Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Review - Everything You Need to Know
Simple, low-cost banking services with relaxed membership requirements
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union was established in 1950 as a credit union for civilian employees. The original charter included 10 members, which has since grown to more than 90,000 members. In 1960, membership was expanded to include military personnel and their families. The credit union currently holds over $1.3 billion in assets.
Who Is Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Best For?
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union offers both branch and online banking with a full line of banking products and services, including checking accounts, savings accounts, and home loans. It's a good fit for people who:
- Meet eligibility requirements to join the credit union
- Prefer to pay minimal fees for banking
- Want to obtain loans at competitive interest rates
- Are comfortable with a simplified approach to banking
Get paid up to two days early with Prompt Pay
Up to four ATM fee rebates per month and fee ATM withdrawals from Fort Knox Federal Credit Union ATMs
Competitive annual percentage yields on share certificate accounts
No down payment mortgage options available
Limited branch access
Limited checking and savings account options
ATM rebates are not automatic
Not everyone is eligible for membership
Types of Accounts
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union offers the following types of accounts:
- Checking accounts
- Savings account
- Share certificates
- Individual retirement accounts
- Money market accounts
- Student Choice Plus
- Credit cards and loans
- Business accounts
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union offers a very basic personal checking account option. It's a straightforward checking account with very few bells and whistles. You won't earn interest, for instance, and there's no debit card rewards program.
But it does come with some nice no-cost features, including:
- Free Prompt Pay service, which lets you get paid up to two days faster
- Free text alerts
- Free check card
- Free check cashing
- Free direct deposit
- Free notary services
- Free overdraft protection from a savings account or line of credit
- Free $1,000 Accidental Death & Dismemberment insurance
You can get up to four ATM fee rebates per month and use your card at more than 140,000 ATMs worldwide.
ATM fee rebates aren't automatic. To get your money back you'll need to either bring your original ATM receipts with the charges into your local branch or mail your original receipt to:
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Member Resource Branch
P.O. Box 900 Radcliff, KY 40159
If you have $5 to spare, you can open a savings account with Fort Knox Federal Credit Union. In fact, opening a savings account is a requirement to join the credit union.
Like checking accounts, the credit union's savings account is very simple. Deposits earn interest, with rates tiered based on your balance. To land the highest rate for a savings account, which is 0.25% to date, you'll need to have a minimum balance of $100,000.
|Minimum Balance Required to Earn Dividends||APY|
|$100.00 to $10,000.00||0.10%|
|$10,000.01 to $50,000.00||0.15%|
|$50,000.01 to $100,000.00||0.20%|
|$100,000.01 and up||0.25%|
There's no maximum balance limit and, like your checking account balance, your savings are insured by the National Credit Union Administration. You can access your account by phone, online, mobile app, at the ATM, or at a branch location.
Share certificates are the credit union version of a certificate of deposit. Fort Knox Federal Credit Union offers share certificates with maturity terms ranging from three to 59 months. The APY for these certificates ranges from 0.35% up to 2.60%.
Additionally, the credit union offers two certificate specials:
- 4 Month - 2.75% APY
- 22 Month - 2.95% APY
Like regular bank CDs, share certificates are time deposits. That means if you tap into your savings ahead of the certificate's maturity date you can be charged a penalty. Fort Knox Federal Credit Union bases the amount of the penalty on the certificate term.
A nice benefit is that you don't need a lot of money to open a certificate account. The minimum to get started saving with one is $500.
Individual Retirement Accounts
An individual retirement account or IRA offers a tax-advantaged way to set aside money for your later years. With a traditional IRA, you benefit from tax-deductible contributions. With a Roth IRA, you can take qualified distributions in retirement 100% tax-free.
At Fort Knox Federal Credit Union, members can open a traditional or Roth IRA. There's also an option to open a Coverdell Education Savings Account, which is essentially an IRA for college savings.
The credit union has a special certificate product for IRA savers. The 59-month Rate Riser Certificate features a 2.60% APY. The unique thing about this certificate is that the rate adjusts once per year, allowing you to take advantage of increases in the Federal Funds Rate. Again, it takes just $500 to open an IRA certificate.
Money Market Accounts
Money market accounts combine the best features of checking and savings accounts. You can get check-writing capabilities while earning interest on your balance.
The Fort Knox Federal Credit Union money market account has both of those features. You can write checks on the account, although you're limited to six withdrawals per month under federal Regulation D. Similar to the savings account, the APY you earn is tiered according to your balance.
|Money Market Accounts|
|Minimum Balance Required to Earn Dividends||APY|
|$1,000.00 to $10,000.00||0.20%|
|$10,000.01 to $25,000.00||0.60%|
|$25,000.01 to $50,000.00||0.65%|
|$50,000.01 to $100,000.00||0.75%|
|$100,000.01 to $250,000.00||0.90%|
|$250,000.01 and up||1.00%|
You'll need a minimum monthly balance of $1,000 to earn interest and avoid a service fee. If you fall below that amount, you'll pay a $10 service charge.
If you'd like to earn more interest and you don't anticipate needing to make more than one withdrawal per month, you may prefer the Savvy Money Market Account offered by Fort Knox Federal Credit Union. This account features:
- 2.05% APY
- Dividends paid monthly
- One free withdrawal per month
- Free online and mobile banking access
- Free estatements
- No monthly service charge
There is a caveat, however: to enjoy those benefits you'll need to maintain a minimum balance of $250,000.
Money market accounts and Savvy Money Market Accounts don't come with a debit or ATM card.
Student Choice Plus
Student Choice Plus is a suite of products and services geared towards students. These include:
- Education loans for higher education expenses
- Student Visa credit cards for members aged 18 to 25
- Car loans for new, used,and refinanced vehicles
- Checking accounts with a free check card
- Prepaid Visa gift cards
The Visa credit card has an initial credit limit of $500. Students under 21 will need a cosigner to apply if they don't have sufficient income to show they can repay their purchases each month.
Credit Cards and Loans
Aside from a student Visa, Fort Knox Federal Credit Union also offers two Visa options for its other members:
- Low Rate Visa Classic - Credit limits up to $25,000 with an APR starting as low as 7.99%
- Visa Platinum - Earn 5% cash back on gas and 1% cash back on everything else
Neither card has an annual fee and the Visa Platinum Card doesn't charge a balance transfer fee. The Classic Card could be a good choice if you're looking for a basic, low-rate card option, and the Platinum's 5% cash back might be attractive if you spend a lot of time on the road.
In addition to credit cards, members also have access to a variety of loans, including:
- Auto loans
- Commercial real estate loans
- First home mortgages
- Refinance home loans
- Construction home loans
- Motorcycle, boat and RV loans
- Home equity lines of credit
- Personal lines of credit
- Share loans
Share loans allow you to use the money in your certificate accounts as collateral. That may be a good option if your credit score doesn't allow you to qualify for another personal loan. The loan term extends for 144 months and the current APR is 6%.
Business owners have access to the same range of accounts as personal banking members. That includes:
- Checking accounts
- Savings accounts
- Certificate accounts
- Money market accounts
The main difference is that Fort Knox Federal Credit Union doesn't offer business credit cards. It does, however, make small business loans available in conjunction with the Small Business Administration.
How to Bank With Fort Knox Federal Credit Union
The first step to banking with Fort Knox Federal Credit Union is becoming a member. To join, you'll need to be at least 18 years old and meet eligibility requirements. Currently, membership is open to people who:
- Are active duty military, Reserve, Guard or civil service employees
- Are retired military or civil service
- Are employees of a Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Select Employer Group
- Live, work, worship, attend school, or regularly do business in certain designated areas of Kentucky
- Are contractors attached to the Fort Knox military post
You'll need $15 to open an account; $5 represents the minimum to open a savings account with the credit union and the remaining $10 is a one-time membership fee.
You can apply for membership online or by phone. Either way, you'll need to have the following information on hand:
- Social Security number
- Driver's license or government ID number
- Home address
- Date of birth
Once you've opened your account you'll be able to manage it by phone, online, at a branch or ATM or through the Fort Knox Federal Credit Union mobile banking app. Online and mobile banking have all the features you'd expect, including mobile check deposit and bill pay services.
In-person customer service is available at 17 branch locations across Kentucky. Phone support is available by calling (800) 285-5669.
Use this address to contact the credit union by mail:
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union
PO Box 900
Radcliff, KY 40159
About Fort Knox Federal Credit Union
Originally founded as the Fort Knox Civilian Employees Federal Credit Union, the charter was changed in 1960 and renamed as the Fort Knox Federal Credit Union. The credit union's mission is to enhance the financial lives of its member-owners.
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union is insured by the National Credit Union Administration, the credit union equivalent of the FDIC. The credit union has no known history of security or data breaches and it takes the handling of members' information seriously with regular fraud monitoring.
The Bottom Line
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union has some of the best rates around for long-term savers interested in more than just a savings account. The share certificates have very competitive rates and the fact that membership is open to a broad range of people means they're accessible. In general, credit union membership can also work in your favor if you need a loan, as credit unions tend to offer more favorable rates compared to banks.
While it gets high marks for its APY on certificate accounts, Fort Knox Federal Credit Union falls short on convenience. Branch locations are limited to a very specific geographic area and while you can use your ATM card around the world, frequent travelers may end up paying more in ATM fees if they exceed the monthly rebate limit. Beyond that, the credit union's range of checking and savings account products is sparse compared to what other credit unions and banks may offer.