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Boeing Employees Credit Union Review: Checking and Savings

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Boeing Employees Credit Union Members Enjoy Low Fees, Lots of ATMs

Boeing Employees Credit Union
NerdWallet’s rating: 4.0 / 5.0

4.0 stars out of 5

BECU
Learn more
at BECU
Don’t let the name fool you — you don’t have to work at Boeing to join Boeing Employees Credit Union. In fact, this not-for-profit financial institution’s open door might mean that you, too, can benefit from services like free checking.

BECU branches are concentrated in Washington state, where the credit union is based, and membership criteria favor those who live and work in the state or have ties to Boeing.

The bottom line

  • A great low-fee checking account.
  • Low savings rates.
  • Residents outside of Washington must be comfortable banking online or via a mobile app.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best credit unions

Our Ratings
Basic checking5.0 stars out of 5
Basic savings4.0 stars out of 5
Certificates of deposit2.5 stars out of 5
Customer experience4.5 stars out of 5
Overdraft fees3.5 stars out of 5
Overall4.0 stars out of 5

Read on for more details about BECU’s checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, customer experience and overdraft fees.

Basic checking

5.0 stars out of 5
5.0 / 5.0

BECU’s one checking account option comes with Member Advantage, which pays 4.07% annual percentage yield on the first $500. It’s a short-lived advantage that drops to 0.05% APY after. You also have to agree to electronic services such as paperless bank statements and one of the following each month: online bill payments, direct deposits or debit card purchases. The real incentive on this account is the lack of fees.

ProsCons
  • No monthly fee, minimum opening deposit or monthly balance requirements.
  • No out-of-network ATM fees charged by BECU, but ATM owner fees may apply.
  • 4.07% APY on first $500 through Member Advantage program.
  • 45 neighborhood financial centers in Washington.
  • Free access to 30,000 ATMs.

  • A low ongoing interest of 0.05% APY.

» MORE: Best online checking accounts

Basic savings

4.0 stars out of 5
4.0 / 5.0

You don’t have to worry about standard fees or requirements with a BECU savings account. With its Money Manager tool, you can also track expenses and set savings goals. 

If you’re hoping that your rates will give your savings a boost, though, this may not be the account for you. Better rates of 1% or higher can be found at online-only banks and other credit unions.

ProsCons
  • No monthly fee, minimum opening deposit or monthly balance requirements.
  • 4.07% APY on first $500 through the Member Advantage program.
  • Poor ongoing rate of 0.10%.
  • $20 excess transaction fee.

» MORE: NerdWallet’s best money market accounts
» MORE: NerdWallet’s top high-yield savings accounts

Certificates of deposit

2.5 stars out of 5
2.5 / 5.0
This credit union offers many CD options, including one that makes a charitable contribution to veterans’ families. At these rates, though, don’t tie up your money when you can get the same rate in an online savings account and have easier access to your cash.

There are plenty of opportunities to give to charities through credit unions that can offer you competitive rates.

ProsCons
  • Low minimum opening deposit of $500.
  • Several CD options between three months and five years.
  • An “add-to option” for additional contributions with a fixed interest rate.
  • A Veterans Family CD Fund.
  • Bump CDs with a one-time option to increase interest to a term’s currently published rate.
  • Poor interest rates between 0.10% APY and 1.16% APY.
  • Matured CDs renew automatically after seven days.
  • Early withdrawal penalties apply.

Customer experience

4.5 stars out of 5
4.5 / 5.0
Members of BECU can get almost a full mobile-banking experience. You can make person-to-person money transfers only through the website, and text banking isn’t an option. Customers can use other features like mobile check deposits, alerts and a digital wallet compatible with Apple Pay and Microsoft Wallet for mobile payments.

The Money Manager tool allows you to set up all internal and external bank accounts to track spending. Members can use the website to pay bills, transfer funds or get customer service, which is also available by phone.

Overdraft fees

3.5 stars out of 5
3.5 / 5.0

BECU
Learn more
at BECU
BECU may not have many fees, but you’ll still have to watch your bank account. A maximum of five $25 overdraft and nonsufficient funds fees combined can be charged in one day. Members can avoid these fees by setting up a savings account or a line of credit for free overdraft transfers.

Minimal fees, poor savings rates

BECU’s no-fee checking account shines. The savings account is solid, too, if you don’t mind low rates. You’ll also get good banking technology.

BECU is a great alternative to big banks, if you qualify for membership. Becoming a member is easy if you live in Washington, but residents of other states need ties to eligible members to join.

Melissa Lambarena is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: mlambarena@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @LissaLambarena. Kelsey Sheehy of NerdWallet contributed to this report.

Updated Sept. 28, 2016.


Ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s overall rating is a weighted average of each category: checking, savings, CDs, customer experience and overdraft fees. Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing tech and customer service. Several Nerds contribute to each financial institution’s ratings to ensure consistency and accuracy.

What the ratings mean:
5 stars out of 5 — Among the very best
4.5 stars out of 5 — Very good; only minor caveats for most customers
4 stars out of 5 — Good; issues that might make a difference to some customers
3.5 stars out of 5 — Fair; make sure strengths and weaknesses are a good match for you
3 stars out of 5 — Poor; proceed with great caution
2.5 stars out of 5 (or below) — Best to avoid