MIDFLORIDA Federal Credit Union Review: One-Stop Banking for Most Floridians
Debit Card Rewards
Account Opening Incentive
- Wide variety of checking, savings, lending and investment products
- Most accounts have no monthly fee or one that can be waived
- Youth and student accounts to build good financial habits early
- Bonus offers for new checking accounts and auto loan refinance
- Dividend rates are low for a credit union
- Mobile app is not highly rated
About MIDFLORIDA Federal Credit Union
MIDFLORIDA began in 1954 as Polk County Teachers Credit Union, with 10 charter members. In 1997, it became MIDFLORIDA Federal Credit Union. MIDFLORIDA serves 55 counties, making up the majority of the state. The credit union has $5.9 billion in assets and 65 branches.
MIDFLORIDA is on GOBankingRates’ list of the Top 100 Banks in 2022.
MIDFLORIDA offers five checking accounts.
Debit Card Banking is technically not a checking account, as there are no checks involved. It is, however, a full-featured debit account that includes online and mobile banking, mobile wallet, text and phone banking and Pay-a-Person, which lets you send money to other people. And there’s no minimum balance and no monthly fees.
Free Checking, as the name would suggest, has no monthly fees or minimum balance requirement. It also offers free Early Paycheck (access to your direct deposit up to two days before payday), online and mobile banking, bill pay, Pay-a-Person and more.
Freedom Banking helps people who may have made mistakes in the past that make it difficult for them to open traditional bank accounts. With debit-only transactions, it’s impossible to be overextended. There’s a monthly fee of $4, but it’s waived if you have 20 or more debit transactions in the month. The minimum balance to open a Freedom Banking account is $25, plus the $5 fee to become a member of the credit union.
Investor Checking has a $1,000 minimum opening balance requirement and pays 0.25% APY in dividends on balances up to $10,000. Balances over $10,000 earn between 0.25% and 0.05% APY.
Relationship Checking accounts earn dividends up to 0.01% APY on balances over $1,500. There’s a $500 minimum to open a Relationship Checking account.
A Regular Savings account has just a $5 minimum to open and is the first account you’ll open as a credit union member. You can use the funds in your savings account as overdraft protection if you link it to your MIDFLORIDA checking account. The Regular Savings account pays 0.01% APY regardless of balance.
Relationship Savings is for those who maintain a higher balance. If you have a Relationship Savings account, you may qualify for a Relationship Checking account, which also earns interest. Relationship Savings has a $12 monthly maintenance fee, which is waived if you maintain a $10,000 balance in all your deposit accounts. The interest rate for Relationship Savings is 0.01% APY, regardless of balance.
Extreme Yield offers a higher interest rate, currently 0.25% APY on balances up to $250,000. Above that amount, the dividend rate declines to 0.10% APY. There’s no monthly maintenance fee if you maintain a $10,000 balance. Otherwise, you’ll pay $10 per month.
Holiday Club accounts are designed to help you save for year-end expenses. You can deposit a set amount each month, by direct deposit or in person. A minimum monthly deposit of $20 is recommended, plus a $5 deposit to become a member of the credit union if you aren’t already. Your account will earn dividends of 0.50% APY on balances up to $4,000, and 0.50% to 0.01% APY on higher balances. At the beginning of November, you’ll get a payout of the balance in your account, just in time for your holiday shopping.
Money Market Accounts
MIDFLORIDA’s Money Market account offers a debit card (if you also have a checking account) and free ATM transactions at MIDFLORIDA and Publix Presto! ATMs. There’s no monthly maintenance fee for a Money Market account, but the minimum balance to open one is $1,000. The dividend rate is 0.01% APY regardless of balance.
MIDFLORIDA offers certificates (CDs) for terms ranging from three to 60 months. The dividend rate varies by term:
Youth and Student Accounts
MIDFLORIDA offers a Youth Savings account that pays 1.00% APY on balances up to $5,000. Student Checking and Savings accounts are also available for students as young as 10 years old.
Debit Card Rewards
All MIDFLORIDA checking accounts come with debit card rewards. You can choose from two rewards programs.
With Rewards for You, you get points when you use your debit card at the point of sale and choose the “credit” option (as opposed to entering your PIN). You earn two points for each transaction from $10 to $99.99, and three points for every transaction of $100 or more. You can redeem 200 points for $5 cash back to your account.
If you choose the Extra Credit for Schools rewards program, the school you select will get 10 cents for every purchase you make using the “credit” option, regardless of the amount of the purchase.
The MIDFLORIDA mobile app lets members check balances, transfer funds between accounts and deposit checks. Users are not thrilled with it, however, and award it just 2.4 out of 5 stars in the Apple App Store and 3.8 in the Google Play Store. Most reviews indicate that the app is slow and outdated.
Account Opening Incentives
MIDFLORIDA is offering a $200 incentive to open a Free Checking account as long as you have direct deposits totaling $500 within 45 days. You also need to sign up for online banking, electronic statements and notices, and a debit card. If you also borrow from a new loan account (consumer loan, credit line or credit card), you’ll get an additional $100.
Customers who refinance an auto loan with MIDFLORIDA qualify for a $200 incentive if their loan is $15,000 or more. The incentive is $100 for loans of $5,000 to $14,999.
Credit unions tend to have higher dividend (interest) rates than banks, because credit unions are owned by their members, not by shareholders. MIDFLORIDA, however, pays just 0.10% APY on most of its savings accounts and a maximum of 0.50% APY on its 60-month certificate.
Other Factors to Consider
MIDFLORIDA Credit Union, like all credit unions, is owned by its members. To qualify for membership, you must live, work, worship or go to school in any of the 55 Florida counties in the credit union’s service area. This area spans nearly all of Florida, except for the western part of the panhandle and the southern tip.
Loyalty is important to banks and credit unions, and MIDFLORIDA tries to keep members for life by offering a wide variety of products and by helping children as young as 10 years old build good financial habits early.
MIDFLORIDA Federal Credit Union vs. Competitors
Floridians have several options when deciding which credit union to join. If you’re looking for one with a large service area, MIDFLORIDA should be your pick.
Space Coast Credit Union
Space Coast Credit Union serves just 29 counties. Their basic checking account has no minimum balance requirement and no monthly service fee but does not offer rewards for debit card use. And it does not offer an incentive to open a new checking account.
Suncoast Credit Union
Suncoast is the largest credit union in Florida. It offers free checking that pays 0.01% APY. Suncoast does not offer rewards for using your debit card, although it does make a two-cent donation to the Suncoast Credit Union Foundation for each debit card transaction. The Foundation helps children in the communities served by Suncoast Credit Union.
Bank of America
If you want to compare a regional credit union to a big bank, take a look at Bank of America. They offer three checking accounts, each with a minimum opening deposit of $25 or $100, and a monthly maintenance fee that can be waived if requirements are met. And they offer “relationship” banking; so, if you have multiple accounts, you can get more attractive rates.
If you’re looking for a credit union that offers just about every banking product you could want and that covers nearly all of the state of Florida, MIDFLORIDA should be on the top of your list.
MIDFLORIDA Federal Credit Union FAQHere are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about MIDFLORIDA Federal Credit Union.
- Is MIDFLORIDA FDIC-insured?
- Depositors at MIDFLORIDA are insured by NCUA up to $250,000 per depositor.
- Is MIDFLORIDA the biggest credit union in Florida?
- MIDFLORIDA is the fourth-largest credit union in Florida, behind Suncoast Credit Union, VyStar Credit Union and Space Coast Credit Union.
- Who can join MIDFLORIDA Credit Union?
- In order to join MIDFLORIDA Federal Credit Union, you must live, work, attend school or worship in one of the 55 counties in the credit union's service area. The service area encompasses nearly all of Florida, except for the western part of the panhandle and the southern tip.
Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 17, 2022.
This content is not provided by MIDFLORIDA 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 MIDFLORIDA Federal Credit Union.