Teachers Federal Credit Union Review: Low Minimums and Wide Range of Accounts

4.6
Our Take: Teachers Federal Credit Union offers a wide range of basic account types and broad access to its services via a solid mobile app and third-party branch network, as well as an extensive ATM alliance, but it's not for those looking for top-tier yields.
  • Fees
    4.3
  • Mobile App
    4.5
  • Breadth of Products
    4.5
  • Account Minimums
    5.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Membership open to all
  • High customer ratings on mobile apps
  • Extensive access via third-party branch network and Allpoint ATMs

Cons

  • Limited number of accounts within each account type
  • High overdraft and excess transaction fees

About Teachers Federal Credit Union

Teachers Federal Credit Union has a nearly 70-year history and serves the Long Island, Queens and Manhattan areas of New York with 32 branches. Despite its name, the credit union has an open membership policy and serves all customers, not just teachers.

Teachers Federal Credit Union Banking Products

Teachers Federal Credit Union offers a fairly broad product line, although it is not deep.

Product Details
Checking Accounts
  • Single checking account option
  • No monthly maintenance fees or minimums
  • Reduced overdraft protection charges
Savings Account
  • One main savings account
  • Low minimum to open
  • High APY on first $1,000 in Youth Savings
  • Holiday and Vacation Club accounts available
Money Market Account
  • Single money market account option
  • $2,500 minimum to open
Certificates of Deposit
  • Standard and Jumbo certificates available
Individual Retirement Accounts
  • Certificates available for both Traditional and Roth IRAs
Loans
  • Home, personal and vehicle loans available, in addition to credit cards
Business Accounts
  • Wide range of business accounts and services, from checking and savings to loans, credit cards, commercial mortgages and vehicle financing
Sponsors of

Teachers Federal Credit Union Checking Accounts

Teachers Federal Credit Union offers a single Personal Checking account. This account boasts several features including flexibility and competitive rates in comparison to checking accounts at other banks, with no monthly service fees, no charges per check, and no minimum opening deposit required.

Features

  • $0 minimum
  • $0 monthly maintenance fee
  • $0 per-check charges

Pros

  • Totally free checking account
  • Automatic overdraft protection fee just $8 per occurrence

Cons

  • Pays interest only with a minimum $2,500 balance

Teachers Federal Credit Union Savings Accounts

Teachers Federal Credit Union offers a single Personal Savings account. Other savings accounts options include Youth Savings and Health Savings options, Holiday Club and Vacation Club Savings accounts.

Features

  • Required account to become a member at the credit union
  • $1 minimum balance to open either Personal Savings or Youth Savings
  • $50 minimum balance to earn interest on Personal Savings
  • 3% APY on first $1,000 in Youth Savings

Pros

  • Extraordinarily high APY on Youth Savings deposits
  • Personal Savings, Holiday Club and Vacation Club APYs of 0.10% not extraordinary but about double the national average

Cons

  • Extremely high fee of $32 for transactions over six per month
Sponsors of

Teachers Federal Credit Union Money Market Account

A single money market account is available at Teachers Federal Credit Union.

Features

  • $2,500 minimum balance to open
  • Dividends compounded daily
  • Account federally insured up to $250,000

Pros

  • Special drafts issued to allow up to six check withdrawals per month

Cons

  • $5 monthly fee if balance falls below $500

Teachers Federal Credit Union CD Accounts

As far as CD account options, Teachers Federal Credit Union offers standard Share Certificates and Jumbo Certificates.

Features

  • Terms from 90 days to five years for Share Certificates
  • Terms from one month to 12 months for Jumbo Certificates
  • $1,000 minimum for standard Share Certificates
  • $100,000 minimum for Jumbo Certificates

Pros

  • Early withdrawal penalties max out at 270 days’ interest
  • Can apply for all certificates online

Cons

  • Currently, no additional earnings on Jumbo Certificates over standard Share Certificates

Banking Experience

Teachers Federal Credit Union may only have 32 branches, but it offers access to thousands of third-party branches and tens of thousands of surcharge-free ATMs across the country, providing access to customers not in its immediate service area.

Physical Branch Locations

Teachers Federal Credit Union offers 32 branches across Long Island, Manhattan and Queens. The credit union also offers access to more than 5,400 Credit Union Service Centers nationwide. In addition to the ATMs at branch locations, Teachers Federal Credit Union customers can also access more than 55,000 Allpoint ATMs free-of-charge.

Sponsors of

Mobile and Digital Experience

Customers love the mobile apps offered by Teachers Federal Credit Union. On the Google Play store, users rate the app 4.6 out of five stars, while App Store users are even more enthusiastic, granting 4.8 stars to the app. Features:

  • Account management
  • Check available balances
  • View transaction history
  • Deposit checks remotely
  • Transfer money between Teachers Federal Credit Union accounts
  • Locate branches and ATMs
  • Message customer support

How To Open an Account

You can open an account with Teachers Federal Credit Union online in about five minutes. You’ll need a driver’s license or other government-issued identification, along with your Social Security number. You’ll also need to become a member of the credit union before you can open any accounts.

Customer Service

You can reach Teachers Federal Credit Union at 800-341-4333, or 631-698-7000 if you’re within the New York Metro area. Customer service hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.

Key Information

Customer Service: 800-341-4333 or 631-698-7000 within the NY Metro area

Routing Number: 221475786

Locations: Teachers Federal Credit Union Near You

Sponsors of

Teachers Federal Credit Union Fees

For a credit union, Teachers has some notable fees. For every withdrawal transaction in excess of six per month, Teachers Federal Credit Union assesses a $32 fee.

Beyond that high fee, there is a standard range of banking fees charged by most financial institutions, including the following:

Type Amount
Dormancy fee $10 per month for accounts not used for two years and with a balance of less than $100
Non-TFCU ATM usage $1.75
Incoming wire transfers $10
Domestic wire transfer, outgoing $20
Stop payment of automatic transfer (ACH) $25
Outgoing international wire transfer, U.S. dollar to foreign currency $30
Outgoing international wire transfer, U.S. dollar to US dollar $50
Pay-by-phone service $16.50 per transaction
Signature guarantee service $0
Notary service $0

The free signature guarantee and notary services are a nice feature that many financial institutions don’t offer.

Teachers Federal Credit Union vs. Competitors

Teachers Federal Credit Union has a limited reach but still competes with both regional and national banks.

Bank Best For
Teachers Federal Credit Union Branch and ATM access
Navy Federal Credit Union Higher checking and savings rates
The Summit Federal Credit Union Deeper account roster
New England Federal Credit Union Higher certificate rates
Sponsors of

Teachers Federal Credit Union vs. Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union has the edge on Teachers when it comes to interest rates on its deposit accounts. Navy Federal pays a 0.25% APY on its savings account vs. the 0.10% APY at Teachers Federal Credit Union, and its checking account pays between 0.35% to 0.45% APY, whereas Teachers Federal Credit Union offers a 0.05% APY and only on accounts with a minimum balance of $2,500.

As opposed to the relatively broad requirements for membership at Teachers Federal Credit Union, Navy Federal has strict membership requirements. You must have ties to the military, National Guard or Department of Defense.

Teachers Federal Credit Union vs. The Summit Federal Credit Union

The Summit Federal Credit Union has a deeper account roster than Teachers Federal Credit Union, including three checking accounts — two of which are free — two money market accounts and certificates with maturities as long as 10 years.

The Summit Federal Credit Union limits ATM card withdrawals to $300 per day, less than the $500 allowed by Teachers Federal Credit Union. Incoming and outgoing wires are more expensive as well, with incoming wires costing $20 vs. the $10 at Teachers, and outgoing international wires costing $60 vs. $50, respectively.

Sponsors of

Teachers Federal Credit Union vs. NEFCU

New England Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in Vermont, but it only has seven branches. Teachers Federal Credit Union has nearly five times the number of branches as NEFCU.

NEFCU has a smaller footprint than Teachers Federal Credit Union, but it pays a higher rate of interest on most deposit accounts. Savings accounts can earn as much as a 0.20% APY, while certificates go as high as a 0.95% APY for 60-month terms with deposits of at least $25,000.

Final Take

Teachers Federal Credit Union is limited geographically to portions of New York, but its shared branch network and participation in the Allpoint ATM system mean that customers from nearly anywhere can benefit from its services. The credit union checks all the boxes in terms of basic account types, but those looking for more specialized accounts or the highest yields might not be satisfied with the credit union.

Editor’s Favorite

The Personal Checking account is a truly free, no-nonsense checking account that doesn’t require customers to jump through hoops to avoid fees. The $8 overdraft protection transfer feature is an additional benefit, as high overdraft charges are one of the primary black marks at most banks.

Teachers Federal Credit Union FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Teachers Federal Credit Union.
  • Does Teachers Federal Credit Union offer Zelle?
    • Teachers Federal Credit Union doesn't currently offer Zelle. However, the credit union's highly rated mobile app does have a feature available to transfer funds.
  • Does Teachers Federal Credit Union have free checking?
    • The Personal Checking Account at Teachers Federal Credit Union has no monthly maintenance or per-check fees.
  • When are deposits available at Teachers Federal Credit Union?
    • Certain checks, such as government and cashier's checks, are available the same day they are deposited. For other checks, the first $225 will be available the first business day after the deposit, with the balance clearing the following business day.
  • What is the daily cash withdrawal limit from ATMs?
  • Does Teachers Federal Credit Union offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • Teachers Federal Credit Union doesn't currently offer any new account signup promotions. However, unlike with most credit unions, anyone can join Teachers Federal Credit Union, and there may be promotional offers for new account signups in the future.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Feb. 3, 2021.

This content is not provided by Teachers 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 Teachers 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.

Teachers Federal Credit Union Review: Low Minimums and Wide Range of Accounts
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