Community First Credit Union of Florida Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

This Florida-based credit union has mostly low-fee accounts, but there are expensive overdrafts.
Margarette Burnette
By Margarette Burnette 

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Overall bank rating

Community First Credit Union
  • Savings

  • Checking

  • CD rates

  • Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Community First Credit Union of Florida offers basic checking and savings accounts with no monthly fees, a far-reaching ATM network and a high checking account interest rate (relative to other institutions’ checking accounts) on low balances.

Best for: Residents mostly in northeastern Florida who want an affordable hometown alternative to a national bank.

Pros

  • No monthly fees on basic banking accounts.
  • Competitive rate on first $500 in checking.

Cons

  • Generally low rates for savings accounts.
  • Credit union membership is mainly available to residents in certain counties in Florida.
  • High overdraft fee.

Full review

Community First Credit Union Primary Share Savings
Community First Credit Union Primary Share Savings

Savings

Federally insured by NCUA

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.10%
With $100 min. balance for APY

Low rate. Community First Credit Union of Florida requires members to open and maintain a Primary Share Savings account. The account has a 0.10% annual percentage yield, which is fairly low.

Low minimums. You need $5 to open the account and at least $100 to earn the rate.

» Want better options? See the best high-yield savings accounts

Community First Credit Union Advantage Checking
Community First Credit Union Advantage Checking

Checking

Federally insured by NCUA

4.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$0
APY
1.51%
With $0 min. balance for APY

No monthly fee or minimum balance. Community First Credit Union of Florida offers several checking accounts that fit a variety of customer needs. The one that stands out is the all-purpose Advantage Checking: It has no minimum balance and no monthly fees, and its main perk is a rate of 1.51% APY for balances up to $500. The rest of a balance earns far less, 0.05% APY, though most checking accounts don't earn interest at all. You need at least $25 to open the account.

The credit union participates in a shared, nationwide ATM network, with access to 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs.

» COMPARE: See the best checking accounts

Community First Credit Union CD
Community First Credit Union CD

CD

Federally insured by NCUA

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
1-year APY
2.48%
3-year APY
2.89%
5-year APY
3.20%
Minimum deposit
$500

Standard range of terms, but rates not the best. Community First Credit Union of Florida offers CDs that range from terms of three months to five years. The credit union has a low $500 minimum deposit. Many other banks and credit unions have minimum balances of $1,000 or more. But the credit union’s CDs tend to earn low rates compared to online banks and some bigger credit unions.

Banking experience

3.5

NerdWallet rating 

Mostly for Florida residents. As with many credit unions, customers must meet requirements to join and open an account with Community First. Generally, people who live, work or attend schools in counties along Florida’s coast, and their family members, are eligible.

Small branch network. Community First doesn’t participate in a shared-branch network, which means the only options for branch access are local. This could be a big drawback for members who frequently travel outside of northeastern Florida where most branches are.

Customer service by phone is available slightly beyond regular work hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET during weekdays, with some Saturday hours. For tech-savvy members, the credit union has strong ratings for both its iOS and Android apps.

Overdraft fees

3.0

NerdWallet rating 

High fee. Community First generally has low fees for its accounts, but overdrafts are another matter. The credit union charges $34 for each overdraft or item returned for nonsufficient funds, with no limit on the number of fees charged per day. Other banks and credit unions cap the daily number of overdraft fees.

There are overdraft programs, including overdraft protection transfers by linking a savings or line of credit to your checking account and paying a small fee or interest charge on the overdrawn amount.

Community First Credit Union Primary Share Savings
Community First Credit Union Primary Share Savings

Savings

Federally insured by NCUA

3.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.10%
With $100 min. balance for APY

Low rate. Community First Credit Union of Florida requires members to open and maintain a Primary Share Savings account. The account has a 0.10% annual percentage yield, which is fairly low.

Low minimums. You need $5 to open the account and at least $100 to earn the rate.

» Want better options? See the best high-yield savings accounts

How does Community First Credit Union compare?

NerdWallet rating 

4.5

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5
NerdWallet rating 

5.0

/5

APY 

4.00%

With $0 min. balance for APY

APY 

3.75%

With $0 min. balance for APY

APY 

3.30%

With $0 min. balance for APY

Bonus 

N/A

Bonus 

$250

Earn up to $250 with direct deposit. Terms apply.

Bonus 

$200

Requirements to qualify

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.