United Nations Federal Credit Union Review: Competitive Rates and No Monthly Fees

GOBankingRates Score

4.6
Quick Take: United Nations Federal Credit Union offers some advantages in its minimum opening deposits, monthly fees and rates. However, you have to belong to a select group of people to qualify for membership.
  • Minimum Opening Deposits
    4.8
  • Monthly Fees
    5.0
  • Customer Service
    4.5
  • Rates
    4.0
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • Membership available to non-U.S. citizens
  • Member loyalty program
  • Premium APY offered on checking account

Cons

  • Limited membership criteria
  • No money market account offered

About United Nations Federal Credit Union

United Nations Federal Credit Union, which is headquartered in Long Island City, New York, opened in 1947 to serve the financial needs of international United Nations staff members who were relocating to New York City and needed banking services for non-U.S. citizens. Membership is open to individuals with a connection to the U.N. or affiliated agencies, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Family members of these individuals are also eligible.

UNFCU has three U.S. branch locations in total — two in New York and one in Washington, D.C. The credit union also has a US Mortgage Service Center in Virginia. Additionally, UNFCU offers its members access to services at more than 5,400 shared branches through its CO-OP partner network.

GOBankingRates named UNFCU one of the Best Credit Unions and Top 100 Banks for 2022 in its annual Best Banks rankings. Read on to find out why.

Checking Accounts

United Nations Federal Credit Union offers one checking account. Here are the details.

Checking Account

This free account, which features a 0.05% APY, has no monthly service fee or minimum balance requirement. However, the account’s balance can qualify you for membership rewards. The account is also eligible for a premium APY of 1.00% on the first $15,000 of your balance, and qualifying is easy. Simply opt to receive electronic statements and make up to 10 debit card purchases per month. You’ll also receive free personalized checks — all you have to do is pay tax and shipping.

Savings Accounts

When it comes to savings accounts, UNFCU just offers one. Here’s what you need to know.

High-Yield Savings Account

 UNFCU’s High-Yield Savings account offers tiered dividend rates depending on your balance — from 0.05% to 0.20% APY. To qualify for the highest rate, your account balance will need to be at least $50,000. However, the account has no monthly service fee or minimum balance, so that means you can earn with any balance and won’t have to worry about having your dividends eaten up by service fees. Like the UNFCU checking account, this account is also eligible for Member Loyalty Rewards.

CD Rates

Share certificates are the credit union version of CDs, and UNFCU has four types to choose from. Balances count toward Member Loyalty Rewards.

Standard Certificates

Standard certificates are offered in terms of three to 60 months and require a $500 minimum opening deposit. Annual percentage yields increase with your balance and are as follows:

  • Three-month CDs: 0.10% APY
  • Six-month CDs: 0.15% APY
  • 12-month CDs: 0.20% APY
  • 18-month CDs: 0.25% APY
  • 24-month CDs: 0.35% APY
  • 36-month CDs: 0.45% APY
  • 60-month CDs: 0.80% APY

Simple Saver Certificates

Members can open a 24-month Simple Saver certificate with a minimum opening deposit of $250 and deposit additional funds to the account at any time throughout the term. The certificate offers a 0.35% APY. Plus, if you make at least two deposits and have a minimum balance of $2,500 at maturity, you’ll receive a $25 bonus.

Impact Certificates

You can grow your savings while supporting environmental and social initiatives by opening an Impact certificate. A minimum opening deposit of $500 is required to open the 12-month CD, which offers 0.20% APY.

Flex Rate Certificates

Flex Rate certificates require a minimum opening deposit of at least $500 and offer a 0.40% APY. If your certificate rate increases during your initial term, you can request a one-time rate increase. You’ll begin earning the new rate on the day UNFCU receives your request, and it will remain in effect until the certificate’s maturity date.

Banking Experience

GOBankingRates gave UNFCU an overall score of 4.6 for the following four areas of its banking experience. Here are the details.

Minimum Opening Deposits

When it comes to minimum opening deposits, the only accounts that require them are the credit union’s share certificates. Checking and savings options do not require a minimum opening amount. Simple Saver certificates require a low minimum opening balance of $250, while Standard, Impact and Flex Rate certificates require an affordable minimum opening balance of $500.

Monthly Fees

Monthly fees are another expense UNFCU opts to spare its members. While many financial institutions charge monthly maintenance fees on their accounts, and some offer conditions for having those fees waived, UNFCU does neither. There are simply no monthly fees.

Customer Service

UNFCU’s customer service stands out because no matter what time of the day (or night) you have a question you need answered or an issue you need resolved, you can reach a credit union representative to assist you. Call 800-891-2471 from the U.S., or if you’re calling from another country, you can find a toll-free number on the UNFCU website. WebChat is also available 24 hours per day if you’d prefer that to calling. You can also reach the bank via Skype at unfcu.skype. For English-speaking members, global phone appointments are also available, which you can set up here, and the credit union will contact you.

Rates

United Nations Federal Credit Union offers its members competitive rates, including up to 1.00% premium APY on its checking account, up to 0.20% APY on its High-Yield Savings account, and certificate rates that range from 0.10% to 0.80% APY.

Editor’s Favorite

The premium APY of 1.00% on a checking account balance up to $15,000 is pretty impressive. Plus, it’s easy to qualify for: You only need to opt in to electronic statements and complete 10 debit card transactions.

United Nations Federal Credit Union vs. Competitors

When trying to decide whether a financial institution is right for you, it can help to compare it to its competitors. Here’s how UNFCU stacks up.

United Nations Federal Credit Union vs. Pentagon Federal Credit Union

PenFed has more than one checking and savings option, and UNFCU does not. However, UNFCU’s interest-bearing checking account does not have a monthly maintenance fee like PenFed’s interest-bearing checking does — plus, its premium rate of 0% APY beats PenFed’s best rate of 0.35%.

United Nations Federal Credit Union vs. People’s Trust Federal Credit Union

People’s Trust Federal Credit Union has more competitive APYs on its certificates than UNFCU does. For example, PTFCU’s 60-month certificate offers up from 0.88% to 0.96% APY, while UNFCU’s highest rate for a 60-month certificate is 0.80% APY. However, PTFCU’s interest-bearing checking option only pays up to 0.05% APY, whereas you can earn up to 1.00% APY with UNFCU.

United Nations Federal Credit Union vs. Altra Federal Credit Union

Altra Federal Credit Union offers money market accounts, while UNFCU does not. However, Altra requires a $1,000 minimum opening deposit for its CDs, while UNFCU requires a much lower opening deposit — either $250 or $500, which makes it easier to open one or more certificates.

Final Take

UNFCU membership is open only to individuals associated with the United Nations. However, if you qualify for membership, the credit union offers various advantages, such as no or low minimum opening deposits, no monthly maintenance fees and competitive rates.

United Nations Federal Credit Union FAQ

Here are answers to some of the more commonly asked questions about United Nations Federal Credit Union.
  • What is United Nations Federal Credit Union's routing number?
    • UNFCU's routing number is 2260-7860-9. 
  • How safe is UNFCU?
    • UNFCU is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration. Deposits are insured up to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government and the NCUA, which is a U.S. government agency. 
  • How do I transfer money to my UNFCU account?
    • You can transfer money to your UNFCU account from an outside account via wire transfer. You'll find the information you need to provide to the sender on the UNFCU website.

Daria Uhlig contributed to the reporting for this article.

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

This article has been updated to clarify the number of UNFCU branch locations in the U.S.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by United Nations 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 United Nations Federal Credit Union.

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About the Author

Cynthia Measom is a personal finance writer and editor with over 12 years of collective experience. Her articles have been featured in MSN, AOL, Yahoo Finance, INSIDER, Houston Chronicle, The Seattle Times and The Network Journal. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
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