Wright-Patt Credit Union Review: High Rates and Flexibility

Save money monthly with this Wright-Patt Credit Union Review.

Since the early 1930s, Wright-Patt Credit Union has strived to give back to the community by providing superior service and quality financial products and services to qualified members. Ranked by Forbes Media as the best Ohio credit union, WPCU services members throughout Southwest and Central Ohio.

Find out how to qualify and become a member of WPCU to start taking advantage of all the benefits it offers.

Here’s a quick look at what you’ll find in this Wright-Patt credit union review:

Who Is Wright-Patt Credit Union Best For?

WPCU membership is open to residents of the Southwest and Central Ohio counties, military service personnel of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and Wright State University students, faculty members, staff members and alumni.

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Here are some things to consider to help you decide if WPCU is the right credit union for your finances:

Pros of WPCU

  • Totally Fair Checking Purchase Rewards
  • EasySaver debit card round-ups
  • Access to Plus, Star, Alliance One, CO-OP and STAR ATM networks

Cons of WPCU

  • $1,000 minimum daily balance requirement for checking with dividends
  • Service fees can vary depending on membership tier
  • $5 debit/ATM card replacement fee

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Who Might Want To Choose Wright-Patt Credit Union?

WPCU may be for you if you are looking for a superior checking relationship. It offers tons of incentives for utilizing a debit card with a linked checking account. You can save more money by rounding up purchases or utilizing purchase rewards.

Who Might Want To Skip Wright-Patt Credit Union?

This may not be the credit union for you if you are not a fan of technology. WPCU offers a lot of digital tools that support its core products and services. However, WPCU does have a tiered approach to relationship benefits, so if you aren’t bringing your entire relationship to them, this may not be the credit union for you. You may also want to consider another institution if you are not within its servicing footprint.

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Learn More: 20 Best Credit Unions for First Responders

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Types of Accounts Available at Wright-Patt Credit Union

Much like a traditional bank, WPCU offers a variety of products and services you would expect from a financial institution. However, there are also several unique, customer-oriented programs for members. Here are the personal products and services that Wright-Patt Credit Union offers:

  • Personal savings and checking accounts
  • Mortgage, construction and home equity loans and lines of credit
  • Student loans and college planning
  • Auto loans
  • Health savings accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans
  • Retirement planning services

Check Out: 10 Best Military Banks and Credit Unions of 2020

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Checking Accounts

WPCU offers three personal checking products: Totally Fair Checking, CentsibleSpend and Checking with Dividends. These three accounts offer checking solutions built around the different ways members may choose to do their banking — in-person or online. Each account offers its unique benefits and rewards.

Totally Fair Checking

Totally Fair Checking offers no minimum balance or monthly maintenance fees. Members can also take advantage of the free purchase rewards program, which allows customers to take advantage of select cash-back offers by redeeming and purchasing them online using a WPCU qualified debit card. No minimum opening deposit applies to this account.

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Pros

  • Totally Fair Checking Purchase Reward program
  • No monthly service charge
  • No minimum balance required
  • Unlimited check writing with no per-check fees

Cons

  • Overdraft fees apply
  • No dividends paid

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CentisibleSpend

The CentsibleSpend account is an alternative to a traditional checking account because it doesn’t feature paper checks. Instead, you access your account funds via a debit card, so you’ll only be able to spend what’s available in your account. The minimum opening deposit is $25.

Pros

  • No overdraft fees with the CentsibleSpend account
  • Free monthly paper or online statements

Cons

  • No check-writing privileges
  • Monthly service charge applies

Checking With Dividends

Checking with Dividends is WPCU’s version of an interest-bearing checking account. Members can expect to earn interest based on how much money they maintain in the account. You can benefit from earning interest even if you have only $0.01 in the account, but understand that there is a minimum of $1,000 to open the account. You also must maintain a $1,000 daily minimum balance to waive the monthly service fee.

  • Pros 
    • Earns interest at $0.01, up to 0.04% APY
    • Higher interest rate on balances of $25,000 or more
  • Cons
    • Requires minimum daily balance of $1,000 to waive monthly maintenance fee
    • Overdraft fees apply

Compare: Best Checking Accounts of 2020

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Savings Accounts

None of WPCU’s savings account solutions have a monthly service fee. All include no-to-low minimum balance requirements.

TrueSaver

With TrueSaver qualifying shares, members will receive 6.00% APY on balances from $0.01 to $500, as of March 30, 2020. Other share accounts usually earn interest on balances from $0.01 and up at up to 0.15% APY. A minimum balance requirement of $5 applies.

Students and young adults between the ages of 17 and 24 can take advantage of a TrueSaver Student/College savings account. No monthly service fee applies. Accountholders 18 and up may require an active WPCU checking account, e-statements and direct deposit.

Pros

  • Multiple savings account options with competitive interest rates
  • No monthly maintenance fee

Cons

  • Student/College savings may require you open a checking account and sign up for both e-statements and direct deposit
  • $5 minimum balance requirement on TrueSaver accounts.

Club Accounts

WPCU’s club accounts allow you to budget for upcoming expenses, such as vacations or holidays. Accounts are available in terms of three to 12 months and you can open as many as you need. Once your accounts mature, the funds will be transferred to the account of your choice.

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Pros

  • No minimum balance requirement
  • One fee-free withdrawal per account during account term
  • Competitive rates

Cons

  • Fees apply after first withdrawal during term

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Money Market Accounts

When it comes to money market accounts, WPCU offers some of the best account benefits for its members. Access your funds at a branch with a check or electronically through mobile or online banking. You can also utilize WPCU ATMs.

Members who choose to maintain $10,000 or more will benefit from higher rates as well as free money market checks. WPCU offers four deposit tiers, which allow you to earn higher dividends as your balance increases. Expect to earn between 0.15% and 0.60% APY on balances from $100 to $50,000 or more, as of March 30, 2020.

Pros

  • Four deposit tiers
  • Dividend earnings with as little as $100
  • No monthly service fees

Cons

  • Dividends paid quarterly
  • Sizable APY difference between lowest and second tiers

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Certificates of Deposit

CD earnings are guaranteed at a fixed rate of return for a fixed term. Terms vary from six to 72 months in length, and you can open an account with as little as $500. Expect to earn 0.65% to 1.21% APY and get a 0.10% boost in APY for opening a CD with $100,000 or more, as of March 30, 2020.

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Pros 

  • Low minimum opening balance
  • Variety of term options
  • Guaranteed fixed rate of return

Cons

  • Early withdrawal penalty applies

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Individual Retirement Accounts

WPCU offers its member IRA solutions that are insured and have a guaranteed rate of return.

You can also roll over old 401(k) plans into a Traditional IRA, enabling you to maintain control over your retirement assets. Single Deposit IRAs earn the same rates of return as WPCU certificates of deposit, with the exception of variable-rate and fixed-rate Add-On IRA share certificates. These earn from 0.75% and 0.95% APY, respectively.

Pros

  • Add-on IRAs available
  • Potential tax credits and incentives

Cons

  • Rates comparable to WPCU’s traditional CD rates
  • Better rates of return available elsewhere

See: 10 Best IRA Providers To Grow Your Retirement Funds

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Investment (Nonbank) Options

CFS financial advisors are available through CUSO Financial Services, LP to assist clients with financial planning and long-term goals.

Solutions offered include college and retirement planning — including 401(k) and SEP rollover reviews — life insurance and long-term care insurance. WPCU also offers both self-directed and advisor-assisted investing options.

Pros

  • Variety of planning solutions depending on life stage
  • Both investment and insurance options
  • Personalized one-on-one appointments with certified financial advisors

Cons

  • Working with an outside company

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Loans

WPCU is a full-service lender offering a variety of loans for your needs at competitive rates:

  • Auto loans
  • Student loans
  • Personal loans
  • Mortgages
  • Home equity term loans
  • Home equity lines of credit

If you are looking to purchase your first home, WPCU offers a flexible, streamlined online mortgage application process.

WPCU’s flexible home equity lines of credit allow you to borrow up to 100% of what your home is worth. Home equity term loans are also available. Both offer no prepayment penalties and no annual fees.

On the consumer side, members can take advantage of low student and auto loan rates and competitive term options. Personal loans that don’t require any collateral are also available to members.

Pros

  • No annual fee for home equity term loans or lines of credit
  • Variety of mortgage options including conventional, Federal Housing Administration, Veterans Affairs and USDA
  • Low student loan and auto loan rates
  • Unsecured personal loans available

Cons

  • Once-a-year fee for StretchPay loans
  • Borrowers with lower credit scores may not qualify
  • Lower APRs for higher LTVs may be found elsewhere for those with good credit

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How To Bank with Wright-Patt Credit Union

Save time and money with WPCU’s mobile and online banking services, which provide 24-hour access to your accounts to help you manage your money.

Stay on top of monthly bills through WPCU’s bill pay or even reimburse a friend for concert tickets with the Popmoney feature. Also, save a trip to the branch by depositing checks remotely using mobile deposit.

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Fees

Several WPCU accounts offer no monthly maintenance fee or the ability to waive fees.

Like many institutions, WPCU has a standard schedule of account fees. Expect to pay $25 for non-sufficient funds items and returned convenience checks.

Also, while WPCU does not charge fees for using its ATMs, a fee typically applies for non-WPCU ATMs. Applicable fees are based on your relationship tier:

  • Associate members: Two free each month; $0.60 thereafter
  • Partner, Advantage and Young Adult members: First six free
  • Premier members: Free use of non-WPCU ATMs

Learn More: 4 High-Performing Savings Accounts You Don’t Need a Bank To Get

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Availability of Funds

Cash deposited with a teller or at a WPCU ATM, direct deposits and wire transfers have the same-business-day funds availability. Check deposits offer a different availability schedule, depending on how the funds were received.

When you deposit a check with a teller, WPCU ATM or with a mobile device, you’ll have access to the first $200 the next business day, $4,800 the second business day and the remaining funds up to and on the fifth business day.

Cash or checks deposits at a non-WPCU ATM can take up to five business days to become available. Longer holds could be placed on funds that WPCU suspects will not be paid or that total $5,000 on any one day.

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Should You Join Wright-Patt Credit Union?

While WPCU offers a variety of products and services to fit almost any stage of life, it is not for everyone. For people who meet WPCU’s membership qualifications and prefer to bank online or through their mobile devices, the credit union could be a great match. Its various debit card and purchasing programs offer additional incentives for members that pay with a card.

Alternatively, if you use a wide variety of services and prefer to bank in person, you might need to look elsewhere to avoid fees.

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Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of March 13, 2020.

This content is not provided by Wright-Patt Credit Union. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Wright-Patt Credit Union.

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About the Author

Cynthia Measom

Cynthia Measom is a Texas-based writer specializing in finance, business, parenting and education. With almost a decade of online writing experience, her work has appeared on websites such as Chron.com, The Bump and The Motley Fool. Measom received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

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