Amplify Credit Union had modest beginnings when 10 IBM employees based in Austin, Texas, formed the institution back in 1967. Now, Amplify Credit Union boasts over 60,000 members and almost $1 billion in assets. Membership in the credit union is extended to anyone who works, lives or studies in Texas. The credit union offers a comprehensive range of financial services, from basic deposit accounts to loans, home mortgages and wealth management services.
Here’s a look at the current Amplify Credit Union account lineup, including features, benefits, pros and cons:
- Who Is Amplify Credit Union Best For?
- Who Might Want To Skip Amplify Credit Union ?
- Types of Accounts Available
- How To Bank with Amplify Credit Union
- Availability of Funds
- Is Amplify the Right Credit Union for You?
Texas residents are the target audience for Amplify Credit Union, as there’s a geographical restriction against out-of-state residents opening an account. Within this core audience, those looking for a loan product might be most satisfied with the credit union, as it offers a host of financing options. The credit union has a completely free checking account that includes 300-plus in-state ATMs and $12 in monthly fee waivers for out-of-network transactions. Amplify also scores points with its CD lineup, which is extensive and high yielding — although the highest rates are reserved for deposits of at least $250,000.
If you don’t live, work or study in Texas, you’re out of luck if you want to join Amplify Credit Union. That’s just as well, because the 300-plus fee-free ATMs offered by the credit union are all found in the state of Texas.
Even if you’re a Texas resident, you might want to skip Amplify Credit Union if you’re seeking the best available yields on a savings account. Although the APY on the high-yield savings account at Amplify Credit Union is decent, it’s not the highest available, and you’ll need to deposit at least $250,000 to earn it.
Amplify Credit Union offers a broad range of account types. In addition to its traditional checking and savings accounts, the credit union has IRAs, CDs, a money market account, investment options and a broad stable of loan options.
|Amplify Credit Union Products|
|Checking||N/A||$0||No fees, $12 in out-of-network ATM reimbursements monthly|
|Savings||Up to 0.25% for primary savings; high-yield savings start at 0.30%||$0||No fees, tiered APY|
|Money Market||Starting at 0.25%||$10 monthly for balances under the minimum||$1,000 minimum|
|CDs||Up to 1.40%||$0||Maturities from six months to seven years; $500 minimum for interest|
|IRAs||Up to 1.55%||$0||Higher APYs than regular CDs|
|Investment (Nonbank) Options||N/A||Variable; contact broker||Broad array of investment options|
|Loans||Rates vary depending on loan type||Variable; property inspection $185 – $250, appraisal $250 – $500||Multiple loan types and categories available|
Amplify Credit Union’s sole checking account is its Free Checking option. The account has many appealing features, including no monthly maintenance fees, no minimum balance requirements and ATM fee reimbursements for out-of-network charges. The credit union has access to 5,000-plus shared branches, but if you’re on the go, mobile check deposit is also available with this account.
- Fee-free checking
- $12 in monthly out-of-network ATM reimbursements
- Access to 300-plus in-state ATMs free of charge
- No minimum balance requirements
- No interest paid on the account
Amplify Credit Union has two types of savings accounts: a straight membership savings account and a high-yield savings account. Although the basic savings account is a requirement to join the credit union, it’s not the best option when it comes to earning interest, with yields topping out at just 0.25%. The high-yield savings account, on the other hand, pays a more respectable APY, although it takes $250,000 or more to garner the top rate. Many online competitors offer higher rates. The membership savings requires a $5 balance to maintain membership at the credit union, but the high-yield savings account has no minimum balance requirement. Neither account has any fees.
- Moderately high APY on the high-yield savings account
- Mobile banking
- ATM access
- Must keep at least $100 in the high-yield savings account to earn any APY, and $250,000 or more to earn the top APY
Amplify Credit Union’s money market account is traditional and feels a bit old fashioned. Although the $1,000 minimum to open is lower than at many other institutions, you’ll need to maintain that balance to avoid a $10 monthly fee. The top APY of 0.50% is lower than the credit union’s own high-yield savings account, and you’ll need to deposit the same $250,000 to get the top rate. The account does offer online and mobile banking in addition to ATM access, but withdrawals are limited to six per month. Excess transactions incur a $10 fee.
- Low $1,000 minimum
- ATM access
- Requires $1,000 balance to avoid $10 monthly fee
- Top APY only available to balances of at least $250,000
If you’re looking for a wide range of CD options, Amplify Credit Union might be right for you. The credit union offers a staggering range of CDs with maturities ranging from six months to seven years, all with just a $500 minimum. Interest rates for each maturity are tiered, with the highest APYs reserved for deposits of at least $250,000. Early withdrawal penalties of either 180 days’ interest, 365 days’ interest or 730 days’ interest apply to terms of less than 12 months, 12 to 59 months and 60 or more months, respectively.
- Wide range of maturities available
- High APYs for select maturities
- $500 minimum
- $250,000-plus required to earn top yields
- Two-year early withdrawal penalty for CD terms of 60 months or more
Amplify Credit Union offers both traditional and Roth IRA accounts. Within these accounts, you can earn interest via either a share account or a certificate account. The IRA Savings account pays a flat 0.25% APY across all balance tiers. Certificates are available in maturities between 12 months and 60 months. Rates are tiered, with balances of $250,000 or higher earning the highest yields. Although the range of maturities isn’t as great as with the credit union’s regular CDs, its IRA CDs pay an additional 0.05% APY across all tiers and balances. The same $500 minimum balance applies to both regular and IRA CDs, and the early withdrawal penalties are the same.
- Low $500 minimum
- Higher APYs than with regular CDs
- Share and certificate options available
- $250,000 required to earn highest yields
- Early withdrawal penalties can be high
Amplify Credit Union offers a wide range of nonbank investment options through its partner, CUSO Financial Services, L.P. Via this partnership, the credit union offers specialty advice regarding all of the following:
- Wealth management
- Investment management
- Retirement services
- Planning for college
- Life and estate planning
- Insurance and protection
- 401(k) rollovers
- Online trading
Amplify Credit Union’s partners at CFS can walk you through the entire investment process, from developing a personal profile and an asset allocation strategy to implementation, management and monitoring of the portfolio.
- Wide variety of investment and financial planning options available
- Advisors are supplied via the credit union’s partner, rather than the credit union itself
Amplify Credit Union offers a wide range of loans, including the following:
- Fixed-rate mortgages
- Adjustable-rate mortgages
- FHA, VA and USDA home loans
- Mortgage refinancing
- Auto loans
- Home equity loans
- Home equity Lines of credit
- Home improvement loans
- Personal loans
- Personal lines of credit
Mortgages are available as 15-year fixed, 30-year fixed and 5/1 ARM. Home equity loans are available from 60 months to 240 months, while home improvement loans run from 60 months to 180 months. The credit union offers auto loans for both new and used vehicles in a tiered structure. The lowest rates are available for loans maturing in 0 to 48 months, with rates bumping up for loans of 49 to 66 months and again for loans of 67 to 75 months.
Rates and fees vary depending on the loan type. For the most up-to-date figures, visit Amplify’s website.
- Broad range of loan products available
- Mortgage products can close as rapidly as 20 days
- Apply in as little as 10 minutes
- Low rates available
- Sample loan calculator on website
- Personal loan rates start fairly high
You can’t open all Amplify Credit Union accounts online, but for the available options, the process is fairly straightforward. You’ll need to provide your contact info, your Social Security number and a valid, state-issued ID. The Membership Share Savings account is a requirement for membership, which you must fund with at least $5. At the present time, the only additional banking accounts you can open online at Amplify Credit Union are the Free Checking, High-Yield Savings and Money Market Classic accounts. You can, however, apply for loans online, and the process can be quite rapid.
Amplify Credit Union offers both online and mobile banking technology. You can set up text and email alerts to keep you up to date on important account information, from balances and direct deposits to automatic debits, loan payment reminders and more. Bill pay is available both online and via the mobile app, as are paperless statements and notices. If you’ve got an Apple Watch, you can view up to 20 of your Amplify Credit Union accounts, including account balances and the 10 most recent transactions for each account.
You can add an extra layer of security to your Amplify Credit Union mobile app experience by enabling Touch ID, Face ID and/or passcodes to your login process.
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Nonsufficient funds fees at Amplify Credit Union are $30 per instance, although this can be reduced to $5 with an overdraft transfer from your savings account. Account fees overall are not onerous and can be avoided by keeping minimum balances.
Out-of-network ATM fees trigger a $1.50 fee for transactions or balance requests. The credit union’s largest fees come with its home mortgage product, for services ranging from subordination, property inspection and appraisal running up to $250 or more. However, these are fees for services rendered, not penalty fees, so they are in line with the required work.
Amplify Credit Union accounts with a Debit Mastercard offer 24/7 access to your funds. The card provides fee-free access to over 300 ATMs in the central Texas area. If you sign up for direct deposit, the credit union will waive up to $12 per statement cycle in out-of-network ATM fees, which otherwise trigger a $1.50 fee per transaction. Additional features attached to the Debit Mastercard include the following:
- Mastercard ID Theft Protection
- Extended Warranty Protection, doubling warranties up to 12 months
- Satisfaction Guarantee, for up to 60 days after purchase
- Mastercard Airport Concierge, offering a 15% discount on Airport Meet & Greet services
- Mastercard Global Service
Daily cash withdrawals via an ATM are limited to $600, while point-of-sale transactions have a $2,500 daily limit.
For a regional institution, Amplify Credit Union offers a wide array of financial services. Potential customers living in Texas may be drawn to the credit union’s extensive loan offerings, no-fee checking and savings accounts, CD options and investment partnership with CFS. However, those looking for a top-tier high-yield savings account can find better options with online banks.
If you live outside Texas, Amplify Credit Union is not a convenient choice. For starters, you must live, work or study in Texas to qualify for membership at Amplify Credit Union. Additionally, the institution’s only fee-free ATMs are located solely in Texas.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Amplify Credit Union: A Good Option for Texas Residents