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Affinity FCU SmartStart Savings Account Review

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Earn a competitive 0.1% to 2% APY, depending on your balance.

Best for millennials who are starting to save money or people with a low savings balance, the SmartStart Savings Account lets account holders earn 2% APY. There’s no minimum balance or opening deposit requirement, but you can only earn 2% APY on balances up to $2,499.99.

After that, your APY drops to 1% on balances from $2,500 to $4,999.99 and 0.1% on $5,000 or more.

Up to 2.00%

APY

$0

Fee

$0

Minimum deposit to open

Details

APY2.00% on balances of $0 to $2,499.99
1.00% on balances of $2,500 to $4,999.99
0.10% on balances of $5,000+
Fee$0
Minimum deposit to open$0
Interest compoundingDaily
Monthly transaction limit6
More Info

Expert review

Cassidy Horton

Review by


Cassidy Horton is a writer for Finder, specializing in banking and investments. She has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. Cassidy enjoys educating people about financial services, exploring the Pacific Northwest and watching endless reruns of The Office.

Expert review

The SmartStart Savings Account is best for people who are just starting to save money. The APY tiers reward those with a lower balance, so you’ll earn the most interest if your balance is below $2,500. Plus, there are no minimum balance requirements to start.

The biggest downside is that your APY drops as your balance grows. If you keep a large account balance, you may earn more interest with a regular high yield savings account. For example, if you have $10,000, you’d earn $80 with Affinity’s APY tiers, but you’d earn $100 with a flat 1% APY.

How do I open a Affinity FCU SmartStart Savings account?

Open your SmartStart Savings account in 10 steps:

  1. Go to the provider’s site and follow the steps to apply.
  2. From the Affinity Federal Credit Union website, click Join Affinity.
  3. Click Join Now.
  4. Choose which scenario is applicable for you: Open My First Account, Add New Accounts or Continue an Application.
  5. Select Savings Account and check the box that says SmartStart Savings.
  6. Fill out the required fields and click Continue.
  7. Select your eligibility. Click Continue and then Confirm your information.
  8. Select the appropriate answer to the question “Have you been notified by the IRS that you’re subject to backup withholding?”
  9. Read the terms and conditions, then click the checkbox to accept them.
  10. Click Accept.

Eligibility

There are some eligibility criteria to meet to open a SmartStart Savings account:

  • At least 18 years old
  • US citizen or resident
  • Social Security number
  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Affinity FCU membership

Required information

When applying for this account, there is some required information:

  • First and last name
  • Address
  • Gender
  • Citizenship type
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • Government-issued photo ID number
  • Contact information
  • Employment information

What are the benefits of a savings account with Affinity?

The SmartStart Savings account is NCUA-insured and boasts these benefits:

  • Competitive APYs. Even its lowest APY tier of 0.1% is higher than the national average, and the 1% and 2% APYs are more competitive than most high-yield accounts.
  • No minimum opening deposit. There is no minimum amount you must deposit to open an account.

What should I look out for?

Like most savings accounts, withdrawals and transfers are limited to six transactions per month, excluding in-person and ATM withdrawals. Some other drawbacks to look out for:

  • APY drops as balance grows. You’ll earn 2% APY on balances up to $2,499.99, 1% APY on balances between $2,500 and $4,999.99 and 0.1% APY on balances of $5,000 or more.
  • Must be a member to open. If you fall outside of Affinity FCU’s regular field of membership, you can join by donating $5 to the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education (NJCFE).

If you want an account that rewards you for keeping more money in your savings, you’ll want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when looking for a high yield savings account.

Compare Affinity FCU SmartStart Savings with other savings accounts

$
$
months
Name Product Interest rates (APY) Fee Minimum deposit to open Interest earned
American Express® High Yield Savings
0.60%
$0
$0
Enjoy no monthly fees and a competitive APY with this online-only savings account. Accounts offered by American Express National Bank, Member FDIC.
Axos Bank High Yield Savings
0.61%
$0
$250
No monthly maintenance fees. No minimum balance requirements. Interest compounded daily.
Aspiration Spend & Save Account

1.00% on $0 to $10,000 but you’ll need to be enrolled in Aspiration Plus and make at least $1,000 in debit card purchases a month
$0 per month or $7 per month for Aspiration Plus ($5.75 per month if you pay annually)
$10
Deposits are fossil fuel-free and insured by the FDIC. Enjoy a spend and save combo account with unlimited cash back rewards and a $100 bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 60 days.
CIT Bank Money Market
0.55%
$0
$100
A savings account with a higher-than-average rate and minimal fees.
Continental Bank High Yield Savings
0.45%
$0
$1
Continental Bank High Yield Savings account, offered through SaveBetter, has a $1 opening deposit and earns 0.45% APY.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How do I deposit or withdraw my money?

Affinity FCU supports online banking, meaning you can deposit or withdraw money via one of the following methods:

Deposits

  • Direct deposit
  • Check deposit via mobile app
  • Check deposit at ATM
  • Wire transfer
  • At a branch
  • Transfer from another account

Withdrawals

  • At an ATM
  • Wire transfer
  • At a branch
  • Transfer to another account

What other savings options does Affinity offer?

Affinity has two other savings options in addition to the SmartStart Savings account:

  • MoreSavings. With four balance and dividend tiers, account holders can earn up to 0.7% APY, starting at 0.1% on account balances up to $24,999.99.
  • Certificate Account. Designed to earn a fixed-rate dividend for a specified period, Affinity CD terms max out at 60 months and earn up to 0.85% APY.

Frequently asked questions

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