Third Federal Savings and Loan Association Review 2020

Published March 2020 by Matthew Goldberg

AT A GLANCE
3.1

Bankrate Score

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ATM fee refunds

Low Minimum Deposit

No monthly fees

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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    2.8
  • CDs
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    2.8
  • Checking
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    3.3
  • MMAs
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    3.5
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS

    Overall

    3.1

    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 standard and special CDs.

    • 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 available only in Ohio and Florida.

    • There is a mobile app, but it lacks some of the digital features you would find in an app provided by a bigger bank.

    • Some deposit accounts — like money market accounts — cannot be opened online.

    Savings accounts

    2.8

    Bankrate Score

    The bank's High-Yield Savings Account offers tiered rates. To earn the highest APY, you will need to make a minimum deposit of $100,000. However, you can still find higher yields elsewhere.

     

    What we like

    • The savings account charges no monthly fees.

    • You need to deposit only $10 to open an account.

    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

    2.8

    Bankrate Score

    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

    3.3

    Bankrate Score

    Third Federal’s High-Yield Checking Account pays interest on 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 $12. The monthly service charge is waived for those who have an average daily balance of at least $1,500.

    What we like

    • Competitive interest rates.

    • Offers tiered interest rates, so higher balances earn more.

    What we don't

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

    • Mobile app lacks person-to-person payment functionality.

    Money market accounts

    3.5

    Bankrate Score

    Third Federal’s Money Market Account is how you can earn the highest APY at this institution.  There is one catch: You need to visit a Florida branch to open this account.  You also need to deposit at least $5,000 to open the account.

    The bank offers tiered interest rates.

    What we like

    • You can earn a competitive yield 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 interest tiers.

    What we don't

    • 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, check out at the grocery line.

    About Third Federal Savings and Loan Association

    Third Federal Savings & 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. Nearly his entire career has either been as a reporter or working in financial services, in banking and insurance. His writing has been featured on MSN, appeared in Sports Illustrated On Campus, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Buffalo News and other publications. He has been honored by both the Illinois Associated Press Editors Association and the Illinois Press Association. Matthew is currently on the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) Board of Governors. He has previously served on conference planning committees, the training committee and the finance committee for SABEW, which is the world's largest and oldest organization of business and financial journalists. His reporting career has included working as a staff reporter at two daily newspapers. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Illinois State University and an MBA at William Paterson University.