5 Star Bank VS PenFed Credit Union

Which bank is better for you?

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

  • Variety of different accounts offered
  • Low opening required amounts
  • Reimbursement for ATM fees
  • No monthly fees or minimum balances

Cons:

  • Money market account has tiered rates
  • Must meet requirements to earn interest
  • Daily debit card limits
  • Higher balances earn lower rates
  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon
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Pros:

  • CDs have competitive interest rates
  • Low opening required amount
  • CDs offered to save for education
  • Low monthly fee for checking account

Cons:

  • High opening balances for CDs
  • Low-interest rates
  • Best rates require large balances
  • Do not offer a variety of accounts
5 Star Bank Review

5Star Bank offers a variety of personal deposit and business accounts. There are three different personal checking accounts. One that earns interest, one earns cash back, and one rewards you for shopping online. 5Star Bank offers a savings account, money market account, and different CD terms. Business accounts include checking, money market accounts, CDs, and loans.

5Star Bank has low amounts required to open their accounts. Each of the different checking accounts only require $50 to open. The Kasasa savings account does not have a set amount required when opening. Both the money market account and the different CD terms each require $1,000 to open.

There are no fees to use 5Star ATMs. 5Star Bank will refund up to $20 each month in ATM fees for each of their checking accounts. ATM transactions do not count toward the required debit card transactions to earn interest or rewards.

Most all 5Star Bank accounts do not have monthly maintenance fee. Each of the different checking accounts is free, as well as the savings account. The money market account has a $5 fee, which is waived by keeping at least $1,000 in the account. The different term CDs do not have monthly fees.

To earn the most competitive rates for the money market account requires a large sum. To earn the best rate, you must have a balance of $250,000 in the account. Any balance over $1,000 does earn interest, but a lower rate. The rates gradually increase the more money you have in the account.

5Star Bank checking accounts have requirements you must meet to earn competitive rates. Those requirements include enrolling in online banking and receiving eStatements. You must also make at least 12 debit card purchases each month. ATM withdrawals or account transfers do not count toward those purchases. If you do not meet the requirements for the month, you will not earn the competitive interest rate. The 5Star Bank savings account has the same requirements to earn interest.

5Star limits the amount of money that you can use with your debit card. The limit for point of sale purchases is $1,000 per day. The limit for ATM withdrawals for each day is $300.

Once you reach $25,000 in the savings or checking account the interest rates drop. Any amount under that balance will earn the competitive rates. Any amount over that earn a much lower rate.

Read the full 5 Star Bank review.

PenFed Credit Union Review

PenFed CDs have competitive interest rates. The rates on CDs are competitive with online-only accounts. The longer you can invest the money in the CD the higher the interest rates you will earn. CD terms range from six months to seven years.

All accounts, other than CDs, have a low opening balance of only $25. The more you invest in the money market account, the higher interest rates you will earn. However, you are only required to have $25 to open an account with PenFed.

PenFed offers CDs designed to save specifically for education costs. These CDs only require $500 to open instead of $1,000. The education CDs range in term from one year to seven years. The interest rates earned on these CDs are competitive with other CD accounts.

Only the checking account has a monthly maintenance fee. The fee is low and is easy to waive. The fee is waived by having a daily balance of $500 in the account. Having a direct deposit into the account of more than $500 each month will also waive the fee. The savings account and money market accounts do not have a monthly fee.

To open a CD, PenFed requires $1,000. The CD terms vary in length from six months to seven years. The longer you can invest your money in a PenFed CD the higher interest you will earn over the CD term. The interest rates on these CDs are competitive with other online-only CDs.

The interest rates for PenFed savings, checking, and money market accounts are not competitive. The rates are low. Those interest rates are competitive to your typical bank rates. Online only accounts offer much higher interest rates for these accounts.

To earn the highest interest on the PenFed checking account, a daily balance of $20,000 to $50,000 is required. If you do not have at least $20,000, you will earn much lower interest rates. Any amount earns interest. To get the highest rates, your daily balance must meet the requirements.

PenFed only offers one checking account, savings account, and money market account. This does not allow you to find the account that best fits your needs.

Read the full PenFed Credit Union review.

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