Third Federal Savings and Loan Association Review 2020

Published January 2020 by Matthew Goldberg

AT A GLANCE
3.5
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Bankrate Score

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You’ll love Third Federal Savings & Loan Association if you’re looking for a smaller bank that offers high-yield CDs.

  • Savings
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    3.5
  • CDs
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    3.3
  • Checking
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    3.5
  • MMAs
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    3.0
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    BMO Harris Bank

    Member FDIC

    MMA

    1.95 % APY

    $ 5,000

    Min. balance for APY

    CIT Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.80 % APY

    $ 100

    Min. balance for APY

    Capital One

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.70 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Overall

    3.5

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    Bankrate Score

    Third Federal Savings & Loan Association is a Cleveland-based financial institution that supports local communities in Ohio and Florida – and offers some banking products online.

    What we like

    • Third Federal offers a range of high-yield CDs and special CD deals.

    • Some product offerings --- like certain CD specials --- are available nationwide.

    • The bank offers hundreds of fee-free ATMs, thanks to a partnership with Fifth Third Bank, a regional bank based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    What we don't

    • Branches are only available in Ohio and Florida.

    • There is an app, but it lacks the digital features you would find in a mobile app provided by a bigger bank, like person-to-person payments.

    • Some deposit accounts --- like checking accounts --- cannot be opened online.

    Savings accounts

    3.5

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    Bankrate Score

    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    CIT Bank

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.80 % APY

    $ 100

    Min. balance for APY

    On the Third Federal High-Yield Savings Account, a minimum of $100,000 is needed to earn the account’s highest APY of 0.8 percent. That's eight times the national average but well below top-yielding savings accounts.

    The lower tiers for Third Federal's savings accounts are 0.3 percent ($25,000 minimum deposit) and 0.1 percent ($10 minimum deposit).

    What we like

    • The savings account charges no monthly fees.

    • Customers are automatically enrolled in a Loyalty Perks program.

    What we don't

    • You can find savings accounts with higher yields elsewhere.

    • $100,000 is a very high minimum balance to earn the top APY.

    CD rates

    3.3

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    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    2.15 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Third Federal offers CDs to consumers nationwide. In addition to providing access to standard CDs across multiple terms, the savings and loan association offers CD specials and retirement CDs. The minimum deposit for traditional and special CDs is just $500.

    CDs can be opened online, over the phone or in a branch. Early withdrawal of the principal balance will result in a penalty that varies depending on the CD term.

    What we like

    • Third Federal offers many CD terms with competitive yields.

    • A low minimum deposit is required to open a CD.

    What we don't

    • The grace period for withdrawing before the CD automatically renews is shorter (seven days instead of 10).

    Checking accounts

    3.5

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    Bankrate Score

    OTHER CHECKING OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Simple

    Member FDIC

    Checking account

    1.75 % APY

    $ 0

    To open

    $ 0

    To avoid fees

    Third Federal’s High-Yield Checking Account offers interest bearing accounts for daily balances of at least $10. Conveniently, $10 is also the amount required to open an account. The monthly service charge for the accounts is relatively low at $7 per month. The monthly service can be waived for those who have an average daily balance of at least $1,500.

    What we like

    • Tiered interest rates so higher balances earn more

    • Low monthly fee of $7

    What we don't

    • Balance to avoid the monthly fee is relatively high ($1,500)

    Money market accounts

    3.0

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    OTHER MMA OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    BMO Harris Bank

    Member FDIC

    MMA

    1.95 % APY

    $ 5,000

    Min. balance for APY

    Third Federal’s Money Market Account is how you can earn the highest APY at this institution. You can earn nearly a top-tier APY, nearly 10 times the national average APY on $25,000 or more. There is one catch: You need to visit a Florida branch to open this account.

    If your balance drops between $5,000 and $24,999, you earn around 10 times the national average APY. And if you drop below $5,000 — or below $2,000 for an IRA — you don’t earn any interest.

    Third Federal’s Money Market account is a Money Market Savings account and does not offer checks.

    What we like

    • You can earn near a top-tier APY on $25,000 or more.

    • There are no fees for going below a certain balance.

    • You’re rewarded for depositing more money, since there are three interest tiers.

    What we don't

    • Interest isn’t earned on balances below $5,000 (or less than $2,000 on IRA accounts).

    • You must visit a Third Federal Florida Branch to open the account.

    • The account doesn't offer check-writing privileges.

    Bank experience

    The bank's app receives high marks for both iOS and Android, though the features are fairly standard compared with apps for other financial institutions. Still, you can use the mobile app to find out your bank balance before you, say, checkout at the grocery line.

    You also may find a long-lasting relationship with an employee at Third Federal Savings & Loan Association. In its latest earnings report, the bank highlighted how its average associate tenure is 13 years.

    About Third Federal Savings and Loan Association

    Third Federal Savings and Loan Association was established in May 1938 during the Great Depression. Initially, its customers were primarily Eastern European immigrants living in Cleveland, Ohio, but as the bank grew and opened new branches, it began serving communities in the surrounding suburbs. By its 25th anniversary, the savings and loan association had more than 65,000 customers.

    Today, Third Federal Savings serves hundreds of thousands of customers nationwide and offers mortgage loans in nearly half of the states. It’s one of the largest financial institutions in Ohio and is still headquartered in Cleveland. In addition to offering first and second mortgages, Third Federal Savings provides consumers with the opportunity to refinance, open bank accounts and start saving for retirement.

    Matthew Goldberg Twitter Created with Sketch. @MATTATBANKRATE

    Matthew Goldberg Twitter Created with Sketch. @MATTATBANKRATE

    Matthew Goldberg is a consumer banking reporter at Bankrate. He graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor's degree in mass communication and earned an MBA at William Paterson University. He began his writing career in 1998 at Sun Publications in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He was sports editor at The Daily Vidette, a sports reporter at The Journal Standard and a sports writer at The Quincy Herald-Whig. His work has also appeared in Sports Illustrated On Campus. He has been honored by both the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association and the Illinois Press Association. He also has more than seven years of financial services experience, in both banking and insurance.