Banking » Reviews » NASA Federal Credit Union Review
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NASA Federal Credit Union Review

While NASA Federal savings rate are quite low, it offers very competitive rates on certificates (CDs) and a variety of products for customers.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Interest Rates Last Update: September 20, 2023
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann’s areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
Interest Rates Last Update: November 1, 2023

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

NASA Federal Credit Union

NASA Federal credit union review
NASA Federal credit union review

NASA Federal Credit Union

Fees

$7 Can be waived if you have combined balances of at least $2,500

Minimum Deposit

$5

Our Rating

4.5
4.5/5

APY Savings

0.10%

NASA Federal credit union offers a wide variety of products including several checking account options, making it a viable option if you want to move all of your banking under one roof.

The CD deposit rates are highly competitive and the account minimums are reasonable for most accounts. You can also earn cash back with your checking account debit card and receive other perks via the NASA Federal loyalty program. There are also some competitive lending products including several credit card options.

However, you will need to be aware that NASA Federal only has access to a small shared branch network. This means that you will need to be prepared to handle most of your banking online. You also need to watch out for the monthly maintenance fees on the checking accounts and ensure that you can comfortably meet the waiver criteria each month.

On the whole NASA Federal is a solid financial institution that makes it easy for practically anyone to join.

  • Competitive Rates
  • Variety of Accounts
  • Membership Rewards Program
  • Well Established Brand
  • Ability to Earn Cash Back
  • Variety of CD MinimumsLack of Locations
  • Monthly Maintenance Fees
  • Fee Issues

Can I open an account with NASA Federal online?

Yes, most NASA Federal accounts can be opened online. You will simply need to complete the appropriate application form and submit proof of your ID.

How's NASA Federal physical coverage?

NASA Federal has access to a shared branch network, but there are only 5,600 locations, which may make it difficult to find a branch in your local area.

What are the requirements to open a NASA Federal account?

You need to either be an active or retired NASA Federal employee or be a member of the National Space Society.

Table Of Content

Banking Services
Credit Options
Savings Accounts
Mortgage
Checking Accounts
Government Mortgage
CDs
Credit Cards
Money Market Account
Debit Card
Investing Capabilities
Personal Loans

Savings

NASA Federal Credit Union has several savings account options. A basic savings account is a requirement to join the credit union, but you can open this account with just a $5 initial deposit.

While this account is mandatory for members, it does offer some nice features, including no monthly fees and the ability to set up automatic deposits. However, the interest rate offered are low – only 0.10% APY. If you are looking for the top savings rates, you need to find alternative savings accounts.

The credit union also has a Holiday Club and Special Savings accounts, which allow you to create a separate account for your specific savings goals. This makes it easier to work toward your goals without needing to remember how much you have for each with one basic account.

The final NASA Federal savings account is its Education Savings Account. As the name suggests, this account is designed to save for educational expenses. You can use the account to save funds for your child or grandchild and you’ll receive a tax break on the account balance. You can save up to $2,000 per year for each child under the age of 18.

All NASA Federal savings accounts offer:

  • Remote deposit
  • eStatements
  • Online bill payment
  • Mobile banking

CDs

NASA Federal has a number of CDs or Share Certificates and its considered das one of the best credit unions for CDs. The basic share certificate is available with terms of six months to five years, allowing you to lock in the rate for the entire term. The current rates vary from 4.30% – 5.30% APY depending on the term. You’ll need a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open the standard CD. The rates for 9 months are one of the highest in the market.

There are also Premier Bump Rate certificates with a 24 or 36-month term. Once during the term, you can request a rate increase. As with the standard CD, there is a $1,000minimum deposit requirement.

NASA Federal also has high-yield certificates with a choice of 9, 15, and 49-month terms. However, these CDs have a minimum deposit requirement of $10,000.

CD Term
APY
6 Months
4.50%
9 Months
5.30%
12 Months
4.60%
15 Months
5.10%
24 Months
4.55%
36 Months
4.50%
49 Months
4.65%
60 Months
4.30%

If you don’t have the $1,000 to open a standard CD, NASA Federal does have Add On Certificates. These have a 12 month term and require only $250 to open the account. However, you can add up to $2,500 per month to the account, so you can continue to enjoy the high APY rate.

The final NASA Federal Certificate is the Early Savers. This can be opened with just $50 and is available for members aged 23 and under, with a 12 month term. Additionally, you can make further contributions to the account during the certificate term.

All NASA Federal CDs charge a penalty for early CD withdrawal if you need to access your funds before the Certificate maturity date. This penalty is calculated according to the original term of the certificate.

For terms of up to 24 months, the penalty is 182 days of interest or if the account has not been opened for 182 days, you’ll forfeit all interest on the withdrawn amount. For longer terms, the penalty is 365 days of interest.

Checking Accounts

NASA Federal has a choice of three checking accounts. Premier Checking is designed to be a solid account choice offering everything you need including free online BillPay+ and Free Checks if you have Platinum Membership. Additionally, there are no monthly maintenance fees if you have combined balances of at least $2,500. Otherwise, the monthly fee is $7.

As the name suggests, NASA Federal’s Premier eChecking is designed to provide banking services anywhere. There is free online BillPay+ and free checks. You can also have the $8 monthly maintenance fee waived if you have active online BillPay+ with eStatements or Direct Deposit.

The Premier Preferred Checking account is ideal for those who carry a higher account balance. The account has a $9 monthly service fee, but it is waived if you have an average balance in the account of $2,500+. You’ll get free online BillPay+ and free checks, and you’ll receive dividends on your balance.

All three checking accounts offer EarlyAccess to direct deposit payroll, access to an ATM network with over 36,000 machines and a cash back debit card. For each debit card transaction, you’ll earn up to $0.5, depending on the type of transaction. You can earn up to $250 per year in cashback and it is deposited into your savings account.

Lending Options

NASA Federal offers a variety of lending options including:

Currently, NASA Federal has three credit card options, each with its own benefits.

  • Visa Platinum Advantage Rewards: This card offers one point for every dollar on purchases. Your points don’t expire and you can redeem your points for merchandise, gift cards, travel or cash. The card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees and no balance transfer fees.
  • Visa Platinum Cash Rewards: This card offers unlimited cash back of 1.5% on every purchase. You can use your cash back to pay down balances, make deposits or redeem as a gift card. There are also no annual fees, balance transfer fees or foreign transaction fees.
  • Visa Classic: This is a basic credit card, but it has no annual fee, balance transfer fee or foreign transaction fees. The card has a fixed APR and you can enjoy a lower APR for the life of all balance transfers.
  • Visa Share Secured: This card is a secured card with a minimum $500 limit and no fees (annual, foreign transaction or balance transfer.)

There are a variety of loan options for purchase and refinancing. This includes fixed rate loans, FHA loans, VA mortgages, reverse mortgages and a $0, no PMI mortgage option.

This last product is designed for first time buyers who need up to 100% financing for a primary residence and want to avoid PMI.

NASA Federal offers finance for new and used vehicles or you can refinance your existing auto loan. There are terms of up to 84 months and no payment is required for the first 60 days.

NASA Federal offers personal loans for a variety of reasons from consolidating debt to home renovations.

You can borrow up to $30,000 with a fixed APR and no origination or prepayment fees. There are terms of up to 84 months and once approved, you can expect quick delivery of funds.

NASA Federal Pros and Cons

As with any financial institution, there are both positives and potential negatives associated with NASA Federal credit union.

Pros
Cons
Competitive Rates
Lack of Locations
Variety of Accounts
Monthly Maintenance Fees
Membership Rewards Program
Fee Issues
Ability to Earn Cash Back
Variety of CD Minimums

Across all NASA Federal products, the rates are competitive, including deposit and lending products.

NASA Federal has a variety of checking, savings, and CD accounts. There is also a variety of lending products. This makes it easy to find the right product for you.

The more balances that you have with NASA Federal, the higher the membership tier you can achieve. Each tier offers additional perks, such as fee waivers, free notary service, free premier checks and complimentary services.

NASA Federal has a history dating back to 1949 and it has garnered a solid reputation.

Even if you don’t have a NASA Federal credit card, you can still earn cash back with a debit card associated with one of the NASA Federal checking accounts.

While some of the NASA Federal certificates require a deposit of $10,000, the standard certificate minimum is $1,000 and some certificate products only need just $50.

NASA Federal has access to a shared branch network, but there are only 5,600 locations. This can make it difficult to access a branch if you want to handle your banking face to face.

Although it is possible to have them waived, NASA Federal checking accounts do have monthly maintenance fees which vary from $7 to $9, depending on the account.

While generally NASA Federal has a lot of good reviews, there are some complaints about customers being charged fees and struggling to get them refunded.

NASA Federal Customer Service

NASA Federal has a fairly comprehensive help page on its website, but if you want to speak to a customer service rep, you can call a 24 hour telephone banking helpline, email or call the member contact center. However, the member contact center is only available 8am to 6pm ET Monday through Friday and 9am to 2pm on Saturdays.

NASA Federal typically has an average rating across most customer review websites. As we touched on above, generally, the comments are positive, but there are some potential issues that could be a red flag for you.

How to Join NASA Federal Credit Union

NASA Federal is available to curret or retired employees of NASA, relatives of NASA Credit Union members, or members of the National Space Society.

However, if you don’t fit into the above categories, you can still join the credit union. NASA Federal makes it quite simple to join with membership to the National Space Society. You can complete the application online as part of your account application and you’ll have your membership in under one hour with just a few simple steps:

  1. Navigate to the NASA Federal Website: You can become a member of both the National Space Society and the NASA Federal credit union from the NASA Federal website. You just need to navigate to the page and then click on the green “Open Account” button.
  2. Confirm Your Eligibility: The first screen you’ll be directed to asks you to confirm your eligibility for the credit union. If you’re not affiliated with NASA, you’ll see the option to become a member of the National Space Society at the bottom of the list.
  3. Complete the Application Form: This is fairly standard, but you’ll need to complete all of the mandatory fields including your name, address, date of birth, contact details and Social Security Number.
  4. Confirm Your Identity: As part of the application, you will also need to confirm your ID. You can do this with a valid driver’s license, passport or other government issued ID. You will need to enter the appropriate details from your ID and then upload a copy of the document.
  5. Fund Your Account: The basic savings account requires a minimum initial deposit of $5 and if you’re opening multiple accounts initially, you will also need to consider the deposit requirements for each of these. The final page of the application form is a page to fund your new account or accounts.

Summary

NASA Federal credit union offers a wide variety of products including several checking account options, making it a viable option if you want to move all of your banking under one roof. The deposit rates are highly competitive and the account minimums are reasonable for most accounts.

You can also earn cash back with your checking account debit card and receive other perks via the NASA Federal loyalty program. There are also some competitive lending products including several credit card options.

However, you will need to be aware that NASA Federal only has access to a small shared branch network. This means that you will need to be prepared to handle most of your banking online. You also need to watch out for the monthly maintenance fees on the checking accounts and ensure that you can comfortably meet the waiver criteria each month.

On the whole NASA Federal is a solid financial institution that makes it easy for practically anyone to join.

FAQs

NASA Federal is available across the U.S.

NASA Federal is a member of the NCUA, which provides up to $250,000 of federal insurance should the credit union suffer a failure.

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor, which helps consumers make better financial decisions.  Silvermann's areas of expertise include investing, banking, and credit cards. Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more. Aside from being a finance expert, his background includes working as a business and financial analyst. Above all, he is passionate about teaching people how to manage their money and helping millions on their journey to a better financial future.
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