Wright-Patt Credit Union Review: Low-Cost Banking for Southwest and Central Ohio

GOBankingRates Score

4.6
Quick Take: Wright-Patt Credit Union services individuals in Ohio and makes the GOBankingRates Top 100 Banks of 2022 rankings for the low fees and competitive rates you'd expect from a credit union. A comprehensive selection of accounts is another selling point. The following Wright-Patt Credit Union review highlights what you need to know before opening an account. 
  • Rates
    4.5
  • Fees
    5.0
  • Customer Service
    4.5
  • Opening Deposit Requirements
    4.5
How did we calculate this?

Start this Wright-Patt Credit Union review with a quick look at the financial institution’s strengths and weaknesses.

Pros

  • Totally Fair Checking comes with no monthly service fees and Purchase Rewards for debit card transactions.
  • EasySaver debit card round-ups allow you to set aside small change on all your card purchases.
  • Access to over 40,000 ATMs
  • Individuals who work, study, live or worship in Ohio are eligible to bank with the credit union.

Cons

  • $1,000 minimum daily balance requirement for Checking with Dividends
  • Service fees can vary depending on the membership tier.
  • $5 debit/ATM card replacement fee

Overview of Wright-Patt Credit Union

Since the early 1930s, Wright-Patt Credit Union has strived to give back to the community by providing superior service and quality financial products and services to qualified members. Ranked by Forbes Media as the best Ohio credit union in 2019 and one of the Top 100 Banks of 2022 in the latest GOBankingRates study, WPCU serves residents of the Southwest and Central Ohio counties, military service personnel and employees of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and Wright State University students, faculty members, staff members and alumni.

In addition to the Ohio branch locations — “member centers,” in WPCU parlance — credit union members can access shared banking locations nationwide, plus 40,000 ATMs with no or low fees.

Wright-Patt Credit Union Review Product Details

Much like a traditional bank, WPCU offers a variety of products and services you would expect from a financial institution. However, there are also several unique, customer-oriented programs for members. Here are the personal products and services that Wright-Patt Credit Union offers:

Wright-Patt Credit Union Checking Accounts

WPCU has three personal checking account products offering checking solutions built around the different ways members do their banking. Each account offers unique benefits and rewards.

There are no monthly service charges or minimum balance requirements with Checking with Dividends and CentsibleSpend accounts, although you’ll need to open a Centsible Spend account with at least $25. Checking with Dividends requires a $1,000 minimum opening deposit and minimum balance. You’ll earn 0.04% APY on your balances up to $24,999.99 and 0.08% on balances of $25,000 and higher.

Debit card purchases made from Wright-Patt checking accounts are eligible for the Purchase Rewards Program to earn cash back.

Wright-Patt Credit Union Savings Accounts

WPCU savings accounts include a high-yield, club, youth, custodial and health savings account with no monthly service fees. Members ages 17 to 24 can sign up for Student Essentials, a basic savings account with higher rates when combined with a checking account.

For the highest APY, open a True Saver account. The first $500 earns a 6.00% APY, followed by 0.15% for amounts over $500. Youth and custodial accounts are eligible for TrueSaver rates, all with a minimum opening balance requirement of $5.

Wright-Patt Credit Union Money Market Accounts

When it comes to money market accounts, WPCU offers some of the best account benefits for its members. Access your funds at a branch with a check or electronically through mobile or online banking. You can also utilize WPCU ATMs.

Tiered rates increase as the balance grows with a $100 minimum to earn 0.15% and at least $30,000 for the highest yield of 0.30% APY. Free checks are available with a $10,000 balance or higher.

Wright-Patt Credit Union CD Rates

WACU’s share certificates — the credit-union equivalent of a certificate of deposit — have a low opening deposit of $500 and a variety of terms between six and 72 months to choose from. Jumbo certificates require a $100,000 minimum.

Rates range between 0.40% and 0.95% APY for regular certificates and 0.50% and 1.06% for the jumbo certificates, which require the $100,000 minimum. Compare the best CD rates before committing your funds for an extended term.

Best Features of Wright-Patt Credit Union

Wright-Patt Credit Union’s biggest selling features boil down to four: rates, fees, opening deposit requirements and customer service.

Rates

Credit unions aren’t for-profit and pass the savings on to members in the form of better interest rates and fewer fees. Wright-Patt’s rates on its deposit accounts beat many of the largest banks’.

Fees

In addition, fees are comparatively low, with no service fees on its checking and savings accounts.

Opening Deposit Requirements

There are minimal requirements to open an account. Some accounts may require just $5, considered the membership share amount. Others such as a money market require $100, or $500 for traditional CDs.

Customer Service

All in all, the low fees, favorable rates and minimal opening deposit requirements are part of the excellent customer service experience provided to members.

Editor’s Favorite

Low fees and competitive rates make WPCU an excellent value. For example, the money market account has no monthly fee, requires an opening deposit of just $100 and earns rates of 0.15% to 0.30%, depending on the balance.

The Checking With Dividends account is also a great deal. The monthly service fee is only $5, and can be waived when you maintain a $1,000 minimum balance. The account pays to 0.08% APY, depending on the balance.

Banking Experience

WPCU lets you bank the way you want to. Stop in at a member center or shared banking center, or take advantage of online and mobile banking. Members also have access to over 40,000 low- and no-cost ATMs.

Eligibility

The following individuals can qualify for membership:

  • Live, work, worship or attend school in one of the southwestern/central Ohio counties WPCU serves
  • Military and civilian employees of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
  • Military personnel who don’t have access to another credit union and live in a 14-county area adjacent to the Fairborn area
  • Wright State University students, alumni and employees
  • Select others associated through various affinity groups
  • Eligible family members of current WPCU members

Customer Service

Members have several ways to get in touch with a WPCU representative. They can fill out a question/feedback form on the website, access the 24-hour line at 800-336-7277, call the Member Help Center at 800-762-0047 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. or write to WPCU at 3560 Pentagon Blvd., Beavercreek, Ohio, 45431-1706.

Accessibility and Branch Availability

WPCU offers over 35 branches, some with drive-thru windows throughout Southwest and Central Ohio. There are also 5,300 shared branching locations.

Mobile and Digital Experience

WPCU has a full suite of digital services that let you manage your finances at home or on the go. Sign up for electronic statements and account notifications, track accounts you have with WPCU and other financial institutions and take advantage of budgeting tools to track spending and pay off your debt.

To bank from your phone or another mobile device, download WPCU’s mobile app for Android or Apple. You can use the app to pay bills, deposit checks, pay WPCU loans and transfer money between accounts. The app’s Popmoney feature, which is similar to Zelle, lets you send money to family and friends. And you can activate Purchase Rewards for cash back on purchases you make using your debit card.

The app has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple Store and about the same rating on Google Play.

Convenience and Ease of Use

Between the member and shared banking center locations and digital tools, banking with WPCU scores high points for ease and convenience.

How To Open an Account

You must be a member to open an account. You will need to first meet the eligibility requirements and choose the TrueSaver Savings Account as one of your required account options, in addition to any other accounts you might wish to open.

Fees

Credit unions are member-owned, so their fees tend to be lower than banks’. That’s certainly the case with WCPU. The CentsibleSpend monthly maintenance fee is just $4, and the $19 overdraft fee is also low — and completely avoidable. Here are some other common fees charged by WPCU.

Fee Amount
One-time membership share purchase $5
ATM $0 to use WPCU-owned ATMs
-$0 for up to six transactions at non-WPCU ATMs, depending on the account, and $.60 per transaction after that
Teller transaction -Free for Young Adult, Advantage and Premier members-
$2 each for Associate members-
$2 after the first four per month for Partner members
Non-sufficient funds/overdraft $19
Returned item $10
Overdraft transfer from a linked savings account or line of credit $0
Inactivity fee $1 after no account activity for 12 months and balance below $100
Below minimum balance fee $5 on Checking with Dividends accounts that fall below a $1,000 minimum balance at any time during the month
Wire transfers -$0 incoming-

$20 outgoing domestic

$20 outgoing international-

$50 to resend due to incorrect info provided by the member

Wright-Patt Credit Union vs. Competitors

The following banks and credit unions can be considered Wright-Patt’s competitors and are worth comparing.

Bank or Credit Union Best For
Wright-Patt Credit Union Ohio residents in select counties
PNC Sign up bonuses
Credit Union of Ohio Ohio residents who can’t qualify for Wright Patt membership
Alliant Credit Union Wider availability

Wright-Patt Credit Union vs. PNC

If you’re interested in earning some free money for opening an account, PNC has bank promotions available such as the chance to earn up to $400 when you use a Virtual Wallet product or $100 for opening a PNC credit card. There are no Wright-Patt account promotions at this time.

Wright-Patt Credit Union vs. Credit Union of Ohio

Wright-Patt limits membership to a handful of Ohio counties in the center and southwest. The Credit Union of Ohio expands to include a selection of counties as well as employer groups such as State of Ohio employees and emergency responders. 

Wright-Patt Credit Union vs. Alliant Credit Union

Although Wright-Patt Credit Union offers a variety of account options and competitive rates, Alliant has a wider reach for a credit union. Wright-Patt Credit Union membership is limited to the state of Ohio while Alliant members can reside anywhere in the U.S.

Final Take

WPCU offers a variety of products and services to fit almost any stage of life. For people who meet WPCU’s membership qualifications and prefer to bank online or through their mobile devices, the credit union could be a great match. You can’t join right now because of the coronavirus pandemic, but if you’re looking to switch to a credit union, WPCU is likely worth the wait.

Wright-Patt Credit Union FAQ

The following questions may not have been covered in this Wright-Patt Credit Union review.
  • How many members does Wright-Patt Credit Union have?
    • Wright-Patt Credit Union has just over 443,000 members.
  • Is Wright-Patt Credit Union FDIC insured?
    • Wright-Patt Credit Union deposit accounts are insured by the National Credit Union Administration. NCUA credit union account coverage is comparable to the coverage the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. provides for bank deposit accounts -- $250,000 per ownership interest, plus an additional $250,000 per ownership interest on banking IRA accounts.
  • How long does a mobile deposit take at Wright-Patt?
    • For the first 30 days after you become a member, WPCU holds check deposits for seven days unless the funds are guaranteed. After that, the first $200 of mobile deposits are available the next business day, $4,800 are available on the second business day, and any remaining funds are available on the fifth business day.
  • Where can I find my WPCU account number?
    • From the mobile app, go to an account history page and select "Show Details." From online banking, select an account and then click on "Account Details."
  • How much can you withdraw from a Wright-Patt ATM?

Cynthia Bowman 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.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Wright-Patt 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 Wright-Patt Credit Union.

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About the Author

Daria Uhlig is a personal finance, real estate and travel writer and editor with over 25 years of editorial experience. Her work has been featured on The Motley Fool, MSN, AOL, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC and USA Today. Daria studied journalism at the County College of Morris and earned a degree in communications at Centenary University, both in New Jersey.
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