May 28, 2024

American First Credit Union Review

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by the companies mentioned. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies.
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American First Credit Union offers a solid lineup of savings accounts, along with high-yield options through Raisin. Read on for all the details.

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • High rates on money market account and CDs via Raisin
  • No monthly fees
  • Some accounts have high opening deposit

Bottom Line

Credit union offering savings with low fees and decent rates

American First offers various checking and savings options. They have low fees and good rates, great for people aiming to improve their finances.

Plus, they offer exclusive high-yield deals through Raisin, making it easy to manage multiple savings accounts in one place. Keep reading to learn more!

What is American First Credit Union?

Founded in 1952, American First Credit Union is a California-based financial institution. They provide loans, credit cards, checking, and savings accounts to its members, and also specialized services for businesses.

They also provide a couple of high-yield savings options through Raisin which is a third-party platform that partners with numerous banks to offer savings products.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • High rates on money market account and CDs via Raisin
  • Variety of checking and savings options
  • Options for fee-free checking and savings
  • Access to 30,000+ Co-op surcharge-free ATMs and Shared Branches
  • Online and mobile banking
  • NCUA-insured

Cons

  • Some accounts have high opening deposit requirements
  • High-yield savings and CDs available only through a third-party platform

Is American First Credit Union safe?
Yes, American First Credit Union is safe. They're a member of the NCUA (Cert #68485), meaning your deposits are protected up to $250,000. Even if you open an account through Raisin, your funds are fully insured. So, if anything happens to the credit union or Raisin, you can still get your money back.

Which service do you use most frequently at a credit union?

Money Market Accounts

American First Credit Union provides a high-yield money market account via Raisin, featuring a high APY. There are no monthly fees and all you need is $1 to open an account. Plus, it is federally insured by the NCUA, making it a safe and hassle-free choice.

Raisin is an online platform that partners with different banks to provide savings products with good rates and low account minimums. You can open and handle multiple savings accounts, money market accounts, and CDs all in one place.

They also directly offer a Premium Money Market account with a tiered system, where the interest rate depends on your balance. But, you need at least $2500 to start. [1]

How to open an American First Credit Union money market account via Raisin:

  1. Go to American First Credit Union on Raisin and select Savings.
  2. Open an account with your name, SSN, date of birth, and address.
  3. Link a bank account so you can fund your savings product ($1 minimum deposit).

Certificates of Deposit

American First Credit Union also offers high-yield CDs through Raisin. They feature competitive rates for terms of 12, 18, and 24 months, and you only need $1 to start.

You can also open a share certificate directly with American First Credit Union. They offer terms from 3 to 60 months. Their rates are usually low, but sometimes they have better deals.

Just remember, you'll need to deposit at least $1,000 regardless of the term length. [2]

How to open an American First Credit Union CD via Raisin:

  1. Go to the Raisin website and select your chosen American First Credit Union CD.
  2. Open an account with your name, SSN, date of birth, and address.
  3. Link a bank account so you can fund your savings product ($1 minimum deposit).

Savings Accounts

American First Credit Union offers a variety of savings accounts for individuals of all ages. Below are some accounts they offer:

  • Regular Savings
    This is a traditional savings account that pays quite a low interest. It has a $50 opening deposit and requires a minimum balance of $500 to earn the APY and avoid the $10 monthly fee. [3]

  • Big Prize Saving
    This unique account gives you a chance to win up to $50,0000 for every $25 saved. There are no monthly fees, just a $25 opening deposit and you need to keep at least $500 to qualify for the cash prize and earn interest. [4]

What matters the most to you when choosing a savings account?

Checking Accounts

American First Credit Union offers different checking accounts, each with its own unique features. Here's how they differ:

  • Totally Free Checking
    This account is the most popular checking option offered by American First Credit Union. It boasts no minimum balance or monthly service charge, making it easy to maintain. [5]

  • Easy Interest Checking
    This interest-bearing account is available to members who have direct deposit or automatic payments set up. There are no monthly fees or minimum balances, and users earn interest on their checking balances. [6]

  • 50+ Interest Checking
    This one is an interest-earning account for those who are 50 years old or older. It also has no minimum balance requirement or monthly service charge. [7]

  • Preferred Interest Checking
    This account is for those who can keep a high balance to get a good APY. If you have at least $1,500, you'll earn a higher rate and won't have to pay the $8 monthly fee. [8]

These also come with benefits such as a welcome gift, membership savings, 24/7 mobile and online banking, and a debit card. You'll also enjoy uChoose Rewards, access to Co-op ATMs and shared branches, a direct deposit option, overdraft services, etc.

How Much Can You Earn?

Use this savings calculator to see how much your money can grow with an American First Credit Union account:

Savings Calculator

Fees to Look Out For

When you open an American First money market account or CD through Raisin, there are no fees. The only thing to watch out for is a penalty if you withdraw your CD before it matures.

However, some accounts directly from American First Credit Union come with fees, while others don't. Here's a table summarizing the charges:[9]

AccountMonthly Fee
Totally Free CheckingNone
Easy Interest CheckingNone
50+ Interest CheckingNone
Preferred Interest Checking$8 (can be waived with a balance of $1,500)
Regular Savings$10 (can be waived with a balance of $500)
Big Prize SavingsNone
Premium Money Market$10 (can be waived with a balance of $2,500)
CDsNone

For CDs, early withdrawals incur a penalty fee worth half the term's dividends earned on the amount withdrawn, regardless of whether they have been earned or not, and may reduce principal.

How American First Credit Union Compares

Who is American First Credit Union Best For?

American First Credit Union is an excellent option for those seeking to grow their funds with a competitive APY. They not only offer good rates on their own accounts but also give you access to exclusive high-yield options through Raisin.

Also, if you're signing up via Raisin, you can open multiple savings accounts on one platform, which is great for anyone aiming to reach their financial goals.

Depositing and Withdrawing Funds

To deposit money, you can transfer from another bank, fill out an ACH form (via fax, email, online banking message, or at a branch), or use a mobile check deposit.

Meanwhile, to withdraw funds, you can do electronic transfers, go to a branch, or use a CO-OP ATM.

Bottom Line

At American First Credit Union, you'll find a diverse range of financial products and services to suit your needs. They offer various checking and savings accounts with low fees and decent rates.

But, if you're after their top savings offers, you'll find them over on Raisin, a third-party platform they've teamed up with.

References

  1. ^ American First Credit Union. Premium Money Market, Retrieved 02/18/2024
  2. ^ American First Credit Union. Share Certificate Accounts, Retrieved 02/18/2024
  3. ^ American First Credit Union. Regular Savings Account, Retrieved 02/18/2024
  4. ^ American First Credit Union. Big Prize Savings, Retrieved 02/18/2024
  5. ^ American First Credit Union. Totally Free Checking, Retrieved 02/18/2024
  6. ^ American First Credit Union. Easy Interest Checking, Retrieved 02/18/2024
  7. ^ American First Credit Union. 50 Interest Checking, Retrieved 02/18/2024
  8. ^ American First Credit Union. Preferred Interest Checking, Retrieved 02/18/2024
  9. ^ American First Credit Union. Schedule of Fees and Services, Retrieved 03/22/2024
American First Credit Union

Money Market Deposit Account - 5.24% APY

  • $1 minimum deposit
  • No fees
  • 24/7 online access to funds
  • Federally insured by NCUA
Chase
Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $300 Bonus

Expires 10/16/2024
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $300 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account with qualifying activities
  • With over 4,700 branches, Chase has the largest branch network in the U.S. plus access to more than 15,000 ATMs.
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
  • Chase Overdraft Assist℠ - no overdraft fees if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day or if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the next business day*
Bank of America
Member FDIC

Bank of America Advantage Banking - $200 Bonus Offer

Expires 9/30/2024
  • The $200 bonus offer is an online only offer and must be opened through the Bank of America promotional page.
  • The offer is for new checking customers only.
  • Offer expires 9/30/2024.
  • To qualify, open a new eligible Bank of America Advantage Banking account through the promotional page and set up and receive qualifying direct deposits totaling $2,000 or more into that new eligible account within 90 days of account opening. Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking® for Family Banking accounts are not eligible for this offer.
  • Once all requirements are met, Bank of America will attempt to pay bonus within 60 days.
  • Additional terms and conditions apply. See offer page for more details.
  • Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Discover® Online Savings - $200 Cash Bonus

Expires 9/12/2024

To qualify for Bonus: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account, enter Offer Code CY624 at application, deposit into your Account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Qualifying deposit(s) may consist of multiple deposits and must post to Account within 45 days of account open date. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers, including co-branded, or affinity accounts. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 60 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is subject to tax reporting. Offer ends 09/12/2024, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice. See advertiser website for full details.

CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Platinum Savings - 5.00% APY

  • 5.00% APY with a balance of $5,000 or more
  • 0.25% APY with a balance of less than $5,000
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Member FDIC

Darlene Santos is a research analyst at CreditDonkey, a bank comparison and reviews website. Write to Darlene Santos at darlene.santos@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

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