American Airlines Federal Credit Union Review: Excellent Rates for Airline Employees
- Member-only personal finance tools and educational products
- Most accounts have no monthly maintenance fees
- Above-average APY on savings accounts and share certificates
- Limited number of physical branches
- No money market accounts available
- Only available to individuals and families tied to the airline industry
Overview of American Airlines Federal Credit Union
American Airlines Federal Credit Union was founded in 1936 by a group of American Airlines employees who wanted to create a financial institution that would better suit their needs. American Airlines Credit Union offers a wide array of products and services to its member-owners, as well as lower loan rates and fees than you’ll find at many other financial institutions.
GOBankingRates has ranked American Airlines Credit Union as one of the Best Credit Unions of 2022 and one of the Top 100 Banks of 2022. It’s member-owned, with a net worth of more than $761 million and assets over $8.5 billion.
This breakdown of the best-rated features of the credit union explains why it received a GOBankingRates score of 4.7 out of 5.
The credit union’s rates earned on balances, known as dividends, are competitive. Select checking accounts offer up to 0% for balances up to $5,000.
Savings accounts earn 0% on all balances. And CDs can earn a rate as high as % APY when you sign up for a CD ladder.
Most of the accounts available come with no minimum opening balance requirements and don’t have monthly balance minimums. CDs often come with a high opening balance requirement. However, the Dream Plan Share Certificate can be started with as little as $25 as long as you continue to contribute at least $25 per month over the next 60 months.
As for the overall banking experience, the mobile app is well-rated by users and makes it possible to handle most of your banking from a smart device. This could come in handy if you’re not located near the branches available in most major airports across the United States. American Airlines Federal Credit Union also offers access to 30,000 ATMs and more than 5,600 shared branches through the Co-Op ATM and Shared Branch networks.
The top accounts you’ll find through American Airlines Federal Credit Union are:
The American Airlines credit union offers several checking account options with rates as high as 0% for Priority Checking, making it comparable with the best checking accounts available. All accounts come with access to the mobile app and digital wallet options for use with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.
Any monthly maintenance fees can be waived. For example, Ascend, Flagship or Jet checking’s fee of $5.75 per month can be removed for direct deposits of $250 or more per month. Interest rates are higher than the national average for checking accounts.
American Airlines Federal Credit Union offers both short-term and long-term savings options with rates of 0%. Members can also receive dividends on every dollar with funds protected by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.
More details on how this credit union stacks up against the best savings accounts includes a $5 minimum daily balance for a Primary Savings account and no minimum balance for Secondary Savings and Emergency Fund Savings accounts. There is no monthly maintenance fee and new accounts can receive deposit match for an amount up to $25.
However, AAFCU’s inactive fee for accounts with a balance lower than $250 with no transactions during the last year is $5 per month. Plus, there’s a limit of four fee-free ATM withdrawals before you’re charged $2 for each subsequent withdrawal.
Share certificates are similar to certificates of deposit offered at traditional banks. There are two share certificate options at American Airlines Credit Union, with a regular share certificate’s term length varying at 12, 24, 30, 36, 48 or 60 months.
A minimum deposit of $1,000 is required to qualify for a CD and earn 0% to %. However, the credit union’s terms aren’t as competitive as other financial institutions, with a one-year CD being the shortest term available.
For a less-traditional option, consider a CD ladder, which can earn as much as % APY.
Or sign up for the Dream Plan, ideal for new savers. You can start with as little as $25 as long as you continue adding at least $25 per month over the term. You can build your savings over time and don’t have to pay an early withdrawal fee as long as you use the funds for a down payment on a home financed through the credit union.
AAFCU is member-owned. You’ll have a small stake in the credit union, which earns you dividends on your deposits.
If you have any questions or need help with the variety of services available, you have access to Live Chat, a Member Advocacy Center, branches at major U.S. airports, nearly 30,000 ATMs and more than 5,600 shared branches through the Co-Op ATM and Shared Branch networks.
How American Airlines Federal Credit Union Stands Out
AAFCU is a great option for airline employees and other qualifying members in search of low-cost, full-service, quality banking. The convenience factor is also worth noting if there’s a branch located at the airport you work at. Its presence could save you time when you need to deposit a check or handle financial matters.
The strongest showing may come from its CDs designed to guarantee the best rate possible. The credit union’s Dream Plan Share Certificate is a unique investment vehicle.
American Airlines Federal Credit Union vs. Competitors
If American Airlines Credit Federal Union isn’t for you, these other credit unions are worth considering.
American Airlines Federal Credit Union vs. Navy Federal Credit Union
Navy Federal Credit Union has a money market account with an APY up to %, an account you won’t find at American Airlines Federal Credit Union. At American Airlines Federal Credit Union, you can set up a dedicated emergency fund with no minimums or fees — and earn 0% APY. Navy Federal’s Basic Savings Account has an APY of %.
American Airlines Federal Credit Union vs. Alliant Credit Union
Alliant Credit Union charges no fees for its checking accounts, which saves members money over time. American Airlines Federal Credit Union has a larger selection of checking account options to meet the diverse banking needs of members.
American Airlines Federal Credit Union vs. Delta Community Credit Union
Delta Community Credit Union offers 00% APY on its 60-month CD. Although the rate is competitive, the American Airlines Federal Credit Union rate beats it at %. In addition, American Airlines Federal Credit Union’s Dream Plan Share Certificate lets you start saving with as little as $25 as long as you commit to depositing $25 each month during the term.
How To Open an Account
You can open an account with American Airlines Federal Credit Union online. Here’s how.
- Become a member of the credit union. Membership is limited to the following groups:
- Current and retired employees of American Airlines
- Employees and retirees of Air Transportation Industry
- AA Credit Union members’ family and household members
- Choose a checking account.
- Provide identifying information, including a government-issued ID, physical and mailing addresses, Social Security number and date of birth.
American Airlines Federal Credit Union offers an impressive amount of products and services to its members. It’s an excellent banking option for people who want to maximize their savings on loans or want an interest-earning checking account with a top APY.
If you have ties to the airline industry, it’s worth checking your eligibility to see if you can join. You should look elsewhere if you and your immediate family members work in a different industry.
American Airlines Federal Credit Union FAQHere are the answers to some commonly asked questions about American Airlines Federal Credit Union.
- Does American Airlines have a credit union?
- American Airlines has a credit union with physical branches located at many airports nationwide. It's known as the American Airlines Federal Credit Union.
- Is American Airlines Credit Union FDIC insured?
- American Airlines Federal Credit Union is insured for up to $250,000 by the equivalent of the FDIC for credit unions, known as the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.
- Can anyone join American Airlines Federal Credit Union?
- American Airlines Federal Credit Union membership is limited to current and retired employees of American Airlines, employees and retirees of the Air Transportation Industry and AA Credit Union family and household members.
- What credit union does United Airlines use?
- Employees of United Airlines have access to Alliant Credit Union.
Alexandria Bova contributed to the reporting for this article.
Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of June 29, 2022.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided by American Airlines Federal 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 American Airlines Federal Credit Union.