Mountain America Credit Union Review: Members Get Rewarded

GOBankingRates Score

4.8
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.
  • Fees
    5.0
  • Rates
    4.5
  • Opening Deposit Requirements
    5.0
  • Accessibility
    4.5
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

About Mountain America Credit Union

Mountain America Credit Union is headquartered in Sandy, Utah, and has over 100 branches in Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Nevada. Members have access to over 50,000 ATMs nationwide.

Membership is available to those who are residents of Salt Lake County, Duchesne County, Wasatch County, and Uintah County, employees or volunteers of a Select Employer Group or affiliated association, or are a family member or share a home with an existing member.

Mountain America Credit Union Products

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.

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 and no minimum balance requirement. MyStyle Checking has a $4 monthly service fee, which can be waived with direct deposit, transaction or balance requirements.

You can earn rewards points on your debit-card spending with MyStyle Checking and Student Checking accounts. The rewards can be redeemed for cash back, travel and more.

Savings Accounts

Mountain America Credit Union offers a traditional savings account, which earns 0.05% APY. You can open an account with as little as $5 but a $100 balance 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 0.05% 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 pays tiered interest ranging from 0.05% for any opening amount to 0.10% APY when you reach a $50,000 balance. The minimum opening balance is just $1 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, you’re limited to six transactions per month. If you need to write checks or withdraw more than six times per month, a checking account may be a better option.

CDs

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 traditional certificate, a growth certificate, a youth certificate and a Christmas Club certificate with terms of six months to five years. Yields are currently 0.20% and 0.75% based on the CD length. Traditional and growth certificates have a $500 minimum account opening balance. The traditional 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.

The youth certificate is available to savers under age 28, and requires just a $5 minimum balance. Additional deposits of up to $10,000 per year are allowed. The Christmas Club certificate can also be opened with just $5 and funds can be added up to $10,000. It matures on November 1 and automatically converts to a secondary savings account.

Best Features

Mountain America Credit Union performs well when it comes to rates, fees and opening requirements. You can open an account with no money down or as little as $5. Interest rate yields are better than some of the major national banks, with few fees to worry about. As for accessibility, the credit union welcomes anyone who lives in its service area or works for an affiliated employer.

Editor’s Favorite

The MyExpress prepaid debit card is a great tool to keep you within your budget or to manage your children’s spending. By loading a certain amount on the card each month, then using it for purchases, you ensure you won’t overspend your budget because you can only spend what’s on the card.

Banking Experience

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

Customer Service

Live customer service reps are available six days a week. Plus, there’s online chat Monday through Friday and automated account access 24/7.

Digital Experience

Mountain America Credit Union offers 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 3.8 stars.

How To Open an Account

Mountain America will determine your eligibility for membership when you apply to open an account. You can also open an account at a branch, but you’ll need to make an appointment to do so. You can also open an account online in minutes. You’ll need:

  • Name, address and ID (driver license, state ID or passport)
  • Phone number and date of birth
  • Employment status and employer (if employed)
  • Social Security or Taxpayer Identification Number

Fees

While Mountain America Credit Union’s account fees are very reasonable, there are some other fees that you may be charged. Here are some of the fees that cannot be waived:

Fee Amount
Incoming wire transfer $10
Outgoing wire transfer $15
International wire transfer $30
Overdraft fee $25
NSF fee $25

Mountain America Credit Union vs. Competition

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:

Bank Best For
Mountain America Credit Union Interest Rates, Young Savers
Zions Bank Military Customers
Chase Bank Credit Card Options
Bank of America Nationwide Branches

Mountain America Credit Union vs. Zions Bank

Zions Bank is also located in Utah and similar in size to Mountain America Credit Union, and has a special checking account for military customers. Mountain America Credit Union offers better interest rates and has more products that help young savers learn good habits.

Mountain America Credit Union vs. Chase Bank

Chase Bank has a wide variety of credit cards, some with bonus rewards points and miles. Mountain America Credit Union offers rewards points for making loan payments and using online services, plus they have better interest rates.

Mountain America Credit Union vs. Bank of America

You’re never far from Bank of America, which has 4,300 retail banking locations and 17,000 ATMs nationwide. But Mountain America Credit Union has better interest rates on savings accounts, and more options for young savers.

Final Take

If you’re fortunate to qualify to be a member of Mountain America Credit Union, their breadth of products, competitive interest rates and modest fees make them well worth a look. Opening an account is easy, and you can do all your banking in one place.

Mountain America Credit Union FAQ

Some other points you may be curious about that may not have been covered in this Mountain America Credit Union review include:
  • Is Mountain America Credit Union FDIC insured?
  • 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 bank'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 their MyRewards program offers cash back for making loan payments and using mobile deposit and online bill pay.

Cynthia Bowman contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 14, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Mountain America 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 Mountain America.

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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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