Coastal Federal Credit Union Review: Credit Cards for All Needs

Find out what CFCU offers and decide if it's right for you.

Credit unions offer several advantages you can’t get from a bank. As member-owned nonprofits, credit unions use profits to pay members higher interest on deposit accounts and charge lower interest on loans. Members also earn dividends based on the credit union’s profits.

Coastal Federal Credit Union, also known as Coastal Credit Union, was founded in 1967 by three employees of the company known today as IBM. By 1980, the Raleigh, N.C., credit union had its own ATM network, and 15 years later it became one of the world’s earliest financial institutions to offer online banking. Read more about the local credit union’s full range of products and services that could help you manage your money.

Coastal Federal Credit Union Review

No financial institution is a perfect fit for every consumer, so GOBankingRates reviewed CFCU to see how it stacks up. Keep reading to find out whether CFCU can help you achieve your financial goals.

CFCU Membership

Credit unions are only available to people who meet certain criteria, such as living in a particular location or working for a partner company. CFCU membership requires one of the following:

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  • Work for a participating company
  • Have a family member who belongs
  • Join through your membership in the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association
  • Live or work in a North Carolina town with a community charter

Find Out: How Do Credit Unions Make Money?

CFCU Banking Products

CFCU products are designed to serve members at every stage of their lives.

Checking Accounts

Members can choose between three consumer checking accounts and a business account. Consumer accounts include:

  • Simple Checking for rebuilding banking history due to past overdrafts
  • Go Green Checking
  • Student Checking

Go Green dividend rates range from 0.10% to 2.25% APY depending on account balance and the number of debit card transactions per month. None of the consumer accounts has a minimum balance requirement, and only the Standard Checking under the Simple Checking option has a fee.

The business account has no monthly fee for balances of $1,500; otherwise, you’ll pay $5 per month.

Read: Best Checking Accounts of 2018

Savings Accounts

CFCU gives members several ways to save:

  • Primary and Special Savings Accounts: Minimum deposit of $100 and $1, respectively; 0.10% APY dividend rate
  • Health Savings Account: 1.49 percent dividend rate and 1.50% APY
  • Individual Retirement Account Savings Account: $1 minimum deposit; 0.65% APY
  • Coverdell Education Savings Account: Contribute up to $2,000 post-tax dollars; withdraw funds tax-free for private-school tuition or college costs

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Certificates of Deposit

Find out about members’ CD choices below:

  • 7-90 Day Mini Jumbo CD: $50,000 minimum deposit; 0.50% APY
  • Six-month CD: $250 minimum deposits; 1.25% APY
  • 36-month CD: $250 minimum deposit; 2% APY
  • 60-month CD: $250 minimum deposit; 2.25% APY

Money Market Accounts

Members can maximize savings with a money market account. A regular CFCU money market account pays 0.25% APY. Go Green money market accounts pay 0.35% APY to 1.25% APY, depending on the account balance and the number of debit card transactions members make each month.

Credit Cards

CFCU has credit cards for just about any financial situation.

Rate Advantage Secured Visa Credit Card: Designed for rebuilding credit
Rate Advantage Visa Credit Card: Rates as low as 8.75% APR
Rewards Visa Credit Card: One rewards point per $1 spent
Signature Premier Rewards Visa Credit Card: Triple points on gas, double points on groceries and warehouse items, one point per $1 on other purchases

Keep Reading: Surprising Uses for Your Credit Card Rewards


CFCU’s loans provide funds members need to purchase or refinance a home, buy a car, start or expand a business or cover a large expense, all at competitive rates.

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  • Mortgage Loans: Conventional fixed and adjustable-rate mortgage loans, first-time homebuyer loans, jumbos and construction loans
  • Home Equity Loans: Home equity loans and lines of credit with up to 100 percent financing and interest-only options
  • Auto Loans: Loans for purchasing a new or used car or refinancing your current car loan
  • Personal Loans: Any-purpose loan with a streamlined application, flexible terms and fast closing
  • Business Loans: Competitive rates; available to South Carolina entrepreneurs

Learn: How to Get a Business Loan

CFCU Membership Benefits

CFCU offers many perks for convenient and comprehensive banking:

  • 24/7/365 digital banking via the mobile app or by accessing the credit union online via computer
  • 24/7 customer service call center access, except Thanksgiving and Christmas
  • Convenient “7-7/7” CFCU hours at branch locations (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, except major holidays)
  • Financial planning and wealth-management services
  • Discounted home buying and selling services through Daymark Realty
  • Discounts from partner businesses

CFCU Pros and Cons

Weigh the pros and cons of banking with CFCU before making a final decision about where to keep your money:


  • No minimum deposits for many accounts
  • Loyal Bonus program pays dividends on most consumer deposit and loan accounts
  • Unsecured credit cards have 0% APRs on purchases and/or balance transfers for six to 12 months
  • Certain products qualify for free id Ally identity-theft recovery

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  • Restricted membership
  • No Loyalty Bonus dividends for business checking or business loans
  • High balance and/or debit card usage required for premium checking APY
  • Higher CD interest rates available elsewhere

Before You Join

Competitive rates and a comprehensive range of services make CFCU a good choice for qualified individuals who need financial management guidance. Financially savvy consumers and those looking for insurance and investment products might find similar banking and loan services at better rates elsewhere.

Up Next: Best Credit Unions Anyone Can Join

*Rates are accurate as of May 3, 2018, and are subject to change.

More on Credit Unions:

About the Author

Daria Uhlig

Daria Uhlig is a personal finance, real estate and travel writer and editor with over 25 years of editorial experience. Her work has been featured on The Motley Fool, MSN, AOL, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC and USA Today. Daria studied journalism at the County College of Morris and earned a degree in communications at Centenary University, both in New Jersey.

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