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First Tech Federal Credit Union Review

How does your bank stack up?

  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 4.5 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon

Pros:

  • Dividend Rewards earns great rates
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • CDs offer good rates
  • Low opening required amounts

Cons:

  • Must become a member first
  • Tiered interest rates
  • High opening amount for Instant Access
  • Low daily ATM withdrawal amount

What You Need to Know

The Dividend Rewards checking account earns competitive interest rates. To earn the most competitive rate has some requirements. You must have 12 debit card purchases each month and have one direct deposit or ACH withdrawal. You must also receive electronic statements. The competitive rate is for any balance from $0.01 to $15,000. Balances over $15,000 earns a lower rate.

First Tech savings and checking accounts do not have monthly fees. There is no minimum balance required to keep in the account to waive the monthly fees. These accounts are free.

The CDs offered through First Tech offer good interest rates. The terms range from six-month to 60-month terms. Each of the terms earns rates slightly lower than other online CDs. Each traditional CD term requires $500 to open.

First Tech has low required amounts to open their accounts. The checking accounts require $0.01 to open. Two of the savings accounts require $0.01 or $5.00 to open. Each of the CD terms requires $500 to open.

To open an account with First Tech, you must be a member of the credit union. You are eligible to be a member if you work for certain tech companies or the state of Oregon. If you live or work in Lane County, Oregon, you are eligible. Immediate family members of members are eligible. You can also become a member by joining the Computer History Museum or the Financial Fitness Association.

The Instant Access savings account with First Tech has tiered interest rates. To earn the most competitive rate, you must have a balance over $250,000. Lower account balances earn interest, just not the most competitive rate.

The Instant Access savings account has a high opening required amount. To open the account requires $5,000. There is no monthly fee for this account. Interest rates for the Instant Access account are tiered.

First Tech members can only withdraw $500 per day, per cardholder, from First Tech ATMs. Other ATMs may allow for a higher withdrawal, but you may face a fee. If you need more than $500 at one time, visit a branch location.

Digital or Mobile Banking

First Tech FCU offers a mobile banking app and online banking. Through these tools, you can:

  • Pay bills
  • See account balances and statements
  • Make mobile check deposits
  • Lock and unlock ATM cards
  • Pay others with Zelle
  • Transfer money
  • Locate ATM and branch locations

Cool Things

Start Up Savings Account

The Start Up Savings account is for children 17 years old and younger. The account requires $0.01 to open, with no monthly fees. For account balances from $0.01 to $999.99, the interest rate is five percent. Balances above $1,000 earn a much lower rate. When the owner turns 18, the account converts to a Carefree savings account. You must open a Start Up account in a branch, with a parent as a joint owner. Only one Start Up account allowed per member.

Financial Calculators

The First Tech website offers financial calculators. With these tools, you can learn the value of a college degree or if you should consolidate debt. You can see how much home or car you can afford and how long it will take you to reach your savings goal.

History

The first branch location of First Tech Federal Credit Union opened in 1952. It started with a few workers from Hewlett-Packard and Tektronix. By 1989, their credit union offered the first online banking. By 2000, they had launched mobile banking. It 2007, they started two-factor authentication to further protect their members. By 2015, they offered even more security through chip and PIN-enabled debit and credit cards.

Today First Tech has over 500,000 members with over $11 billion in assets. They now have more than 1,400 employees with branch locations in eight states and Puerto Rico.

Awards and Recognition

  • "Best Financial Institution in Oregon and California" by MONEY in 2017
  • "Best Credit Unions" in the U.S. by Bankrate in 2017
  • Ranked among the nation's "Top Ten Credit Unions" by S&P in 2017
  • Ranked #16 in all U.S. Credit Unions by S&P in 2017
  • Among "Safest Credit Unions in the Country" by NCUA

Giving Back

In 2017, First Tech provided over $1 million to their communities. The money was specifically for STEM education and financial education.

First Tech Federal Credit Union awarded over $57,000 in scholarships in 2017. The money went to First Tech members working to achieve higher education. They also donated more than $1.3 million to children's health organizations.

List of Common Bank Fees

  • ATM Fees in the United States: $0-2
  • ATM fees international: 1% of the transaction
  • Bill Pay: $0
  • CD Early Withdrawal Fees: 7-27 days of interest
  • Excessive Withdrawal Fees: Not listed
  • Monthly Service Fees: $0
  • Overdraft Service Fees: $28
  • Paper Bank Statements: $3
  • Wire Transfers (Domestic): $0-15
  • Wire Transfers (International): $0-40

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all the accounts FDIC insured?

Yes. First Tech FCU is protected and federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration. The NCUA protects money in credit unions while the FDIC protects money in banks. They both protect deposited funds, up to $250,000 per customer, per bank. The money is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

How do I access my money?

Through ATM or debit cards, checks, or electronic transfers. You can access your money through bill pay, Zelle, or by visiting a local branch location.

Can I deposit cash?

Yes, at a local branch location. Some ATMs may accept cash deposits.

How long do transfers take?

Deposits made during regular business hours typically fund the same day. Deposits made after business hours tend to fund the next business day.

Can I sign up for direct deposit?

Yes. You can have money directly deposited into your First Tech accounts.

Are ATM transactions free?

First Tech FCU offers 30,000 CO-OP ATMs across the United States. There are no fees for using these ATMs. Locate an in-network ATM on their website or mobile app.

Are ATM transaction fees reimbursed?

Some accounts may offer ATM refunds. Contact customer service for more information.

Is mobile banking or a mobile app available?

Yes. With the mobile app, you can transfer money and contact customer service. You can make mobile deposits and transfer money with Zelle.

Is bill pay offered?

Yes. First Tech offers free bill pay with their accounts.

Do the accounts offer competitive interest rates?

The Dividend Rewards checking account and CDs earn competitive interest rates. The Instant Access savings account has tiered interest rates. To earn the most competitive rate requires a balance of $750,000. The other savings account rates are not competitive with online accounts.

Do checking accounts earn interest?

Yes. The Dividend Rewards checking account earns competitive rates. You must meet the qualifications each month to earn the competitive rate.

What are the most popular accounts?

The Dividend Rewards checking account is popular. This account offers the most competitive interest rates.

What are the monthly maintenance fees?

First Tech accounts do not have monthly maintenance fees. They are free.

Is this one of the best banks?

The interest rates on most accounts are competitive if you meet the set requirements. There are a wide variety of accounts and other services. You can open personal deposit accounts online. The opening required amounts for most accounts are low. There are no monthly maintenance fees. You do have to become a member to open any accounts with First Tech.

How are my money and information protected?

First Tech offers security measures that comply with federal laws. Their computers have safeguards. Their files and buildings are secure.

Are any business accounts offered?

Yes. First Tech offers checking and savings accounts for businesses, as well as CDs. Members cannot open business accounts online.

What makes these accounts different?

The interest rates on most accounts are more competitive than typical bank rates. You can open personal deposit accounts online.

How do I reach customer service?

By phone, email, mail, or by visiting a local branch location. You can follow First Tech on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Bank Contact Information

First Tech Federal Credit Union
P.O. Box 2100
Beaverton, OR 97075
855-855-8805

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