America First Credit Union was founded on March 16, 1939 at the Hotel Newhouse in Salt Lake City, Utah. Among the 59 who attended the charter meeting of what was then the Fort Douglas Civilian Employees Credit Union was R.D. (Ray) Hagen, a volunteer who eventually became their first full-time employee (treasurer/manager) and later president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). America First Credit Union was established in a small office housed in Fort Douglas' Building 207, with service hours on Fridays only from 3:30 to 4 p.m. A Prince Albert tobacco can was used to hold all cash deposits at the time; total assets and membership were $788 and 79, respectively. America First Credit Union is dedicated to creating lifetime memberships with those served.

 

Rank Chart
Total Assets
Number of Locations
Our Score
#1
$9.15 Million
80+ Branches
6.7
#2
13.64 Million
35+ Branches
6.5
#3
$1.08 Billion
10+
6.0
#20
america_first
$6.78 Million
123
3.9

The Good

America First Membership qualifications are pretty general and expansive to many areas in and around Utah, including parts of Nevada and memberships are free. Stated below, from America First’s website, are the requirements in order to become a member of America First:

  • Live, work (or regularly conduct business in), worship, volunteer, or attend school in Salt Lake County, Utah; or within a 12-mile radius of the Mesquite, Nevada U.S. Post Office.
  • Live, work (or regularly conduct business in), worship, volunteer, or attend school in Utah County, or Juab County, Utah.
  • Live, work (or regularly conduct business in), worship, volunteer, or attend school in Clark County, Nevada.
  • Live, work (or regularly conduct business in), worship, volunteer, or attend school in Lincoln County, Nevada, except those living within a 25-mile radius of Alamo, Nevada U.S. Post Office.
  • Live, work (or regularly conduct business in), worship, volunteer, or attend school in eligible areas of Davis or Weber County, Utah. See map
  • Owners, employees, suppliers and their employees, or associated companies and their employees involved in the food industry, in Utah.
  • Employee, or member of a Select Employer Group (SEG) or of an affiliated association.
  • Member of the immediate family or household of an existing member or those eligible for membership.
  • Spouse of a person who died while within the field of membership.
  • Existing member of America First Federal Credit Union.
  • Employee of America First Federal Credit Union or its subsidiary corporations.

Checking at America First is truly free, earns dividends with a .05% APY, and comes with a host of premier Online Services that don’t cost you a cent to take advantage of, including features such as free online banking, free payment of bills online, free mobile banking as well as mobile deposit, and free direct deposits, and many more.

A Share Savings Account is part of every member’s ownership in America First Credit Union and includes a 0.10% APY. It starts when you join, and you can deposit and withdraw money at any time. And as long as you maintain a $1 balance, it’s always free. It’s also allows you to be flexible by letting you make deposits and withdrawals. You will also be able to access your accounts online through Mobile Banking, as well as over the phone, at an ATM or within an America First branch.

If you can leave your savings alone for a specific period of time, America First Credit Union Certificate Accounts are the right choice for you. They pay competitive rates and are simple to set up. With rates ranging from .40-.50% APY. They offer 5 different types of savings certificates each with varying rates. Each certificate comes with the following benefits as well:

  • High Yield
  • Terms ranging from three months to five years
  • Automatic renewal option
  • Dividends can be paid into Savings, Checking, Money Market Savings, or back into the Certificate Account

America First offers several different kinds of savings certificates which are regular, bump, flexible, dedicated savings, and ladder.

America First Credit Union boasts a wide variety of credit cards and rewards for their customers to choose from as well, cards for people just earning credit to those who require a higher line of credit for business expenditures. Compared to other Credit Unions, America First offers 8 cards when most other Credit Unions only offer around 3-5 different cards for their customers.

The Bad

There isn’t anything really bad about America First Credit Union.  There aren’t a ton of locations, but they have a large customer base. Their interest rates could be a little better, they are slightly above average rates for somethings such as their CD’s at .40% APY and a little below for other rates such as their checking account rate being only at .05% APY.

The Bottom Line

If you are looking for a Credit Union and you qualify for membership to America First, this would be an outstanding credit union to choose. They have competitive rates, and don’t seem to have any hidden fees for any of their accounts. They don’t require any minimal expectations to be met each month for account maintenance.  America First is highly recommended, and would give you an excellent return on your deposits.

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    July 29th, 2016 Alpine, UT

    I’ve been with America First since 2001. They are have been and are light years ahead of banks. I’ve had more than 5 car loans through them. I’ve had a home loan with them, and their online banking is phenomenal because you can apply for loans, transfer from one account to another, and easily pay bills etc. even on your mobile phone. They used to only accept people with good credit, but that is no longer the case and I’m proud to say I intend to say with them for the rest of my life.

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