Bellco Credit Union Review: Great Rates for New Savers

GOBankingRates Score

4.8
Our Take: Bellco Credit Union offers a wide range of banking products with some attractive interest rates. Even those with small balances can get very competitive rates on checking and savings accounts.
  • Interest Rates
    5.0
  • Accessibility
    4.5
  • Breadth of Products
    4.5
  • Opening Deposit Requirements
    5.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Great interest rates, even on small balances, like 2.25% annual percentage yield on Boost Interest Checking account balances up to $25,000
  • No maintenance fee or waivable fee with most accounts
  • Low or no minimum balance requirements
  • Access to 30,000 CO-OP ATMs and 5,000 CO-OP shared branches nationwide

Cons

  • Membership requirements
  • Few Bellco brick-and-mortar branches

About Bellco Credit Union

Bellco Credit Union was founded in 1936 and is now one of the largest credit unions in Colorado, with over 340,000 members and over $5 billion in assets. Membership in Bellco is limited to those who:

  • Live or work in Adams, Arapaho, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Garfield, Jefferson, Mesa, Moffat, Rio Blanco or Weld counties, Colorado
  • Are a family member of a current member
  • Work for a company that is a Bellco Select Employee Group, or are an immediate family member of someone who does
  • Are a member of the Bellco Foundation

Because of its great interest rates, even for small balances, and range of products and features, Bellco Credit Union is well worth a look if you meet the membership requirements. In fact, GOBankingRates named Bellco Credit Union one of the Best Credit Unions of 2021 in its annual rankings.

Bellco Credit Union Products

Bellco Credit Union offers checking, savings and money market accounts and certificates of deposit for members. It also offers auto and home loans, insurance and investment products, as well as financial planning and business banking services.

Product Details
Checking Accounts
  • Up to 2.25% APY interest
  • No maintenance fee with qualifying deposits
  • Download statements via Quicken integration
Savings Accounts
  • Interest on balances over $25
  • 2.00% APY for Youth Savings up to $500
  • Debit card purchases rounded up and transferred to savings
Money Market Account
  • Higher interest rate on higher balances
  • Minimum opening balance as low as $1,000
CD Accounts
  • Guaranteed interest rate
  • Minimum opening balance as low as $500
  • Youth CD with $50 minimum earns 0.45% APY for 12 months

Here’s a look at the banking products Bellco Credit Union offers.

Bellco Credit Union Checking Accounts

Bellco Credit Union offers a range of checking accounts, including Free Checking, with no monthly maintenance fee; Boost Interest Checking, which pays great interest rates on small balances; and Platinum Checking, for those who maintain high balances in multiple accounts.

Features

  • Several accounts to choose from
  • 0.05% to 2.25% APY with Boost Interest Checking;  0.03% to 0.15% APY with Platinum Checking
  • No monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance requirement for Free Checking and Student Checking

Pros

  • Up to 2.25% APY on balances up to $25,000 with qualifying activities
  • Quicken integration for personal money management
  • Some accounts with no maintenance fee or the ability to waive fees

Cons

  • Lower interest rates on higher balances or if requirements aren’t met

Bellco Credit Union Savings Accounts

Bellco Credit Union offers several savings accounts for different purposes, including Youth Savings, health savings accounts and Christmas Club savings accounts. The credit union also offers Round Up Savings to help you boost your savings. When you opt in to this program, each Bellco debit card purchase is rounded up to an even dollar, and the difference is transferred to your savings account. You can also add a specific amount from $1-5 per day.

Features

  • Round-up savings
  • Interest rates of up to 2.00% APY for Youth Savings balances up to $500
  • Specialty accounts like a Christmas Club account and health savings account

Pros

  • Interest earned even on small balances
  • Automated saving with Round Up Savings program
  • 0.10% APY on Holiday/Vacation Club balance of $5 or more

Cons

  • The membership savings account has a $25 minimum deposit
  • Youth Savings interest reduced on balances over $500

Bellco Credit Union Money Market Accounts

Bellco Credit Union offers two money market accounts: the Member Money Market account and the Premier Money Market account. Both offer increasing interest rates for higher balances.

Features

  • Interest rates increase as balances increase.
  • Premier Money Market pays:
    • 0.10% APY on balances up to $9,999.99
    • 0.35% APY on balances of $10,000-$49.999.99
    • 0.50% APY on balances $50,000 and up
  • Member Money Market pays:
    • 0.01% APY on balances up to $999.99
    • 0.10% APY on balances of $1,000-$9,999.99
    • 0.15% APY on balances of $10,000 and up

Pros

  • Higher interest on larger balances
  • Easy access to funds
  • Dividends compounded daily and paid monthly for more earning power

Cons

  • $10 per month maintenance fee if Premier Money Market balance drops below $10,000
  • Premier Money Market has a $10,000 minimum opening deposit; Member Money Market has a $1,000 minimum opening deposit

Bellco Credit Union CD Accounts

Bellco Credit Union offers traditional, jumbo and youth CDs with guaranteed interest rates for a fixed term. There’s also a Smart Move CD that provides a one-time interest rate bump and the ability to add funds or make a withdrawal once during the term.

Features

  • Fixed interest rates based on the term and type of CD:
    • Traditional CD ($500 minimum opening deposit)
      • Three-month: 0.30% APY
      • Six-month: 0.35% APY
      • 12-month: 0.45% APY
      • 24-month: 0.60% APY
      • 36-month: 0.70% APY
      • 60-month: 0.80% APY
    • Smart Move CD ($2500 minimum opening deposit)
      • 18-month: 0.45% APY
      • 24-month: 0.50% APY
      • 30-month: 0.55% APY
      • 36-month 0.60% APY
    • Jumbo CD ($100,000 minimum opening deposit)
      • Six-month: 0.35% APY
      • 12-month: 0.50% APY
    • Youth CD ($50 minimum opening deposit)
      • 12-month: 0.45% APY

Pros

  • Can add or withdraw funds once during Smart Move CD term as long as the balance remains above $2,500
  • A fixed interest rate for the term of the CD
  • Young savers can earn 0.45% APY for 12 months on balances as low as $50, can add funds during the term

Cons

  • Jumbo rate requires a $100,000 minimum balance
  • Penalty may apply for withdrawing money before the end of the term

Banking Experience

Many factors determine whether your overall experience with Bellco Credit Union is likely to be a positive one.

Accessibility

Bellco Credit Union has 25 branches “from the Front Range to the Western Slope” in Colorado. In case you don’t live near one, Bellco is part of a cooperative effort with other credit unions to increase convenience. Bellco members can use over 5,000 shared branches and 2,000 self-service locations of other credit unions. Bellco members also have access to over 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide.

Technology

Bellco Credit Union offers online banking and a mobile app, so you can check your balances, pay bills, transfer funds and deposit checks from your computer or phone. The mobile app is available on Google Play, where it’s rated 4.6 stars, and in the App Store, where it’s rated 4.8 stars.

How To Open an Account

To open an account at Bellco Credit Union, you must be a member. Membership is open to people who: live or work in Adams, Arapaho, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Garfield, Jefferson, Mesa, Moffat, Rio Blanco or Weld counties; work for a company that is a Bellco Select Employee Group; are a member of the Bellco Foundation; are an immediate family member of a member.

To open an account, gather the following:

  • Your contact information (name, address, email address, phone number)
  • Your Social Security number
  • Your driver’s license or passport
  • Account information for the account(s) you’ll use to fund your new account.

Then go to the Bellco Credit Union website and follow these steps:

  1. Hover over “Personal” on the top menu bar.
  2. Choose the type of account you want (checking, savings, etc.).
  3. Choose the specific account you want.
  4. Click on “Open Online” and follow the prompts.

You can also open an account at any branch.

Key Information

Customer Service Number: 800-BELLCO-1; 800-235-5261

Bank Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Routing Number: 302075018

Bellco Credit Union Fees

While you may not pay a monthly maintenance fee for your Bellco Credit Union account, there are other fees you should be aware of. Note that wire transfers, money orders and cashier’s checks are free with Platinum Checking.

Type Amount
Insufficient funds $31
Overdraft $31
Non-member check cashing fee $4
Returned item $10
Domestic wire transfer $20
International wire transfer $40
Money order $5
Cashier’s check $5

Bellco Credit Union vs. Competitors

If you’re looking for a new banking relationship, you may be shopping around to make sure you get the best deal. Here’s how Bellco Credit Union stacks up against other banks that may be competing for your business.

Bellco Credit Union vs. Ent Credit Union

Ent Credit Union offers an extraordinary 4.00% APY on the first $500 of your average daily balance in your checking account. After that, however, the rate drops to 0.05% APY. Bellco offers 2.25% APY on balances up to $25,000.

Bellco Credit Union vs. Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union offers a High-Rate Savings account with an interest rate of 0.55% APY with an average daily balance of just $100. But Bellco offers Round Up Savings to encourage periodic savings and build good habits.

Bellco Credit Union vs. Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union offers a 0.25% interest rate reduction on student loans, equity loans and home equity lines of credit when you sign up for automatic payments, so if you’ll have one of these loans, this is a credit union that’s worth considering. But if it’s a higher interest rate on your checking account that you’re looking for, Bellco’s 2.25% APY on balances up to $25,000 is the clear winner.

Final Take

If you qualify for membership, Bellco Credit Union can be a great place to park your money. In addition to a broad range of product offerings, the interest rates are very attractive, and you don’t need to have a huge amount to deposit. In fact, some of the best rates Bellco offers are on balances of $25,000 or less, like the 2.25% APY for Boost Interest Checking.

Editor’s Choice

Bellco offers several “youth” accounts that encourage smart money habits for those who may be just starting out. From a free checking account to a generous 2.00% APY on savings balances up to $500, to CDs with a minimum opening deposit of just $50, young savers can get a good start at Bellco Credit Union.

Bellco Credit Union FAQ

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about Bellco Credit Union.
  • How do I join Bellco Credit Union?
    • To join Bellco Credit Union, you must live or work in one of these counties: Adams, Arapaho, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Garfield, Jefferson, Mesa, Moffat, Rio Blanco or Weld; or work for a company that is a Bellco Select Employee Group; or be a member of the Bellco Foundation; or be an immediate family member of a member. You can join by opening an account online or at a branch.
  • Does Bellco Credit Union use Zelle?
    • Yes. Bellco Credit Union members can use Zelle on the mobile app and online banking to send and receive money.
  • Where is Bellco Credit Union based?
    • Bellco Credit Union headquarters are in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
  • Is Bellco Credit Union FDIC-insured?
    • No. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. insures accounts at banks, not at credit unions. Accounts at Bellco Credit Union are insured by National Credit Union Administration for up to $250,000 per qualifying account.
  • Does Bellco offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • Bellco does not currently have any bonus offers for new accounts. It does, however, offer very attractive interest rates for small deposits, including 2.25% APY on checking account balances up to $25,000 with qualifying activities.

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 6, 2021.

This content is not provided by Bellco 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 Bellco Credit Union.

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About the Author

Karen Doyle is a personal finance writer with over 20 years’ experience writing about investments, money management and financial planning. Her work has appeared on numerous news and finance websites including GOBankingRates, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, USA Today, CNBC, Equifax.com, and more.

Bellco Credit Union Review: Great Rates for New Savers
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