Police and Fire Federal Credit Union Review: A Top Credit Union for 2022

GOBankingRates Score

4.8
Quick Take: Police and Fire Federal Credit Union offers all of the standard banking options -- checking, savings and certificate accounts, as well as loans -- at very competitive rates. They have a small number of branches, so you'll want to live nearby if you want to do your banking in person. If that's not a requirement for you, they have a robust mobile app so you can bank from your phone.  
  • Checking Account Interest
    5.0
  • Fees
    5.0
  • Mobile App
    5.0
  • Accessibility
    4.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Interest-bearing checking accounts
  • No monthly fees
  • $5 minimum balance in savings account

Cons

  • Checking account interest rates are higher than savings accounts
  • Limited number of branches

Overview of Police and Fire Credit Union

Police and Fire Credit Union offers a full suite of banking products, and they’re not restricted to police and firefighters. The credit union has 17 branch locations in the greater Philadelphia area, including three in New Jersey.

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union was ranked no. 14 on GOBankingRates’ list of the Top 100 Banks for 2022, and no. 3 on the list of Best Credit Unions for 2022.

The credit union has $7.2 billion in assets.

Police and Fire Credit Union Product Details

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union offers a full suite of deposit products, as well as real estate, auto and personal loans.

Police and Fire Credit Union Checking Account

The Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s checking account pays interest and has no minimum balance or monthly fees. There’s also free bill pay and free overdraft protection from a linked account.

The first $5,000 in your PFFCU checking account earns 0.25% APY interest. The remaining balance earns interest at a rate of 0.10% APY.

Police and Fire Credit Union Savings Account

PFFCU offers a Savings account with a minimum $5 deposit that pays 0.10% APY, and a Savings Plus account (a money market account) that pays 0.15% APY.

The Premium Yield Account at Police and Fire Federal Credit Union pays 0.25% APY on balances of $2,500 or more. If your balance falls below $2,500, you do not earn interest. You are limited to two transactions per month.  

Certificates

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union offers Share Certificates (similar to a bank’s CDs) with terms from three months to five years. The minimum balance for a certificate is $1,000. Rates range from 0.3% APY for a 3-month certificate, to 0.75% for a 12-month certificate to 1.0% APY for a five-year certificate.

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s deposits are federally insured by the National Association of Credit Unions up to $250,000 per depositor.

Best Features of Police and Fire Federal Credit Union

Here are some of the top features reviewed by GOBankingRates in this year’s review.

Checking Account Interest

Some banks and credit unions offer interest on checking accounts, but the rate is typically nominal – often 0.01% APY. At Police and Fire Federal Credit Union, the first $5,000 in your checking account earns interest at the rate of 0.25% APY. While this rate, in and of itself, might not make you rich, it’s a far sight better than what many banks offer.

Fees

There are no monthly service fees for any of Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s accounts. If you have a savings account or personal line of credit linked to your checking account, there are no overdraft fees for checks that exceed your account balance.

Mobile App

PFFCU has a mobile app that lets you perform online banking tasks from your phone, including checking balances, viewing transactions, paying bills and transferring funds. You can also deposit checks, find a branch or ATM and even apply for a loan.

The app gets high marks from users, with an average rating of 4.7 for both the Apple and Android versions.

Accessibility

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union has 17 branch locations, all in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Members have access to free PFFCU ATMs, and never pay a surcharge at over 600 Wawa locations and participating 7-Eleven locations.

Other Factors to Consider

To open an account at Police and Fire Federal Credit Union (or any credit union) you must become a member. But don’t let the name fool you — you don’t have to be a police officer, firefighter or family member of a member to become a member. You can be, of course, but you can also be affiliated with one of the hundreds of other organizations. If you’re not, you can still join.

The credit union will enroll you in the American Consumer Council — at no charge — and that qualifies you to join the credit union. If you live in New Castle County, DE; in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery or Philadelphia counties, PA; or in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May or Gloucester counties, NJ, you can apply online.

Editor’s Favorite

The interest rate on the Police and Fire Federal Credit Union’s checking account is outstanding. And the long list of affiliated organizations makes it easy to become a member, even if you are not a police officer or firefighter.

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union vs. Competitors

Credit unions generally offer better interest rates than banks, simply because credit unions are owned by the members, not shareholders. So, if you’re considering a credit union – and you should – it’s important to look for the features you will use to find the best fit. If you’re looking for interest on your checking account and no fees, Police and Fire Federal Credit Union should surely be on your list.

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union vs. PSECU

PSECU is another credit union in Pennsylvania, but it puts the focus on digital, not in-person banking. It pays just 0.05% APY on checking and savings accounts.

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union vs. Wells Fargo

If you want a big bank with a lot of branches and ATMs, Wells Fargo might be worth a look. It has 7,200 branches and 13,000 ATMs across the country. But you won’t earn any interest on your checking accounts, and you’ll have to have either a $500 daily balance or $500 in direct deposits to avoid a $10 per month service fee.

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union vs. TD Bank

TD Bank is a regional bank you might also consider. They promote their convenient hours since most branches are open seven days a week. But they don’t pay interest on checking accounts, and there’s a monthly maintenance fee unless you meet their requirements for a minimum balance or direct deposit to waive that fee.

Final Take

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union provides straightforward checking, savings and share accounts with great interest rates. If you’re going to keep money in your checking account, why not earn interest on it? If you live in the area and qualify for membership, PFFCU is a good banking option.

Police and Fire Federal Credit Union FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Police and Fire Federal Credit Union.
  • Is Police and Fire Federal Credit Union FDIC insured?
    • No, credit unions are not insured by FDIC. Most credit unions, including Police and Fire Federal Credit Union, are federally insured by NCUA, however. NCUA is the National Credit Union Administration, and they provide up to $250,000 of insurance per share owner per credit union.
  • Do you have to be a police officer or firefighter to get an account at PFFCU?
    • No. You can be a family member of a current member, or you can be affiliated with one of several hundred companies or organizations listed on the credit union website.
  • Does Police and Fire Federal Credit Union have branches?
    • Yes, PFFCU has 17 branches in the greater Philadelphia area.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 13, 2022.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Police and Fire 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 Police and Fire Federal Credit Union.

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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