Ent Credit Union Review: High APY Rates and Low Fees

GOBankingRates Score

Ent Federal Credit Union
4.8
SCORE
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
Quick Take: For serving such a limited area, Ent Credit Union packs in the services, with a full lineup of banking products and high annual percentage yields on some of its accounts.
  • Fees
    5.0
  • APYs
    4.0
  • Breadth of Products
    5.0
  • Account Minimums
    5.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • No-fee checking, savings and money market accounts
  • Interest-bearing checking accounts

Cons

  • Limited geographical reach
  • High fees for some services, like outbound wire transfers

Ent Credit Union Overview

Ent Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution that bills itself as the no. 1 credit union in Colorado. It was established in 1957 to serve Ent Air Force Base in Colorado Springs and currently serves more than 430,000 members. Ent blends some of the features of an online bank – including high annual percentage yields and a mobile app – with the benefit of a decent branch network in its service area. Ent Credit Union provides all of the basic accounts you’d expect at a financial institution, including checking, savings and money market accounts and certificates that work like CDs. GOBankingRates ranked it no. 9 on its Best Credit Unions of 2022 list as well as one of the Top 100 Banks of 2022.

Ent Credit Union Products

Take a look at some of the different account offerings that Ent Credit Union provides.

Ent Credit Union Checking Accounts

Ent Credit Union offers three checking accounts: Basic Checking, No Strings Checking and Free Student Checking. There are no monthly service fees, Ent ATM fees or minimum balance requirements on any of the accounts. No Strings Checking customers get free access to a network of more than 30,000 CO-OP ATMs nationwide. 

No Strings Checking and Student Checking are both interest-bearing accounts that pay an APY of 0.05%. The Basic Checking accounts does not pay interest. Student Checking is available to students between the ages of 15 and 26 and comes with a debit card and no fees for using Ent ATMs.

Ent Credit Union Savings Accounts

Ent Credit Union offers a single primary savings account — No Strings Checking — as well as a Youth Savings Account, Individual Retirement Account and Health Savings Account. No Strings Savings comes with no monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance requirements. Customers also get free online and mobile banking with eStatements and bill pay. 

The Youth Savings Star Savers account is available to customers up to the age of 12. There is a $5 minimum balance and customers get a $10 Amazon Gift Card delivered via email when they reach a balance of $500.

The No Strings and Youth Savings accounts both pay an APY of 0.05%. The APYs for both IRA Savings and HSAs range from 0.10% to 0.20%, with higher balances paying more. 

Ent Credit Union Money Market Account

Ent Credit Union offers a single money market account that has no monthly fees, no minimum deposit requirements and free overdraft protection. It features tiered interest rates ranging from 0.10% for balances under $10,000 to 0.35% for balances of $250,000 and above. 

Ent Credit Union Certificates

Ent Credit Union refers to these products simply as “certificates” instead of certificates of deposit, though they both work the same. It offers a wide range of certificate options and terms, including its standard certificates in terms of three months to seven years. Other options include Priority Certificates that range from two years to three years, Savings Starter Certificates, Savings Builder Certificates and Youth Certificates.

The highest APY as of Dec. 30., 2021, is 1.28% for an 84-month certificate. The next highest APY is 1.00% for its 30-35 Month Priority Certificates. The rest of the certificates range from 0.19% to 0.85%, with longer terms paying higher rates.

How Ent Credit Union Earned its Scores

Here’s more details about how GOBankingRates scored Ent Credit Union’s best features.

Fees

Ent Credit Union shines in the area of account fees. All of its checking, savings, money market and CD accounts have no monthly fees. Ent Credit Union also offers fee-free access to nearly 30,000 ATMs nationwide for some account holders.

APYs

With an APY of 0.05% for its savings and interest checking accounts and no high-yield savings options, Ent Credit Union doesn’t stand out in this category. But it does offer very high APYs on a couple of its certificates, and overall it offers pretty competitive rates compared with most traditional banks.

Breadth of Products

Ent Credit Union is a regional institution, but it still offers a variety of banking products that include interest checking, savings, money market and CD accounts, as well as IRAs, loans and investments.

Account Minimums

No balance requirements on Money Market account. No minimum balance requirements on interest checking. Low $500 minimum on standard CDs.

Editor’s Favorite

The Ent Credit Union certificates offer very high APYs and a multitude of different terms, making it an excellent option for customers who want to earn a higher return on their money.

Ent Credit Union vs. Competitors

Before deciding on a bank, it’s always a good idea to see how it stacks up against the rest of the field. Here’s a look at how Ent compares to some of its competitors:

Bank Best For
Ent Credit Union Colorado residents who want no-fee checking and savings accounts, competitive APYs and community-oriented service
Bank of America Customers who want access to a national bank with thousands of locations
Wells Fargo Customers who want access to a large network of physical branches in any part of the U.S.
Bank of the West Customers living in the western half of the U.S. who value convenience and product variety over high APYs

Ent vs. Bank of America

Bank of America has a national reach, with roughly 4,200 retail financial centers, so it’s a good choice for customers who travel a lot or don’t live in Ent’s service area. But Ent has the edge with higher APYs on its checking and savings accounts.

Ent vs. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo has the edge if you prefer in-branch banking because it has a higher number of physical locations throughout the country, but Ent offers fee-free banking on all of its checking and savings accounts.

Ent vs. Bank of the West

Bank of the West is the bigger operation, with branches in 19 states, mostly in the West and Midwest. Ent offers much higher APYs on its certificates.

Final Take

Ent Credit Union offers many of the features that most appeal to customers — no-fee accounts with competitive APYs, community-oriented customer service and a wide product lineup. Beyond the basics, Ent Credit Union offers a variety of loan products, including home mortgages, lines of credit, personal loans, student loans and credit cards. Combined with its IRAs and business accounts, Ent Credit Union can be a one-stop shop for many customers.

The few drawbacks with Ent Credit Union include its high NSF fee — although overdraft protection can help you avoid that — and its high fees for certain ancillary services, particularly outbound wire transfers. It also has a limited geographic reach. Overall, however, Ent Credit Union offers a lot of bang for the buck for Colorado residents.

Ent Credit Union FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Ent Credit Union.
  • Is Ent Credit Union nationwide?
    • No. Ent Credit Union is a Colorado-based institution with approximately 40 locations in the Pikes Peak, Pueblo and Denver areas.
  • Is Ent Credit Union FDIC-insured?
    • As a credit union, Ent is not FDIC-insured. However, it carries the same $250,000 account protection via the National Credit Union Administration, of which it is a member. 
  • Is Ent Credit Union a nonprofit?
    • Ent Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution, delivering local services and high value to its members.
  • Who can join Ent Credit Union?
    • Membership in Ent Credit Union is limited to those who live, work, worship or attend school in the credit union's service area, which includes the following counties: 
      • -Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Elbert, Fremont, Jefferson, Larimer, Pueblo, Teller and Weld
  • How do I order checks from Ent?
    • You can visit the "Services" section of the Ent Credit Union website to order checks. You can also go directly to the website of the credit union's check provider, Clarke American.

Vance Cariaga contributed to reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Apr. 25, 2022.

This content is not provided by Ent 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 Ent Credit Union.

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About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.
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