Andrews Federal Credit Union Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

AFCU offers a variety of accounts, primarily to military service members and people based on the East Coast.
Sep 9, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Overall bank rating

Andrews Federal Credit Union
  • Savings

  • Checking

  • CD rates

  • Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Andrews Federal Credit Union, a Black-owned financial institution, has a solid offering of checking accounts, savings accounts and share certificates. It's primarily available on the East Coast, although it’s also part of the nationwide Co-op network of shared branches. Military service is one way to be eligible for membership with AFCU, and the credit union provides special resources to military members by offering features such as overseas bill pay.

It also offers vehicle financing for members stationed in Europe and has branches on military installations in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. If you aren’t a member of the military or civilian personnel of the Department of Defense, there are other ways to join. Membership options include being a member of one of AFCU’s Employer Groups, living or working in Washington, D.C., joining the American Consumer Council or being an immediate family or household member of an AFCU member.

Best for: Active or retired members of the military or other eligible AFCU members who want a flexible shared branch and ATM networks.

Pros

  • Customers have access to AFCU branches, shared branches and more than 30,000 free ATMs.
  • Out-of-network ATM fee rebates for military checking accounts.
  • Free overdraft protection transfers from a linked savings account.

Cons

  • All checking accounts come with a monthly fee of $10-$15, which can be waived with certain qualifying direct deposits or account minimums.
  • Expensive overdraft fees if you don’t use overdraft protection.

Full review

Savings

Andrews Federal Credit Union Base Share Savings
Andrews Federal Credit Union Base Share Savings

Savings

Federally insured by NCUA

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.05%
With $100 min. balance for APY

AFCU’s Base Share Savings account has no monthly fee and a low minimum opening balance of $5. The account’s interest rate is a low 0.05% APY, but for a limited time, the credit union is also offering a complementary online savings account that gives customers 5.00% APY on the first $1,000 in the account and a variable interest rate for balances above $1,000.

Andrews Federal Credit Union Payback Checking
Andrews Federal Credit Union Payback Checking

Checking

Federally insured by NCUA

3.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$10.00

AFCU’s Payback Checking account gives customers 5 cents for every debit card transaction they make, up to a maximum of $6 in rewards per month. The account has no minimum balance requirements, and it has a monthly fee of $10, which can be waived if you receive at least $500 in direct deposits per month.

If you want to earn more interest, you can open a Boost Checking account, which offers 0.15% APY on balances over $1,500. Boost Checking has a monthly fee of $15, which is waived if you maintain a balance of at least $1,500 per month or if you receive $3,000 or more in monthly direct deposits.

The credit union also offers a special checking account for military members called Forces Checking, which is the only checking account from AFCU that offers up to $12 in out-of-network ATM fee reimbursements per month. Forces Checking customers also receive 5 cents per debit card transaction, and there are no minimum balance requirements. The monthly fee for this account is $10, which can be waived with $500 or more in direct deposits from a military source per month.

All of these AFCU checking accounts come with an optional debit card round-up program, where debit card purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference is saved in a customer’s Base Share Savings account.

Andrews Federal Credit Union Fixed Rate Share Certificates
Andrews Federal Credit Union Fixed Rate Share Certificates

CD

Federally insured by NCUA

4.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
2.00%
Minimum deposit
$1,000

AFCU offers solid rates on its fixed-rate share certificates — the credit union equivalent of certificates of deposit — and each requires a $1,000 minimum opening deposit.

Banking experience

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

AFCU branches are located in Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia and Washington, D.C., as well as overseas on military installations in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The credit union is also part of the Co-op shared branch network, which means there are more than 5,000 additional branches that customers can access throughout the country.

AFCU’s customer service call centers are open seven days a week with extended hours, and customers can also use a virtual assistant chatbot to ask questions. AFCU’s mobile apps for Apple and Android devices also have solid star ratings, and you must be enrolled in the mobile app or digital banking for most of AFCU’s accounts.

Overdraft fees

2.0

NerdWallet rating 

AFCU charges $32 per overdraft up to three times per day, for a total of $96 in potential overdraft fees per day. There are a couple of ways to avoid overdraft fees: Customers can use a free overdraft protection transfer from a linked AFCU savings account or they can apply for an overdraft line of credit.

Andrews Federal Credit Union Base Share Savings
Andrews Federal Credit Union Base Share Savings

Savings

Federally insured by NCUA

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.05%
With $100 min. balance for APY

AFCU’s Base Share Savings account has no monthly fee and a low minimum opening balance of $5. The account’s interest rate is a low 0.05% APY, but for a limited time, the credit union is also offering a complementary online savings account that gives customers 5.00% APY on the first $1,000 in the account and a variable interest rate for balances above $1,000.

Methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, banking 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 technology, customer service and innovation. The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.