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5Star Bank VS PenFed Credit Union

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 4.5 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 3.5 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.5 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • Variety of personal accounts offered
  • Low opening required amounts
  • Reimbursement for ATM fees
  • Savings account offers good rates

Cons:

  • Money market account has tiered rates
  • Accounts have monthly fees
  • Daily debit card limits
  • Cannot open accounts completely online
  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 3.5 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.0 Star Icon
0.90%APY
Savings/MMA
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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
5Star Bank Review

5Star Bank offers a variety of accounts. They offer personal deposit and business accounts. These include:

  • 5Star checking account
  • E-Checking account
  • Basic savings account
  • Money market account
  • CD terms from six-months to five-years
  • IRA CDs from 18-months to five-years
  • Lending options
  • Credit cards
  • Business checking and money market accounts
  • Business CDs from six-months to five-years
  • Business lending and credit options

5Star Bank has low amounts required to open their accounts. The E-Checking requires $50. The 5Star checking and the basic savings account require $100 to open. Both the money market account and the different CD terms require $1,000 to open.

The 5Star checking account refunds up to five ATM transactions fees per month. You must keep at least $1,000 in the checking account to have ATM transactions refunded. The E-Checking account does not offer ATM reimbursement.

The basic 5Star savings account offers competitive rates. The rates are higher than typical brick-and-mortar rates. This account only requires $100 to open and keep in the account to waive the monthly fee. Any amount in the account earns the competitive rate. These rates are not tiered.

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

Most 5Star Bank accounts have monthly maintenance fees. The savings account fee is $2. The money market fee is $5, and the checking account fee is $7. Waive each of these fees by keeping a set amount in the accounts. Those balances range from $100 to $1,000, depending on the account.

5Star has daily limits for your debit card. The limit for point of sale purchases is $1,000 per day. The daily limit for ATM withdrawals is $300.

Accounts through 5Star Bank are not available to open entirely online. To open the accounts, you need to visit a branch location. You may be able to open the accounts through the mail. Contact customer service for more information.

Read the full 5Star 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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