Associated Credit Union, founded in 1930, is one of Georgia’s oldest financial institutions. Associated Credit Union, like most credit unions, is a nonprofit organization owned by its members, and its deposits are guaranteed by the National Credit Union Administration up to $250,000. ACU provides a wide range of products, including ordinary deposit accounts, loans, and individual retirement accounts. The Better Business Bureau website has few customer evaluations, but the credit union has an A+ rating from that organization.
Here’s a look at the types of accounts offered by Associated Credit Union, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each to help you decide if it’s a suitable fit for you.
Who Is Associated Credit Union Best For?
CD rates are one of Associated Credit Union’s distinguishing qualities. Customers looking for high-yielding CDs from a bank that also offers a variety of supplemental accounts may be drawn to ACU.
Associated Credit Union also has a clear attraction to people of larger Georgia, as all of the credit union’s branches are located in that state.
- Broad range of accounts
- High CD rates
- Good mobile app capability
- Checking account fees are high and unavoidable on some accounts.
- High overdraft fee
- Free ATM withdrawals limited to four per month at network ATMs
- Fee to withdraw cash from shared branch network
To take advantage of Associated Credit Union’s high CD yearly percentage yields and other benefits, you must first become a member. The Associated Credit Union website makes it simple to begin the process.
Who May Want To Skip Associated Credit Union?
Individuals who are concerned about fees should avoid Associated Credit Union. The normal checking account has a monthly cost of $4.95 that cannot be waived, but there is a free checking account alternative. ATM withdrawals from ACU ATMs are free, however network withdrawals — or point-of-sale debit card withdrawals — over four per month incur a $0.75 cost.
Those who live outside of the greater Atlanta area may find it difficult to bank with Associated Credit Union because there are no branches outside of this area and withdrawals from the shared branch network incur a $3 fee per transaction.
|Who Is Associated Credit Union Suitable For?|
|Best For||Worst For|
|Residents of the greater Atlanta area||Residents outside of the greater Atlanta area|
|High CD rates||High checking rates|
|Variety of accounts||Online account opening|
Types of Accounts Available
Associated Credit Union has a pretty diverse product offering for a regional banking organization. ACU can provide you with a checking or savings account, a money market account, an IRA, CDs, or loan products. Here’s a rundown of Associated Credit Union’s current product offerings.
|Associated Credit Union Product Line|
|Product||Minimum To Open||Fee|
|Loans||Varies by type||Varies by type|
The Associated Checking account is the credit union’s principal checking account. Other sorts of accounts include a basic, free checking account and an account for persons who have previously had financial troubles. The minimum opening balance for each type of account is $25, however there is no ongoing balance requirement after that.
Here are some details for each account type:
|Associated Credit Union Checking Accounts|
|Account||Minimum to Open||APY||Monthly Fee|
|Associated Checking||$25||Up to 0.05%||$4.95|
Customers looking for a full-featured checking account will most likely prefer the Associated Checking account. There is no minimum to earn interest, and you will receive the following benefits:
- Identity theft detection and resolution
- Fees on ACU ATM transactions and point-of-sale sales have been waived.
- Insurance for mobile phones
- Membership for travel and leisure discounts
- Buyer defense and extended warranty
- This account also includes mobile banking and bill pay, but the Simple Checking account does as well.
For the first four withdrawals per month, there are no ATM fees at ACU or network ATMs. Following that, ATM and point-of-sale debit card withdrawals will carry a $0.75 fee per transaction. The price for using the shared branch network to make a withdrawal is $3 per transaction.
- No ATM fees at ACU ATMs
- Three types of checking accounts available
- Free checking account option available
- Fees of $0.75 per ATM withdrawal above four monthly withdrawals at non-ACU ATMs
- No way to avoid checking account monthly maintenance fee on the standard account
For customers under the age of 15, Associated Credit Union offers three additional savings accounts: the PRO$PER Savings account, the CU $aveMore account, and the Safari Savings Club. In addition, the credit union provides education and health savings accounts.
Here’s a quick rundown of the rates and benefits of each ACU savings account.
|Associated Credit Union Savings Accounts|
|Type||Minimum To Open||APY||Monthly Fee|
|CU $aveMore Savings — Balances up to $500||$10||4.00%||N/A|
|Safari Savings Club — Balances up to $500||$10||4.00%||N/A|
With the exception of tiny balances on the CU $aveMore account, which pays a stunning 4.00% APY, most savings accounts give the same 0.40% APY. There are no monthly fees on any of the savings accounts.
The PRO$PER savings account is unique in that members who make contributions gain entries into a prize raffle. Each additional $100 you deposit earns you one prize drawing entry per month, up to a maximum of ten per month. You must not make any withdrawals or your prize entry status will be forfeited.
- Multiple savings options.
- High initial rate on CU $aveMore account
- No fees
- High rates compared to national banks
- Prize-linked savings account
- Low rates compared to online banks
- High initial rate on CU $aveMore account is for first $500 only
Associated Credit Union offers a single money market account, which can also be opened in an IRA. However, you cannot open this account online; instead, you must visit a branch.
|Associated Credit Union Money Market Account|
|Type||Minimum To Open||APY||Fee|
|Money Market Account||$1,000||Up to 0.30%||N/A|
|IRA Money Market Account||$50||Up to 0.30%||N/A|
ACU money market account rates are tiered, with breakpoints at the $5,000, $10,000 and $100,000 levels.
- Rates are higher than savings APYs
- Relatively low minimum for a money market account
- No fees
- Larger deposits earn higher rates.
- Cannot be opened online
- No card access
Associated Credit Union has a good selection of CDs with maturities ranging from six months to five years. Across the board, minimums are low and APYs are high.
|Associated Credit Union CDs|
|Term||Minimum To Open||APY|
Early withdrawal penalties apply to CDs. You will lose 30 days’ interest if the period is less than one year. The early withdrawal penalty increases to 90 days’ interest for maturities of one year or more. The nine-month CD allows for one penalty-free early withdrawal.
At Associated Credit Union, time deposits renew automatically, but you will be notified at least 30 days before maturity. After maturity, the credit union provides a 10-business-day grace period to change your term or close your account.
- High APYs
- Reasonable variety of CD options
- Very low CD minimum investment
- One early withdrawal without penalty on the nine-month CD
- No terms longer than five years
Individual Retirement Accounts
Although Associated Credit Union does not provide nonbank investment products, you can open a standard or Roth IRA. There are three sorts of savings accounts available: direct share savings accounts, money market accounts, and a variety of CDs.
|Associated Credit Union IRA Savings|
|Term||Minimum To Open||APY|
|IRA Share account||$50||0.30%|
|IRA Money Market account||$50||Up to 0.30%|
If you invest in an IRA CD rather than an IRA Share account at Associated Credit Union, you can obtain a considerably greater APY, but your money will be locked up until maturity unless you’re ready to pay an early withdrawal penalty.
|Associated Credit Union IRA CDs|
|Term||Minimum To Open||APY|
|1-Year IRA TDA||$200||0.60%|
|2-Year IRA TDA||$200||0.70%|
|3-Year IRA TDA||$200||0.90%|
|5-Year IRA TDA||$200||1.10%|
Rates for the credit union’s IRA CDs are the same as for its taxable accounts. But there is no term shorter than one year.
- High IRA CD rates
- Low investment minimums in IRAs
- No fees
- No short- or long-term IRA CDs
Associated Credit Union provides a variety of loan options. Credit union financing is available for new and used automobiles, boats, motorbikes, and recreational vehicles. ACU provides both fixed and variable home mortgage loans.
Here’s a glance at all of Associated Credit Union’s automobile and house loan options:
|Associated Credit Union Vehicle Loans|
|2019-2020 NADA Retail/MSRP||Up to 84 Months||2.25%-14.25%|
|2018 NADA Retail||Up to 84 Months||2.50%-14.50%|
|2017 NADA Retail||Up to 72 Months||2.75%-14.00%|
|2016 NADA Retail||Up to 72 Months||3.00%-14.25%|
|2015 NADA Retail||Up to 72 Months||3.50%-14.75%|
|2014 NADA Retail||Up to 72 Months||3.75%-15.00%|
|2013 NADA Retail||Up to 60 Months||4.00%-15.25%|
|2012 NADA Retail||Up to 60 Months||4.25%-15.50%|
|New Boats||Up to 120 Months||4.99%-9.49%|
|Used Boats, 1-5 Years Old||Up to 120 Months||4.99%-10.49%|
|Used Boats, 6-7 Years Old||60 Months||6.99%-10.49%|
|Miscellaneous RV/Motor Homes, 1-7 Years Old||Up to 120 Months||4.99%-10.49%|
|New Motorcycles||60 Months||4.99%-8.99%|
|Used Motorcycles, 1-5 Years Old||60 Months||4.99%-9.49%|
The current rates for Associated Credit Union home loans are listed below. Points are essentially prepaid interest payments that can be used to lessen the interest rate on a home loan.
|Associated Credit Union Home Loans|
|30-Year Fixed Rate||3.500%||3.629%||0.250%|
|15-Year Fixed Rate||3.125%||3.319%||0.000%|
|7-Year Fixed Rate||3.125%||3.518%||0.000%|
|30-Year Fixed Investment||4.375%||4.577%||0.250%|
- Auto loans of up to 84 months
- Low rates for those with good credit
- Multiple home and vehicle loan options available
- Vehicle loan rates can be high for those with bad credit.
How To Bank With Associated Credit Union
Certain Associated Credit Union accounts, such as basic savings and checking, can be opened online. Others, such as IRAs and money market accounts, require you to visit a branch. Please keep in mind that the online application service was unavailable at the time of publishing, so you may need to call the credit union or visit a branch for details on the account-opening process.
The ACU mobile app, which is available for both Apple and Android devices, lets you to execute almost any banking transaction using your mobile device. Among the options are:
- Deposit of a check
- Payments using mobile devices
- Transfer of funds
- Account alert management for bill pay
- Transfers between people
- Finding an ATM or a branch
Customer support at Associated Credit Union may be reached at 770-448-8200 or 800-952-1927. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
You can also go to ACU’s support page and fill out an email help request form, after which a representative will contact you. Of course, you can also visit a branch during regular business hours.
Fees at Associated Credit Union can be rather high, and some appear dated in comparison to contemporary standards. Although there is a free checking account option, the typical checking account costs $4.95 per month with no fee waiver. Here are some additional charges:
Paper statements cost $2.95.
Non-ACU ATM and POS debit card withdrawals: $0.75 per withdrawal after the fourth in a given month.
Withdrawals from the shared branch network cost $3.
Overdraft penalty: $30
Inactivity fee: $5 if there have been no transactions for 10 months or longer.
Having said that, the credit union does provide fee-free savings, CDs, and a money market account, which is a benefit.
Availability of Funds
Associated Credit Union’s ATM/debit card allows you to access your cash or make point-of-sale or credit transactions. ATM withdrawals and POS transactions are limited to $1,000 per day, with a total daily maximum of $1,500. Credit transactions are limited to seven per day.
You can access your funds at any Associated Credit Union branch in the Atlanta area. You can also access funds through the shared branch network or any of the 30,000 CO-OP ATMs, although withdrawing cash from a shared branch will cost you $3. Over four non-ACU ATM network transactions per month incur a $0.75 cost.
Should You Bank With Associated Credit Union?
Many things can influence your decision regarding whether or not Associated Credit Union is the one real bank for you. Here’s a quick rundown of the benefits and drawbacks to help you decide.
Customers seeking for a full-service financial institution, especially those in the Atlanta area, may be amazed by the variety of accounts offered by Associated Credit Union. CDs from the credit union are the standout performers, with strong yields across the board. Standard checking and savings accounts also generate interest, and the credit union offers attractive lending and mortgage rates. Although the credit union is regionally focused, you can access your funds through its shared branch network and the 30,000-strong CO-OP ATM network.
Associated Credit Union’s products fall short in an era of cheap costs and high yields. The credit union’s ordinary checking account still has a $4.95 fee, and its checking and savings account APYs are extremely low in comparison to several competitors’ top-tier rates. Fees for frequent use of network ATMs and the shared branch network mount up quickly, and overdrafts are costly. Even if you leave your account dormant for less than a year, you will be charged. Although the credit union offers a wide range of services, it appears to be behind the times when it comes to charging these once-common banking fees that are becoming increasingly rare.