Thursday, 21 January 2021

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

DFCU Financial Review: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts
02 Jun
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DFCU Financial checking account options

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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David Rodeck
David Rodeck |

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


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