Eastman Credit Union Review: Competitive Rates and Flexible Terms

GOBankingRates Score

4.3
Our Take: Eastman Credit Union offers membership to customers in Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas. Features like a free checking account, competitive rates on savings products and a robust digital banking experience make this credit union stand out. 
  • Rates
    4.0
  • Products
    4.0
  • Customer Service
    4.5
  • Digital Experience
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • No monthly fees 
  • No minimum balance requirements 
  • Offers specialty savings accounts 
  • Access to over 55,000 fee-free Allpoint ATMs

Cons

  • Membership is designed for customers in Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas, with limited opportunities for people living outside those areas. 
  • Up to six overdraft fees of $30 each may be assessed each day.

About Eastman Credit Union

Eastman Credit Union is a full-service credit union with headquarters in Kingsport, Tennessee. The credit union has branch locations across Tennessee — and parts of Virginia and Texas. ECU currently has over 240,000 members and has given back over $132 million in dividends. GOBankingRates ranks Eastman Credit Union as one of the Best Credit Unions of 2021.

Eastman Credit Union Products

Here’s a quick look at the banking products ECU offers, so you can decide if it’s worth it to investigate further.

Sponsors of
Product Details
Checking Account
  • No minimum balance requirements or hidden fees
  • Earn dividends on all balances
  • Free domestic wire transfers
Savings Account
  • Competitive rates
  • Specialty savings options
Money Market Account
  • Zero penalties for withdrawals
  • No monthly service charge or minimum balance requirements
CD Accounts
  • Dividends can be withdrawn at any time
  • Variety of terms and lengths available
Loans
  • Personal, mortgage, student, auto, RV and powersports and equipment loans
Credit Cards
  • Platinum Preferred Visa
  • Cash Rewards Visa
  • Classic Visa
  • Secure Visa

Eastman Credit Union Checking Account

ECU’s Beyond Free Checking Account is a great option for anyone looking for a checking account that offers a straightforward way to manage their money. No minimum balance requirements or hidden fees apply, and you’ll get access to over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs.

Features

  • No minimum balance requirements
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Dividends on all balances
  • Access to over 55,000 free ATMs

Pros

  • No hidden fees
  • Overdraft protection available
  • Free domestic wire transfers
  • Dividends on all balances

Cons

  • Up to six $30 overdraft fees apply per day

Eastman Credit Union Savings Account

Sponsors of

You’ll need a minimum deposit amount of $5 to open Eastman Credit Union’s Regular Savings Account, which is required to establish your ECU membership. Here’s more about this savings account.

Features

  • Establishes your membership at ECU
  • 0.30% APY on balances over $5
  • Federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration

Pros

  • Competitive 0.30% APY compared to the national average of 0.11% APY on balances of $2,500
  • Low $5 minimum deposit requirement
  • No hidden fees

Cons

  • You may be able to find a higher APY at an online bank, such as Ally or Discover.

Eastman Credit Union Money Market Account

You can start earning dividends on the first $1 you deposit in an ECU Money Market Account. No monthly maintenance fees apply to this money market account, which features tiered rates, depending on your balance.

Features

  • APY ranges from 0.25% APY to 0.45% for accounts with savings of less than $200,000.
  • A 0.55% APY is available for accounts with savings of more than $200,000.

Pros

  • No minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Competitive rate of 0.25% APY compared to the national average of 0.17% APY on balances of $2,500
Sponsors of

Cons

  • If you have less than $10,000 to deposit, you may as well open a regular savings account.

Eastman Credit Union CD Accounts

One area where ECU really stands out is with its investment CDs. The terms are wide-ranging — from one month to 72 months. Additionally, rates are tiered, depending on the term length you choose.

Features

  • Minimum deposit of $2,500 required for terms up to 365 days
  • Minimum deposit of $1,000 required for terms from 365 days-2,191 days
  • 0.30%-1.15% APY, depending on the term length

Pros

  • Dividends can be withdrawn at your discretion.
  • Competitive rate of 1.10% APY compared to the national average of 0.94% APY on a five-year CD
  • Tiered rates depending on CD length

Cons

Banking Experience

Overall, banking at ECU seems to be a mostly positive experience. The credit union has many glowing customer reviews, and it received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

If you are a resident of Tennessee, Virginia, or Texas, you have the option to visit a branch location. But if you qualify for membership outside those parameters, you still have access to online banking and over 55,000 Allpoint ATMs.

Sponsors of

Digital Experience

ECU makes it easy for members to manage their accounts through the credit union’s mobile app. When you log in to the app, you can manage your accounts, transfer funds, pay your bills and locate a nearby branch or ATM.

ECU’s mobile banking app has high customer ratings. It rates a stellar 5.0 on the App Store and 4.9 on Google Play. Here’s where to get it:

How To Open an Account

Before you can open an ECU account, you have to become a member of the credit union. You’re eligible for membership if you meet one of the following requirements:

  • Live or work in one of the communities outlined on the ECU map
  • Work in the healthcare industry in either Carter, Hamblen, Johnson or Unicoi counties in Tennessee
  • Current employee of one of ECU’s partner companies
  • Related to an ECU member

Key Information

Customer Service Hours: Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. EST

Customer Service Number:

  • Local: 423-229-8200
  • Texas: 903-381-6500, Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. CST
  • Toll Free: 800-999-2328

Routing Number: 264279350

Sponsors of

Eastman Credit Union Fees

Like other financial institutions, Eastman Credit Union has some fees. Note that the $30 overdraft fee can be waived by signing up for overdraft protection. Here’s more.

Type Amount
Monthly maintenance fee $0
Overdraft fee $30
ATM fee $0 in network
Domestic wire transfer $0

Eastman Credit Union vs. Competitors

If you’re considering joining a new credit union, it doesn’t hurt to shop around. Here’s a look at how ECU stacks up against its competitors.

Credit Union Best For
ECU No hidden fees and competitive rates
Navy Federal Excellent 24/7 customer support
Alliant Competitive high-yield savings account
Delta Community Overdraft protection tools for checking

Eastman Credit Union vs. Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal offers a competitive 0.25% APY on savings. But ECU offers competitive ratings on all its checking and savings products.

Eastman Credit Union vs. Alliant Credit Union

Alliant’s competitive high-yield savings account comes with a competitive 0.55% APY, which beats ECUs savings rate of 0.30% APY. But ECU offers better rates on its CDs than Alliant — up to 1.15% versus Alliant’s highest rate of 0.65% APY.

Eastman Credit Union vs. Delta Community Credit Union

Delta Community offers free overdraft protection on its checking account, while ECU charges $5 for each transfer. But ECU offers a wider variety of banking products than Delta Community, especially when it comes to savings accounts.

Final Take

If you live in Tennessee, Virginia or Texas and are looking for flexible banking options and competitive rates, ECU may be the right choice for you. The credit union offers a combination of in-person and online banking with access to over 55,000 ATMs nationwide.

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Editor’s Favorite

Eastman Credit Union really stands out for its free checking account: Beyond Free Checking. You can earn dividends on your account balance, plus there’s no charge for domestic wire transfers. No hidden fees come with this account, and you can conveniently open the account online in just 15 minutes.

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Eastman Credit Union FAQ

Here are answers to some of Eastman Credit Union’s more commonly asked questions.
  • How do I open an account at ECU?
    • You can open an account online or at a branch location. You'll need the following information on hand:
      • -Government-issued photo ID
      • -Social Security Number
      • -Email address
      • -Home address
      • -Checking account info to fund account
  • How long do I have to fund my account?
    • You have five business days to fund your account before it is closed. If you need more time to fund your account, please contact ECU at 800-999-2328.
  • When will I receive my debit card?
    • Once your application has been approved, you should receive the card with seven to 10 business days.  
  • Does Eastman Credit Union offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • Right now, you could earn $100 for free by opening a Beyond Free Checking Account. To qualify, you'll need to set up either a direct deposit or automatic debit immediately after opening the account.  

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 11, 2021.

This content is not provided by Eastman 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 Eastman 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. 

Eastman Credit Union Review: Competitive Rates and Flexible Terms
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