Pawtucket Credit Union Review - Everything You Need to Know

Low-fee checking and savings with surcharge-free ATMs

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Pawtucket Credit Union serves Rhode Island residents, as well as communities in neighboring Massachusetts. This credit union may be right for someone who wants:

  • Checking with no minimum balance requirements
  • Competitive APYs on CDs and IRA CDs
  • 100% mortgage financing with no closing costs
  • Surcharge-free ATM access throughout the U.S.
  • Competitive rates on mortgages and auto loans

Pros

  • Multiple interest-bearing deposit account options

  • Low monthly service fees for checking and savings

  • Low minimum opening deposits

  • No mortgage closing costs for eligible home-buyers

Cons

  • Branch locations are limited to Rhode Island

  • No foreign ATM fee rebates

  • Must meet specific requirements to avoid a monthly fee

Types of Accounts

Pawtucket Credit Union offers the following types of accounts:

  • Checking Accounts
  • Savings Accounts
  • Money Market Accounts
  • Club Accounts
  • Individual Retirement Accounts
  • Loans and Credit Cards
  • Business Accounts

Checking Accounts

There are four checking account options to choose from at Pawtucket Credit Union. All four can be opened online and all four offer these benefits:

  • Unlimited check writing
  • Free first order of checks
  • Free ATM/debit card
  • Free online banking and bill pay services

There are, however, some differences worth noting. Here's a comparison of each account's key features:

Checking Accounts
Account Name Earns Interest? Minimum Balance Requirement Monthly Service Fee
Simple No None $4.95
Spectrum No $1,000 average daily balance in checking or $5,000 average daily balance in any combination of PCU deposit, loan and/or mortgage accounts None, or $12 if minimum balance not maintained
Direct Plus Yes None None, or $10 if direct deposit not maintained
Debit Card Checking (Requires minimum of 12 non-ATM debit card transactions per month) Yes None None, or $10 if 12 non-ATM transactions per month not posted

The Spectrum, Direct Plus and Debit Card Checking Accounts could be a good fit if you want to avoid a monthly service fee and can meet the account requirements.

In terms of interest, the Debit Card Checking Account earns a great rate. Here's how rates compare for this account and Direct Plus Checking.

Interest Rates
Account Name APY Minimum to Earn APY
Debit Card Checking 2.00% $0.01
Direct Plus 0.20% $75,000

As you can see, there's a noticeable difference rates. Both accounts can be opened with as little as $25.

Savings Accounts

The Statement Savings Account from Pawtucket Credit Union is a basic savings account. Here's a quick rundown of the account's details:

  • Minimum to open: $5
  • Minimum to earn APY: $25
  • Annual percentage yield: 0.25%

Interest is credited monthly and this account does come with an ATM card in case you need to make a deposit or withdrawal or check your balance.

You can also open a High-Yield Savings Account, which offers slightly higher tiered rates. Here are the rates you can earn with this account:

High-Yield Savings Account
Balance APY
$25 to $24,999.99 0.25%
$25,000 to $49,999.99 0.35%
$50,000 to $74,999.99 0.35%
$75,000 to $149,999.99 0.35%
$150,000 and over 0.35%

The minimum to open one of these accounts is $25,000.

Money Market Accounts

Pawtucket Credit Union features two money market account options:

  • Money Market Special
  • High Yield Money Market

The Money Market Special offers both a debit card and checks, so you have convenient access to your money. The minimum to open an account is $2,500. Rates are tiered by balance.

Money Market Special
Balance APY
$25 to $2,499.99 0.25%
$2,500 to $9,999.99 1.65%
$10,000 and over 2.05%

The High Yield Money Market Account raises the bar higher initially, with a $10,000 minimum opening deposit. Unlike the Money Market Special, which you can open online, you'll need to visit a branch to open one of these accounts. Here's a quick look at the rates.

High Yield Money Market Account
Balance APY
$10,000 to $34,999.99 0.35%
$35,000 to $74,999.99 0.35%
$75,000 and over 0.35%

Club Accounts

Club accounts are designed for specific savings goals, such as holiday shopping or a vacation fund. These accounts let you save weekly throughout the year while earning interest.

The minimum opening deposit for club accounts is $5, so they're easy to get started for even the most beginner savers. You'll need at least a $5 balance to earn interest and the current APY is 0.25%.

Certificate of Deposit Accounts

The Club Accounts can be a good choice for short-term savings but you may be able to get a better rate with a Pawtucket Credit Union CD.

Most CDs offered by the credit union require a $1,000 minimum to open, with the exception of the 15-month Easy Access CD, which allows for two penalty-free withdrawals during the CD term. That CD requires a $5,000 deposit to open.

Here's how the APY compares for each of Pawtucket Credit Union's CD options.

CD Rates
CD Term APY
3 months 0.50%
6 months 0.50%
9 months 0.50%
12 months 0.50%
15 months Easy Access 2.00%
18 months 2.25%
24 months Bump Up 1.15%
25 months 2.50%
36 months Bump Up 1.00%
48 months Bump Up 1.00%
60 months Bump Up 2.05%

Bump Up CDs allow you to adjust your APY once over the course of the CD term.

Early withdrawal penalties apply to CD accounts. If your account has an original maturity of one year or less, the penalty may equal three months' interest on the amount withdrawn subject to the penalty. For maturities of more than one year, the penalty increases to six months' interest.

Individual Retirement Accounts

Aside from these CDs, Pawtucket Credit Union also offers IRA CDs for retirement-focused savers. You can open a traditional or Roth IRA and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts are also available.

A Coverdell ESA is a tax-advantaged way to save for your child's college expenses. These accounts permit contributions of $2,000 per year until your child turns 18. Withdrawals for qualified education expenses are tax-free.

Traditional IRAs allow for tax-deductible contributions while Roth IRAs allow for tax-free withdrawals in retirement. The minimum to open an IRA CD is $500 but remember, these accounts are subject to regular IRA annual contribution limits. For 2019, that's $6,000 or $7,000 if you're aged 50 or older.

These CDs do earn interest and again, the APY varies based on the CD term.

IRA CD Rates
CD Term APY
3 months 0.50%
6 months 0.50%
9 months 0.50%
12 months 0.50%
18 months 2.25%
24 months Bump Up 1.15%
25 months 2.50%
36 months Bump Up 1.00%
48 months Bump Up 1.00%
60 months Bump Up 2.05%

If you're concerned about needing to tap your IRA ahead of the maturity date and incurring an early withdrawal penalty, you can also open an IRA Savings Account. The minimum to open the account and earn interest is $25. The current APY for this account is 0.25%.

Withdrawing from a traditional or Roth IRA CD before age 59 ½ may trigger a 10% early withdrawal tax penalty. You may also have to ordinary income tax on the withdrawal.

Loans and Credit Cards

Pawtucket Credit Union offers a full range of loans, including:

  • Fixed-rate mortgages, including FHA and Jumbo loans
  • Adjustable rate mortgages
  • Land loans
  • Home equity loans
  • Refinance and rehab loans
  • Personal loans
  • Auto loans
  • Boat, RV, motorcycle and trailer loans

What's notable about the mortgage loans is that Pawtucket offers 100% financing with no closing costs for qualified buyers. With closing costs typically running between 2% and 5% of the home's purchase price, that could save you a significant amount of money out of pocket.

There are some caveats, however. The 100% financing option is only available to first-time home-buyers and the minimum loan term is 15 years. The No Closing Costs offer doesn't extend to construction loans, jumbo 30-year fixed rate loans or land loans. And borrowers may have to pay certain escrow fees upfront, including prepaid interest and private mortgage insurance premiums.

There are three specific types of personal loans:

  • Personal/Consolidation Loans
  • Unsecured Personal Lines of Credit (up to $25,000)
  • CD & Share Secured Loans

CD and Share Secured Loans use the funds in your Pawtucket Credit Union CD or savings accounts as collateral.

Repayment terms stretch up to 48 months for Personal/Consolidation Loans and 24 months for Share Secured Loans. Only Personal/Consolidation loans have a fixed APR, at 12.99%. A variable APR applies to Lines of Credit and Share Secured Loans.

Additionally, there are a handful of credit card options. The Visa Platinum Card features an introductory APR for balance transfers, while the Visa Secured Card is designed to help build or rebuild credit. If you're interested in rewards, you can earn points or cash back with one of Pawtucket's four rewards card options.

Business Accounts

Pawtucket Credit Union offers multiple banking solutions for small business owners. If you own a small business, you might be interested in:

  • Checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Commercial loans
  • Cash management services
  • Remote deposit
  • Merchant services
  • Business credit cards

There are checking solutions for both for- and nonprofit businesses, both with no minimum balance requirement. Rates on business savings accounts are similar to the APYs you can earn with Pawtucket's personal savings account options.

How to Bank With Pawtucket Credit Union

Many of Pawtucket Credit Union's checking and savings accounts can be opened online. To open an account, you'll need your:

  • Social Security number or Tax Identification number
  • Government-issued ID or driver's license
  • Routing number and bank account information if you're making your initial deposit via electronic transfer
  • Debit or credit card information if you're funding your account that way

You'll need to be at least 18 to open an account.

The credit union offers both online and mobile banking access to manage your accounts. You'll have to enroll in online banking before you can use it but once you do, you'll be able to take advantage of these features:

  • View current balances and transaction histories
  • See cleared checks
  • Open accounts online
  • Execute a member to member funds transfer
  • Transfer funds between your accounts at PCU or with other financial institutions
  • Set up account notification alerts
  • Pay bills
  • View e-statements

You can do those same things through the credit union's mobile bank app, as well as add money to your account via mobile check deposit. The current limits for mobile check deposit are $3,500 per day and $7,000 per week.

Pawtucket Credit Union offers several ways to get in touch if you need help.

By phone:

  • Call 401-722-2212 or 800-298-2212 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET

By e-mail:

  • Send secure messages through your online banking access or to onlinebanking@pcu.org

Additionally, you can call 877-559-9566 Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. ET to pay bills by phone. Live chat help is available during those same hours.

About Pawtucket Credit Union

Pawtucket Credit Union is Rhode Island's largest credit union, with assets of over $2.13 billion. The credit union currently has more than 92,000 members with 16 branch locations across Rhode Island and one additional branch located in Foxboro, Massachusetts. It's a member of the Rhode Island Credit Union Network, which allows its members to enjoy surcharge-free ATM banking statewide.

Founded in 1928, the credit union is based in Pawtucket and has been recognized for its numerous charitable giving efforts, which include funding scholarships for deserving, college-bound students. Throughout its nearly century-long history, Pawtucket Credit Union has earned a reputation for taking customer security seriously and has no record of serious data breaches.

The Bottom Line

BENEFITS

Pawtucket Credit Union gets high marks for the competitive APYs offered on some of its CD products. And the opportunity to get 100% mortgage financing with no closing costs is likely to appeal to first-time home-buyers who want to get a home loan with minimal out of pocket expense.

DRAWBACKS

Unlike other credit unions, Pawtucket Credit Union does not spell out its membership requirements on its website. Its limited geographic reach may make it unappealing to someone who's looking for a bank or credit union with a broader branch and ATM presence. The service fees associated with the credit union's checking accounts, while able to be waived by meeting certain requirements, may be a turn-off for someone looking for fee-free checking.