GreenState Credit Union Review: High Yields and Low Fees

4.5
Our Take: GreenState Credit Union is a good banking option for anyone who meets the membership requirements. It offers most of the banking products you're likely to need, with fewer fees and better rates than you'll find at many banks.
  • Rates
    4.8
  • Breadth of Products
    4.3
  • Convenience
    4.5
  • Digital Experience
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Wide range of products
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Highly rated mobile app
  • Nationwide network of surcharge-free ATMs
  • Minimal fees

Cons

  • Best rates can be difficult to qualify for
  • Membership eligibility limited to residents of Iowa and bordering counties in surrounding states
  • Limited customer service availability

About GreenState Credit Union

GreenState Credit Union was founded in 1938 and now ranks as the largest credit union in Iowa, serving more than 225,000 members from 26 branches located throughout the state. Membership is open to anyone who lives or works in Iowa or bordering counties in Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska and South Dakota. University of Iowa staff, students and alumni and direct relatives of GreenState members are also eligible.

This GreenState Credit Union review takes a deep dive into the credit union’s products and services to help you decide if it’s the right place for your money.

Sponsors of

GreenState Credit Union Products

You’ll find a wide range of banking and loan products at GreenState Credit Union. Insurance and financial planning products are also available. Here’s a quick rundown:

Product Details
Checking Sccounts
  • Rewards accounts with premium rates, cash-back rewards and ATM fee refunds
  • Free Checking account with no service fees
Savings Accounts
  • Standard and Hoppy’s Kids Club savings accounts
  • Multiple accounts for different savings goals
Money Market Accounts
  • Two accounts to choose from
  • Tiered rates increase as balance grows
Certificates of Deposit
  • Terms from three months to five years
  • Certificate Specials with higher rates
  • IRA and Young Investor certificates available
Credit Cards
  • Three cards to choose from
  • Fixed rates available
  • Bonus points for opening account and meeting minimum purchase criteria
Loans
  • Auto loans
  • Mortgage and home-equity loans and lines of credit
  • Personal loans
  • Debt consolidation
Insurance
  • Auto insurance
  • Home insurance
  • Accidental death and dismemberment insurance
  • Life insurance
Financial Planning
  • Wealth management services, including securities and advisory services through LPL Financial
  • Trust services

GreenState Credit Union Checking Accounts

GreenState Credit Union offers three checking accounts: Free, Rewards and RewardsPlus. Free checking is a no-frills account with no monthly service fees or minimum balance requirements. The rewards accounts are also fee-free, and earn higher interest rates and additional perks.

Sponsors of

Features

  • No monthly service fees
  • Annual percentage yields of 1.75% and 2.00% on balances under $20,000 with Rewards Checking and RewardsPlus Checking accounts, respectively, when you make at least 15 debit card purchases averaging $10 or more and one $100 automated clearinghouse withdrawal per month (APY as of Jan. 25, 2021)
  • $7 monthly ATM fee refunds with Rewards Checking
  • Up to 5% cash back on everyday purchases with RewardsPlus
  • $50 minimum deposit to open

Pros

  • No monthly fees
  • ATM refunds
  • Generous cash-back rewards
  • High yields on Rewards Checking and RewardsPlus Checking accounts

Cons

  • No interest paid on Free Checking balances
  • Rock-bottom rates for Rewards accounts unless qualifying transaction requirements are met

GreenState Credit Union Savings Accounts

You have a choice of two savings accounts at GreenState– one for adults, and the Hoppy’s Kids Club for children 10 and under to help them build savings and learn about money. You can also open multiple savings accounts to fit each of your savings goals.

Features

  • Dividends compounded and credited monthly
  • 0.05% APY
  • No minimum balance for youth account to earn interest; $100 minimum balance for regular savings to earn interest
  • $5 minimum opening deposit
  • Youth account holders get one pass per year to Iowa Children’s Museum plus invites to Kids Club events
Sponsors of

Pros

Cons

  • $100 minimum balance to earn interest on regular savings
  • Fee-free withdrawals limited to three per month

GreenState Credit Union Money Market Accounts

GreenState Credit Union gives you two money market accounts to choose from: the Green Account and the Preferred Money Market account. Both offer tiered rates, with the Green Account paying GreenState’s highest rates at all tiers. 

Features

  • Preferred Money Market rates range from 0.40% APY for balances below $50,000 to 0.80% APY for balances of $250,000 and up
  • Green Account rates range from 0.55% APY for balances below $100,000 to 0.90% APY for balances of $500,000 and up
  • $10,000 minimum opening deposit for Green Account; $25,000 minimum opening deposit for Preferred Money Market
  • $10,000 minimum average daily balance for Green Account to earn stated interest; $25,000 minimum average daily balance for Preferred Money Market account to earn stated interest
  • Interest compounded and credited monthly
  • Opening deposit for Green Account can come from maturing GreenState certificate

Pros

  • Competitive rates, especially with Green Account
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • Green Account opening funds not restricted to new money
Sponsors of

Cons

  • High balances required to earn stated interest
  • Fee-free withdrawals limited to three per month

GreenState Credit Union CD Accounts

Share certificates are the credit-union equivalent of certificates of deposit. You can get GreenState Credit Union’s regular and individual retirement account certificates in terms ranging from three months to 60 months. With a larger opening deposit, you can get Certificate Specials that offer higher rates and terms of eight or 17 months. There’s also a Young Investor certificate with a 12-month term.

Features

  • APY: 0.20% to 0.75% on regular and IRA certificates; 0.30% on Young Investor Certificates; 0.65% to 0.70% for Certificate Specials
  • $100 minimum opening deposit for Young Investor Certificates; $500 minimum for standard and IRA certificates; $1,000 for Certificate Specials
  • Can make additional deposits into Young Investor Certificates in increments of $25
  • 0.05% APY bonus rate for non-special certificates with balance of $100,000 or more

Pros

  • High yields compared with many other banks
  • Young Investor Certificate for kids under 18
  • Low opening deposit for Young Investor Certificate, as well as ability to add money to certificate
  • Bonus rates for high balances

Cons

  • Limited choice of terms with Certificate Specials
  • Dividends on certificates with terms of three to six months compounded and credited only at maturity
Sponsors of

Banking Experience

Most GreenState members are likely to have a positive experience thanks to the credit union’s range of products and accessibility to branches and digital banking.

Customer Service

Members can get phone support Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Secure online chat is available weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The GreenState Credit Union Help Center has information and articles that can help answer many questions members might have.

Branch Availability

GreenState Credit Union has 26 branches located throughout Iowa. All branch locations have member service representatives and accept walk-in appointments to join the credit union, open an account, apply for loans or get a financial review.

Mobile and Digital Experience

Just about any banking you might do at a branch office can also be done digitally through online and mobile banking. You can use these platforms to review information about your accounts at GreenState and other financial institutions, make loan payments, review cashed checks, transfer funds, pay bills — even do your taxes. With mobile banking, you can deposit checks as well.

Sponsors of

The GreenState mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices and supports Apple, Google and Samsung payment platforms. Touch and face ID login keeps access to your accounts secure. The app has 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google Play reviews and 4.5 stars out of 5 on App Store reviews.

Convenience

In addition to the 26 branch locations and digital banking options, GreenState Credit Union has a handful of its own ATMs, located mostly in the Iowa City area. Some of these accept deposits. Members can also use Allpoint ATMs for free.

How To Open an Account

Only members can open a credit union account, so the first step is to join the credit union. You can join GreenState by calling 800-397-3790, visiting a branch or filling out an online application online. To be eligible, you must live or work in Iowa or one of the eligible counties that border the state, or be a University of Iowa student (past or present) or staff member. Direct family members of current members can also join.

From the GreenState Credit Union website, use any link to open an account. When prompted, indicate that you’d like to open a new membership. You’ll need the following information:

  1. Social Security number
  2. Government-issued ID such as driver’s license, passport or military ID
  3. Source of funds, such as a credit card or checking or savings account, for your initial deposit

After you enter your personal and eligibility information, you’ll receive a membership decision. You can open an account once your membership has been approved.

Key Information

Customer Service Number800-397-3790

Routing Number: 273975098

GreenState Credit Union Fees

Because credit unions are nonprofit and member-owned, they aim to keep fees low. You’ll pay $5 to join. After that, you can avoid fees by minding your balance and keeping your accounts open and active. Here are fees you might encounter at GreenState Credit Union:

Type Amount
Credit union membership fee $5
Monthly maintenance fees $0
Overdraft and non-sufficient funds $29.50 for the first two each year and $34 for each subsequent overdraft, plus $29 per month if account is overdrawn for 30 days or more 
Out-of-network ATM withdrawals $2.25
Wire transfers $5 incoming domestic; $25 outgoing domestic
Dormant membership $35 for inactive single-service members
Dormant checking account $7 per month after six months
Excessive savings withdrawals $1 per withdrawal after first three for regular and youth savings accounts; $10 per withdrawal after first three money market withdrawals per month

GreenState Credit Union vs. Competitors

People who live, work or attend school in Iowa have several credit unions to choose from. You can compare these credit unions to GreenState to make sure you select the financial institution that best fits your needs.

Credit Union Best For
GreenState Credit Union Outstanding rates on premium checking accounts for members who use their debit cards frequently
Veridian Credit Union Competitive rates on home and auto loans
Dupaco Community Credit Union Live video tellers and shared branches to expand personal service
Collins Community Credit Union Range of account types, including Coverdell education savings and health savings accounts

GreenState Credit Union vs. Veridian Credit Union

Veridian has excellent rates on home and auto loans. Recent promotions include a 2.69% annual percentage rate on auto loans for 2019 and newer model years, and a 3.10% APR for a 5-year fixed home equity line of credit. But GreenState gets the nod when it comes to high checking account interest — as long as you make enough debit card transactions to earn the preferred rates.

GreenState Credit Union vs. Dupaco Community Credit Union

Dupaco offers live video tellers who work remotely, including after regular branch hours. That’s a huge benefit for members who like to bank face-to-face, but not for those who are fine making the same transactions at an ATM. For these members, GreenState has a much larger network of ATMs you can use surcharge-free.

GreenState Credit Union vs. Collins Community Credit Union

Collins Community Credit Union has an excellent range of savings products, along with checking account interest rates that beat GreenState’s premium rates for balances of $15,000 or less. However, membership at Collins Community is restricted to a much smaller area than GreenState covers.

Final Take

GreenState Credit Union offers competitive rates on a comprehensive range of products. Although its customer service availability can’t rival that of larger financial institutions, members can still detailed information on products and services on the credit union’s website.

Editor’s Favorite

Rewards checking offers rates are high enough to make you wonder why you need a separate savings account. The caveat is that you must use your debit card frequently — otherwise, the rates drop through the floor.

GreenState Credit Union FAQ

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about GreenState Credit Union.
  • Is GreenState Credit Union related to the University of Iowa Credit Union?
    • They are one and the same -- the University of Iowa Credit Union changed its name to GreenState Credit Union in 2019.
  • When are ATM and mobile deposits available?
    • ATM deposits of less than $1,000 are usually available right away, while amounts over $1,000 are subject to a two business-day hold. Mobile check deposits under $400 are usually available right away, and amounts over $400 are usually held for two business days.
  • Are GreenState Credit Union accounts FDIC insured?
  • Does GreenState Credit Union offer free money for signing up for an account?

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 25, 2021.

This content is not provided by GreenState 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 GreenState Credit Union.

About the Author

Daria Uhlig is a personal finance, real estate and travel writer and editor with over 25 years of editorial experience. Her work has been featured on The Motley Fool, MSN, AOL, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC and USA Today. Daria studied journalism at the County College of Morris and earned a degree in communications at Centenary University, both in New Jersey.

GreenState Credit Union Review: High Yields and Low Fees
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