Digital Federal Credit Union Review 2021: Earn Perks for Membership

GOBankingRates Score

4.3
Our Take: Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) offers a wide variety of banking products to customers located in certain parts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The credit union makes it easy to set up a new account, and you can earn certain perks for being a member.
  • Rates
    4.5
  • Fees
    4.0
  • Digital Experience
    4.5
  • Customer Service
    4.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • No minimum account balance
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Can earn additional perks for “relationship benefits” with DCU

Cons

  • Must meet certain requirements to become a member
  • DCU branches limited to Massachusetts and New Hampshire

About Digital Federal Credit Union

Digital Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1979 and is headquartered in Marlborough, Mass. Today it boasts more than 900,000 members and is the largest credit union in New England and among the top 20 nationwide in terms of assets.

DCU offers a wide variety of personal and business accounts as well as personal and commercial loans. Customers throughout the U.S. can access its surcharge-free network of ATMs, though its own branch locations are limited to Massachusetts and New Hampshire. For these reasons, GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Best Credit Unions of 2021.

Digital Federal Credit Union Products

Here’s a quick rundown of DCU’s products:

Account Key Features
Checking No minimum opening balance requirements
Savings Earn 6.17% APY on first $1,000 deposited (as of Dec. 26, 2020)
Money Market Only $1,000 required to start earning interest
Certificates of Deposit Flexible term limits and no fees

Digital Federal Credit Union Checking Account Review

DCU’s basic checking product is its Free Checking account. It also offers HSA Checking, which provides tax advantages when paying for qualified healthcare expenses. The Free Checking account offers Basic Member, Plus Member and Relationship Member options. Here are some highlights:

Features

  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Free Visa debit card
  • Access to mobile and online banking
  • Access to more than 80,000 surcharge-free, non-DCU ATMs nationwide
  • Plus members can get paid two days early with direct deposit

Pros

  • Plus Benefit members get up to $10 per month ($120 per year) in reimbursements for ATM fees charged by other financial institutions
  • Relationship Benefit members get up to $25 per month ($300 per year) in reimbursements for ATM fees charged by other institutions when they enroll in direct deposit and maintain at least five transactions per month
  • Relationship Benefit members also get free DCU customized checks, up to 100 per year

Cons

  • Limited number of options

Digital Federal Credit Union Savings Account Review

All you need is $5 to open a Primary Savings account with DCU. Members can earn a very competitive 6.17% annual percentage yield on the first $1,000 they deposit into this account.

Features

  • Minimum opening balance requirement of $5
  • No monthly service fees
  • Holiday Club Savings option offers an APY of 0.25% (as of Dec. 26, 2020)

Pros

  • Competitive APY on the first $1,000 you deposit
  • No monthly service fees

Cons

  • Limited number of regular savings options

Digital Federal Credit Union Money Market Account Review

There are no minimum balance requirements to open a money market account with DCU, though you’ll need a minimum balance of $1,000 before you can start earning interest. From there, you’ll earn a tiered interest rate depending on how much money you save.

Features

  • No monthly service fees
  • $1,000 minimum balance required to earn interest
  • APY starting at 0.20% (as of Dec. 26, 2020)

Pros

  • No minimum balance requirements to open the account
  • Once you’ve saved your first $1,000, you’ll earn a competitive APY

Cons

  • Need a balance of $100,000 more more to earn the highest APY of 0.30%

Digital Federal Credit Union CD Account Review

It only takes $500 to open a CD with DCU and the credit union offers term limits ranging from three months to five years. The CDs come with flexible term limits and competitive rates.

Features

  • 3- to 5-month CDs: 0.10% APY (as of Dec. 26, 2020)
  • 6- to 11-month CDs: 0.20% APY
  • 12- to 23-month CDs: 0.20% APY
  • 12- to 60-month CDs: 0.40% APY

Pros

  • Flexible term limits
  • No monthly fees
  • Competitive rates vs. other financial institutions
  • All dividends compounded daily and credited monthly

Cons

  • Early withdrawal penalties apply to all CDs

Banking Experience

DCU’s brick-and-mortar locations are limited to customers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. However, its customers have access to more than 80,000 surcharge-free ATMs nationwide, and you’ll automatically gain access to online and mobile banking. You can download the app on Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for Apple devices.

Membership Eligibility

To become a DCU member, you’ll need to meet one of the following requirements:

  • Family relationship to a current DCU member
  • Currently work for or are retired from a company that is listed as one of DCU’s participating employers
  • Belong to an organization affiliated with DCU
  • Belong to a DCU participating community

Key Information

Customer Service hours: You can contact DCU customer service representatives weekdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. EST. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, bank lobby hours at certain branches might be limited to appointments only.

Customer Service number: 800-328-8797

Routing number: 211391825

Digital Federal Credit Union Fees

DCU is among the better financial institutions when it comes to fees. The credit union charges no monthly maintenance fees or fees for incoming wire transfers. Here’s a quick look:

Type Amount
Monthly maintenance fee $0
NSF fee $15
Incoming wire transfers $0
Outgoing wire transfers $15 for domestic; $40 for international sent in foreign currency; $50 for international sent in U.S. currency

Digital Federal Credit Union vs. Competitor Banks

Before settling on a financial institution, it’s always a good idea to see how it compares to others in the industry. Here’s a look at how Digital Federal Credit Union stacks up against certain rivals:

Digital Federal Credit Union vs. Bank of America

Bank of America’s status as one of the biggest banks in the world means you have access to a full range of services and branches across the country, so it’s a good choice if you value convenience and you travel a lot. However, DCU has the edge in other areas, such as no minimum balance requirements or monthly maintenance fees.

Digital Federal Credit Union vs. Alliant Credit Union

Alliant’s High-Rate checking account offers a much better APY than you’ll get with most credit unions., but DCU has multiple branch locations, whereas Alliant only has one location.

Digital Federal Credit Union vs. Pen-fed

Penfed offers a competitive tiered APY on its checking account. But unlike Penfed, DCU doesn’t require a minimum balance to avoid monthly maintenance fees.

Bank Key Feature
Digital Federal Credit Union No fees or minimum balance requirements
Bank of America Wide geographic reach
Alliant Credit Union High-interest checking account
Penfed Tiered interest rates

Final Take

If you meet the membership requirements, DCU is a good option. The credit union limits the number of monthly fees it charges customers and offers competitive rates on its savings products.

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    DCU charges no monthly service fees on its checking or savings accounts and offers a number of perks to its members, such as free notary services and prescription discount cards.

    FAQ

    Here are answers to some of Digital Federal Credit Union's more commonly asked questions.
    •  Can Anyone Join DCU?
      • To join the credit union, you must meet one of the following member eligibility requirements:
        • — You are related to a current DCU member
        • — You currently work for or are retired from a company that is listed as one of DCU’s participating employers
        • — You belong to an organization that is affiliated with DCU
        • — You belong to a DCU participating community
        • — About Digital Federal Credit Union
    • Does DCU Charge ATM fees?
      • No, DCU doesn’t charge members any ATM fees. If you use another bank’s ATM, however, it might charge a fee.
    • How Long Does Mobile Deposit Take With DCU?
      • Funds are typically credited within the same business day.
    • Where Are DCU Branches Located?
      • DCU branches are located across Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
    • Does DCU Offer Free Money for Signing up for an Account?
      • DCU does not currently list promotions that offer free money just for opening a new account. However, if you open a primary savings account with DCU, you’ll earn 6.17% APY on the first $1,000 you deposit.

    Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of 12/28/2020.

    This content is not provided by Digital 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 Digital Federal Credit Union.

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    About the Author

    Jamie Johnson is a freelance writer who covers a variety of personal finance topics, including investing, loans, and building credit. In addition to writing for GOBankingWrites, she currently writes for clients like Quicken Loans, Credit Karma, and the US Chamber of Commerce. 

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