Star One Credit Union Review 2020

Published May 2020 by Amanda Dixon

AT A GLANCE
3.9
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Bankrate Score

bank-logo
Checkbook

Free Checking

Money

No monthly fees

Award Ribbon

Rewards Checking

Star One Credit Union could be a good fit for consumers hoping to earn interest through their checking accounts and avoid high fees. Tech-savvy consumers and savers hungry for high yields and multiple account options may want to look elsewhere.

  • CDs
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    2.6
  • Savings
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    4.9
  • Checking
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    4.2
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Capital One

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.30 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.30 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.35 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Overall

    3.9

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    Bankrate Score

    Star One Credit Union is a top-ranking financial institution that has been around for more than 60 years and serves as the largest credit union in Silicon Valley.

    What we like

    • Ranks as one of the country’s best credit unions, according to Bankrate’s analysis.

    • All checking account holders have the opportunity to earn some interest.

    • Minimum deposit requirements are relatively low overall.

    • Account holders have no monthly fees to worry about.

    • Members have access to digital features like voice banking through Amazon Alexa.

    What we don't

    • Limited products available for savers, particularly those interested in long-term share certificates or a money market account.

    • Interest earned for deposit account holders is generally compounded monthly, meaning savings may not grow as quickly.

    • Members have to wait a bit longer to get access through their banking app to Zelle, the peer-to-peer payment system being used by many banks and credit unions.

    CD rates

    2.6

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    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.35 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Star One Credit Union offers share certificates across three standard terms: six months, 12 months and two years. The options are ideal for savers looking for a temporary place to keep their cash.

    You’ll face a penalty, but withdrawals of at least $1,000 could be made without closing the entire account (as long as you meet minimum balance requirements). Early withdrawal penalties aren’t abnormal; however, they are higher than those at some online banks and credit unions.

    What we like

    • Partial withdrawals are allowed from the share certificate.

    • Earned interest can be mailed or transferred to a Star One checking or savings account.

    What we don't

    • Interest is compounded monthly and at maturity rather than daily.

    • Savers looking for a long-term CD will have to look elsewhere.

    • Not all standard CD terms are offered.

    Savings accounts

    4.9

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    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Capital One

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.30 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    To join Star One Credit Union, applicants need to open a Money Market Savings Account. The minimum deposit is just $50. With an active membership, account holders can open multiple savings accounts (sub-savings accounts) and assign each one a nickname.

    Besides the Money Market savings account, Star One also offers a special savings account with a lower minimum deposit ($5) that pays the same yield.

    What we like

    • Minimum deposits are on the lower end of the spectrum.

    • Low minimum balance requirements to earn top APY.

    • No monthly service fees listed.

    What we don't

    • Yield is relatively low compared to what other credit unions and online banks offer.

    Checking accounts

    4.2

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    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Simple

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.40 % APY

    $ 0

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    Star One offers a few checking account options: a Rewards Checking account, a student checking account and a free checking account option. Rewards checking account holders earn a relatively high yield and receive ATM fee refunds of up to $20 per month. Student checking account holders can get up to $10 of ATM fees refunded per month.

    For all checking account holders, the first box of 40 checks is free. Rewards checking account holders always have access to free checks.

    What we like

    • Minimum opening deposits are low

    • No monthly service fees.

    • No minimum balance required to earn the top APY.

    • All three checking accounts pay some interest.

    • Free bill pay and ATM fee refunds for two out of three accounts.

    What we don't

    • Currently no access to a person-to-person payment system like Zelle.

    Bank experience

    Star One Credit Union has six branches, all of which are located in the state of California. Most locations have the same hours and a few are open on Saturdays. More than 6,500 shared branches are available, too. There are also nearly 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs available through the CO-OP network. Some, but not all, accept deposits.

    Members who want to meet with a bank representative can schedule an appointment in advance online. Representatives are available over the phone from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific on weekdays and between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekends and most holidays.

    For those who use digital wallets, it’s possible to use your Star One Visa debit and credit cards with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. Other digital features include voice banking (a functionality available through the Amazon Alexa called “Skill”) and more standard features like, mobile check deposit and the ability to create balance alerts.

    About Star One Credit Union

    Star One Credit Union was originally founded as the Lockheed Missile Employees Federal Credit Union. The credit union was chartered in 1956. It offered financial services and support to employees in Sunnyvale, California who worked in the Lockheed Missiles and Space Division. Twenty-five years later, the credit union was renamed the LMSC Federal Credit Union.

    In 1995, the LMSC Federal Credit Union became the Star One Federal Credit Union. Now, the credit union counts more than 110,000 members worldwide. Members include local residents, students and workers in Santa Clara County, Lockheed Martin retirees and employees of corporate sponsors, like Yahoo - Oath.

    Amanda Dixon Twitter Created with Sketch. @AMANDAADIXON

    Amanda Dixon Twitter Created with Sketch. @AMANDAADIXON

    Amanda Dixon is a senior banking reporter for Bankrate. Prior to joining Bankrate, she served as a writer and editor for SmartAsset, a New York-based fintech startup. Originally from the metro Atlanta area, she's a University of Georgia alum. She enjoys providing an inside look into what banks and credit unions are up to and offering tips and tricks to help consumers save money and build wealth at every stage of their financial lives. Follow her on Twitter: @amandaadixon.