GreenState Credit Union Review: Iowa’s Largest Credit Union Has High Yields and Low Fees

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Quick 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
  • 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 350,000 members from 24 office locations 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. 

GreenState Credit Union ranks among GOBankingRates’ Top 100 Banks for 2022.

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 they earn higher interest rates and additional perks. All give you access to more than 70,000 free surcharge-free ATMs through a nationwide network of Allpoint and Co-op machines. 

The RewardsPlus account gives you 1% to 5% cash back on Platinum Rewards or World Mastercard purchases. It is an interest-bearing account with an annual percentage yield of 2.0% on balances below $20,000, if you meet requirements on monthly credit card use. The APY on balances of $20,000 and above is 0.15%. 

With Rewards Checking, you get refunds of $6.75 a month on the use of non-GreenState ATMs. The APY is 1.50% on balances under $15,000, if you meet requirements on monthly credit-card use. The APY on balances of $15,000 and above is 0.15%. 

Savings Accounts

You have a choice of two savings accounts at GreenState, including the Hoppy’s Kids Club for children 10 and under, to help them build savings and learn about money. You also can open multiple savings accounts to fit each of your savings goals. The APY for savings accounts is 0.05% for all balances, and the minimum opening deposit is $5. Youth account holders get one pass per year to the Iowa Children’s Museum, plus invites to Kids Club events. 

Money Market Accounts

GreenState Credit Union gives you three money market accounts to choose from: the Green Account, the Mega Money Market account and the IRA Money Market Account. 

The Green Money Market account has a $10,000 minimum deposit to open and offers rates ranging from 0.50% APY for balances between $10,000 and $99,999 to 0.80% for balances of $500,000 and higher. 

The Mega Money Market account has a $25,000 minimum to open, with rates ranging from 0.30% APY for balances between $25,000 and $49,999 to 0.70% for balances of $250,000 and higher.  

With the IRA Money Market account, you need just $100 to open an account. Rates range from 0.05% for balances between $100 and $4,999 to 0.80% for balances of $500,000 and more. 

Certificates

Share certificates are the credit-union equivalent of certificates of deposit. You can get GreenState Credit Union’s regular and IRA certificates in terms ranging from three months to five years, all with excellent rates. There’s also a Young Investor certificate with a 12-month term. The minimum to open for regular certificates is $500. For the Young Investor certificate, the minimum to open is $100. 

For regular certificates and IRAs, rates are tiered and range from 0.20% to 0.75%, with longer terms getting the highest rates. The rate for the Young Investor certificate is 0.30%. 

GreenState also offers a pair of Certificate Specials that have a $1,000 minimum to open. The 15-month special has an APY of 0.80% on balances of $1,000 to $99,999 and 0.90% on balances of $100,000 and higher. The 25-month special has an APY of 0.90% on balances of $1,000 to $99,999 and 1.00% on balances of $100,000 and higher. 

How GreenState Credit Union Earned Its Scores

Rates

GreenState offers competitive rates on its accounts, including a very high 1.50% and 2.00% APY on qualifying balances with its rewards checking accounts. Money Market APYs range as high as 0.80%, while the APY on certificate specials goes as high as 1.00%.

Breadth of Products

GreenState might not be a megabank with a national presence, but it offers just about everything you need from a financial institution. In addition to its diverse lineup of deposit accounts, its offerings include mortgages, loans, lines of credit and credit cards, as well as investment and insurance products and services.

Convenience

In addition to its 24 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.

Digital Experience

Just about any banking you might do at a branch office also can 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.

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 4.4 out of 5 stars on Google Play reviews and 4.6 stars on App Store reviews. 

Editor’s Favorite

Rewards checking offers rates that 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 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

GreenState Credit Union vs. Veridian Credit Union

Veridian has excellent annual percentage rates on auto loans, including an APR as low as 2.34% on 2020 and later model years. But GreenState gets the nod when it comes to high checking account interest — as long as you make enough 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.

Final Take

GreenState Credit Union offers competitive rates on a comprehensive range of products. Although it might not be a good fit for people who travel a lot or live outside its service area, it’s an excellent choice for residents of Iowa and neighboring counties.

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?

Vance Cariaga contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 11, 2022.

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.

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