Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union
Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union
If you’re eligible to join RBFCU, this credit union does offer a decent selection of banking products including an interest bearing Really Free checking account. This means that it is viable to switch all of your day to day banking activities to RBFCU. RBFCU also has an impressive selection of lending and investing products.
Unfortunately, if you don’t have any connections to serviced communities in Texas, you will struggle to obtain eligibility to join.
- Flexible CD Terms
- Access to a Large ATM Network
- Access to a Branch Network
- Minimal Fees
- Rewards Program
- No Specialty CDs
- No Checks for Money Market Accounts
- Limited Access
- Fairly Low Savings Rate
Does the credit union cover all states?
RBFCU is a Texas based credit union, so if you don’t have a connection to the state, you will struggle to qualify for membership.
What are the requirements to open a RBFCU account?
You will need to meet at least one of the membership eligibility criteria and then complete the account application process. This will involve providing personal details such as your full name, address, date of birth, Social Security Number and contact details. You will also need to verify your identity.
Can I open an account with RBFCU online?
Yes, it is possible to open a RBFCU account online via the official RBFCU website.
Table Of Content
Money Market Account
RBFCU has one member savings account which can be opened with just $1. This account allows you to maintain your membership status with the credit union. While this is a necessary account for all RBFCU members, it does have some key features. These include:
- No Monthly Service Fee: While it is often possible to have account service fees waived, you typically have to meet a minimum balance requirement or have a certain amount of funds transferred into the account each month, which means that you need to monitor the account to ensure you don’t get hit with a fee. This is not a problem with this account, as it does not incur monthly service fees.
- Low APY: The current RBFCU rate for this account is above the national average, but it is certainly not the highest savings account APY on the market. However, if you want this account as a gateway to access other RBFCU products, it does offer a nice return.
- Limited Online/Phone Transfers: RBFCU only permits six phone or online transfers per month for this account. However, if you do need to make additional transfers, you can arrange this at your local branch.
RBFCU offers CDs or certificates with a variety of annual terms from one year to seven years, with an 18 month SuperSaver Certificate. These offer APYs of 3.30% – 5.05%, depending on the term, with the SuperSaver offering the highest rate. The CD rates for 1-year and 2-year CDs are also considered high compared to other banks and credit unions.
Regardless of the term, you will need to deposit at least $1,000 to open an RBFCU certificate and many offer the same rate, with no APY tiers for higher balances. The interest you accrue is compounded monthly and can be paid to your certificate account or you can receive the dividends into your RBFCU savings, checking or money market account.
Early Withdrawal Penalty
4.85% – 5.05%
60 days of interest
4.50% – 4.70%
60 days of interest
4.20% – 4.50%
120 days of interest
4.05% – 4.25%
180 days of interest
3.65% – 3.85%
240 days of interest
3.60% – 3.80%
300 days of interest
3.39% – 3.60%
360 days of interest
3.30% – 3.49%
420 days of interest
While these certificates do allow you to lock in the rate for the full CD term, if you need access to some or all of your money before the certificate matures, you may incur an early withdrawal penalty. This penalty is calculated according to your original CD term.
For terms of under 24 months, the penalty is 60 days of interest, this increases to 120 days for terms of 24 to 35 months and 180 days for terms of 36 to 47 months. These penalties are fairly standard across many financial institutions.
However, if you have a longer term CD, the penalties can get a little on the high side. If you have a CD term of 48 to 59 months, you’ll incur a penalty of 240 days of interest, 300 days of interest for terms of 60 to 71 months, 360 days for terms of 72 to 83 months and a whopping 420 days of interest if your CD term is 84 months.
If you don’t have sufficient accumulated interest on your account to cover this early withdrawal fee, the remainder will be deducted from your principal balance.
RBFCU certificates automatically renew upon maturity, but there is a 10 day grace period. For ten days after the maturity date, you can withdraw funds, deposit additional money or close the account without incurring a penalty.
RBFCU Checking Accounts
RBFCU has one checking account option, which improves the feasibility of moving all of your banking activities to this credit union. The Really Free Checking account features include:
- Interest Bearing: The current APY for this account is 0.05%, which is not a massive return, but you don’t need to meet a minimum balance requirement to earn interest on your balance.
- No Monthly Maintenance Fees: It is fairly common for interest-bearing checking accounts to have a monthly maintenance fee. While it is often possible to have this fee waived, you typically need to meet balance requirements or other criteria. However, this account is a free checking account with no monthly maintenance fees to worry about.
- Freedom Debit Card: This account supplies a debit card which you can use for purchases or to access your account balance via the CO-OP ATM network with no surcharges. The Freedom Debit card does not incur a fee and offers $0 liability for unauthorized purchases and 24/7 fraud monitoring.
- Check Writing Ability: In addition to your debit card, you can also enjoy free printed checks with this account. You can sign into your account and order checks at any time.
- Round Up: When you make purchases with your Freedom Debit card, they can be rounded up to the nearest dollar amount, the difference is then transferred into your designated RBFCU account. This is a common savings feature. For example, if you make a debit card purchase for $9.57, $10 will be billed to your checking account and the remaining $0.43 will go towards boosting your savings.
- Early Access to Your PayCheck: If you receive your salary by direct deposit, you can access the funds up to two days early.
RBFCU Investing Options
RBFCU also provides access to a number of investment options. These include:
There are two types of RBFCU money market accounts: Classic and Choice. Each has a $2,500 minimum balance requirement and you'll get most money market account benefits, but neither account has check writing abilities, but there are no monthly maintenance fees.
RBFCU offers professional assistance and guidance to help you to plan for your financial future. This includes college funding, retirement or simply general investing. You can schedule a no obligation, no cost initial consultation with a RBFCU financial advisor.
RBFCU can also assist you with wealth management planning and trust services to cover almost every aspect of financial management under one roof.
RBFCU Lending Options
RBFCU also offers various lending options. These include:
RBFCU offers secured and unsecured personal loans and lines of credit. These are available with terms of up to 60 months.
You can shop with one of RBFCU’s preferred dealer partners, refinance from another financial institution or apply online for an auto loan before you shop for a vehicle.
RBFCU offers a variety of home loans for buying or refinancing. This includes fixed rate loans, adjustable rate, VA and FHA loans, 100% financing and jumbo loans.
RBFCU currently offers three credit card options:
- RBFCU World Cash Back: This card has no annual fee and offers an unlimited 2% cash back on all your purchases. The card also provides up to $1 million in travel accident coverage.
- RBFCU Premier: This card is designed for large purchases or carrying a balance as it offers a lower rate. There is no annual fee and it provides the same $1 million in travel accident coverage.
- RBFCU Business Select: This card is for businesses to enjoy 2% unlimited cash back on purchases. There is no annual fee for this card.
Pros and Cons
As with any financial institution, there are both positives and potential negatives associated with RBFCU that you need to be aware of before making any account decisions.
Flexible CD Terms
No Specialty CDs
Access to a Large ATM Network
No Checks for Money Market Accounts
Access to a Branch Network
Fairly Low Savings Rate
Checking Account Available
RBFCU offers a variety of CD terms to make it easier to find the ideal option for your financial goals.
RBFCU members have access to the CO-OP ATM network, which has approximately 30,000 machines.
RBFCU has approximately 60 branches throughout Texas and you can schedule an in person appointment via the website.
RBFCU accounts have minimal fees and charges, including its credit card options, which have no annual fees or foreign transaction fees.
RBFCU has a checking account option with many of the features you’d expect from a bank checking account, making it possible to move all of your day to day finances to the credit union. Also, this is a checking account with interest.
While RBFCU does offer competitive CD rates, there are no speciality CDs available.
Although the Really Free Checking does offer free checks, the two money market accounts don’t have check writing abilities.
RBFCU has limited membership availability and if you have no connections to Texas, you will struggle to obtain membership.
You need to have a savings account to maintain membership of the credit union, but it is possible to get far higher rates with other credit unions and online banks.
RBFCU Customer Service
RBFCU has a comprehensive help section on its website, but if you have any queries or questions, you can speak to a member of the RBFCU customer service team. The phone helpline is available 8 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday and between 8.30 am and 4 pm on Saturdays.
Unfortunately, RBFCU does not have a great reputation with the consumer review platforms. On Trustpilot, there are a number of complaints and negative comments about the customer experience. However, the RBFCU app does have a strong rating on Google Play and the Apple Store.
How to Join Randolph Brooks Credit Union
You will need to be eligible to join the Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union. Fortunately, there are several avenues of eligibility. These include:
If you live, work or worship in a serviced area, have a child who is a student within eligible school districts or you attend a place of education among the RBFCU served institutions, or if you have a family member who is a member.
You can also qualify for membership if you volunteer within serviced communities or if you access the Joint Bases at Randolph, Fort Sam Houston or Lackland.
You can also submit an application online to confirm if you’re eligible. If you are eligible, you can apply for an account online or visit a branch in your area.
About Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union
Randolph Brooks Federal Credit Union is one of the largest credit unions in the State of Texas. The credit union dates back to the 1950s, when it was opened on Randolph Air Force Base. Today, Randolph Brooks has over 60 branches throughout Texas serving 1 million members.
The credit union offers a comprehensive line of products including CDs, savings, money market and checking accounts.
RBFCU has approximately 60 branches throughout Texas.
RBFCU is federally insured with NCUA coverage. This provides up to $250,000 of coverage to protect your funds in the event that the credit union fails. This is a similar standard of coverage offered with conventional bank accounts that offer FDIC insurance.