Need That Money

CEFCU: Your Premier Credit Union for High-Yield Savings and Low Fees

Citizens Equity First Credit Union Overview

CEFCU is one of the premier credit unions in the United States and is headquartered in Peoria, Illinois. The credit union has been serving members since 1937, making it one of the largest and most respected credit unions in the country.

Membership Requirements:

CEFCU membership is available to anyone that lives or works in Illinois or California. Additionally, individuals that are employed by certain companies that have a relationship with CEFCU are also eligible for membership.

Checking Accounts:

CEFCU provides its members with several different checking account options, each of which is designed to meet the unique needs of their members. CEFCU offers an array of options, including Free Checking, PLUS Checking, and VIP Checking.

No matter what type of account you choose, you will be able to enjoy a low minimum deposit requirement and low or no fees, depending on the type of account you choose. Additionally, CEFCU offers overdraft protection to help ensure that you do not incur costly overdrawn account fees.

Savings Account:

CEFCU offers a highly competitive savings account with excellent interest rates, which are consistently higher than what you will find at most national banks. This account requires a minimum deposit amount of $2,500 and comes with a low monthly fee.

With CEFCUs savings account, you can rest assured that your money is secure and earning the highest possible interest rate. Money Market Account:

CEFCUs money market account is an excellent savings vehicle for individuals that are looking for a higher interest rate and want to have the ability to withdraw their money when they need it.

This account requires a minimum deposit amount of $2,500 and, like the savings account, comes with low monthly fees. The account also provides a limited number of withdrawals each month, ensuring that account holders don’t unintentionally incur fees.

CD Accounts:

CEFCUs certificate of deposit account or CD account is an excellent investment opportunity that offers higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts. With up to a 5-year term and a starting deposit requirement of $1,000, you can secure higher yields that will give you peace of mind knowing your investments are secure.

Additionally, they offer a unique My Save CD program that allows members to start with a lower deposit amount and add funds each month. Best Features:

CEFCU is known for providing its members with an excellent banking experience and some of the most competitive rates you will find in the industry.

Here are a few of their best features:

Higher Yields Than National Banks:

CEFCUs deposit rates consistently outperform national bank averages in all categories, from CDs to savings accounts. No wonder members love the opportunity to earn more interest on their savings!

Strong CD Program:

As mentioned earlier, CEFCUs innovative My Save program is a great option for people who want to build up their deposits over time.

This program allows you to start with as little as $100 and gradually add more as you go along, making it an excellent option for people who are just starting out with investing.

Digital Experience:

CEFCU understands the importance of technology and the role it plays in our daily lives. They offer a robust digital banking platform with easy-to-use options for online banking, mobile banking, and 24/7 ATM access.

In Conclusion:

CEFCU is committed to providing its members with excellent banking services and rates that consistently beat the competition. With membership open to anyone who lives or works in Illinois or California, or is employed by a qualifying company, it’s worth considering if you’re looking for a financial institution that offers highly competitive rates and exceptional customer service.

Banking Experience

CEFCU, being a leading credit union, offers a range of banking experiences to its members. These include in-person banking, online banking, and accessing services through their mobile app.

Members can also access a network of ATMs throughout the United States without any charge. Below are further details on these banking experiences.

In-Person Banking

CEFCU has more than 20 branches located in California and Illinois, ensuring that members can easily access banking services in person. These branches offer a range of services, including opening accounts, upgrading account information, requesting loans and mortgages, or enquiring about your account’s status.

The branches are friendly, welcoming and have experienced and knowledgeable staff who are always on hand to help. To make banking even more convenient, CEFCU branches have extended operating hours and are open during weekends in some of its locations.

This makes banking even more accessible for individuals who may be busy during normal business hours.

Online Banking

As the world continues to move towards digital platforms, online banking has become a popular banking experience for many individuals, and CEFCU offers a range of services to meet these needs. Their online banking platform offers a wealth of features and services for CEFCU members, including real-time transactions, eligibility for eStatements, and the ability to reorder and stop payments.

CEFCU’s online banking portal has been designed with a clean and intuitive user interface. Moreover, members have access to the credit union’s customer support that is readily available to assist with anything related to the online banking experience.

Members can log in to their accounts online by going to the CEFCU homepage and following the “Sign In” button located in the upper right-hand corner. After you are logged in, you have access to all types of online banking services offered by the credit union.

Mobile App

The CEFCU mobile app offers an equally impressive user experience, enabling members to conduct a wide range of banking activities from their mobile device. The app is available on both iOS and Android platforms and can be downloaded directly from your smartphones app store.

The mobile app offers members easy access to their accounts, enabling them to manage their account information, transfer funds between accounts, make loan and credit card payments, view transaction histories, deposit checks, and even view eStatements. The app also allows members to access locations of nearby CEFCU branches and ATMs. All these features make banking accessible to members no matter where they are.

Customer Service

At CEFCU, customer service is a top priority. The credit union has multiple customer service channels to ensure members receive quality, timely responses to their queries in any manner that suits them, whether it be in-person, online, or through the mobile app.

Branch Locations

CEFCU’s extensive branch network in both California and Illinois ensures members can access in-person support when required. Branch staff are fully equipped to answer questions and address concerns regarding CEFCU’s products, services, or membership in general.

Online and Mobile Banking

CEFCU offers online and mobile banking customer service support providing online self-help resources, phone support, and secured messaging for any issues that may arise.

Digital Experience

Digital banking is a priority for CEFCU, hence their online and mobile banking options are well developed with easy to use features. Members have the convenience of digital banking at their fingertips, with access to their accounts 24/7.

Furthermore, their network of completely secure ATMs throughout the country means members always have a direct link to their accounts through either online or mobile banking. In conclusion, CEFCU is dedicated to providing its members with quality banking experiences while always prioritizing customer service.

Whether you choose to bank in person, online, or through the mobile app, you will have access to efficient and convenient banking services. Branch locations in California and Illinois, a well-suited online banking portal, and advanced mobile app, all supported by excellent customer service, make CEFCU a great choice for anyone in need of financial services.


As with all financial institutions, CEFCU has a range of fees associated with its products and services. Below we examine some of the most common fees and charges.



Monthly Maintenance

Fees: Many financial institutions charge monthly maintenance fees for their accounts. CEFCU charges $10 per month for the VIP checking account.

The monthly maintenance fee for the Free and Plus checking accounts is waived if you maintain a daily balance of $1,000 in your account or have $10,000 in total balances across your CEFCU accounts. Overdraft

Fees: Overdraft fees are charged when you spend more money than you have in your account.

CEFCU charges $34 for each overdraft. However, members can avoid this fee by signing up for overdraft protection.

Wire Transfer

Fees: CEFCU also charges fees for wire transfers.

Fees vary based on the type of wire transfer you are conducting, and they can range from $15 to $50.

CEFCU vs. Competitors

CEFCU is an excellent choice for individuals looking for a great banking experience, high-interest rates, and competitive fees.

However, there are other credit unions available with similar products and services that may suit different needs or offer different features. Alliant Credit Union:

Alliant Credit Union is known for offering higher-yield savings accounts than CEFCU.

Alliant currently offers a 0.55% APY while CEFCUs APY rate is 0.25%. Additionally, Alliant Credit Union provides access to a range of banking products such as auto and home loans, credit cards, and free ATMs.

First Northern Credit Union:

First Northern Credit Union provides members with a high-yield money market account that requires a $2,500 minimum deposit and offers competitive interest rates.

Their CD accounts have a minimum deposit of $500 and offer flexibility with different terms to choose from. However, members may want to consider the fees they charge, including monthly maintenance fees ranging from $1-$15 for checking accounts and a $10 account closing fee.

Navy Federal Credit Union:

Navy Federal Credit Union is an excellent choice for military families due to its wide range of products and customer service. They also offer great interest rates, and their money market accounts offer APY rates that are comparable to CEFCUs deposit rates.

Navy Federal boasts an extensive network of ATMs worldwide, and members can enjoy their online and mobile banking services. However, membership is limited to military personnel, their families and veterans.

In Conclusion:

CEFCU remains a top credit union choice for financial products and services. It offers competitive interest rates, quality customer service, and banking options that are both convenient and easy to use.

Nonetheless, researching other options is essential to meet your financial needs adequately. Before choosing a financial institution to work with, it’s wise to do your research on several credit unions and determine which one best fulfills your needs.

Final Take

CEFCU is an excellent credit union choice for individuals looking for high-yield deposit rates, competitive fees, and convenient banking options. With a rich heritage of serving its members since 1937, CEFCU is respected for providing its members with quality financial services and outstanding customer service.

If you are looking for a financial institution with in-person banking, CEFCU has more than twenty branches spread across Illinois and California, making it easy to access their services in-person. These branches are well-staffed, with knowledgeable employees trained to help with any financial issues or questions.

CEFCU provides its members with a comprehensive online and mobile banking feature, allowing users to manage accounts remotely and perform transactions with ease. Members can pay bills, transfer money, view statements, and access other banking features through the mobile app and online banking, all with features designed with ease of use in mind.

More importantly, if you are looking for an option with low fees, CEFCU is an excellent option. The credit union offers no monthly maintenance fees on most of its checking accounts, and their overdraft charges are both competitive and comprehensive, with options available for overdraft protection to avoid a fee altogether.

Overall, CEFCU is an institution worth considering for consumers looking to expand their banking options. With convenient banking options, low fees and charges, high-yield savings rates, and excellent customer services, CEFCU stands out against its nearest rivals.

In conclusion, CEFCU is an exceptional credit union for individuals seeking competitive rates, low fees, and convenient banking options. With branches in California and Illinois, members can benefit from in-person banking services while also enjoying their highly intuitive online and mobile banking platforms.

With no monthly maintenance fees on most of their checking accounts, high-yield interest rates, and exemplary customer service, CEFCU stands out against its close competitors. If you are looking for a credit union with excellent financial products and services, CEFCU is worth considering.

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