Transit Employees Federal Credit Union review: Minority-led credit union that pays high interest rates

  • Transit Employees Federal Credit Union is a minority-led credit union in Alexandria, VA, and DC.
  • TEFCU pays high interest rates on its money market account, savings, and certificates.
  • The credit union has a variety of checking options, including a cash-back account.
  • See Insider’s guide to Black-owned banks and credit unions »

Should you bank with TEFCU?

You might like TEFCU if you … You might not like TEFCU if you … 
  • Live in Alexandria, VA, or Washington, DC
  • Qualify for membership by working at a transit-related company in Alexandria or DC
  • Want to bank with a minority-led credit union
  • Want to earn high interest rates
  • Would like a cash-back checking account
  • Don’t qualify to open a checking account at other institutions
  • Don’t live in Alexandria, VA, or Washington, DC
  • Don’t work with a company that qualifies you for membership

The bottom line: Transit Employees Federal Credit Union pays higher interest rates than most brick-and-mortar institutions, so it’s a good option if you live in DC or Alexandria, VA. But membership is limited to employees of certain businesses.


Transit Employees Federal Credit Union Share Savings Account

Transit Employees Federal Credit Union Transit Employees Federal Credit Union Share Savings AccountTransit Employees Federal Credit Union Transit Employees Federal Credit Union Rewards Checking AccountTransit Employees Federal Credit Union Transit Employees Federal Credit Union Share CertificateTransit Employees Federal Credit Union Transit Employees Federal Credit Union Paramount Money Market AccountAverage 401(k) balance

You can also use an ATM for free in the CO-OP, Star, CU24, Visa, Shared Branch, and Transit Employees FCU ATM networks.

The TEFCU mobile app has 4.8 out 5 stars in the Apple store, and 4.4 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

Fill out an online form or call a branch to contact customer support. Phone and lobby hours differ at each branch.

Your deposits are federally insured by the NCUA for up to $250,000, or up to $500,000 for joint accounts.

How to become a TEFCU member

TEFCU is a credit union, so you need to become a member to open a bank account. You’re eligible for membership if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Work at a Select Employee Group. This includes Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, Amtrak, Arlington Transit, Atlantic Services, Circulator, The Excel Institute & Auto Repair, First Transit, Kaiser Permanente, Langdon Education Campus, Metro Access, Pathways School Duvall Campus, Pathways School Crossland Campus, Transdev, Yellow Cab Company of DC, Washington Cab Company, and TEFCU.
  • Be a direct family member or live with someone who works with a Select Employer.

When you join, you’ll need to open a Transit Employees Federal Credit Union Share Savings Account.

Is TEFCU trustworthy?

The Better Business Bureau gives Transit Employees Federal Credit Union a D- in trustworthiness. It cites the number of customer complaints on the BBB website as the reason for this bad grade — but there have only been four complaints in the last three years. In this case, the BBB score probably shouldn’t deter you.

TEFCU doesn’t have any public controversies, so you may decide you’re comfortable banking with this credit union.

How TEFCU compares to similar credit unions

We’ve compared TEFCU to two other minority-led credit unions in Alexandria and DC: Andrews FCU and Democracy FCU.

Andrews Federal Credit Union
Democracy Federal Credit Union

Savings APY

0.30% APY

Savings APY

0.05% APY

Savings APY

0% to 0.05% APY

Standout feature

High interest rates

Standout feature

Early direct deposit

Standout feature

Kasasa accounts

Open an accountOpen an accountOpen an account

TEFCU vs. Andrews FCU

Andrews Federal Credit Union’s membership requirements are a little laxer than TEFCU’s requirements. If you aren’t eligible to join TEFCU, Andrews is the clear choice.

If you want to earn high interest rates, you’ll want to go with TEFCU. But Andrews lets you receive paychecks up to a day sooner with early direct deposit. So you may prefer Andrews if getting paid a day early would be useful.

TEFCU vs. Democracy FCU

Your choice between TEFCU and Democracy FCU will probably come down to two things: membership eligibility and which types of accounts you want.

TEFCU pays higher rates on money market accounts and certificates. Democracy has Kasasa accounts that pay high interest rates on checking and savings — but you’ll need to meet certain criteria to receive Kasasa rewards. Otherwise, you’ll just use Democracy’s regular checking and savings accounts, which pay little to no interest.

Laura Grace Tarpley is an editor at Personal Finance Insider, covering mortgages, refinancing, bank accounts, and bank reviews. She is also a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF). Over her four years of covering personal finance, she has written extensively about ways to save, invest, and navigate loans.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

Source: Read Full Article