Hope Credit Union Review: Savings, Checking and CDs

Hope Credit Union, a Black-owned financial institution, offers some strong interest rates, solid customer service, and ATM fee reimbursements and access.
May 19, 2022

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Overall bank rating

Hope Credit Union
  • Savings

  • Checking

  • CD rates

  • Banking experience

  • Overdraft fees

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line:

Hope Credit Union is a Black-owned financial institution. It is Green America Certified and a Community Development Financial Institution, or CDFI. (See more about these common designations for socially responsible banks.)

It is based in the South but is also part of the nationwide Co-op shared branch network, which makes it accessible to consumers who live elsewhere in the U.S. It offers strong interest rates on its HOPE Rewards Checking and Savings Plus accounts as long as customers meet some basic qualifications.

Pros

  • Strong rates on linked checking and savings accounts when qualifications are met.
  • Access to more than 5,000 nationwide credit union branches as part of the Co-op network.
  • Up to $20 in monthly reimbursements for ATM fees.

Cons

  • Must have a HOPE Rewards Checking Plus account to open a HOPE Rewards Savings Plus account.
  • Hope Credit Union’s main branches are restricted to five Southern states, so customers outside of those states will have to use a shared Co-op branch.

Full review

HOPE Rewards Saving Plus
HOPE Rewards Saving Plus

Savings

Federally insured by NCUA

4.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
1.01%
With $15 min. balance for APY

The HOPE Rewards Savings Plus account is a free account with no minimum balance requirements. It must be connected to a HOPE Rewards Checking Plus account and gives an interest rate of 1.01% APY on balances up to $10,000. To qualify for the 1.01% interest rate, customers must meet the same qualifying criteria that are required for the checking account interest rate: They must make 12 debit card transactions per month, log in to their online banking account once per month, register for e-statements and make at least one automatic payment or direct deposit per month. If a customer doesn’t meet the qualifications, they will earn 0.10%. If they have a balance over $10,000 and meet the qualifications, they will earn an additional 0.50% APY on the balance over $10,000, for a total of up to 1.51% APY. For balances over $50,000, the rate drops to 0.50% even when qualifications are met.

Hope Credit Union also has a basic, free savings account that requires a minimum balance of $15 to open and maintain the account.

HOPE Rewards Checking Plus
HOPE Rewards Checking Plus

Checking

Federally insured by NCUA

5.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
Monthly fee
$0
APY
3.01%
With $0 min. balance for APY

Hope Credit Union’s HOPE Rewards Checking Plus account offers a noteworthy free checking account with no minimum balance requirements and earns a strong interest rate of 3.01% APY when certain basic qualifications are met. To earn the rate, customers must have 12 debit card transactions per month, log in to their online banking account once per month, sign up for e-statements and have at least one direct deposit or automatic payment clear their account. When qualifications are not met, customers will earn 0.10%.

Customers have access to numerous ATMs through Hope Credit Union and the Co-op ATM network, but they also receive up to a $20 monthly reimbursement for out-of-network ATM fees.

Hope Credit Union CD
Hope Credit Union CD

CD

Federally insured by NCUA

2.0

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
0.15%
Minimum deposit
$1,000

Hope Credit Union’s share certificates — the credit union equivalent of certificates of deposit — are available for a variety of term lengths and require a minimum opening deposit of $1,000. Its one-year share certificate earns 0.15%, its three-year certificates earn 0.50% and five-year certificates earn 0.50% APY.

Banking experience

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Hope Credit Union has 23 branches across Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. It’s also part of the Co-op network, which gives customers access to more than 5,000 shared branches nationwide.

The credit union’s customer service call centers are available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time Monday through Friday, and customers can also reach out via email. Hope Credit Union’s mobile banking app has high ratings in both the Google Play store and the App Store.

Overdraft fees

3.0

NerdWallet rating 

Customers who overdraft are charged $25 per occurrence, with a cap of up to $125 in fees per day for debit card transactions. Nonsufficient funds fees can be charged for electronic ACH transactions and checks. Hope Credit Union doesn’t offer an overdraft line of credit, but customers can make overdraft protection transfers from a linked account for $1 per transfer. Hope Credit Union also offers a courtesy pay service called Overdraft Guardian for $25 per instance, which means that when a customer is in good standing, they can overdraw up to $200-300 depending on the account type and Hope Credit Union will temporarily cover it and charge a $25 fee for that service. Customers will then need to return their account to a positive balance as soon as possible. If a customer does overdraft, however, they won’t be charged a continuous negative balance fee.

HOPE Rewards Saving Plus
HOPE Rewards Saving Plus

Savings

Federally insured by NCUA

4.5

/5
 NerdWallet rating 
APY
1.01%
With $15 min. balance for APY

The HOPE Rewards Savings Plus account is a free account with no minimum balance requirements. It must be connected to a HOPE Rewards Checking Plus account and gives an interest rate of 1.01% APY on balances up to $10,000. To qualify for the 1.01% interest rate, customers must meet the same qualifying criteria that are required for the checking account interest rate: They must make 12 debit card transactions per month, log in to their online banking account once per month, register for e-statements and make at least one automatic payment or direct deposit per month. If a customer doesn’t meet the qualifications, they will earn 0.10%. If they have a balance over $10,000 and meet the qualifications, they will earn an additional 0.50% APY on the balance over $10,000, for a total of up to 1.51% APY. For balances over $50,000, the rate drops to 0.50% even when qualifications are met.

Hope Credit Union also has a basic, free savings account that requires a minimum balance of $15 to open and maintain the account.

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.