
34 month certificate special2.53%2.53%
36-47 months1.26%1.46%
48-59 months1.51%1.66%
60-72 months1.71%1.87%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12 months or less, the penalty is 90 days’ of interest. More than 12 months, the penalty is 120 days’ of interest.

If you’re looking for a certificate of deposit with SAFE Credit Union, you have a wide range of options with a relatively low minimum opening deposit. Terms start at three months and go all the way up to six years. Interest is tiered and generally increases as the term increases, and you’ll also get a higher rate if you have an extra high balance.

One difference is their certificate specials. They currently offer a 34 month certificate special with an APY significantly higher than what’s on offer from the rest of their certificates.

You can also take advantage of their bump-up certificates, which are offered in 12 or 24 month terms. If you have one of these certificates and rates increase during your term, your rate will increase accordingly.

How to get SAFE Credit Union’s Certificates

To open a certificate with SAFE Credit Union, you can call them over the phone, visit a branch in person, or take advantage of their live chat system. There is no online application for certificates.

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Add-On Certificates

These CDs offerings give you flexibility through two special products.
TermAPY
12 months0.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $25
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ of interest

Add-on certificates with SAFE Credit Union only come in 12 month terms and offer a lower interest rate. However, they give you the option to continually add funds throughout the term of your certificate. They also have a much lower minimum opening deposit than the credit union’s regular certificates.

How to get SAFE Credit Union’s Add-On Certificates

You can get an add-on certificate by working with a representative either over the phone or in person. They also offer an online live chat service through which you can speak with a representative.

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How SAFE Credit Union’s Certificate rates compare

SAFE Credit Union offers some interest certificate options, including certificate specials with bonus rates, bump-up certificates that allow you to take advantage of rate increases and add-on certificates for folks looking for lower minimum deposits and the ability to continually add money to their CD. It’s worth noting that Capitol Club members may be eligible to receive a 0.25% rate increase on certificates at the time of opening.

While they offer variety and flexibility, SAFE Credit Union doesn’t offer a high APY on most of their certificates. Compared with the best CD rates, many of which have similar minimum opening deposit requirements, their 34 month certificate special is the only one that can come close to competing. The rest, unfortunately, offer less than half of what you could get elsewhere.

SAFE Credit Union’s money market account options

Capitol Access Money Market

A money market account with no monthly fee and tiered interest.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%Under $2,000
0.10%$2,000 - $9,999.99
0.15%$10,000 - $24,999.99
0.20%$25,000 - $49,999.99
0.25%$50,000 - $99,999.99
0.30%$100,000 - $199,999.99
0.35%$200,000 - $499,999.99
0.40%$500,000 and more
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12, can be waived
  • ATM fee: No charge at 30,000 CO-OP ATMs nationwide. Each non-CO-OP ATM transaction will be charged a $2 fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

This money market account comes with a higher monthly service fee than the credit union’s other savings accounts. It can be waived by maintaining an average daily balance of $2,000 or more, and it’s automatically waived if you’re a Capitol Club member. All customers holding this account earn interest.

Interest is paid monthly on this account, and your APY depends on the balance you hold. You’ll also get check-writing ability with this account, however, because it is a savings account, you can only clear six checks per month.

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Preferred Money Market

This account has monthly requirements to earn interest.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
3.30%First $2,000
0.50%$2,000 - $49,999.99
0.75%$50,000 - $99,999.99
0.85%$100,000 - $199,999.99
1.00%$200,000 - $499,999.99
1.15%$500,000 and more
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12, can be waived
  • ATM fee: No charge at 30,000 CO-OP ATMs nationwide. Each non-CO-OP ATM transaction will be charged a $2 fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

This money market account has the same monthly service fee as the Capitol Access account, and can also be waived by maintaining an average daily balance of at least $2,000 or joining the Capital Club. You also have the same check-writing abilities.

However, this money market offers significantly higher dividends compared with the first, and you’ll earn a particularly high rate on your first $2,000. In exchange for a higher rate, there are some requirements you need to meed in order to earn interest. You need to be actively enrolled in e-statements and have at least 10 monthly debit or credit card purchase transactions under your membership account.

How to get SAFE Credit Union’s Money Market account

You can open a money market account online by logging into your SAFE Credit Union membership account or applying for membership through their online form. You’ll be asked to state your eligibility requirements, choose an account and provide personal information such as your government-issued ID and Social Security number. You can also open an account over the phone or in person.

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How SAFE Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

Both of SAFE Credit Union’s money market accounts charge a monthly service fee, and although it is waivable, we prefer free money market accounts. The Capitol Access Money Market account makes it easy to earn interest with no minimum balance requirement, but the interest you would earn is negligible.

On the other hand, the Preferred Money Market account comes closer to competing with the best money market rates, especially considering the generous APY you can earn on your first $2,000. If your balance is below that amount, this account is one of the best rates you’ll find. However, there are other banks that will earn you more interest on higher balances, and many of those don’t have a monthly service fee or require you to complete a certain number of monthly transactions in order to earn interest.

SAFE Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA CD rates

An IRA CD with a minimum opening deposit requirement.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 12 months or less: 90 days’ of interest; more than 12 months: 120 days’ of interest

Much like SAFE Credit Union’s regular certificates, their IRA certificates require a minimum opening deposit and charge penalty rates that vary based on term. Most of their certificates are available for traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs and SEP IRAs, and rates are similar to those published on regular certificates, according to a customer service representative. You’ll have to call the credit union for up-to-date information on rates and terms for IRA certificates.

How to get SAFE Credit Union’s IRA Certificates

You must first join SAFE Credit Union as a member and open a savings account before you can open a certificate. Once you’ve joined, you can open your IRA certificate by calling the bank or visiting them in person.

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How SAFE Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

The best IRA CD rates offer high returns for low minimum deposit amounts and come in a variety of terms. You’ll have to contact SAFE Credit Union to see exactly how their IRA CD rates compare.

Accumulation IRA Savings account

This interest-earning IRA savings account has no minimum balance requirement.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%Under $100,000
0.30%$100,000.01 - $199,999.99
0.35% $200,000 or more
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: No charge at 30,000 CO-OP ATMs nationwide. Each non-CO-OP ATM transaction will be charged a $2 fee.
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $30

The Accumulation IRA Savings account has a low minimum opening deposit and no balance requirement to earn interest. However, the interest earned on this account is fairly low. Many of the credit union’s other savings options, and even some of their checking options, will earn higher dividends than this IRA account.

How to get SAFE Credit Union’s IRA savings account

You must first join SAFE Credit Union as a member before you can open an IRA savings account. Once you’ve joined, you’ll be able to open an IRA savings account by calling the bank or visiting in person.

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Overall review of SAFE Credit Union’s banking products

This credit union has some great low-fee, high-rate personal banking products that would be useful to a variety of different customers. Their checking account offerings are particularly impressive, with many of them offering generous interest rates for a checking account. While most of these accounts have a monthly fee, the fee isn’t too difficult to waive, and they do offer a free checking account that doesn’t bear interest.

SAFE Credit Union’s savings options aren’t bad, but they are less impressive. Many of them don’t offer competitive rates. However, they do have a couple interesting and worthwhile certificate products.

If you’re looking to join a credit union and live within this one’s geographic footprint, it’s a great option. You should be able to find a product that fits your needs, and their customer service was extremely helpful when we contacted them. However, if you’re open to joining an online bank, there are other places where you’re likely to find better rates and lower fees.

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.

Elizabeth Aldrich |

Elizabeth Aldrich is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Elizabeth here

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Reviews

DFCU Financial Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1936
Total Assets$4.6B
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DFCU Financial got its start in 1950 when seven engineers working for Ford pooled their money together to start a financial co-op — originally called the Ford Engineering Employees Federal Credit Union. Over time, they expanded their membership and changed the name to the Dearborn Federal Credit Union, later shortened to DFCU Financial. The headquarters remains in Dearborn, Mich.

Today, DFCU Financial has more than 200,000 members and is one of the top-performing credit unions in the country. They report being in the top 10 nationwide for return on assets — a measure of profitability for financial institutions.DFCU Financial has close to 30 branches spread throughout Michigan. The credit union is also a member of the CO-OP network, a national group of credit unions that share branches. DFCU Financial customers can visit any credit union in the CO-OP network use their ATMs for free.

Before you can use the DFCU Financial products, you need to join as a member first — and not everyone qualifies. To be eligible for membership, you need to live, work, worship or attend school within a county in the lower peninsula of Michigan. You can also join if you have an immediate family member who is an existing customer of DFCU Financial.

If you want to apply for membership, you can sign up online or at a DFCU Financial branch. The application will ask for your contact information, Social Security number and a form of government ID like a driver’s license. You also need to make your opening deposit. DFCU Financial accepts payment by bank transfer, debit card and credit card.

Before you go through the effort of applying, make sure that DFCU Financial truly is the best place for your money. This review can help you out. We’ve gone over all of DFCU Financial’s personal deposit accounts, using the latest product and rate information, to see how they stack up against the competition.

DFCU Financial’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.05%

Savings

DFCU Financial Savings Account

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

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0.25%

CD Rates

DFCU Financial 1 Year Share Certificate

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

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0.40%

CD Rates

DFCU Financial 3 Year Share Certificate

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

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0.80%

CD Rates

DFCU Financial 5 Year Share Certificate

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

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DFCU Financial checking account options

DFCU Financial Interest Checking Plus account

This checking account has a high balance requirement, a steep monthly fee and a low interest rate.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%$0.01
0.05%$2,500
0.05%$10,000
0.05%$25,000
0.10%$50,000
0.10%$75,000
0.10%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $20
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (waived if you meet certain requirements, covered below.)
  • ATM fees: Free at DFCU Financial and CO-OP ATMs. $1.50 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $32

This account earns interest on all balances. However, the rate is very low, even if you qualify for the higher tiers by having a balance of at least $50,000.You only need to deposit $20 to open an  Interest Checking Plus account, but this account charges a $10 monthly fee unless you have a minimum average daily balance of at least $10,000 throughout DFCU Financial deposit accounts. This includes checking, savings, money market and certificate accounts.

Besides interest, this account comes with a few other perks. First, you receive two free orders of checks per year. You also receive free money orders and cashier’s checks. When you have this account, you receive a 0.25% discount on the interest rate for select loans with automatic payments at DFCU Financial.

Finally, deposits in this account are eligible for DFCU Financial’s cashback program. To qualify, you need an average yearly balance throughout DFCU Financial loans and deposit accounts. The minimum depends on your age:

  • At least $100 if you are 17 or younger.
  • At least $1,000 if you are between 18 and 25.
  • At least $5,000 if you are 26 and older.

If you meet the requirements, you receive the greater of $50 or 0.5% of your combined balance in January.

To open an Interest Plus Checking account, you need to be a member of DFCU Financial. You can apply for this account while setting your membership up online or at a branch. You’ll use the same information and just need to make your deposit of at least $20.

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DFCU Financial Free Checking account

A free checking account with no minimum balance or monthly fee — and no interest.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $20
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: Free at DFCU Financial and CO-OP ATMs. $1.50 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $32

If you are worried about monthly fees, DFCU Financial also offers a Free Checking account that does not charge a monthly maintenance fee. You need to deposit at least $20 to open it, but after that, there’s no minimum balance requirement.

This account does not earn interest. However, it is eligible for the cashback program where you can earn the greater of $50 or 0.5% of your combined deposit and loan balance at DFCU Financial. To qualify, your average yearly balance across loan and deposit accounts must be at least the following:

  • $100 if you are 17 or younger.
  • $1,000 if you are between 18 and 25.
  • $5,000 if you are 26 and older.

With the Free Checking account, you can make free withdrawals from DFCU Financial ATMs as well as ATMs in the CO-OP network. If you use another ATM, DFCU Financial charges $1.50 per transaction. They also will not refund any fees from the ATM owner.

If you’d like to open a Free Checking account, you need to join DFCU Financial as a member first. You can apply online or at a branch. During the application, there’s a part where you can open accounts, like Free Checking, so you can take care of this at the same time.

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How DFCU Financial’s checking accounts compare

DFCU Financial’s checking accounts have their pros and cons. We really like their cashback rewards program. If you meet the deposit requirements, you receive the greater of $50 or 0.5% of your total loan and deposit balance annually at DFCU Financial.

This might end up being more than a year of interest on your typical checking account. The checking accounts also have a low opening deposit requirement and come with other bank perks, like a discount on loans and free checks.

On the other hand, DFCU Financial doesn’t pay much interest. They don’t pay anything for Free Checking, and the rates on Interest Checking Plus are very low. The $10 monthly fee on Interest Checking Plus is also quite high, especially since you need a $10,000 balance to avoid it. Finally, neither account refunds ATM fees and they charge $1.50 for out-of-network transactions.

The cashback program is generous enough that these accounts could be worth using if you’re close to DFCU Financial’s in-network ATMs. But if you’re worried about the fees, these top online checking accounts include ATM refunds so you can make withdrawals for free anywhere. They also pay superb interest rates that could outearn DFCU Financial’s bonus program.

DFCU Financial savings account options

DFCU Financial Savings Account

If you want to grow your savings, you won’t get too far with this account.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3 (waived if you meet certain requirements, covered below.)
  • ATM fees: Free at DFCU Financial and CO-OP ATMs. $1.50 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $32

You can open a Savings account with a deposit of just $5, which represents your share in the credit union. The account earns interest and there is no minimum balance to qualify for the APY. Unfortunately, the rate is very low for a savings account. It always stays the same, so you can’t earn more by depositing more.

The Savings account requires that you keep a combined minimum average balance of at least $200 throughout all deposit accounts at DFCU Financial, including checking, savings, money market accounts and certificates. If you fall below, this account charges a $3 monthly fee.

Since this is a savings account, federal Regulation D limits how often you can make certain withdrawals/transfers to only six per statement cycle. If you ever exceed these limits, DFCU Financial will not charge a fee but they could restrict your ability to take money out or they could close your savings account.

You can open a savings account online or at one of the DFCU Financial branches. If you aren’t a member of the credit union, you’ll need to join first. You can set up your Savings account with your application while making your initial deposit of at least $5.

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DFCU Financial Holiday and Special Savings Account

Nearly identical to the regular savings account, except you put money aside for a specific date in the future.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: Free at DFCU Financial and CO-OP ATMs. $1.50 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $32

If you are putting money aside for a specific goal, like holiday gifts or a vacation, DFCU Financial also offers Holiday and Special Savings accounts.

These accounts earn interest on all balances. It’s the exact same rate as the regular Savings account, which is very low. You can open a Holiday or Special Savings account for a deposit of just $1, a little lower than the $5 required for a Savings Account. After you open, you can take money whenever you want, even if it’s before your goal. DFCU FInancial does not charge an early withdrawal penalty on these accounts.

Before you can open a Holiday or Special Savings account, you need to join DFCU Financial. If you aren’t a member yet, do that first and then you can apply for these accounts.

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How DFCU Financial’s savings accounts compare

If you want a savings account, DFCU Financial is not a great choice. They pay barely any interest at all. The base rate is low, and it does not increase for larger balances. Their savings account rate is even lower than a decent checking account, despite having extra restrictions on how often you can take out money.

We also noticed that they could charge a $3 monthly maintenance fee. While that’s not too costly and you can avoid it with a $200 minimum balance, we really don’t think DFCU Financial should be charging a fee given their ultra-low interest rate.

If you want to grow your savings, don’t settle for DFCU Financial’s weak return. These top savings accounts pay rates that are a massive upgrade, in some cases more than 40 times as much interest as you’d get from DFCU Financial.

DFCU Financial’s CD rates

DFCU Financial Share Certificates

These certificate rates are below average, even with their rate bump.
TermAPY ($1,000)APY ($25,000)APY ($100,000)
3 months0.15%0.20%0.25%
6 months0.20%0.25%0.30%
1 year0.25%0.30%1.00%
2 years0.35%0.40%1.10%
3 years0.40%0.45%1.30%
5 years0.80%0.90%1.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ of dividends for terms of 1 year or less, 180 days’ of dividends for terms over 1 year.

DFCU Financial offers Share Certificates that range from as short as three months all the way up to five years. You need to deposit at least $1,000 to open a Share Certificate and keep this much in the account to earn the APY. DFCU Financial also has higher rates for larger deposits. One category starts at $25,000 and the top category starts with a deposit of $100,000.

DFCU Financial’s Share Certificate rates are well below average. While the rates are a little better for the top category with a minimum balance of $100,000, they are still not that competitive.

If you take money out of your Share Certificate before the maturity date, DFCU Financial will charge an early withdrawal penalty. The penalty is based on your original term:

  • For maturities of one year or less, the penalty is 90 days’ of dividends.
  • For maturities over one year, the penalty is 180 days’ of dividends.

Only members of DFCU Financial can use a Share Certificate. If you aren’t a member yet, you will need to apply first, either online or at a branch. While setting up your membership, you can also open a Share Certificate so long as you make your deposit of at least $1,000.

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How DFCU Financial’s CD rates compare

When you sign up for a CD, you’re locking up your money for a set period of time because early withdrawals lead to a penalty. For this arrangement to make sense, you should be earning a respectable return. That won’t happen with the options at DFCU Financial.

Their Share Certificates pay rates that are well below average. They are similar to what you’d get from a large national bank, with their ultra-low returns. While you can earn more with DFCU Financial’s certificates by depositing more, even their best rates for accounts of at least $100,000 are still not that great.

You can do a whole lot better elsewhere. These are the very best CDs available today for every term. Whether you want a short- or long-term commitment, you can find a great match in this list.

DFCU Financial money market account options

DFCU Financial Insured Money Market Account

DFCU Financial’s money market account doesn’t charge a monthly fee, but that doesn’t make up for their extremely low rates.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%$0.01
0.10%$2,500
0.10%$10,000
0.15%$25,000
0.20%$50,000
0.20%$75,000
0.30%$100,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: Free at DFCU Financial and CO-OP ATMs. $1.50 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $32

You need to deposit at least $2,500 to open an Insured Money Market account. After that, there is no minimum balance requirement. If your balance falls below $2,500, you earn a lower rate, but that’s it. There’s no monthly fee.

However, the Insured Money Market account rates are very low. While you gradually earn more for larger balances, even the top tier starting at $100,000 doesn’t pay anywhere close to a decent money market rate.

Since this is a money market account, it limits how often you can take money out. You can only write six checks per month. DFCU Financial also limits other certain withdrawals/transfers out of the account under Regulation D., up to six per month. If you go over the transaction limits, they could close your account or block your ability to make future transfers.

You need to be a member of the credit union before you apply for their Insured Money Market account. If you aren’t already a member, you can set this account up while applying. If you’re already a member, you can log into your online banking to open your Insured Money Market account.

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How DFCU Financial’s money market accounts compare

Money market accounts typically come with high balance requirements and steep monthly fees so we were excited to see that DFCU Financial offers a free version. But that excitement didn’t last after seeing their rates.

Their money market rates are extremely low. Even if you qualify for the very highest tier, with a balance of $100,000, you are still nowhere near a competitive money market return. These accounts are supposed to pay much higher rates than normal checking or savings account, but DFCU Financial doesn’t deliver.

While the account is free, you still need to deposit at least $2,500 to start and that’s too much for their low rates. We would recommend using one of these money market accounts instead. Their rates are light years ahead of what’s available at DFCU Financial.

DFCU Financial’s IRA CD rates

DFCU Financial IRA Share Certificates

All the Share Certificates are available through an IRA. The rates are still mediocre.
TermAPY ($1,000)APY ($25,000)APY ($100,000)
3 months0.15%0.20%0.25%
6 months0.20%0.25%0.30%
1 year0.25%0.30%1.00%
2 years0.35%0.40%1.10%
3 years0.40%0.45%1.30%
5 years0.80%0.90%1.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days’ of dividends for terms of one year or less, 180 days’ of dividends for terms over one year.

You can open any of the regular Share Certificates through an IRA. The rates and terms are identical. You need at least $1,000 to open an IRA Certificate and keep this much to earn the APY.

DFCU Financial also pays higher rates for larger deposits. One category starts for a deposit of at least $25,000 and the best rates apply for balances of at least $100,000. The IRA Certificate rates aren’t great though, even for the best category with $100,000.

If you take money out of an IRA Certificate before the maturity date, DFCU Financial will charge a penalty. It’s 90 days’ dividends for maturities of one year or less and 180 days’ of dividends for maturities over one year. They will waive the penalty though if the withdrawal is needed to satisfy required minimum distributions for an IRA.

You can only open an IRA Certificate after you’re a member of DFCU Financial. Once you’ve joined, they ask you to visit a branch or to call their customer service line to set up these accounts. There is no online application for the IRA Certificates.

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DFCU Financial IRA Savings account

This account gives you more flexible access to your retirement savings, but the interest rate is dismal.
APYMinimum Balance Amount to Earn APY
0.05%$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

Besides their IRA Certificates, DFCU Financial also offers an IRA Savings account. With this account, you are not committing to a set amount of time. Instead, you can take money out at your convenience without owing an early withdrawal penalty to DFCU Financial.

In exchange, the interest rate is much lower. It’s extremely low, even by the standards of these more flexible retirement accounts. There is no minimum balance requirement to earn interest though.

The IRA Savings account also does not charge a monthly fee. You can open this account for a deposit of just $5.

The IRA Savings account is only available for members of DFCU Financial. If you aren’t a member yet, you should sign up first at a branch or online. After that, you can apply for this account at a branch or over the phone with customer service.

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on DFCU Financial’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How DFCU Financial’s IRA CD rates compare

These IRA accounts do not bring enough firepower for your retirement plan. Their rates are just too low. While they offer a nice variety of IRA CD terms, none of them earn a competitive rate. There’s a rate upgrade for larger balances but even with $100,000, you still aren’t earning much.

At least with the IRA CDs though, you earn some amount of interest. Their flexible-access IRA Savings account is even worse. It earns so little, the rate may as well be nothing.

Overall, the IRA accounts will not get you to your retirement goals. But these top-performing IRA CDs are another story. They currently pay the very highest rates for these types of retirement plans.

Overall review of DFCU Financial’s banking products

For the most part, these banking products leave a lot to be desired. None of their accounts pay what we would consider a reasonable interest rate. They also charge a monthly fee on their interest-earning checking account and savings account. Finally, none of their accounts refund out-of-network ATM fees.

There is one unique feature, though, that we really liked at DFCU Financial: their cashback program. To qualify, your average yearly balance throughout all your deposit and loan accounts must be at least $5,000 for customers 26 and older, $1,000 for customers between 18 and 25 and $100 for customers under 18.

If you meet this cutoff, each year, you’ll receive a bonus worth the greater of $50 or 0.50% of your entire loan and deposit balance. That’s on top of any interest you earn and is a great reward for loyal customers. While it’s not enough to make up for DFCU Financial’s weak interest rates, it’s at least a step in the right direction.

If you happen to live near a branch, they could be worth a shot for a basic checking or savings account, especially if you think you can qualify for their annual cashback bonus. But if your goal is to earn a generous interest rate on your money, that won’t happen with any of their other products.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

David Rodeck
David Rodeck |

David Rodeck is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email David here

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Reviews

Essex Bank Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1926
Total Assets$1.4B
LEARN MORE on Essex Bank’s secure websiteMember FDIC

Essex Bank was founded in 1926 and has more than two dozen full-service branches throughout Maryland and Virginia today.

While there are a quite a few types of products and services at Richmond, Va.-based Essex Bank, for this review, we’re going to focus on their personal deposit accounts — checking, savings, CD, money market and IRAs. We’ll go over their features, fees and rates so you can decide whether Essex Bank is the right choice.

Essex Bank’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.05%

Savings

Essex Bank Prosperity Savings

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.81%

CD Rates

Essex Bank 365 Day CD

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.42%

CD Rates

Essex Bank 36 Month CD

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.68%

CD Rates

Essex Bank 60 Month CD

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Essex Bank’s checking account options

Free Checking

This is a basic account that requires no monthly maintenance fees and three ATM refunds each month.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: 3 per month
  • Overdraft fee: $35

If you don’t care about anything else other than an account to help you pay bills and write checks, the Free Checking account is a decent choice as there are no monthly maintenance fees. You also get a free Visa check card, bill pay, e-statements, online and mobile banking. Right now, not all Essex ATMs accept deposits, but the bank is currently in the process of upgrading their machines.

Other features of the account include discounts on certain Essex Bank loans (subject to approval), free safe deposit boxes and notary services.

How to get the Free Checking account

Open a Free Checking account by heading to your nearest branch. Don’t forget to bring along your government-issued ID, Social Security number and a second form of ID like a pay stub. Also, bring your checkbook to fund your new account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Essex Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Cash Back Checking

The minimum balance seems high considering the low APY.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$1,500
0.20%
$25,000
0.30%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $9.95 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: Up to 5 per month
  • Overdraft fee: $35

The Cash Back Checking account is best if you intend to use your debit card often, since you’ll get rewarded for your efforts. For each online or signature-based debit card transaction you make, you can earn up to 1% cash back, up to $10 each month. Aside from five ATM refunds a month, you also get free e-statements, bill pay, notary services, mobile banking, free cashiers checks and a 3×5 safe deposit box. Other perks include your first order of checks free and discounts on certain loans.

To waive the monthly maintenance fee, you’ll need to maintain a $1,500 minimum average daily balance or make a $500 minimum direct deposit each month.

How to get the Cash Back Checking account

You can apply for a Cash Back Checking account in person. Essex requires anyone opening an an account to provide their government-issued ID, a second form of ID like a utility bill and your Social Security number. You’ll also need a check or another approved method to find your new account.

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on Essex Bank’s secure website

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How Essex Bank’s checking accounts compare

We’re not impressed with either of Essex Bank’s checkings accounts as they offer low (or no) interest. However, the 1% cash back offer for the Cash Back Checking account is a decent perk — if you can consistently maximize it to earn the $10 a month. We also like that both checking account options offer perks like discounts on loans, free safe deposit boxes and notary services.

If you’re only after the highest rate, then you’re better off with one of the alternatives we suggest on our list of the best online checking accounts.

Essex Bank’s savings account options.

Prosperity Savings

Even the highest tier offers a low rate when pitted against competitors.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$1,000
0.10%
$5,000
0.15%
$25,000
0.35%
$50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $1,000
  • Quarterly account maintenance fee: $3 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Prosperity Savings account won’t exactly make you rich, considering the rates are a pittance compared with what you’d find elsewhere. What we do like is that you can request an ATM card, making it more convenient to access your money. However, you are limited to 18 withdrawals per quarter, or else you’ll be charged a $5 excess transaction fee. If you want to waive the quarterly maintenance fee, make sure you maintain a $100 minimum daily balance in your account.

How to get the Prosperity Savings account

Head to the nearest Essex Bank branch and bring along your Social Security number, two forms of ID, plus a way to fund the account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Essex Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

E-Kids

Help your child save with this account that requires a low opening deposit and no monthly maintenance fees.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

This account is for children under the age of 18, and an adult will need to be the joint account owner. Interest is posted quarterly to the account. Unlike the Prosperity Savings, you don’t get ATM access — you’ll need to access your money in person or through online transfers. Because of Regulation D, you’re limited up to six certain withdrawals each month. Essex Bank limits imposes a limit of 18 withdrawals per quarter and your transaction may be denied if you go over.

Once the minor turns 18, the account will be converted to a Prosperity Savings account.

How to get the E-Kids savings account

You and your child will need to head to the nearest branch to apply for an account. You’ll both need to provide our Social Security number and the adult will also need to provide a two pieces of ID.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Essex Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Christmas Club

You can earn a higher rate than the Prosperity Savings account, but you can’t access the money as readily.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$5
  • Minimum opening deposit: $5
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $5
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Christmas Club account is meant to help you save up for the holiday season — but you can technically use this account for any short-term savings goal you wish. According to Essex Bank, there isn’t a specific time you need to open the account but you can’t take funds out until mid-October. If you do, your account will be closed, you’ll forfeit all interest earned and be subjected to a $5 early closure fee.

You can make deposits any time by check, automatic transfer from an Essex Bank account or direct deposit.

How to get the Christmas Club account

Bring two pieces of ID plus your Social Security number and head to the nearest branch to open an account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Essex Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Essex Bank’s savings accounts compare

We’re disappointed in the rates Essex Bank’s savings accounts are offering. They’re extremely low compared with other accounts out there, like the ones on our list of the best online savings accounts. Many competitors offer no minimum balances and the ability to open an account online, making it extremely convenient for those who can’t physically get to a branch.

Essex Bank’s CD rates

Certificate of deposit

You can open an account with as little as $500, but these rates aren’t very competitive.
TermAPY
182 days1.00%
365 days1.81%
13 month special2.17%
19 month special2.45%
36 months2.42%
60 months2.68%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest

Instead of a Christmas Club account, a CD may be a better choice if you’re looking to earn a higher rate — though competitors are currently offering better rates. The rates you see above assume you’ll keep all interest — which is compounded and credited quarterly— in the account until maturity.

You have a 10-day grace period once the CD matures where you can make changes, or else the CD will automatically be renewed.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Essex Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

No Penalty CD

You can make withdraw any amount without facing penalties with this CD.
TermAPY
365 days1.41%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $2,500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: None

The No Penalty is just that — a no-penalty CD. Essex Bank allows you to make withdrawals — with no limits on how much you can take out — on the principal without paying any fees but you’ll only earn interest if you keep the minimum balance. Like the regular CDs, interest is compounded and credited to your account each quarter. Upon maturity, your CD will automatically renew unless you make changes during the 10-day grace period.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Essex Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Steady Saver and Flex CD

These CDs offer a lower minimum opening deposit and the ability make additional deposits.
TermAPY
365 days (Steady Saver)1.00%
14 months (Flex)1.10%
18 months (Flex)1.91%
24 months (Flex)2.12%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25 for (Steady Saver) and $500 for (Flex)
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $25 (Steady Saver) $500 (Flex)
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest

These CDs are best for people who don’t have a lot of money to set aside, as they each have low opening deposit requirements. You can also make additional deposits after account opening. The difference is that you need to make a minimum deposit of $25 each time for the Flex CD and only $5 each time for the Steady Saver CD.

Interest is compounded and credited to your account quarterly. Your CD will also renew automatically at maturity unless you make changes during the 10-day grace period.

How to get Essex Bank’s CDs

You guessed it — head to an Essex Bank branch to apply for a CD. Remember to bring along two pieces of ID, your Social Security number and a way to find your account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Essex Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Essex Bank’s CD rates compare

The low opening deposit requirements for both the Flex and Steady Saver CDs are affordable for people who don’t have a lot of money to set aside. We also like that you can make deposits at any time and in fairly small amounts. Some of the rates for Essex Bank’s CDs are on par with other competitors but the Flex and Steady Saver are half of those compared with ones on our list of the best CD accounts.

If you’re concerned about meeting a high minimum deposit, the Flex or Steady Saver CD may make sense but go elsewhere if you’re after the best rates.

Essex Bank’s money market account options

Prosperity Money Market

Account holders get free checks and ATM access with this account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$0.01
0.10%
$5,000
0.15%
$25,000
0.25%
$50,000
0.35%
$250,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (can be waived if minimum balance of $500 is maintained)
  • ATM fee: No fee at U.S. ATMs
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: $32

You get both ATM access and limited check-writing capabilities with the Prosperity Money Market account — but the rates aren’t exactly what we’d call competitive. To earn the highest rate, you need to meet an extremely high balance requirement, which is more than other competitors.

Features of the account include free checks, e-statements, an ATM or debit card, online and mobile banking. You can also waive the monthly fee if you maintain a $2,000 minimum daily balance. Because this is technically a savings account, Regulation D limits you up to six certain transactions each month, or else you’ll need to fork over $5 each time you make an excessive withdrawal.

How to get the Prosperity Money Market account

You need to go in person to open an account. Bring information such as your Social Security number and two pieces of ID to the branch, plus a way to fund your new account.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Essex Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Maximum Money Market

You can earn an extremely competitive APY but the minimum balance requirements are steep.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
1.26%
$250,000
1.76%
$1,000,000
2.12%
$5,000,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $0
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $250,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: None
  • ATM fee refund: None
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

We like the rates for the Maximum Money Market, but it comes with a cost — you need to meet their extremely high minimum balance requirements. Aside from the high rates, this money market account has the same features and terms as the Prosperity Money Market. You get limited checking-writing capabilities and ATM access. There are also free checks, e-statements and online and mobile banking. Waiving the monthly maintenance requires you to keep a $2,000 minimum daily balance.

Remember, you’re limited up to six certain withdrawals a month because of Regulation D. If you go over, you’ll be charged $5 for each excessive withdrawal.

How to get the Maximum Money Market account

You have to apply for the Maximum Money Market account in person. Essex Bank will ask you for your Social Security number and two pieces of ID so don’t forget to bring those when you apply.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Essex Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Essex Bank’s money market accounts compare

The Maximum Money Market account offers rates on par with the best offerings out there but you need to have a huge amount of money to qualify for those rates — at least $5 million for the highest tier. We know that’s not attainable for most people. The Prosperity Money Market has a more reasonable minimum balance but the rate is low compared with other money market alternatives.

Even though you get ATM access and limited check-writing capabilities, neither of these accounts are worth it.

Essex Bank’s IRA account options

IRA CD

We’re not impressed with these rates.
TermAPY
182 days1.00%
365 days1.81%
13 month special2.17%
19 month special2.45%
Flex IRA CD
TermAPY
14 months1.10%
18 months1.91%
24 months2.12%
36 months2.42%
60 months2.68%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 6 months’ interest

These retirement accounts are best for those looking for a guaranteed rate of return on their investment. Choose from a Roth or traditional IRA — talk to a professional to learn about your options. Interest is compounded and credited quarterly to your CD and the rates you see above assume you’ll leave the entire balance in your account until maturity.

The Flex IRA CD allows you to make additional deposits — in $25 increments — after account opening. However, IRS regulations limits you to a maximum amount you can deposit each year, so check their guidelines to ensure you’re compliant.

Once your CD matures your account will automatically renew unless you decide to make changes within the 10-day grace period. These changes include making additional deposits, renewing for another term or rolling your funds into another retirement account.

How to get Essex Bank’s IRA CDs

Go to the nearest branch to open an account. Remember to bring two pieces of ID, your Social Security number and your checkbook so you can fund your new IRA CD.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Essex Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

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How Essex Bank’s IRA CD rates compare

Essex Bank’s IRA CD rates are not what we’d consider the best out there. They’re much lower — some by at least one percentage point — than the competitors we’ve featured on our list of the best IRA CD accounts. If you want to deposit additional funds, the Flex IRA CD is a good choice. But if you want to maximize your retirement savings, check out alternative options.

Variable Liquid IRA

This is Essex Bank’s version of an IRA savings account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.50%
$500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

You can open this account either as a traditional, SEP or Roth IRA — it depends on whether you want tax-deferred savings. Consider this account if you want to be able to withdraw funds whenever you want or you have retirement funds you’re saving to put into an IRA CD.

Regulation D limits you up to six certain withdrawals/transfers a month and your transaction may be denied if you try to go over that amount. You may also be subjected to tax penalties, so be careful before proceeding.

How to get the Variable Liquid account

Go to an Essex Bank branch to apply for a Variable Liquid account. You’ll need to bring two pieces of ID and Social Security number to do so.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Essex Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Overall review of Essex Bank’s banking products

Most of Essex Bank’s accounts fall flat when it comes to their rates.

The Maximum Money Market account does offer a competitive rate, but you need a substantial amount to qualify. The Cash Back Checking account offers a nice reward if you make purchases with your debit card, but the low rates aren’t worth it. Furthermore, the Flex and Super Saver CD are great options for those who want to make additional deposits but you have to sacrifice much higher APYs for the privilege.

All in all, we’re going to have to give these products 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.

Sarah Li Cain
Sarah Li Cain |

Sarah Li Cain is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Sarah Li here

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Reviews

Robins Financial Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.

Year Established1954
Total Assets$2.5B
LEARN MORE on Robins Financial Credit Union’s secure websiteNCUA Insured

Founded in 1954, Robins Financial Credit Union has spent years since then aiming to provide low-cost financial services to its members. Today, the credit union boasts more than 200,000 members and $2.4 billion in assets.

Robins Financial Credit Union expands its reach by offering members free access to the Allpoint ATM network, as well as banking services through the credit union CO-OP network.

We reviewed each checking, savings, CD, money market, and IRA account offered by this Georgia state-chartered institution and compared them to the competition to determine whether or not they offer better rates and lower fees.

Keep in mind that as a credit union, Robins Financial Credit Union has certain membership eligibility requirements you must meet in order to join. The easiest way to qualify is by having a relative who’s already a member, or by living or working in one of the 35 Georgia counties in which the bank operates. If you’re unsure whether or not you qualify to join, you can call the bank and speak with a representative.

Robins Financial Credit Union’s Most Popular Accounts

APY

Account Type

Account Name

Compare Rates from Similar Accounts

0.50%

Savings

Robins Financial Credit Union Savings Account

2.00%

American Express National Bank High Yield Savings Account

on American Express National Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

0.75%

CD Rates

Robins Financial Credit Union 1 Year Share Certificate

2.65%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 12 Month CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

2.30%

CD Rates

Robins Financial Credit Union 3 Year Share Certificate Special

2.85%

Synchrony Bank 36 Month CD

on Synchrony Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

1.50%

CD Rates

Robins Financial Credit Union 5 Year Share Certificate

3.10%

Goldman Sachs Bank USA High-yield 5 Year CD

on Goldman Sachs Bank USA’s secure website

Member FDIC

Robins Financial Credit Union’s checking account options

Classic Checking

This basic checking account doesn’t charge a monthly maintenance fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: In-network ATMs are free, and there are over 55,000 throughout the United States. You’ll be charged a $1.00 fee for each transaction completed at an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: You get up to $10 per month in out-of-network ATM fees refunded at the end of each month.
  • Overdraft fee: $25

While you won’t get extra perks like dividends or free checks with this account, it’s fairly generous for a basic checking account. There’s no monthly maintenance fee and no minimum balance requirement, so you don’t have to worry about maintaining a certain amount of money in your account.

On top of access to a nationwide network of surcharge-free ATMs, you’ll also get up to $10 per month in ATM fee refunds for using out-of-network ATMs. Your debit card is free, as is access to the full range of online banking services, including online bill pay, mobile banking, and e-statements. This account comes with no limit on debit, credit, and deposit transactions.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Robins Financial Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Advantage Checking

The Advantage Checking account earns interest if you maintain the required minimum balance.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.70%
$10,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $10 (can be waived)
  • ATM fee: In-network ATMs are free, and there are over 55,000 throughout the United States. You’ll be charged a $1.00 fee for each transaction completed at an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: You get up to $10 per month in out-of-network ATM fees refunded at the end of each month.
  • Overdraft fee: $25

This account comes with a higher minimum opening deposit and a steep minimum balance to earn APY. On top of that, if you fall below this minimum balance, you have to pay a monthly account maintenance fee that isn’t low.

In addition to the benefits offered by Classic Checking, such as free in-network ATMs, monthly ATM fee reimbursements, and unlimited withdrawals, with this account you’ll also get your first box of checks free. The main draw of this account is that it earns interest, and the APY is fairly generous if you can maintain the balance required to earn it.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Robins Financial Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Legacy Checking

A special checking account for customers ages 55 and older.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: In-network ATMs are free, and there are over 55,000 throughout the United States. You’ll be charged a $1.00 fee for each transaction completed at an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: You get up to $10 per month in out-of-network ATM fees refunded at the end of each month.
  • Overdraft fee: $25

Like the Classic Checking account, the Legacy Checking comes with a low minimum opening deposit requirement, no monthly service fee, and no minimum balance requirement. You’ll also get free in-network ATMs, a limited amount of monthly out-of-network ATM fee refunds, and access to the full range of online banking services.

As a customer who is 55 years of age or older, though, you’ll get free checks, which can save you a noticeable amount of money if you tend to pay for bills or make purchases using checks. If you ever need to cancel a check before its been processed by the recipient, you’ll also get free stop payments with this account.

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on Robins Financial Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

MyMoney MyWay® Checking

This checking account for young adults offers special rewards for high school and college students.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: In-network ATMs are free, and there are over 55,000 throughout the United States. You’ll be charged a $1.00 fee for each transaction completed at an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: You get up to $10 per month in out-of-network ATM fees refunded at the end of each month.
  • Overdraft fee: $25, account includes up to two overdraft fee refunds per year

The MyMoney MyWay® Checking account is for young adults ages 16 to 26. Not only do you get a free checking account for a low minimum opening deposit, and a limited amount of monthly ATM fee refunds, but you’ll also get two monthly nonsufficient funds fee refunds per year if you accidentally overdraw your account.

You’ll also get a free debit card, your first box of checks free, and a free gift upon opening the account. If you’re a student in high school or college, the credit union’s Good Grades Rewards Program gives you the chance to win $500 in cash for getting good grades.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Robins Financial Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

My$ta$h Checking

A free, basic checking account for teens ages 12 to 15.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: In-network ATMs are free, and there are over 55,000 throughout the United States. You’ll be charged a $1.00 fee for each transaction completed at an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: You get up to $10 per month in out-of-network ATM fees refunded at the end of each month.
  • Overdraft fee: $25

The My$ta$h Checking is a basic checking account designed for adolescents ages 12 to 15. A parent or guardian must be a joint owner on this account, and they must be a member of the credit union.

With no monthly service fee and no minimum balance requirement, this account gives parents and their children an easy way to practice sound money management techniques together. My$ta$h Checking account holders can also participate in the Good Grades Rewards Program, which selects students in middle school, high school, and college with good grades to win a cash prize twice per year.

How to get Robins Financial Credit Union’s checking accounts

You can open any of Robins Financial Credit Union’s checking accounts–other than the My$ta$h checking account–over the phone, in person, or online. In order to apply for a My$ta$h checking account for your child, you’ll need to go to a branch location and open the account in person.

If applying for a checking account online, you’ll need to sign and attach a form of identification and proof of your address. Applicants that aren’t already members of Robins Financial Credit Union will need to apply as a non-member, which will require you to submit an application for a new relationship. Once your membership eligibility is determined, you can proceed with a checking account application.

LEARN MORE Secured

on Robins Financial Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Robins Financial Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Most of the checking account options at Robins Financial Credit Union don’t charge a monthly service fee, which we like. They also have low opening deposit requirements and no minimum balance requirements. The added benefit of unlimited withdrawals and deposits on most accounts, free in-network ATMs, and a generous monthly ATM fee refund policy makes these accounts competitive.

However, when you compare them to the best online checking accounts, they fall short in terms of APY. Only one checking account at Robins Financial Credit Union earns interest, and it requires a hefty minimum balance in order to earn. Several online checking accounts earn higher rates with no minimum balance amount, no monthly service fee, and ATM fee refunds. In fact, several online checking accounts offer unlimited ATM fee refunds, which can save you a lot of money.

Robins Financial Credit Union’s savings account options

Savings Account

A standard savings account that comes with a waivable monthly fee.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.50%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3, can be waived
  • ATM fee: In-network ATMs are free, and there are over 55,000 throughout the United States. You’ll be charged a $1.00 fee for each transaction completed at an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: You get up to $10 per month in out-of-network ATM fees refunded at the end of each month.
  • Overdraft fee: $25

This savings account bears interest as long as you maintain a fairly reasonable minimum balance, but the APY is low enough that you’re unlikely to notice it accumulate. There’s also a small monthly service fee attached to this account, although there are several ways to waive it.

You won’t be charged the fee as long as you maintain an average daily balance of at least $100. Additionally, you can have the fee waived regardless of your balance if you also have direct deposit, or own a Prestige Account, Advantage Checking Account, Certificate Account, IRA Account, or have a current loan balance that is less than 60 days delinquent. If you’re ages 18 or under or you are 55 years of age or older, the fee is automatically waived.

As with all accounts classified as savings, you’re only allowed up to six certain transfers or withdrawals per month per Regulation D. After that, excessive withdrawals are charged a fee of $15 each by the credit union. If the problem persists, the credit union can close your account.

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MyMoney MyWay® Savings Account

This savings account is for members ages 16 to 26 with a MyMoney MyWay® Checking account.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.50%
$100
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3, can be waived
  • ATM fee: In-network ATMs are free, and there are over 55,000 throughout the United States. You’ll be charged a $1.00 fee for each transaction completed at an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: You get up to $10 per month in out-of-network ATM fees refunded at the end of each month.
  • Overdraft fee: $25

The MyMoney MyWay® Savings account is virtually identical to the regular savings account, except that it’s specifically for members who have a MyMoney MyWay® Checking account.

If your average daily account balance falls below the minimum balance required to earn APY, you’ll be assessed a small monthly maintenance fee. However, this fee is waived if the account holder is 18 years of age or younger, or if you have direct deposits set up.

How to get Robins Financial Credit Union’s savings accounts

Both of Robins Financial Credit Union’s savings accounts can be opened online, over the phone, or in person. The application form is brief, but you will be required to sign and upload a form of identification as well as proof of your address. If you’re not already a member, you’ll need to apply for membership by selecting your reason for eligibility. You can call customer service if you need assistance.

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How Robins Financial Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

The savings account options offered by Robins Financial Credit Union are simple and pair well with their checking accounts. We typically prefer savings accounts with no monthly service fees, and these savings options do charge a monthly fee. However, it is easy to waive, and the credit union offers several different routes for doing so.

Still, the best online savings accounts don’t charge any monthly service fees at all, and they offer interest rates that are often three or four times higher than what Robins Financial Credit Union provides.

Robins Financial Credit Union’s CD rates

Share Certificates

These CDs offerings give you flexibility through two special products.
TermAPY
6 Month0.65%
11 Month2.15%
1 Year0.75%
12 Month Easy Save0.75%
15 Month Super Saver2.75%
18 Month1.00%
2 Year1.05%
3 Year2.30%
4 Year2.50%
5 Year1.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500 (except the 12 month and 15 month certificates, which can be purchased for $100)
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500 (except the 12 month and 15 month certificates, which can be purchased for $100)
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days of interest on certificates with terms 12 months or less, 180 days of interest on certificates with terms between one year and three years, 360 days of interest on certificates with terms of more than three years

Robins Financial Credit Union offers great flexibility when it comes to their Share Certificates. Not only do they offer a range of terms from six months to five years, including a unique 11 month certificate, but they also offer an Easy Save certificate and a Super Saver certificate.

The Easy Save certificate is offered with a 12-month term and comes with a lower, more accessible minimum opening deposit. The Super Saver certificate has a 15-month term and offers both a lower minimum opening deposit requirement and a significantly higher APY. That being said, there is a limit on how much you can deposit for both of these certificates. The 12 Month Easy Save certificate has a maximum deposit of $10,000 while the 15 Month Super Saver certicicate has a maximum of $5,000.

You must have an active youth or checking account in order to take advantage of the 15 Month Super Saver certificate. This certificate also comes with the ability to do a one-time penalty-free withdrawal, making it a good option for people who want to park their emergency fund in a certificate.

How to get Robins Financial Credit Union’s Share Certificates

You can open one of this credit union’s Share Certificates online, over the phone, or by visiting a branch in person. If you aren’t a member of the credit union, you’ll need to fill out a new member application form first, which will ask you to identify your eligibility for membership.

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How Robins Financial Credit Union CD rates compare

When compared to the best CD rates, many of Robins Financial Credit Union’s certificate rates fall short. The rates on their 12 Month, 18 Month, 2 Year, and 5 Year certificates are particularly easy to beat.

However, their 11 Month, 15 Month, 3 Year, and 4 Year certificates do offer competitive rates. On top of that, their 15 Month certificate offers the added flexibility of a lower minimum deposit requirement and a one-time penalty-free withdrawal, which can be hard to find. Most of the competition has a higher minimum deposit amount than what’s required on Robins Financial Credit Union’s 12 Month and 15 Month CDs, which require lower deposits than the rest of their CDs. There are a few competing institutions offering CDs with no minimum deposit and higher rates than Robins Financial Credit Union.

Robins Financial Credit Union’s money market account options

Prestige Money Market

A money market account with no monthly fee and tiered interest.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.55%
$2,500 - $9,999.99
0.60%
$10,000 - $24,999.99
0.70%
$25,000 - $49,999.99
0.75%
$50,000 - $99,999.99
0.85%
$100,000 and over
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: In-network ATMs are free, and there are over 55,000 throughout the United States. You’ll be charged a $1.00 fee for each transaction completed at an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: You get up to $10 per month in out-of-network ATM fees refunded at the end of each month.
  • Overdraft fee: $25

You’ll need a sizeable minimum opening deposit to open one of Robins Financial Credit Union’s Prestige Money Market accounts, but you’ll earn tiered interest on your balance that’s higher than what’s offered by their regular savings options. You also don’t have to pay any monthly service fees on this account.

Prestige account holders will get the same perks as other banking customers at Robins Financial Credit Union, including free in-network ATMs, limited monthly ATM fee refunds, and online banking services. Members ages 55 and older will also get free checks.

How to get Robins Financial Credit Union’s Money Market account

Money Market accounts can be opened online by filling out a brief application. If you aren’t a member of the credit union already, you’ll need to fill out a new member application first, which asks about your eligibility for membership. You can also open a money market account over the phone or in person.

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How Robins Financial Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

The rates on Robins Financial Credit Union’s money market accounts aren’t the most competitive. When compared to the best money market rates, they fall short at every tier. Folks with deposits large enough to land them in one of the higher tiers will find significantly better rates elsewhere, but there are even a couple online banks offering money market accounts with no minimum deposit requirement, no monthly service fee, and noticeably higher rates.

Robins Financial Credit Union’s IRA account options

IRA CD

An IRA CD with flexibility and low minimum deposit amounts.
APYAPY
6 Month0.65%
11 Month2.15%
1 Year0.75%
12 Month Easy Save0.75%
18 Month1.00%
2 Year1.05%
3 Year2.30%
4 Year2.50%
5 Year1.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500 (except the 12 Month Easy Save certificate, which can be purchased for $100)
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500 (except the 12 Month Easy Save certificate, which can be purchased for $100)
  • Early withdrawal penalty: 90 days of interest on certificates with terms 12 months or less, 180 days of interest on certificates with terms between one year and three years, 360 days of interest on certificates with terms of more than three years

The IRA certificates at Robins Financial Credit Union give customers a way to earn extra interest on money they won’t need in the near future. You can purchase certificates with terms ranging from six months to five years, and they even offer more uncommon options like 11 month and 18 month certificates.

The minimum opening deposit amount is reasonable. If you have trouble meeting that requirement, the 12 Month Easy Save certificate is offered as an IRA certificate, and its lower minimum opening deposit requirement makes it even more accessible. Keep in mind that the 12 Month certificate has a maximum deposit of $10,000.

How to get Robins Financial Credit Union’s IRA Certificates

If you aren’t a member of Robins Financial Credit Union, you’ll need to fill out a new membership application first, stating your reason for eligibility. This can be done online. Members can then apply for an IRA certificate online, over the phone, or in person.

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How Robins Financial Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

The most competitive IRA CD offered by Robins Financial Credit Union is their 11 Month IRA Certificate, which gives customers rates that come close to many of the best 12 month certificates offered by other institutions. Their 3 Year and 4 Year certificates a good APY, although it can be beaten by a number of credit unions and online banks. The rest of the IRA certificates offer less-than-ideal rates.

Ultimately, the IRA CDs offered by this credit union just don’t stack up against the best IRA CD rates. They do offer a little extra flexibility and lower minimum deposit amounts, but even these factors can be matched elsewhere.

IRA savings account

This interest-earning IRA savings account has no minimum balance requirement.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.60%
$0.01
  • Minimum opening deposit: $25
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: In-network ATMs are free, and there are over 55,000 throughout the United States. You’ll be charged a $1.00 fee for each transaction completed at an out-of-network ATM.
  • ATM fee refund: You get up to $10 per month in out-of-network ATM fees refunded at the end of each month.
  • Overdraft fee: $25

If you’re looking to start an IRA savings account with a small amount of money, this account is a good option. It has a very low minimum opening deposit requirement, and there’s no minimum balance required to earn interest. All accounts earn the same interest rate regardless of balance.

Robins Financial Credit Union does recommend that you speak with a tax advisor regarding IRA investments. Keep in mind that early withdrawals on this account — which is any withdrawal made before age 59 ½ — will be subject to penalties in accordance with IRS policy.

How to get Robins Financial Credit Union’s IRA savings account

You can visit Robins Financial Credit Union in person to open an individual retirement account.

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Overall review of Robins Financial Credit Union’s banking products

As a credit union, Robins Financial Credit Union is dedicated to passing on its profits to members in the form of lower fees and higher rates. They do a great job of offering a range of simple, fee-free banking options that are accessible to most consumers. Their free checking accounts stand out as particularly great products, as do a couple of their certificates of deposit.

While these accounts are low in fees, they don’t always offer the highest rates available. Their savings accounts and money market accounts don’t do as well when compared to the competition, and even a number of their certificates fall short. That being said, Robins Financial Credit Union is a good option for people in Georgia who prefer brick-and-mortar banks and value building a relationship with their local credit union.

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Elizabeth Aldrich |

Elizabeth Aldrich is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Elizabeth here

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