In order to lay the groundwork for future financial success, you’ll need the right tools to help get you there. The right accounts can propel you to reach your goals while helping you avoid too many fees that could eat into your potential to save more.
Blue Federal Credit Union (FCU) offers products to set you up for financial success. Let’s take a closer look at the products available through this credit union.
- Blue FCU offers competitive APYs on some savings products.
- The credit union also has an interest-bearing checking account.
- You’ll also find credit cards, auto loans, recreational vehicle loans, mortgage loans, and more.
Blue Federal Credit Union Details
What Is Blue FCU?
Blue FCU was originally known as Warren Federal Credit Union. Its roots can be traced back to 1951. In the last 70s years, the credit union has expanded significantly to provide a wide range of account and loan options.
In terms of membership, the requirements have been expanded to include anyone. If you don’t meet those qualifications, you can still gain membership to the credit union by making a $10 deposit in a Blue FCU account.
Membership qualifications include:
- Be a civilian or military member associated in some way with F.E. Warren Air Force base
- Have a family or household member with an account
- Have a select employer with ties to Blue FCU
What Does It Offer?
Blue FCU offers a large selection of financial products. A few include credit cards, personal loans, and insurance. However, this review focuses on saving building opportunities offered through Blue FCU.
Blue FCU offers several checking account options. But two of the options are better than the rest.
First up is the Extreme Checking account. The interest-bearing checking account offers APYs of 1% to 2% on balances up to $15,000. You’ll need to meet specific criteria on a monthly basis to earn this APY. These include:
- Have a minimum of 10 debit card transactions clear your account
- Be enrolled in eStatements
- Have either Direct Deposit, ACH deposit, ACH withdrawal, or online bill payment clear your account
Since many banks don’t offer interest on checking accounts, this is a great option to consider. Plus, there is no monthly maintenance fee and you can get up to $28 in ATM fees refunded per statement cycle.
The second Blue FCU checking account option that offers enticing rewards is the Earn Five Checking account. You’ll have an opportunity to earn up to $25 per month by using your Blue debit card. But you need to make a lot of purchases to reach the $25 limit.
You’ll earn 5 cents for every purchase, after your fifth transaction of the month. Although the rewards aren’t stellar, it’s still a better option than many checking accounts offered by traditional banks.
With any Blue checking account, you can enroll in the Smart Cents Savings program. It will round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and transfer the difference to your savings account.
The Accelerated Savings option is the stand-out savings account offered by Blue FCU. Through this account, you can earn 5% APY on your balances of up to $1,000.
After your balance goes over $1,000, there is a tiered rate structure that leads to a significant drop in interest-earning opportunities. Although you’ll earn less for balances over $1,000, it’s still a worthwhile way to kick-start your savings growth.
Must meet certain qualifications to earn this APY.
Opportunity to earn $25 per month by using debit card.
$1,000-$5,000 the APY drops to 1%
See their table.
Blue FCU offers other savings account options but the APYs are much lower. For example:
- The Christmas Club savings account offers an APY of 1.25% on balances between $25 to $5,000.
- The Sky High Savings account offers an even lower APY at 0.30%.
Online High Yield Money Market
Blue FCU has a unique partnership with Save Better that offers a great money market account and rate for just a $1 minimum.
You get all the benefits of your account being online, NCUA-insured, and easy to access. However, you must access your funds through your Save Better portal.
Right now, you can earn a 4.00% APY with just a $1 minimum balance.
Blue FCU doesn’t offer regular certificates of deposit, instead, it offers term shares. Although the name is different, this type of account is very similar to a regular CD. In order to open a term share, you need a minimum deposit of at least $1,000.
The term shares come in lengths of six months to five years. Some of the terms have an expandable or bump-up option. The expandable term share gives you a chance to add funds along the way. The bump-up options allow you to tap into higher interest rates if the market changes along the way.
Like CDs, these term shares have an early withdrawal penalty if you try to take out funds before the maturity date.
Are There Any Fees?
Blue FCU doesn’t have an explicit membership fee. However, most members need to make a $10 deposit into a savings account to start their process.
None of the accounts mentioned in this review have a monthly fee attached. The only fees to watch out for are out-of-network ATM fees with the checking account. But Blue FCU will reimburse up to $28 in these ATM fees per cycle.
How Does Blue FCU Compare?
Blue FCU credit union offers some enticing account options. The APYs on some are very high, while the rewards fall short with other accounts.
In terms of an interest-bearing checking account, Blue FCU offers an attractive option. It’s nice to earn any interest in a checking account. But you can find higher APYs elsewhere. For example, Juno offers a 5% APY on checking account balances up to $10,000.
If you are looking for alternatives to Blue FCU’s term shares, there are higher rates out there. For example, American First Credit Union is offering a 12-month CD with a 4.50% APY.
How Do I Open An Account?
Blue FCU doesn’t make it easy to open an account. Although there is an online application, it isn’t always available. When we tried to scope out the process for this review, the website directed me to call the credit union or visit a local branch to complete my application.
You an always open the money market account here through Save Better >>
If you move forward with the account application, be prepared to provide some basic information. This includes your full name, Social Security number, date of birth, and funding account information.
Is It Safe And Secure?
Yes, Blue FCU uses bank-level encryption to protect your accounts. If you spot unauthorized charges from your account, there is a hotline to resolve the issue.
Additionally, Blue FCU is NCUA-insured. You can breathe easy knowing that your deposits of up to $250,000 are protected.
How Do I Contact Blue FCU?
You can call Blue FCU at 1-800-368-9328. The customer service center is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (MST). Plus, the weekend hours are 24 hours.
If you prefer to send an email, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. As a customer, you’ll also have the option to send secure messages through your online banking portal.
The customer feedback on Blue FCU is at best mixed. On Yelp, the credit union has earned 1.5 out of 5 stars. On the Better Business Bureau, customers have left an average of 1 out of 5 stars.
However, there are less than 100 reviews so it’s difficult to tell if only the negative reviewers are making their voices heard vs. customers that have good experiences but aren’t writing reviews.
Is It Worth It?
Credit unions have earned a reputation for providing accounts that come with perks you won’t find at a bank. Although both are financial institutions, credit unions are more focused on providing their members value.
Typically, value comes in the form of high APYs on savings products and low-interest rates on loans. Blue FCU delivers both opportunities to its members. However, you can find higher APYs available through other banks and credit unions.
If you are really looking to capitalize on your savings, remember to shop around for the highest rates.
Blue Federal Credit Union Features
Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (MST)
Saturday-Sunday 24 hours
Web/Desktop Account Access