Third Federal Savings & Loan Review: High Returns on Savings Products

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Third Federal Savings and Loan
GOBankingRates Best Banks 2023 scores and rankings are objectively determined by our research/editorial team. Our scoring formula weighs several factors that differ from category to category depending on what consumers want from varying products and banks.
Quick Take:Third Federal Savings & Loan doesn't offer as many account options as other banks, but the accounts it does offer let you earn very good returns on your money. It has a limited geographic reach so is best suited for those who live in its service area.
  • High-Interest Options
  • Range of Products
  • Fees
  • Minimums
How did we calculate this?


  • High interest rates compared with other banks
  • Low minimums on checking and savings accounts
  • No or low monthly fees


  • Small lineup of options
  • Limited geographic reach
  • Large balances required to get the best savings rates

Third Federal Savings & Loan Overview

Based in Cleveland, Third Federal Savings & Loan provides traditional banking products and services such as checking and savings accounts and mortgage loans. It was founded in 1938, so it has a long track record. Third Federal makes loans in 25 states and the District of Columbia, but most of its focus is in Northeast Ohio, where it operates 21 full-service branches. It also has seven lending offices in Central and Southern Ohio as well as 16 full-service branches in Florida.

Make Your Money Work For You

Third Federal is a publicly traded company that trades on the Nasdaq under the TFSL symbol.


Third Federal Savings & Loan doesn’t have a huge lineup of savings products, but it does offer the basics in terms of checking and savings accounts. Here’s a quick rundown.


You get one checking account option at Third Federal – High-Yield Checking. It comes in three different tiers, depending on your balance, and pays very competitive interest rates.

The $12 monthly service charge is waived if you maintain an average daily balance of $1,500 in your High-Yield Checking Account or $1,500 in total balances across all Third Federal deposit accounts. The account comes with a Third Federal Debit Card that lets you make purchases everywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted. You can also use the card to withdraw cash from your checking account at any Fifth Third Bank ATM.

Here’s a look at the different tiers (annual percentage yields current as of May 22, 2023):

  • Tier 1: $10 minimum to open; $10 minimum to get APY; APY of 0.15%
  • Tier 2: $10 minimum to open; $5,000 minimum to get APY; APY of 0.45%
  • Tier 3: $10 minimum to open; $25,000 minimum to get APY; APY of 1.00%
Make Your Money Work For You


Third Federal Savings & Loan offers a single High-Yield Savings Account that comes in three different tiers. You can open this account as a regular savings account or as an IRA account. There are no monthly fees and no limit on the number of monthly transactions.

Here are the savings rates for all three tiers as of May 22, 2023:

  • Tier 1: $10 minimum to open; $10 minimum to get APY; APY of 0.15%
  • Tier 2: $10 minimum to open; $25,000 minimum to get APY; APY of 1.00%
  • Tier 3: $10 minimum to open; $100,000 minimum to get APY; APY of 1.25%

Certificates of Deposit

Third Federal offers a dizzying array of CDs with terms ranging from three months to 72 months, and many come with very competitive rates. All CDs require a $500 minimum to open, with the exception of Retirement CDs, which have a $100 minimum. While Third Federal’s standard CD rates aren’t remarkably high, you can typically choose from a wide selection of special and bonus CD offers that pay out generous returns that can reach 4%-5% APY.

You can open your CD over the phone by calling 1-800-THIRD-FED, online at, or at a full-service branch.

Make Your Money Work For You

Retirement Accounts

Third Federal offers two types of Individual Retirement Accounts — Traditional and Roth — as well as a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP). If you have an existing IRA and want to transfer it to Third Federal, its team will handle all the details, from filling out the paperwork to contacting the financial institutions. To speak with an IRA representative, call 1-877-324-5661.

Mobile App

Third Federal’s mobile app is compatible with Google Android and Apple IOS and lets you handle a number of functions. You can manage your accounts, view balances, make loan payments and check deposits, renew CDs and transfer money between accounts all within the app. The app has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 on Google Play and a rating of 4.8 on the Apple Store.

Fees and Minimums

Third Federal Savings & Loan charges a $12 monthly service charge on its checking account, but this can be waived if you maintain an average daily balance of $1,500 in your High-Yield Checking Account or $1,500 in total balances across all Third Federal deposit accounts. There is no monthly fee for savings accounts.

Make Your Money Work For You

The normal fees are also charged for certain other items, such as $36 for returned checks and stop payments. For more information on these fees, check Third Federal’s fee schedule.

There is a $10 minimum to open each of the tiered checking accounts as well as each of the tiered savings accounts. Standard, special and bonus CD options have a $500 minimum to open. Retirement CDs have a $100 minimum.

Customer Service

Third Federal’s customer care number is 844-798-7784 (TDD216-429-5160). Hours are 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday; 8:30 a.m.-6 pm ET on Friday; and 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. The customer service department is not open on Sunday. You can also call the Personal MoneyLine 24 hours a day at 888-521-5512.

Another option is to contact customer service through Third Federal’s online secure messaging tool. If you want a loan representative to call you, you can fill out an online form.

How to Apply

You can open some Third Federal accounts by navigating to the account and clicking the “Open Now” button. Otherwise, you can visit a branch or call customer service at 844-798-7784. To open a CD account, call 800-THIRD-FED.

Make Your Money Work For You

Who It’s Best For

Third Federal works best for customers who want a good return on their money and don’t require a big menu of products. If you prefer in-person banking, it is best for those who live in its Ohio and Florida service areas.

How Third Federal Savings & Loan Earned its Scores

High-Interest Options

This is where Third Federal stands out — offering much-better-than-average APYs on its checking, savings, and CD accounts.

Range of Products

You basically have one option for both checking and regular savings, though you can earn different rates with different balances. You can also open CDs and retirement accounts at Third Federal.


There is a $12 monthly service fee for the checking account, and you’ll need to keep at least $1,500 with Third Federal to waive it. There is no savings account fee, however.


With only a $10 minimum to open a checking or savings account and begin earning interest, you don’t need to make a huge deposit at Third Federal. The $500 minimum to open a CD account is in line with most banks.

Good to Know

All Third Federal customers are automatically enrolled in its Loyalty Perks program. Perks include a 0.25% discount off Home Equity Loan rates, $250 off closing costs for any Third Federal purchase mortgage, and one free rate revision on your next Third Federal mortgage.

Third Federal Savings & Loan vs. Competitors

Third Federal’s main competition comes from other regional financial institutions that serve Ohio and surrounding states. Here’s a look at how it stacks up against a couple of rivals.

Third Federal Savings & Loan vs. First Commonwealth Bank

First Commonwealth Bank offers a wider selection of options when it comes to checking and savings accounts. However, Third Federal gets the nod when it comes to higher interest rates on its accounts.

Third Federal Savings & Loan vs. Union Savings Bank

Similarly, Cincinnati-based Union Savings Bank offers more account options than Third Federal, but Third Federal has lower minimums and better rates on most accounts.

Final Take

If you want your money to work for you, Third Federal Savings & Loan is a very good option. You can earn competitive interest rates on checking and savings balances with low or no fees.


Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Third Federal Savings & Loan.
  • Is Third Federal Savings & Loan FDIC-insured?
    • Yes, Third Federal Savings & Loan deposit accounts are FDIC insured up to $250,000 per depositor for each account ownership category.
  • How many locations does Third Federal have?
    • Third Federal has 21 full-service branches in Northeast Ohio. It also has seven lending offices in Central and Southern Ohio as well as 16 full-service branches in Florida.

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