Wings Financial Credit Union Review: Regional Institution Offers Full Lineup of Products

GOBankingRates Score

4.8
Quick Take: Wings Financial Credit Union has a lot to offer customers, including fee-free accounts and high annual percentage yields. But its main appeal will be for residents who live in the credit union's limited geographical reach, which mainly encompasses metro areas in and around Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. 
  • Fees
    4.5
  • APYs
    5.0
  • Breadth of Products
    5.0
  • Account Minimums
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

Pros

  • No-fee checking, savings and money market accounts
  • Interest-bearing checking account
  • High-yield CDs
  • High-yield savings account with robust APY

Cons

  • Limited geographic reach
  • Low APY for its Share Savings account

About Wings Financial Credit Union

Wings Financial Credit Union was founded in Minneapolis in 1938 by seven Northwest Airlines employees. It now boasts more than $7.5 billion in assets and over 320,000 members. Members have access to 27 branch locations in Minnesota, two in Michigan, and one each in Florida, Georgie and Washington. They also get the use of more than 80,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide. 

The credit union offers a variety of checking, savings, money market, IRA and CD accounts in addition to auto, home and personal loans. GOBankingRates has ranked it as one of the Top 100 Banks and Best Credit Unions of 2022

Checking Accounts

Wings Financial offers two types of checking accounts: First Class Checking and High-Yield Checking. Both are interest-bearing accounts with no monthly service fees and free bill payer service. Both carry a $5 minimum to open.  

First Class Checking pays an APY of 0.01%. Members also can earn rewards points with this account. 

High-Yield Checking pays an excellent APY of 1.76% on the first $25,000 and 0.01% on amounts over $25,000. It does not offer rewards points. To earn the higher dividend rate, members must be enrolled in eDocuments, have ACH direct deposit(s) totaling over $300 in the 34 calendar days preceding the last day of the month and have 15 net PIN or signature point-of-sale debit card transactions over $5 in the 34 calendar days preceding the last day of the month.

Savings Accounts

Wings Financial Credit Union offers three primary savings accounts: Share Savings, High-Yield Savings and Money Manager Savings. None has a monthly service fee. Share Savings has a $5 minimum balance to open, while the two other accounts have no minimum opening requirement.  

Share Savings and Money Manager Savings both pay an APY of 0.15%, with interest compounded and credited quarterly.  

High-Yield Savings offers tiered interest rates, with interest compounded and credited monthly. The APY is 0.10% for balances up to $10,000; 0.30% for balances of $10,000 to $49,999; 0.35% for balances of $50,000 to $249,999 and 0.45% for balances of $250,000 and higher.  

Wings Financial also offers a Holiday Club Account that pays a 0.15% APY. Other savings products include a Custodial Savings Account for minors, a Coverdell Education Savings Accounts and an IRA Savings Account.

Money Market Account

Wings Financial offers a single primary Money Market Account with no monthly fees. Interest rates are tiered, though you must have at least $5,000 in the account to earn interest. The APY is 0.15% for balances of $5,000 to $49,999; 0.20% for balances of $50,000 to $99,999; and 0.25% for balances of $100,000 and higher.

Certificates

Certificates are the credit union equivalent of CDs, and Wings Financial offers certificates with maturities between three months and five years. It also offers a 12-Month Add-On certificate and a 5-Year Step-Up certificate. There is a $500 minimum to open. Members can get some outstanding rates on CDs, as long as they keep a lot of money in the account.  

The APY for regular certificates varies by the term and balance. It ranges from 0.15% for a three-month certificate with a balance of $500 to $9,999.99, to an APY of 1.36% for a 5-year certificate with a balance of $250,000 or higher.  

The 12-Month Add-On certificate allows unlimited deposits of $50 or more for the initial term. It pays an APY of 0.45%.  

The Step-Up Certificate can be stepped up one time, with the current 5-year standard term certificate rate applying to the remaining term of the certificate. The current APY ranges from 1.06% for balances of $500 to $9,999.99 to 1.21% for balances of $250,000 or higher.

How Wings Financial Earned Its Scores

Fees

Wings Financial Credit Union charges no fees on its basic banking accounts, including checking, savings, money market and CD accounts. But some of its other fees can get expensive, such as a $30 overdraft fee per item and $30 stop payment fee per check. Wire transfers are $30 for domestic and $50 for international.

APYs

Wings Financial offers some of the best rates you’ll find anywhere, including 1.76% for High-Yield Checking balances up to $25,000; up to 0.45% for High-Yield Savings; and 1.36% for a 5-year certificate with a balance of $250,000 or higher.

Breadth of Products

Wings Financial Credit Union might be a regional institution, but it still offers a full lineup of banking products that most customers need, including checking, savings and money market accounts, CDs, IRAs, credit cards and loans.

Account Minimums

There is no minimum balance requirement to open a checking account or High-Yield Savings account. But you have to have at least $5,000 in the Money Market account to earn any interest, and certificates have a $500 minimum to open.

Editor’s Favorite

Two of Wings Financial Credit Union’s main strengths are the robust APYs available on its High-Yield Checking account and certificates and the lack of fees on most basic banking accounts.

Wings Financial Credit Union vs. Competitors

It’s a good idea to consider all of your options before you select a financial institution. Here’s a look at how Wings Financial stacks up against a few of its competitors.

BANK BEST FOR
Wings Credit Union High APYs and low fees for customers in its service area
Central Minnesota Credit Union Numerous options for personal and business accounts
 Ally Bank A wide product lineup for online banking customers
Navy Federal Credit Union Very high certificate APYs for those with ties to the U.S armed forces, Defense Department and National Guard

Wings Financial Credit Union vs. Central Minnesota Credit Union

Central Minnesota Credit Union has a wider range of business accounts and solutions, but Wings Financial gets the nod for the higher APY on its High-Yield Checking account.

Wings Financial Credit Union vs. Ally Bank

Ally offers more products than Wings Financial, especially in terms of investment options, but it can’t match Wings Financial when it comes to high-yield checking rates.

Wings Financial Credit Union vs. Navy Federal Credit Union

Not even Wings Financial can match the 3.00% APY that Navy Federal offers on its Special EasyStart Certificate. However, you have to have direct ties to either the armed forces, U.S. Department of Defense or National Guard to join Navy Federal, which means many residents in Wings Financial’s service area won’t qualify. 

Final Take

Wings Financial Credit Union has a limited geographical reach, and that’s a shame because the credit union has features that many customers would enjoy, ranging from no-fee accounts to high overall APYs. Those in need of more complex banking transactions, such as home loans or IRAs, also will find those available at the credit union, which elevates it over online banks with limited offerings.

Wings Financial Credit Union FAQ

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Wings Financial Credit Union.
  • How do I become a member?
    • You can join Wings Financial Credit Union by opening a Share Savings account with a $5 deposit. Here are some ways to qualify for membership:
      • - If you live or work in the Seattle-Tacoma, Detroit, Orlando or Atlanta metro areas, or an eligible Minnesota or Wisconsin county
      • - If you or an immediate family member are employees of airlines, government agencies working with the aviation industry, or work at an airport directly with air freight, air courier or air transportation
      • - If your immediate family members are current Wings members or members of the Wings Financial Foundation
  • Is Wings Financial FDIC insured?
    • No. However, depositors are still protected up to $250,000 via the National Credit Union Administration. The only difference is that FDIC insurance applies to banks, and NCUA insurance applies to credit unions.
  • Does Wings Financial Credit Union offer free money for signing up for an account? 
    • Wings Financial Credit Union occasionally runs promotions that offer free money for opening an account. Its most recent one, which offered a $300 checking bonus for new members who open an account at a branch, expired on Dec. 31, 2021.

Vance Cariaga contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 12, 2022.

This content is not provided by Wings Financial 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 Wings Financial 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.

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