As far as Standard Checking goes, STCUâ€™s rates are nonexistent. This is a big mark against it. While it is free from many common fees, youâ€™ll be able to find the same lack of fees on competitorsâ€™ checking accounts, which offer dividends or interest.
Dividend Checking fares much better. At its lowest tier, this account earns competitive dividends. The biggest red flag is the monthly maintenance fee, though you can avoid it by keeping a close eye on your balance throughout the month.
If neither of these accounts feels like the right fit for you, donâ€™t forget that you can shop around. STCU is somewhat competitive in this category, but its rates and lack of fees are not unbeatable by any means.
While STCUâ€™s Standard Savings rates arenâ€™t anything to write home about, the credit union more than makes up for it with First5 Savings. With astronomical dividends, you are highly unlikely to find another financial institution that even comes close to this APY offering.
Because that great rate is only offered on low balance amounts, though, you may want to shop around at other institutions for savings accunts with high rates and no balance requirements. A healthy emergency fund should be much larger than the $500 limit for First5â€™s fantastic rates, so storing your money elsewhere might make more sense despite a lower APY depending on your situation.
The rates offered on STCUâ€™s certificate products arenâ€™t the worst around, but theyâ€™re hardly the best. If you want your money to grow as quickly as possible, there are other better CD options out there.
You may find yourself in a unique situation where these certificates are attractive above all others. For example, if you have a large sum of money that youâ€™ll need in a few months, but you can afford to freeze it until then, you stand to see significant gains with Jumbo Certificates, even if the actual APY isnâ€™t incredibly impressive. You may like the idea of the Bump Rate Certificate, and are willing to take the risk of lower dividends now to potentially see a higher rate later.
But under most circumstances, the competition outshines STCU. In these cases, youâ€™ll want to shop around.
These money market accounts canâ€™t compete with the best money market offers on the market. Dividends are so low that they arenâ€™t even competitive with regular savings accounts, nonetheless money market accounts.
Especially because certificate rates at STCU are identical whether theyâ€™re found inside or outside an IRA, the rates on these certificates are not overly competitive. Many financial institutions will boost their rates a little when they offer certificates inside an IRA, but STCU is not one of them. Shop around for better IRA CD rates elsewhere.
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