Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union Review: Diversified Products, Low Fees

GOBankingRates Score

4.4
Our take: Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union is geographically limited, but it serves its community well with a wide range of banking accounts, respectable APYs and modest fees.
  • Fees
    4.5
  • APYs
    4.5
  • Product Breadth
    4.3
  • Account Minimums
    4.3
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Numerous fee-free accounts
  • Decent APYs on some accounts
  • Interest-bearing checking account

Cons

  • Limited to four primary areas in Texas
  • Low app ratings

About Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union is based in these major market areas in Texas: San Antonio, Dallas-Fort Worth and Corpus Christi. The credit union serves hundreds of thousands of members worldwide, with more than 60 branches in its service area.

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union offers its members an impressive range of account types, from standard banking accounts like checking, savings and money market accounts to CDs, credit cards, insurance, loans and business accounts. GOBankingRates has ranked RBFCU as one of the Best Credit Unions of 2021.

RBFCU Products

Customers looking for a comprehensive financial institution will likely be pleased with Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union, as it offers all of the accounts most commonly used by banking clients.

Sponsors of
Product Key Details
Savings Account
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Low $1 minimum deposit to open account
Money Market Accounts
  • Two types of accounts
  • High APYs available
CDs
  • Two CD options to choose from
  • Wide range of maturity dates
  • High APY options
Checking Account
  • No fees or monthly minimums
  • Interest-bearing
IRAs
  • No-fee traditional and Roth IRAs
Investment Options
  • Full-service brokerage option
Loans
  • Auto, personal and student loans, in addition to credit cards and home loans

RBFCU Savings Account

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union offers a single savings account, which requires a $1 deposit to establish membership in the credit union.

Features

  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • $1 minimum to open
  • Dividends paid monthly
  • Can be used as source of overdraft protection
  • Decent savings account rate of 0.20% APY

Pros

RBFCU’s savings account has no monthly fees and requires just $1 to open, which also qualifies account holders for membership. The savings APY of 0.20% is well above the national average savings account rate of just 0.05%.

Cons

RBFCU only offers a single savings account, and the savings rate of 0.20% APY is below that available from online banks.

Sponsors of

RBFCU Money Market Accounts

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union offers two money market accounts. The basic money market account is dubbed the Classic Money Market, while the Choice Money Market offers enhanced yields.

Features

  • $2,500 minimum balance
  • No monthly fee
  • Tiered interest rates
  • 0.40% APY for all deposits in the Classic Money Market
  • APYs of between 0.40% and 1.00% for the Choice Money Market account

Pros

The Choice Money Market account offers a 1.00% APY on balances from $2,500 to $10,000. Plus, you’ll pay no monthly fees.

Cons

Both accounts require a high $2,500 minimum balance.

RBFCU CD Accounts

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union offers two types of CDs: regular and SuperSaver certificates. Both types offer well-above-average yields.

Features

  • Terms from six months to 84 months for regular certificates
  • Terms of 18 months for SuperSaver certificates
  • $1,000 minimum
  • Dividends can be compounded or paid to checking, savings or money market accounts
  • Automatic renewal at maturity
  • APYs range from 0.45% to 1.16%
  • Tiered interest rates

Pros

Rates are well above average on Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union CDs. The 18-month SuperSaver certificates pay a 0.60% APY. Maturities of up to seven years are available.

Sponsors of

Cons

The $1,000 minimum is relatively high.

RBFCU Checking Account

The Really Free Checking account is Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union’s sole checking account option. The account lives up to its name, charging no fees.

Features

  • No monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements
  • Mobile app with account review, transfers and more
  • Access to direct deposits up to two days early
  • Freedom Debit Card with free ATM access in the CO-OP network
  • Access cash at up to 32 million retail and point-of-sale locations
  • 0.05% APY

Pros

A free account that pays interest and offers free ATM access is the gold standard when it comes to checking accounts.

Cons

While earning interest with a free checking account is nice, the 0.05% APY is meager.

Banking Experience

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union only has branches in major market areas of Texas. However, it does have ample digital and mobile reach and multiple ways to access its customer service centers.

Mobile and Digital Experience

You can access your account anytime with RBFCU’s digital and mobile tools. Electronic tools include:  

  • Access to account transactions
  • Customized email and text alerts for loan payments, balance thresholds, deposits and more
  • Mobile and online bill pay, including same-day payment options for some billers
  • Remote check deposit via mobile app
  • Online statements
Sponsors of

The Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union apps are available via Google Play and the App Store. However, the app only receives a 2.4-star rating from Google Play users and a 2.1-star rating from Apple users. Many of the complaints seem to be from users who preferred the app before a recent redesign.

Physical Branch Locations

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union has over 60 branches located in the major cities in Texas.

How To Open an RBFCU Account

You can open an account with Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union online in about 15 minutes if you are 18 or older. You’ll need the following:

  • Address
  • Contact information
  • Social Security number
  • State-issued ID for identity verification
  • Credit or debit card to fund your primary savings account with at least $1
  • Evidence that you qualify for membership

There are more than 3,000 different ways you can qualify for membership at RBFCU. Your employer, place of worship, neighborhood or school are some of the ways that you may qualify. You can verify your qualifications as you complete the online application.

If you prefer not to apply online, you can also visit an RBFCU branch to open an account.

Sponsors of

Customer Service

You can reach Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union customer service via phone, email, secure message or online chat. In Austin, the customer service number is 512-833-3300, while for other locations, the number is 210-945-3300. Customer service representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Key Information

Customer service number:  210-945-3300 for Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio or Corpus Christi; 512-833-3300 in Austin

Routing number: 314089681

RBFCU Fees

Fees at Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union are relatively low. Some banking accounts, like the Really Free Checking account and the savings account, are free of monthly maintenance charges, while the money market accounts have no charges with qualifying minimum balances.

The RBFCU charge for using non-network ATMs is a modest $1, as opposed to the $2.50 or more charged by some other institutions. Overdraft fees are also lower than those of most competitors at $24. However, outbound international wire transfers are a steep $40, while outbound domestic wires are a lower $15.

RBFCU vs. Competitors

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union has advantages over other credit unions, but some of its competitors have their strengths as well.

Sponsors of
Bank Best For
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union Texas residents, high CD APYs
Navy Federal Credit Union Military and ex-military personnel
USAA Nationwide ATM rebates, up to $15 per month
UFCU Variety of checking accounts

RBFCU vs. Navy Federal Credit Union

Although RBFCU has relatively high APYs on most of its accounts, Navy Federal Credit Union tops most of them. For example, Navy Federal pays a 0.25% APY on its savings account vs. RBFCU’s 0.20% APY, and its checking account pays up to a 0.45% APY vs. RBFCU’s 0.05% APY.

As opposed to the relatively broad requirements for membership at RBFCU, Navy Federal maintains strict membership requirements. You must have ties to the military, Department of Defense or National Guard to be eligible.

RBFCU vs. USAA

USAA offers nationwide ATM fee rebates of up to $15 per month versus the $1 per transaction fee that RBFCU charges at non-network ATMs. USAA also has no monthly service fees on any account and no minimum balance requirements after the $25 to open an account.

RBFCU tops USAA when it comes to account interest rates, particularly when it comes to its CD lineup.

RBFCU vs. UFCU

UFCU offers four types of checking accounts, giving customers more variety than RBFCU does. The credit union’s Teen Checking account pays an APY as high as 1.50%.

By and large, the interest rates offered by UFCU accounts, particularly on CDs, are much lower than what customers can get with RBFCU.

Final Take

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union packs a lot of service and features into a relatively small geographical area, as it only serves four areas of Texas. However, there are many ways to qualify for entry into the credit union, so the company’s reach exceeds its physical location.

Most accounts can be had without monthly maintenance fees, although for some accounts, like the money market accounts, a minimum qualifying balance is required. Ancillary fees, while present, are not as burdensome as with many other institutions; the non-network ATM fee of $1 and the overdraft fee of $24 are lower than at many competitor banks, for example.

All of the basic banking accounts at RBFCU pay interest, including the free checking account. Many of the credit union’s APYs are much higher than national averages and far above those offered by national banks like Chase.

Editor’s Favorite

The RBFCU CD lineup is fairly broad and high-yielding, which can help you reach your savings goals much faster.

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union FAQ

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about RBFCU.
  • Who can join RBFCU?
    • There are many ways to qualify for RBFCU membership, but they all involve having some type of ties to Texas. If you volunteer, live, work, worship or go to school in Texas, you likely qualify. You can also qualify if you have an immediate family member who is already an RBFCU member. You can contact the credit union to see if you can qualify for membership in other ways.
  • Is RBFCU FDIC-insured?
    • As a credit union, RBFCU is insured by the National Credit Union Administration, not the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The NCUA offers credit unions the same type of insurance as the FDIC, however, up to $250,000 per depositor.
  • Does RBFCU have mobile deposit?
    • Yes, RBFCU offers mobile deposit through its app.
  • How much is the overdraft fee?
    • The RBFCU overdraft fee is $24. Overdraft protection transfers from a savings account or line of credit are free.
  • Does RBFCU offer free money for signing up for an account?

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Dec. 12, 2020.

This content is not provided by Randolph-Brooks 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 Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union.

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About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.

Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union Review: Diversified Products, Low Fees
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