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

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Updated on Thursday, October 1, 2020

Teachers Federal Credit Union checking account options

Personal checking

This is a free account that offers some discounts.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%
$2,500
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: $1.75 for out-of-network ATMs (if you maintain a minimum of $2,500 in combined account balances)
  • ATM fee refund: None (exceptions apply)
  • Overdraft fee: $30 (other options available)

Teachers Federal Credit Union’s checking account is a simple checking account that’s best for those looking for a way use their funds quickly. Account holders get free online banking, bill pay and a free Visa debit card that offers worldwide ATM access. The checking account can also be linked to a savings or money market account for overdraft protection, which will only set you back $8 per transfer if and when it occurs.

This account also offers you additional discounts if you can maintain a minimum of $2,500 in combined balances across your deposit accounts. Teachers Federal Credit Union offers the Educated Choice Program, which gives you the opportunity to save on fees such as ATM surcharges, traveler’s checks, money orders, paper checks and overdraft transfer fees. However, if you enroll in this program and fall below the minimum balance requirements, you will need to pay a monthly fee — $8 for the gold level and $10 for the platinum level.

College students can choose to open a specialty checking account — the Young Professional Checking Account — which has the same features and benefits mentioned above, plus you’ll get your first box of checks and traveler’s checks for free without needing to opt into the Educated Choice Program. To qualify for this account, you’ll need to be enrolled in a qualifying college in Nassau or in certain parts of Suffolk.

How to get Teachers Federal Credit Union’s checking account

You can open an account by filling out a membership application form online. You’ll be asked to select how you qualify for membership, then choose the accounts you intend to open; all members must a share savings account to establish membership. Then, fill out the rest of the form by providing personal details such as your name, address, Social Security number and government-issued ID information. Afterward, fund the account.

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on Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Teachers Federal Credit Union’s checking accounts compare

Even with the free perks and discounts available, we’re not terribly impressed with Teachers Federal Credit Union’s checking account. The APY rate is extremely low compared with other competitors found on our list of the best online checking accounts. Some of these competitors even offer ATM refunds without needing to meet minimum balance account requirements.

Considering there are also pretty strict requirements to establish membership at this credit union, we’re convinced you’re better off looking elsewhere.

Teachers Federal Credit Union savings account options

Share savings

All members need to open this account to establish membership.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.10%
$50
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

There’s not much going on with this account other than the fact that all members need to maintain this account to qualify for membership. Knowing that, it’s great that it doesn’t require a monthly maintenance fee, although the APY offered isn’t that stellar. There isn’t any ATM access or check-writing capabilities unless you link it to a checking account.

The Federal Reserve’s Regulation D limits you up to six certain debits a month from your savings account. If you try to go over that amount, your transaction will be denied by the credit union.

How to get the Share savings account

You can open a Share savings account via Teachers Federal Credit Union’s online application form. You’ll be asked how you qualify for membership and to provide personal details such as your address, Social Security number and government-issued ID information. Then you’ll be able to transfer money into the account.

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on Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Holiday and Vacation Club

You can use this account for your short-term savings.
  • Minimum opening deposit: None
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: None
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Holiday and Vacation Club account is meant to help you set aside money for your short-term savings goal, whether it be for the holiday or summer season. You deposit money as often as you want, even setting up automatic transfers from your paycheck. At a specified time, those savings will be automatically transferred to your main account for you to spend.

You can open an account anytime of the year for a Holiday Club account, or in June for the Vacation Club account. The funds will be left to accumulate until around Oct. 15 for the Holiday Club and around June 4 for the Vacation Club account. After these dates, the money in either of these accounts will then be transferred to your savings or checking account.

While there are technically no penalties for withdrawing your funds early, you’re still limited up to six certain debits a month because of Regulation D. If you try to go over that amount, your transaction will be denied by the credit union.

How to get the Holiday or Vacation Club savings account

You can open an account online by filling out a membership application form. You’ll be asked to indicate how you qualify for membership and agree to open a share savings account. Once you enter in your personal details such as your address and Social Security number, you can fund both accounts.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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Youth Savings

Earn a high APY for your first $1,000, plus there are no monthly maintenance fees.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
3.00%
$0.01
0.10%
$1,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $0.01
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

The Youth Savings account is for those 18 years and younger, though an adult (who is a member of the credit union) will need to be the joint owner. The APYs you see above are for new accounts only. There is no ATM access so the only way to access funds is in-person transactions or transfers from another account.

Kids 10 years and younger will open what’s called a Cub Account, which also provides kids with a Berenstain Bears book, membership card and bookmark. Both types of accounts are limited up to six certain debits a month because of Regulation D, and your transaction may be denied if you go other that amount. Once the child turns 18, the account will automatically be converted to a regular savings account.

How to get the Youth Savings account

You’ll need to head to the nearest branch to open an account. You’ll need to bring your government-issued ID, plus your and your Social Security number, as well as your child’s. For more information, you can call Teacher Federal Credit Union at 1-800-341-4333.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

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How Teachers Federal Credit Union’s savings accounts compare

We like the high APY for the youth account even though it’s only for the first $1,000. However, the other savings accounts leave more to be desired.

Looking at other competitors on our list of the best online savings accounts, Teachers Federal Credit Union has low APYs in comparison. Considering a savings account is meant to help you maximize your savings, you may be better off doing some shopping around for better rates.

Teachers Federal Credit Union CD rates

Certificate of Deposit

Some of these rates are pretty competitive.
Regular CD (minimum $1,000 opening deposit)
TermAPY
3 months0.35%
6 months0.45%
12 months0.50%
15 months2.50%
18 months0.60%
24 months0.65%
30 months2.55%
36 months0.75%
48 months0.85%
60 months1.00%
Jumbo CD (minimum $100,000 opening deposit)
TermAPY
1 month0.30%
2 months0.30%
3 months0.35%
6 months0.45%
12 months0.50%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000 or $100,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000 or $100,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term.
    • One year or less: 180 days’ interest or all interest earned since account opening, whichever is less
    • More than one year: 270 days’ interest or all interest earned since account opening, whichever is less

Both the regular and jumbo CDs have fixed rates, meaning you’re guaranteed the specified rate of return assuming you’ll leave all funds in the account until maturity. Interest earned is compounded daily and credited either monthly or quarterly. However, for the 3 month regular CD, interest earned will be credited when it matures.

Your account will automatically renew for the same term unless you decide to make changes. There is a seven-day grace period in which to do so, whether it’s making withdrawals, additional deposits or renewing for another term.

How to get Teachers Federal Credit Union’s CDs

You can either call customer service at 631-698-7000 (ext. 6780) or show up at a local branch to open a CD. You may be asked to provide your name, address, Social Security number and government-issued ID.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Teachers Federal Credit Union’s CD rates compare

Some of the CD rates are on par with the best CD accounts out there. It depends on the term, so it’s always a good idea to do some shopping around and compare.

However, a big disadvantage to this account is that you are required to become a member to open a CD, and the requirements seem pretty restrictive. If you qualify, great, otherwise you’ll have to go elsewhere.

Teachers Federal Credit Union money market account options

Money market account

The highest APY is pretty comparable to other places, but it does require a high minimum balance.
APYMinimum Balance to Earn APY
0.25%
$2,500
0.25%
$25,000
0.35%
$50,000
0.40%
$100,000
0.45%
$250,000
0.50%
$500,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Minimum balance to earn APY: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 (this can be waived)
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

With the credit union’s money market account, you can earn a higher rate than the checking or savings account, but you are required to have a higher minimum balance amount and there’s a monthly maintenance fee. However, you can get that waived if you can maintain a $500 minimum balance.

Sadly, there isn’t any ATM access — unless you link it to a checking account — but there are limited check-writing capabilities. Just remember that you’re limited up to six certain debits a month due to Regulation D, or else the credit union will charge a $10 excessive draft fee for each debit.

If all you’re looking for is a place to park short-term savings, this isn’t a terrible choice. However, if you want more frequent access to your cash, the checking account may be better, plus you could qualify for free benefits from the Educated Choice Program.

How to get Teachers Federal Credit Union’s money market account

To open a Teachers Federal Credit Union money market account, you can either head to the nearest branch or filling out an online membership application form. You’ll be required to establish membership by opening a share savings account in addition to the money market one. First, indicate how you qualify for membership, then provide your personal details such as name, address and Social Security number. The last part of the application will ask you to provide details on how you’ll fund the account.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Teachers Federal Credit Union’s money market accounts compare

If you’re only looking at the rates, this money market is comparable to what else is being offered out there, including the ones on our list of the best money market accounts. What we’re not a fan of is how high those minimum balance requirements are. There are quite a few competitors that have much lower ones and don’t have strict membership requirements.

If you don’t have a lot of cash laying around but still want to get the best bang for your buck, it may be a better idea to look at other money market accounts.

Teachers Federal Credit Union IRA account options

IRA CD rates

IRA certificate

There are only a few IRA CD terms worth looking into.
TermAPY
3 months0.35%
6 months0.45%
12 months0.50%
15 months2.50%
18 months0.60%
24 months0.65%
30 months2.55%
36 months0.75%
48 months2.10%
60 months 1.00%
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $1,000
  • Early withdrawal penalty: Depends on length of term.
    • One year or less: 180 days’ interest or all interest earned since account opening, whichever is less
    • More than one year: 270 days’ interest or all interest earned since account opening, whichever is less

These IRA CDs do offer a higher rate of return than Teachers Federal Credit Union IRA savings account, so that’s something to consider as you’re shopping around. It may be a bit of a stretch for some since the minimum opening deposit is $1,000.

You can choose from a traditional or Roth IRA, depending on your needs. Interest you earn will be compounded daily and deposited into your account each month or quarter. The only exception is the 3 month IRA CD which only deposits interest earned when the account matures.

Upon maturity, you’ll get a seven-day grace period where you can make any necessary changes, such as withdrawals, additional deposits or renew for another term. Otherwise, the IRA CD will automatically be renewed.

How to get Teachers Federal Credit Union’s IRA CDs

To open an IRA CD with Teachers Federal Credit union, head to your nearest branch or call customer service at (631) 698-7000 ext. 6780. You’ll be asked to provide your full name, address and Social Security number.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

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How Teachers Federal Credit Union’s IRA CD rates compare

Just like the regular CDs, the IRA CDs only have one or two terms that are worth looking into as there are higher rates offered by other competitors. These IRA CDs do have a lower minimum opening deposit than others on our list of the best IRA CD rates, but some also don’t have restrictive membership requirements. That means you’ll need to look around carefully to see what options there are before making a decision.

IRA savings account

Just a basic IRA savings account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fee: N/A
  • ATM fee refund: N/A
  • Overdraft fee: N/A

There’s not much to say about this account except that you can either choose the traditional or Roth option; it’s a good idea to chat with a customer representative to see which is your better option. It’s nice in that there is a really low minimum opening deposit.

This IRA savings account could be a good place to park your retirement funds until you figure out what you want to do with your money, such as sticking it in a IRA CD that could give you a higher rate of return. Remember that Regulation D limits you up to six certain debits a month and if you try to go over that amount, your request will be denied.

How to get Teachers Federal Credit Union’s IRA savings account

You’ll need to either head to the nearest Teachers Federal Credit Union branch or call customer service at (631) 698-7000 ext. 6780. The credit union may ask you for information such as your address and Social Security number.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on Teachers Federal Credit Union’s secure website

NCUA Insured

Overall review of Teachers Federal Credit Union’s banking products

Restrictive membership requirements aside, some of the credit union’s rates aren’t too shabby. The money market rates are just a bit lower than what other competitors are offering, and the CD and IRA CD accounts have a few terms worth looking into.

However, the rest of Teachers Federal Credit Union’s offerings aren’t that good as the advertised APYs are really low. If you can qualify for membership, some of these accounts may be worth it. If not, there are plenty of competitors that will be happy to take your money.

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