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NFCU as Main Checking Account


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Hi all!¬† Not sure which board to put this is, Admins & Mods please feel free to move where you deem appropriate. ūüôā

 

I am thinking (vacillating lol) about making NFCU my checking account for my wife and I.  I know they are *excellent* for credit, but how about for checking?

 

I like them because they seem to have a reasonably large enough free ATM footprint, and I read somewhere that they can ATM Fee Rebate up to $10 for ATMs outside of their network. (I have to find out how to sign up for this.)

 

How is their customer service?  How is their security against hacks?  How is their willingness to solve problems?  What about their website uptime? (I have never noticed a downtime issue with their website, but maybe you have?)

 

Thank you for your insights!

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I’m currently splitting my checking between NFCU and Ameris (didn’t start acct with them, became their’s through bank closure, then a merger). As far as customer service goes, NFCU has been great (both in person and on the phone).

 

I rarely use ATMs and there are many NFCU branches near me, so haven’t used ones eligible for the rebate/credit, though I’ve heard of it. No security breaches or downtime site issues that I have experienced. 
 

As far as problem resolution, the closest example I have is going into a branch this month to pay off my auto loan with a check that was also payable to NFCU. Took a couple of minutes for the teller to  determine how to endorse it (with help of supervisor), but very reasonable in overall time. At the time, we discovered my debit card expired last month and I didn’t receive replacement in the mail that had been mailed about a month prior. She cancelled the replacement, warned me about any recurring charges I might have on that card, and then issued me a new, physical debit card while I was there. Every employee I’ve encountered there has also been very courteous, if that’s a factor for you. 

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5 hours ago, distantarray said:

I'm actually signing up for Schwab investor checking as we speak it has unlimited atm fee rebate world wide with no account minimums 

I like them!  I have them for my personal 401K.  Clean and straightforward site for the most part.  EXCELLENT customer service!  Unlimited ATM fee rebate is real attractive!  Do you know if it is an instant rebate, or at the end of the month?

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2 hours ago, Second Chances said:

I’m currently splitting my checking between NFCU and Ameris (didn’t start acct with them, became their’s through bank closure, then a merger). As far as customer service goes, NFCU has been great (both in person and on the phone).

 

I rarely use ATMs and there are many NFCU branches near me, so haven’t used ones eligible for the rebate/credit, though I’ve heard of it. No security breaches or downtime site issues that I have experienced. 
 

As far as problem resolution, the closest example I have is going into a branch this month to pay off my auto loan with a check that was also payable to NFCU. Took a couple of minutes for the teller to  determine how to endorse it (with help of supervisor), but very reasonable in overall time. At the time, we discovered my debit card expired last month and I didn’t receive replacement in the mail that had been mailed about a month prior. She cancelled the replacement, warned me about any recurring charges I might have on that card, and then issued me a new, physical debit card while I was there. Every employee I’ve encountered there has also been very courteous, if that’s a factor for you. 

Thank you for the wonderful review!!!  I appreciate it very much!  I don't know why I'm so afraid to use them as my primary checking LOL.  Maybe it's because their credit union?  Maybe because they don't have any local branches near me?  I think that last one might be it.  If I need to deposit cash to my main account I would have to do something like use cash app to pull money out of another source and then cash app it to Navy Federal for a very small fee.  Not too much of a deal I suppose but something to consider especially if something goes wrong then I would like to be able to speak to someone about it.  On the flip side I haven't really needed to be face to face with anyone in years to be honest and the few face-to-face times that I have had while enjoyable ultimately may not have been necessary except in cases of getting a bank issued money order.  but now that I think about it I can probably order a bank issue money order over the phone and have them send it to whoever I want right?

 

In any case thank you so very much!

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2 hours ago, Journeyjeans said:

I like them!  I have them for my personal 401K.  Clean and straightforward site for the most part.  EXCELLENT customer service!  Unlimited ATM fee rebate is real attractive!  Do you know if it is an instant rebate, or at the end of the month?

end of month

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Out of the several checking accounts that I have, the NFCU account is my chief account and has been for decades. Occasionally, the website does go down for maintenance, but that's limited to Sunday mornings after midnight and to be expected. Glitches have been few.

They don't have a lot of ATMs near me, but I might use one once a month for "mad money". The nearest branch is a few cities away. 

All in all, I've been reasonably happy with them. 

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After joining Navy thanks to Konrad2012, I soon moved my primary checking to them due to their outstanding customer service and the fact that they provide true 24/7/365 customer service!

 

When you call Navy, regardless of the day or time, you always speak to a CSR who is either based in Pensacola, Florida or Virginia.  There are NO offshore call centers, NO outsourced third party call centers and NO "limited info" after-hours Navy run call centers.  About the only thing you are limited on in the middle of the night is getting a response from a credit underwriter as they work more traditional business hours.  And I almost never have to wait on hold, last month during the middle of the holiday season I had my longest hold ever with Navy that almost hit 5 minutes......

 

Navy is also the only financial institution that I have found that truly provides actual 24/7/365 customer service without any of the nonsense I mentioned above and the CSR's are incredibly nice and professional and always refer to me as sir.

 

Now in regards to ATM's, Navy is also part of arguably the largest ATM network available which is another plus and NO fees! Actually I am rather shocked that nobody in this thread has posted this yet, but Navy is part of the Credit Union CO-OP ATM Network and to be fair, most credit unions participate which is why this is such a huge ATM network.

 

CO-OP ATM Shared Networks for Credit Unions | CO-OP Financial Services (co-opfs.org)

 

The closest Navy Federal branch to me is about 45 minutes away, however I have only had to visit once in four years. And there are so many credit union CO-OP ATM's around here (you have to learn locations) it is literally easier accessing my Navy accounts at an ATM, than it is for either BofA, Chase, Citi or US Bank.

Edited by Rogue
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16 hours ago, Journeyjeans said:

How is their customer service? 

 

16 hours ago, Journeyjeans said:

How is their willingness to solve problems? 

 

I've had overwhelmingly negative experience with credit unions in general, but few have been worse than this piece of garbage.  

 

They lost the paperwork I submitted for membership numerous times, forcing me to resubmit it all over and over and over and over and over and over.  They have a black hole into which all of your documents will disappear forever, and apparently no one is brave enough or strong enough or smart enough to go in and find anything you've ever sent them, no matter how many times you've provided the same documentation.

 

After I was finally "in," I noticed that they set up my gender incorrectly (which any human with functioning eyeballs couldn't possibly do after observing the fact that my DL that I submitted numerous times clearly says, SEX: M... and even if you could ignore that oversight, my photo on the DL is even more prominent than the font on my ID -- and it's absolutely unmistakable that I have a Y chromosome).

 

When I called in and said, "When I log into your web site it greets me as Ms. CV.  Could you please update that?" they immediately froze all of my accounts, explained to me that it was for my own "protection," and transferred me to Security. 

 

Security demanded that I resubmit all of the membership and ID documentation for a fourth/fifth time (I lost count), and then and only then did they restore my access to my own money.  I don't recall how many days this took, but good lord.

 

This place is obviously run by a clown troupe.  Please, please, please, please put your money where it won't be at risk -- or at minimum keep a backup checking account somewhere else so when they freeze your money you can still pay your bills.

 

Godspeed.

 

 

Edited by cv91915
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Also, if you plan to transfer money via ACH from another bank into your N F-ing C U accounts, you cannot do this extraordinarily basic banking function from your N F-ing C U account.  

 

You have to log into the OTHER account and push the money over.  

 

Push money OUT from this subprime hell hole?  Sure.  Pull money in?  No, that seems much too risky.

 

 

 

Edited by cv91915
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5 hours ago, cv91915 said:

Also, if you plan to transfer money via ACH from another bank into your N F-ing C U accounts, you cannot do this extraordinarily basic banking function from your N F-ing C U account.  

 

You have to log into the OTHER account and push the money over.  

 

Push money OUT from this subprime hell hole?  Sure.  Pull money in?  No, that seems much too risky.

 

 

 

You know, I've heard of this and I definitely found it weird.  However I couldn't find a situation where I would need the ability to do this.  Seriously.  I would like to have the ability if everyone else has it you know?  But I really don't see a situation where I would honestly need to do that.

 

What I am concerned about is that my auto insurance is pulled out of my current checking and I get a discount for that.  I'm not sure if my auto insurance will be able to pull from Navy Federal.  If that's the case that is a big issue, because in effect if I went with nfcu it would mean I would pay an increased premium which in effect it's like a monthly fee for having the checking account.  That's a problem.

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5 hours ago, cv91915 said:

 

 

I've had overwhelmingly negative experience with credit unions in general, but few have been worse than this piece of garbage.  

 

They lost the paperwork I submitted for membership numerous times, forcing me to resubmit it all over and over and over and over and over and over.  They have a black hole into which all of your documents will disappear forever, and apparently no one is brave enough or strong enough or smart enough to go in and find anything you've ever sent them, no matter how many times you've provided the same documentation.

 

After I was finally "in," I noticed that they set up my gender incorrectly (which any human with functioning eyeballs couldn't possibly do after observing the fact that my DL that I submitted numerous times clearly says, SEX: M... and even if you could ignore that oversight, my photo on the DL is even more prominent than the font on my ID -- and it's absolutely unmistakable that I have a Y chromosome).

 

When I called in and said, "When I log into your web site it greets me as Ms. CV.  Could you please update that?" they immediately froze all of my accounts, explained to me that it was for my own "protection," and transferred me to Security. 

 

Security demanded that I resubmit all of the membership and ID documentation for a fourth/fifth time (I lost count), and then and only then did they restore my access to my own money.  I don't recall how many days this took, but good lord.

 

This place is obviously run by a clown troupe.  Please, please, please, please put your money where it won't be at risk -- or at minimum keep a backup checking account somewhere else so when they freeze your money you can still pay your bills.

 

Godspeed.

 

 

I feared this.  I really really really feared this.  I was trying to figure out why I was fascinating so much about going with nfcu... But now that you're mentioning it my first introduction with nfcu was the exact same scenario you described.  I submitted my paperwork what seems like a thousand times until someone finally got it after I faxed an emailed it.  That wasn't a pleasant experience but I kind of glossed over it because of the other options with nfcu.

 

But if I make this my main checking account I don't want any weird or funny business.  I especially don't want my money Frozen due to some weird stuff.

 

I remember a few years ago when USAA was open to non-military, I had applied to become a member with them and I was accepted!  I was so happy!  Then they spontaneously closed my account in froze my deposit.  I never could get it back....

 

I literally got my deposit back like two or three years later from my state.... Using the lost and unclaimed funds program.... USAA treated me just like how Navy Federal treated you.  They sent me to security locked my account.  Wouldn't tell me anything.  Wouldn't ask me for anything.  Wouldn't even give me my f*cking money back!!  It was a horrible experience.  Thank God it was for a small amount but still I had resigned to the fact that they had stolen my money...

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6 hours ago, Rogue said:

After joining Navy thanks to Konrad2012, I soon moved my primary checking to them due to their outstanding customer service and the fact that they provide true 24/7/365 customer service!

 

When you call Navy, regardless of the day or time, you always speak to a CSR who is either based in Pensacola, Florida or Virginia.  There are NO offshore call centers, NO outsourced third party call centers and NO "limited info" after-hours Navy run call centers.  About the only thing you are limited on in the middle of the night is getting a response from a credit underwriter as they work more traditional business hours.  And I almost never have to wait on hold, last month during the middle of the holiday season I had my longest hold ever with Navy that almost hit 5 minutes......

 

Navy is also the only financial institution that I have found that truly provides actual 24/7/365 customer service without any of the nonsense I mentioned above and the CSR's are incredibly nice and professional and always refer to me as sir.

 

Now in regards to ATM's, Navy is also part of arguably the largest ATM network available which is another plus and NO fees! Actually I am rather shocked that nobody in this thread has posted this yet, but Navy is part of the Credit Union CO-OP ATM Network and to be fair, most credit unions participate which is why this is such a huge ATM network.

 

CO-OP ATM Shared Networks for Credit Unions | CO-OP Financial Services (co-opfs.org)

 

The closest Navy Federal branch to me is about 45 minutes away, however I have only had to visit once in four years. And there are so many credit union CO-OP ATM's around here (you have to learn locations) it is literally easier accessing my Navy accounts at an ATM, than it is for either BofA, Chase, Citi or US Bank.

I appreciate this!  I literally thought that they were only online in my area.  Now I see that there are shared branching locations in my area with Saturday hours as well as ATMs that accept deposits in my area.  That's very nice! Very very nice!  I was all excited until I read cv91915's post and was reminded of the horrors LOL!

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2 hours ago, Journeyjeans said:

You know, I've heard of this and I definitely found it weird.  However I couldn't find a situation where I would need the ability to do this.  Seriously.  I would like to have the ability if everyone else has it you know?  But I really don't see a situation where I would honestly need to do that.

 

What I am concerned about is that my auto insurance is pulled out of my current checking and I get a discount for that.  I'm not sure if my auto insurance will be able to pull from Navy Federal.  If that's the case that is a big issue, because in effect if I went with nfcu it would mean I would pay an increased premium which in effect it's like a monthly fee for having the checking account.  That's a problem.

This limitation prevents you from pulling money via ACH into an N F-ing CU checking or savings account from an account at an external bank.  This is a very basic banking function that I use multiple times a month with several of my other accounts.

 

If you want to transfer money in from an external savings account, for example, you'd have to log into the other bank and push it to NF.

 

With the exception of NF's CD specials, finding better savings rates at other institutions usually takes only five seconds, an internet connection, and an index finger.   

 

As such, I can't imagine keeping any meaningful amount of liquid savings there, so the ability to pull in money from another bank would be absolutely essential for a checking account that would see any meaningful use, much less be my primary.

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The fact that they have a history of freezing accounts and a laundry list of hoops to go through to get them reopened and/or access to your funds is a hard stop in my opinion when it comes to using NFCU as a primary checking account (set aside that I get ~2% on my checking up to $50k from a local bank here, or you can get 3% on $15K from Lake Michigan CU, both with minimal requirements).

 

That said, I do take advantage of NFCUs BT offers on our CCs, have gotten substantial benefit from my Flogship (first year and second year AFs offset by Global Entry credit, plus I just got the Amazon Prime credit) and they were really easy to work with on an auto finance.  I would be leery of doing a mortgage with them given their proclivity to mishandle documents and systems straight out of 1991.

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12 hours ago, CTSoxFan said:

The fact that they have a history of freezing accounts and a laundry list of hoops to go through to get them reopened and/or access to your funds is a hard stop in my opinion when it comes to using NFCU as a primary checking account

I feel the same way. When I first opened an account with them, I was all-in NFCU... but then I started reading the stories about how easily they get spooked and freeze your accounts, then they treat you like a criminal when you try to resolve the issue. I'm not in a financial position where I can have all of my money frozen, so I went back to USAA. I have really enjoyed them.

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I feel the same way. When I first opened an account with them, I was all-in NFCU... but then I started reading the stories about how easily they get spooked and freeze your accounts, then they treat you like a criminal when you try to resolve the issue. I'm not in a financial position where I can have all of my money frozen, so I went back to USAA. I have really enjoyed them.

A lot of credit unions act the same way. PenFed can be even worse.

 

I've been with both USAA and Navy for a long time and never had any problems at all. As [mention=27329]Rogue[/mention] stated, Navy does have their advantages. Still, I think USAA has better online banking.

 

Besides, any credit union that doesn't listen when our CB resident porch pirate, CV, cries can't be all bad. CV is still butt-hurt because Navy got confused when they saw his pink-flowered coat.

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9 hours ago, PotO said:

Besides, any credit union that doesn't listen when our CB resident porch pirate, CV, cries can't be all bad. CV is still butt-hurt because Navy got confused when they saw his pink-flowered coat.

 

I'm really curious which bank @cv91915 uses for his primary account, since he's so critical of every bank (and I won't even mention credit unions)

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4 hours ago, jonson said:

 

I'm really curious which bank @cv91915 uses for his primary account, since he's so critical of every bank (and I won't even mention credit unions)

Bank of America.  Their Preferred Rewards program is the differentiator, boosting credit card cash back to 2.625% (general spending) to 5.25% (set your own category), along with fee waivers for almost everything (including free shipping on foreign currency, which itself is exchanged at a preferred rate).  

 

Negatives: useless for liquid savings, and the branches won't take unrolled coins.

 

 

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4 hours ago, cv91915 said:

Bank of America.  Their Preferred Rewards program is the differentiator, boosting credit card cash back to 2.625% (general spending) to 5.25% (set your own category), along with fee waivers for almost everything (including free shipping on foreign currency, which itself is exchanged at a preferred rate).  

 

Negatives: useless for liquid savings, and the branches won't take unrolled coins.

 

 

 

Oh yeah, I think I remember you talking about them before. I used to have Bank of America, they have terrible branch hours (at least here in Texas). They closed at 4pm! Even the credit unions I bank with are open later, one has a drive through open until 7pm.

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2.625??? I want that when I grow up ūüėā

 

Currently I have a $800 toy limit Crap One 1.5 percent.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful and it was a useful builder.¬† But now I'm knocking on the door of 700 across all three credit bureaus of FICO 8 (I have achieved 700 on two of my reports so far) and once I close this mortgage it'll be time for me to grow up! ūüėā

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On 1/18/2021 at 9:47 PM, PotO said:

A lot of credit unions act the same way. PenFed can be even worse.

 

I've been with both USAA and Navy for a long time and never had any problems at all. As [mention=27329]Rogue[/mention] stated, Navy does have their advantages. Still, I think USAA has better online banking.

 

Besides, any credit union that doesn't listen when our CB resident porch pirate, CV, cries can't be all bad. CV is still butt-hurt because Navy got confused when they saw his pink-flowered coat.

How the heck are you PotO. It's refreshing to know you're around busting our chops. ;-).

 

So slight change of subject; are you in lock down due to covid? 

 

 

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19 hours ago, jonson said:

 

Oh yeah, I think I remember you talking about them before. I used to have Bank of America, they have terrible branch hours (at least here in Texas). They closed at 4pm! Even the credit unions I bank with are open later, one has a drive through open until 7pm.

I rarely go to a branch, but I can see how this could be important to some people.  

 

The only branch-hours limitation I wasn't willing to work around was Citi's, whose nearest branch doesn't open at all on Saturday.

 

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2 hours ago, cv91915 said:

I rarely go to a branch, but I can see how this could be important to some people. 

 

 

It's important when you finance a car with a credit union who doesn't allow ACH payments, and they don't show up in my bank's bill pay. So I have to WRITE A CHECK and DRIVE IT to a branch to make a car payment ūü§® (waiting for cv91915 to fall over).

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