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AloStar VS PenFed Credit Union

Which bank is better for you?

  • Financial Rates: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 5.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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Pros:

  • Competitive interest rates
  • Low required amounts to open CDs
  • Accounts are entirely online
  • Shorter terms offer competitive rates

Cons:

  • Limited personal accounts offered
  • Customer service not available 24/7
  • No checks or debit cards offered
  • Must link to an external bank account
  • Financial Rates: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 4.0 Star Icon
No Rate Information
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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
AloStar Review

AloStar CDs offer competitive interest rates. The interest rates are competitive with other online CDs. The rates are much higher than typical brick and mortar bank rates.

The CDs at AloStar have low required opening amounts. Each of the CDs require $1,000 to open. To earn the competitive interest rates, you must keep $1,000 in the account. There is not a fee if your balance falls below $1,000, but you will not earn interest on the balance.

CDs with AloStar are entirely online. You apply for the CDs online. Once you open an account, everything for the account is online. There are no branch locations. You can reach customer service by phone or email.

Usually with CDs, the longer the term the higher the interest rate. But, with AloStar some shorter terms offer more competitive rates. The 12-month, 18-month, and 24-month CD terms offer the most competitive rates.

There are limited accounts offered through AloStar. The only accounts offered are CDs. AloStar does not offer checking, savings, or money market accounts. The CD terms offered range from three-month to five-year terms.

AloStar customer service is not always available. You can contact customer service through email. Their hours are Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time. On Saturday their hours are 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The AloStar CD accounts do not offer debit cards or checks. The only way to access your money is through electronic transfers. You can transfer money during the grace period or after the CD reaches maturity.

To fund your AloStar CDs you must link the accounts to an external bank account. Once the accounts are linked you can make electronic transfers between the accounts. To avoid a fee, make withdrawals or deposits during the grace period or after the CD reaches maturity.

Read the full AloStar 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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