Mountain America Credit Union was originally sanctioned as the Salt Lake Telephone Employees Credit Union in 1934. It wasn’t until 1984 when Mountain America Merged with Postal Workers Credit Union and acquired Entra Credit Union that they officially changed their name to Mountain America Credit Union. The new name would allow a better reflection of the diversity and range of their membership. Later, in 1988 Mountain America merged with Utah State Credit Union and became the second largest full-service credit union in Utah.
- Checking accounts
- Savings accounts
- Term deposits
- Credit cards
Mountain America Credit Union has expanded and continues to grow. It is quite easy to become a member of Mountain America Credit Union. Many employers throughout their service areas have aligned with Mountain America to offer their employees the opportunity to join Mountain America Credit Union and share in the benefits of being part of a credit union. A few of the companies they include are L-3 Communications, Questar Gas, Novell, State of Utah, Smiths grocery stores, and over 3,000 others.
Mountain America is a full-service credit union and offers services from basic checking accounts to home, car, and personal loans. Being a credit union, they are able to keep loan rates at a minimum and allow for better rates on savings in comparison to bigger banks. Mountain America offers a variety of checking accounts for their members to choose from. Aside from their totally free checking, they have a MyStyle checking account that receives a dividend APY of .10% and includes features such as Visa Debit Cards, online banking, bill pay, and e-statements. There is also no minimum balance required to maintain your account or for opening your account. Aside, from already earning a dividend, you can earn more rewards on top when you customize your MyStyle Checking account with:
- Online Shopping Credits
- Cash gifts
- Loan discounts
- Credit monitoring
- D. protection
- Dividends-earning options
With a Mountain America traditional savings account, your money can grow safely, building dividends until you need it. Mountain America offers their members' access to their savings accounts at ATMs, unlike many online savings accounts. As a member, you can make deposits at any branch. Their rates are compounded and paid monthly with a .10% APY for a basic savings account.
Mountain America Credit Union also offers Term Deposits from anywhere between six months and five years. When a member sets up a Term Deposit they will get good dividend rates. Some of the benefits they offer their members who open a Term Deposit is higher earnings than a regular savings account, you can choose your length of term, and only a $500 minimum, they also offer CDs for younger kids to start to learn to save.
Mountain America Credit Union offers two kinds of credit card options for their members to choose from each with its own benefits. They offer a Visa Platinum and a Visa Platinum Rewards. Both cards have comparable starting interest rates, there a no hidden fees or annual fees, and access to ATMs worldwide.
- Requirements for checking accounts
- Uncompetitive rates
Mountain America Credit Union has a lot of stipulations that customers might not be aware of. They lack in several areas but here are the ones we think are some of the most important.
Requirements for Checking Accounts
Mountain America Credit Union offers two different checking accounts, a free checking account and a MyStyle checking account. The benefits of both accounts are both pretty basic, however the free checking account doesn't include a debit card, and they say that the MyStyle checking doesn't require a minimum opening or daily balance, but when looking at the rate schedule it says there must be a $1000 minimum earning balance required for the account. The rate for the MyStyle checking account is .10% which is pretty standard for most dividend checking accounts so that is okay. There are fees attached to the MyStyle checking account. It is a $4 monthly fee. The fee can be waived when a member chooses and uses a minimum of four eligible products or services. Each product or service is assigned a point value such as one point and can be used to go toward the "purchase" of certain rewards that are offered to those who have a MyStyle checking account. Members can also purchase additional point for $1 per point per month. To qualify to purchase additional points, members must have a minimum of four qualifying MyStyle products and services. This just seems like an awful lot of requirements to meet just to save $4 and only get .10% APY.
Their savings account rates aren't that great either and they could probably do a little better on the rates that they offer for their Term Deposits. Their rates are a little on the low end compared to other credit unions who are generally at least .20%. The really great credit unions tend to start at .20% for savings accounts and at least .50% for a 12 month Term Deposit. They only offer two kinds of credit cards, that is okay, but sometimes people like a little more diversity in their choices.
The Bottom Line
There seems to be an awful lot of stipulations on their dividend checking accounts, and their free checking accounts don't seem to have all the benefits of other credit union checking accounts such as a debit card. Their rates are pretty low and the rewards that offered through the points you earn are actually things that many checking accounts already come with or can be obtained by asking customer service to help you out and waive a fee one time. It seems like while their mission is to help people reach their financial goals, there seems to be a lot in it for them with all the product and services they push and require their members to use. Mountain America Credit Union is not the best credit union option available for those living in Utah and surrounding areas.