AEA Federal Credit Union review: Hispanic American-led institution in Arizona

AEA Federal Credit Union has 4 branches in Arizona.

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The bottom line: AEA Federal Credit Union Primary Share Savings Account is a good option if you live in Arizona and want to work with a Hispanic American-led credit union, because it’s the only sizeable Hispanic American institution in the state.

Overall bank rating

FeatureInsider rating (out of 5)Savings3.25Checking3.75Share certificate3.75Money market account3.75Trustworthiness5Total3.9

Pros and cons

ProsConsHispanic American-led credit union that is involved in the local communityLarge free ATM networkCompetitive certificate interest ratesFree savings, certificates, and money market accountsOnly available in Yuma, Somerton, and Parker, ArizonaLow savings interest rateMonthly fees on checking accounts (unless you qualify to waive them)No free overdraft protection ($5 for sweeping money from savings)

Savings

AEA Federal Credit Union Primary Share Savings

The AEA Federal Credit Union Primary Share Savings Account is a free option with a low minimum deposit. It pays a low interest rate, though. If you prioritize earning a high rate, read our roundup of the best high-yield savings accounts.

Checking

AEA Federal Credit Union Basic Checking Account

You may like the AEA Federal Credit Union Basic Checking Account if you can waive the $5 monthly service fee. To avoid this fee, you’ll need to receive at least $400 per month in direct deposits and do one of the following:

Make 30 or more debit card transactionsHold $15,000 in aggregate loan, mortgage, and credit card balances with AEAMaintain $1,500 in your checking account

Share certificate

AEA Federal Credit Union Share Certificate

AEA Federal Credit Union pays AEA Federal Credit Union Share Certificate than most in-person institutions, especially on longer terms. However, you could still earn higher rates with online banks.

Money market account

AEA Federal Credit Union Money Market Account

You may like the AEA Federal Credit Union Money Market Account if you have $2,500 to get started. You’ll also need to maintain a $2,500 to earn interest.

How AEA Federal Credit Union works

AEA Federal Credit Union is a Hispanic American-led institution in Arizona. There are four branches: two in Yuma, one in Somerton, and one in Parker. You have free access to ATMs at branches and Albertsons stores, and to 30,000 ATMs in the CO-OP Shared Network around the US.

To join the credit union, you or an immediate family member must live, work, study, or worship in Yuma County or La Paz County. Then you have to open an AEA Federal Credit Union Primary Share Savings with $25 and a one-time $5 opening fee.

Exact lobby and customer service hours vary by location; each branch is open Monday through Friday but not on the weekend.

The AEA Federal Credit Union mobile app has 4.8 out of 5 stars in the Apple store and 4.6 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store.

Your deposits are federally insured by the NCUA for up to $250,000, or up to $500,000 for joint accounts.

Is AEA Federal Credit Union trustworthy?

AEA Federal Credit Union does not have any recent public controversies.

The Better Business bureau gives AEA an A+ in trustworthiness. A strong BBB grade indicates that a company responds effectively to customer complaints, advertises honestly, and is transparent about business practices.

A good BBB score doesn’t guarantee that you’ll have a smooth relationship with an institution, though. You still may want to ask friends and family members about their experiences with AEA, or read online customer reviews.

The role of Hispanic American institutions

Many Hispanic American banks and credit unions provide services in both English and Spanish. There is a history of racial prejudice in banking and lending, specifically among Hispanic Americans, so working with a Hispanic American institution can help eliminate unfair bias.

Some of these institutions make it possible to open accounts if you are an immigrant or non-US citizen. AEA does require a Social Security number to open an account, but you can see a full list of banks that accept applications from immigrants and noncitizens without SSNs here.

Many of these banks and credit unions are involved in their local communities. For example, AEA chooses a local charity every other month for employees to volunteer with. Employees can also wear jeans to work if they donate $5 or $10 from their paychecks, and participating workers choose the charity to receive the money at the end of each quarter.

How AEA Federal Credit Union compares

AEA Federal Credit Union is the only Hispanic American institution in Arizona. But we’ve compared it to two banks with large presences in the state: Wells Fargo and Chase.

Arizona locations

4

Arizona locations

219

Arizona locations

228

Standout feature

High certificate rates

Standout feature

Automatic savings feature

Standout feature

Checking account options

AEA Federal Credit Union Primary Share Savings AccountWells Fargo Everyday Checking AccountChase Total Checking®

If it’s important to you to use a Hispanic American institution, you’ll probably want to go with AEA. However, Wells Fargo doesn’t require a Social Security number to open an account, which makes it a worthwhile choice if you’re an immigrant or non-US citizen.

Still, it’s worth noting that Wells Fargo and Chase both have numerous public controversies, including a 2019 lawsuit in which Wells Fargo paid the city of Philadelphia $10 million in response the city’s claims that the bank engaged in predatory mortgage lending to racial minorities.

AEA pays significantly higher interest rates on certificates than Wells Fargo and Chase, but you might like one of these other banks’ accounts if you’re interested in features other than rates. Wells Fargo has an automatic savings tool that transfers $1 from checking to savings each time you swipe your debit card. Chase has several checking accounts with perks that range from sign-up bonuses to waived foreign transaction fees.

Related Content Module: More Savings Coverage

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