VyStar Credit Union Review: Free and Low-Cost Banking at a Community Credit Union

4.8
Our Take: VyStar Credit Union provides free or low-cost banking services to eligible residents of Florida and Southeast Georgia. With more than 735,000 members, it ranks among the 20 largest credit unions in the country and is the largest mortgage lender in Northeast Florida. This VyStar Credit Union review will cover the pros and cons of banking with VyStar and how it can work for you.
  • Fees
    5.0
  • Community Presence
    4.5
  • CDs
    4.8
  • Breadth of Products
    4.8
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • No monthly service fees for checking and savings accounts
  • Interest-bearing checking options
  • Free withdrawals at more than 20,000 ATMs
  • More than 100 Vystar branches, including at Target, Costco, Walgreens, CVS and Speedway.

Cons

  • Restricted service area and membership
  • Poorly rated mobile app

About VyStar Credit Union

VyStar Credit Union got its start in 1952 as Jax Navy Federal to serve military, civil servants and the families stationed at Naval Air Station Jacksonville. The name has since been changed to VyStar and membership is now open to residents of Florida and Southeastern Georgia.

VyStar Credit Union is a good alternative to a traditional bank for those who qualify. As a member, you’ll have access to low-cost financial services and higher interest rates, known as dividends.

Sponsors of

VyStar Credit Union Products

VyStar Credit Union’s account services will cover nearly every financial need you have. Handling all your finances in one place can can simplify your life.

Products Details
Checking Accounts
  • Several accounts to choose from, including for teens, young adults and seniors
  • No monthly service fees
  • Annual percentage yield of 0.10%
  • Overdraft protection available
Savings Accounts
  • Start with a $5 deposit
  • No monthly service fee
  • Earn 0.10% APY on balances of $50 or more
  • Numerous options, including Health Savings, Education Savings and Holiday Savings
Money Market Accounts
  • No minimum balance requirement
  • Check writing allowed
  • 0.20% to 0.40% APY
CD Accounts
  • Terms between three months and five years
  • APY of 0.25% to 1.10%
  • $500 minimum balance
Personal Loans
  • Personal loans
  • Vehicle loans
  • Adoption lines of credit
  • Emergency relief loans
Home Loans
  • Mortgages
  • Refinancing
  • Home equity loans and lines of credit
Individual Retirement Accounts
  • Traditional or Roth

VyStar Credit Union’s accounts are designed for different types of customers. Here’s a closer look at each type.

VyStar Credit Union Checking Accounts

Like many of the best checking accounts, VyStar’s checking accounts let you earn interest and don’t charge any monthly service fees. Not only that, but you also won’t get charged fees for incoming wire transfers, official checks, stop payments and bank transfers.

Sponsors of

Features

  • Regular checking account as well as accounts for teens, students, young adults and seniors
  • Linked checking and savings for automatic overdraft coverage
  • Earns interest

Pros

  • Low or no fees
  • Free ATM withdrawals at more than 20,000 ATMs
  • 0.10% APY on balances over $50

Cons

  • Must open Regular Savings account to get checking account

VyStar Credit Union Savings Accounts

To get started with VyStar Credit Union, you’ll need to open a Regular Savings account first. All you need is $5 for the initial deposit. You can use savings accounts to save for goals or to set up as your overdraft backup account. In addition to the Regular account, VyStar offers a Kids Club account for young savers and a Holiday account to put money aside for Christmas.

Features

  • No monthly service fees
  • Can be linked to a checking account to serve as overdraft backup
  • Direct deposit available

Pros

  • Start with as little as $5
  • Earn 0.10% APY on balances of $50 or more

Cons

  • No high-yield options
  • Withdrawals and transfers limited to six per month or your account might be closed
Sponsors of

VyStar Credit Union Money Market Accounts

A VyStar money market account will pay you the highest available dividend while still allowing you to write checks and pay bills. There are no minimum balance requirements to open or maintain an account.

Features

  • No minimum opening or monthly balance requirement
  • Check writing allowed
  • 0.20% to 0.40% APY

Pros

  • Competitive rates
  • Tiered interest increases as your balance grows
  • Overdraft protection available

Cons

  • Limited to six transfers or withdrawals per month

VyStar Credit Union CD Accounts

Finding the best CD rates takes some shopping around. Traditional CDs will lock your money in for a determined amount of time, but you typically can’t make withdrawals or deposits without penalties. Vystar Credit Union offers traditional CDs and an 18-Month Step Up Certificate. With the Step Up Certificate, you can continue to deposit $2,000 or more at a time during the 18-month term.

Features

  • Terms from three months to five years
  • APY ranges from 0.25% to 1.10%
  • $500 minimum to open

Pros

  • High APY compared to other banks
  • Variety of terms to choose from
  • Step Up Certificate lets you add money
Sponsors of

Cons

  • Early withdrawals may be subject to a penalty

Banking Experience

VyStar Credit Union aims to provide a friendly, community-focused experience for members. It offers a variety of ways to do your banking, including at physical branches and ATMs, online or using the mobile app.

Customer Service

If you need help, visit a local branch or call customer service seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m at 1-800-445-6289 or 904-777-6000.

Accessibility and Branch Availability

Most of VyStar’s more than 100 branches are in Florida, but it also has 11 in Georgia. Some branches and ATMs are located in retail stores such as Target, Walgreens, CVS and Speedway. Branch hours may vary, so check online or call ahead to find out when your local branch is open.

Mobile and Digital Experience

VyStar Bank could improve the mobile app experience. According to user reviews, the app is often down and can be glitchy. Here’s how it scores with users:

Sponsors of

Like most mobile banking apps, VyStar’s app lets you handle a number of banking tasks. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Manage your account
  • Review recent transactions and balances
  • Pay bills
  • Make mobile deposits
  • Find the nearest ATM

VyStar secures your accounts and information online using multifactor authentication (MFA), timed log out, encryption and firewalls.

Convenience and Ease of Use

Based on Vystar Bank customer reviews, the online banking platform seems to be more reliable than the mobile app. Both provide basic services. For everything else, call customer service or visit a local branch.

How To Open an Account

To open a bank account with VyStar, you’ll first need to sign up for membership online, at a branch or by mail. Membership is available to those who live or work in select Florida and Georgia counties, as well as their families. Once you’re approved for membership, you’ll need to open a Regular savings account with at least $5. You’ll need the following to open an account:

  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Current bank account and routing number for the first deposit
  • Email address
Sponsors of

Key Information

Customer Service Number: 800-445-6289 or 904-777-6000

Routing Number: 263079276

Login: VyStar Credit Union Login Help

Locations: VyStar Credit Union Near You

VyStar Credit Union Fees

Like most financial institutions, Vystar Credit Union charges fees for certain activities and services. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common fees:

Type Amount
Monthly maintenance None
Returned item $8
Wire transfer (incoming) None
Wire transfer (outgoing) $15
NSF $32

VyStar Credit Union vs. Competitors

Before settling on a financial institution, it’s always a good idea to see how it compares to the competition. Here’s how VyStar stacks up against some of its rivals.

Credit Union Best For
VyStar Credit Union Wide range of products and services for residents of Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia
Georgia United Credit Union North Georgia residents looking for more branch locations
Alliant Credit Union High APY on digital savings accounts
Jax Federal Credit Union Access to branches nationwide

VyStar Credit Union vs. Georgia United Credit Union

Although VyStar serves both Florida and parts of southeastern Georgia, it only has 11 branches in the Peach State. If you live in Georgia and prefer more access to physical branches, Georgia United Credit Union is a good option. It lists 19 branches on its website — many in and around Atlanta and other locations in the northern part of the state, where VyStar doesn’t have a presence.

VyStar Credit Union vs. Alliant Credit Union

Whereas VyStar’s membership is restricted to Florida and Georgia, membership to Alliant is available to anyone in the country willing to join Foster Care to Success. Joining is worth it if you want to earn a high return on your money — Alliant’s online savings accounts earn up to 0.55% on $100 balances or more, compared to VyStar’s 0.10% APY.

VyStar Credit Union vs. Jax Federal Credit Union

VyStar and Jax Federal Credit Union both started in Jacksonville and offer checking and savings accounts, but VyStar’s offerings are more diverse. However, Jax provides customers with 5,000 shared branch locations nationwide.

Final Take

VyStar’s range of products and services, including free checking and savings accounts, make it a good option for people who live in its service area. Opening an account with VyStar is simple — just apply online or visit a nearby branch to get started.

Editor’s Favorite

VyStar Credit Union’s 18-Month Step Up Certificate is a standout feature, giving you a chance to reach your savings goals faster. You’ll lock in savings at a higher interest rate and have the ability to deposit $2,000 or more at a time during the 18-month term.

VyStar Credit Union FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about VyStar Credit Union.
  • Does Vystar Credit Union offer free money for signing up for an account?
    • VyStar doesn't currently offer cash bonuses when you sign up, but check the website regularly to see if there are any future promotions.
  • How long do Vystar Credit Union deposits take to clear?
    • VyStar typically makes check and cash deposits available on the same business day the deposit was received.
  • How many withdrawals or transfers can I make from my Vystar savings account?
    • You can make only make six "reauthorized, automatic, internet or telephone transfers and withdrawals" to comply with federal regulations. VyStar might close your account if you exceed the limit.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Feb. 5, 2021.

This content is not provided by VyStar 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 VyStar Credit Union.

Is this your bank?

Stay Up to Date on the Latest From Your Bank

Keep a good thing going with top financial tips and advice from GOBankingRates.

Please enter an email.
Please enter a valid email address.
There was an unknown error. Please try again later.

Thank You For Signing Up!

Get ready to receive top financial tips from the experts at GOBankingRates.

Take Advantage of our Best Offer(s)

About the Author

Cynthia Paez Bowman is a personal finance writer with degrees from American University in international business and journalism. Besides writing about personal finance, she writes about real estate, interior design and architecture. Her work has been featured in MSN, Brex, Freshome, MyMove, Emirates’ Open Skies magazine and more.

VyStar Credit Union Review: Free and Low-Cost Banking at a Community Credit Union
Close popup livericher_png

We're here to help you Live Richer.

Sign up to receive our daily weekday newsletter with the latest finance and lifestyle content.

Loading...
Please enter an email.
Please enter a valid email address.
There was an unknown error. Please try again later.

For our full Privacy Policy, click here.