The application process went smoothly. I was able to do everything online. It was about as easy as Pentagon FCU's online application (see post). Below are some of the important points in the application process:
- The online application allows you to join the CityDance organization to meet their field of membership requirements. This has a $20 fee.
- You can fund the CityDance fee, the initial savings account deposit and the CD deposit with one ACH electronic fund transfer. The ETF can be from your external savings or checking account. You'll need to enter your bank's routing number and the account number.
- The minimum savings account deposit is $5. The application listed the maximum that could be funded with this ETF as $10K.
- The CD minimum deposit is $1,000. The application didn't list a maximum limit.
- In addition to ETF, you can do initial funding with your credit card. However, you may be charged a cash advance fee by your credit card company.
- The application requires your driver license information.
- You can list up to two beneficiaries. You must have their social security numbers.
- You're asked 5 questions for identity authentication. These are based on your credit history.
- After the payment page, you'll need to print out the signature card, sign and mail it in.
- The final confirmation page will include your account number. Use this account number as your login name and your last 4 digits of your social security number as your temporary password. You can use this to log into your account. Once logged in, you'll have to update the password. I was able to log in and confirm the CD and rate.
- At the completion of the application, you should receive a confirmation email. This email will explain about the intial login procedure.
I haven't been able to get more details regarding some of the fees like the $2/month fee for share balances under $100, the account inactivity fee and the online funds transfer fee. I'll try again to contact AFCU this week.
One thing I didn't see in the application was an option for interest payments (i.e. credit back to the principal or send you a check). Also, there was no option about how to handle the CD when it matured. The Penfed application provided options for these.
As specified in AFCU's Truth in Savings page, the maximum early withdrawal penalty is 180 days of interest.
If you're concerned about the legitimacy of AFCU, you can confirm their federally insured status and their official web address at this NCUA page.
11/27 update based on a call this morning with an AFCU customer service rep.:
As was mentioned by a reader, you can maintain less than $100 in your savings account without a monthly fee if you have an aggregate balance at AFCU of at least $5K. You then only have to maintain a minimum $5 balance in your savings account.
The CSR also said that you won't be charged an inactivity fee in the savings account if you have a CD.
About the fee for the funds transfer, they don't charge if you initiate the ACH transfer from another bank.
About the CD, by default the interest will be re-invested quarterly. If you want to be paid the interest (check or transfer into savings), you'll have to call them each quarter to have it paid out.
Since the compounding is quarterly instead of daily, the APR is a little higher for a 6% APY (5.87%). For compounding daily, the APR would be 5.83% to equal a 6% APY.