VyStar Credit Union Review 2020

Published May 2020 by Amanda Dixon

AT A GLANCE
3.6
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Bankrate Score

bank-logo
Checkbook

Free Checking

Money

Low Fees

Money

No monthly fees

VyStar could be a great option for Floridians and Georgians in select counties looking for a low-cost banking experience with accounts for the whole family. If you don’t have any ties to either of these states, however, you may have a slim chance of qualifying for membership.

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    3.4
  • Savings
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    3.3
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    4.3
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    3.4
  • MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    MORE HIGH-YIELD OPTIONS
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.05 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.00 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.00 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    Overall

    3.6

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    VyStar Credit Union is northeast Florida’s largest credit union offering various deposit accounts and services to hundreds of thousands of members.

    What we like

    • Minimum deposit and balance requirements overall are low.

    • The credit union charges no monthly service fees or ATM fees.

    • Account options are available for kids, teens and college students.

    • Checking account holders will earn some interest.

    • There’s access to popular digital features, like Zelle, mobile check deposit and digital wallet functionalities.

    What we don't

    • Membership is mainly limited to folks who live, work or are part of a group based in Florida and parts of Georgia.

    • Yields are low relative to what you can earn at other banks and credit unions.

    • For most deposit products, interest is compounded monthly rather than daily, reducing how quickly earnings can grow.

    CD rates

    3.4

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    OTHER CD OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    CD

    1.00 % APY

    1 yr

    Term

    $ 500

    Min. deposit

    VyStar Credit Union offers traditional certificate accounts across terms ranging from three months to five years. It also has additional terms like a 30-month certificate account. Overall, consumers who deposit more money benefit from a slightly higher APY. But account holders have to deposit at least $50,000 in order to qualify for the highest yield for each term.

    In addition to the standard share certificates, there’s also an 18-month step-up certificate, which allows the yield tied to the account to be raised one time before the end of the term. Account holders can also add additional deposits.

    What we like

    • Low minimum balance required.

    • Larger deposits earn more interest to an extent.

    • Other types of certificates are available beyond the standard options.

    • Certificate accounts are available for kids and teens.

    What we don't

    • Interest is compounded monthly rather than daily.

    • Yields are lower than what other banks and credit unions offer.

    • Super savers with deposits of $100,000 or more don’t earn more interest than others.

    Savings accounts

    3.3

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    OTHER SAVINGS OFFERS YOU MAY LIKE
    Goldman Sachs Bank USA

    Member FDIC

    Savings account

    1.05 % APY

    $ 0

    Min. balance for APY

    Applicants can go online or visit a local branch to open a VyStar savings account. A primary savings account is required for membership. The minimum deposit needed to get started is just $5. To earn a yield, you’ll have to deposit $50 for most of the accounts (with the exception of the Kids Club Savings account).

    In addition to a regular savings account, VyStar offers a Holiday Savings Account, a VyTeen Savings Account, a Bravo Account for college students and an Achieve Account geared toward young adults trying to reach certain goals.

    What we like

    • Low minimum opening deposit.

    • The minimum balance to earn a yield is low.

    • No monthly service fees.

    • Savings account options are available for youth, teens and college students.

    What we don't

    • The yields for all accounts are less than 1 percent APY.

    • Interest is compounded monthly rather than daily.

    Checking accounts

    4.3

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    VyStar offers several checking account options, including a regular checking account, accounts for teens and college students and an account for seniors age 50 and older. All accounts are accessible through the credit union’s online and mobile banking channels.

    Like the other accounts, checking accounts can be opened online or at a local VyStar branch. The credit union offers a kit with instructions on how to switch out of your old checking account.

    What we like

    • All accounts pay some interest, regardless of the balance amount.

    • Free bill pay is available.

    What we don't

    • Charge for same-day and next-day online bill payments.

    Money market accounts

    3.4

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    Vystar Credit Union also offers a money market account that can be opened online or at a branch. Within each balance tier, yields overall are higher than those for savings account holders.

    As is the case with all savings and money market accounts, there’s a limit to the number of transfers and withdrawals that are permitted within a single statement cycle. Exceeding that limit (six transfers and withdrawals) could result in getting your account closed if you’re not careful.

    What we like

    • No minimum balance requirements.

    • Check writing is available.

    • Checks are free for customers ages 50 and above.

    What we don't

    • To earn the top yield, you’ll need a balance of at least $100,000.

    • The top yield is low relative to what other banks and credit unions offer.

    • Checks are not free for most customers.

    Bank experience

    VyStar Credit Union has 58 full-service branches and 16 branches in high school. In addition to 230 ATMs located in the state of Florida, there’s access to more than 20,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the United States, Mexico and Canada. Some ATMs are available at retailers such as CVS Pharmacy, Target and Walgreens.

    Branch hours vary by location. Representatives are available through the contact center every day. Members can also contact the credit union through the live chat feature on their website.

    Members can use the credit union’s mobile app and take advantage of capabilities like Zelle and account alerts. Account holders can use touch ID or fingerprint recognition to get into the VyStar mobile app. There’s also a VyStar card control app that members can use to manage access to their debit cards. 

    Other tools for members include financial calculators. There’s free financial counseling for members who need it and free financial courses for teens and college students. Digital wallet capabilities are available, too, through Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay.

    About VyStar Credit Union

    VyStar Credit Union was chartered in 1952 and was originally known as the Jax Navy Federal Credit Union, which offered services to military and civil service members.

    VyStar is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and today has more than 700,000 members. It is northeast Florida’s largest mortgage lender.

    Membership is open to local residents who live or work in 49 Florida counties or in four counties in Southeast Georgia. You can also qualify for membership if you're part of a business, church or organization located in one of the counties within the field of membership.

    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.