The right bank accounts can make all the difference to your finances. While some financial institutions accounts don’t provide much added value, others have offer accounts that help you build a brighter future.
If you are looking for bank accounts that show you a pathway to easy money management, then First Tech Federal Credit Union is worth a second look. The credit union offers accounts with perks that might help you move the needle in the right direction. This review explores the banking products offered by First Tech Federal Credit Union.
- Earn up to 4.00% APY through First Tech Rewards checking, for balances up to $15,000.
- No minimum deposit requirements.
- No monthly maintenance fees are attached.
First Tech Credit Union Details
Minimum Opening Deposit
Minimum Balance Requirement
Up to 4.00% APY
What Is First Tech Credit Union?
Oregon-based First Tech Credit Union is a federally chartered credit union that opened its doors in 1952. Today, it boasts over 650,000 members and more than 40 branches across 8 states, including California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington.
Along the way, First Tech has expanded its membership to include many businesses and individuals in the tech industry. Some of those partner organizations include the State of Oregon, AbeBooks, Microsoft, Intel, Intuit, Google, and Amazon.
What Does It Offer?
First Tech Credit Union offers a wide range of financial products. This includes savings accounts, checking accounts, retirement accounts, student loan refinancing, personal loans, auto loans, home loans, credit cards, and more. It also offers business checking accounts and savings deposit products.
But for the purposes of this review, I’m focused on the banking products available. If you want to learn more about the credit union’s student loan refinancing options, we have a full piece on that aspect of the business.
Here’s what personal banking options First Tech Credit Union has to offer.
First Tech Rewards Checking
First Tech Credit Union offers several checking account options. But their Rewards Checking account is the standout product. With this checking account, you can earn up to 4.00% APY on balances of up to $15,000.
In order to earn interest, you’ll need to make a combined total of at least 20 qualifying First Tech debit and credit card transactions, with a minimum monthly spend of $500. You must also have at least $1,000 in direct deposits each month and enroll in eStatements.
The account comes with fee-free access to around 30,000 ATMs across the country. You won’t face a monthly service fee and the debit card is free. The First Checking Plus account is another interest-bearing account option, but it only pays 0.05% APY on all balances.
First Tech Rewards Savings
First Tech Rewards Savings offers up to 4.00% APY on account balances of up to $25,000. To maximize the APY, you’ll need to have a linked Rewards Checking account and meet additional requirements, including making a combined total of at least 20 qualifying First Tech debit and credit card transactions, with a minimum monthly spend of $500. You must also have at least $1,000 in direct deposits each month and enroll in eStatements.
Share certificates are the credit union version of a certificate of deposit. You agree to deposit funds for a specific period of time in exchange for a guaranteed interest rate that’s more attractive that what you would earn in a savings account. You’ll need at least $500 to open a share certificate with this credit union.
Below are the APYs for traditional share certificates offered by First Tech, as of October 2023:
- 6 month CD term with an APY of 4.91%
- 12 month CD term with an APY of 4.55%
- 24 month CD term with an APY of 2.25%
- 36 month CD term with an APY of 2.45%
- 60 month CD term with an APY of 3.55%
But the credit union also offers bump-up CDs, which offer an opportunity to increase your rate during the term. Here’s a look at the APYs First Tech offers for bump-up CDs:
- 13 month CD term with an APY of 3.87%
- 24 month CD term with an APY of 3.82%
- 36 month CD term with an APY of 3.55%
The right type of CD for you varies depending on your unique situation and financial goals.
Are There Any Fees?
Like all financial institutions, First Tech Credit Union products usually come with some fees attached. But the fees vary based on the account and the services you use. For example, the traditional share certificate comes with an early withdrawal penalty of up to 270 days worth of interest.
Other fees include an international transaction fee of 1%, a $2 fee for out-of-network ATM withdrawals, a $3 statement copy fee, and a card rush fee of $35.
How Does First Tech Credit Union Compare?
First Tech Credit Union isn’t the only financial institution offering attractive accounts.
Consumers Credit Union also offers a Rewards checking account, with an APY of up to 5.00% on up to $10,000 of your account balance. Many of the share certificate rates available at Consumers Credit Union are higher than what you can find through First Tech. Plus, the membership requirements are more lax at Consumers Credit Union.
If you are looking for an online bank instead of a credit union, CIT Bank could be a good fit. It currently offers a savings account with a 5.05% APY. It also offers attractive CD rates and minimum fees.
Interest Earning Checking
Cash Back Checking
FDIC or NCUA -Insured
How Do I Open An Account?
Before you can open an account with First Tech Credit Union, you’ll need to become a member.
You must meet one of the following criteria to qualify:
- Someone in your family or household is a First Tech member.
- You or a family member works for the State of Oregon or a company on the partner list.
- You live or work in Lane County, OR.
- You belong to the Financial Fitness Association or the Computer History Museum.
If you can apply for a membership, come prepared with the following information:
- Social Security Number
- Valid email address
- Home address
- Employer information
- Driver’s license
- Funding account information
Once you’ve opened an account, it’s time to apply for a bank account. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to finalize your application.
Is It Safe And Secure?
First Tech Federal Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The insurance coverage means your funds are protected for up to $250,000.
How Do I Contact First Tech Credit Union?
First Tech Credit Union offers many ways to get in touch. You could call 855-855-8805, mail a letter to PO Box 2100, Beaverton, OR, 97075, live chat through the online platform, or reach out over social media.
The financial institution has earned 4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, 4.7 out of 5 stars on the Apple App store, and 4.5 out of 5 stars on the Google Play Store. The positive reviews bode well for a good customer service experience.
The credit union offers over 40 physical branches, mostly on the West Coast. But it also gives members access to over 5,600 CO-OP shared branches, which means you can complete financial business in person at a shared branch.
Is It Worth It?
The interest-bearing checking account available through First Tech Credit Union is undeniably attractive. If you meet the membership requirements, and can easily complete the requirements to unlock a 4.00% APY, then moving forward with this credit union might be worth it.
But if you don’t qualify for membership, or find higher rates available elsewhere, then First Tech might not be for you. If you are looking for other credit union options, take a look at our favorites.
First Tech Credit Union Features
APY on Savings
Up to 4.00%
APY on Checking
Up to 4.00%
Debit Card Fee
40+ branches, plus access to over 5,600 Co-op shared branches
Customer Service Number
Customer Service Address
PO Box 2100, Beaverton, OR, 97075
Mobile App Availability
Web/Desktop Account Access
iOS and Android
Editor: Colin Graves Reviewed by: Robert Farrington