Patriot Federal Credit Union Dividend Checking Still Competitive
Patriot Federal Credit Union’s (Patriot FCU) Dividend Checking account currently earns 1.60% APY on balances up to $20k. For more than six years, the Dividend Checking account earned 2.00% APY, but the rate began to fall four months ago. In a series of three rate decreases, the APY lost 40 bps.
The Dividend Checking is not structured like the vast majority of rewards checking account. While stated APYs are usually dependent on fulfilling a variety of qualifying transactional requirements, the Dividend Checking account only requires a $2.5k minimum balance to earn the 1.60% APY.
But there is a catch:
To avoid a monthly service fee ($14.95) maintain an average daily balance of $2,500,
PLUS direct deposits of $1,500 or 15 completed debit card non-PIN purchases.
If you carry a large balance and don’t want to worry about direct deposits or debit card transactions, this might be the account for you. A $20k balance will earn approximately $26 in interest per month. The monthly fee service would reduce your earnings to about $11 per month, roughly the equivalent of a 0.67% interest rate (currently higher than most nationally available savings or Money Market Account rates).
The Dividend Checking account requires a $2.5k opening deposit and $2.5k minimum balance and there is a limit of one account per Social Security/Tax Identification number. Unlimited check writing is available, with a free set of starter checks issued at account opening. A free Visa® debit card is also available.
According to the Consumer Fee and Benefit Schedule document, ATM fee reimbursements are unlimited, but only at a rate of $1 per charge. There is also a $2 monthly Paper Statement Fee that can be “waived if ACH Direct Deposits of at least $500.00 are received during a calendar month.”
Headquartered in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Patriot Federal Credit Union’s field of membership (FOM) is residency based, with individuals who live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly conduct business in Franklin County, Pennsylvania; Frederick or Washington County, Maryland; or Berkeley, Jefferson, or Morgan County, West Virginia, eligible to join.
Immediate family members (parent, child, spouse, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, household member) of someone who is membership-eligible also qualifies for membership, regardless of where they live.
Joining Patriot FCU* and/or opening a Dividend Checking account can be done online.
*Upon completion of your on-line membership application, you will need to mail or upload a color copy of your current, government issued photo identification and sign all required account documents before your account will be opened.
Patriot FCU eight Pennsylvania branches, located in Chambersburg (6) and Waynesboro (2), and two Maryland branches, both in Hagerstown. According to the COVID-19 Resources page,
To ensure that we can continue to deliver the quality of member service during this time of heightened COVID-19 cases, Patriot is temporarily closing the following branch lobbies effective December 14th: Chambersburg – Gateway, Lincoln Way East; Waynesboro – Waynesboro West; and Hagerstown – North Pointe until further notice. All Patriot branch locations will continue to offer member service through the drive-ups as well as provide curbside service and accept lobby appointments for in-person transactions.
A $5 minimum deposit into a Prime Share Savings account is required to establish a Patriot FCU membership.
Patriot FCU is a member of the Allpoint ATM Network, giving members access to more than 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs worldwide.
Credit Union Overview
Patriot Federal Credit Union has an overall health rating of "A" at DepositAccounts.com, with a Texas Ratio of 5.48% (excellent) based on September 30, 2020 data. In the past year, Patriot FCU has increased its total non-brokered deposits by $113.18 million, an excellent annual growth rate of 18.75%. Please refer to our financial overview of Patriot Federal Credit Union (NCUA Charter # 68395) for more details.
Patriot Federal Credit Union was originally established in 1965 as the Letterkenny Federal Credit Union, serving the employees of the Letterkenny Army Depot. At the end of the first three months of operation, there were 32 members and total assets of $3,317. The Patriot FCU rebrand happened in 1995, in an effort to better describe the growing diverse membership the resulted from mergers with nine Pennsylvania and Maryland credit unions that began in 1973. In July 2000, Patriot FCU was granted a community credit union charter, allowing for an expanded FOM. Patriot Federal Credit Union is currently the 13th largest credit union headquartered in Pennsylvania, with more than 76,000 members and assets in excess of $831 million.
How Dividend Checking Compares
When compared to the High Yield Reward Checking Accounts tracked by DepositAccounts.com that are available within the FOM and have maximum qualifying balances of at least $20k, Patriot Federal Credit Union’s Dividend Checking APY currently ranks in the top eight. While the APY may seem low, the lack of any qualifying requirements increases its intrinsic value.
The above rates are accurate as of 12/31/2020.
To look for the best Reward Checking Account rates, both nationwide and state specific, please refer to our High Yield Reward Checking Account Rates Table page.