Redstone Federal Credit Union Review: Regional Force Has High Yields and Many Account Choices

GOBankingRates Score

4.5
Quick Take: Redstone Federal Credit Union offers a wide variety of accounts and services, and its limited geographical reach is offset by access to more than 70,000 fee-free ATMs and a highly rated mobile app that lets you bank anytime and anywhere. 
  • Fees
    4.0
  • Mobile App
    5.0
  • Breadth of Products
    5.0
  • Account Minimums
    4.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Multiple account types
  • No monthly maintenance fees for checking account members 24 and younger
  • High APY on many accounts, especially long-term share certificates 
  • Surcharge-free access to more than 70,000 ATMs

Cons

  • Limited geographical reach and branch network
  • Top annual percentage yield limited to first $2,500

About Redstone Federal Credit Union

Redstone Federal Credit Union traces its history back to 1951, when 11 original members tossed $5 each into a shoebox and formed a credit union. From that humble beginning, Redstone now ranks as one of the 25 largest federal credit unions in the country, with more than $5.5 billion in assets. 

Headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, Redstone has 24 branch locations in the Tennessee Valley region. It offers a wide variety of personal accounts — including checking and savings accounts, certificates and money market accounts — in addition to loans and mortgages, credit cards, investments and insurance. Redstone is ranked among GOBankingRates’ Top 100 Banks for 2022.

Checking Accounts

Redstone Federal Credit Union has three checking accounts: Easy Checking, Safeguard Checking and Rewards Checking. All have a $25 minimum opening deposit, and none pay interest. Members 24 and younger are not charged monthly fees.

Easy Checking is the most basic account. The monthly maintenance fee is $3 for members older than 24 and can be waived with one direct deposit or four or more point-of-sale debit card transactions posted to the account per month.

Safeguard Checking is designed for those who don’t want unexpected fees. Account holders are not charged NSF fees and also get free money orders. The monthly maintenance fee is $8 per month with eStatements and $10 per month with paper statement. This fee cannot be waived.

With Rewards Checking, members get free personal checks, money orders and official checks — and they have access to MyChoice Rewards (points for debit transactions). The monthly maintenance fee is $8 and can be waived with one direct deposit or four or more POS debit card transactions posted to the account per month.

Savings Accounts

Redstone Federal Credit Union offers plenty of savings options, with five accounts: Regular Share Savings, Brighter Day Savings, You Name It Savings, Christmas Club and Star Club Savings for members 12 and younger. Each is designed to fit different needs. No monthly fees are listed on any of the savings accounts.

Dividends are paid quarterly on all but You Name It Savings, which pays dividends monthly. The APY on most savings accounts is 0.10%. The exception is Brighter Day Savings, which pays an excellent APY of 2.02% on balances up to $2,500 and then 0.10% for balances above $2,500.

Regular Share is the basic savings account, and you’ll have to open one to become a member. The minimum to open the account is $5, and you can earn interest on any amount. STAR Club Savings also has a $5 minimum to open.

None of the other savings accounts have a minimum opening requirement, but you’ll need a balance of at least $500 to earn dividends with the You Name It account.

Money Market Account

Redstone offers a single money market account, dubbed the Money Market Share account. There is a $2,000 minimum to open and earn interest. Dividends are paid monthly. This account features tiered interest rates: 0.15% on balances of $2,000-$4,999.99; 0.20% on balances of $5,000-$49,999.99; and 0.25% on balances of $50,000 and higher.

Share Certificates

Redstone offers both Regular and Jumbo Share Certificates, which are the credit union equivalent to CDs. It also offers Members’ Choice Certificates, which allow account owners to bump up their rates. APYs are very high on the longer-term options. Dividends are paid quarterly on Regular Certificates and monthly on Jumbo Certificates. The minimum balance to open is $1,000 for Regular and $100,000 for Jumbo certificates.

Terms for both Regular Certificates and Jumbo Certificates are six months to 144 months and pay fixed rates ranging from 0.15% to 1.50% APY, with longer terms fetching the higher rates. Member’s Choice Share Certificates range from 36 months to 14 months; APYs range from 0.40% to 1.50%.

How Redstone Federal Credit Union Earned Its Scores

Fees

Redstone’s checking accounts all come with monthly fees unless you are 24 or younger, but most can be waived pretty easily. The exception is Safeguard Checking, which imposes an $8 monthly maintenance fee with eStatements or $10 with paper statements. These fees can’t be waived, which is a negative. No monthly fees are listed on savings accounts. Other fees are pretty much in line with the rest of the banking industry, such as $25 NSF fees, $25 overdraft fees and $30 fees for international wife transfers.

Mobile App

Redstone Federal Credit Union offers online and mobile banking to members. It gets high marks for its mobile app, with users on Google Play giving it 4.7 out of 5 stars, and those on the App Store rating it even higher, at 4.9 stars. 

Breadth of Products

One of Redstone Federal Credit Union’s strengths is the range of products it offers, including multiple options for checking accounts, savings accounts and share certificates. It also offers a full range of IRAs, loans, investment options and business accounts. 

Account Minimums

You won’t find a lot of accounts with no minimum opening deposit requirement at Redstone, although there are a couple. There is a $25 minimum opening deposit for all checking accounts, a $5 minimum opening deposit for the Regular Share savings account and a $500 minimum opening deposit for the You Name It Savings account. The Money Market account requires at least $2,000 to open. There is a $1,000 minimum to open Regular Share Certificates and $100,000 minimum to open Jumbo Share Certificates. 

Editor’s Favorite

If you are willing to park your money in a share certificate for a dozen years, the payoff is substantial: Redstone offers a rate of 1.50% on all certificates of 144 months. Even seven-year certificates pay an excellent 1.05% APY.

Redstone Federal Credit Union vs. Competitors

Redstone is one of many financial institutions you can choose from to hold your money. Here’s a look at how it stacks up against some of the competition.

CREDIT UNION BEST FOR
Redstone Federal Credit Union Residents of the Tennessee Valley region who want access to a comprehensive product lineup and a large fee-free ATM network
Navy Federal Credit Union High standard checking and savings APYs for military and Defense Department personnel
America’s First Federal Credit Union Fee-free accounts
All-In Credit Union Alabama residents who want a wide network of branches and service centers

Redstone Federal Credit Union vs. Navy Federal Credit Union

Redstone’s biggest advantage over Navy Federal Credit Union is its broad network of surcharge-free ATMs. Redstone’s network totals more than 70,000 machines — much higher than the 30,000 offered by the CO-OP network used by Navy Federal. However, Navy Federal gets the edge for its checking accounts, which all pay interest — something you won’t find at Redstone. 

Redstone Federal Credit Union vs. America’s First Federal Credit Union

America’s First offers a wider range of fee-free accounts than Redstone, but Redstone’s 2.02% APY on the first $2,500 deposited in its high-yield savings account makes it a better choice for customers who want to see their savings grow.

Redstone Federal Credit Union vs. All-In Credit Union

In addition to its own roster of 28 branch locations, All-In also has 5,000 branch offices at CO-OP Shared Branching locations nationally and in six foreign countries, making it the better option for customers who travel a lot. But, even though All-In offers an APY as high as 1.06% on its certificates, Redstone still takes the prize with its high of 1.50%. 

Final Take

Redstone Federal Credit Union is a great choice for those who seek a robust range of accounts and services — especially for a regional credit union. Although it has a limited service area and branch network, Redstone members can use more than 70,000 ATMs free of charge, and its mobile apps have excellent functionality. For those who qualify for membership, Redstone Federal Credit Union is worth a look.

Redstone Federal Credit Union FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Redstone Federal Credit Union.
  • Does Redstone Federal Credit Union offer Zelle?
    • Redstone customers can send and receive money using Zelle -- free of charge. The credit union formerly used PopMoney but moved to Zelle in July 2020.
  • Does Redstone Federal Credit Union have free checking?
    • Redstone's three checking accounts come with monthly fees, but fees for two of the accounts can be waived.
  • Is Redstone Federal Credit Union FDIC insured?

John Csiszar contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change. Information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 10, 2022.

This content is not provided by Redstone 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 Redstone Federal Credit Union.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.
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