Mountain America Credit Union Review: Members Get Rewarded

GOBankingRates Score

Mountain America Credit Union
4.3
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.
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Quick Take: Mountain America Credit Union offers a full range of financial products and services. Like many credit unions, you'll find attractive interest rates and products that encourage good saving and spending habits if you can qualify for membership. If you've never considered a credit union as a bank alternative, this Mountain America Credit Union review breaks down what you need to know.
  • Checking Accounts
    4.0
  • Savings Accounts
    4.3
  • CD Accounts
    5.0
  • Banking Experience
    4.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Low or no minimum balance requirements
  • No monthly maintenance fees, or ones that can be easily waived
  • Options for teen and youth checking, savings and certificate of deposit accounts

Cons

  • Limited branch locations
  • Membership requirements

Mountain America Credit Union Overview

Mountain America Credit Union is headquartered in Sandy, Utah, and has over 90 branches in Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Nevada. Members have access to over 50,000 ATMs nationwide.

Membership is available to residents of Salt Lake County, Duchesne County, Wasatch County or Uintah County in Utah; employees or volunteers of a select employer group or affiliated association; family members and those who share a home with an existing member.

Mountain America Credit Union has a full suite of banking and financial services products, including checking and savings accounts, CDs, credit cards, home loans, insurance and investment products. Interest rates are competitive since Mountain America, like all credit unions, is owned by members and therefore not concerned with making a profit for shareholders. MACU is also a finalist in GOBankingRates’ rankings of the Best Credit Unions of 2023.

Key Features

Learn more about the products and services that earned MACU a spot among GOBankingRates’ Best Credit Unions of 2023.

Checking Accounts

Mountain America Credit Union offers three checking accounts: MyFree Checking, MyStyle Checking and Student Checking. MyFree Checking and Student Checking have no monthly service fee when you opt for e-statements and no minimum balance requirement. MyStyle Checking has a $7 monthly service fee, which can be waived for customers who meet any one of the following criteria:

  • Age 24 or younger, or age 60 or older
  • Perform at least 20 debit and/or credit card transactions per month
  • Maintain an average daily balance of $10,000 in a MyStyle Checking account

You can earn rewards points redeemable for travel rebates, gift cards and other rewards on your debit card spending with the MyStyle Checking and Student Checking accounts. Those accounts also offer loan rate discounts, mobile phone protection, free telehealth services and other perks.

It should be noted that MACU checking accounts do not earn interest.

Savings Accounts

Mountain America Credit Union offers a traditional savings account, which is the share account required for credit union membership. It earns an annual percentage yield of . You can open a primary savings account with as little as $1, but a balance of at least $100 is required to earn interest.

You can also have a secondary savings account to save for a specific goal. This account, which is part of your primary account, has no minimum balance requirement and earns APY regardless of the balance.

In addition, there are Youth Savings and Teen Savings accounts available to help young savers build good savings habits.

Money Market Account

Mountain America Credit Union’s money market account earns tiered rates that are higher than regular savings account rates. The account has no minimum opening balance requirement, and there are no monthly maintenance fees.

The money market account is convenient — you’ll have checks and a debit card so you can make withdrawals and pay bills. However, monthly transaction limitations apply. If you need to write checks or make withdrawals more than six times per month, a checking account may be a better option.

Money market accounts are also available as individual retirement accounts.

CD Accounts

CDs, or certificate accounts as Mountain America Credit Union calls them, pay a fixed rate of interest over a fixed period of time. In most cases, you cannot add funds to the certificate during the term, and there is usually a penalty if you withdraw funds before the end of the term.

Mountain America Credit Union offers a standard certificate, a growth certificate, a youth certificate and a Christmas Club certificate with terms of six months to five years. Yields for standard certificates are currently to APY based on the term length.

Standard certificates have a $500 minimum account opening balance. Other CDs have a $5 minimum.

The standard certificate offers a rate bump — one increase in interest rate if it becomes available during the term. The growth certificate lets you add funds at any time during the term, up to a combined total of $100,000 across all growth CDs per account holder.

The youth certificate is available to savers under age 28. The Christmas Club certificate can also be opened with just $5, and funds can be added up to $10,000. It matures on Nov. 1 and automatically converts to a secondary savings account.

CDs are also available as IRAs.

Banking Experience

Mountain America has branches in just six states, but members have access to ATMs nationwide through the Co-op network.

Customer Service

The MACU website has extensive, well-organized help resources with answers to most questions you’re likely to have. Live customer service reps are available from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Plus, there’s email assistance you can access securely from the website. However, credit union staff can’t resolve account issues via email, and they can take up to 48 hours to respond to email requests.

Digital Experience

MACU customers have automated account access 24/7 through online and mobile banking. The MACU mobile banking app is available on the App Store, where it has a 4.7-star rating, and on Google Play, where it has a rating of 3.3 stars. You can use the app to transfer money between your MACU accounts and between MACU accounts and accounts at other financial institutions. Other app features include loan applications, bill pay, debit and credit card management, free access to FICO scores (with a checking account or loan only), Zelle payments and a branch and ATM locator.

How To Open an Account

Mountain America will determine your eligibility for membership when you apply to open an account — an account is required to establish your membership. You can open an account at a branch, or you can open one online in minutes, but the online application includes both the traditional savings account required for membership and the MyStyle Checking account. You’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Name, address and ID (driver’s license, state ID or passport)
  • Phone number and date of birth
  • Employment status and employer (if employed)
  • Social Security or taxpayer identification number

Comparable Banking Options

When deciding which bank to choose, you want to make sure you’re choosing the best one for your specific needs. Here’s how Mountain America Credit Union stacks up to the competition.

Zions Bank

Zions Bank is also located in Utah and similar in size to Mountain America Credit Union. It has several specialty checking accounts, including one for military customers. Two of Zion’s checking accounts earn interest. However, MACU has more CD options and much better CD rates.

Chase

Chase has low rates on savings, but it has a wide variety of credit cards with rewards that provide more value than MACU’s. However, MACU cards have lower rates, and its savings accounts earn higher APYs.

Final Take

If you’re fortunate to qualify to be a member of Mountain America Credit Union, its breadth of products, competitive interest rates and modest fees make it well worth a look. Opening an account is easy, and you can do all your banking in one place. On the downside, checkings accounts don’t earn interest, and customer service options are limited.

Mountain America Credit Union FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Mountain America Credit Union.
  • Is Mountain America a good bank?
    • Mountain America is a good credit union — it's a finalist in GOBankingRates’ rankings of the Best Credit Unions of 2023, in fact — and it provides the same services as a bank. The difference is that credit unions are nonprofit, member-owned financial institutions, whereas banks are owned by corporations and/or shareholders.
  • Is Mountain America Credit Union FDIC insured?
    • Like most credit unions, Mountain America Credit Union deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Administration and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, up to $250,000 per depositor.
  • Who owns Mountain America Credit Union?
    • Like all credit unions, Mountain America is owned by its members. This means that it has no shareholders, so the profits generated by the credit union's operations are returned to its members in the form of lower loan rates and higher deposit rates.
  • Which states have Mountain America Credit Union branches?
    • Mountain America Credit Union has branches in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. Members have access to over 50,000 ATMs nationwide.
  • Does Mountain America Credit Union offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • Mountain America Credit Union does not offer free money for signing up for an account at the moment, but its MySelect Rewards program offers cash back for making loan payments, making debit or credit card transactions and using online bill pay.
  • What credit score do you need for a Mountain America credit card?
    • Mountain America doesn't disclose a minimum score. If you're unsure whether you qualify, MACU recommends that you speak with one of its service representatives, who will help assess your situation.
  • Is Mountain America better than America First?
    • Mountain America and America First are quite similar. Explore both credit unions' websites to see which is a better fit for you.

Daria Uhlig and Cynthia Bowman contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 26, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

To discover the Best Credit Unions, GOBankingRates looked exclusively at the 50 credit unions in terms of total asset size that had available published data. To determine rankings, GOBankingRates looked at the following factors: (1) total assets as sourced from the NCUA; (2) number of branch locations as sourced from the NCUA; (3) minimum deposit to open a checking account; (4) monthly checking fee ratio (percentage based on the minimum to avoid the fee compared to the monthly fee itself); (5) checking APY; (6) minimum to open a savings account; (7) minimum balance needed to achieve savings APY; (8) savings APY; (9) minimum to open a 12-month CD account; (10) 12-month CD APY; (11) 60-month CD APY; (12) customer service options offered (24/7 customer service and live chat with a human); (13) Bauer rating (out of 5 stars); (14) products/services offered (auto loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, investment services and insurance); and (15) the average mobile app rating between the Android and Apple app stores. All factors were then scored and combined, with the lowest score being best. Factors (1), (2) and (12) were weighted 0.5 times, and factor (14) was weighted 2 times. For all savings and checking account data, only the basic accounts/products offered at each institution were analyzed.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase.

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About the Author

Karen Doyle is a personal finance writer with over 20 years’ experience writing about investments, money management and financial planning. Her work has appeared on numerous news and finance websites including GOBankingRates, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, USA Today, CNBC, Equifax.com, and more.
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